Fatima 100

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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Papal "Selfie"



Pope Francis is now the first Pope to have a "selfie" or informal self taken photo using a cell phone device.  Twitter and the social network system has been taken by storm with this photo. 

A group of young Italians from the diocese of Rome took the photo with the Pontiff inside St. Peter's.  This is not the first time Pope Francis has broken with protocol and blended with the people, so to speak.  I don't think this is a bad thing.  I probably would do the same.

In the age of "sexting" with congressmen tweeting photos of themselves nude, I think this news of the Pope is a breath of fresh air.  Pope Francis has made it clear that he is not about formality, so he shouldn't be judged for this.  He is with the people - young people.  This sends a strong message to all that we should be with the people.

It is cool that a man in his 70's can cause such a sensation similar to that of  a celebrity for a simple thing such as a "selfie."  Despite claims from atheists that the Church and Pope are archaic and irrelevant; this news shows that the youth still are drawn to the Church and Pope  This Pope knows how to steer the media in the Church's favor and that is good!











Source:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/the-pope/10277934/Pope-Francis-and-the-first-Papal-selfie.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/30/pope-selfie-twitter-vatican_n_3844061.html

Friday, August 30, 2013

Why was Rosa Rubicondior Suspended?








Atheist twitter troll @rosarubicondior has been suspended again from Twitter on August 20, 2013. This is of no surprise to those of us who have faced his spam and abusive behavior.  The above Tweet shows the Dunning–Kruger effect that Rubicondior has demonstrated throughout his stay on twitter as @Rosarubicondior.  In this tweet, he refuses to acknowledge why he was suspended. Mind you, Twitter's zendesk employees send emails explaining why one's account is suspended.  I also have those emails because I was the one who got him suspended.

Here are some of the reasons why he is suspended; most likely for good:

Spamming
He used his @rosarubicondior account to spam all day by posting duplicate tweets linking his followers to his poorly written and scientifically illiterate blog which I have refuted many times.

Unsolicited Mentions
Moreover, he has also sent unsolicited mentions to Christians and other people of faith in an attempt to start an argument.  Often times, he would mention someone and then block that person so that the person has no way to reply to his 'hit and run' mention.  This of course is against Twitter's rules.  Twitter users cannot abuse the spam report feature in this way.

Using Automated Programs
In order to tweet his spam nearly every couple of minutes, Rubicondior relied on bots programmed to tweet at certain intervals throughout the day with specific tweets.  This is also against Twitter's rules.

Abuse
Within his tweets, Rubicondior abused other users by insulting them, threatening them, being condescending and by baiting them to engage him.  This includes other atheists who don't agree with him!  He has also been posting the information of a minor named 'Manuel' or 'Manny' in order to defame the child as well as discredit me and others who he finds a threat. When questioned to provide evidence of this child and his connection to me or others, he disappears and ignores the requests.  Twitter has been monitoring this child abuse. They have seen my license as well as the licenses of those who Rubicondior claimed is me or "Manuel/Manny."  It is futile to even make the connection because twitter knows everyone's identity.  This is why Rubicondior got suspended faster than usual.  

Posting Personal Information
It is against Twitter's rules to post someone's private information.  Rubicondior took it upon himself to post a child's information, including his school's address and other sensitive information that can put the child in danger.

Trademark/Copyright Laws
It is against Twitter's rules to violate Trademark and Copyright laws.  "Rosa Rubicondior" is not a real name.  He is using a comic book anime character as his online presence as well as the photo of a Halloween old lady mask.  The aforementioned are creations of other people and hence, "Rubicondior" broke Trademark and Copyright laws by claiming them as his own.  See more here: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/07/what-is-sacerdotus-doing.html

Impersonation of an Individual or Entity
Rubicondior has many overlapping accounts which he uses to spam.  Some accounts are even fake theist accounts that he uses as sock puppets.  This is against Twitter's rules.  I will post all the known accounts that he uses in a later post so everyone can watch out for them and report each to Twitter.

As you can see, Rubicondior has quite a rap sheet.  Ironically, he was suspended a year later on the same day that he lost his debate with me by running away and not completing his agreement to debate me.  God works in strange ways indeed!

You can help keep this abusive psychotic individual off Twitter: 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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." 
  3.  Remember, twitter is asking for this information, so please provide it. Together we can end this abusive behavior. 
Send them to @support, @zackriles or twitter.com/forms.  Again, Twitter wants this information in order to prevent the abuse of their network.  


He is now using @rosaresurrected to continue his spamming in violation of his suspension.  Please continue to report this account as well.

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.


Here are other blog posts on this psychotic individual:
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/07/what-is-sacerdotus-doing.html
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/08/rosa-rubicondior-suspended-again.html
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/05/rosa-rubicondior-psychotic-episode.html
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/04/child-abuser-rosa-rubicondior.html
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2012/08/rosarubicondior-sore-loser.html
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2012/08/rosa-rubicondior-epicfail.html
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2012/08/rosarubicondior-turns-chicken-again.html
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2012/09/letter-to-uk-officials-regarding.html
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2012/10/poor-thingchoking-on-defeat.html
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/02/why-is-rubicondior-afraid-to-debate-me.html
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2012/12/all-bark-and-no-bite.html



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo was born in Tagaste on November 13, 354.  He came from a humble and modest family; his father was Patricius who was a curiale of the government and was a pagan. His mother was Monica, who was a Catholic and responsible for bringing both Augustine and his father to the faith later on.

Augustine was a very bright student.  His father wanted him to study forensics after he noticed that his son excelled in academia. While studying, he fell into many temptations at Carthage. Like today, there were many vices that existed that attracted naive youth.  St. Augustine was not immune to this and fell into these vices.  He adopted Manichaeism and then Neo-Platonism before converting to Catholicism in 387.

St. Augustine is the father of Western Philosophy and helped formulate many of Christianity's tenets of faith making him a 'Church Father.' He was an intellectual and gifted scholar who put his talents to use in promoting the faith. He was a professor of rhetoric and enjoyed teaching.

His mother, Monica who is a canonized saint prayed for her son Augustine for all of her life.  After reading St. Anthony of the Desert's story, Augustine began his conversion to Catholicism.  He also read St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans which also aided him in his conversion.  Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose alongside with his son Adeodatus in 387 at Milan during the Easter Vigil. A year later he would write, "On the Holiness of the Catholic Church."

Afterwards, Monica passed on as well as his son. Augustine sold off his family's property and gave the monies to the poor only retaining his home which he converted into a monastery.  He felt called to the priesthood and in 391 was ordained a priest in hippo which is now Algeria.  Four years later he would be made Bishop of Hippo.  He remained at that post until his death in 430.

