Sunday, April 24, 2016

5th Sunday of Easter: Live In Him & Love Others

The first reading reminds us about evangelization and suffering for the faith.  Paul and Barnabas converted many people in Jesus' name. They began to set up the first local primitive dioceses or parishes of the time.  However, they reminded the people that suffering was part of the package if they want to enter God's kingdom (Luke 9:62). God's grace was working in them and brought the seeds of their work to flourish (Romans 11:6, Ephesians 2:8). In today's world, we see so much hatred against God and the Church. Religion is being pushed aside as irrelevant and useless.

Christians are being persecuted and slandered as being backward or an annoyance. We all must bear with this. Suffering for the faith gives testimony that the faith is true and scares the world. If the faith was not true, then the world would not focus so much attacks on it.  Think about this carefully. Nevertheless, we must not become cowards and hide our faith for God's spirit is not a cowardly one (2 Timothy 1:7). We must proclaim it boldly and face whatever may come from it (Romans 5:3-4). God is number one which is what the responsorial Psalm reminds us of today. We must praise God's name forever. God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger.  All creation must thank God for everything.  God is God.  There is only one. God loves us so much that He became one of us in all things except sin (John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21). He dwells with us even today as we read in the second reading.

God dwells with the human race.  He is with His people. God is with us in the Blessed Sacrament. We see bread and wine, but in reality these are the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ after consecration at Mass (John 6, 1 Corinthians 10:16). Like the Jews with the Ark of the Covenant, we have our own holy of holies in the Holy Eucharist (Joshua 7:6, 1 Samuel 5:3). Jesus awaits us in every parish and chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. We should make time to spend with him in the silence of His Sacramental presence (Matthew 18:20).  There He will wipe away our tears as we tell Him of our struggles and ask for His help.

In the Gospel, we read of how Christ is glorified because He is God. He ascended into heaven in His human form, but is still present with us in the Blessed Sacrament. He calls us to love one another (John 15:12).  When we love one another and our enemies, this shows we are His disciples because Jesus is all about love and mercy (Luke 5:32, Matthew 5:44). Unfortunately, we see so many 'Pharisees' in the Church and even in Protestant sects who claim to follow Christ, but promote animosity, gossip and discord. There are those who refuse to help those who come to our nation and who ask for help as refugees. They even attack the Pope for reaching out to others who are not Christian or may be living publicly in sin while calling themselves 'true Catholics.' This is not a sign of discipleship in Christ. It is a sign of arrogance and hypocrisy (Matthew 7:9, Matthew 6:5). This is surely a path to hell and not heaven for not everyone who cries out "Lord Lord" will enter God's heavenly paradise (Matthew 7:21). In this year of Mercy, love and compassion must accompany our evangelization. We must not treat others who are not Catholic as pariahs or unworthy of our acknowledgement or time. Rather, we must welcome them with open arms showing them the love of Christ. Let us go out and preach the Word with love and mercy; seek God in the Holy Eucharist and love on another. Those who pray all day and live life judging others and not loving them are only fooling themselves.  God will say to them, "I never knew you" (Matthew 7:23).



Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042416.cfm



 


Saturday, April 23, 2016

My Children's Book: 'Atheism Is Silly' On Sale



The children's version of my book 'Atheism Is Stupid' is now on sale. I had announced the book in this post: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2016/03/childrens-version-of-my-book-atheism-is.html.

Many people had messaged me asking me to make a children's version of my popular 'Atheism Is Stupid' book.  After much thought, I decided to author one. The book takes the main ideas of the 'Atheism Is Stupid' book and simplifies them in a way that children ages 7 and up can understand. Children younger than 7 who have a strong grasp of vocabulary will be able to understand the text as well especially if the book is read to them.

The book presents arguments in favor of God using science and philosophy, making atheism and its conclusions look silly in comparison to the facts as presented by science and philosophy.  I believe that even adults will find this book useful as an introduction as it contains heavy ideas and terms in easy language. In fact, the book will help children learn about science and philosophy which will prepare them for their regular schooling!  My own nephew enjoyed it and is now fixated on space and physics!

The description says the book is 64 pages, but this is because of the font size and graphics used which took a lot of pages since the book is 8.5 x 8.5.  In reality, the text if shrunken to 12 font will be about 4 or 5 pages I believe.  I hope you will find this book useful for your kids and students.  It will protect children from the indoctrination of atheism early on so when they grow and go to college, they will be able to respond to atheistic rhetoric with ease and not feel as if atheism is somehow correct and has refuted religion.  'Atheism Is Silly' is the antidote to the atheistic/secular brainwashing children will face as they age.

This book is priced at $13.75 and money from sales will help with my evangelization. Discounts will be made available soon for those who want to buy bulk copies (i.e. catechists, clergy, religious schools, parents etc).


You can purchase your copy at any of these places or your local bookstore:

Createspace

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

BookCulture

My book will become available at other stores in a few weeks.  I will update this post when this happens.






Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day - Let's Care for Our Planet

Happy Earth day! Today we remember our great and beautiful home. Our "spaceship" flying around in the solar system 365 days a year.

The above is a photo of our home. Isn't she a beauty? Just looking at this picture puts me in to a contemplative mood.

The Earth is so small, so fragile in a sense, yet so important to us all.

This planet unfortunately has gone through a lot of abuse, not from earthquakes, storms, asteroids or solar flares, but from a creature that lives on it that sometimes thinks it is God. This creature is the Human being. The reality of the harm caused by human beings along with the Christian views of John McConnell led him to begin Earth day.

McConnell was born on March 22, 1915 and died on October 20, 2012.  He was the son of a Pentecostal traveling preacher.  His Christian faith inspired him greatly. As a peace activist, he fought for peace, the promotion of science and the environment. He believed we all have a God given duty to protect the Earth and each other.  McConnell is correct.

