THE STATE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE ERA OF TRUMP

Last night, President Trump gave his State of the Union address. I thought it only appropriate to follow up with a blog on the State of Catholic Social Justice issues that the Church of Jesus teaches and people of God care about and bear witness to. Social Justice teaching calls on us the “people of God” to minister to our neighbor’s needs, to speak out against injustice, and to work for peace.

If a brother or sister is in need of food or shelter and you say to them I wish you well, good luck, keep yourself warm and eat plenty without giving them the necessities of life, how is your faith going to save you or your hungry neighbor. Faith without works is dead” James 2:14-17

THE RIGHT TO LIFE IS THE FUNDAMENTAL SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE

The fundamental human right is right to life—from the moment of conception until death. It is the source of all other rights…Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker…When human life is considered easily expendable or dismissed in one area, eventually no human life is held sacred and all lives are in jeopardy.

I grant you that President Trump has done more than most politicians who claim to be pro life. I know, like me, you have been disappointed in supporting a candidate in the past who says he/she is pro life and has done nothing to further the cause and in fact cooperates in the culture of death with their support of Planned Parenthood the greatest supporter of abortion on demand.

President Trump has supported the cause of those who are anti abortion in so far as he has appointed a conservative Supreme Court Judge, supports overturning Roe V Wade, supports the defunding of Planned parenthood, and supports limits to late term abortions.

I had my concerns about President Trump who claimed to be Pro Life in his campaign because of past statements of President Trump. In October 1999 he told Tim Russert, Meet the Press, I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion… I am strongly for choice and, yet, I hate the concept of abortion. Then in 2011 when considering a run for President, Trump told the Des Moines Register, “abortion should only be legal in the very rare cases when a woman is pregnant by rape or incest or when the life of the mother is jeopardized by the pregnancy.”

For Mr. Trump, it was a late term “conversion;” but of course conversion is welcome any time. Still, President Trump continues to demean and dismiss people who are not like him. He seems to think he decides on which human life is worthy or not.

Trump spent his whole life prior to presidency creating a culture that encourages irresponsible and recreational sex which supports the culture of abortion He has profited off the exploitation of women and brags about his own sexual assault in the Access Hollywood tape. Trump is accused by at least 19 women of sexual assault.

The reason I bring this to your attention is to caution the Pro Life movement not to wrap their arms too closely around President Trump. President Trump should be given credit where credit is due but do not elevate him to Pro Life spokesperson or Pro Life advocate in chief…..a bridge too far
The late Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago said Pro Life was a “seamless garment” and includes more than abortion and should also cover the already born.
HOW IS PRESIDENT TRUMP DOING IN REGARDS SOCIAL JUSTIC FOR THE ALREADY BORN

A few of the Social Justice issues prioritized by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops are: Immigration Refugees; Civil Rights; Racism; ; Affordable Health Care; Affordable Housing; Living Wage for Work, Criminal Reform; Death Penalty; Stewardship of Creation; Promotion of Peace….

You can look up President Trump positions but many are already well known. I will comment on a few. Trump favors deportation, separating families, and limiting immigration; Trump makes racist statements and was sued in the 70’s for racial discrimination in Trump housing, renting to whites not blacks; Trump led the fight to repeal Affordable Health Care Act and has replaced it with nothing; Trump supports states setting minimum wage without any Federal Minimum wage change as bottom line.

In Central Park 5 when 5 black teenagers were exhonerated by DNA evidence Trump called for restoration of Death Penalty in New York and to execute the Central Park 5; (Stewardship)Trump has withdrawn from Paris accords on global warming and opened Federal Lands to more mineral exploration and exploitation. Trump has repealed regulations that protect our health and safety Trump supports “clean coal”, an oxymoron.  Promotion of Peace Trump renewed the continued use of Guantanomo, a symbol of torture and indefinite detentions throughout the world; Trump likes to rattle sabres, has threatened preemptive strikes on our adversaries and even nuclear annihilation of total country. Trump in violation of Nuclear Treaty signed by President Reagan and Russia wants to up our nuclear missile capability. (some peacemaker)

Social Justice always has the common good at its core as found in Scriptures and in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Common Good is understood as the sum total of social conditions which allow people as groups or individuals to reach their ultimate fulfillment more fully and more easily.

