Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013

The year 2013 is about to pass and we are about to enter 2014.  This year has been one of uncertainty, death, war, violence and also hope.
We heard news of storms, earthquakes and other disasters that took many lives.  We heard of dictators killing their own people and rumors of war circulating the globe. We lost many people, both known and unknown.

Our government shut down and its new healthcare system has flopped.  We also learned what was already known; that the government spies on everyone.  However, 2013 wasn't all gloom and doom.

2013 had the event of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI which was a bitter sweet moment.  It was bitter because we were going to lose as Pontiff an academic genius and holy man of good will. However, we received another holy man of good will who is taking the world by storm.  The election of Cardinal Bergoglio brought great joy to us all, including many non-Catholics.  Taking the name of St. Francis, Bergoglio would remind the world what great of a religion is Christianity. Many times, Christianity can be fogged up by rules, regulations, doctrines and debates that do not allow it to shine.  Catholicism is now on the rise and the world is opening up once again to Christianity without "supernatural signs from God" or apparitions, but by the living out of the Christian faith by Pope Francis.  Like St. Francis, our current Pontiff is renewing the Church by simply living out the faith.

Moreover, 2013 has also brought interesting events online in regards to Twitter.  Five atheists have inquired about converting to the Catholic faith.  This is great news indeed and a sign that Catholicism is stronger than atheism.  It is much stronger that even anti-Catholic caricature personalities such as "rosa rubicondior" cannot deface it with fictitious posts and instead succumbed to the same abuse he offered to others of faith.  Unfortunately, social networks are censoring religious speech and my accounts as well as those of others have been suspended for merely posting religious opinions.  This is still on the battle field.

In any event, thank God for 2013 and for allowing us another year in 2014.  I hope this year will bring about more fruit and hope you will continue to support my work here by visiting, reading, commenting and providing financial support in order to offset "caesar's" need for coins.






Monday, December 30, 2013

Trayvon Martin Nativity Scene

Protestantism is known for heresy and straying from the fullness of Christianity founded only in the Catholic Church; however, one sect is committing blasphemy with a capital 'B.'

Claremont United Methodist church in California has erected a horrible "nativity scene" created by John Zachary which replaces the Christ child with a figure of Trayvon Martin.

As you may know, Trayvon Martin was the African American teenager who was killed in self defense by George Zimmerman over a year ago in Florida. The case became a hot topic in regards to race and the court of popular opinion.

Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges based on Florida's "stand your ground" laws.  This caused an uproar among race baiters such as Al Sharpton and the Black Panthers.

Zachary claims he created the nativity scene in order to "make the story of Christmas relevant in modern times." Excuse me?  He has it wrong.  All periods of times must be relevant to the Christ Child who was born to save the world. Trayvon Martin didn't die for our sins.  He is no savior, only a kid who made some stupid decisions which got him killed after he tried to kill another man.

This "nativity scene" -if I can call it that- is disrespectful and completely misses the point of the traditional display of the Nativity scene which was started by St. Francis of Assisi.  It is meant to commemorate the birth of the Savior, not to make silly political and racially charged statements.

Zachary is offending all Christians with this nonsense which displays Trayvon in his hoodie with bloody hands as blood pours from his chest. I hope many people complain to Claremont United Methodist and ask them to destroy this piece of junk.  Shame on this congregation for allowing this stupid anti-Christ display that serves only to cause racial division and hate.

Please take the time to contact this heretical sect and voice your anger at the disrespect that is being given to Christ the Lord.

Here is this sect's website:
http://www.claremontumc.org/730909


Source:

http://www.mercurynews.com/rss/ci_24812187?source=rss

http://news.yahoo.com/nativity-features-trayvon-martin-instead-jesus-200207194.html;_ylt=A0oG7lZ_NsJSiQ0A4ZZXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0NzBuN2xhBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA1ZJUDMwNF8x

http://www.webpronews.com/trayvon-martin-is-added-to-churchs-nativity-scene-2013-12


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pope Francis "Best Dressed Man 2013"

Pope Francis has received another title:  "2013's Best Dressed Man."

Esquire magazine honored the Pontiff with this title for his preference to use simpler versions of Papal regalia or 'abito piano.'

They claim that clothes are supposed to reflect the man and by Pope Francis choosing less of the Papal threads, he is showing his character as a genuine and humble man.

This seems to be an attack on previous Popes, especially Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI whose red Papal shoes and choice of traditional vestments made him the talk of the tinseltown, so to speak.

I personally would have chosen him as the best dressed Pope, no offense to Pope Francis, et al.

While I love Pope Francis' presentation of the Papacy, I laugh at news reports like this. These people do not realize that there is nothing "simple" about Pope Francis' white cassock or any cassock for that matter. These cassocks can cost over $900 each, not to mention the stoles, chasubles and other articles used by Popes/Bishops. Even religious habits meant to represent poverty cost over $600.

That being said, these vestments are not cheap and definitely do not represent 'simplicity' in my opinion.  In fact, they aren't supposed to reflect simplicity per se but the person for whom they represent and honor, Christ Jesus. This is why the Church uses the best materials to honor her Lord. These clothes are not meant for those who wear them, but to represent Christ and the mission of the Church which are priceless.

Pope Benedict XVI was not being vain by wearing traditional vestments.  He was reminding us the importance of Christ and the role of the Vicar of Christ.

Would you wear a t-shirt and torn jeans to a dinner with President Obama or Queen Elizabeth? Most likely your answer will be no. That being said, if we dress nicely for these political charlatans, why not go all out in dress for the King of kings and Lord of Lords?

 God even commands nice vestments, see:

Exodus 28:2
"And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron's garments to consecrate him for my priesthood. These are the garments that they shall make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a coat of chequerwork, a turban, and a sash. They shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons to serve me as priests."








Source:

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/entertainment&id=9374570

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2530742/A-heavenly-sense-style-Pope-Francis-named-Esquires-Best-Dressed-Man-2013.html

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/entertainment&id=9374740


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holy Innocents

Today is the feast day of the Holy Innocents.

The Holy Innocents were the infants massacred by order of Herod after he learned that a rival king (Christ) was born.  These children were martyred before even Christ began His public ministry.


