And Now a Word From Our Sponser

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Here it is the first Sunday of Lent and the Gospel reading was actually the same one I used yesterday about Jesus going into the desert and being tempted by Satan. The first reading of the day is from Genesis and is the story of Eve being tempted in the Garden of Eden. As I read this passage today I learned something new. This is usually the case every time I reread scripture and today was no different. As is often said, each time you read scripture something new is revealed to you.

The other thing I’ve come to realize with scripture is even though it was written over two thousand years ago, it is still relevant today. It relates to our world, maybe even more today then when they were written. Let’s look at Gen 3: 1- 8. This describes how the serpent tempted Eve. He made the forbidden fruit sound so good how could she resist? He convinced her that it would be okay if she ate from the tree, in fact it would make her a better person. It would give her things she didn’t have. The world would be hers. Does any of this sound familiar? Does this sound like the stuff we are bombarded with every day?

We are told how if we use this product, or go to this or that place, our lives will be so much better. Like Eve we will become a better person. But what about what will really make our lives better? What about what we really need to become a better person? Do we ever hear about God? No because every time we try to get the message out we are attacked. We are told there is no place for God in the public square, yet there is plenty of room for Satan and his traps. Satan is allowed to be everywhere with his temptations, but God is regulated to one hour a week stuck inside four walls.

The good news is Lent is a time for renewal It is a time for all of us to spread the word and renew the church. This is the time to get out there and live the Gospel. Lead by example. Live what you learn. Believe what you learn. Remember back in the late 80’s, early 90’s when the AIDS epidemic began? There was one of those public service commercials that went something like “When you date one person you also date the people they dated and the ones they dated and on and on…” The message was that it was an exponential thing. We need to look at spreading the good news in the same way. When we are an example to one person, they will be an example to another and then another. It will grow and grow.

It all starts with each of us who believe. Each of us needs to shut out the noise and listen to what God is telling us. Let him lead us in the right direction. He will teach us what we need to show others the way and how to bring others back to him. In other words, He will help us to renew His church.

A Light on a Hill

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light of the world

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the feast called “The Epiphany of the Lord.” Pope Benedict XVI called it the “mystery of the manifestation of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, to all peoples” (Angelus, 1/6/12). This is the day the Magi visited Jesus in the manger bringing various gifts. (Imagine “We Three Kings” quietly playing in the background for the rest of this post.) These wise men from the east, left everything they had to follow the star to where Jesus lay, to see the “newborn king.”

God provided the light for the wise men to follow, just as He provides us with that same light. Some of us (I was certainly one) cannot see the light, or if we do, we choose not to follow it. (You know that whole following the narrow path thing again.) We stay in the darkness. We know that Jesus is the light of the world.

The problem today is that it is hard to see that light, there are so many clouds, the light has trouble breaking through them. We live in a world where other, dimmer, lights have taken over. Things are more important to many of us than each other. Money, status, possessions, have all become new gods that we worship. Not only do these distract us from the light, but so don’t others who don’t want us to follow the light. Christians are persecuted all over the world because of their beliefs. Even in our country, once thought of as the “shining light on the hill” those who openly profess their faith are ridiculed and demeaned. “Keep your religion in church where it belongs” we are told.

 For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. –  John Winthrop, First Governor of Massachusetts, 1630

I think we may still be a shining light, I just am not so sure if it is the same light.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Now as you may know, (as you would if you read my past entries), I recently lost my job. Prospects aren’t all that great when you are closer to sixty than 40. I am going to try to make it work by editing, proofreading and writing. You can help me out in two ways: If you or anyone you know needs any work done, you can contact me either through Elance by clicking here or via my email: thewaywardcatholic@gmail.com  No job is too big or too small. Thanks!

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The Catholic War on Women

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Okay, it’s finally out there in the open, all Catholics hate women and they have declared war on them. It’s obvious isn’t it? After all it was those Catholic Supreme Court justices that voted to deny women the right to health care. How dare they! Women everywhere will no longer have access to contraception or abortion inducing drugs, oh the horror.