What is a human being? What is his role in the world? Where is he headed? How does he get there? If a human being is not yet perfected, what will perfect him? How does he become whole without division or estrangement?

The fundamental principles of Catholic Social Teaching focus on the dignity and sacredness of each human life, the promotion of the common good and the proper use and distribution of the goods of this world. (CCC 1928-1942, 2419-2449)

Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC #1907) states that the Common Good requires the social well being and development of everyone, including food, clothing, shelter, health care, work, education etc. It requires peace and justice for security of a just order.

CCC #1936 On coming into this world, a person is not equipped with everything he/she needs for developing their bodily and spiritual life. They need others. Talents and gifts are not distributed equally.

CCC #1937 These differences belong to God’s divine plan which wills that each receives what he needs from others and those endowed with particular talents share them with those who need them. These differences encourage and sometimes oblige persons to practice generosity, kindness, and sharing of goods.

As a practicing Catholic, we must not be assimilated into a society that promotes the “culture of death” and worship pagan idols of sex, wealth, and power. But rather be “leaven” for the world.

We must minister to others especially those in need. Our blessings are not just for ourselves but to share with the Body of Christ. There is one Body but many members. All our talents and treasure must be compassionately shared with our neighbors just as Jesus did moving from village to village to teach and heal. We must pick up where Jesus left off in building the kingdom of God.

“WHATEVER YOU DO TO THE LEAST OF MY BRETHREN,
YOU DO TO ME”
JESUS
Matthew 25:31 Last Judgment Discourse

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DAY OF PRAYER FOR PROTECTION OF UNBORN CHILDREN

 

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE PATRONESS OF THE UNBORN

O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life

Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult,

of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killedby indifference or out of misguided mercy.

Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.

The miraculous image produced on the apron or tilma of Saint Juan Diego is rich in symbolism. The luminous light surrounding the Lady is reminiscent of the “woman clothed with the sun” of Rev. 12:1. The light is also a sign of the power of God, who has sanctified and blessed the one who appears…. more powerful than the sun god of the natives.

The girdle or bow around her waist is a sign of her virginity, but it also has several other meanings. The bow also demonstrates plenitude and fecundity to the native Indians. The high position of the bow and the slight swelling of the abdomen show that the Lady is “with child”.

At the time of Mary’s appearance 1531, Mexico was in the throes of human sacrifice where blood of infants were offered up to appease the pagan gods. When Mary appeared, she brought a message of compassion, “I am the merciful Mother, the Mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate their suffering, necessities, and misfortunes.”

Mary holds within her the unborn Christ proclaiming the sanctity and blessedness of life within the womb. In her appearance to Juan Diego there is such simplicity and reverence expressing calm in a turbulent world. She patiently bears our Savior and soon humanity will be reunited in relationship with divinity. Within just a few years, 11 million native Americans were converted, and the practice of human sacrifice stopped, along with the promotion and practices of Cultures of Death.

No more did the people need to cower in abject terror before the bloodthirsty gods who demanded the death of their children. They found refuge beneath the gracious protection of a gentle Mother. How much we need her intercession today. Since 1973 Roe V Wade there have been over 60 million abortions in the United States, alone and over a billion worldwide.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.”

As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms. Another way to take part is through participating in special events to observe the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Call your local diocese or parish to find out what events might be taking place in your area.

Contact your representatives state and federal. While our efforts to change hearts, minds and laws through courageous public witness are essential to ending abortion, our most powerful weapon is prayer.

Pope Benedict XVI, Emeritus addressed lawmakers about this issue, “Children truly are the family’s greatest treasure and most precious good. Consequently, everyone must be helped to become aware of the intrinsic evil of the crime of abortion. In attacking human life in its very first stages, it is also an aggression against society itself. Politicians and legislators, therefore, as servants of the common good, are duty bound to defend the fundamental right to life, the fruit of God’s love.”

We must shout it from the rooftop “that all life is sacred.”We are all evangelizers by virtue of our Baptism. All of us are commissioned through our baptism to be other Christs in the world. Baptism means for us exactly what it meant for Jesus when He was baptized by John before entering His public ministry. His baptism was his initiation. He emerged from the water commissioned by the Father to do His work. Similarly – In our own waters of baptism – we have been initiated, called, and commissioned. Trusting in God we must fearlessly go forward in our quest to support a culture of Life.