A sermon ascribed to St. Augustine reads:

"Today, beloved brethren, we are celebrating the birthday of those children, who, as the Gospel tells us, were slain by the cruel king Herod. Let the world rejoice with great gladness, because she is the fecund parent of this great and powerful army of heavenly soldiers. The heathen foe could never have benefited these little ones by his goodwill as much as he did by his hatred.
 This day's holy festival shows that in proportion as his wickedness abounded towards these blessed little ones, so was the grace of blessedness poured forth upon them. Blessed art thou, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah; in thee was perpetuated the wicked crime of Herod the king; his massacre of these children: and therefore hast thou been found worthy to offer to God in one offering a white-robed multitude of innocent children.
Most fittingly do we keep the festival of their birthday, for their birth from this world into life eternal is more blessed than that from their mothers' wombs. They attained unto life eternal and joined the ranks of the blessed before they had tasted life here on earth.
The precious death of other martyrs deserves praise for its testimony--those who have fought a good fight and finished their course; but death gave glory to these Innocents at the opening of their life, by closing it immediately. Herod in his wickedness snatched these sucklings from their mothers' breasts; rightly are they called the flower of martyrdom, for they sprang up in the midst of the winter of unbelief, as the first opening buds of the Church, and were nipped by the frost of persecution." 
(Sermon 220; 1 on the Innocents) 

The Gospel of Matthew is the only source we have of this account for now.  Perhaps archaeologists may discover new sources in the future.  The account is recorded in Matthew 2:16-18. Herod after being visited by the wise men learned of the Christ child. He pretended to be interested in giving adulation to the child, but instead had cruel intentions.  He ordered that all male children ages two and younger be killed.

The number of children killed is up to speculation.  Greek liturgies claim it was 14,000 boys while others claim it was 144,000 which is a reference to Revelation 14:3.  However, modern biblical scholars believe it was in the dozens because Bethlehem is a small town and it would be logical that the amount would be less than 50.

Jewish historian Flavius Josephus does not mention this story in detail like the Gospel of Matthew does, but he does mention other atrocities committed by Herod.  Since children did not enjoy the full legal stature of person-hood then, it is possible that any crimes against them were not mentioned in detail for this very reason. Josephus usually recorded events surrounding more renown figures.

In any event, Matthew wrote his Gospel in a way that speaks directly to those of the old covenant, or the Jews. He makes a great effort to link Jesus to the prophecies of the Old Testament so that Jews reading the text can see that Christ was indeed the promised Messiah. Matthew's writing on the Holy Innocent shows the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Jeremiah 31:15.

Moreover, in Exodus 1:22 we read of a massacre of Hebrew babies which precedes the introduction of Moses in Exodus 2 where we are told that he is hidden in a basket from the massacre and rescued by the Pharaoh's daughter. This is interesting because Moses was a liberator. He by the grace of God liberated the Hebrews from Egypt.  Similarly, Christ the Son of God is a liberator; not from political figures or social injustices, but from sin. Christ, like Moses was spared of infanticide.

Ironically, in today's modern world many 'holy innocents' are being killed via abortion. It makes me wonder if history will repeat itself.  Is the liberator coming again after the slaughter of the innocents via abortion?    




     

Friday, December 27, 2013

St. John the Evangelist

Today is the feast day of St. John the Divine or the Evangelist. We know of him from the Scriptures.  He was the son of Zebedee and Solome (Matthew 4:21,Mark 15:40). St. John is the younger brother of St. James.

They lived and worked as fishermen in by the sea of Galilee. Both brothers were fond of St. John the Baptist and often heard him preach on repentance near the river Jordan.

St. John was called by Christ Jesus to be one of His disciples. He accepted without hesitation and followed Jesus everywhere even to Christ's crucifixion.  There he would be charged to care for the Blessed Virgin Mary. (John 19:27) St. John would preach the Gospel as Christ commanded, even writing texts that became part of the canon of Sacred Scripture (Gospel of John, the three Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation).  He is the only Apostle to live into old age and not be martyred.

St. John is a role model for all Christians.  He stood by Jesus even till the end.  While the other disciples ran for dear life; John remained by Christ's side. He did not fear the authorities coming to arrest Christ, nor the slanders and gossip of the sanhedrin.    

 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

St. Stephen - First Martyr and Deacon

Today is St. Stephen's feast day.

St. Stephen is an important figure in the Early Church.  He was the first to shed blood for the faith, or be a martyr. St. Stephen was the first or one of the first deacons ordained.

As the Catholic Church grew in numbers after Pentecost, the Apostles needed help to minister to them, especially the poor and widows. The diaconate was born. Today we have many men who are ordained deacons in order to help the Church in many ways.  

The story of St. Stephen is introduced in the Acts of the Apostles chapters 6 and 7.  In them, the miracles God worked through St. Stephen as well as his preaching and the drama of his enemies is presented.  Even after Christ's death and resurrection, Christ still had many enemies.  Christianity was seen as a plague - a threat to the status quo and human liberty.  Sounds like our times today right?

St. Stephen was slandered and rejected.  When brought before his enemies, they shouted at him and mocked him.  They refused to listen to his preaching about Christ.  In a rage, they dragged him outside of Jerusalem and stoned him to death.  As he was being stoned, St. Stephen prayed for mercy on the part of his attackers begging God not to punish them.

Stephen is a model for all Christians especially in times of persecution.  We must continue to preach Christ in season and out of season and not fear. (2 Timothy 4:2)  When we are attacked, mocked and hated; we must return these actions with love and prayer. (Matthew 5:43-45)


May St. Stephen pray for us all, especially those being persecuted and for deacons.    

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Urbi et Orbi 2013 - Pope Francis








Pope Francis has given his first "Urbi et Orbi" message to the world.  In it, he calls for more attention and respect to the poor.  He calls for assistance to the homeless and adds to his 'poverty is a scandal' message.  In keeping with his simply style, he kept it shorter than previous Popes and only spoke in Italian.    

Here is the entire text:


Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace among those whom he favours (Lk 2:14)
Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the whole world, Greetings and Happy Christmas!
I take up the song of the angels who appeared to the shepherds in Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born. It is a song which unites heaven and earth, giving praise and glory to heaven, and the promise of peace to earth and all its people.
I ask everyone to share in this song: it is a song for every man or woman who keeps watch through the night, who hopes for a better world, who cares for others while humbly seeking to do his or her duty.
Glory to God!Above all else, this is what Christmas bids us to do: give glory to God, for he is good, he is faithful, he is merciful. Today I voice my hope that everyone will come to know the true face of God, the Father who has given us Jesus. My hope is that everyone will feel God’s closeness, live in his presence, love him and adore him.
May each of us give glory to God above all by our lives, by lives spent for love of him and of all our brothers and sisters.
Peace to mankindTrue peace - we know this well - is not a balance of opposing forces. It is not a lovely “fa├žade” which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment, but making peace is an art, starting from God’s gift, from the grace which he has given us in Jesus Christ.
Looking at the Child in the manger, Child of peace, our thoughts turn to those children who are the most vulnerable victims of wars, but we think too of the elderly, to battered women, to the sick… Wars shatter and hurt so many lives!
Too many lives have been shattered in recent times by the conflict in Syria, fueling hatred and vengeance. Let us continue to ask the Lord to spare the beloved Syrian people further suffering, and to enable the parties in conflict to put an end to all violence and guarantee access to humanitarian aid. We have seen how powerful prayer is! And I am happy today too, that the followers of different religious confessions are joining us in our prayer for peace in Syria. Let us never lose the courage of prayer! The courage to say: Lord, grant your peace to Syria and to the whole world. And I also invite non-believers to desire peace with that yearning that makes the heart grow: all united, either by prayer or by desire. But all of us, for peace.
Grant peace, dear Child, to the Central African Republic, often forgotten and overlooked. Yet you, Lord, forget no one! And you also want to bring peace to that land, torn apart by a spiral of violence and poverty, where so many people are homeless, lacking water, food and the bare necessities of life. Foster social harmony in South Sudan, where current tensions have already caused too many victims and are threatening peaceful coexistence in that young state.
Prince of Peace, in every place turn hearts aside from violence and inspire them to lay down arms and undertake the path of dialogue. Look upon Nigeria, rent by constant attacks which do not spare the innocent and defenseless. Bless the land where you chose to come into the world, and grant a favourable outcome to the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Heal the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq, once more struck by frequent acts of violence.
Lord of life, protect all who are persecuted for your name. Grant hope and consolation to the displaced and refugees, especially in the Horn of Africa and in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Grant that migrants in search of a dignified life may find acceptance and assistance. May tragedies like those we have witnessed this year, with so many deaths at Lampedusa, never occur again!
Child of Bethlehem, touch the hearts of all those engaged in human trafficking, that they may realize the gravity of this crime against humanity. Look upon the many children who are kidnapped, wounded and killed in armed conflicts, and all those who are robbed of their childhood and forced to become soldiers.
Lord of heaven and earth, look upon our planet, frequently exploited by human greed and rapacity. Help and protect all the victims of natural disasters, especially the beloved people of the Philippines, gravely affected by the recent typhoon.
Dear brothers and sisters, today, in this world, in this humanity, is born the Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. Let us pause before the Child of Bethlehem. Let us allow our hearts to be touched, let us not fear this. Let us not fear that our hearts be moved. We need this! Let us allow ourselves to be warmed by the tenderness of God; we need his caress. God’s caresses do not harm us. They give us peace and strength. We need his caresses. God is full of love: to him be praise and glory forever! God is peace: let us ask him to help us to be peacemakers each day, in our life, in our families, in our cities and nations, in the whole world. Let us allow ourselves to be moved by God’s goodness.

Christmas greetings after the Urbi et Orbi Message:To you, dear brothers and sisters, gathered from throughout the world in this Square, and to all those from different countries who join us through the communications media, I offer my cordial best wishes for a merry Christmas!
On this day illumined by the Gospel hope which springs from the humble stable of Bethlehem, I invoke the Christmas gift of joy and peace upon all: upon children and the elderly, upon young people and families, the poor and the marginalized. May Jesus, who was born for us, console all those afflicted by illness and suffering; may he sustain those who devote themselves to serving our brothers and sisters who are most in need. Happy Christmas to all!  






Source:

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/2808/Full_text_Pope_Francis_Urbi_et_Orbi_Message.aspx#.UrxsaNIVrBo

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/25/pope-francis-christmas-message-urbi-et-orbi_n_4499292.html

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/messages/urbi/documents/papa-francesco_20131225_urbi-et-orbi-natale_en.html


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve - A Child is Born

The midnight Mass is one of the most well known religious events.  It is often televised.  I recall watching some of it on different channels.
One channel would air the Pope's Mass from the Vatican, another would air St. Patrick's cathedral's Mass from New York City; others would air Masses from local parishes; some programming was even from our separated brothers and sisters in the Protestant Faith.

Regardless of who was officiating the religious service, all shared the same theme: Christ is born unto us.

This night is important.  We are awaiting the birth of Christ the Lord.  The Savior that was promised to the Chosen People, has finally arrived.  The first reading for Midnight Mass is from Isaiah 9:1-6 which recalls how the ancient Israelites were in darkness, lost, bitter and hopeless. They 'walked in darkness' in 'the land of gloom.'  Then a light was shone upon them.  A child was born that would change the downward spiral they were going through.

From this reading, we move into the Responsorial Psalm which reflects the first reading.  "Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord" is the response to each Psalm verse which is taken from Luke 2:11.  This child that is born that would change it all for the better is Christ the Lord.  Christ is the Messiah, the one who brings us out of darkness and the land of gloom that the first reading speaks of.

The second reading is from Titus 2:11-14 and speaks of Christ being the savior - Grace personified - that will teach humanity the right way so that it can remove itself from lawlessness and other vices that keep us from God and from our true dignified selves.

Finally, we read from the Gospel of Luke 2:1-14 which goes into detail the account of the Birth of this Child Christ the Lord that the first reading promises will come; the psalm answers who He is and the second reading tells us what He will do.  In the Gospel, we are told that this Child didn't come in a chariot of gold.  He wasn't born into nobility or wealth.  This child was born in a manger where livestock lives.

Imagine the setting for a moment.

Put yourself there on that cold dark night.  There was no modern medicine that we take for granted today; no IV's, no sedatives, no bandages, running water etc.  Instead, there was just a barn like structure with hay, possibly animal waste, unpleasant animal scents, and so on.  Here is where the child was born.  The God of gods, the Lord of lords; the Savior of the Jews and of the whole world was born in this setting.

We often whine and complain about how and where we live.  Our desire to be happy stems from a false delusion that in order to be happy we must have the "best."  Christ says otherwise in His birth. Each of us was born with nothing but our bodies.  We were wet, sticky and reeking of the scent of our mother's bodily fluids.  Yet in this condition we have worth.  We are human beings made in God's image.  This is why Christ was born in the same manner.  He was one of us in all things except sin. (Heb. 4:15)  This is why we must protect human life from conception to natural death.  
The imagery presented is one of the things that makes the "Christian God" better than any gods man has formulated in an attempt to describe the One God due to ignorance.  God became one of us.  He did this not to rule over us or demand sacrifices, but to show us love and call us to it.  Pope Francis is reminding us of this, especially the clergy.  Unfortunately, there are some in the Church who have adopted clericalism.  Clericalism is a psychological phenomenon in the Church where an ordained member of the Catholic Church feels he is superior to others "below" his "rank."  He believes that he is unique from the others solely because he has Holy Orders.  Religious sisters are not immune to this psychological phenomenon. This way of thinking is an over-zealous attempt at presenting "alter Christus" to the lay faithful.  Pope Francis is reminding us that this kind of thinking is not of Christ.  If Christ was not born to be "over us" as some superior, what gives a priest a right to feel that he is above others just because of his ministry?  This is not of Christ and is vanity.