We must care for our home. We must stop polluting it and destroying it. Numbers 35:33 says, "Do not pollute the land where you live..." The book of Jeremiah has a few more verses that speak about humans defiling the Earth.  In Genesis 1:26 God commands man to care for the Earth and all living things and in Psalm 115:16 we read how God gives His children (us) the Earth.


  • We must develop technology that does not destroy the environment. 
  • We must throw garbage not on the streets or fields, but in their right place. 
  • We must recycle items so that they won't end up in landfills. 
  • We must conserve water and not let it run without use.
  • We must find better energy sources such as solar power which is what powers the solar system. 
It is not news that the global temperature is rising.  While some believe this to be a hoax, it is not. Studies clearly show that the ice caps are melting at an extraordinary rate.  This is causing an increase of ocean levels as well as the temperature, PH and salt balance of the worlds ocean. While this may not seem like a big deal on paper, in reality it is a big deal.  These gradual changes effect the food chain which in turn effects the many species that reside in the oceans of the world.  Moreover, the change of water temperature interferes with weather patterns since temperature is part of the system that regulates the pressure in the atmosphere.  The carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere trap UV rays causing more fluctuations in temperature which bring about storms that may be catastrophic as we have seen recently. I address more of this in this post: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2015/12/ego-greatest-obstacle-to-grace-truth.html.    

Pope Francis has also spoken strongly against the harm being done by humans against our planet. In his encyclical Laudato Si he draws upon what his predecessors have stated:

4. In 1971, eight years after Pacem in Terris, Blessed Pope Paul VI referred to the ecological concern as “a tragic consequence” of unchecked human activity: “Due to an ill-considered exploitation of nature, humanity runs the risk of destroying it and becoming in turn a victim of this degradation”.[2] He spoke in similar terms to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations about the potential for an “ecological catastrophe under the effective explosion of industrial civilization”, and stressed “the urgent need for a radical change in the conduct of humanity”, inasmuch as “the most extraordinary scientific advances, the most amazing technical abilities, the most astonishing economic growth, unless they are accompanied by authentic social and moral progress, will definitively turn against man”.[3]
5. Saint John Paul II became increasingly concerned about this issue. In his first Encyclical he warned that human beings frequently seem “to see no other meaning in their natural environment than what serves for immediate use and consumption”.[4] Subsequently, he would call for a global ecological conversion.[5] At the same time, he noted that little effort had been made to “safeguard the moral conditions for an authentic human ecology”.[6] The destruction of the human environment is extremely serious, not only because God has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement. Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in “lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies”.[7] Authentic human development has a moral character. It presumes full respect for the human person, but it must also be concerned for the world around us and “take into account the nature of each being and of its mutual connection in an ordered system”.[8] Accordingly, our human ability to transform reality must proceed in line with God’s original gift of all that is.[9]
6. My predecessor Benedict XVI likewise proposed “eliminating the structural causes of the dysfunctions of the world economy and correcting models of growth which have proved incapable of ensuring respect for the environment”.[10] He observed that the world cannot be analyzed by isolating only one of its aspects, since “the book of nature is one and indivisible”, and includes the environment, life, sexuality, the family, social relations, and so forth. It follows that “the deterioration of nature is closely connected to the culture which shapes human coexistence”.[11] Pope Benedict asked us to recognize that the natural environment has been gravely damaged by our irresponsible behaviour. The social environment has also suffered damage. Both are ultimately due to the same evil: the notion that there are no indisputable truths to guide our lives, and hence human freedom is limitless. We have forgotten that “man is not only a freedom which he creates for himself. Man does not create himself. He is spirit and will, but also nature”.[12] With paternal concern, Benedict urged us to realize that creation is harmed “where we ourselves have the final word, where everything is simply our property and we use it for ourselves alone. The misuse of creation begins when we no longer recognize any higher instance than ourselves, when we see nothing else but ourselves”.[13]
7. These statements of the Popes echo the reflections of numerous scientists, philosophers, theologians and civic groups, all of which have enriched the Church’s thinking on these questions. Outside the Catholic Church, other Churches and Christian communities – and other religions as well – have expressed deep concern and offered valuable reflections on issues which all of us find disturbing. To give just one striking example, I would mention the statements made by the beloved Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with whom we share the hope of full ecclesial communion.
8. Patriarch Bartholomew has spoken in particular of the need for each of us to repent of the ways we have harmed the planet, for “inasmuch as we all generate small ecological damage”, we are called to acknowledge “our contribution, smaller or greater, to the disfigurement and destruction of creation”.[14] He has repeatedly stated this firmly and persuasively, challenging us to acknowledge our sins against creation: “For human beings… to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins”.[15] For “to commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God”.[16]
9. At the same time, Bartholomew has drawn attention to the ethical and spiritual roots of environmental problems, which require that we look for solutions not only in technology but in a change of humanity; otherwise we would be dealing merely with symptoms. He asks us to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which “entails learning to give, and not simply to give up. It is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs. It is liberation from fear, greed and compulsion”.[17] As Christians, we are also called “to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbours on a global scale. It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet”.[18]
The pope continues in Laudato Si by calling on the world to do more to fight the abuse against our planet and criticizes even those believers who are in denial regarding global warming:

13. The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.
14. I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges. Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest. Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity. As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated: “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation”. [22] All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.



I hope you take this time to pledge to save our planet not only for us now but for future generations to enjoy.

May God bless and protect His planet Earth. We Thank Him for creating it and us.

God is quite an artist I must say. :)



source:

http://www.earthday.org/

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince Dead at 57: Doves Cry

The renown pop rock artist known as Prince had died today at the age of 57. He was found in an elevator at his Paisley Park Studios complex and was unresponsive.  A 911 call was made at 9:43 AM, however, at 10:07 AM Prince was declared dead. The new s took the world by storm and even overshadowed Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday.  A 'Prince' overpowered a Queen.







Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Nelson was a unique youth. He would grow to become an American icon in the music industry rivaled only by the late Michael Jackson. Prince is known as an innovator and artist. His music ranged from funk , rock, R&B, soul, hip hop, disco, jazz and pop.  He wrote his song at age seven and was signed when he was 18. Prince sold over 100 million records which makes him one of the best-selling artists of all time.  In 2004, he join the ranks in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

His lyrics were often controversial in the 1980's due to their sexual tone and language. It is believed that records display parental advisory warnings because of him. He was raised in the Seventh day Adventist sect and later joined the Jehovah's Witness sect and often incorporated religious and spiritual themes in his music. His music was even featured in both Pope Benedict XVI's and Pope Francis' playlists during their trips to America. This may be due to one of his songs being named, "The Pope" where he sings, "You can be the president, I'd rather be the pope." His music was featured in many films including the first Batman movie starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholas.    

Though often being labeled as being gay or looking gay due to his androgynous appearance and symbol which incorporated both the female and male symbol as one, he was against so-called same sex marriage. Prince was a small man, measuring only 5'2'' but had a big voice.  He was full of talent and artistic expression which spoke to all by making it okay to look weird or strange.  During a tour last week on April 15, Prince's flight was stopped due to an emergency. He was taken to the hospital for what is described as complications of the flu. This is what may have killed him. An autopsy will be done on Friday to determine the cause of death. Foul play has been ruled out so far, though it is said Prince had a recent overdose.

Many fans around the nation have gathered at different locations including Prince's home and the Apollo theater in New York City to pay their respects.  In New York City, the Prince St decal on the subway wall was altered with 'Prince rip.'











In his honor, I will make this post with purple fonts.  

May Prince rest in peace.  May God have mercy on his soul. Thank you for entertaining us all and sharing your art and talent.  The world has gotten a bit more boring now that you are gone.










Source:

http://www.tmz.com/2016/04/21/prince-dead-at-57/

https://www.yahoo.com/news/prince-911-call-transcript-released-005526903.html

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7341522/prince-dead

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/arts/music/prince-dead.html?_r=0

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2004/apr/04/popandrock.shopping

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3552300/Fatality-Prince-s-estate-Minnesota-days-musician-rushed-hospital.html

http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/21/entertainment/prince-estate-death/

http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-prince-20160421-story.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/ct-prince-studio-death-investigation-20160421-story.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/transcript-911-call-seeking-prince-shows-unconscious-elevator/story?id=38586062

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2016/04/21/prince-death-what-we-know-now/83351474/

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2016/04/21/the_story_behind_prince_s_unpronounceable_love_symbol_2.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/nation-now/2016/04/21/celebrities-react-princes-death/83341102/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-day-the-music-died-celebs-mourn-princes-death/

https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2016/04/21/reaction-prince-death/m8t5Q5fPAcgv8zKC2k61fM/story.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/04/21/raunchy-prince-was-actually-a-conservative-christian-who-reportedly-opposed-gay-marriage/

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Harriet Tubman on $20 Bill



For quite some time, there were plans to remove Alexander Hamilton from the 10 dollar bill. Well, after protest from Puerto Rican Broadway actor and creator of the popular show 'Hamilton,' Lin-Manuel Miranda and others, the 10 dollar bill has been spared.  Instead, president Andrew Jackson (a slave owner) will be replaced with former African slave and abolitionist,

Harriet Tubman. The news has been met with different reactions. Some feel that it is a disrespect to Andrew Jackson, while others believe Ronald Reagan or another president should have been chosen. Unfortunately, some conservatives have taken to social media to voice their protect with racist tones.



































You can read more on Harriet Tubman here: http://www.biography.com/people/harriet-tubman-9511430



  • What do you think?  
  • Should Andrew Jackson be replaced with Harriet Tubman?


**Your comments may be read live on Sacerdotus Radio or Sacerdotus Hangouts.






Source:


http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36096151

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/21/us/women-currency-treasury-harriet-tubman.html

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/434360/harriet-tubman-20-bill-change-honors-american-hero






Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Trump & Clinton: New York State of Mind




As expected, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won their home state, New York with impressive votes. Ted Cruz got no delegates and hardly any votes in comparison. This was possibly due to his offensive generalization of New Yorkers by labeling them as having 'New York Values' (see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2016/01/ted-cruz-new-york-values.html). That ignorant comment hurt his chances.

New York republican congressman Peter King even stated that he would drink cyanide if Cruz won. I think that shows how bad Cruz offended New Yorkers.  Trump beat him because New Yorkers know him better. He is a real estate business man who has brought many jobs to New Yorkers.  Cruz is seen as a clown in Washington who forced the government to close and read Dr. Seuss, wasting the people's time.

Governor Kasich did well in Manhattan, which is ironic since it is the borough that Trump calls home. Clinton won against Sanders by about 15%. While not surprising, Sanders was confident that he would win New York since he was born in Brooklyn and had record numbers of participants in rallies and a smashing debate performance (see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2016/04/brooklyn-brawl-demdebate.html and http://www.sacerdotus.com/2016/03/bernie-in-bronx-st-marys-park-mott-haven.html). His chances of winning the democratic nominee position is slim. Clinton seems to already have gotten the spot unofficially due to the number of delegates that she has.






Source:

https://gma.yahoo.com/ny-rep-peter-king-jokes-hell-cyanide-ted-165404113--abc-news-topstories.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-trounces-in-new-york-primary-pushes-toward-033326525.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/sanders-has-little-path-to-victory-left-after-a-014826184.html

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fr. Mitch Pacwa Suffers Heart Attack: Pray For Him!



Jesuit priest and EWTN favorite Fr. Mitch Pacwa SJ., suffered a heart attack on Saturday, April 16, 2016. This was posted on his Facebook and Twitter accounts:



https://www.facebook.com/FrMitchPacwaSJ/posts/10156767090895392












Thank God and Our Blessed Mother that he is doing well and will return to EWTN on Tuesday.  Please pray a Rosary for him.  May God bless him, Our Lady protect him and St. Ignatius of Loyala pray for him. Amen!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

4th Sunday of Easter: The Flock He Tends

Today's readings touch upon God's flock and how God wants all to hear the word, listen to the word and be saved. The Pope's visit to the island of Lesbos in Greek can be used to visualize the readings in today's context.

