Fatima 100

Fatima 100
Easter Season: Christ has Risen! Alleluia Alleluia! Our Lady of Fatima 100th Anniversary: Saints Jacinta & Francisco, pray for us!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year 2013! 





As you can tell, the end of the world on December 21st 2012 did not happen.  2013 is here!  
2012 was an interesting period.  The "God particle" was finally discovered, President Obama was reelected, America took the most medals at London's Olympics; unfortunately, we had some tragic moments as well.  

Natural disasters such as hurricane Sandy caused great damage and loss of life.  We had horrible shootings at a movie theater in Colorado and an elementary school in Connecticut where innocent lives were taken by disturbed individuals.

Nevertheless, we must continue and make this world a better place.    


Please take this time to reflect on 2012 and see what needs improvement in your life. Visit, call, message your family and loved ones.  Commit yourself to contributing to the world more positively.  

Enjoy life, but relax on the alcohol. Don't drink and drive please!



May 2013 bring faith, love, hope, peace, health, prosperity, and joy to all. 




HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!




God, thank you for a new year. May everyone in our family be willing to begin anew with a clean slate. We know that you are always ready to forgive us. Help us to be willing to forgive ourselves and to forgive one another.

As we begin a new year, remind us of our truest values and our deepest desires. Help us to live in the goodness that comes from doing what you want us to do. Help us to put aside anxiety about the future and the past, so that we might live in peace with you now, one day at a time.  Amen

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Holy Family

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family - Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  The family is the basic unit of society.  It is no wonder why God chose to use it in His plan for the redemption of all men, women and children.

Joseph is often labeled "the forgotten saint."  This is unfortunate because he is the patron saint of the Church, and rightfully so.  Just as he protected Christ, he protects Christ's mystical body the Catholic Church.

Joseph was a carpenter by trade and taught Jesus carpentry.  At first, Joseph was concerned that Mary had an affair due to her pregnancy.  He wanted to secretly dissolve their union.  If it wasn't for an angel appearing to him in his dreams, he would have carry through with that plan.  This showed that he was a righteous man. (Matthew 1: 19-24)

Mary as we know, was a virgin prior to bearing Jesus and remained a virgin afterwards.  She was preserved from original sin making her the Immaculate Conception.  Mary followed Jesus all throughout His years on Earth.  She would be assumed into heaven and prior to this would also help spread the good news of her Son.  Mary is the only human being to be free from sin.  She is the model of what every human person must aspire to become - holy.  Mary is given special veneration because of this called hyperdulia.

Jesus is the Son of God and the second person of the Blessed Trinity.  God the Son took on flesh and became a human in all things except sin.  As a child, Jesus was obedient to His parents.  However, He always put His Father in heaven first.  We see this in the account of Jesus in the temple. (Luke 2:41-52)  Jesus wanders off from His parents sight and enters the temple.  In the temple, He begins speaking to the teachers, asking questions and answering questions as well.  The teachers and others were surprised at His knowledge and ability to speak as a teacher Himself.

Mary and Joseph found Him there and were upset that He wandered off.  Jesus simply replied that He was doing His Father's business and asked why did they search for Him as if they were supposed to know what He would be up to.

I recommend reading the Holy Father's Pope Benedict the XVI's new book, Jesus of Nazareth - the Infancy Narratives (ISBN: 978038534605.  The Pope goes more in deal in his scholarly style.  It is very informative if you want to know more about Jesus' boyhood.

This feast day not only highlights the Holy Family, but reminds us what a family should be.  In today's world where the family is under attack by those who wish to create it in their image; we must look at the Holy Family and renew family life.   Mothers should imitate Mary, Fathers should imitate Joseph.  Children should imitate Jesus who despite being God was always obedient to His parents.  What an image is that right?  The Creator obedient to the created.

Let us pray to the Holy Family to help all families of today rediscover family life.  Divorce has to disappear.  Children must not suffer having access to only one parent.  So-called "same sex" unions must be dissolved and the family must be respected as naturally composed of man, woman and child(ren).  Children must not be avoided or treated as a commodity.  They should also respect their parents and elders.



O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

L.G.B.T.

Let God Be There


"LGBT" is an acronym that lists the different categories of identities within the homosexual umbrella - Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transsexual.  However, I want to transform it into something better.

LET GOD BE THERE.

I invite my brothers and sisters in the homosexual community to allow God to work in their lives.  Unfortunately, there is a bit of animosity between the LGBT community and what they are told God is.  The Old Testament does have harsh words regarding homosexual behavior.  Catholicism and other Christians speak out against homosexuality with such fervor that we are sometimes looked upon as bigots of hateful people.

In reality, we are neither   We are merely calling all to live in accordance with the natural law which is ordained by God.  The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual feelings are not a sin.  It is a sin when they are acted upon.  We still do not know what exactly causes some to be homosexuals.  Psychologists are stuck on the issue and feel it is a combination of nature and nurture.  No homosexual gene has been discovered and for the most part, a homosexual's brain is pretty much the same as a heterosexual's in regards to function.

In any event, homosexuals are not strange or evil people.  Yes, some may act a bit strange or may be different - we all are different.  This does not give anyone the right to bully them or attack them in any shape or form.  They are God's children.  Jesus died for them and opens His heart to them as He would anyone else.

We as believers in God must attack the behavior, not the people.   Homosexuality is not a sentence to hell, but can be an opportunity for grace.  The Catholic Church calls all to chastity, including married couples.  This may seem hard, but it is not impossible.  One of our greatest minds and saints, St. Augustine of Hippo said in his Confessions, "Lord make me chaste - but not yet!"