Christ was born into poverty.  He was born into the 'smell of his sheep,' to use Pope Francis' analogy.  We are called to imitate Him.  Christ is the Child who was born unto us, the people lost in the land of gloom and doom; of where am I going and woe is me.  He is the light that shines the way.  Normally stars are what light up the dark skies, but when Christ was born, He lighted them. The Star pointed to Christ who is the true light.

May Christ continue to be born in our hearts not just tonight or on Christmas day; but every second of our lives.  Amen  


Merry Christmas!      

Monday, December 23, 2013

Air Jordans and Pope Francis

Recently, the latest pair of sneakers from the brand 'Air Jordans' was released for sale.

These sneakers are very popular.  Growing up in NYC, I recall that every youth had to have one in order to be 'cool' and so on.  These sneakers were a social status of sorts.  However, they have become an idol to the naive who fall for marketing.

In the Bronx and elsewhere, brawls broke out as people waited in lines for hours waiting to get a chance to purchase the $200+ priced item made of rubber, cloth and glue.  Fans of the brand literally slept days in advance outside of Footlocker.  This is just absurd.  Things like this is what Pope Francis is reminding us about which I spoke of in my post "King Money."

The thought of people sleeping overnight to buy a pair of sneakers and/or get into a fight for them is just crazy.  This item has become an idol - the "Rubber Calf."  Unfortunately it is minorities who fall for the brainwashing tactics of marketers.  Rumor has it that the makers of these sneakers do not even need a commercial.  They simply release a photo of it online and word spreads like wildfire, so to speak.  In a frenzy, people wait for hours to buy them when they are about to be released.

Do these people not realize that these are just sneakers make of rubber, cloth and glue?  Why fight for them?  Why nearly kill another for them?  Why wait on the street for them?  These actions put this product above and before human life.  Pope Francis' call to poverty is an important one.  It reminds us that we should not focus on material things.  They serve us, we shouldn't serve them. We shouldn't shed blood for them, most importantly.

When will fans of these sneakers realize that they are being suckered into buying sneakers that cost a few dollars to make in China and are sold for hundreds of dollars; money that could be spent on books to learn from, education, health, and food.

I am embarrassed for my fellow New Yorkers/Bronxites who resort to this zombie-like behavior where they focus on a material thing and will do anything to get it even if it means hurting others or hurting oneself.  This materialism has to stop.  Jesus Christ was born poor and lived poorly. He reminded us that the kingdom of God is what we should seek.  This is the call his Vicar Pope Francis is remind the Catholic Church of now.



Source:

http://extramustard.si.com/2013/12/22/air-jordan-11-fight-brawls-video/

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Open Letters on Christmas

Here are draft letters I decided to write which can be used by parents or anyone in order to voice his/her demand that Christmas be respected and made aware of instead of diluted.

Christians must not remain silent!










To Public School System:




Dear Sir/Madam,

I write out of concern for the education our youth are receiving today in regards to Christmas. Our youth are being taught falsehoods regarding the holiday; namely, what it entails. While I understand that Christmas is a religious holy day in the Catholic Church, it is still a holiday in the United States of America that deserves respect and a proper introduction in an academic setting.

In fact, it is the only legal holiday found in 5 USC § 6103 and should therefore have the deference and prominence it deserves; especially in the educational setting. Replacing 'Christmas" with "Happy Holiday" or calling children entertainment programs "Holiday Show" is being academically dishonest. Our youth deserve to learn the reality of the historical events that comprise Christmas and why it is important in American culture.

Christmas is about the birth of Christ Jesus, the founder of the world largest faith and the philosophical inspiration of many prominent figures in history as well as law-makers and academics throughout the centuries. It is not about a snowman or elves. Propagating the latter is intellectually dishonest and insults the intelligence of our youth as well as parents.  Teaching our youth about the birth of Christ is no different than teaching them historical facts regarding Buddha or Confucius.

Moreover, it is offensive to dismiss the major themes of Christmas in order to appease those of other faiths or of no faith. The task of a school is to educate, not to withhold information from the youth. Since Christmas is the only legal holiday, it is rational to teach its significance in the world and American culture just like it is rational to teach the significance of the Emancipation Proclamation and the American Revolution.

Teaching on Christmas is not an endorsement of religion for teaching on the birth of Christ is not the same as teaching the theology surrounding it. Students learning about Christmas would not be getting indoctrinated anymore than learning about Nazism encourages hate. Those of other faiths or of no faith should not feel threatened learning about Christmas for it is the only legal holiday around this time.  As Americans we should learn about our customs and laws.

With respect to Jewish holidays such as Hanukkah or African American customs such as Kwanzaa; these are not legal holidays and representing them in the school setting while ignoring Christmas is irrational and offensive to Christians.

Why represent these ideas and ignore the one that is protected under US federal law and is also designated the only federal holiday in December?

I hope you will reconsider your stance on Christmas in the educational setting and will not deprive our youth of this information on this holiday which is legally protected and is part of our American culture.


Regards,
Concerned Citizen



*********************************************************************

To Law Makers/Public Servants:


Dear Sir/Madam:

Thank you for your service to our nation.  Our nation was founded upon religious ideals that stem from the Jewish and Christian faith.  Unfortunately, a tenet of the Christian faith is under attack and this concerns me.  This tenet was made into a legal holiday by law makers.  I am of course referring to the Birth of Christ or Christmas.

For the last couple of decades, Christmas has been slowly diluted from the public square.  Despite it being the only federal holiday that has legal protection, it is being disrespected and replaced by other holidays that do not share the same legal status.  It bothers me that our law makers are forced to remove Nativity scenes from government buildings, forced to refrain from saying 'Merry Christmas,' and/or include symbols of other traditions in order to be politically correct.  This action disregards the fact that Christmas is the only federal holiday that should be recognized under the law (5 USC § 6103).  A comparison would be raising the flags of each nation represented in the American population at the White House when only Old Glory should be raised with dignity.

There is no logical reason to remove a Nativity scene and replace it with a Jewish symbol, Kwanzaa symbol, or even a satirical atheist one when the latter do not represent federal holidays sanctioned and protected under federal law.  Moreover, it is disturbing that ideas that are not even mentioned in the Constitution are used as grounds to ban Christmas in schools or government settings; namely "separation of Church and State."  The motto of the United States of America is "In God we Trust."  This motto is found in many courtrooms as well as the currency of the nation.  Americans understand this to be a reflection of our traditions and history, not an endorsement of theism.