He wrote many works which are in use today in both secular and religious institutions. Augustine is a model for all those seeking the truth.  He went from Christianity, to Paganism and even skepticism; and perhaps a mild form of atheism.  He found faith not only via Monica's prayers, but also via reason and academia.

The youth of today can learn from Augustine.  Today's youth often go to college with faith and graduate as atheists or are indifferent to religious beliefs and morality.  They often fall into many vices while in college as well.  Augustine faced the same things. He was met with vices and strange ideas pontificated in schools during his time.  Students today face the same threats to their minds and bodies.

Moreover, Augustine is a model for atheists who sincerely want to seek the truth regarding God and faith.  He did not resort to childishness or bullying tactics like the so-called "new atheism" of today which seeks to hide behind irrational beliefs instead of opening their cognitive abilities to process God and faith in a rational manner.

May St. Augustine pray for us and all those seeking faith.      

     

Sunday, August 25, 2013

MTV's VMA '13

After a long Sunday morning, I had the rest of the day to relax a bit; something I seldom get a chance to do.  After watching the sports games, a bit of golf, news networks; I tuned on to MTV.

MTV is the music network which has everything but music.  It originally started as a channel where music videos were played. However, sometime in the '90s, they began producing programming that was just silly and crude.  This programming continues even to today.

This channel just had its annual "video music awards" in which musicians are given awards for a particular genre of music or video art.  I was disgusted at the amount of perverted sexual themes they portrayed on stage.  From women in attire typical of a prostitute, to imitation of sexual acts on stage!  Women were portrayed as sexual objects while male singers/dancers grinded on them.  If that was not bad enough, this 'rapper' who I never heard of that goes by the name "Macklemore" took the stage and began a "pro-gay rights" rant.  Apparently, he has a rap song entitled "Same Love," in which he attacks religion, the Bible and promotes same-sex unions as normal while equating human rights with 'gay rights.'



I never heard of this clown and Google the song to see the lyrics. In it, he says "we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago I don't know;" basically dismisses the Bible as an archaic book that we must discard.  He even claims that being gay is a 'predisposition' and that 'right wing conservatives' use 'religion and some treatment' to cure gays; calling this 'Man-made rewiring of a predisposition - playing God.'

He goes on attacking the use of the word 'gay' when it is equated to something lesser than something or someone else while citing Youtube comments as a source of this.  Macklemore then claims religions cause wars and attacks Catholicism by saying:

 "When I was at church they taught me something else.  If you preach hate at the service those words aren't anointed.  That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned."  

Throughout the song, he claims God doesn't care whether one is gay or not; "God loves all his children."

This song seems to be a so-called "Gay Anthem" of sorts similar to that of "Lady Gaga's" 'Born this way.'  In it, Macklemore is promoting progressivism and the idea that the Bible needs to be cast out and social ideas from subcultures should replace it in the name of "progress."  To him, religion is about hate and God 'loves all His children.'   

It is scary that this junk is being fed to the youth.  Macklemore is a hypocrite in more ways than one.  He claims the Bible and religion promote hate, yet he is hating on us and our book.  He is disrespecting the Word of God as a book that was written a few thousand years ago and is not needed today.  This book built societies throughout the world.  It inspired artists and musicians; and has been the source of scientific inquiry from Galileo to Newton.  The Bible was the first book most people read for the first time after learning how to read.  Moreover, the idea that God loves all His children is from the Bible!  This guy is promoting an idea from the book he is hating on!  Go figure...  

Also... Macklemore borrows these words in the conclusion of his song:
"Love is patient Love is kind Love is patient Love is kind."  Do they look familiar?  Yes, you've guess it!  They are from the "35 hundred year old book" Macklemore does not like and wants humanity to get rid of.  Those words can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:4.

Can someone say cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy?  

This Macklemore is nothing but a promoter of social engineering.  He wants to promote strange ideas; thinking them to be positive for the human race, but does not reflect on the harm homosexuality does to those who have this tendency.  Homosexuals have the highest rates of mental illness as well as the highest rates of STD infection - HIV in particular.  Speaking out against the gay lifestyle is not hate.  It is love!   We Catholic Christians are concerned for the souls, bodies and minds of our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community.  We are indeed 'patient and kind' with them and minister to them in many ways.

Macklemore, what are you doing to help gays who are suffering mental and sexual diseases?  They need love and patience too.  The lifestyle you are promoting under the guise of "human rights" is killing them.  

I hope young kids listening to this crap as well as those who watch the awards are smart enough to know that religion and the Bible do not promote hate.  God indeed loves sinners, but not their sins.  
Unfortunately, I saw some tweets where some ignorant youth were celebrating Macklemore's song and words while at the same time even calling him a 'god.'  



















Not all youth are so ignorant to tweet this nonsense.  This one got his brain on right and knows the truth:




We need to work harder to fight against relativism which is feeding this nonsense to our youth.  

    

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pope To Consecrate World



Pope Francis will be Consecrating the entire World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!  This means that he will entrust the entire world to Our Blessed Lady.  The Blessed Virgin Mary is an important figure in Christianity.  She is the new Eve, the one God the Father chose from the beginning of time to bear His only begotten Son.  The schedule date for the consecration is on October 13th, the first day Our Lady appeared in Fatima, Portugal to three shepherd children.

This is great news for Catholics.  Hopefully this will relax those Catholics who suspect Pope Francis to be some progressive in the closet, so to speak.





Source:

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-to-consecrate-the-world-to-marys-immaculate-heart

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Warning




Suspended twitter atheist troll @rosarubicondior appears to have been permanently suspended.  

He created a new account @rosarresurrected just a few hours ago.  Please report it to Twitter  support.twitter.com/forms and click the spam report button.  

You're not supposed to make a new account while under suspension.   He will use this account to harass, abuse, spam, impersonate and break copyright and trademark laws.  
 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Grandparents


“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord."



Grandparents are important in families.  They are a link to the past; a link to where we all come from.  In many cases, grandparents help parents raise children.  It pains me to see the elderly abused and disrespected in today's American society.  Old age is seen as an annoyance or something we must avoid.  The elderly are presented as a burden that we must cast away in nursing homes or even euthanize.  These ideas are evil indeed.

I have always believed that the elderly are libraries of life. We can learn so much from them and their stories. While we may learn history in school and in books; there is nothing better than actually hearing it from someone who lived a particular historical moment.  Grandparents are extremely important in this regard.  It is no wonder why many African tribes and also Native American ones value the elderly so much.  The elderly often were in charge or made decisions for a particular tribe.

I want to dedicate this post to all grandparents and elderly out there as well as those who have passed on.  They deserve our respect, love and reflection as we ourselves become elderly and perhaps even grandparents.

May God bless our grandparents and all elderly - living and deceased.  May he soften the minds and hearts of those who may view them as a 'burden' or annoyance.