Abortion is often a temptation when expectant mothers face the challenges of loneliness, of spiritual emptiness, of unstable relationships and absent families. Poverty is often a factor in choosing abortion, but spiritual poverty, isolation, and hopelessness are far more powerful factors. The Lord calls on all of us to be present in support in the lives of women and families who might be tempted to consider abortion.

The earliest Christians used as their “moral guide of behavior” the admonition God made to his chosen people, through Moses, His Prophet, Deuteronomy 30:19. I” am offering you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live

CHOOSE LIFE!

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DOES GOD EXIST IN THE 21ST CENTURY

 

GOD THE CREATOR OF ALL
I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY
MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

As we prepare for Advent, a season of waiting on the Lord, I humbly ask us to reflect on the need for God in this world more than ever. We remember the birth of Christ over 2000 years ago but we must invite Him today and everyday into our hearts. We must assist in this birthing in our hearts by preparing a suitable place for him to reside. In that first Christmas the Christ child was placed in a manger because there was no room in the Inn. Is there room in your heart for the Christ child today? Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior of the world Alleluia!

Throughout history and culture, dependant mankind, noting his limits, attempts to create gods to meet his needs, like harvest god for crops and fertility god for children. The Christian God is fully perfect and complete in Himself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is that Supreme Being that is being itself had no beginning and has no end. Yes God exists in the 21st Century! He needs nothing. Everything but God is dependent on something else, the baby on Mom and Dad, the chair, the carpenter, the cook on the ingredients from her garden…you get the idea.

Man continues today to fill up that lack of wholeness with substitute gods such as money, pleasure, and power. It is in our very nature to seek completion. These fake gods will fail us like always. St. Augustine says it best, “our hearts are restless until they rest in God.”

Back in the New Testament era in Acts 17 when travelling through Athens St. Paul remarked that the people were very much into worshipping gods (temples to Appolo, Poseidon, and Aphrodite) and even had placed an altar to an unknown god who Paul explicitly told them is the Christian God he represents.

Men of Athens I perceive that you are in every way religious. For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you” The unknown God of the Greeks is he in whom “we live and move and have our being,…the God who made the world and everything in it.”

Some people will argue against God because of all the evil in the world. They argue, if a God exists He would never allow it to happen. That is a pretty simplistic dismissal of God who we live and move and have our being. It shows a lack of understanding of the effects of sin in this world. There are consequences to sin, sometimes heinous ones. God never wills sin but He also respects our free will. Sometimes, the evil, God allows brings a greater good, like conversion, reconciliation and forgiveness. What some perceived as the humiliating, shameful death of Jesus became our lifeline to eternity.

Some reject Jesus as divine. They get hung up on the transcendence of God and can’t believe a God so above and superior to man could ever stoop so low to become man. I suggest they read the passage from Phillipians Chapter 2 to see God’s great love for us that he would humble us to save us.
PHILLIPIANS 2:6
Who though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

God’s transcendence is consistent with God being immanently present in all things as creator. He can reveal who he truly is to us in a singular human life (Jesus Christ) without diminishing himself in any way. Why should God be excluded from His creation? He certainly wasn’t excluded in the Garden of Eden in walks in the cool of the evening accompanied by Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3)

God was certainly present in the Old Testament Book of Exodus as he delivered his people from slavery in Egypt. . In the book of Exodus, God overawes Egypt’s Pharaoh, who is representative of the paganism of the nations. God destroys the Egyptian army in the Red Sea, sustains Israel in the wilderness, and eventually delivers them into the Promised Land.

God incarnate in Christ Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity, employs his omnipotence in a different way. His triumph comes about through suffering and death of His only begotten Son. God is intimately involved in His creation. He has a lot invested in us in a very complex, salvation plan evolving over centuries. God takes upon himself and overcomes the consequences of human evil, suffering, and death. In return he gives all human beings offers of grace, the forgiveness of sins, and participation in eternal life.

Some say faith is less reliable than science. I say what about the daily leaps of faith each day such as that when you flush the toilet it won’t overflow.. that you won’t fall and break your leg on the way to your car…that there is a road to take you to your destination…that your destination exists…that the bridge you cross will not collapse under you…that your family will still be there when you return…and so forth How is faith in God any less reasonable than the daily leaps of faith we make?.