Our sexuality is important and is very powerful.  How else can human beings reproduce if they cannot even get close to a partner?  This is why sexual drive is so powerful in us.  It stems from the "be fruitful and multiply" command of God.  However, we should not be the sum of our sexuality.  Our sexual drive should not define us or control us.  This is why we have intellect, conscience, will and reason.

God is the designer of our bodies.  Only He knows how to work them and control them that is why we must pray to God to help us whenever we are tempted to do unchaste things.

Unfortunately, those homosexuals who "come out" and show no remorse for their actions become slaves to their sexuality.  They categorize each other as "tops, bottoms, versatiles."  They are no longer persons, but instruments of sexual gratification.  They categorize themselves as "fems, butch, twinks, bears."  They are no longer persons, but objects that one can pick and choose based on one's desires.

God intended more for homosexuals than what they do among themselves.  Unfortunately, sexual desires can be so strong that it can blind one from seeing God's plan and the dignity of oneself and of others.

It is not the end of the world.  Prayer can help.  Let God BThere my gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transsexual brothers and sisters.  He will help you in life.  He will answer your question: Why am I this way?
He will help you to discover your true self so that you can take charge of your life and not be the sum of your sexuality.

Gay people are not "tops, bottoms, versatiles, fems, butch, twinks or bears;"  they are not objects for others to enjoy sexually.  They are human beings worthy of love, respect and dignity.  They are God's children who are in the same struggle as everyone else.

The LGBT might seem to be a lost sinful case, but that is not so:  "...where sin increased, grace increased all the more." Romans 5:20

Let God Be There!



Visit: http://couragerc.net/

Kwanzaa

Around Advent and Christmas time we hear about different "holidays" that are celebrated.  Hannukah is one of them which deals with the festival of lights, or when the temple's lamp gave light for 8 days despite its short supply of oil.  The other one that is spoken about and taught in schools is Kwanzaa.

What is Kwanzaa?

Kwanzaa is a holiday created by Ronald McKinley Everett, also known as "Maulana Karenga."  He is a philosopher and professor at California State University.  He formulated the "Kwanzaa" holiday as a response to the holidays already celebrated and how he saw them as an attempt to take away African identity since Africans celebrate them as well.  He considered Jesus to be psychotic and that Christianity was a "white religion" that was imposed on Africans.

Kwanzaa, which means "first fruits of the harvest" was started by Karenga in 1966.  It was meant to be a holiday for African Americans to celebrate either alongside Christmas or as a replacement of it.  The theme stems from the radical Black nationalist rhetoric of the time.  Its sole purpose was to animate the African American community to rediscover their African roots and foster respect for one another while at the same time creating animosity towards whites.   

Ironically, Karenga was arrested and sentenced in 1971 for felony assault, sexual assault and false imprisonment.  Karenga abused, raped and held captive women.  He used water boarding torturing techniques on them.  Karenga admitted to the crimes claiming that the women were trying to kill him.  In 1975, he was granted parole and continued studying feminism and African studies.   

African culture is very different from American culture.  It is a collectivistic culture which stresses community life and adherence to social customs, beliefs and African philosophy.  Africa has many cultures within its borders, but the idea of community over self is found pretty much in each of them.  This is a sharp contrast to American culture which is more individualistic.

Kwanzaz emphasizes the "Nguzu Saba" or the Seven principle of African Culture.

  1. Umoja - means unity and stresses African Americans to be united not only with each other, but with their heritage
  2. Kujichagulia - is self determination. It calls for African Americans to discover the self and what they can contribute to themselves and others.
  3. Ujima - is community work and responsibility. It stresses the need for working together and being responsible individuals while avoiding being selfish.
  4. Ujamaa - is cooperating with Black business enterprises.  It calls for the support of African American businesses and promotion of them as a community.
  5. Nia - is self purpose.  It calls for a discovery of one's potential and how it can contribute to a community while holding on to traditions.
  6. Kuumba - is inspiration or creativity.  It calls for the use of innovative ideas in order to keep African heritage and community alive and relevant as times change.
  7. Imani - is Faith.  It calls all to have Faith in God, each other and oneself and realize the importance of how faith can help in times of trouble.

Each of these themes are recollected upon by lighting a candle on the Kinara, which is a candle holder that holds 7 candles.  The middle candle is black, and the others are red and green.  A common cup is used to symbolize unity and the offering of libations.  Vegetation such as corn and other crops are used to decorate the Kwanzaa celebration.  They symbolize the gifts of the Earth and the work done to obtain them.  African music may also be incorporated into the celebration.


My thoughts on Kwanzaa:

Kwanzaa is obviously a repackaged Afro-centric version of Christmas and Hannukah.  It was started as an attempt to get African Americans to replace Christmas due to its "alien" source of introduction to the African people by Europeans.  The sole purpose of it was to create a sort of social warfare between African Americans and those of European descent.  

Christianity is portrayed as a "white" religion and Jesus was even insulted by being labeled "psychotic." This is far from the truth. Christianity is a religion for all, not a particular race or ethnicity. In the genealogies mentioned in the Gospel, women; some who were not even Jewish, are mention indicating that all are part of Christ's family: Jews, Gentiles and Women. Jesus came for all peoples in every place and every time. As
Galatians 3:28 beautifully states:

 "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

We are all ONE in Christ Jesus.  There is no White, Black, Latino, Asian, Indian form of Christianity.  We are all ONE.  In light of this, there is no need to create these gimmick holidays in order to stir divisions among peoples of different racial backgrounds.

The celebration of Kwanzaa is beautiful if reflective on faith and one's culture, but not needed by Christians.  Our race, our communities, our individuality are upgraded in Christ Jesus who was born of a Virgin, died on a Cross for us all and rose from the dead showing we need to trust no one else but He who is above life and death.