    

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rosa Rubicondior Suspended AGAIN!



Atheist twitter troll @rosarubicondior was suspended again for the third time.  I have been warning him that twitter has been monitoring him and his friends but he took it as a joke.  He even claimed that I made up emails in order to bring about drama.  

As you can see, I was not making anything up.  His suspension is not censorship of atheism, but a response to his abusive behavior.  Twitter is NOT the forum to harass others, spam, cyber bully, defame and post a child's personal information.  If atheists do not see how the aforementioned are immoral and illegal, then my tweets regarding atheists and psychopaths rings true.

All this can end if Rosie removes his defamatory posts and stop mentioning me.  He can tweet his atheist sophism all he wants, that's not the issue.  Abuse and libel are the issues. 

See this video:



 


Monday, August 19, 2013

World Youth Day Liturgies

The World Youth Day has been a great success since its beginning in the 1980's.  Blessed John Paul II started the event and it has continued undisturbed, drawing millions of young people.

However, the Liturgy in these events are sometimes presented in an irreverent manner.  This will bring about anger, especially among those who call themselves "Traditionalists" or "conservative."

I was made aware of some things that occurred at liturgies during the World Youth day in Brazil that turned my stomach.  In a Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, the Gospel procession was carried out with some woman on a float type thing turning around while smiling.  I really don't understand what was the point of this or if this is some cultural aspect of the Brazilian people.

However, I found it to be out of place and irreverent.  A deacon or priest should be the only one carrying the Book of Gospels.  Having a lady on a float spinning around really does not bring my mind to God, but makes the words 'what the..' come to mind.

Moreover, at another Mass; Holy Communion was distributed with plastic cups!  Yes, those cups we use at picnics and parties!  This is just unacceptable.  The Blessed Sacrament must be treated with the utmost respect.  Whoever presented this idea was either affected by the sun's heat or was just plain stupid and not thinking.

However, I understand Christ to be humble.  He emptied Himself of all glory and was born in a stable
where it was dirty and foul with the odor of animals.  Christ took the form of sin.(2 Corinthians 5:21) In other words, He became one of us in our lowly state but without sinning.

Would Jesus care if He was in a golden ciborium with diamonds or a plastic cup?  I honestly don't think He would.  However, this does not mean we can just place the Blessed Sacrament anywhere we want.  We are sensual creatures who rely on our senses to learn.  Using nice vessels for Mass serves this purpose.  It calls our attention to the mysteries and importance that these vessels will be used for.  God has no need for them of course, we do because we need things that are visual and bring our minds to focus.

Whoever presented the idea of using plastic cups ignored GIRM or the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.  Here is what it says:

327. Among the requisites for the celebration of Mass, the sacred vessels are held in special honor, and among these especially the chalice and paten, in which the bread and wine are offered and consecrated and from which they are consumed.
328. Sacred vessels should be made from precious metal. If they are made from metal that rusts or from a metal less precious than gold, they should generally be gilded on the inside.
329. In the Dioceses of the United States of America, sacred vessels may also be made from other solid materials which in the common estimation in each region are considered precious or noble, for example, ebony or other harder woods, provided that such materials are suitable for sacred use. In this case, preference is always to be given to materials that do not easily break or deteriorate. This applies to all vessels that are intended to hold the hosts, such as the paten, the ciborium, the pyx, the monstrance, and others of this kind.
330. As regards chalices and other vessels that are intended to serve as receptacles for the Blood of the Lord, they are to have a bowl of material that does not absorb liquids. The base, on the other hand, may be made of other solid and worthy materials.
331. For the Consecration of hosts, a large paten may fittingly be used, on which is placed the bread both for the Priest and the Deacon and also for the other ministers and for the faithful.
332. As regards the form of the sacred vessels, it is for the artist to fashion them in a manner that is more particularly in keeping with the customs of each region, provided the individual vessels are suitable for their intended liturgical use and are clearly distinguishable from vessels intended for everyday use.
333. As for the blessing of sacred vessels, the rites prescribed in the liturgical books should be followed.
334. The practice should be kept of building in the sacristy a sacrarium into which is poured the water from the washing of sacred vessels and linens
(cf. no. 280).  GIRM
No thought was given to the lack of reverence in having the Blessed Sacrament in plastic cups.  Moreover, no thought was given to the particles that may have been left over in these cups.    

In light of this, I understand the anger of traditionalists.  I too share in the disgust and anger; however, I also respect the authority of the Church to adapt liturgy to the times and circumstances. The Catholic Church allows for inculturation and adaptations to be done to the Roman Rite in order for it to speak more to people of different cultures.

A living and adapted liturgy is equally called to play a major role in the integration of a very pure faith and the traditional forms of the religious life of peoples.(7- INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION FAITH AND INCULTURATION

The Catholic Faith must be able to speak the language of the people receiving it, so to speak.  Since its infancy, the Catholic Church has inculturated elements from different cultures.  Similarly, Judaism has inculturated even Pagan rites to its own rites in order to help the Hebrews understand the Jewish faith after being under Pagan influence for decades.  The use of Church buildings and altars are things that we inherited from the Jews who inherited them from Pagans. (Fourth Instruction on the orderly carrying out of the Constitution on the Liturgy)  The Catholic Church had no temples until Constantine handed them over to the Church and we Christianized them.  The Church has incorporated cultures and perfected their rituals in Christ since the beginning.

Here is what Gaudium et spes has to say:

 Likewise the Church, living in various circumstances in the course of time, has used the discoveries of different cultures so that in her preaching she might spread and explain the message of Christ to all nations, that she might examine it and more deeply understand it, that she might give it better expression in liturgical celebration and in the varied life of the community of the faithful.

But at the same time, the Church, sent to all peoples of every time and place, is not bound exclusively and indissolubly to any race or nation, any particular way of life or any customary way of life recent or ancient. Faithful to her own tradition and at the same time conscious of her universal mission, she can enter into communion with the various civilizations, to their enrichment and the enrichment of the Church herself.

 By riches coming from above, it makes fruitful, as it were from within, the spiritual qualities and traditions of every people of every age. It strengthens, perfects and restores(6) them in Christ. Thus the Church, in the very fulfillment of her own function,(7) stimulates and advances human and civic culture; by her action, also by her liturgy, she leads them toward interior liberty.  (58 Gaudium et spes)

The Church here clearly states that the Church understands that she lives in 'various circumstances in the course of time' and has encountered many cultures.  She has used these cultures to enhance her preaching so 'she might spread and explain the message of Christ to all nations.'  The Church must not lose her own tradition when coming into contact with other cultures, but must 'enter into communion with the various civilizations, to their enrichment and the enrichment of the Church herself.'  