When people dismiss or ignore God’s existence and involvement in this world they ignore His graces and dismiss His support for times of stress, grief, despair, and reject the inspiration to pray for others in need, especially loved ones who may have taken a wrong turn on their journey “home.”
CLOSING PRAYER FROM PSALM 145
I will extol you, my God and king;
I will bless your name forever and ever.

Great is the LORD and worthy of much praise,
whose grandeur is beyond understanding.

The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in mercy.

The LORD is trustworthy in all his words,
and loving in all his works.

LORD is just in all his ways,
merciful in all his works.
My mouth will speak the praises of the LORD

and will bless his holy name forever and ever.

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HELL EXISTS AND SO DOES THE DEVIL

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,
be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray,
and do thou, O heavenly hosts,
by the power of God, thrust into hell satan
and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls.
Amen.

After the Fall, our first parents passed on the effects of Original Sin that I addressed in a September post. Our human nature was weakened by the effect of Concupiscence, a tendency towards sinning. Man’s passions are no longer ruled by right reason. Because of concupiscence we are inclined towards anything our imagination paints as pleasurable without regards for what is good for us by God’s design.

God gave us free will but that does not mean we are free to sin. Let me explain. While human freedom is a good, human freedom is not in itself an absolute. We are not free to do “evil. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to “the slavery of sin.” (CCC 1733)

We become enslaved to the Ruler of this world, Satan. As Satan tempted our first parents in the garden he continues to prompt us to see evil as good and darkness as light. The devil exists and is lonely as he roams this world for company.

Ever since my post on Fatima warnings, I have been thinking about the devil and how many succumb as the Blessed Mother warned at Fatima. In my reflections I remembered the classic, “Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. In this novel, senior devil, Screwtape, mentors a beginner, Wormwood, an enthusiastic little devil but Screwtape cautions him to be subtle and not call any attention to himself.

The devil loves denial of his existence. Screwtape advises Wormwood, “Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping your “Patient” from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong and courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future”

THE DEVIL EXISTS IN SCRIPTURE
Satan’s downfall was promised in Genesis 3:15. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel” Satan is defeated through the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the preaching of the gospel and personal faith in Christ, we as Paul says in Ephesians are being delivered from Satan’s grasp and granted eternal life, “You were dead in your transgressions and sins But God, who is rich in mercy, and the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God… (Ephesians 2:1-10)

In the Book of Job,” The LORD asks Satan if he has noticed his servant Job “There is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil”. But Satan accuses God that’s what Satan means, accuser, of protecting Job of being generous with His gifts to Job. Take them away and see what happens. God says okay as you will, God replies,“Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on him.”

Satan is neither humble nor submissive to God. He challenges God, thinking that afflicting Job will result in Job’s desertion from the ranks of those who worship God. Unwittingly, Satan serves God’s purpose. Satan’s efforts produced the opposite of what he hoped to achieve resulting only in deepening Job’s faith and brought greater blessings to Job. Job’s final condition is far better than his first. In the end, Satan learns nothing and only continues in his fruitless rebellion.

Our Lord Jesus Christ made frequent references to the activity and influence of Satan throughout His ministry, Jesus, himself, underwent the temptations and wiles of the devil in the desert after His Baptism in the Jordon. The Evil one accuses Jesus of failing to act like God’s Son by not using his divine power to give Himself bread to eat and trust in the Father to save Him from a fall from a high precipice.(Luke 4:1-13)
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #391-395
The power of Satan is not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature…Satan’s action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery but “we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.”
CONSEQUENCES TO OUR FAITH
A lack of a belief in the Devil, sin, or hell makes it very awkward for us at the Easter Liturgy when asked by the priest in renewing our baptismal vows, Do you reject Satan and all his works…some may shake their heads and ask who is that ? we don’t believe in that anymore…Deny the Devil and Hell at your own risk!

As St. Peter the first Pope said in his first letter,“Stay sober and alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, solid in your faith.”

Denial of the devil, sin, and hell is also a denial of our Savior. Why would we need a Savior? We rob the cross from any meaning and Jesus is a fool who died on the cross for no good reason. No, there is a devil and Jesus told us so on many occasions and Jesus doesn’t lie. In the Last Judgment discourse, Jesus says, “Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25)

The vast majority of Catholics in America over 80% reject the Church teaching on the devil and hell. This is just fine with the devil! If he is rejected then it is easy to reject Jesus as well and His Father.too!

