Friday, September 30, 2011

From Atheist to Catholic, huh? How that happen?!?

Here is a brief summation of my conversion.


First let me begin with this:

It was physics that lead me to God, not any religious ideas.  

After I was made aware that all this (reality) is not a random causality, I began to research every religion on Earth, including those that are "extinct," so to speak.

Folk Religions
The folk religions I saw as merely primitive expressions of the supernatural based on experiences with the natural.  Eastern religions (Asian etc) I saw as more Philosophical, and at first was attracted to them, but they did not connect with what I observed with physics in regards to causality.

They seemed to be more of a self mastery form of belief.  I then studied the 3 major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Islam
Islam I saw as a imitation of the former.  While reading the Qu'ran and questioning Imams and others, I noticed redundancy.  I got the sense that Islam was a "piece it together" sort of thing.

Judaism
With Judaism and Christianity, I had to study them side by side since they are related.  Judaism made sense, historically speaking.  It is obvious something happened in history that led the Jews to believe Israel is some special place, etc.  I then was curious where Christianity fit in.  That's when I researched Christ.

Was He real, or a borrowed pagan myth, or a mere lunatic?
These are some of the questions I asked.  After researching the "Jesus is Horus and Mithra" etc propaganda, I realized it was just bunk.  Atheist scholar Michael Grant even acknowledges this.  He states that Jesus was in fact real and not a replication of a previous pagan myths.  From there I began to research why so many Churches exist.

Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons
Growing up in NYC, one can see a different Church on every block, not to mention the Watchtower and Mormons who visited our home.  As expected, I did question them as well.  They did not seem to have the answers.  I also noticed that their representatives seem to be programmed to give a particular response to expected questions.  It was like Turning test where a computer is programmed to give specific answers when getting specific input.  When I posed a question on something, they were not prepared to answer, they then stumbled.

Evangelicals, Adventists, Pentecostals and Baptists et. al.  
Then came the Evangelicals, Adventists, Pentecostals, Baptists.  They seemed overly emotional and not focused on the academic part of religion.  In order to believe, one had to "experience God."  How the heck does an Atheist do that?  How can you "experience God?"  To us, their services look like a gathering of mental patients, so how can they expect us to interpret that as an "experience" of God?


"Experiencing God"
Anyhow, I questioned them about this.  If God is a mere "experience" of the Holy Ghost, then how do we know it is not just our brains getting a high off brain chemicals, the music and social gatherings?  I feel good when I'm dancing or doing Zumba, is that adrenaline-emotional rush God?  I don't think so...


The Bible
Then I questioned about their ideas on the Bible. They value the Bible so much, but could not defend it.  When I asked where in the Bible does the Bible list itself, they looked at me with a stone wall face.  I was asking where in the Bible does the Bible state what books should make up the Bible.  If the Bible is God's word and has the answers, then surely it would have answers about how it is supposed to be organized right?  Well they didn't answer this.  Then I questioned them about sola Scriptura.  If the Scriptures is all we need, then why attend a Church at all?  Why does the minister read a passage and then gives a sermon?  Shouldn't have the Bible spoken to us already and therefore we have no need for anything extra?


Christian Elitism
Moreover, I didn't like their judgmental tone.  They seemed to have an ax to grind with everyone who does not agree with them and insulted me in an aggressive neurotic manner.


Eastern Orthodox
I met some Eastern rite Orthodox folks and questioned them.  However, they seemed to have many contradictions in their beliefs.  Their prayers were also so clouded with ritualism that to an atheist it would be impossible to decipher what the heck was going on. I remember seeing smoke appear out of nowhere and thinking batman was about to pop out; and not to mention all the chants and random movements that were "interesting" but had no meaning to me.  

Catholic Church
Then came the Catholics.  I read up on them, got a catechism and read it, etc. I loved how the Catechism is set up with citations and explanations of why Catholics believe.  This helped me do more research.  I looked up those cites and then looked at more and more.  I fell in love with the order and academic tone the Church presented.  As a student of Science, naturally Science was my "religion."  Therefore, I had to measure all these ideas against it.  Catholicism was the only religion I saw as promoting science and literally developed it as we know it today.  They sponsored scientists, have observatories and encourage it.   Many clergy are scientists!  I eventually met Msgr Albacete who was a physicist at Nasa and a former atheist. How cool was that for ME - a young atheist physics student?  I felt at home.


One of the major times God got my attention
However, I never stepped foot in a Catholic building.  This came way after when this random lady approached me and called me "father."   I was dressed like an urban youth from NYC and she called me "father" and asked me to pray for her daughter.  This just sent chills through my spine.  I did not know what to say only that I wasn't a "father" but nonetheless went to the Church nearby with her and we prayed - or she did because I did not know the words she was using.  But I did do something mentally and basically said, "Ok mister sky inter-dimensional entity, this is your chance, stop hiding."