Some clergy and laity get upset whenever they see something out of the norm in Mass or any liturgy.  This is understandable.  We are all used to having rituals in life.  Human beings can become disoriented whenever they break "habits" or rituals.  However, we must not become like the Pharisees who were rigid and concerned with externals. (Matthew 12:1–37)
Sacrosanctum Concilium has this to say:

Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity in matters which do not implicate the faith or the good of the whole community; rather does she respect and foster the genius and talents of the various races and peoples. Anything in these peoples' way of life which is not indissolubly bound up with superstition and error she studies with sympathy and, if possible, preserves intact. Sometimes in fact she admits such things into the liturgy itself, so long as they harmonize with its true and authentic spirit. (37 Sacrosanctum Concilium)

So here, the Church is clear that we cannot become rigid in the liturgy and faith.  We must 'respect and foster the genius and talents of the various races and people' in order to present the Gospel in a manner that speaks to all.  We cannot get caught up as to whether the Mass should be in Latin, whether the priest should face the people or not, or whether a guitar or organ is used.  Granted, bishops and priests need to be more prudent when planning Liturgies so that this respect of the talents of other races and cultures does not turn the Liturgy into a circus.

Provisions shall also be made, when revising the liturgical books, for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples, especially in mission lands, provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is preserved; and this should be borne in mind when drawing up the rites and devising rubrics. (38 Sacrosanctum Concilium

The Roman rite must be intact and preserved whenever inculturation takes place.  This is a no-brainer.  We don't want the rite to be watered down into a Protestant type service where anything goes.  This is why bishops must exercise their authority and monitor Liturgies throughout their respective dioceses so that abuses will not occur:

Within the limits set by the typical editions of the liturgical books, it shall be for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to specify adaptations, especially in the case of the administration of the sacraments, the sacramentals, processions, liturgical language, sacred music, and the arts, but according to the fundamental norms laid down in this Constitution. (39 Sacrosanctum Concilium

In light of this, whoever planned the Liturgies of World Youth day in Brazil did not do their homework.  Perhaps things were rushed and they tried their best to make it work.  The security mishap where Pope Francis' motorcade took a wrong turn might be an indication that the planners did not anticipate many things.  Nevertheless, I don't think these Liturgies were planned in order to cause scandal or abuse.  I think they were planned with good intention but without prudence.  The Church allows for adaptations to be done in order to better present the Gospel, but those adaptations have limits. 

With the passage of time, however, there have crept into the rites of the sacraments and sacramentals certain features which have rendered their nature and purpose far from clear to the people of today; hence some changes have become necessary to adapt them to the needs of our own times. For this reason the sacred Council decrees as follows concerning their revision. (62 Sacrosanctum Concilium)

As stated above, changes to the Liturgy must enhance the presentation of Christianity to the people, not water it down or make it pleasing as if the Liturgy is some show where we have to keep the people interested.  The main goal is to evangelize the people; to preach the Gospel by using their own culture and music to bring it alive to them, not alter it to become a concert or a smokes and mirrors event.

In certain parts of the world, especially mission lands, there are peoples who have their own musical traditions, and these play a great part in their religious and social life. For this reason due importance is to be attached to their music, and a suitable place is to be given to it, not only in forming their attitude toward religion, but also in adapting worship to their native genius, as indicated in Art. 39 and 40.

Therefore, when missionaries are being given training in music, every effort should be made to see that they become competent in promoting the traditional music of these peoples, both in schools and in sacred services, as far as may be practicable. (119 Sacrosanctum Concilium)

In closing, I feel the Vatican needs to have better control over Liturgies at World Youth day and any Papal liturgy in general.  How Holy Communion will be distributed must be planned to the letter especially since these events bring millions of participants.  It pains me to see these photos of the Blessed Sacrament being distributed in plastic cups that are often used to serve kool aid, soda, and even liquor.  As for the lady on the float during the Gospel procession; well, I'm not sure the cultural significance behind this so I will just say I find it odd and personally would not permit it in my parish or diocese if I become a bishop.  Perhaps a Brazilian can message me and tell me if this procession had some cultural element recognizable to the Brazilian people.

Let us not become discouraged when we see these things.  Again, I don't think they were done with the intention to be irreverent.  I believe these are a case of poor planning.  Let us respect the Church's laws and our leaders and avoid becoming like the Pharisees pointing out faults in the way others carry out rituals.  Liturgists must be prudent and organize Liturgies that reflect the Roman rite in a reverent manner and also speak to peoples of every race, gender and culture.

"Lex orandi Lex Credenti" or the 'law of how we pray is the law of how we believe.'  Let us pray how we believe.  We believe in the one and only great God who must be respected; so let us pray with respect.      


Saturday, August 17, 2013

California Transgender Law


California has lost its social mind. First it legalizes so-called "gay marriage" and even fights the people's vote saying no to it; now it has passed a law allowing 'Transgender children' to pick whatever bathroom, locker room or sports team they want to use. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law which originated from assembly man Tom Ammiano. The bill AB1266 will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

Many people are protesting this bill citing it to be dangerous.  Any child can now claim he is a 'boy' or 'girl' when convenient.  This will open the doors to many problems such as; sexual assaults and voyeurism.  How can a young girl go to the bathroom or undress in a locker room with a guy present who thinks he is a girl?  Moreover, boys will pretend to be girls just to get a peek at some naked girls!  The same will occur with girls who will want to go to a boy's bathroom or locker room to see naked boys.  Has the world gone mad?

All these ideas come from "gender theory" which is being pushed on academia and the social sciences.  It is a theory that postulates that gender is merely a social construct and that there is no such thing as a 'male' or 'female.'  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Teen Suicide Over Skype

Daniel Perry, a teenager from Scotland has committed suicide after being blackmailed with Skype.  He was a victim of an apparent 'Catfish.'  A Catfish scenario is when one pretends to be someone he/she is not in order to use another individual for romance, sex, or even money.

Perry used Skype to chat with someone he believed was a girl his own age.  The person was not what he thought.  To add to insult, a group hacked the chat and threatened to show it to his family and friends if he did not deposit money to their account.

Unfortunately, out of panic, Perry killed himself by jumping to his death from a bridge.  This news follows a similar one where another young child, Hannah Smith killed herself after being bullied online.

This news breaks my heart and makes me wonder why parents are not monitoring what their children are doing online.  Moreover, ISP and other social networks must do more to stop abusive behavior on their networks.  This is why I am actively working on getting abusive twitter accounts permanently suspended.  @rosarubicondior is one who was taken down by me after resorting to abuse.  He is even abusing and defaming a child on his blog who he is trying to claim is me, see here.

According to child services, this activity is far too common.  It has got to stop.