If you feel that things are spinning out of control in our world and in our Church today, you’re right. Be assured, we have not arrived at this place in history by accident. There is an intelligent evil being behind all of this work, bent on our destruction and the destruction of our Lord’s Catholic Church. There is truly an active evil person (Satan) working every day to destroy us.

This evil has gone unchecked by Faithful Catholics as well as the Church’s hierarchy for too long. Tell me, when was the last time you heard a homily on Satan? Why have most parishes dropped the prayer to St. Michael at the end of Mass as we prayed in the 50s and 60s? Are we not in danger anymore or has Satan done such a complete job of pulling the wool over our eyes!

We must stand up for the Doctrine the Church has wonderfully taught for over 2,000 years and practice it wholeheartedly. Knowledge of the Faith is absolutely crucial for any spiritual growth; we can’t witness what we don’t know. We need to get back on our knees and beg God to deliver us from the sinful evil of this current generation, and protect the Church Jesus founded, from infiltration of the world, the flesh, and the devil!
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WHY ROMAN CATHOLIC

I was asked recently why I have the adjective Roman (Latin Rite) before Catholic in my website stillromancatholicafteralltheseyears.com and in my blog. There are several rites in communion with Rome such as Maronites, that never separated and others that did but have reunited with Rome such as Byzantine, Copts, and Chaldeans. .
WHY I AM A PRACTICING ROMAN CATHOLIC
I was Baptized and raised by parents in the Roman Catholic Church and although I questioned many things and drifted here and there, I always came back because I never found any Truth out there that would better serve me in becoming the best man I could be. As a boy I learned my Latin to serve as an altar boy. Of course now the Mass is said in the vernacular.

Sure, like any free thinking American I questioned the Commandments and other Church Teaching but that was because I had the notion these were restrictions and I resisted like any “red blooded American”. As I matured in my faith development I realized the commandments were not prohibitions at all but the best self help book on the market for living well and happy.

God was not asking me to give up anything that was good for me. Let’s just take a few examples, How about worshipping God our Creator. What’s nuts about that. If I throw that out it isn’t long before I think I am in charge and I am not. Here’s another one, do not kill or do violence in actions or words. Who am I to harm someone. I don’t want anyone to harm me!

And lastly, do not commit adultery. Well, how is that working our for the sexually active outside of marriage crowd, Divorce, fractured families, sexually transmitted disease, etc. Sin has consequences. To deny that is to deny reality.!

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your GodDeuteronomy 11:26″

Jesus founded His Church on St. Peter, “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”Matthew 16:18-19 As Jesus’ vicar/prime minister, St. Peter established the Mother Church in Rome in 42 A.D. All other Christian denominations over the centuries have their roots in the Church Jesus founded.

If God has revealed Himself to man and He has, man must be able to know with assurance where that revelation lies. In other words, man needs to know without error what the books of the Bible are. There must be an authority which will make that decision.

The canon of the Bible was established by the Roman Catholic Church definitively at the Council of Trent in 1556. A canon distinguishes what is revealed and divine from what is not revealed and human. There was no canon in the early Church because there was no Bible.

There were many Ecumenical Councils that worked on developing the Canon of God’s revealed word. The Council of Laodicea, c. 360, which produced a list of books similar to today’s canon was one of the Church’s earliest decisions on a canon. So you see any additions and omissions by other denomination were all made in the Canon established by the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics do read the Bible and hold the Bible in high esteem.

Is the Bible enough? Well it depends whether you want to ignore Scripture references such as these:  In His Last Supper discourse Jesus told the apostles,” I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.” John 16:12-13.

“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me” John 15:26 The Holy Spirit came on Pentecost Sunday and a Church was born. After the descent of the Holy Spirit the disciples were filled with courage and faith. They went out into the streets and proclaimed the Good News of Jesus Christ fearlessly in Truth and the Holy Spirit.

