Friday, July 31, 2009
By the way, this is much better than the lousy homily that I heard on Sunday in South Carolina about how the multiplication wasn't really a "supernatural miracle", but instead the "miracle of sharing lunches" - it was the worst sermon that I've heard in my Catholic life.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired."
- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian
Below is a beautiful quote from Saint Basil on the Holy Trinity:
"The Godhead is common; the fatherhood particular. We must therefore combine the two and say, 'I believe in God the Father.'
The like course must be pursued in the confession of the Son; we must combine the particular with the common and say 'I believe in God the Son,' so in the case of the Holy Ghost we must make our utterance conform to the appellation and say 'in God the Holy Ghost.'
Hence it results that there is a satisfactory preservation of the unity by the confession of the one Godhead, while in the distinction of the individual properties regarded in each there is the confession of the peculiar properties of the Persons."
Saint Basil, Epistle to Amphilochius (Epistle 236:6)
Friday, July 24, 2009
I recently wrote a post at the Catholic Perspective on Paul site on how Augustine uses "infusion" (Council of Trent) and not "imputation" (Martin Luther) when he talks about justification:
Augustine uses of “infusion” not “imputation” with regard to Justification
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
If you're Catholic, the title of this post may bother you, because Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code has placed all Catholics on watch for anyone attempting to identify Saint Mary Magdalene as the wife of Christ and the mother of his child. Brown's suggestion is not only ridiculous, it is also blasphemous and heretical. Yet, Saint Mary Magdalene is a "Bride of Christ" according to tradition - just as every nun is consecrated to Christ as a "Bride of Christ". Tradition states that Saint Mary Magdalene lived as the Church's first female hermit who had consecrated her life to the resurrected Christ, just as nuns do today. Nuns are often called "Brides of Christ" because of their vowed commitment to Christ.
So the difference between Da Vinci Code and the Catholic Church is this: The Da Vinci Code states that Mary Magdalene is the the wife of Christ. The Bible and the Catholic Church teach that Saint Mary Magdalene is a Bride of Christ, as a consecrated religious woman.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Father Joseph Fessio, founder of Ignatius Press, has been dismissed (again) from the Ave Maria University for criticizing the financial trajectory of the institution.
Tom Peters at American Papist has all the details.
You can also find other JP Catholic videos here:
Saint Lawrence of Brindisi was the greatest linguist of his day. He could read, write, and speak Italian, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, German, Bohemian, Spanish and French.
Here's my favorite story about him. He was preaching somewhere and was being heckled by a Protestant minister about a Catholic doctrine not being found in the Bible. Saint Lawrence took his Greek New Testament and threw it at the man and said, "Read this!"
His knowledge of Hebrew was so thorough that the rabbis were convinced that he had once been a Jew who had converted to Christianity.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Today's Canterbury Tale:
The pope blessed a few hundred faithful Sunday with his right arm in a cast during his first public appearance since undergoing surgery to set a wrist he fractured in a fall.
Catholic Tale: Is there a Catholic bishop of the moon?
Papal Tale: Is the Holy Father's New Encyclical written poorly?
World Tale: July becomes deadliest month in Afghanistan
American Tale: Dems health plan could punish families
Humorous Tale: President Obama gets busted by France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (click to link to photo)
Personal Tale: I'll be teaching Philosophy of Being in the Fall at the University of Dallas.
Saint Paul was a rabbi, an evangelist, a preacher, a missionary, a minister, and an apostle—but was he a priest? First, we must examine how a priest is different than a minister or preacher. Certainly, priests preach and teach, but they do more. Priests also mediate and sacrifice on behalf of others.
Since the New Testament describes Christ as the great high priest of the New Covenant, many Christians have supposed that there are no more priests in the New Testament, or that all Christians are “priests” because each believer has direct access to Christ. Following this argument, there could not be any priests mediating between believers and Christ since Christ is the “one mediator between God and man” (1 Tim 2:5). Moreover, Christ offered His sacrifice “once and for all” on the wood of the cross and so it would be inconceivable for any Christian to offer sacrifice. And yet, the Catholic Church believes that there are ministerial priests who are distinct from the laity and distinct from Christ. Why does the Catholic Church believe this?