Please contact your social networks, ISP's and law officials and demand more be done against cyber bullying and online abuse.


Daniel Perry

Hannah Smith



May these youth rest in peace. 






Source:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/16/world/europe/uk-cyber-blackmail-suicide/index.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2394520/Dunfermline-teenager-Daniel-Perry-17-kills-blackmailers-trick-Skype.html

http://www.inquisitr.com/907164/catfishing-skype-suicide-after-uk-teen-daniel-perry-blackmailed-tricked/

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe


Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe was a Franciscan of the Conventual branch of the Order of Friars Minor.  He was taken prisoner by the Nazi regime and made to suffer the horrible conditions at camp of Auschwitz.
Kolbe did not complain, but instead ministered to the others and even said Mass in his cell.  When he was among a crowd of men who the Nazis commanders were surveying in order to choose one to kill, he remained calm.  The Nazi chose a man named Franciszek Gajowniczek to be killed.  The man out of fear shouted, "no, I have a wife and children."

Maximilian Kolbe stepped forward and said he would take Franciszek's place.  The commander accepted and took Kolbe instead of the married man.  Kolbe was taken to an execution chamber. He was given a lethal injection of carbolic acid on August 14, 1941.  Witnesses say he raised his arm without fear and accepted his death without complain.

Kolbe was canonized by Blessed John Paul II on October 10, 1982 and is the patron saint of
drug addicts, prisoners, families, journalists, and the pro-life movement.  He was also named the patron saint of "our difficult century."

In 1917, Kolbe founded the Militia of the Immaculata which promotes total consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

May St. Maximilian Kolbe pray for us and teach us how to be courageous to die for the faith and for another soul.



O Lord Jesus Christ who said, "greater love than this no man has that a man lay down his life for his friends," through the intercession of St. Maximilian Kolbe, whose life illustrated such love, we beseech You to grant us our petitions .....(mention them here).

Through the Knights of the Immaculata movement, which Maximilian founded, he spread a fervent devotion to Our Lady throughout the world. He gave up his life for a total stranger and loved his persecutors, giving us all an example of unselfish love for all men --- a love which was inspired by true devotion to Mary.

Grant O Lord Jesus, that we too may give ourselves entirely without reserve to the love and service of our Heavenly Queen in order to better love and serve our fellowman in imitation of your humble servant, Maximilian. Amen.

(Say 3 Hail Marys and a Glory be....)

        

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Mystery Priest" Found






For the past few days, the blogosphere has lighted up with posts regarding a priest who anointed some people in a car crash.  This priest was said to have appeared out of nowhere and disappeared in the same manner.  Speculation arose as to whether or not this priest was Jesus is disguise, St (Padre) Pio or even St. John Vianney.  However, the priest came forward and revealed himself after a sketch of him was presented to the media.  He is Father Patrick Dowling.  


This is why I wait to learn the facts before writing posts.  We must not become superstitious and rely on reason to separate fact from fiction. 

I will update this post as I learn more... stay tuned. 



Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/12/father-patrick-dowling-angel-priest-_n_3746077.html?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl2|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D357280

Monday, August 12, 2013

Stop and Frisk Unconstitutional

A federal judge has just put a stop to the "Stop and Frisk" controversial program in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vowed to appeal claiming the judge to know nothing of law enforcement.

The Stop and Frisk program has been on the news for quite some time.  The case of Trayvon Martin has also been brought up in the debate.  With Stop and Frisk, the NYPD or New York Police Department makes selective stops on people they deem suspicious.

Those individuals are then handcuffed and frisked for contraband.  There has been a huge outcry over this practice because the majority of those who are stopped and frisked are African Americans and Hispanics in urban areas.

Activists claim this practice is the enforcement of racial profiling, or linking certain behaviors to a particular race and using that link to enforce the law.  Their claims are valid indeed.  The amount of Blacks and Latinos stopped is incredibly high.  Non-Hispanic whites are barely stopped at all based on the statistics.  This has put tensions between minority communities and the NYPD which exists to protect all citizens.  The NYPD are trained to automatically think a minority in a hoody, or "gangster" looking clothes is up to no good and must be stopped and frisked.  Some Latinos and Blacks have complained that they have been stopped even while hanging out in front of their homes doing nothing but drinking water or talking with family and friends.

The practice seems to have good intentions, but it is not carried out correctly.  The way Kelly is running the program is indeed racist.  People dress any way they like in America.  There is no such thing as "criminal attire."  Some investors at Wall Street have stolen millions and did not wear a hoody or baggy clothing.  It is wrong to identify people as criminals based on how they look.  I would be extremely upset if my son or relative were walking minding his own business and cops stopped him and treated him as a criminal.

This does have an affect on a person's psychology.  If a person is made to feel like a criminal, he or she will eventually act like one because he/she will rationalize that since he/she is not respected for his/her good conduct, then there is no point in continuing that good conduct since the police will automatically suspect him/her as a criminal.  He/she will then play the role of the suspected criminal.

Moreover, this program has really done nothing to slow crime down in NYC despite the claims of Bloomberg and Kelly.  Almost every week there is a shooting somewhere in NYC.  The innocent are being hauled in along with the guilty with this program.  Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?"  What's next?  Will a priest be classified as a child abuser just for wearing a priest's collar?  Will a Rabbi be classified as a money hungry tyrant?  Will a gay guy be classified as a carrier of HIV just for looking gay?

Lookism and racial profiling are not good for any society and are immoral.  We are all made in God's image.  NYC must find a better way to deal with crime. Education and putting more work with the youth so they would not even think of doing any kind of crime must be used.  People usually commit crimes because they feel that is the only way to survive.  If cities can help people stand on their own feet, then they will not resort to using crime as an "easy way" to survive.

Bloomberg is getting too carried away and wants to over-police New Yorkers.  Whether it is by controlling what they eat and drink or by stop and frisk; he needs to stop it.    

  



Source:
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/judge-rules-nycs-stop-frisk-unconstitutional/story?id=19936326

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/12/new-york-stop-and-frisk-unconstitutional-judge

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/16/us/ny-stop-and-frisk/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/16/new-york-appeal-stop-frisk-nypd

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/frisk_judge_slapped_X3E5liXomJdyhw2d5Sf6tJ

http://www.nyclu.org/issues/racial-justice/stop-and-frisk-practices

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy 40th Hip Hop


I said a hip hop, Hippie to the hippie,
The hip, hip a hop, and you don't stop, a rock it
To the bang bang boogie, say, up jump the boogie,
To the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.

With these words from the song "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill gang a new genre in music began that would capture generations to come.  "Hip Hop" would be born.  Hip Hop is believed to have been born in a housing project in the Bronx on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue on August 11, 1973.