I love my Church warts and all. It isn’t perfect. Though divinely instituted, it is humanly constituted. I thank God for the Magisterium of the Church. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide His Church into all truth. “The Holy Spirit teaches the Church “all things,” bringing to mind everything that Christ first taught His apostles” ( John 14:26). “He who receives you receives me” (Mt. 10:40). Chosen by Christ, they exercise the Church’s Magisterium or teaching office. Christ sends His apostles and their successors as the Father sent Him “with “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Mt. 28:18). I place my trust in the Holy Spirit not man.

God’s plan includes sacraments dispensed by His Church. Sacraments are an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. Baptism restores us to a share in God’s life. Confirmation strengthens our faith and assist us in being faithful witnesses. Sacrament of Reconciliation heals our soul when we have sinned against God and neighbor. The Eucharist shares Divine Life in intimate way on earth, the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ who is really and substantially present under the appearances of bread and wine.

Matrimony: the sacramental binding covenant between a baptized man and woman in which they agree to eternal fidelity to each other and commit to being God’s partners in the creation of new life. Holy Orders continues Jesus’ Apostolic Mission today. This sacrament confers on a man the power of consecrating the offering of the Body and Blood of Christ and of remitting and retaining sins.” Anointing of the sick: the sacrament in which the sick are anointed with holy oil and given the spiritual aid and strength to return to spiritual and bodily health, including, if needed, the remission of sins For more on Catholic Sacraments see Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The seven sacraments touch all the stages of Christian life. The sacraments give birth, contribute to spiritual growth, and promote health (spiritual and physical) and they prepare the Christian at the end of his life’s journey to cross over from physical life to eternal life.
WHY ROMAN CATHOLIC IS IN TITLE OF MY WEBSITE
I want readers to know my blog is orthodox and in full communion with the Church of St. Peter. There are so many denominations out there that have catholic in their names that it is confusing. There are even groups out there that call themselves Catholics for Choice. This is not a Catholic organization but a pro abortion advocacy group.

Saint Stanislaus formerly a Catholic Parish in Archdiocese of St. Louis is no longer in communion with the church of Rome and call themselves a Kostka Polish Catholic Parish. Another local church that goes by name Catholic but is not in Communion with Rome is Sts. Clare and Francis of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion,

Finally, there are “cafeteria catholics” who pick and chooses what Catholic teaching they want to believe. Catholics are not free to choose which teachings on faith and morals to obey.

While God can save whoever He wills the best aids, I believe, are within the Roman Catholic Church for happiness and excellence of living. There are no restrictions harmful to mankind in Roman Catholic Church teaching.
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CATHOLIC MORALITY EFFECTS OF ORIGINAL SIN

PROLOGUE
All of my readers I assume want to go to heaven one day. That road is paved with many pot holes. NOT, the least of them is our own human condition. We the Church militant are called that because it is not an easy path. Take the narrow path; the broad path leads to destruction.

Some are already in heaven and we call that branch of the Mystical Body of Christ the Church Triumphant. Others, Church Suffering, are being purified in Purgatory so they can see God face to face.

But let’s get back to us still here on earth. What are some of the obstacles in the way of our destination. In a future blog I will talk about Satan. Yes, the devil. He does exist and is our strongest adversary. He even tempted Jesus in the dessert. Today’s blog will deal with Original Sin and our weakened human nature.

First we need to understand the human condition we are dealing with. Later, in this blog I will address ways we might bolster this human nature.

Some, may deny Original Sin but at their own peril. Concupiscence is an effect of original sin and a tendency towards sinning. Man’s passions are no longer ruled by right reason. It is a lack of our original integrity when everything was in harmony with God’s will and intent for human nature. Because of concupiscence we are inclined towards anything our imagination paints as pleasurable without regards for what is good for us by God’s design.

God gave us free will but that does not mean we are free to sin. Let me explain. While human freedom is a good, human freedom is not in itself an absolute. We are not free to do “evil. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to “the slavery of sin.” (CCC 1733)

So we need to be on our toes to do good and avoid evil and not become slaves to sin. With that in mind it is good to recognize the human nature we inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve. We need to be alert and aware of our weaknesses and inclinations to sin.

The most important loss due to the Fall is the loss of sanctifying grace. Adam and Eve not only transmitted to the whole human race the death of the body, which is the punishment of sin, but even sin itself, which is the death of the soul, Our Baptism removed Original Sin and restored us in relationship to God but did NOT do away with the collateral effects of Original Sin.