The National Organization for Women has called for a boycott against what they call “The Dirty 100” a list of the 100 companies that have filed lawsuits against the HHS mandate requiring companies to provide contraception and abortifacients (abortion inducing drugs) as part of their mandatory health insurance plan. See the problem with this is that those evil Catholics, or at least the real ones, believe that abortion and contraception are wrong. They kill babies or prevent life from happening.  What is wrong with them? NOW asks that you stand with them and boycott these companies so they get the message, as stated on the NOW site:

“Stand with NOW and tell them it is not acceptable for employers to impose their personal beliefs on their employees.”

Here is the problem, and what the folks at NOW and the Huffington Post, et. al. seem to forget. If an employee doesn’t like the health insurance, they do’t have to work for the company. It is as simple as that. It is like the people who want a Christian photographer to photograph their same-sex wedding and he or she refuses, find another photographer. If the one they wanted doesn’t want the business that is their prerogative. The government does not have the authority (contrary to popular belief) to dictate to whom someone can sell their goods or services to.

Then of course there is the fact that not one of these companies, organizations, churches, or individuals, is stopping anyone from obtaining contraception or abortifacients, they are freely available to anyone for the asking.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which had filed an amicus brief against Hobby Lobby, claimed that the Hobby Lobby ruling allows employers “to decide what birth control an employee can use,” charging that this is not an “exercise of religion,” but “of tyranny.” – National Catholic Register

Again, no one is stopping anyone from deciding on whether they use birth control or not. But then this is the secular left and their “Everyone is a victim” mentality.

I guess it is only a matter of time before Catholics are accused of waging a war on children as well, after all we are fighting against abortion and taking away a child’s right to die.

 

Either You Are Catholic or You Are Not

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You are either Catholic or you aren’t. No, this isn’t an attempt to convert everyone out there to Catholicism, but rather it is directed to those who claim to be Catholic, yet don’t follow the teachings of the church. They pick and choose which tenets of the faith to follow and decide the others aren’t right.

This is especially a problem when it is very public figures who claim they are devout Catholics yet believe in things such as abortion or same-sex marriage. Of course at the top of this list for me is Nancy Pelosi the House Minority Leader from the San Francisco area. Why Nancy even believes she is more catholic than San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. She recently sent him a letter asking him not attend the March for Marriage event.

“We share our love of the Catholic faith and our city of San Francisco,” Pelosi wrote to Cordileone, who, as head of the 560,000-member Archdiocese of San Francisco, has become the Catholic bishops’ point man against gay marriage. She urged him to abandon an event in which some of the participants show “disdain and hate towards LGBT persons.” – SFGate.com

I’ll make one point on this then move on from my minor rant about Pelosi and go onto my main idea. The debate about same-sex marriage as far as the Catholic Church goes has nothing to do with “disdain and hate towards LGBT persons” but the fact that the Catholic Church believes it is against the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. They have always taught this and they aren’t going to change it now. Catholics, and any one else for that matter especially Christians, don’t “hate” anyone, rather they hate the sin and love the sinner. But enough of my political rant against another democratic politician who thinks she has all the answers and is smarter than the rest of us.

The problem is this: If you claim to be Catholic, then you should be following all the teachings of the Church, not just the ones you agree with. And for the record, I used to be one of those who claimed to be Catholic, who picked and chose the teachings I would follow.

The Catholic Church has taught the same things since its inception after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Whether the Catholic Church is the “true” church of Jesus can, and has been debated, but the fact remains Catholics haven’t changed their beliefs since that time. They have never succumbed to changes in public opinion, they have never changed due to pressure from the media and certainly not because of any politician. One only needs to look at the history and beginnings of Protestantism for evidence of this. Sir Thomas More, now a saint, was beheaded because he refused to bow to the political pressure put on him by King Henry VIII and agree that the King’s divorce was okay in the Catholic Church.