Here, a resident who goes by the name "DJ Kill Herc" used the building's community center to host parties.  During one party he scratched records and began to "rap" or rhyme over the beat as African American and Puerto Rican party-goers break danced.  Other words used for "rap" are "emceeing" and "spitting."  

This new music would capture the interest of the Black and Puerto Rican youth of the Bronx and would spread like wildfire throughout the city and eventually the globe.  From there, other rappers adopted the style and began to add to the new genre.  The genre began by using melodies and samples of disco music set in repetition while one rhymed to the beat.  Consecutive rhyming would later be called, "flow."  Rapper "Rakim" is often given credit for developing this term and using it in his music.      

As the genre developed, newer styles were incorporated such as, “The Chant,” “The Syncopated Bounce,”“Straight Forward,” “The Rubik’s Cube,”“2-5-Flow,”“sung rhythmic style,” “percussion-effusive style,” and “speech-effusive style.”  Each rapper of the past and today use one or more of these styles in his or her music.  Hip Hop would eventually be divided into two "schools", the Old and New.  The Old School Hip Hop uses basic rhyming with words that have less syllables while the New School uses more complex rhyming and more syllables with a faster tempo.


From the Sugarhill Gang, Rakim, Afrika Bambaataa, Run DMC, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, the
Bestie Boys, to Notorious BIG, 2pac, NAS, Eminem 50-cent and Jay Z; Hip Hop has grown into a huge cultural force that is global.  Rapper "Eminem's" success has shown that the genre is not exclusive to African Americans and Latinos, but also non-Hispanic Whites.

The genre has often been criticized for its dramatic transformation from a simple way of using words with music for fun, to the glorification of violence, misogyny, hedonism and sexual perversion.  Some attribute this to record labels attempting to profit from using this glorification to sell the music.  Nevertheless, the music has also been used to spread the Gospel.  Both Protestant and Catholic Christians are using the genre to promote the Gospel and Christian values.

Today the genre celebrates 40 years and is believed to be losing its popularity due to artists who are not as attractive as those in the past as well as the commercialization of the music.  Originally, the music was used for fun and then became a platform to voice the problems of those growing up in the "hood" or urban areas.  Today it is used to make profits by artists using gimmicks to entertain audiences.  




Source:

http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/investigation/birthplace-of-hip-hop/

Saturday, August 10, 2013

St. Lawrence - Deacon and Martyr



Today is the feast day of St. Lawrence the Martyr.  He was a deacon who helped the poor in his day.  When Christians were persecuted by the Romans, he along with Pope Sixtus II who is a saint as well, were martyred.

A Roman official who was fond of money believed that the Catholic Church had treasure and had St. Lawrence hand it over. St. Lawrence complied and gathered the "treasure."  The Official believed he would get gold and monies, but instead Lawrence had gathered the city's poor and sick that the Church took care of.  Naturally, the Roman official was furious and ordered that Lawrence be killed a slow and torturous death.

He was sentenced to be killed by being tied over a grill made of iron with a large fire below him slowly burning him to death.  Lawrence did not feel pain while being roasted alive and even joked with his torturers by mocking them, "Turn me over, I'm done on this side!"

St. Lawrence is a saint and martyr who obviously had a sense of humor.  He was so full of the joy of Christ that not even the threats or persecution nor the torture took it away.  It is awesome how he introduced the poor and sick of Rome as the Church's treasure - they are indeed.  Pope Francis is reminding us of this today.  The Church is not about rich vestments and altar items, but about the poor.  May St. Lawrence the Martyr pray for all of us, especially Christians in persecuted areas and deacons.    



Prayer to St. Lawrence,  Deacon and Martyr

O Generous patron of the Church’s poor, St. Lawrence, pray to the One God, Father, Son and  Holy Spirit that all the poor of the Church in need in every corner of the world may feel the effect of the love of their brothers and sisters who seek to help them.

Deliver the Church from the greed and envy of the powerful and protect her rights and property so that she may serve the needy in freedom, giving them good things for soul and body.

May we come some day with all those whom we helped on earth to the bright mansions of heaven where we will enjoy the riches of God’s house and the company of the Savior who lives and reigns forever and ever.

Amen

Friday, August 9, 2013

Martin's "Atheist by default" response








 While searching the atheism hashtag and recording my radio show, I noticed the above tweet.  I decided to respond to the blog post criticizing my blog post found here: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/04/atheism-as-default-fails.html

My words will be in black and Martin's will be in blue. 



 Atheist by default from: (http://immaletyoufinish.blogspot.com/2013/08/atheist-by-default.html)


<<<I've never been a regular Twitter user. Recently, I logged back in because I had started garnering a number of strange followers, who started preaching to me about their god. No, not just the Christian god, but whatever god they believed in. Apparently, a few posts using #atheism will do that.

So, I put #atheism into the Twitter search bar to see what the fuss was about  (after candidly blocking the preachers due to their annoyance factor) and it wasn't long before I discovered something interesting. The #atheism hashtag is used more by the religious than it is by atheists. One use in particular, Sacerdotus, regularly spams it with his blog posts, one of which I opened in order to inspect his claim on Twitter that "#Atheism as Default Fails"
.>>



Sacerdotus replies:

My tweets are not spam according to Twitter.  They contain links to my blog posts which are classified as "status updates."  By your definition, any tweet can be considered spam.  Nevertheless, thank you for reading and taking the time to write your own critique on my post.  However, I specifically asked that permission be obtained from me before using my material.  My blog posts are copyrighted.   






<<Before I go into what's wrong with his argument, we really have to establish what atheism is in order to establish the fault with his premise. Many in the religious community might see it as a movement, like feminism, or a religion as a way of life. At it's core, however, atheism is a position of disbelief in a god or gods. It really is that simple.>>


Sacerdotus replies:

You do not understand what atheism is.  Atheism is simply the rejection of the concept of God.  The word comes from the Greek "a-theos" which means 'without gods.'  This word was used in ancient Greek culture to defined those people who rejected the folk gods of Greek mythology.   Atheists of today love to play word games in order to give themselves wiggle room to move about when discussing atheism.  I used to be an atheist and understand well what it comprises. 





<<Atheism can be the result of both knowing that there are gods that people believe in, but being unable to believe or rejecting the notion due to finding such things ridiculous, or not being aware of these gods in the first place. Sacerdotus argues against the latter by stating in the comments of his blog, "The first does not follow the second. One is lack of awareness and the other is a rejection of belief in a deity," but this argument assumes the posture that to lack a belief in a god, one must be aware of the god or god's in question in order to not believe. However, atheism (read: not theism) is not dependent on awareness by any definition, it merely labels one as not being theistic. That is, an atheist is one that does not have a belief in a god or gods. Not, an atheist is one that learns about gods and then rejects them.>>


Sacerdotus replies:

This writer contradicts himself and actually agrees with my previous statement where I define atheism as a rejection of the concept of God.  As you can see, atheists have difficulty understanding what atheism really is.  Moreover, the writer does not understand that one must be aware of a concept before rejecting it.  In order for an atheist to reject a notion, he/she must know of that notion beforehand.  How can you reject a date on a Friday night without knowing who is asking you out or that the event is happening?  The logic does not follow.  This writer's argument basically assumes that all human beings are born with knowledge of the notion of God.  This would contradict the 'atheism as a default' argument. 
 