That being said, it is irrational for Christmas to be diluted from the public square and ignored in schools since like the motto of the United States, it is protected and sanctioned under federal law.

As a law maker, I humbly request that you protect Christmas and push for policies that give it the proper dignity and deference it deserves.  It should be taught in schools like any other holiday is taught.  Displays reflecting its meaning should not be removed or prohibited since the holiday is sanctioned and protected under federal law.  Americans should not be afraid to say 'Merry Christmas' to others.  Moreover, other traditions should not be allowed to trump Christmas under the guise of religious freedom or religious equality.

I honestly believe that our Founding Fathers would not question the idea of Christmas being taught in schools or represented in government settings.  These would not be a government endorsement of religion because citizens are free to choose or reject religion.  Christmas itself is reflective of an historical event, not a particular dogma or doctrine.

Again, thank you for your service to our nation and please keep my letter in consideration.



Regards,
Concerned Citizen

        




Saturday, December 21, 2013

400,000 Thanks



My blog www.sacerdotus.com has just reached 400,000 hits a few hours ago.  I would like to thank everyone who has visited my blog, read it, commented on it and has fanned it or subscribed to its feed.

In such a short time, this blog has reached so many hits and I hope more will come.

The Irony:
My blogs were mainly promoted on Twitter, but since Twitter is having issue with Catholic speech at the moment and is suspending vocal Catholic accounts, I'm surprised that my blog is getting more hits now without Twitter than with Twitter.  God does work in strange ways; so strange that my very own mathematical, scientific and philosophical mind tries hard to comprehend!

In any event, I will try to continue posting regularly on many topics.  My fortes are science (Physics, Biology, Psychology) and Philosophy.  Theology, Biblical studies and apologetics are a work in progress now as I prepare for Christ's ministry.

Please continue to pray for me.  I attribute the success of this blog to God's grace and Our Lady's intercession.  Personally speaking, I could never run a lemonade stand alone more less a blog ministry without Divine intervention.  I thank the good Lord for this and Our Lady.  Included of course are the angels and saints.

Moreover, I would like to thank the visitors, especially atheists, homosexuals, pro-abortion folks and others who draw attention to my blog by engaging me elsewhere.

Please continue to visit, contribute to and promote my blogs.

www.sacerdotus.com
rationallyfaithful.blogspot.com
http://catholicfaithsharing.blogspot.com 


I anticipate many more interesting post blogs coming soon and for 2014.  May God bless each and every one of you and may our Lady keep you!


 



 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Duck Dynasty Homophobia

Phil Robertson of the reality program "Duck Dynasty" which airs on A&E was punished for exercising his first amendment right of free speech.

Robertson is a devout Protestant Christian who made some comments some are calling "homophobic" and hateful. For an interview conducted by GQ Magazine, Robertson was asked about personal views on sin to which he replies:

"It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man's anus. That's just me. I'm just thinking: There's more there! She's got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying? But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical... Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."

He also paraphrases 1 Cor. 6:9-11 where St. Paul speaks strongly against Homosexuality and other vices. 

A&E immediately took action and suspended Robertson from the popular show. According to what I've read, Robertson is on the show for his in-your-face Christian views and opinionated character.  He is apparently the most popular of the cast.  Thousands are writing to and calling A&E as well as GLAAD to voice their anger that he was suspended.  Death threats were even made.  Viewers are tired of religious censorship. 

The program "Duck Dynasty" is about a family that has made it big with the hunting industry.  I have never watched the program and learned of it now after this scandal. However, I am bothered that religious speech is being censored. While Robertson's tone may have been harsh, he was simply repeating what the Scriptures say - minus the bestiality part. 

We need to realize what is going on here. Christian views, in particular the Bible are being catergorized as "vile and hateful" speech. This is serious indeed! We cannot let a minority subculture silence the majority Christian population.

Hopefully this will wake Christians up.  I myself am being censored online by some social networks for promoting Catholicism.  The battle is coming into the light.
 

***UPDATE December 28, 2013***

After receiving heat from Christians and overall Americans who value Free Speech and Religious Rights, A&E surrendered and reinstated Phil Robertson.  This is testament to the power of Christians. If we protest and vote properly, we can rid the United States of Anti-Christian values and immorality such as abortion, euthanasia and "same-sex" marriage.
(source: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/conservative-fans-unhappy-ae-duck-dynasty-controversy/story?id=21361034
http://ideas.time.com/2013/12/29/duck-dynasty-mess-revealed-that-not-all-fundamentalists-live-in-the-bible-belt/
http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/12/27/duck-dynasty-why-ae-backed-down/
http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/27/showbiz/duck-dynasty-resumes/
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/12/28/opposing-groups-issue-statements-regarding-phil-robertson/
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ae-cant-win-on-duck-dynasty-flap/)



Source:

http://tv.yahoo.com/news/duck-dynasty-fallout-glaad-reeling-biggest-backlash-years-010050637.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/duck-dynasty-star-verbally-attacks-gay-people-newly-emerged-video-article-1.1553737

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/19/dumped-from-duck-dynasty-politics-suspending-tv-star-for-anti-gay-remarks/

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/18/showbiz/duck-dynasty-suspension/

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/12/20/phil-robertsons-comparison-of-homosexuality-to-bestiality-out-of-line-ae

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pope Francis Getting Through

Pope Francis continues to spread the seeds of Christ's love throughout the world.

The "New Yorker" magazine recently had a caricature of him making a 'snow angel' on their front cover.  In another surprise, "The Advocate" magazine which comes from the LGBT community and is usually anti-religious has named Pope Francis its choice for 'man of the year.'

While their reasons stem from misinterpreting some of his words, the fact that they took the time to honor him says much.  The Vicar of Jesus Christ is certainly making it clear that he means business.  He is 'making a mess' in the world.  

Christ must be preached in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2); and boy did Pope Francis bring Christ this year like a blizzard whitening up the world with God's graces.

It bothers me to see some attack Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and even Blessed John Paul II and the Popes before them.  This shouldn't be a "this Pope is better than that Pope" thing.  Each Pope is selected by the Holy Spirit to lead the Church. The man who is selected is given the graces needed to handle the Pontificate and its challenges.