Jesus was not psychotic.  What psychotic individual would preach love and heal the sick?  What psychotic individual would stress unity, peace, and agape love?

I am bothered by how Kwanzaa is pushed upon children in schools.  Christmas is the sole religious holiday recognized by the United States federal government.  Yet Kwanzaa and Hanukkah are overly emphasized as the "holidays" of the season.  Meanwhile, Christmas is watered down to a mere tree or snowman - Santa Claus is even left out in today's schools.   

Christians must fight back and demand that Christmas be respected and truly observed in schools and the public square despite its religious tones.  It is only fair.  "Christ" is already in the word "Christmas" so what is the problem with going more into detail on this holiday which is officially a federal holiday?

There is nothing wrong with teaching kids of all faiths or no faith what Christmas is and why it is important to over 3 billion people on Earth.  No one is asking them to be baptized or accept Jesus.  








Source:

 Karenga, Maulana (1967). "Religion". In Clyde Halisi, James Mtume. The quotable Karenga. Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press. pp. 25. 23769.8.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Joseph Ratzinger's Letter to Baby Jesus



Here is an inspirational letter Joseph Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict XVI - wrote to Baby Jesus in 1934 at the tender age of 7.  




Dear Baby Jesus, 


quickly come down to earth. You will bring joy to children. Also bring me joy. I would like a Volks-Schott, green clothing for Mass and a heart of Jesus. I will always be good. 



Greetings from 

Joseph Ratzinger 











Source:  http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/1833/popes_childhood_christmas_letter_to_baby_jesus_published.aspx

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI's 2012 Urbi et Orbi Message



Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, a happy Christmas to you and your families!

In this Year of Faith, I express my Christmas greetings and good wishes in these words taken from one of the Psalms: "Truth has sprung out of the earth". Actually, in the text of the Psalm, these words are in the future: "Kindness and truth shall meet; / justice and peace shall kiss. / Truth shall spring out of the earth, /and justice shall look down from heaven. / The Lord himself will give his benefits; / our land shall yield its increase. / Justice shall walk before him, / and salvation, along the way of his steps" (Ps 85:11-14).

Today these prophetic words have been fulfilled! In Jesus, born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, kindness and truth do indeed meet; justice and peace have kissed; truth has sprung out of the earth and justice has looked down from heaven. Saint Augustine explains with admirable brevity: "What is truth? The Son of God. What is the earth? The flesh. Ask whence Christ has been born, and you will see that truth has sprung out of the earth . truth has been born of the Virgin Mary" (En. in Ps. 84:13). And in a Christmas sermon he says that "in this yearly feast we celebrate that day when the prophecy was fulfilled: `truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven'. The Truth, which is in the bosom of the Father has sprung out of the earth, to be in the womb of a mother too. The Truth which rules the whole world has sprung out of the earth, to be held in the arms of a woman ... The Truth which heaven cannot contain has sprung out of the earth, to be laid in a manger. For whose benefit did so lofty a God become so lowly? Certainly not for his own, but for our great benefit, if we believe" (Sermones, 185, 1).

"If we believe". Here we see the power of faith! God has done everything; he has done the impossible: he was made flesh. His all-powerful love has accomplished something which surpasses all human understanding: the Infinite has become a child, has entered the human family. And yet, this same God cannot enter my heart unless I open the door to him. Porta fidei! The door of faith! We could be frightened by this, our inverse omnipotence. This human ability to be closed to God can make us fearful. But see the reality which chases away this gloomy thought, the hope that conquers fear: truth has sprung up! God is born! "The earth has yielded its fruits" (Ps 67:7). Yes, there is a good earth, a healthy earth, an earth freed of all selfishness and all lack of openness. In this world there is a good soil which God has prepared, that he might come to dwell among us. A dwelling place for his presence in the world. This good earth exists, and today too, in 2012, from this earth truth has sprung up! Consequently, there is hope in the world, a hope in which we can trust, even at the most difficult times and in the most difficult situations. Truth has sprung up, bringing kindness, justice and peace.

Yes, may peace spring up for the people of Syria, deeply wounded and divided by a conflict which does not spare even the defenceless and reaps innocent victims. Once again I appeal for an end to the bloodshed, easier access for the relief of refugees and the displaced, and dialogue in the pursuit of a political solution to the conflict.

May peace spring up in the Land where the Redeemer was born, and may he grant Israelis and Palestinians courage to end to long years of conflict and division, and to embark resolutely on the path of negotiation.

In the countries of North Africa, which are experiencing a major transition in pursuit of a new future - and especially the beloved land of Egypt, blessed by the childhood of Jesus - may citizens work together to build societies founded on justice and respect for the freedom and dignity of every person.


May peace spring up on the vast continent of Asia. May the Child Jesus look graciously on the many peoples who dwell in those lands and, in a special way, upon all those who believe in him. May the King of Peace turn his gaze to the new leaders of the People's Republic of China for the high task which awaits them. I express my hope that, in fulfilling this task, they will esteem the contribution of the religions, in respect for each, in such a way that they can help to build a fraternal society for the benefit of that noble People and of the whole world.

May the Birth of Christ favour the return of peace in Mali and that of concord in Nigeria, where savage acts of terrorism continue to reap victims, particularly among Christians. May the Redeemer bring help and comfort to the refugees from the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and grant peace to Kenya, where brutal attacks have struck the civilian population and places of worship.

May the Child Jesus bless the great numbers of the faithful who celebrate him in Latin America. May he increase their human and Christian virtues, sustain all those forced to leave behind their families and their land, and confirm government leaders in their commitment to development and fighting crime.

