Monday, October 29, 2012

More Dancing with the Dragon: The Mass = sodomy?


I wish incidents such as these were not so prevalent in the news, but due to the nature of spiritual warfare, they are all too common.  See also here. "And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Rv 12:9) Whoever today still doubts the real existence of demonic powers has widely misunderstood the metaphysical background to this war. Behind the concrete, behind material perceptions, behind all factual, logical considerations stands the irrational i.e. the baffle against the demon. Read, but don't weep- for Our Lord has overcome the world!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Culture Dances with the Dragon:The Sexualization of Girls

In Chapter three of my book, I outline the evidence of the oversexualization of our culture. As I go to press, it seems I wrote too early to include this recent growing phenomenon... See also my post of September 19th.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sexual Revolution Redux



One hears often that the “liberation” of the human libido began in earnest in the United States in the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s. Americans, troubled over repressive attitudes toward human sexuality, hoped for a revolution that would free them from outdated moral and social constraints. It resulted not in liberation but in license and a host of societal sexual crises. Since the onset of the sexual revolution, we have had to face an ever-increasing array of sexual problems. One has only to think of the tremendous increase in the number of post-1960s illegitimate births and abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, opposition to censorship of pornography (especially on the Internet), and the resulting sexual addiction (in some extreme instances resulting in murder). Consider too the tremendous blows to marriage and the family done by adultery, the battle over the homosexual lifestyle in the United States, Canada and Europe (now to the point of the redefinition of marriage under the law); the increasing incidences of sexual harassment, child pornography on the Internet, Internet predators, date rape, and of course, the divorce rate. Recently Anthony Esolen of Firsts Things has written of the victims of this revolution in this sagacious piece....


Monday, October 15, 2012

A Year of Faith



Pope Benedict's has noted of late that many Catholics misunderstood or ignored the Second Vatican council's teachings under the influence of secular culture and "embraced uncritically the dominant mentality, placing in doubt the very foundations of the deposit of faith, which they sadly no longer felt able to accept as truths." he said He went on to add in a homily: "Recent decades have seen the advance of a spiritual 'desertification.'" Fifty years ago, history offered glimpses of a "life or a world without God," he said. "Now we see it every day around us. This void has spread." Yet, the pope said, a "thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life" is still evident in "innumerable signs," including the growing popularity of religious pilgrimages. "How come so many people today feel the need to make these journeys?" he said. "Is it not because they find there, or at least intuit, the meaning of our existence in the world?"

Calling for a revival in the church of the "yearning to announce Christ again to contemporary man," the pope stressed that any new evangelization "needs to be built on a concrete and precise basis, and this basis is the documents of the Second Vatican Council."

Having completed a book on a spiritual war as being behind a “spirit of Vatican II,” I am encouraged that the Holy Father reaffirmed past statements rejecting any expansive notions of a "spirit of Vatican II" that might be used to justify innovations diverging from traditional doctrine.

"I have often insisted on the need to return, as it were, to the 'letter' of the council -- that is to its texts -- also to draw from them its authentic spirit," the pope said. "The true legacy of the council is to be found in them."

The pope also reiterated one of his most prominent teachings about Vatican II, that it must be understood in continuity with the church's millennial traditions, not as a radical break with the past. "The council did not formulate anything new in matters of faith, nor did it wish to replace what was ancient," he said. "Rather, it concerned itself with seeing that the same faith might continue to be lived in the present day, that it might remain a living faith in a world of change."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Read the Documents!




I began The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God by taking note that many Catholics after Vatican II were told by pastors, curates, religious, or theologians that the sacred council had changed certain aspects of Catholic theology or practice, and consequently had never read the documents of Vatican II for themselves. As we approach the Year of Faith, it's not too late to get started!!! To get motivated, perhaps this will help: many Catholics misunderstood or ignored the council's teachings under the influence of secular culture and, as the Holy Father recently stated, "embraced uncritically the dominant mentality, placing in doubt the very foundations of the deposit of faith, which they sadly no longer felt able to accept as truths. Recent decades have seen the advance of a spiritual 'desertification.'" He also remarked that fifty years ago, history offered glimpses of a "life or a world without God. Now we see it every day around us. This void has spread." Yet, the pope said, a "thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life" is still evident...."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The New Evangelization!

My final chapter discusses the need for personal conversion as integral to Vatican II's call to holiness issued to all faithful Catholics. Thus it was with AMAZEMENT that I read Curtis Martin's reflections at the Bishops' synod...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Combating the Dragon of Revelation

In the Conclusion to my book, The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God, (for which the copy editing has been completed) I posit that conversion sprouting from the sun of the new Evangelization is the cure for the crisis of faith outlined in the book. Cardinal Wuerl concurs, citing the call for the Catholic Church to roll back the “tsunami of secularism” that has swept over modern society in recent decades. Read More...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Year of Faith


Last October Pope Benedict announced a Year of Faith to begin this Oct. 11. He described it as “a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Savior of the world.” 
The reason for calling for a Year of Faith is simple.  Faith, at least in Europe and some parts of America, is dying. In the past, faith in God, the contents of the Gospel and the values inspired by it were part of the cultural matrix that families could rely on to help them transmit the faith to their children. Not anymore. “This presupposition” the pope said, “can no longer be taken for granted, but is often openly denied.” Read more...

