Monday, February 29, 2016

More on Transubstantiation Up at Catholic365

Wanted to alert everyone another one of my posts is live over at, this one dealing with Matt Slick's critique of transubstantiation. Make sure you surf around to read many of the other various articles over there. As for the topic matter itself, I still have yet to get that 'theology on tap" thing going with my friend. I'm hoping it happens soon, because it'll be interesting to get different perspectives on the Eucharist from other non-Catholic Christians, and to openly dialogue about it in person instead of writing. Hopefully, when it does happen, the discussion will provide to be fruitful. I'll be sure to make some comments on it when it actually goes down.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The "Nuptial Bath" of Baptism: A Not-So Novel Idea

I have to stop. I have to stop looking at secular news sites which have some of the most inane, ridiculous, and flat-out stupid "articles" I've ever laid my eyes on. On the bright side, sometimes perusing through these click-bait headlines moves me enough to write a response, hopefully helping to dispel the myths and misunderstandings the original story brings to the table. One such absurd article came from The Daily Beast with a title that tried too hard to make the author and website seem like they were cool, kind of like when your stereotypical hipster has to let you know that he got the hidden meaning to your favorite album long before you did. In "You're Doing Baptism All Wrong", the author, the controversial Candida Moss who is known for declaring the persecution of early Christian martyrs is a myth, tries to make the case that Christians everywhere have been confused on what baptism actually means for centuries, thanks to the "revelations" by a theology professor in his latest book. Essentially, it's being claimed that baptism wasn't always about death and rebirth, but implies baptism was only about a marriage to Christ. In addition, it's also claimed that Christ never instructed us how to baptize, nor described how to perform the sacrament. Which of course leads to the article's title. The wild claims and (not-so) subtle digs at Christian theology that Moss makes, while seemingly ignoring parts of what the theology professor actually said, will be thoroughly answered as we go bit by bit through this story. We will see that there are several different aspects to baptism in Catholic Christian tradition, and this has been seen throughout the Church from Apostolic times all the way to the present day, making it obvious that the whole nuptial bath meaning is not a novelty in the slightest.
Pope Sylvester Baptizes Constantine- Cristofro Roncalli

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fr. Paul Saclia and a Lesson on Excellent Homiletics

Last Saturday, I was flipping around when I noticed that the funeral Mass for Chief Justice Antonin Scalia was being televised nationally. I had heard one of Justice Scalia's nine children was saying the Mass, and I was honestly curious to see what the homily would be like. By now, many of you have heard about it, and I was going to write up something earlier on the subject, but soon saw how it had spread and went viral. However, I came across an awesome article over at Crisis Magazine yesterday that I really wanted to share, you can read it here 

I too was awestruck by this homily. I did some research on Fr. Scalia after watching this Mass, and learned that he often celebrates Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and has some really good writings posted on some other prominent Catholic websites. I think that this is a good example of how homilies should turn out at funerals. I can only think of one better homily I heard at a funeral, and that was from a young Polish priest at my wife's grandfather's Mass. And I only say it was better because he explicitly mentioned purgatory. Fr. Scalia got the point across pretty well on why we need to pray for the dead, and that we're not all perfect Christians, as Donald Trump would have you think. No, we're definitely in need of God's forgiveness. No one alive on this Earth is sinless. And Fr. Scalia did a great job of reminding us of that, and turning our focus towards Christ instead of turning the liturgy into a canonization. I'd like to reiterate the thoughts of many people across the blogosphere: make this holy priest a bishop!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pope Francis and His Words on Contraception

I have to say, I've grown so tired of hearing of the overreaction that stems from Pope Francis' papal airplane interviews. Eye of the Tiber has a great blurb on this, which pretty much sums up my feelings in the most sarcastic way possible. Do I wish His Holiness would stop giving these "off-the-cuff" interviews, such as these? Yes, I do. It is sowing some confusion; I myself was confused until I did a lot of my own digging, and I have to admit, it shouldn't be that difficult to get to the bottom of things. However, many people on the ultra-traditionalist side take it too far and start condemning the Pope has a heretic, that he's a false pope, and whatever else sedevacantists like to say. But on the flip side, many liberal and left-wingers are doing the same thing. They are calling the Pope a heretic as well by declaring that "Pope Francis Says Contraception Can Be Acceptable in Regions Hit by Zika Virus". Pardon my French... but what is this bullcrap? That headline is from the Wall Street Journal. it's apparent that the mainstream media (MSM) no longer does its homework, because the Pope DID NOT say that, and by saying this accuse him of not following Catholic teaching. I guess they always forget that quote of his: "I am a son of the Church." A true son of the Church does not openly defy the teaching of the Church's Magisterium. Pope Francis has not done this.
Pope Francis

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Expanded Post on Our faith and Tradition

I have yet another article live on Catholic 365, which is an updated version of an essay I wrote earlier this year entitled "Reclaiming Our Faith and Tradition". In this expanded version of the essay, I've included more Scriptural references to the different traditions (small "t") that I talk about in this article, which should give the reader a much better idea of where these traditions actually stem from, and how our ancestors have been doing the things, or at least something similar, to what we do in our churches for millennia. Please check out this new post over on, and browse around a bit to see more by many other Catholic bloggers.