The first reading tells us of Paul and Barnabas who are evangelizing. They speak to the Jews and those who became Jews. They stress to the Jews to remain faithful to God's grace. However, others came to listen to them, namely the Gentiles or non-Jews.  The Jews present were jealous and angry at both Paul and Barnabas. How many times do our own fellow Catholics get jealous of us because we may be taking on a ministry in the Church and succeeding?  Fallen human nature is always a thorn at the side, so to speak. Anyhow, Both Paul and Barnabas begin to preach to the Gentiles because the Jews present did not want to hear of salvation and eternal life in Christ Jesus.  They quoted and fulfilled the verse that says, "I have made you a light to the Gentiles,that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth” which comes from Isaiah 49:6. While God did choose a "people" as His own, the Jews. He did not leave everyone else out. The Jews would be the first to "taste the goodness of the Lord," (Psalm 34:8) but the rest of the world will soon follow. On Saturday, Pope Francis visited a refugee camp and brought three families with him back to Rome. These families are Muslim! Our Holy Father is reminding us to be like Paul and Barnabas, but above all, like Christ who came to all and to serve not be served.  We are all God's people, the sheep of His flock as the responsorial Psalm reminds us today.

We must sing joyfully to the Lord. This includes all peoples, all lands (Psalm 117:1)!  We must serve the Lord with gladness, not bitterness or out of obligation (Psalm 84:1-2). God is our Father (Mark 14:36). God cares for us for we are His people, His flock that He tends.  God is good all of the time; all of the time God is good!  He keeps us in existence, though we do not deserve it due to our sins. This shows how merciful God is.

In the second reading, we read from the mysterious book of Revelations. The Apostle John is on the island of Patmos, Greece and sees the visions while there.  He writes them using apocalyptic language or a genre that uses hyperbole, vivid imagery and symbolism to convey messages. Our reading describes angels, seals, a great multitude, the Lamb, elders and so on.  These images are symbols of heaven.  Furthermore, as we continue reading, the Scripture tells us of a great multitude that no one could count. This multitude comes from every nation, race, people, and tongue.  Who do you think these people represent?  If you guessed the Catholic Church, then you are correct. This verse is referring to the Church (Militant, Triumphant, and Suffering) composed of her saints living and deceased. These are the "Catholic" people or the universal people who come from all over the globe (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15, CCC 830-831). The Church is not a "White," "Black," "Latino," "Red," "Brown," or "Asian" Church.  Christ's Church is a "Catholic" Church open to all from every walk of life, every nation, every gender, every age etc. The white robes represent our cleanliness, the robe of salvation which we received at baptism and tried hard throughout life to keep it spotless via the Sacraments, especially Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist or the "Blood of the Lamb" (Isaiah 61:10, Revelation 7:14). The palm branches represent Palm Sunday demonstrating that we are triumphant in Jesus Christ. We raise our branches and shouted, "Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb" (John 12:13). Who is this "Lamb?"  Jesus of course!  Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world; sound familiar (John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:19)? Next, we read of the angels and elders who prostrated themselves before the throne. These elders represent the saints and the apostles who pray for us before the Lamb (Revelations 5:8).  We must fight the good fight in order to be part of this multitude by longing to see God's face (1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:7).

Finally in the Gospel, we read Jesus' words about the sheep hearing His voice. He knows them and they will follow Him. He gives them eternal life and no one can snatch them away from Him.  Jesus also confirms that He and the Father are One. Two distinct persons along with the third, the Holy Spirit, but one God. God's flock is not just the Jews or Catholics, but all of humanity. Jesus said there are other sheep that are not in His main flock (John 10:16).  These too will hear His voice and come to Him. This is why we must evangelize (Mark 16:15). We must spread the Word of God not only with words, but with action. As the cliche goes, "actions speak louder than words" so too, do our Christian acts in the world speak loudly. We see this in Pope Francis who has made it a priority to preach the Gospel via action via his call to mercy.  We as Catholics have the fullness of truth, but we must not become prideful and fall into triumphalism thinking that we are better than others of different faiths or no faith (Philippians 2:3). Humility is key (Ephesians 4:2). We must be cunning like the serpent yes, but gentle like a dove when presenting the faith to others (Matthew 10:16).  Let us pray to the Good Shepherd to call all sheep back to one flock.  May Jesus Christ be praised!




Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041716.cfm

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Happy 89th Birthday Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI!

Today is April 16, 2016 and it is the 89th birthday of His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Bishop of Rome Emeritus. I want to offer my congratulations and prayers to the Holy Father on his special day.

It has been three years since Pope Benedict XVI retired.  Pope Emeritus is an awesome man. He is an intellectual and I am a fan of his books. One can tell from his writings that he is indeed a professor and intellectual at heart.
 He has a gift of presenting his thoughts, Church teachings, and research so eloquently and rationally. He does not water anything down and I love that about him.

Pope Benedict XVI is the Missionary Pope - the Professor Pope; the Pope of Reason. He loves to write and teach. One can see this in his demeanor, tone and writing style. Moreover, he has done a lot to bring closer to Rome our separated brethren (Eastern, Protestant, Traditionalists). We have seen more fruits in Christian unity under Pope Benedict XVI than in prior centuries.



Not only has he engaged those Christians who separated themselves from Rome, but he has also engaged Atheists and Agnostics opening up dialog with them. While polemicists such as Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens love to separate and spread hate; Pope Benedict did the opposite. He stretched out the Olive Branch to the "Gentiles." Reason and Faith are not enemies. He showed the religious world that Faith has nothing to fear from Science because Science merely makes the glory of God in nature demonstrable to us all.