Dear brothers and sisters! Kindness and truth, justice and peace have met; they have become incarnate in the child born of Mary in Bethlehem. That child is the Son of God; he is God appearing in history. His birth is a flowering of new life for all humanity. May every land become a good earth which receives and brings forth kindness and truth, justice and peace. Happy Christmas to all of you!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Atheism - a crime against Humanity

Atheism is growing in popularity due to the social media.  Facebook, Myspace, Twitter et. al, provide an atmosphere where people can voice questions and comments they normally would not direct to clergy of any particular faith.

In my life working in the Church, I seldom see anyone approach a priest or deacon and question God's existence.  However, while surfing the net, I see thousands upon thousands of blogs, twitter accounts, facebook profiles all voicing all kinds of questions and comments regarding God.

Why is this?

The internet provides a sense of anonymity among its users.  One can be anyone online.  With so many screen names to choose from, one can simply pick one and do whatever - granted TOS rules allow them.

Because of this, atheists have taken the internet as their temple, so to speak.  In it they gather and pat each other on the virtual shoulder in an attempt to get support they normally would not get in real life.

Now back to why atheism is a crime against humanity.

When I write that atheism is a crime against humanity, I do not necessarily mean that it is some entity that abuses humanity in ways similar to Nazism and the like.  What I mean is that it robs humanity of humanity.

Human beings are distinct creatures on earth.  They are aware of themselves, can think, express themselves via language and other means and feel emotions.  Human beings can also think in abstract ways.  Their brains can think beyond the physical parameters of this universe.

As children, we went through many stages of development.  Piaget gave us certain terms that define these stages.  Infants begin to use their sensorimotor intelligence which allows for them to combine their sensory input with their motor skills in order to make sense of the world.  They assimilate this information and compare it with what they already have processed.  Those ideas are accommodated or adapted to old ideas or even replace them to make new ones.

We thenbegin to use emotions and apply them in appropriate settings by means of self-regulation.  As we advance in age, we begin to "experiment."  By means of preoperational thought, we go through the static reasoning, irreversibility, conservation and animism stages.  In static reasoning, we reason that nothing changes around us.  In the irreversibility stage, we reason that nothing can be undone.  Conservation is the idea that a substance amount remains the same even if its appearance alters.  Animism is the belief that all things are alive in nature, including inert objects.

Play during these years is extremely important.  Archaeologists have found toys dating thousands of years which shows that playing with toys has been a part of human development since man has walked this Earth.  During play, children can use their imagination.  This, alongside animism, helps the child's cognitive abilities expand.  Without this kind of play, children will not develop creativity and abstract thought.  They will solely rely on physicalism as their platform to form thoughts and ideas.  Abstract art, music, even geometry would not be possible since neither exist in the physical realm.

This is where atheism would be a crime against humanity in the developmental sense.  Atheists do not believe in God or the supernatural.  They do not allow themselves the ability to process ideas that are not relative with the physical realm.  Atheism would foster a world based on static reasoning and conservation.

Atheists like to pride themselves in being "rational" and "logical."  They measure all things against "reason" and "logic" in order for it to be truthful and valid for assimilation.  In a sense, they imitate Star Trek's Spock, or his Vulcan race which applies and lives by logical premises.  In the Star Trek series, we see how Spock despite his intelligence, always struggles to understand even the simplest of things.  Star Trek always presents the human being as the real smart one despite having "human qualities" that may appear inferior to other intergalactic species.

Logic and reason are fine.  They serve us well.  The key word is 'serve.'  These concepts exist to benefit us, not the other way around.  We do not exist to be logical or rational in a sense.  To be human is to sometimes do the opposite of what logic and reason tells us.  This is how we experience "thrills."  This is how we learn.  In a world that is stoic in nature, we would not have amusement parks, music, dancing and other forms of entertainment.  We would find those "illogical."  Any such attempt to try these activities would go against one or more logical premises.

Concepts such as emotions, affection and love would not fit in a logical world.  They cannot be measured empirically and are based on introspection so they must be disposed of.  It is no wonder why Spock's race stresses the purging of all emotion.  Emotion is seen as irrational and illogical.  The Vulcans in the series often mock human being's for possessing this "inferior" trait that, according to them, makes them unfit.

Atheism is on the road to this absurdity and repression of humanity.  In a world where atheists would dictate rules and scripts for society, we would see the mental state of individuals plummet.  People will be repressed and will go mad without the ability to use imagination and abstract thought.  Ironically, the Vulcans at a certain age go mad due to repressed emotion and "Vulcan nature."

The vision that atheism and humanism have for the human being is not a good one.  It is one deprived of humanity.  It is a pseudo version of human nature that is destructive.

VMAT2 shows that we are hard wired to seek God and the supernatural.  Our brains are wired to think beyond this universe and into the unknown.  Philosophy, religion, music, art, even physics and mathematics would not exist if we suppress this part of our mind to look beyond the physical.

Atheism would be a crime against humanity.  It will destroy the human race completely, or leave it incapacitated biologically and psychologically speaking.  


   

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Un Pueblo Que Camina


UN PUEBLO QUE CAMINA
POR EL MUNDO 
GRITANDO: ¡VEN SEÑOR! 
UN PUEBLO QUE BUSCA EN ESTA VIDA 
LA GRAN LIBERACION.



Esta letra es el comienzo de un himno Catolico que se canta durante el Adviento.  Es una cancion muy bonita con un mensaje muy profundo.  

Somos un pueblo que camina sobre la tierra.  Un pueblo gritando "Ven Senor!"

Por que gritamos?  

El grito es un accion que se hace cuando alguien esta oprimido o en peligro.  Nosotros en este mundo estamos oprimidos por el pecado, la maldad, y la inmoralidad.  La violencia, el odio nos tiene contra la pared.  Estamos en peligro cada dia.

En el instante parece que estamos solo, pero en verdad no es asi.