<<<Let's inspect this word 'atheism' for a moment. The word itself follows a common linguistic pattern in the English language where the 'a-' prefix establishes the word that follows as an antonym. Take asexual, for example. An asexual is not sexual. The word 'atypical' means 'not typical'. The word 'asymmetrical' means 'not symmetrical'. That's the definition of those words with no complex contexts to consider beyond what the prefix establishes. It is no different for the word 'atheism'. If a shape is not symmetrical, it is not that way because it doesn't know what symmetry is, but nor does it mean that it does know what symmetry is. The same applies for one observing that shape. Just because an observer doesn't know what symmetry is, it does not mean that the shape is not symmetrical.>>>


Sacerdotus replies:


The writer here is posting a non-sequitur.  His understanding of the "a" prefix establishes the reality of the definition of the word 'atheism' as a position that rejects the gods.  He is actually helping my argument by using these examples.  Atheism is a definitive rejection of gods, not a lack of belief.  Lack of belief is 'apisteuo.'




<<<So what makes atheism the default position? Simple biology, of course. When we are born, we are unaware of religious beliefs of any kind until we are taught them. One cannot be taught atheism as a concept, one can only be taught atheism as a word, a simple label given to a simple state of existence that simply means one does not believe in a god or gods. So, what is Sacerdotus' argument against this?>>>


Sacerdotus replies:


Actually, studies show that human beings are hardwired to believe in God and the supernatural.  We all possess the VMAT2 gene that allows us to contemplate the concept of a God and supernatural existence.  Atheism cannot exist without God.  In other words, one cannot reject god without knowing god.  The concept of atheism is dependent on God, in a conceptual sense. 




   **** All human organisms are conceived when a sperm and egg unite. At conception, a new human being is created with its own genotype and phenotype. However, no human being is born with an infused intellect or conceptual knowledge. No person is born having acquired knowledge from stimuli outside of the womb. Studies show that unborn children do have memories; however, these memories most likely are related to what the child has experienced in the womb.****








<<<So what you're saying is, basically, nobody knows anything when they are brought into existence? Okay, I've already established that... where are you going with this?>>>

Sacerdotus replies:


My post answers your question.  Since God is needed for atheism to exist, it is impossible for atheism to exist before knowing the concept that is being rejected (God) by the aforementioned.   



   *** All human beings are born with "tabula rasa," or a "blank slate." There is no information in the brain in regards to experiences while living on Earth because the human being has been in a womb for 9 months. Even after birth, the brain still does not have experience and needs those around in order to learn. Babies need to be taught even the simplest of things in order to survive. The human being is the only organism that needs this attention. Other organisms instantly know what to do and how to handle their environment the moment they are born. A human baby will die if left alone and its needs are not met. ****






<<<Apart from the "other organisms instantly know what to do" bit, you got that right too. All animal species have instinctual behaviours upon birth, such as locating food from their mother, but you might want to take a closer look at Animal Planet channel and check out a whole bunch of species that without parental care, nurturing, and training for the wild, would simply not survive. Predators need to be trained to hunt, for example, such as wild dogs or big cats.>>>



Sacerdotus replies:

Exactly.  Human beings are not born with this.  Therefore, we cannot reject a concept we have not learned beforehand.  Before you can reject an idea, or disbelieve it; you have to know about it first. 





    ***Being that human beings are social creatures, they learn about society via interaction. Each culture presents to the individual what are called Social Scripts, or how to behave within a society. These are nurtured and are not part of nature. Atheism is a social phenomenon and therefore cannot be the default position. It must be learned.***






<<<Whoa now, sorry, but your conclusion in the last two sentences does not match what you have been saying. You've only established that everything we learn in life, we do not automatically know. What you're trying to say is that for one to be an atheist, one must first learn about religion. This is simply not the case, but it does make a very strong argument for religion being a learned way of life.>>>


Sacerdotus replies:

No, what I am saying is for one to be an atheist, one must know of the concept of God.  How can you lack disbelief or reject a concept you have not learned about??  Think about this for a minute.  Disbelief occurs when one is aware of a piece of information and refuses to accept it as factual. 



<<<As for your "social scripts" not being part of nature, you actually contradicted yourself in this argument by stating both this and that human beings are a social species. Like every other social species, there are a set of instinctive "social scripts" that humanity is both born with and learns. One of these "scripts" is morality, that for the sake of the survival of the pack, one must contribute to the pack and not take from it. Since maliciousness and immorality are of detriment to the pack, the morality "script" is a must have for the pack's survival. This is 100% natural and a natural imperative for the survival of any species.>>>


Sacerdotus replies:


Social scripts are not provided at birth.  These are behaviors that we learn via culture and society as a whole.  Morality is not necessarily a social script.  I am not sure where you're getting this idea from.  We are born with the capacity to know right from wrong.  This capacity is then expounded upon via ethics and laws.  I will post a blog on this at a later time which will go more into detail. 


<<<I do not know what Sacerdotus' motives are in targeting the atheist community with this nonsense, because it's easy to see how instead of arguing the point he was trying to prove, he argued the complete opposite, that atheism, the lack of belief in gods by default of not being aware of them, is a default position, as a concept. I can only assume that atheists are not his target audience. However, it's more than likely he intends atheists to read his work in any case, due to his use of the #atheism hashtag when promoting his posts on Twitter. Whether it be a simple minded attempt to enrage us, or pick a fight, or some other reason I've not thought of, I cannot say. What I can say for sure, however, is he is going to have to come up with better arguments if he wants to prove his claim that atheism is not the default position of a human being at birth.>>>


Sacerdotus replies:


There is no motive.  My only intention is to educate people, theist and atheist.  I  used to be an atheist and am using my knowledge and experience to present atheism in a light that atheists and theists are not used to see it under.  I dissect it and present it as the sophism that it is.  You seem to not understand the difference between lack of awareness and lack of belief.  Lack of awareness is when we are completely oblivious to something or someone.  Lack of belief is when we are exposed to some particular data and choose to not believe it.  See the difference?  The latter requires prior knowledge in order for a person to make a conscious decision to reject it or disbelieve said data.  My arguments are extremely strong against atheism.  My blog is visited by thousands of atheists hourly.  The problem here is that the writer does not understand epistemology and the proper use of words.  




