19 You give your mouth free rein for evil;
you yoke your tongue to deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother,
slandering your mother’s son.
21 When you do these things should I be silent?
Do you think that I am like you?
I accuse you, I lay out the matter before your eyes. (Psalm 50:19-21)
So I started to see some Catholic blogs publish articles that take a different slant about the Pope. Now, instead of accusing the Pope of being heterodox, this tactic takes the truth that not everything the Pope says is an authoritative teaching and uses it to attack people defending the Pope as if they argued everything authoritative. They say that it’s OK to be upset by certain comments the Pope makes, and apologists shouldn’t be defending the Pope in those circumstances.
However, that is not the problem. The problem is that some authors use controversial phrases from press conferences to imply (or state outright) that the Pope is heterodox. Some do it subtly. Others come right out and say they think the Pope is not Catholic. But either way, they argue that the Church is worse off because Pope Francis is Pope. That’s different from saying “I like St. John Paul II better.” We’re not talking about a person who prefers the style of one Pope over another. We’re talking about a person who thinks Pope Francis is a menace and needs to be opposed.
This past weekend has been a field day for Catholics who seek to undermine trust in this Pope. With some ambiguous comments made during a press conference, his detractors seem determined to discredit his orthodoxy. It’s no doubt disturbing the faith of many. When people are coming out claiming that the Pope “taught” error on contraception or accusing him of supporting open borders across the US, the Catholic seeking to offer obedience to him are feeling beset on every side.
Doing the Office of Readings as I drove to work this morning, I felt a reminder of a different story of Peter than the ones covered. This one involves Matthew 14:22-33 and Jesus walking on water
Tell me if this sounds familiar…
Pope Francis has a press conference on a plane trip. The religiously illiterate media, which generally disagrees with Catholic teaching, rushes to get a scoop on something he says and gets it wrong, reporting that the Church is changing her teaching. Catholics read this religiously illiterate news report and assume it is true. They either get excited or get angry over the news. The Catholic apologists begin researching the issue and discovers the media reports are garbage, providing information to the actual translations of the transcripts. The media and the excited Catholics ignore these and continue to repeat the misrepresentation. The angry Catholics claim that the apologists are blind Pope worshippers “explaining away” the actual words of the Pope. Repeat the next time the Pope makes a trip.
When it comes to the Catholic Church in the pontificate of Pope Francis, there are two vocal factions that tend to drown out everyone else. One faction is those people who desperately want the Church to change things from saying “X is a sin” to “X is not a sin.” The other side is convinced the Pope is a menace out to give the first faction everything they want. Basically both factions look at Vatican II. The faction that wants to change things thinks that Vatican II didn’t change enough and needs to go further. The faction that mistrusts the Pope thinks Vatican II has gone too far and needs to be rolled back.
This coming Saturday, February 20, 2016 marks the second anniversary of my website, blogging about the virtues! Several of you share parts of your own journey with me, and by doing so encourage me to continue with this ministry. You definitely have a hunger for virtue! I enjoy hearing from you. I love bringing the virtues to you, helping you grow closer to Christ. I hope, in turn, that you share this information with others, to help them grow closer to Christ too. I also hope that you impart your new found wisdom on your children. It’s called a positive rippling effect. Let the ripples flow!
Here are a few interesting tidbits… Read more…
Once again, it is Random Acts of Kindness week. It is always held around Valentine’s Day, as kindness is associated with the virtue of love. I’m a big fan of Random Acts of Kindness Week, because it always brings me and others great joy to do something nice for someone else, expecting nothing in return.
Here are seven suggestions, for seven days in the week, on how you can participate in Random Acts of Kindness Week. Maybe you could try one suggestion each day:
- Surprise the love of your life with a special meal; perhaps it involves home cooking your love’s favorite foods, or perhaps it is dinner at your love’s favorite restaurant. Either way, the love of your life will be made to feel great.
- Refrain from scolding your children/spouse and exert patience along with kindness. Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right.
- Call… Read more…
Remember the WWJD(What Would Jesus Do) bracelets?
They were all the rave and everywhere you turned in Christian circles you would hear “what would Jesus do?” It became the snarky answer for everything, mocking the reality that IT IS the answer for everything.