Pope Benedict XVI has also engaged the Muslims truthfully and in charity. He is a man of courage and zeal. He has worked hard on the New Evangelization which is working to re-Christianize Europe and the rest of the world.

He has spoken strongly and taken action against pedophiles, homosexuals and dissidents in the Catholic Church who have been causing much scandal. He has restored dignity to the rich Liturgies of the Roman Rite which has been toyed with since Vatican II by progressives hoping to create some "kumbaya" atmosphere in our prayer.

Pope Benedict XVI was the right Pope for the time when he was elected, in my opinion. I miss him a lot and wish him the best during his retirement.

Pope Benedict XVI's resignation shows that he was never in it for the power, fame, or papal perks.
Despite receiving criticism for restoring the regal presence of the Papacy, he did the right thing in reminding us all about the Primacy of Peter. In my opinion, while praying at a monastery he is more powerful there than going about in a "Popemobile." I hope Pope Emeritus will continue writing books. Reading his books, you can tell he knows a lot, not only about theology.  He made a public appearance at Pope Francis' first consistory.

I made a video as a tribute to this great Pope and as a thank you for his contribution to the Church. May God continue to bless us with his presence, thoughts, words, wisdom and prayers.


Please join me in praying for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and thank God for him!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Brooklyn Brawl: #DemDebate



Last night, another CNN debate took place with democratic candidates for the presidency, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The debate was held at the Navy Yards in Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn is the hometown of Bernie Sanders.

This debate was different from previous ones. Both candidates went at it accusing each other of many things, shouting at each other and forcing the moderators to interject to get them to calm down. Bernie attacked Hillary on her connections with Wall Street and called on her to release the transcript of her speaking engagement. He also attacked her on her vote for the Iraq war. Sanders presented himself as the candidate for the people, painting Clinton as the 'establishment' candidate. Clinton attacked back mentioning his interview gaffe with the New York Daily News where Sanders came across as unprepared and called on him to release his taxes which he said he would on today. However, Sanders got Clinton to actually agree with him on social security which got her visibly upset, but she tried to 'smile it away.' She went after him on the NRA and gun control.

Sanders hit her back hard regarding the situation in Israel as well as climate change. The crowd was obviously on the side of Sanders. They cheered the most for him and at several times chanted 'Bernie Bernie Bernie.' Clinton was visibly embarrassed and acknowledged that the crowd was in Sanders' favor in her closing statement. Sanders cast doubt on Clinton's judgement and her ability to handle things. He also called her out on her constant mind changing on what the minimum wage should be.

In my opinion, Bernie Sanders won this debate. He destroyed Clinton on many points, made her look contradictory and got her to lose her temper a few times which she tried to mask with an exaggerated smile. Clinton looked visibly uncomfortable in a city she represented as senator.    













Source:
http://www.nytimes.com/live/democratic-debate-cnn-april-2016/

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/sparks-fly-between-clinton-sanders-heated-brooklyn-debate-n556366

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-debate-brooklyn-article-1.2601821

https://www.yahoo.com/news/sanders-warns-of-drought-and-1407841280679990.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/us/politics/who-won-the-debate.html?_r=0

http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/14/politics/democratic-debate-brooklyn-recap/

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Illiterate Bronze-Age Goat Herders? Atheist Lies



Alleged atheists found online often make this claim:

The Bible is a collection of fairytales written by illiterate goat herders back in the Bronze Age.

Is it true?  The answer is no according to a new find. Scientific American states in an article that mundane notes found in 16 ceramic shards and which were written in 600 B.C. inside a military fortress show that the people of the time were well educated. The article argues that the Bible or Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) were written 2,600 years ago and states that scholars strongly hold the position that the people of the time were extremely literate due to the prose of the Scriptures.  The discovery of the shards back this up.

The findings were published in the study entitled, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [Shira Faigenbaum-Golovin et al, Algorithmic handwriting analysis of Judah’s military correspondence sheds light on composition of biblical texts].
The notes found in the shards were written by six persons and involved military movements as well as food expenses.  Shira Faigebaum-Golovin of Tel Aviv University states:

"This means that not only their priests were able to write, but also the an army administration were literate down to the quartermaster of this fort in the desert. This indicates that in Judah, in the sixth century, there were high literacy ranks in not only the elite people but among simple people also.”

As usual, atheists are once again proven wrong.  Their dishonesty has no limits.  They will say anything to keep a narrative alive which camouflages the lack of substance found in their many arguments.  Atheism is merely a cesspool of ignorance.  The books of the Bible were not written by mere goat herders who were illiterate as they claim. This study and the research of scholars show otherwise.











Source:


http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/04/05/1522200113.abstract

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/60-second-science/find-shows-widespread-literacy-2600-years-ago-in-judah/

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Apostolic Nuncio Replaced & Media Slant



The media is at it again.  The Vatican announced yesterday that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano reached the age of retirement and will be replaced by Archbishop Christophe Pierre as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America.

He was formerly the Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico. Well, the media is now stating that Vagano was replaced because he invited Kim Davis to an audience during the Papal Visit in September of 2015.

They are going so far as to saying that since Vagano spoke strongly against same-sex marriage in the past and invited Kim Davis who was jailed for refusing to give out marriage licenses to same-sex couple, that the Pope wanted him out.

Can you believe this?

The Vatican made it clear that Vagano reached retirement age.



See more on Kim Davis here:

http://www.sacerdotus.com/2015/09/kim-davis-jailed.html

http://www.sacerdotus.com/2015/10/holy-confusion-batman-pope-francis-kim.html



Source:

http://www.news.va/en/news/archbishop-christophe-pierre-new-nuncio-to-usa

https://www.yahoo.com/news/pope-replaces-us-ambassador-vigano-names-french-monsignor-110412569.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/12/europe/pope-vigano-resign/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/04/12/pope-francis-picks-new-ambassador-to-u-s-replacing-the-one-who-invited-kim-davis/






Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Nanocrafts To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone...