Dios esta con nosotros.  Jesucristo es el libertador.  Cristo rompe las cadenas que nos tiene atado al pecado, la maldad, la inmoralidad, la violencia y el odio.

Cristo es la luz que alumbra las oscuridad.  Durante este adviento y navidad, vamos a pedirle a Jesus que ilumine nuestros corazones.  Vamos a pedir la sabiduria para hacer las decisiones que estan de acuerdo con la voluntad de Dios.

Como dices Isaías 9:2

 "El pueblo que andaba en la oscuridad, vio una gran luz; una luz ha brillado
para los que vivían en tinieblas.

    

The Christmas Challenge







Here's an academic challenge for @Rosarubicondior and atheists; especially those who believe Christmas and all it entails to be myth.



  • You are to prove with evidence that Christmas is indeed a myth and that no such person named Jesus Christ was born or existed which instigated the formation of the world's most powerful religion.
  • You must provide with evidence the originator of this myth and his/her intention.
  • You must explain why this myth was so powerful that it spread globally as Truth and is taught in university curriculum in history and theological departments.
  • You must explain why this myth is still relevant 2000 + years later.  
  • You must explain how billions have encountered this mythological being named Christ and how this person has worked miracles in their lives if He never existed.


GOOD LUCK!  











Saturday, December 22, 2012

Religion is Growing



Contrary to atheists' idea that religion is disappearing and atheism is growing, a new study says otherwise.  Religion is growing around the globe.  One out of three people are Christian!  The majority of Christians are Catholics.  Over 80% of the global population has some sort of religious affiliation.  In other words, religion is the majority.

According to the study:  
"As of 2012, the world contained about 1.6 billion Muslims, 1 billion Hindus, almost 500 million Buddhists and 14 million Jews, the analysis said.Furthermore, over 400 million people, or six percent of the global population, adhere to folk or religious traditions. Less than one percent – about 58 million people – belong to other religions, including Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Wicca and the Baha’i faith."

1 out of 6 are not affiliated with any religion.  These can be atheists, agnostics, or people who believe in God but do not participate in any organized religion.  

Christianity is still on top with over 2 billion followers, most of which are Catholic.  Muslims and Hindus follow Christianity as the largest religious bodies.

This may hit atheists hard considering they consider religion a delusion.  Is it possible that over 80% of humanity is delusional?  According to psychology statistics, mental illness always is in the minority, so perhaps three fingers are pointing back at atheists as they point to religious people.


Religion is not disappearing:  "Ain't no stoppin us now" as McFadden & Whitehead's disco hit says.



 

Source:

http://www.pewforum.org/global-religious-landscape-exec.aspx

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=123071

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/study-finds-84-percent-of-world-has-religious-affiliation/

Friday, December 21, 2012

World is Ending 12.21.12!





“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,but only the Father.- Jesus



The world is about to end run for your life!!!  Just kidding :)  

Today, December 21, 2012 is the first day of the winter solstice.  Days will be shorter and the position of the Earth on its axis will alternate causing some regions to receive less sun and more cold weather.  This is completely normal.

So what makes this day so special or big for some?

Well there are some who are putting too much emphasis on a calendar derived from the Mayan people. The Mayans were advanced considering they had no computers or technology that we have today. They knew math, astronomy and were very skilled people in general.

With their knowledge of the heavenly bodies, they developed calendars just like any other civilization did. The Mayan's calender is extremely detailed and complex. For example, each day in a 52 year cycle had a particular designation. Their system was built on a cyclical approach. Time periods passed via "cycles."

Thirteen "bactuns" in the Mayan system is equal to an epoch in which a new cycle begins. A Mayan epoch translates as 13 bactuns which would total bout 5130 years. The current epoch is about to end and a new one will begin. However, scholars disagree on whether or not this will take place today. It may have happened already, or may happen over the weekend.

Some people who are obsessed with the "end times" have fed off of this calender and built on it to create this paranoia. Unfortunately, some fall for this and start following strange cults which can turn deadly. The fact that today some of the planets in the solar system will be in alignment with the plane of the galaxy also adds to the hysteria.

According to these people, this alignment will cause a shift of energy from the gravitational pull and either push the poles off their original point or destroy the solar system. This of course will not happen. The galaxy is huge, planets are millions of miles away and we barely feel their gravity. It would be like someone feeling your breath from Mars while you're in Antarctica.

New Age people came up with all sorts of crazy ideas about energies and that somehow today the human species will receive some higher consciousness and become godlike. This of course is nonsense. Planetary alignments happen all the time and we do not even notice them unless we pay attention to the skies.

Another idea is that some rogue planet Nibiru will crash with Earth and basically obliterate everyone. To date, NASA has not detected any large body coming out way. If there was a large planet heading our way, we would be able to see it in the sky now just like we can see the moon! Moreover, even if there was a rogue planet heading our way, Jupiter's and Saturn's gravity would pull it away from us as they do with asteroids and comets.

In reality, the Mayans did not believe today to be the end of the world, but the beginning of a new epoch in their time system. It is like a new beginning - a new year or new spring. The Mayans that are left today hold no such belief that the world or universe will end today.

Moreover, can we trust predictions from a people who did not see the affect the influx of Europeans would have on their civilization prior to their arrival? How could they see 5000 years into the future, but could not see that Europeans were about to visit them and cause major changes in their community?

Despite this, there are many who are stocking up on supplies, buying weapons and anticipating the worst. Others are trying to channel energies in an attempt to become "godlike." This is sad indeed and shows how susceptible the human mind can be to stupidity.