I felt this peace like the peace a child feels when he/she is in his/her mother's arms - nothing matters anymore, no worries, no stresses, just this never ending peace that fills you inside and you literally feel like you're glowing.  That's when I realized that there is something about this God stuff that is for real.  I was not "stimulated" by emotions, music or a social gathering as with the Evangelicals.  I was with this lady in a dark empty Catholic building, no music, just the random car horns from traffic outside echoing.  God made the move.

To add to to the "chills," the lady stepped to the vestibule to get "holy water" and I went after her a few seconds later to ask her name and observe this act and she was not there.  I stepped outside and no one was around.  Either she ran like Flash or was transported to the Enterprise because she just vanished.  I know she did not leave because I would've seen the sunlight enter as the front door opened, but no such thing happened.  Those doors were the only exit and entrance.


Eh... not sure.... I need more proof
However, I didn't join then.  I still did more research being the skeptic that I was and still am.  As an atheist, I had to find an answer.

"Oh it was the mind " "no it was an illusion"  "no it was something I ate that day."

We try hard to knock down anything supernatural even if our answers are ridiculous.  Well as you can see, God won.  :)   I ended up in Catholicism for the mere fact that it is scientific, academic, can be traced to Christ/disciples, makes more sense when compared to other non-Christian views, and is a feared global force that never changes despite the tides of the world.

In the media, it is the Catholic Church that is always focused upon.  Her voice is so strong that governments, the media, even academia must listen even when they do not agree.  This would make sense since the Church is Christ's body and Christ did speak with authority even when people disagreed with him.

Nothing personal against other religions
I do visit non-Catholic services once in a while when invited or just to enjoy their liturgies.  Every religion has a spark of the Divine.  As long as they're focused on the Creator, who am I to judge them?  Christ said He has other sheep that are not of the flock but hear Him call.      

Saturday, September 24, 2011

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Ask me anything the Catholic faith, Spirituality, please keep it clean and respectful! http://formspring.me/Sacerdotus

What if God isn't real? What if it's a big mind game that people have used to control society for thousands of years? What if you are just another collateral piece of that puzzle?

Then that would show how easily humanity can fall for any deception. If an idea (game or not) that brings people to change; to become good, holy, loving, hopeful, understanding, compassionate is a mind game, then it is a good one. :)

Ask me anything the Catholic faith, Spirituality, please keep it clean and respectful!

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

faithful, hopeful and charitable.

Ask me anything the Catholic faith, Spirituality, please keep it clean and respectful!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

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What's your favorite app on your mobile phone?

Twitter

Ask me anything the Catholic faith, Spirituality, please keep it clean and respectful!

formspring.me

Ask me anything the Catholic faith, Spirituality, please keep it clean and respectful! http://formspring.me/Sacerdotus

"natural purpose"? So women that are incapable of having children have no purpose? This mindset is not only 100 years out of date, it's insulting.

Not at all. My statement was made to reflect the normal biological function of the female gender, not to attack those who are barren. No woman who is barren will get offended if she sits in a biology class and learns about the female reproductive system and its functions.

Ask me anything the Catholic faith, Spirituality, please keep it clean and respectful!

Monday, September 12, 2011

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Why are you so afraid of women? Did mommy not love you enough?

I am not afraid of women, I am afraid about what women are being told about their dignity and natural purpose. When women are told that their offspring are nothing more than parasites, then I and others must speak out against this attempt to instill tokophobia on women. My mother loves me greatly. It is from here that I learned how to value women and motherhood. Therefore, I will not stand idle as strange feminist rhetoric attempts to destroy Womanhood.

Ask me anything the Catholic faith, Spirituality, please keep it clean and respectful!

Have you ever felt like you were living someone else's life?

No

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I am curious to know your thoughts on the issue of Church & State as it is in 2011. I think that the Catholic Church has, in the last 10-20 years, become more involved in political issues around the world. Do you think this is true. What are your thoughts

I think the Church and State have had a healthy relationship for many decades; however, issues such as gay marriage are testing that relationship. The Catholic Church is not interested in ruling countries or temporal power. It is interested in saving souls or bringing souls to Christ. Issues like abortion, war, gay marriage are issues that concern the Church so She must speak out. The Church cannot remain idle as the world loses itself to chic ideas that appear every decade or so. Other issues like healthcare have gotten the attention of the Church because of abortion and contraception. It is not fair for the federal government to push these ideas on Catholic hospitals and institutions that deal with healthcare.

Ask me anything the Catholic faith, Spirituality, please keep it clean and respectful!

How do you respond to the multiple sexual abuses of children in Philadelphia by Catholic clergy, hidden up at the highest levels? -->Remember that not answering is acting in the same behavior that those sinful priests took.

