I’m having a Catholicism Crisis. What is a Catholicism Crisis? I define it as being torn between what the Catholic Church teaches and what I believe. At one time my whole life was a Catholicism Crisis, after all, I came from that post-Vatican II era when catechizing was almost non-existent and attitudes about many Catholic teachings began to change. Continue reading “Catholicism Crisis: The Immigration Debate”
Anyone who has followed this blog for some time will know that I am a freedom of speech and freedom of religion kind of guy. I believe that the United States Constitution is the second most important document ever written. The first being the Bible. Because of this I believe everyone has the right to work where they want. But…
In my last post, I talked about the “Lost Books of the Bible“. I briefly mentioned that there were many theories regarding why these books were left out of the accepted Bible. Most of these theories seem to point out to a specific agenda of the early Christians to make the bible say what they want it to say. This may or may not be the case, but some of those same critics are doing the same thing today. Continue reading “Thou Shall Not Censure”
When I first began this wonderful journey back to God, one of the first things I decided to do was to not only read the bible but also to determine if it is real. There are many who claim that it is a myth and that it was written in order to somehow control the world. After all, if these people could instill a sense of fear into others, convincing them there is an all-powerful “being” that will punish them for doing wrong, they could then control those same people. Continue reading “Lost but not Forgotten”
One of the readings at Mass Sunday was Psalm 23. This psalm is mostly known from being read at funerals. Depending on the particular bible translation you use, the NABRE used at Mass reads differently than the RSVCE. The difference is verse 4:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – RSVCE
Even though I walk in the dark valley – NABRE
Not being a biblical scholar I guess this can be taken as the psalmist is on his deathbed, but I look at it differently. I look at Palm 23 as talking about our journey through life in general. It describes what trusting in God is like, how your life journey will be.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
When you trust in the Lord, you shall not want, He will give you what you need, it may not be what you want, but it will be what you need. He will protect you from harm, he will guide you through the storms. He will lead you to green pastures where you can rest peacefully, with plenty of food and out of harm’s way. He will lead you to restful waters where you will be able to drink without worrying about being washed away by rough currents. You will also be able to cross these streams without difficulty. Because your journey is made easier by following Him, your soul will be refreshed and rested.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
The Lord will guide you, making sure you are on the right path. He will make sure you don’t stray from the path, becoming lost, abducted or misled. Even when you are in a dark valley, even after death, He will be right with you and you do not need to fear evil. All you need to do is look at Him, see Him next to you and you can get through anything. I know this has certainly worked for me. I have been on a pretty rough journey, and once I began to trust in Him, letting Him guide me, I was no longer afraid of where I was going or what was going to happen to me. I was always afraid, uncertain of the future, not knowing what was coming next, and what I would do when something happened. No longer do I feel that way for I know God has my back. He has given me the strength and courage I never had before.
You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.
When you follow the Lord, he spreads his table before you, all the gifts you could want, all you need. He does this in front of your enemies so they can see what He has to offer and they will realize they cannot compare. You will see that your cup will truly overflow.Because you follow Him, goodness and kindness will always be with you. You come into the world with nothing and you will go out with nothing. All you can leave behind you is the good works you have done, and a legacy of all the good you have done.
Are you following the shepherd?
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:
While at Mass today I was thinking about how many people learned to sing at church. Now, I am not talking about singing well, but at least where you can somewhat read the music for the Hymns and follow along, knowing about how long to hold a note or whether you need to sing higher or lower.