To boldly go where no man has gone before...

These are the introduction words of the Star Trek franchise. Humanity has long dreamed about going out into the starts to explore "strange new worlds and seek out new life," however, the laws of physics, our knowledge, technology and lack of money have put a damper of such plans. Well today, Dr. Stephen Hawkins, renown physicist, has introduced a mission that can get us to go beyond and study other galaxies.

While at the One World Observatory in New York City, Dr. Hawking launched 'Breakthrough Starshot' which is being supported by billionaires Yuri Milner and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, INC. On Facebook, Hawking posted:

Today, at the One World Observatory in New York City, Yuri Milner and I launched a mission to the stars. Mark Zuckerberg lent his support by joining the board of our new initiative, Breakthrough Starshot.
Within the next generation, Breakthrough Starshot aims to develop a ‘nanocraft’ – a gram-scale robotic space probe – and use a light beam to push it to 20 percent of the speed of light. If we are successful, a flyby mission could reach Alpha Centauri about 20 years after launch, and send back images of any planets discovered in the system.
Albert Einstein once imagined riding on a light beam, and his thought experiment led him to the theory of special relativity. A little over a century later, we have the chance to attain a significant fraction of that speed: 100 million miles an hour. Only by going that fast can we reach the stars on the time-scale of a human life.
It is exciting to be involved in such an ambitious project, pushing the boundaries of ingenuity and engineering. - SH
- https://www.facebook.com/stephenhawking/photos/a.722563527830747.1073741833.710234179063682/1004427326311031/?type=3&theater


This mission entails sending nanocrafts or nanoprobes, or small bots into space that will contain cameras, sensors, maneuvering thrusts and communications equipment. The nanocrafts will be aided by 100-gigawatts laser pulses which will power the nanocrafts' 'light sails' which will give them momentum to travel farther and farther from Earth.  It is estimated that these nanocrafts will be able to travel about 20% of the speed of light which travels at 186,282 miles per second. This will allow the nanocrafts to reach our closest star after our Sun, Alpha Centuari in about 20 years. From there, they will be able to beam back information on planets in the system before they go too far and will not be able to communicate with Earth. These nanocrafts will be able to pass both Voyager probes within 2-3 days and they have been traveling into interstellar space for decades.

The plan is exciting and I hope it works well, however, I some things came to my mind. First, what is to prevent the nanocrafts from pulverizing in space as they travel so far causing friction?  Remember, light travels at the speed of light, nothing else. Second, since there are asteroids and other objects in space, what will protect the nanocrafts from head-on collisions while traveling at 20% the speed of light? In Star Trek, the Enterprise had the deflector array which "push" away those objects in space which would have destroyed the ship as it travels at warp speed. These are what came to my mind as I watch Dr. Hawking etc give the presentation.













Source:

https://www.facebook.com/stephenhawking/photos/a.722563527830747.1073741833.710234179063682/1004427326311031/?type=3&theater

http://www.space.com/32551-breakthrough-starshot-interstellar-spacecraft-infographic.html?cmpid=514630_20160413_60457696&adbid=10153443769056466&adbpl=fb&adbpr=17610706465

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/100-million-plan-will-send-probes-to-the-nearest-star1/

Monday, April 11, 2016

Cardinal Burke Likes 'Amoris Laetitia'



Cardinal Burke, seen by many as lead prelate of the traditionalist or ultra conservative faction of the Church has condemned critics of the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia.'

The Cardinal emphasizes as I did in my own post (see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2016/04/amoris-laetitia-joy-of-love.html) that the document has no binding affect on doctrine or even practice. He writes:

“Pope Francis makes clear, from the beginning, that the post-synodal apostolic exhortation is not an act of the magisterium” and that “it is written as a reflection of the Holy Father on the work of the last two sessions of the Synod of Bishops (on the family).”
“A post-synodal apostolic exhortation, by its very nature, does not propose new doctrine and discipline but applies the perennial doctrine and discipline to the situation of the world at the time,”

He stresses that the purpose of the document is for,

"pastors and other teachers of the faith is to present it within the context of the Church’s teaching and discipline, so that it serves to build up the Body of Christ in its first cell of life, which is marriage and the family.  In other words, the post-synodal apostolic exhortation can only be correctly interpreted, as a non-magisterial document, using the key of the Magisterium as it is described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.” 

Many so-called traditionalists or ultra conservative bloggers have taken to the keyboard to attack Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia. Some have describe it as a "revolution" within the Catholic Church.  Others have claimed that it is an attempt to turn the Catholic Church into Protestatism. Cardinal Burke refutes that stating:

"In other words, the Holy Father is proposing what he personally believes is the will of Christ for His Church, but he does not intend to impose his point of view, nor to condemn those who insist on what he calls “a more rigorous pastoral care.”

The Cardinal attacks the media and Catholic bloggers who have been slandering the Pope and the document:

"The secular media and even some Catholic media are describing the recently issued post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “Love in the Family,” as a revolution in the Church, as a radical departure from the teaching and practice of the Church, up to now, regarding marriage and the family.
Such a view of the document is both a source of wonder and confusion to the faithful, and potentially a source of scandal, not only for the faithful but for others of goodwill who look to Christ and his Church to teach and reflect in practice the truth regarding marriage and its fruit, family life, the first cell of the life of the Church and of every society."

Fr. Longenecker also agreed with the Cardinal, even calling these Catholics, 'fundamentalists.'


"He says clearly that those who set themselves up as critics of the Holy Father and the exhortation are wrong and are causing scandal. The behavior of the Catholic fundamentalists over the weekend has been scandalous. Some who believe themselves to be such good Catholics have used vile and obscene language about the Pope, trumpeted their prognostications of doom and gloom and in doing so have declared themselves not to be the best Catholics of all, but the worst.
Cardinal Burke is right to say they have caused scandal because their self righteous, ignorant and arrogant writings have caused others to stumble, lose faith in the church and to question the authority of the Holy Father and the church they say they love."