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Marital Act


Chapter 3 of my book recounts the story of how the “liberation” of the human libido began in earnest in the United States in the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s. Americans, troubled over repressive attitudes toward human sexuality, hoped for a revolution that would free them from outdated moral and social constraints. It resulted not in liberation but in license and a host of societal sexual crises. Since the onset of the sexual revolution, we have had to face an ever-increasing array of sexual problems. One has only to think of the tremendous increase in the number of post-1960s illegitimate births and abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, opposition to censorship of pornography (especially on the Internet), and the resulting sexual addiction (in some extreme instances resulting in murder). Consider too the tremendous blows to marriage and the family done by adultery, the battle over the homosexual lifestyle in the United States, Canada and Europe (now to the point of the redefinition of marriage under the law); the increasing incidences of sexual harassment, child pornography on the Internet, Internet predators, date rape, and of course, the divorce rate. Here is a piece which corroborates the thesis of my chapter on human libido properly understood, that is, that "Sexual intercourse, the marital embrace, is an image of God who is love and gift...."
 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jesus: Do not Dance With Mr. D

Prescient piece by Carl Olson of Ignatius Insight:


Demons, Sin, Death, and Damnation

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for September 30, 2012 | Carl E. Olson
Readings:
• Num 11:25-29
• Ps 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14
• Jas 5:1-6
• Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
What do demons, sin, death, and damnation have in common? An obvious (and correct) answer is that all of them are, put bluntly, bad. They have a certain, even close, relationship to one another. Another answer is that each is a topic usually avoided in conversations around the water cooler and over morning coffee. In fact, they are sometimes given short shrift in homilies and sermons.
But today’s Gospel prominently mentions all four. Needless to say, it is a challenging and difficult reading. Yet it is the sort of passage too often ignored or downplayed, resulting in a skewed understanding of both the mission and message of Christ.
Jesus and his disciples took the existence of demons for granted; they also took them seriously. The discussion in Mark 9 about driving out demons is just one of about seventy references to demons in the New Testament. What is unusual, however, is the context: the disciples were complaining because someone who “does not follow us,” they told Jesus, was performing exorcisms. Jesus reminds them that such a deed can only be performed in his name, and such faith could not come from a foe. Since men can only be for or against him, the benefit of any doubt should go to those who exhibit love for and faith in Christ. In the words of St. Gregory of Nyssa, “None of those seeking to be saved will be lacking in this ability,” since salvation is a free gift from God.
That expansive explanation of how good done in the name of Christ should be acknowledged is followed by some of the strongest language in the Gospels about avoiding sin. Two terms stand out: scandal and Gehenna. “If your hand causes you to sin”—literally, scandalizes you, “cut it off.” Scandal, theCatechism explains, “is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil.” Those who give scandal by words or actions can destroy spiritual life. “Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense” (par. 2284). It is, G. K. Chesterton summarized nicely, “the tripping up of somebody else when he is trying to be good.”
Momentary physical pain cannot be compared to the eternal spiritual torment awaiting those who continue unrepentant in their sins. Gehenna symbolized such torment. It was a steep ravine southwest of Jerusalem where, many centuries before Christ, some Israelites had sacrificed “their sons and daughters to Molech” (Jer. 32:35), a pagan god long associated with such horrors. Gehenna was desecrated eventually by the righteous King Josiah (2 Kngs. 23:10), and became a smoldering garbage dump filled with trash and animal carcasses. Needless to say, it offered a powerful image of an eternal hell filled with undying worms and unquenchable fire.
Speaking of hell is never fashionable or enjoyable. St. John Chrysostom said of this passage: “Ordained as we have been to the ministry of the word, we must cause our hearers discomfort when it is necessary for them to hear. We do this not arbitrarily but under command.”
One of the great sins of our time is the deliberate and self-serving destruction of human life, especially what Pope John Paul II described as “the scandal of abortion.” Such a grave scandal exists because men—even those living in Western democracies—have “lost the ability to make decisions aimed at the common good” (Centesimus annus, 47). Pope Benedict XVI, in his recent encyclical on social doctrine, wrote, “To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity” (Caritas in veritate, 7).
Justice requires every man be held responsible for his sins; it rightly asks each pay for his moral deficits. Yet we are unable. As today’s reading from the Epistle of James makes clear, wealth cannot save us. Nor can power or fame. Salvation from demons, sin, death, and damnation is found only in the name of Jesus Christ, the author of life (Acts 3:15).

Libido Redux

In Chapter 3 I recount the disastrous effects of the advent of contraception in the United States, among them an increase in abortion. Here is another interesting fruit born of this phenomenon...