CATHOLIC COMMENTARY

Before original sin, man was in a state of “original justice” and blessed with preternatural gifts of infused knowledge, integrity, and immortality of the body. The original state of human nature of our first parents, Adam and Eve, was in possession of Sanctifying Grace and preternatural gifts.

Had Adam and Eve not sinned they would have passed this state of “original justice” down to their descendants. Before the Fall, man and woman freely participated in this state of integrity by receiving each other in mutual communion according to the eternal and permanent act of God’s will. Marital Bliss!

The preternatural gifts received by Adam and Eve include infused knowledge, absence of concupiscence, and immortality of the body. Adam and Eve received these free gifts not just for themselves but to be passed on to the whole and entire human race. After Adam and Eve committed “original sin,” they lost “original justice” and the preternatural gifts for the entire human race.

Their loss affected the kind of human nature they could pass on to their descendants. They could only pass on a human nature in a fallen state, one deprived of original holiness and integrity. Adam and Eve’s descendants are subject to ignorance and endure suffering and death.

The control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body and its desires is now shattered. The descendents now struggle with disordered desires and passions (concupiscence.) While concupiscence is not in itself a sin, it is a tendency or strong attraction to sin. Original justice has now turned into the state of Original Sin.

What to do to reign in this human condition we inherited from our first parents! Along with Scripture there are many great spiritual books by gifted authors that will help us keep on the right path.

My advice is this: Make a commitment to follow Jesus in good times and bad times, Say often the prayer, Jesus I Trust in You and mean it.

Do a regular examination of conscience thank God for the successes and asking His mercy for our failures. Take advantage regularly, at least once a month, the Sacrament of Reconciliation even if you repeat the same sins over and over again at least you will be discovering areas that need work and improvement. Some day your sins may change and you will have new areas to address.

Try a daily rosary, morning and evening prayers and Masses on other days than Sunday. Attitude is what it is all about and commitment to Jesus that you renew all the time. Each day is opportunity for Conversion a turning back to Jesus. Remember Jesus will never ask more from you than you can give. Now, you may not want to give but that is not Jesus’ problem, it’s ours. If you are too comfortable in this secular world, ask yourself how come.

PRAY PRAY PRAY!

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WHOSE LIVES MATTER???

CATHOLIC COMMENTARY

This week we saw another protest on the news regarding a white policeman shooting a black suspect, in St. Louis this time. As I watched mostly a peaceful protest, I noticed signs again stating in bold manner that BLACK LIVES MATTER!

This got me to thinking what does this mean. Literally, it seems to mean that black lives matter. But why state the obvious! All human life matters. It is a gift from God no matter the packaging. Do people of color have to assert this redundancy in placards because there are still some who don’t get it?!

Is it because there have been so many incidents of black suspects killed by white police officers or is it something more? Are white policemen always wrong who use deadly force with a black suspect? Of course not, but is deadly force the only option?

If I was black and I am not, there certainly would be many reasons for me to be suspicious whether my life was worth less than other lives. There is certainly a history of racism in our country. Our Country’s economy was built on the slave trade. Our Constitution has no article forbidding slavery.

In the most recent Presidential election there were many inferences that America would be great again if it retained its pale white color. Recently, racism raised its ugly head in a very bold manner in Charlottesville that increased racial tensions even more in our communities.

Racism is always wrong. Judging and dismissing anyone because they are a different race from us is always wrong. But I also find it ironic that Clergy who claim to be Christian often preach and support and sometimes even incite their congregations to break the law. I am not speaking here of peaceful sit-ins but threats and intimidation like “there will be blood in the streets” if this or that verdict doesn’t come down as we want.

Also, hate mongers who call themselves Christians in the pew at Church services on Saturday/Sunday and the  preach hate the rest of the week, are NOT Christian! A Christian by definition is a follower of Christ. In Matthew 25, Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me!”

What does least of my brethren mean? It means something different for everyone. The least of our brethren is whoever we consider not worthy of our love and compassion. We are called to love as God loves. Step back next time you are tempted to resentment, hate, vengeance at your adversary and imagine that God loves that adversary the same as He loves you. God has only one way of loving.