How many of us REALLY know Jesus? Sure a lot of us know about Jesus, but how many can say they know Him? I think knowing Jesus it a life long process. It is not a once and done, now let’s go out and tell everyone about Him. Sure there is a time and place for that but if that is all the deeper yo go, Do you really know Him?
You might be thinking, of course I know Jesus, I read the Bible, I know all the stories, I know Jesus. I say great start!!!
I received a copy of Rediscover Jesus by Mathew Kelly in the mail, maybe you have received on too. I started reading it and could not contain myself to just one day. It is meant to be read each day for 40 days. Hey Lent is 4o days!! I love when that happens. Anyway if you have a copy and are looking for spiritual enrichment this Lent, read along with me.
Starting tomorrow as Day 1, I will be posting thoughts, insights, reflections on the readings. I invite you to join me, feel free to leave comments as we learn best when we share our thoughts and lives with each other. We are relational beings, created to be in relationship not only with others but with Jesus as well.
Let you light shine for all to see.
Voted Off The Island 2106 All rights reserved.
Starting each Lenten journey is in fact a new beginning. It is a chance to slow down re-evaluate, consider and ponder the state of our spiritual life. At least that how it is for me.
I always have such high expectations that just because it is Lent, I will somehow magically be able to overcome the most habitual temptations. Like Frodo and the ring, I somehow become invisible to the all Seeing Eye. The truth is that I become more aware of the habitual temptations and my habitual tendency to succumb.
Like being that poor little mouse on the wheel, running and running and never getting anywhere. At least that is how it seems with some temptations.
I like to humor myself and think awareness is progress! But it’s true….. awareness is progress. Seeing something about ourselves in the stark light of day is a precious grace of God. Bringing that which is broken within us into the light is the grace of awareness.
The question then becomes: what are we going to do with it? We could pretend we don’t know it about ourselves and try to go back into the darkness. Or we could make excuses for it, like: it’s because of my mother that I am like this. Or we could just sit with it for a while, ponder the reality of it all, maybe it was because of your mother, but that’s not helping you now.
Pondering the grace of awareness about ourselves is another grace from God. As it means He is drawing us into relationship with him and the deepest parts of ourselves. The self that only He, who created us can know.
Voted Off The Island 2016 All rights reserved.
When was the last time someone mistaken you for Jesus?
It is Ash Wednesday and this year our Adult Faith Formation group is doing Lent a little different, we are reading Mathew Kelly’s book Rediscover Jesus. It’s a series of short readings, intended to open our heart and minds to the ‘person’ Jesus. We have decided to do it in retreat form. Please feel free, at anytime, to join us.
As I begin reading, I am immediately drawn into the scene. The hustle and bustle of the city, the excitement of doing well, the celebration with colleagues and the anticipation of getting home to share the good news. It looks like God smiling down, you know one of those days where everything seems to being going right and you are top of the world. Your heart is enlarged, everything is possible….sun is shining ….life is good!!!
That’s how it made me feel, I guess that’s the point. God gives us those days to strengthen us, edify us, give us hope, to know that He is near and that all is well. Continue Reading
Rather than giving up chocolate, only to devour the solid chocolate Easter Bunny on Easter Sunday, seek virtue this Lent. Rather than giving up drinking alcohol, only to pop the cork on the Champagne this Easter Sunday, seek virtue this Lent. Rather than giving up television, only to sit in front of the TV all day Easter Sunday watching your shows on demand, seek virtue this Lent.
So many times, year after year, we temporarily give up something we love as a sacrifice for Lent in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. I suggest taking a different and possibly more… Read more…
During every election season, we have to watch certain Catholic voters try to justify their intent to vote for a pro-abortion candidate, saying that the Church actually permits their action. So inevitably, people will march out the the words of then Cardinal Ratzinger in his 2004 memorandum on the issue of politicians and whether or not they could receive the Eucharist. The final section of this document, in brackets, addresses the issue of the Catholic that votes for the politician who supports abortion and euthanasia. The words in question are:
[N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.]
The problem is, people are giving this paragraph an interpretation without even knowing what the terms in question actually mean. Instead, they treat it as if the then cardinal meant that it was OK to do what they feel like doing. But that is not what the terminology means. There are three categories to consider:
- Material Cooperation (as opposed to formal cooperation)
- Remote Action (as opposed to direct action)
- Proportionate Reason