I agree with both. The attacks against the Pope, the slander against him and the misinterpretation of ‘Amoris Laetitia' is getting out of hand. There is a faction out there who is abusing the gift of the blog to voice their diatribe against the Pope. They filter things related to him via a cognitive bias that only lets them interpret things via their point of voice forcing them to see what is not there.  This shows their ignorance of how the Church and her documents work.  I think the Vatican should do more to control so-called 'Catholic' blogs and sites. Perhaps a form of online imprimataur is needed.  These blogs are confusing many Catholics and causing hatred and distrust of the Roman Pontiff.

Cardinal Burke clearly liked the Apostolic Exhortation and defended it. He did not voice his criticism publicly as he has done so in the past indicating that he liked the document and had no issue with it.





Source:

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/amoris-laetitia-and-the-constant-teaching-and-practice-of-the-church/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2016/04/cardinal-burke-knocks-the-armchair-critics-of-amoris-laetitia.html

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/cardinal-burkes-puzzling-response-to-the-popes-exhortationmakes-perfect-sen


http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/04/12/cardinal-burke-amoris-laetitia-does-not-change-church-teaching/

Sunday, April 10, 2016

3rd Sunday of Easter: Live For His Name

Today's first reading is from Acts. We will continue reading from this book during the Easter season into Pentecost. This book tells the story of how the Apostles began to preach the Gospel.  We see that in today's reading.  The apostles were teaching in Jesus' name (John 14:13). Because of this, they were harassed by the Sanhedrin or the old Jewish priests of the Pharisee and Sadducees cult (Matthew 10:22, Matthew 24:9).  This court of elders (Sanhedrin) did not want the apostles teaching about Jesus. They wanted the name of Jesus to disappear for good.  However, this was not God's will. Jesus specifically sent the apostles to preach the Gospel. The apostles made it clear that they must obey God ranter than men. These words should be clear to us today where Christianity is under attack and many times we are caught between obeying laws and following our faith. Some of us have been jailed already for this. We must obey God rather than men. If we do this, we will suffer of course because the world is against God (Matthew 5:11, Matthew 10:22, Matthew 24:9). Just turn on the news and see how the world is against God. Sometimes I wonder myself what is keeping the human race in existence. There is so much evil in the world that humanity should have wiped itself off the globe a long time ago! Anyhow, we must not be ashamed to preach Christ in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). We must rejoice when we suffer for the sake of the name because this means we are doing God's will (Romans 5:3-5). This means that we have begun to pick up the cross and are starting to carry it (Matthew 16:24). God will rescue us from danger as we read in the responsorial Psalm today.

We must praise the Lord, because He has rescued us! Though people will target us for our faith in God, God will not let them rejoice over us (Psalm 110:1, Luke 20:43). God will save us.  God is worthy of praise even during hardships.  We may mourn when we are targeted for our faith.  We may feel sad or embarrassed. We may feel God has abandoned us, but He has not. Our mourning will turn into dancing. We will dancing like in a Zumba class out of joy because we are victorious in Him who rose from the dead, Christ the Lord!

The second reading tells us about Christ the Lord, the Lamb who was slain and worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom and strength (John 1:29). Christ is the Lord. He rose from the dead showing He has power over life and death. The whole world and universe cries out, "To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever."  We all say with the four living creatures or cherubim, AMEN! Christ is with us always and never has abandoned us. We see this in today's Gospel.

In today's Gospel, there are two versions: a longer and a shorter one. Jesus reveals Himself to the disciples once again. Peter, Thomas who doubted, Nathanael, Zebedee's sons and two other unnamed disciples were going fishing. At dawn, Jesus was standing there on the shore but the disciples did not recognize Him.  Jesus asks them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?"  They replied, "No." Then Jesus tells them to cast the net to the right side.  When they did this, they caught so many fish that it was too heavy to pull into the boat. At this moment, Peter recognized that it was Jesus.  Peter recognized Him because the situation was similar to when they first met. We read this on the 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time back in February of this year see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2016/02/5th-sunday-of-ordinary-time-duc-in-altum.html.

Jesus and the apostles then had breakfast with the fish and bread which was available. The longer version of today's Gospel has Jesus asking Peter if He loves Him. Jesus asks three times and tells Peter to feed His sheep and tend His lambs.  Jesus did this to remind Peter of the three times Peter denied Him (Luke 22:54-62). He is giving Peter another chance to answer correctly this time instead of denying Him.  Notice He tells Peter to care for His sheep and lambs showing that Peter would take His place as shepherd, or will be His vicar (Matthew 16:18).  Here we see why the Pope, the successor of Peter is the vicar of Christ. Jesus left Peter in charge of His flock until He returns.

Lastly, we see Jesus telling Peter that just like older people are led to where they will not want to go, so too will he be led where he does not want to go. Jesus was telling Peter about his martyrdom which would take place near where the Vatican is.  Peter would be crucified upside-down because he did not want to die in the same manner as his Lord. His remains were buried where St. Peter's basilica stands.  Some of our Protestant friends claim that Peter was never in Rome but we know via 1 Peter 5:13 that he was since he uses the 'code' word for Rome, 'Babylon."

We must follow Jesus everywhere, seek Him in our daily lives just like the apostles recognized Him while fishing.  We must be ready to suffer and go where we do not want to go for the Lord's name.  May the risen all powerful Jesus Christ be praised!



Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041016.cfm


Friday, April 8, 2016

Amoris Laetitia - The Joy of Love

Today at around 12 PM Rome time, the Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia: On Love in the Family" was released to the public. It is important to note that an Apostolic Exhortation does not introduce, change or define doctrine.  Rather, it is the Pope communicating to the Universal Church to take certain actions. The Apostolic Exhortation released today was a lengthy work in progress which began at the Synods 14 & 15. It focuses on the family and the modern situations it finds itself in. During the Synods, open discussions were held regarding the family, homosexual unions, divorce and the reception of the Sacraments.