Each Pope contributes to the Church and the world in different ways.  Blessed John Paul II was the most traveled Pope and basically paved the way for the Popes after him.  He helped put the Papacy into a position of popularity that rivals even the Beatles or any popular singer or celebrity. John Paul II brought the Papacy to the people worldwide and blessed the Church with the genius of his philosophical thought.  He showed us how to suffer with Christ on the Cross.  

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI brought to the Papacy his genius when it comes to theology.  He was a professor and is an author of many books that are excellent.  The Church grew under his watch. He reaffirmed the teachings of the Church, restored the dignity of the Mass (both rites) and began to clean up the filth in the Church.  He taught us that it's okay to step down from high positions and  to realize that our roles in the Church are God-given and we don't own them.  This is humility.  

Pope Francis now has the torch and is building upon what was there already from previous Popes.


   

 



Source:

http://www.advocate.com/year-review/2013/12/16/advocates-person-year-pope-francis

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/pope-francis-new-yorker_n_4454805.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blind Man & Dog Miracle

Sometimes in life we can know something will happen.  For example, when we hear that a train ran over someone, we automatically think of death.  However, God is the one who decides when our time is up on this Earth.

A recent event in New York City is being called a 'miracle.'

Cecil Williams was waiting for a subway train on 145th street when he felt dizzy.  Williams is blind and gets around with the help of 'Orlando," his seeing-eye-dog.  Orlando the dog seemed to sense that Williams was in trouble and tried hard to tug at him in an attempt to pull him away from the edge of the platform.  Unfortunately, Williams fell and the weight of his body was too much for the dog Orlando.  Both fell onto the tracks.

What happened next is both horrific and amazing.  An "A" train entering the station came in and was about to hit both Williams and Orlando.  The people on the platform signaled to the conductor to stop, but it was too late.  The motion along with the weight of the train would not allow for inertia to dissipate despite the breaks being activated.

The train ran over both Williams and Orlando.  People gasped in horror thinking they have witnessed two living creatures being crushed and mangled by the train.  However, as 2 and a half cars rolled over both,  they were alive and well.  Orlando was licking the face of Williams in an attempt to keep him alert.  When the trained was moved, emergency workers and onlookers were surprised to find Williams and Orlando alive and unharmed considering a subway train ran over them.  Both suffered only scratches from the fall.

Orlando is 11 years old and was scheduled to retired.  Williams wanted to keep him but could not afford the dog.  Thank God many generous people came to the rescue by donation enough for Williams to keep Orlando.

God surely had His angels protecting Williams and the brave dog Orlando.  This is truly a miracle and should remind us that God is always in control.  Whether we go or stay a little longer depends on God.  May Jesus Christ be praised!



Source:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/donors-blind-man-hero-dog-saved-subway-track/story?id=21263081

http://dailynightly.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/18/21955710-donations-allow-blind-man-to-keep-the-dog-that-saved-him

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/18/blind-man-guide-dog-survive-fall-onto-nyc-subway-tracks/

http://news.yahoo.com/blind-man-guide-dog-safe-subway-track-fall-003530174.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/blind-man-dog-injured-subway-station-article-1.1550257

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/17/us/new-york-blind-man-subway-train/

 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Pope Francis!




Happy Birthday Pope Francis!
Born: December 17, 1936
Jorge Mario Bergoglio


Monday, December 16, 2013

MTV Names Pope Francis 'Man of the Year'

 Pope Francis was named 'man of the year' by an unexpected group: MTV.

MTV, known for its left-progressive themes, vulgarity and immoral programming decided to name our current Pontiff their pick for 'man of the year.'

Unfortunately, he was not picked for this title for being the Pope, but for what MTV thinks he stands for.  In their statement, they write:

"Pope Francis: mtvU Man of the Year
Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio to Italian parents in Buenos Aires, assumed the leadership role of the Catholic Church in March 2013, while focusing on breaking down bureaucracy and making the church more inclusive and community focused.
Months into his papacy, he surprised many by declaring that he would not judge a person for their sexual orientation, taking a bold stance on homosexuality that diverged from that of his predecessor. Continuing in his quest to unite rather than divide the Church, Pope Francis gave a high profile interview that appeared in Jesuit publications around the world in September, preaching love, acceptance and humility over dogma.
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” said Pope Francis in the interview. “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”
Instead, Pope Francis, who took his name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi to demonstrate his concern for the well-being of the poor, has used his power to focus the Catholic Church on fighting poverty, luxury and vanity. His own humility and outspokenness in the name of acceptance has brought a new, unexpected voice to the Vatican in 2013."


MTV officials obviously have misinterpreted Pope Francis' words as him somehow turning his back on Church teaching.  We all know that Pope Francis has been misinterpreted by the media to appear as some liberal Pontiff that has come to undue what Pope Benedict XVI and previous Popes have said and done.  To them, this Pope is the "real Vicar of Jesus Christ" while the ones before him were "quacks."  This is far from the truth.

See more here:
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/09/pope-francis-interview.html
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/07/pope-francis-gay-who-am-i-to-judge.html


In any event, Pope Francis has infiltrated a network that reaches millions of youth and corrupts their impressional minds.  Perhaps this award is a blessing in disguise.  It will draw attention to the Pope and hopefully inspire MTV's viewership to research more on him and the Catholic Church. As the saying goes, "God writes straight but with crooked lines."  It seems God is doing something here by finding a way for the Pope to spread the seeds of the faith even in this network which is pro-abortion, pro-lgbt and anti-religion.




Source:

http://www.mtvu.com/shows/mtvus-2013-man-woman-of-the-year/

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1718818/lorde-pope-francis-mtvu-man-woman-2013.jhtml

http://www.mtvu.com/video/?vid=986410

http://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/mtvu-names-pope-francis-and-lorde-as-man-and-woman-of-the-year-1.1583089


Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Gay Marriage" went 'Down & Under'

The High Court in Australia put so-called "gay marriage" down and under in the 'land of down under.'
New "same-sex marriage" laws were set to take place this week but were overturned.  Previous "marriage" ceremonies performed on gay couples were invalidated.  The LGBT and liberals who support them are furious.

The Australian government challenged the "ACT law" citing it to be against the nation's federals laws.  The High Court agreed and decided unanimously that the "ACT law" is invalid.  Federal law in Australia clearly states that marriage is ONLY between a man and a woman.  This stance reflects the Australia's adherence to the natural law and all that is right and good.  The mockery of marriage and the family must be stopped!

I applaud the Australian Government and its High Court for courageously facing head on this new threat that is attempting to destroy social order in the world.  God bless Australia!

Let us pray that the United States of America and other nations will have brave politicians and judges who will respect the natural law and defend the only marriage that is naturally possible: the marriage between one man and one woman.