The destruction of Mayan texts by Franciscan priest Diego de Landa is often brought up in an attempt to add to the conspiracy theory that those texts had information that would discredit Catholicism and Christ and therefore must have had information regarding the end times. However, what they forget to mention is that de Landa did not destroy those texts our of fear or ignorance. He did so because he learned that the Mayans were killing their own people and throwing them into the cenotes as sacrifices. These texts encouraged human sacrifice and other barbaric things. They had to be destroyed in order to preserve the Mayan people.  

If you are reading this then you obviously know that the world did not end. Friday 12:00 AM hit Australia just 5 hours ago and they are fine there.

No one knows when the world will end. Only God knows this. God holds the stopwatch in His hand and will stop it when He sees fit to come again and measure each one by the love they gave to Him and each other.

So relax, enjoy life, do good and don't worry about the end. We are a people of hope, not despair.




Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sandyhook Victims


They were taken from us so soon. 
We are left wondering why.
Some of us may question if there is a God in the sky.

God calls us home in His time.
These souls did not perish,
with Him in heaven they are fine.

May these souls rest in peace.
May violence on Earth cease.
May we never forget the deceased.  

Amen






Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
- Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
- Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
- Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
- Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
- Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
- Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
- Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female
- Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
- Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
- Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
- Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
- James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
- Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
- Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
- Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
- Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
- Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
- Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
- Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
- Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
- Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
- Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
- Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
- Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
- Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gun Control



In light of the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut; law officials are now pushing for more "gun control."  They hope to scale back the ability of people to purchase large guns.

The issue is a bit tricky.  I can see the rationale in both sides.

For guns

  • The Constitution states we have the right to bear arms.  It does not specify the size.  
  • We have the right to bear arms because of our history as Americans.  Colonists needed arms to defend themselves against the tyranny of the British armies during the revolution.
  • It is not fair for the government and law officials to have guns and the people remain unarmed.   
  • Hunting is a sport and guns are needed.

Against Guns

  • Far too many people have died from guns.
  • The USA has the highest gun deaths of any nation.
  • Why do the people need guns if we have police and armies?
  • Guns in the hands of the wrong people can be extremely dangerous..

What do you think?  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

All Bark and No Bite



After self-proclaimed atheist "Rosa Rubicondior's" failure in engaging me in a debate during the summer of 2012, this character has since taken an unhealthy attachment towards me - well at least my "Sacerdotus" handle.

This individual now stalks me online!





Furthermore, this troubled individual is composing libelous blogs claiming that I am a failed seminarian, that I was part of "St. Joseph's Franciscan seminary" (which does not exist mind you) and is confusing me for a child who happened to use the "chi rho" symbol on his school profiles.

It is sad and disturbing that "Rosa Rubicondior" continues to abuse this child online.  I am glad his parents filed a report at both the US and UK consulates regarding this abusive individual whose obvious poor mental state allows for the abuse of a child without any concern.    

If that is not bad enough, now this other individual "Faithdebate" on youtube is also venting his frustrations against me after I corrected his misunderstanding of physics when he commented on my Rationally Faithful blog.  

These individuals are all "bark and no bite."  

They are quick to bash me online but when I offer to debate them, they take upon a pusillanimous stance and then claim that I am the one in error or am avoiding them.  Go figure...


Guys whenever you have built up enough intellectual confidence to debate me, I am here:

http://rationallyfaithful.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 14, 2012

Shooting at Elementary School

Just when you think you have seen or heard the worst, something even worse comes along...

A deranged individual entered Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and killed over 18 children and 26 adults.  This disturbed man whose mother works at the school also committed suicide.

Twitter and other social media were flooded with status updates and inquiries regarding this horrific event.  Parents were of course panicking not knowing what was going on and if their children were casualties.

It is so disturbing and so depressing to learn of these events.  The death of anyone is something that no one wants, but when it comes to children it hurts a little more.  

I can't imagine the pain the families are going through now knowing the last time they saw their children was prior to school.  They sent their kids to school thinking it to be a safe and sound place and now have to face this tragedy.  It pains my heart even thinking of it.  I know how hard it is to lose loved ones especially if you just saw them a few hours before death.  The sight of their items triggers emotions that we are not used to.

I pray for these families and all those who are suffering this great loss of innocent life.  Let us pray for America and for our schools.  This violence has to stop.





Eternal rest grant to them O' Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the victims of today's shooting
rest in peace.

I will update this blog post as I learn more details....



***UPDATE***  December 15, 2012

Adam Lanza, 20 years old is the suspect involved in the slaughter of children and adults at Sandy Hook elementary school.


The medical examiner has stated that the victims were shot in close range with 2 hand guns a semi-automatic rifle.  He shot and killed his mother and then made his way to the school to kill there.  

The official count now is 27 adults and 20 children who were murdered by Adam Lanza.  











Source:

http://news.yahoo.com/man-kills-26-conn-school-including-20-kids-212835177.html

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/obama-statement-newtown-shooting-3-15-p-m-195212145--politics.html

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/live-updates-connecticut-elementary-school-shooting-184311222.html

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/elementary-school-shooting-in-ct-slideshow/

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/obama-statement-newtown-shooting-3-15-p-m-195212145--politics.html


Never say Never

Never say never...  No... this is not a blog post about Justin Beaver if you're wondering.  It is about atheists and their obstinacy in regards to accepting God, Faith and Religion and how to counter it.

As a former atheist, I know well the hesitation of accepting these foreign concepts which many-many people adhere to.

The questions atheists have while looking for the path to the journey of faith are similar to those already on the journey.


  • How do I know this is for real?
  • This seems so weird, how can I believe this?
  • If God is so good, so perfect why is there evil - why does this universe have imperfections?
  • How can I trust clergy, they are just con artists looking to swindle the blind, is this really for me?
  • What will happen to my reputation?  Will my "rationalist" friends think of me as brainwashed or stupid now?
  • The Bible is so strange, so "outdated," how can anyone believe this?