 

God loves the prisoner on death row, the baby in the womb, the gay hair stylist, the poor, the ignorant, those of every race and creed even the terrorist who was not born a terrorist. Here, I have to emphasize that this does not mean we have to approve of any and all behavior. In fact, as I have said in past blogs, we not only have the right but the duty to call out behavior that is just plain wrong according to God’s laws despite what man made laws say, i.e. abortion.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us…. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him…If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God* whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” I John 4:11-21

THEY WILL KNOW WE ARE CHRISTIANS BY OUR LOVE,
BY OUR LOVE!

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DISCIPLES OF CHRIST (CHRISTIANS) MUST EVANGELIZE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY!

FEAST OF NATIVITY OF MARY MOTHER OF GOD SEPTEMBER 8

JESUS TEACHES HIS DISCIPLES

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”(Colossians 2:6-7)

All baptized Christians are called to do the work of God, not just priests and religious, All Christians are commissioned through our baptism to be other Christs in the world. All of us were chosen by God for his mission.

Baptism goes well beyond cleansing of original sin.  Jesus did not have original sin or any other sin.  His Baptism was a rite before beginning His public life.  His baptism was His initiation. He emerged from the water, commissioned by the Father to do his work. Similarly – In our own waters of baptism, we have been initiated, called and commissioned.

CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACHING

The baptized have become “living stones” to be “built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood.” By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ…They are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that [they] may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvelous light.”  Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers.

(CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH 1268)

As a Catholic Blogger, it is very lonely out here.  Naturally, I am not going to get the hits or searches that a retail business or celebrity blog.  How then do I spread the Good News of Jesus Christ?  I need your help to spread that Good News, to accept the universal role of discipleship and evangelizers.

God has given us all abilities to use in ministry, all different sorts of gifts for all sorts of missions. Our gifts are given for the community and we are called to use them in response to the needs of the community.

The faith we have received is a gift that came to us, in many cases, from our mothers and grandmothers. They were the living memory of Jesus Christ within our homes. It was in the silence of family life that most of us learned to pray, to love and to live the faith.” (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.2016)

CATHOLIC COMMENTARY

First, we must get our own house in order. Jesus in Matthew 5:48, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” It is first about holiness.  We ourselves must undergo a life of daily conversion so that we will be filled more and more with Christ’s love.  Conversion is a conscious decision to repent, to deal explicitly with personal and communal sin. The sad fact is that many of the baptized are essentially unconverted..

How is our own Conversion coming along? St. Jerome said “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”  Are we involved in Scripture study individually or with groups?  How about daily prayer, how much time do we set aside?  What about the Sacraments especially the Eucharist and Sacrament of Reconciliation?  When was the last Retreat we attended?  What Spiritual books are on our night stand?  Have we opened any recently?

To be a disciple of Jesus means a daily renewal of our relationship with Jesus. If any man would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)

Why don’t most people get it that we don’t give up anything when we turn our lives over to Jesus?  What are we afraid of?  Why don’t people want to learn more about Jesus??? Jesus is all about love.  What are we afraid of? We will never be asked more than we can handle.  Any cross we have to bear with Jesus is designed for us because Jesus knows it is the path to love!

The world points to fame and fortune.  Jesus points to love and eternal life.  What are some crosses we may be asked to bear?  Sometimes health, maybe even cancer, getting along with family members, providing for our family needs, being patient with that crabby employee, welcoming children into our families, visiting the sick, taking care of elderly parents and so forth.

We find in Christ Crucified the definitive revelation of God’s infinite love for us!.  The human heart is created for this love, cannot help but be “drawn,” to this love. Therefore, God’s method for drawing others into life with him is by revealing his love.

If we are to be effective evangelists, we must do as God himself has done and reveal that love to everyone we meet.  As baptized Christians, we are witnesses to that love.  Witnesses testify not only with words but their lives. It is not enough to discover Christ for ourselves, we must bring Him to others.

The proclamation of the Gospel is not optional for Christians. We, on earth, are now God’s instruments, His voice, His deeds.  Imitation and proclamation of Jesus Christ is not an option.  Our mission is the salvation of souls.  It is unthinkable that a person accepts the Word for himself and keeps that light to himself, without bearing witness to others.

CLOSING PRAYER

With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we pray that we may accurately and lovingly pass on the faith given by Christ so that others may know Jesus in their hearts, worship Jesus in Liturgy, and follow Jesus’ moral teachings in their daily lives.

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