If you don’t want to follow Catholic teaching, then you can leave the Catholic Church. The church should not and will not change to fit you, you can either change to fit the church or join the over 20,000 other Christian denominations out there. In fact you can even start your own if you would like.

Again, I am not claiming that Catholicism is the one true faith and all the others are wrong. What I am saying is if you don’t like what it teaches, then you should leave, not call yourself a Catholic and get on with your own life. For too long we have let groups with their own political agendas change the way we think and act, they continue to take away our religious freedoms and our right to believe what we wish to believe. This is true whether you are Catholic, Protestant, Mormon or Muslim.

So forgive my rant but at least give it some thought.

Here are some resources you might be interested in:

The Life of Thomas More

Catechism of the Catholic Church

History of the Catholic Church: From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium

The History Of Protestantism…

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More Intolerance From the Most Tolerant

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In yet another case of intolerance from the people who claim to be the most tolerant people in the world, the progressive left has attacked another good faithful Christian. Of course I am referring to Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame. Yes he exercised his First Amendment rights and expressed his views about homosexuality which conforms to those of most Christians, that it is a sin.

Now note I said most Christians believe homosexuality is a sin. Homosexuality is an act. This in no way means homosexuals are evil or bad in any way, in fact all it means is according to Christian beliefs it is considered a sin. I’m a Catholic and we have a saying in the church which goes “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Phil Robertson said nothing about any homoexual only what he thought of their actions. Some feel he was wrong to do so, but why should he say something he doesn’t believe?

The real problem here is once again those on the left who want everyone to be tolerant of diversity, prove they are the least tolerant of all. Robertson speaks what he believes and he is ostracized by the left. How dare he says what he believes, he can’t do that! The left only believes in diversity when it conforms to their very narrow standards. Robertson never said people should stop, only he didn’t understand why people would want to engage in those activities. I agree with him, but does that make either of us evil?

Here is a link to a good article on the whole thing from the “National Catholic Register.” The people at A&E are hypocrites. If they are so horrified and upset by Phil’s remarks they should take the whole show of the air, but they won’t because it their money maker so instead they put Phil on hiatus. If I were the Robertson’s, I would get an injunction against A&E and not let them air the show. After all I am pretty sure the Robertson’s don’t need the money.

This doesn’t mean those who believe as Phil does should get nasty and ugly in return. There are stories of threats made to A&E executives and the usual boycotts, etc. and this to is wrong. Those who engage in this behavior are lowering themselves to the same level as the gay activists.

“But I say to you who are listening, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you.  If anyone slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other cheek, too. If someone takes your coat, do not stop him from taking your shirt.  Give to everyone who asks you, and when someone takes something that is yours, don’t ask for it back. 31 Do to others what you would want them to do to you.  If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get? Even sinners love the people who love them.  If you do good only to those who do good to you, what praise should you get? Even sinners do that!  If you lend things to people, always hoping to get something back, what praise should you get? Even sinners lend to other sinners so that they can get back the same amount!  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without hoping to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God, because he is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin. Show mercy, just as your Father shows mercy. – Luke 6: 27 – 36

Update: Here is a paragraph from the GQ article which no one seems to be talking about:

You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around. (From Beitbart.com)

Robertson also listed a whole slew of sins and didn’t single out homosexuals.

Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander

Can We Bring God Back?

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In some of the posts on this blog I have bemoaned (not there is a word I don’t use everyday) how we are taking God out of the “Public Square” especially here in the US. This isn’t just a Catholic issue or even a Christian issue, it will eventually affect every religion. I am an avid believer in religious freedom and expression, no matter what you believe.

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A Revelation

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I had a revelation this week. No, it isn’t a revelation where God handed me some stone tablets, and it wasn’t a revelation like God gave to the apostle John about the end times. No, it was a revelation about what is wrong with the world today

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