I must note, that in the comments section on Facebook, many people were totally taking my article out of context. I'm starting to think some just read the blurb at the top of the page, saw the picture of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and assumed it was fawning over the Tridentine Mass. People on both sides, "liberal" and "conservative" had some ridiculous comments. They ranged from claiming the Ordianry Form of the Mass was "heretical" to having "too many centuries" of the priest facing away from the people talking in a dead language. This proves there is only orthodoxy and heterodoxy, and heterodoxy can be either "conservative" or "lberal".  I replied, after posting the video and pitcures of the inauguration of the new Syro-Malankara Catholic eparchy,  "Notice the ornate vestments. Notice how the priests face East during the liturgy, with their "backs towards the people". Notice how they DON'T speak Latin, but speak English AND Malayalam during the liturgy. Should they stop living the traditions of their particular Church? Or should we be more like these Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters of ours, and embrace and remember our own traditions native to the Latin Church?"

Some food for thought. I may expand on these subjects later...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

More From Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich on Making Good Friends

So as I've mentioned in previous posts, I've been reading the writings of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich. She was a young nun from New Jersey who lived in community with the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth. I came across a great selection not too long ago from her spiritual conferences found in her book Greater Perfection, which you can find for sale at the Sisters of Charity's website, which I especially wanted to share. It was another "Aha!" moment for me and really resonated with me as it pertained to a discussion I was having with someone, and hopefully, if the opportunity arises, I can share this selection with them. While talking about how to pray, she begins to muse a bit about how we should surround ourselves in the company of those that are virtuous; in the company of those that will lead us to (and those who have attained) heaven. I'd like to share this here, since these writings don't seem to be widely available on the web. If you get something out of the writings of this young saint, I highly recommend getting the book. It's an excellent read...
The Eternal Father- Francisco Bayeu y Subias

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Musings on Lent

It's that time of year again, where we give up things, fast, abstain, give... so many different things happen during Lent. This year I've spent a good amount of time learning more about why we do all these things, and why we sacrifice so many things, which led me to learn more about redemptive suffering. This is something I've done for a while now, without fully understanding it, and it's good to get clarity on something that saints like Padre Pio spoke very highly of.

So I suppose for Lent this year I'll be giving up a few things. Mainly beer. I've never given this up before, but only in the past few years have I gotten more into the whole craft beer thing. fast food also tops the list. But most importantly, more prayer. I need to get better with the Liturgy of Hours and perhaps read more of the Conversations with God set that we have at home. I also look forward to attending more liturgies at the Byzantine Catholic parish near me as well. I'm interested to see how Holy Week and their All Souls' Saturdays works, as I haven't really gotten to attend these liturgies before this year. Hopefully this will be an exciting and fruitful Lent, and I pray the same for you all!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Taking Care With the Most Holy Name

We all have bad habits. Some of them we want to break, others we really don't care about. Since I'm a pretty imperfect (not-so-angelic, you could say) person, I have a lot of bad habits. There's plenty of things I need to work on to make myself a better person and a better Catholic Christian. One thing that I've had some success with is taking God's name in vain. Of course, this is against the second commandment, which tells us plainly "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain." This is something I used to do pretty frequently, but I'm getting better at cutting it out of my vocabulary. However, I've heard some people say that it's not as big a deal to use the Lord's name in vain as one might think. According to one religious, I've seen it said that, "Simply because we may blurt out one of these phrases without the full awareness of their significance, does not render them disrespectful." And I can understand that outlook... to a degree, though.

If for instance, someone tells me that their aunt got in a car accident, or someone is suffering from a horrible disease, then I could see "Oh my God" being permissible to say; perhaps it could be offered up as a prayer as in, "Oh my God, have mercy on that person."

However, I think I disagree with the particular viewpoint above for the most part. It would appear other men who have been ordained to the priesthood have given a contrary answer to the question of if it is a sin to say something like "oh my God!" when not used as a prayer. It's not all as cut and dry as we might make it out to be.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Can We Stop Pretending the "Satanists" Want to Lead Us in "Prayer"?

There are moments when something so absolutely absurd flashes across your computer screen, you actually have to sit back for a minute, laugh, do a face palm, and then reflect on how ridiculous our society has gotten as far as political correctness, earnestness and integrity goes. I think everyone remembers when about a year ago, the Satanic Temple was trying to get a statue of Satan put up in Oklahoma and in Michigan. Well, these guys are at it again, as I saw this headline pop up:

Read that again... a Satanic "Church" is trying to give a prayer. You might be wondering why I've put "Satanists" and "Church" in quotations. Look no further than the article itself. An excerpt from the link above:

"The city has a long tradition of opening council meetings with an invocation and, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, that cannot be limited to certain religions or beliefs.
"...Phoenix City Attorney Brad Holm said any religion can call the city clerk’s office and request to give the prayer, which is chosen by a rotating pool of state Senate members. 
"'We’ve gotten a lot of ridiculous questions, like are we going to sacrifice babies and what we’re calling blood libel,' [Stu de Haan with the Satanic Temple] said. 'There’s nothing ever like that in Satanism.' Instead, de Haan said the religion is a kind of metaphor for rebelling against tyranny and favors 'logic and reason over superstition and the supernatural.' 
"'We should have our voice and we believe that reason should trump superstition in general,' he said. The group does not believe in Satan as a deity. De Haan said the religion is made up primarily of agnostics or atheists."
Archangel Michael slaying Satan -Agnolo Bronzino