Source:

http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=53538

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2013/12/12/australia_gay_marriage_the_country_bans_it_again.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/australia-s-top-court-strikes-down-gay-marriage-law-1.2460772

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25344219

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25346250


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Question on Agnoeticism



A young man recently posted a question on my Facebook regarding Hypostasis.  Here is the question and my reply:

Question:
I've got a question in Christology I have not satisfactorily answered. It is what is written in Mark 13:32, "32 "But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."...I know about Acts 1:7 ("7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.")...but this would not answer, WHY WOULD JESUS WOULD APPARENTLY LIE OF NOT KNOWING WHEN THE JUDGEMENT DAY IS.....I would not subscribe to the idea that he doesnt really know being God, of the Parousia. And the reasoning, that only his human nature speaks when he said that denial, is impossible, because of the reality of the Hypostasis. Can anybody help me or can Sacerdotus reply ? Thanks in advance...and i would appreciate if the reply is made via my email.


Sacerdotus replies:

Thanks for your question.  

Your question is important and I'm glad you posed it.  Agnoeticism was a heresy that was condemned by many Popes.

“If anyone says that the one Jesus Christ who is both true Son of God and true Son of man did not know the future or the day of the Last Judgment and that he could know only as much as the divinity, dwelling in him as in another, revealed to him, anathema sit.” - Pope Vigilius, Constitutum I of 14 May 553

It states that Jesus did not know the hour of His second coming, basically making Jesus to look like a demi-god or merely human and not divine.

Jesus has three kinds of knowledge:

  • Beatific knowledge 
  • Infused knowledge 
  • Acquired knowledge.  
Beatific knowledge is when a human being knows things via inspiration or Divine guidance. Infused knowledge is when God directly puts knowledge in our minds without us doing anything by means of learning on our own.  Acquired knowledge is what we all rely on which is learning via the senses. Christ knows of His second coming via the first two, but not acquired knowledge because no human can know/learn of this on his/her own.


St. Augustine comments:
“According to the form of God everything that the Father has belongs to the Son for All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine. According to the form of a slave, however, his teaching is not his own but of the One who sent him. Hence of that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. He is ignorant of this in the special sense of making others ignorant. He did not know it in their presence in such a way as to be prepared to reveal it to them at that time.”

So to sum it up: Christ knew, always knew, but it was not the time for him to reveal it.  Think of it as a sort of mental reservation, not absence of knowledge.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Abusers on Watch


These are stolen trademarked images "Rosa" has used so far for his accounts.  

NOTE:  RED means suspended, Green means active,  Dark Gold means caution/inactive/dormant
 
CURRENT Rosa STATUS: SUSPENDED UPDATED 11/18/13 
   
  • @rosarubicondior - suspended since August 22, 2013 (permanently suspended)
  • @rosaresurrected - Suspended permanently Sept 27 2013
  • @rosareerected - created Sept 2013, suspended 11/18/13
  • @rufatunica - suspended 11.18.13
  • @rosarubicondio1 - suspended 11.18.13

Reasons= abuse, spam and overlapping accounts.

See below for other accounts he uses.  Other atheists are rallying to get him back.  See the hashtag .  Please report each atheist account tweeting for his return.  Also report each atheist account tweeting links from rosarubicondior.blogspot.com, see them here: https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=rosarubicondior.blogspot.com&src=typd    
___________________________________________________





Use support.twitter.com/forms and file a ticket. Also click spam report on his accounts and tell all your followers to do the same.  Contact me and I will direct you to the appropriate Twitter employees.   








Rosa Rubicondior's main accounts: 


@rosarubicondior - suspended since August 22, 2013 (permanently suspended)
@rosaresurrected - currently on automated spamming. )Suspended permanently Sept 27 2013)
@rosareerected - created Sept 2013, suspended 11/18/13
@rufatunica - suspended UPDATE: Restored Oct 10, 2013, Suspended again 11/18/13
@rosarubicondio1 - created 10/10/13. Suspended on 11/18/13
@Rubirosacondior - currently on automated spamming - Update suspended Oct 2014

@R0saRub1c0nd10r - created after I created @scdtvs - tweets at different intervals.
@RubicondiorRosa - currently inactive




Rosa Rubicondior also uses these accounts as overlapping sock puppet accounts:

@crispysea 
@freeatheism
@Gorooble
@deepsearch17
@StorerGavin
@T40Rs731N
@God__Swill
@Curt_Ames
@GodlessRobin
@WSchnes
@Yhwh_TheLord
@danarel
@Bye_Dogma
@Jorra_with_God - dormant
@FatherMcGregor - gone
@god___swill
@ellifd_wulfe
@dawkinsassange
@KeesEngels
@darthnihilus1 - permanently suspended August 6, 2015
@beebearninja
@Shaithis1404
@Shaper079
@kungnepilsung
@CatholicBadLie  - suspended Sept 2014
@CatholicGagfly - name changed to @TruelyOMEGA - Permanently suspended August 24, 2015 
@Th0mas_Anders0n - permanently suspended August 24, 2015



See also: https://twitter.com/FreeAtheism/lists/anti-sac/members
Report each account that is on this list and those who subscribe to it. Also click report as spam.



****Older updates
*UPDATE 9.21.13 - @Rosarubicondior is now permanently suspended.  Please report his new account @rosaresurrected.

**UPDATE 10.10.13/10.11.13 - @rosaresurrected is permanently suspended.  He is now actively using @rosareerected and @rufatunica and created @rosarubicondio1, please report each to Twitter.****


BACKSTORY
As you may know, I was responsible for twitter atheist troll @rosarubicondior's week long suspension.

See the proof here -Rosa Rubicondior Suspended!

See the Reason why here: What is Sacerdotus Doing!?


Rosie was suspended in June 2013 and briefly came back. (By Twitter's softer suspension where they ask you to accept terms and enter characters in a captcha)  He did not adhere to the rules then and was suspended again on July 23, 2013 for violating twitter's rules: abuse, harassment, posting someone's information in tweets and spam.

Some of his friends have denied my involvement, but thanks to my video on You Tube (click here) and Rosie's questionable cognition skills, he made it easier by posting his own screen shot:


Screen capture Rubicondior posted on his blog




Here is the screen shot from the email I received the same day thanking me: 

Screen Capture from email I received

For those still in denial that it was me who took Rosie down, take a look at the support employee's name, date and time of the email.  You will notice that they are identical in both Rosie's screen capture and my own.

Moreover, if any questions arise in regards to photoshoping etc, my You Tube has the video of me opening the email showing that I did not tamper with the image.