Saint Paul taught it.
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Was Paul a Catholic priest? Yes, he refers to his “priestly ministry” in Romans 15:15-16. He administered the sacraments, called himself a “steward of the mysteries”, and he was even celibate! Join us as we look at the priestly language of Paul’s Epistles.
Friday, July 17, 2009
The answer is the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman. The quote comes from his pre-Catholic days.
J.H.N. pray for us.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
ROME, JULY 14, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) is well known for his clever and humorous writing, and his thought-provoking paradoxes. But he might also become known as a saint, if a proposal to launch his cause of beatification goes forward.
ZENIT spoke with Paolo Gulisano, author of the first Italian-language biography of the great English writer ("Chesterton & Belloc: Apologia e Profezia," Ediciones Ancora), about the origins of this proposal. Here, Gulisano explains why Chesterton might merit recognition as a saint.
Read the whole thing from Zenit:
"Blessed" G.K. Chesterton
Sunday, July 12, 2009
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Paul on Eucharistic Sacrifice and Transubstantiation (34 minutes)
Join us as we examine the origin of the Eucharist in Old Testament typology. Saint Paul deeply understood this continuity and speaks of the Lord’s Supper and the “table of the Lord” with sacrificial language. We’ll also take a look at how the Council of Trent examined specific passages in the epistles of Paul with respect to transubstantiation and the Real Presence.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
My first reaction to our Holy Father's new encyclical Caritas Veritate is cautious. I do like how the Holy Father stressed that there is not "pre-conciliar Church" and a "post-conciliar Church". However, I always get a case of the heebee-jeebees when the Holy Father talks about the United Nations or even hints that they could be part of the solution (67).
Some Protestants and pro-capitalist Catholics have asked:
The short answer is that it's not infallible.
Infallible proclamations are pretty clear. Here is an example of an infallible statement from Pius XII's Munificentissimus Deus:
For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church;Notice how Pope Pius, of blessed memory, invokes authority with the words: "by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma."
by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma:
that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
He invokes Christ, Peter, and Paul and then gives the threefold formula of " we pronounce, declare, and define". Nowhere does the current Holy Father use such formulations in his new encyclical Caritas Veritate. Does this mean that we can ignore the document altogether. No.
I'm still taking in the new encyclical. I'd be happy to hear the reflections of others. What do you think of it?
If you haven't read it, here it is: Caritas Veritate.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Episode #7 Saint Paul on Purgatory and Prayers for the Dead (29 minutes)
No doubt, this topic should raise some eyebrows among the Protestants listening to this podcast series.
Many non-Catholic students of Paul’s epistles assume that purgatory is the farthest thing from his mind. They may be surprised to learn that the Catholic Church looks to Paul as a defender of the doctrine of purgatory and prayers for the dead.
Join us as we make the case for Paul’s doctrine of Purgatory and prove that he did in fact pray for the dead.
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Thursday, July 02, 2009
My favorite book is the Holy Bible, without a doubt. However, if we exclude the Sacred Scriptures, here are my favorite ten books. This list is not in any particular order:
- Summa theologiae by St. Thomas Aquinas
- Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
- Resurrection of the Son of God by NT Wright
- Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
- The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
- Divine Comedy by Dante
- The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- On Duties (De officiis) by Marcus Tullius Cicero
- Essay on the Development of Doctrine by John Henry Newman
- Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
John Calvin's confusion over Substance and the Eucharist
I recently posted something at Called to Communion about John Calvin and his use of "substance" with respect to the Eucharist:
Several years ago when I was once a Calvinist, I remember reading this quote by John Calvin and being impressed by it:
We must confess, then, that if the representation which God gives us in the Supper is true, the internal substance of the sacrament is conjoined with the visible signs; and as the bread is distributed to us by the hand, so the body of Christ is communicated to us in order that we may be made partakers of it (John Calvin, Short Treatise on the Lord’s Supper, 17).
The interesting thing is that Calvin here discusses the presence of Christ in terms of “substance.” Not only that, Calvin speaks of the “internal substance” being “conjoined with the visible signs.” This comes close to consubstantiation, where the substance of Christ is conjoined to the substance of bread and wine. Quite remarkable.