The questions are serious ones that may take a lifetime to answer.  However, as stated before, these questions arise even among the saints who while in the "dark night of the soul" mode began to doubt and question God, Faith etc.

Unfortunately, some atheists give up.  They let these questions get the best of them and stop looking for the path to the journey of Faith.  Sometimes it is not their fault.  They may not have found an adequate answer - perhaps a cleric or lay person did not give enough meat to their answers, or did not show interest in feeding an inquiring atheist.  Perhaps an atheist might have been turned off by the sinful behavior of believers.  It is hard to believe something when those who believe it distort the belief with the way they live their lives.

This was especially true for me while I was looking for the path to the journey of Faith.  I was bombarded by the sex abuse scandals that rocked the Catholic Church.   I began to question:


  • How can I become fully a part of this corruption?  
  • Jesus supposedly said not to harm the children and that the kingdom of heaven is theirs, then where the heck was He when these beautiful innocent children were abused, humiliated and robbed of everything unique to a child?  


I said this to myself as well as: "I will never be part of this sham..."   Well, never say never!   God knows what He does.  He will give you the grace to see past the nonsense found among believers.  He will give you a new sense of rationalization that will help you see beyond physicalism.  

Recently, Leah Libresco joined the Catholic Church.  Libresco was a well known atheist blogger who promoted atheism with great zeal on the site patheos.  I'm sure that she never saw herself as a Catholic.


Here is her photo during the atheist "Reason Rally" in March to confirm this:  




Well God had other plans for Leah.  As the saying from Thomas A. Kempis goes, "Man proposes but God disposes."

Never say never!


The above photo was taken just 9 months ago.  Here is Leah Libresco now being initiated into the Catholic Church:




What a 360 right?   God is awesome indeed.  

If you're reading this and are an atheist, agnostic, or even a doubting believer; never say never.  Don't give up!  God is there for you and will guide you.  Keep asking questions.  This is why God gave us sentience and the ability to reason.  He wants us to seek Him.  

Don't be discouraged if at first you were not given a satisfying answer to your inquiries or if you have witnessed horrible behavior from believers.  

The Truth is all that matters.  Never say never to Faith in God.   


 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pontifex Tweets

@pontifex aka, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has just sent his first tweet.










Within seconds, the amount of retweets and favorites increased as seen here in this screen capture!






I am glad to see that the Pope still can gather a crowd anywhere in Jesus' name!  
 




Sunday, December 9, 2012

War on Christmas



I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. - 2 John 1:7


We all have heard the term "War on Christmas."   Reporters such as Fox news anchor Bill o' Reilly is constantly having segments on it on his evening program.

Is there a "War on Christmas?"  

There have been many theories regarding this.  Some believe the war began in 1921 when Henry Ford voiced his concern against the Jews' attempt to ban public celebrations of Christmas.  Others believe it began in 1959 with the United Nations pushing for more humanistic displays at department stores during the holidays.

Whether these are the origin or not, we are not sure.  However, there is indeed an attempt to push Christmas and Christianity in general out of the public square.

Atheists, Secularists and others have been trying hard to get Nativity Scenes banned.  The use of so-called "Politically correct" language also has attempted to water down Christmas to a mere "secular holiday" by replacing "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays."  I write a bit on this here "Happy holidays..yeah right!.. it's MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!"

In Rhode Island, a politician is trying hard to push Christmas aside by calling a Christmas tree a "Holiday tree."  Similar attempts have been made throughout the United States.  

Holiday tree? hmmmm...  Doesn't sound right.  

What's interesting here is that these people push these strange ideas in the name of "separation of Church and State."  Obviously these people are not well educated in US history and law.

Christmas is the sole religious celebration that is designated a Federal holiday.   Rep. Burton Chauncey Cook of Illinois introduced it as bill before the House of Representatives.   It passed there and passed the Senate as well.   President Ulysses S. Grant then signed it into law on June 28, 1870.


The bill reads as follows:

An Act making the first Day of January, the twenty-fifth Day of December, the fourth Day of July, and Thanksgiving Day, Holidays, within the District of Columbia. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following days, to wit: The first day of January, commonly called New Year's day, the fourth day of July, the twenty-fifth day of December, commonly called Christmas Day, and any day appointed or recommended by the President of the United States as a day of public fast or thanksgiving, shall be holidays within the District of Columbia, and shall, for all purposes of presenting for payment or acceptance of the maturity and protest, and giving notice of the dishonor of bills of exchange, bank checks and promissory notes or other negotiable or commercial paper, be treated and considered as is the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, and all notes, drafts, checks, or other commercial or negotiable paper falling due or maturing on either of said holidays shall be deemed as having matured on the day previous.


In light of this, Atheists and others have no right to demand the censorship of Christmas.  It is a legal federal holiday and must be respected.  Moreover, public schools should not be afraid to have a Nativity scene alongside a Hanukkah Menorah, and Kwanzaa display.  Ironically, the latter are not even federal holidays and yet they are displayed without issue.  This is not fair.  In reality, only Christmas scenes are the only things that should be displayed during the holiday season.

Christians must wake up.  Catholics, Protestants, and Easter Orthodox must voice their concern and remind society that only Christmas is the sole federal holiday and must be respected.  Priests and clergy of other denominations must instill this into their people who have voting and purchasing power.  

No offense to my brothers and sisters in the Jewish and African American communities, but their holidays are not federal.  It is offensive to me to see their customs displayed in public schools with deference, while Christmas is reduced to a mere Santa Claus - even a mere snowman or snowflake.

Public spaces and schools should have a Nativity scene and should teach the significance of this federal holiday, not to promote religion but to promote academia.  Our children deserve to be taught about Christmas in an academic setting since Christmas is a federal holiday.