<<<However, for argument's sake, let's say he is right, that atheism is not the default position at birth. Would he kindly care to provide an alternative? That is, what is the default position on religion at birth, Sacerdotus? What does a newborn child believe or not believe? What is your argument to support this position?
Posted 6 minutes ago by The Pinstriped Aspie
>>>


Sacerdotus replies:


A newborn child is not born with concepts as we understand them.  However, he/she is born with the capacity to contemplate God, religion and the supernatural. 

 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

St. Dominic

Today is the feast day of St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers, also known as the "Dominicans."  Dominic was born in Caleruega, Spain.  His name originates from Saint Dominic of Silos who was a Benedictine.  Dominic, like St. Francis of Assisi was focused on helping others.  As a youth, he sold his clothing and other possessions in order to help feed the poor.  He was also friends with Francis. 

When he was 24 years old, he became a Canon Regular in Osma, Spain.  While ministering in France, Dominic encountered the Cathars which were a heretical sect that was anti Catholic and believed their ways of faith were the antidote to what they perceived as corruption in the Catholic Church.  They believed that matter was evil and only the spirit was good. 

Dominic would found the Order of Preachers in 1215 with great zeal to bring back those who were lost to heresies of the time. The order was named the "Dominicans" because of a dream his mother had of a dog that came from her womb holding a flaming torch in its mouth.  With this torch, this dog set the world ablaze.  The word comes from the Latin "Domini Canis" or "Dogs of the Lord."  Dominic and his friars would travel about preaching the Gospel of the Lord and defending Catholic teaching against the heresies of the time. 

It is believed that Our Lady of the Rosary appeared to Dominic and gave him the Rosary which became a popular devotion.  The Dominicans use a habit that is composed of a white alb with a black hooded cape, cincture and Rosary.  The white alb of the habit - according to tradition - would eventually become the white cassock used by Popes.  Pope Pius V was a member of the Dominican order and used his white habit as Pope.

Some of the well known Dominicans are Bishop Bartolom√© de las Casas and St. Thomas Aquinas. 


Prayer to St Dominic

Wonderful Saintly Founder of the eloquent Order of Preachers and friend of St. Francis of Assisi, you were a fiery defender of the Faith and a fighter against the darkness of heresy. You resembled a great star that shone close to the world and pointed to the Light which was Christ.
Help astronomers to study the stars and admire their wonderful Maker,
proclaiming: "Give glory to God in the highest!" Amen.    

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book Review: The Kingdom of Matthias

                                                          
 The Kingdom of Matthias


Religion is something that is heavily rooted in American society. The United States of America has thousands of different churches, smaller denominations and non-western religions. “The Kingdom of Matthias” by Paul E. Johnson and Sean Wilentz tells us about Robert Matthews who would later refer to himself as “Matthias.”

The authors used memoirs and stories from William Stone, Margaret Matthews, and Gilbert Vale to write this book. These were the only sources available due to the fact that ‘Matthias’ did not leave behind any diaries or the like. The authors had to use second person sources in order to construct the life and history of this person.

The book begins with the story of Elijah Pierson who came from humble beginnings and move to New York. He was very religious. Upon his arrival to New York City he found himself out of place, so to speak. The people of New York were immoral in his eyes. They drank and lived licentious lives. Prostitution was rampant as well as many other vices. Elijah Pierson saw himself as a missionary and began to preach about God to whoever would listen.

His style attracted some followers who saw him as some sort of a leader or prophet. However, all this changed after his wife Sarah passed away. He literally believed Scriptural passages regarding the resurrection of the dead and attempted to raise Sarah from the dead himself. When this did not happen, people began to question. He himself began to wonder why God didn't raise his wife Sarah from the dead. As a self-proclaimed messenger of God, Elijah felt he could use the powers of God like the Apostles and others in the Bible did.

The book then continues to focus on Robert Matthews. Like Elijah, Matthews was an ardent believer. At work he would try to preach to his co-workers but was met with ridicule and this upset him. He would unfortunately take his frustrations out on his wife Margaret. At one point he made it big financially and had lots of wealth but then went through a down time.

Matthews as he grew in his ideas about God began to become delusional. He saw himself as the “Prophet of the God of the Jews” and eventually even believed he was God himself. His followers gave him money and with that money he would found a community. He would then search for the best metals to fashion religious appointments (candlesticks, chalices, swords) and furniture with. Matthias would let his beard grow since the Bible says for men not to cut it.(Leviticus 19:27)

He had a lavish taste for clothing as well and had uniforms designed for him with the most expensive materials around. Matthias would then go around the Bowery and Battery Park to preach. Those who didn't believe him he would dismiss as devils. Despite claiming to be a “Prophet” and “God,” Matthias still was abusive to his wife.  

At the time, laws prevented women from divorcing their husbands unless adultery was involved. Matthias’ style of preaching was harsh and he had a misogynistic view as well. Women were evil and of the devil, according to him. They tempt men and distract men from God.

Elijah Pierson would die and suspicion would arise that he was poisoned. Matthias would eventually be arrested because many saw him as mentally unstable and in conflict with New York's blasphemy laws. The “kingdom of Matthias” he founded would eventually dissolve and the media at the time would write articles about cults and how even educated people can fall into the tutelage of delusional people such as Matthias.

The book is interesting and ties in to what we know of today as the New Evangelical movements, the Finneyites, the “Second Awakening,” which was a period where fanaticism, fundamentalism and even delusions began to take hold in America. These would bring about cults and sects such as Pentecostalism, Adventism, The Watchtower and so on that would challenge mainstream Christianity and bring about new and sometimes strange ideas regarding God. This book puts into perspective why sects exist in America today by providing details on their evolution in early America.

I enjoyed reading the book. To me it shows how easily some people can fall for delusional ideas. It also shows that people of today aren't so different from people back then. There were drunkards, prostitutes; New York City was always the “whore of Babylon,” so to speak. Over zealous religious people would try hard to spread their ideas. Many of them were delusional and borderline schizophrenic. We find that even today. Many representatives of sects stand on corners shouting with microphones and speakers or distributing pamphlets claiming to be messengers of God “Jehovah” or the Angel “Moroni.”

However, they are not as extreme as Jose Miranda who comes to mind and reminds me of Matthias. Jose is a Hispanic man in Miami, Florida who thinks he is God. He even calls himself the “Antichrist” and uses the infamous “666” numbers as his sign. Many people believe this man and give him money just like back in the day people believed Matthias and gave to him money. Unfortunately, not much has changed since Matthias' time.  There are still crazy people out there and people who listen to their every word.

I recommend reading this book if you like American history and want to know a bit more about the origins of religious sects in American society.

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