Now, Rosie out of desperation complained to Twitter to be restored and after this humiliation and promise to abide by Twitter's rules, Twitter reinstated his account.

I and others are currently protesting this decision, so his fans should not get caught up a celebratory state.  Messaging me with his screen name also does not help him because I already told Twitter this would happen.   
EVERYTHING IS DOCUMENTED.

Twitter reassured me that they are monitoring Rosie and if he continues with his abuse, to inform them immediately.  See the screen capture here:


I ask all Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and others who have faced Rosie's abuse to please continue reporting any violations that Rosie and his supporters tweet, including retweets and quoted tweets. 

Also report any links to Rosie's blog post defaming me and the child named Manuel.  

Report any tweets mentioning @sacerdotus, sacerdotus, sac, or any variation as well as the name of the child and any variation of it; "Manuel" or "Manny."  

Remember, twitter is asking for this information, so please provide it.  Together we can end this abusive behavior.  


Let me be clear that I am not asking to censor atheists.  They are free to visit my blog and post comments as long as it's free from vulgarity and ad hominem.  What concerns me is the abuse, posting of a minor's information and the harassment.  Twitter is NOT the venue for defamation of character, cyber bullying, or any abuse/harassment of any kind.  It's okay to disagree on issues, but not okay to take it personal to the point Rosie has.  

Book Review: Jesus of Nazareth the Infancy Narratives

Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives was released last year (2012) on November 21.  It is the third installment of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's series on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.  In this final volume, Pope Benedict XVI writes beautifully and in a scholarly manner the accounts of Jesus' birth and early childhood.

He explains the story of the Nativity in a manner that makes sense and removes the falsehoods atheists and others try to apply to the event-mainly that it was borrowed from Pagan sources.  He examines in great detail the events surrounding Christ's birth, the reason behind His birth and how the Church has understood it via Sacred Scripture and Tradition.

He refutes all claims that the events of Christ's birth did not happen and that Christ is just a retelling of a previous deity.  The Pope Emeritus explains the astrological aspect to the story, namely the "star," the layout of the Nativity scene and other details often misinterpreted or presented differently due to cultural adaption.    

Twitter troll "Rosa Rubicondior" recently wrote a fallacious blog post regarding Christmas claiming Scripture to have contradictions, etc.  Had "Rosa" read Pope Benedict's book, he wouldn't have written such a ridiculous uneducated blog post for Pope Emeritus has debunked all the points "Rosa" makes and shows that there is no contradiction.  I posted a comment informing him about this and naturally he did not post it.  He is obviously fearful that people will find out his post is bunk.  

The book is a short read and shouldn't take more than a day to read.  It is filled with citations and other references which makes this book a scholarly edition to any academic's library.  I recommend it to all, especially Christians who want to know about Christmas.  Atheists and others should read it as well so they can see that ideas claiming Christ to be Mithra, Horus or any other Pagan deity is just unfounded and not accepted by academia.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pope Francis #1

Pope Francis is making waves throughout the world.  In only 9 months, he has gathered the attention of billions throughout the world with his charism.

Facebook recently released its list of the most talked about topics and Pope Francis was number 1! He beat out celebrities, scandals, politicians, major events and other worldly nonsense by a huge margin.  If that is not enough, Time Magazine has named Pope Francis the "Person of the Year."  He is also the world leader with the most Twitter followers.

Pope Francis' style is not his own, but of the one He serves - Christ Jesus the Lord. I am sure Pope Francis will reject these 'honors' and would prefer being on the last page of a newspaper or magazine.  As Galatians 2:20 says: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me."  This is what Pope Francis is reminding all of us about.  It is all about Christ and service to others - yes, even our enemies.

Pope Francis is who he is because of Christ.  Similarly, his predecessors were who they were because of Christ.  The saints became saints because of Christ.  Let us be Christ-like so that we can be loving, caring, happy, joyous, humble, and peaceful just like our Holy Father Pope Francis is.  

We know we have mastered being a Christian when we are the embodiment of Galatians 2:20.    


Congratulations to the Holy Father.







Sources:

http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/time-magazine-says-habemus-papam-with-person-of-the-year.html/?ref=YF

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pope-francis-facebook-pontiff-topped-2913723

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/09/pope-francis-facebook_n_4414665.html

http://www.religionnews.com/2013/12/10/pope-francis-tops-facebooks-list-talked-topics/

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/11/living/time-person-of-the-year/

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mandela Laid to Rest

Today a large memorial was held for the late South African president and world icon, Nelson Mandela.

Almost a hundred dignitaries from all over the globe attended along with millions of South Africans and other neighboring Africans.  The day was gloomy with rain and grey skies which seemed to have set the mood for mourning.

The day did not go without any controversy.  First, President Obama was videotaped shaking hands with Cuban Communist leader Raul Castro.  This angered Republicans and others who felt this sent the wrong message to the world and even equated it to shaking hands with Hitler.  If that was not enough, Obama and Prime Minister Cameron posed for a 'selfie' with a cell phone which upset some people who described it as disrespectful and in poor taste.

The body of Mandela was laid to rest in his Village of Qunu.  May he rest in peace.  













Source:

http://news.yahoo.com/mandela-39-39-honorary-granddaughter-39-opens-144337012.html

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-shakes-hands-with-cuba-s-raul-castro-132509889.html

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/10/21843912-nelson-mandela-memorial-the-world-has-lost-a-beloved-friend-and-mentor?lite

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-cameron-39-selfie-39-mandela-memorial-causes-184218628.html

Monday, December 9, 2013

Joe Torre in the Hall of Fame





Former Yankees Skipper, Joe Torre has been elected to join the greats at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  He along with Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox will be listed among the greats for their accomplishments as players and especially as the most winningest of managers.  I am glad he was included.  I have great memories as a kid watching the Yankees win world series after world series.  The Yankees have not been the same since his departure.  

Torre was mocked by the Daily News when he was introduced as Yankees Manager in 1996.  The title they used was "Clueless Joe."  This was because as the manager of the Mets, he did not have much success taking that team to the world series.  However, others counter this by saying that the Mets weren't that good to begin with and that no manager can perform miracles.

Congratulations to Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox
 


Here are his stats:

As player:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/torrejo01.shtml

As manager:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/managers/torrejo01.shtml 






Source:

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/joe-torre-elected-to-baseball-hall-of-fame-1.6568889

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/12/09/joe-torre-discusses-hall-of-fame-election/3921769/

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/lupica-cooperstown-finally-calling-torre-article-1.1542139

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/lupica-cooperstown-finally-calling-torre-article-1.1542139

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10108269/joe-torre-tony-la-russa-bobby-cox-elected-hall-fame

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