Fight back against this attempt to erase from society what is legally protected.  Only Christmas is protected under federal law.  Atheists and other groups have no right to replace it with something that is not legal.   

 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Why do Atheists care about God?








I wrote a discussion post on my Rationally Faithful blog in October asking this question in an attempt to bring about a discussion.

 Here I will expound on it a bit more.

Atheism is often described as a belief that there is no God/never was one.
Despite this bold claim, Atheists are still fixated on God. This is interesting because let's say:
  • Person A does not like carrots and Person B does.
  • Being that Person A despises carrots he/she will not even contemplate it; whereas Person B loves carrots and will contemplate them.
  • So why do Atheists care about a being that does not exist, is fictional - a myth?
  • Why waste cognitive resources contemplating a supposed figment of the imagination?


The question is an important one to ask being that atheists want God out of society, yet always contemplate Him.  A study even showed that atheists seem to know more about God and religion that believers of God.

How is this even possible?

Well deep down atheists want to believe.  They are hungry for God.  They want to know as much as they can about God so they seek Him by means of silly polemical arguments, sophistry, research and so on.  It is no wonder why so many eventually become theists.

Jesus said, "Seek and you shall find."  How right was He?!  

As a former atheist myself I can witness to this deep hunger which at first an atheist is unaware of.  It is a deep drive to question - to seek God.  At first, atheists will not admit it, but they eventually realize that this hunger is not coincidental.

There is something wrong.  Science answers a lot, but there is still something missing.  Deep down atheists know this.  In order to seek what is missing, atheists engage theists.  They try every possible avenue of rationality in order to disprove God.  Those who are genuinely seekers eventually find God using atheism.  This is a paradox that only God can explain.

How can one find God when one disbelieves in Him?

There is nothing impossible for God.  God can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants.  An atheist's disbelief is not an obstacle for God's grace.

Can the God who created this universe with all its wonders not be able to reach into the mortal atheist's mind and heart?  God can do it.

Atheism is a quest for God.  It seeks God.  It desires God.  An atheist who believes there is no God would not go through the trouble of researching and questioning this entity unless there is more to this research and questioning.

St. Augustine had it right: "Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee"


Atheism is a restlessness of the mind, heart and soul.  It cannot rest until it finds God.

Let us pray for all those who call themselves atheists.  They too are on a spiritual journey.  May God assist them in their search.   God will reveal Himself to each in the way He planned it.

















Tuesday, December 4, 2012

200,000 Thanks!





Some time today my blog hit 200,000 visits!   I would like to thank everyone who reads my blog.  In such a short time this blog has grown so much.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Welcome Holy Father to @Twitter



The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI is now officially on Twitter. 
 Please follow him:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent Prayer



During Advent season, families should set up an Advent wreath in the family room or other suitable place where the family can gather.  They should pray and reflect.  
  • The Advent wreath is a symbol of Christ.  
  • The "circle" of the wreath and evergreen color are symbols of eternity.  Jesus is the alpha and the omega.  
  • The 3 purple candles represents our penance as we await the Savior the world.  The rose candle represents hope.   
  • The flame represents Christ who is the Light of the World.   



Prayer for the First week of Advent

Grant your faithful, we pray, Almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at His right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen  

Labels

Catholic Church (442) God (305) Atheism (230) Jesus Christ (211) Jesus (207) Bible (170) Pope Francis (163) Atheist (140) LGBT (127) Science (110) Liturgy of the Word (103) Christianity (83) Rosa Rubicondior (75) Pope Benedict XVI (73) Abortion (71) Gay (64) President Obama (55) Prayer (54) Vatican (38) Christian (36) Physics (35) Philosophy (33) Blessed Virgin Mary (32) New York City (32) Christmas (31) Psychology (30) Women (29) Politics (28) Biology (26) Liturgy (26) Baseball (24) Religious Freedom (23) Pope John Paul II (21) Space (21) Holy Eucharist (19) Pro Abortion (19) priests (19) Evil (18) NYPD (18) Supreme Court (18) Child Abuse (17) Pro Choice (17) Evangelization (16) First Amendment (16) Protestant (16) Police (15) Donald Trump (14) Christ (12) Death (12) Health (12) Priesthood (12) Astrophysics (11) Blog (11) Marriage (11) Pedophilia (11) Poverty (10) Racism (10) Theology (9) Vatican II (9) Divine Mercy (8) Human Rights (8) Illegal Immigrants (8) Muslims (8) Personhood (8) September 11 (8) Autism (7) Condoms (7) David Viviano (7) Easter Sunday (7) Ellif_dwulfe (7) Evidence (7) Gender Theory (7) Gospel (7) academia (7) Apologetics (6) Barack Obama (6) Big Bang Theory (6) Humanism (6) Jewish (6) Morality (6) Pentecostals (6) Traditionalists (6) Babies (5) Cognitive Psychology (5) Cyber Bullying (5) NY Yankees (5) Spiritual Life (5) The Walking Dead (5) Angels (4) CUNY (4) Donations (4) Ephebophilia (4) Eucharist (4) Gender Dysphoria Disorder (4) Holy Trinity (4) Podcast (4) Pope Pius XII (4) Evangelicals (3) Hispanics (3) Pluto (3) Pope John XXIII (3) Sacraments (3) Baby Jesus (2) Dan Arel (2) Death penalty (2) Encyclical (2) Founding Fathers (2) Freeatheism (2) Hell (2) Massimo Pigliucci (2) Oxfam (2) Penn Jillette (2) Pew Research Center (2) Plenary Indulgence (2) Catholic Bloggers (1) Cursillo (1) Dan Savage (1) Divine Providence (1) Eastern Orthodox (1) Fear The Walking Dead (1) Pentecostales (1) Pope Paul VI (1)