Well I am not informed of every case, but will comment generally. All abuse is sinful and criminal. There is no reason for a priest or anyone to violate a child or adult. It is horrific and evil to even think of hurting a child or adult. As Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote in 2002, "People need to know that there is no room in the priesthood for those who abuse children." The Church is not new to scandal. However, the Church thrives when it is attacked from within and without. The abuse of children or adults can never be condoned or tolerated within the Church or society. Moreover, those who hid criminals or attempted to distract law officials from bringing justice must face justice here and before God.

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is JESUS the LORD of your life? =)

Yes

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On what grounds do you consider it just to require a person to act against their moral judgement merely on the grounds that your moral judgement differs?

We all should have an informed conscience. That is to say, that our conscience should reflect God's will, the natural law, and the common good. These should be our guide. When some in the world believe good can come from evil acts, then everyone with an informed conscience must speak out. When good is silent, evil thrives.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Later


Today the 10th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks took place. September 11 will always be a date engraved in the minds and hearts of all who witnessed it, whether in person or on television. The events were indeed horrific. Planes were hijacked, people killed on them. Those same planes were used as missiles by terrorists who crashed them into the World Trade Center's "Twin Towers" and the Pentagon. Another plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after the brave passengers thwarted the terrorist's plans to use the plane as another weapon, possibly aimed for the Capitol building or White House.

There are many questions we ask. One is why. Why did this happen? How can people be so evil to even think up these ideas and carry them out? The answer is sin. The infection of original sin is transmitted by concupiscence as St. Augustine tells us. The concupiscence is a strong desire to seek what is bad and evil. Evil, bad things, and sin appears to be fun or useful to humanity. Good things are perverted and used to do evil. It is the Id gone wild, so to speak.

Some anti religious people claim religion caused Sept 11; however, that is not so. This concupiscence or desire to do evil is the root cause. Terrorists hijacked Islam in order to carry out these heinous attacks in the name of God. The reason was not religion itself, but politics. Those who feel the United States of America is an unwanted presence in the Middle East came up with a plan to bring this nation to its knees. That plan did bring the USA to it knees, but not in defeat. It brought us to prayer. America was reminded that while it is a super power, it is not the be all end all of the globe. America has been spreading many ideas that feed concupiscence. In a nation that kills its own unborn children and which promotes promiscuity in the guise of "safe sex," those who are spiritually mature can see the real battle that is going on between evil and good. Like Communist Russia, the USA has made many errors run rampant throughout the globe.

September 11 reminded us that we are not gods. We cannot live in this life thinking that nothing will happen or that we control ever aspect of space, time and matter. America is not immortal. Unfortunately, America learned this lesson the hard way. It was beautiful to see this nation become "e pluribus unum" in the days that followed the attack. Everyone united despite differences. Churches, Synagogues, Mosques were full nearly every day. Everyone prayed, helped each other in a spirit of goodwill.

On September 14, 2001 President Bush declared the day the National Day of Prayer & Remembrance. Ironically on this date the Catholic Church celebrates the Triumph of the Holy Cross. It is also ironic that among the piles of dust, twist steel beams and other debris, all that remained were 2 beams in the form of a Cross. Was God telling us something? We cannot know for sure, but coincidences do not exist. It is Divine Providence at work. But why would God use this violent event to give a message? Why the loss of innocent people? Those questions can go either way. However, we do know God brings good out of evil.

God is not evil, nor does the presence of evil take away from his all good essence. Evil is the absence of good. God sometimes allows evil to happen in order to bring good out of it. That good can be anything He wills. Unfortunately it does take a bad event to wake people up. Why can't people be united, help each other every day? Why does it take a tragedy to bring everyone together? Sometimes kids don't listen when parents calmly tell them to stop doing something that will harm them. It isn't until mom and dad raises his/her voice or uses some other form of discipline that the child presents his/her attention.

Humanity being God's children are not any different. God does sometimes use a strong way to get humanity's attention. We must pray, meditate, and grow spiritually in order to see what God's will is. America needs to wake up and not go the way of the Greeks and Romans whose societies became so free that anything was allowed. There was no moral/immoral distinction; everything was "good." Today we see abortion where some argue till they turn blue claiming that it is a good. Others push for marriage between same sex couples. Now they even want to make pedophilia normal. Where is the line between sanity/insanity and morality/immorality? America must pray, follow the Lord's will be truly be a Nation under God.

President Obama read Psalm 46 which says:

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. (NIV)



How true is this Psalm. God is indeed our refuge and strength. But will He continue to be this nation's refuge and strength as we fall to absurd immoral ideas and ways of life? Let us pray to the Lord, keep His will and Commandments alive. We must worship God, love God and one another; not attempt to make ourselves God and oppress our brothers and sisters born or preborn. As 2 Chronicles 7:14 says: " if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

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