The exhortation begins with an introduction telling of the issues at hand and how complex they are.  The Pope says that not everything should be left to the magesterium and that each local region should seek solutions base don culture, traditions and the needs of the local people. In chapter 1, the Pope reflects on the family using Sacred Scripture, specifically Psalm 128.  He describes the family as a 'trade' and not some abstract idea. He follows in chapter 2 by presenting the situations of families in today's world.  The ideas of contraception, biotechnology, gender theory, pornography, abuse of minors etc are mentioned. He expounds on them and calls on all to have an informed conscience. The Pope stresses that Catholics should not see couples living in 'irregular situations' as 'living in sin.'

In chapter 3, the Pope points to Christ as the center and vocation of the family.  He relies on the Gospel to make his case and reminds Catholics of the indissolubility of marriage and the importance of transmitting life as well as the education of the youth.  He brings out the 'imperfect situations' that exist in the world and that pastors must be merciful and avoid judgments. Pastors must understand each situation and try his best to work with families involved in said situation. In chapter 4, the Pope addresses love in the family and expounds on the many hardships couples face in marriage. He stresses that love must be transformational. Couples must work at it and not give in to the changes that take place i.e. loss of attractiveness, physical changes, changes in sexual desire and so on.

Chapter 5 deals with procreation and the call to be "fruitful and multiply."  The Pope stresses that this fruitfulness can be found in adoption and the care of children by parents and the extended familiy. In chapter 6, the Pope addresses the issues via a pastoral perspective.  He relies on the teachings of Pope John Paul II and his own catechesis along with the reports from the two Synods to stress that the family must not only be evangelized but it must also go out into the world and evangelize.  He makes the observation that most clergy are not well educated on how to deal with the face of the changing family in the post modern world and stresses changes in the psycho-affrective formation of those in seminary. The Pope continues speaking on the family, married couples and those who are divorced and often felt abandoned by the Church. He describes divorce as an evil and stresses the need for the annulment process to be reformed. Lastly, he addresses the situations with married couples of different faiths as well as homosexual persons.  He stresses that homosexuals must be loved and respected, but also makes it clear that same-sex marriage is not the same as marriage between a man and a woman and can never be the same.

In chapter 7, the Pope speaks on the education of children and how parents cannot control every situation a child faces. He stresses all kinds of education including sex education, but warns that so-called 'safe sex' education is harmful because it presents the procreative finality of sex as something negative or as something that can being negative consequences. He says that it promotes narcissism and aggression. Chapter 8 invites the Church to be more merciful to others and provide pastoral discernment in regards to today's family situation and the many dysfunctional aspects we find in it today. The Pope reminds us that the Church is like a field hospital caring for all those who are wounded.  It should not be a place for judgment. The Pope also makes it clear that pastoral mercy must never lessen or water down what Jesus offers and desires of the family, couples and so on, he writes: “To show understanding in the face of exceptional situations never implies dimming the light of the fuller ideal, or proposing less than what Jesus offers to the human being. Today, more important than the pastoral care of failures is the pastoral effort to strengthen marriages and thus to prevent their breakdown.”

Finally, chapter 9 reiterates the spirituality of marriage and the family. The Pope stresses the need for prayer and participation in the life of the Spirit.  He reminds us that families do not appear perfect.  Each family has its issues, but they must strive to grow in love and maturity.


The Apostolic Exhortation can be found here:

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20160319_amoris-laetitia.html


***

My thoughts:

The Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia: On Love in the Family is very well written. As expected, there were no doctrinal changes nor any endorsements of anti-Catholic rhetoric. Nevertheless, some are not too happy with it, especially so-called Traditionalists who feel the Pope did not reiterate strongly that those who divorce and remarry cannot be admitted to Holy Communion.  I can see why they would feel this. Footnote 351 which says:



seems to leave open the idea that Holy Communion can be given out on a case by case scenario since the "Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak."

The footnote is supporting this statement in the exhortation:

Because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end.

As you can see, it is referring to those people who are in a situation of sin, but can "can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church's help..."  This can leave open the idea of giving Holy Communion to those who are divorced and remarried, or any situation for that matter where Holy Communion is prohibited. I feel Pope Francis needs to clarify this otherwise some bishops and priests will run with the wind with it and give our Holy Communion with disregard to the idea that we have to be in the state of grace to receive the Lord. While the Sacraments are a 'medicine' of sort, we are told by St. Paul that receiving the Lord's body and blood unworthily brings about not only sin against the body and blood of the Lord, but also bodily sickness:

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.  Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves. For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
1 Corinthians 11: 27-30

Overall, I liked the exhortation and see that the Pope is speaking pastorally and with mercy, so I understand where he is coming from.  However, what worries me is how others will interpret this and go around handing out Holy Communion to everyone as if it were government cheese.  The Holy Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but it is also not food for dogs.

In closing, we must read this exhortation carefully.  I have already read it 3 times just to make sure I got every detail and  understood where the Pope was coming from and why he was coming from there, so to speak.  The media has already jumped to conclusions saying things the Pope never said. Please ignore them.


Here are some reactions from others:






















Sources:

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20160319_amoris-laetitia.html


http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2016/04/08/0240/00534.html#en

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2016/04/08/amoris-laetitia-is-kitchen-sink-theology-and-all-the-better-for-it/utm_content=buffer7a833&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://americamagazine.org/issue/top-ten-takeaways-amoris-laetitia

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/no-doctrine-change-from-pope-francis-but-a-call-for-better-pastoral-care-85474/?platform=hootsuite

http://www.romereports.com/2016/04/08/the-pope-encourages-the-integration-of-the-divorced-in-the-church

http://www.cyberteologia.it/2016/04/the-joy-of-love-the-structure-and-meaning-of-pope-francis-post-synodal-apostolic-exhortation/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/04/08/pope-francis-releases-key-text-family-matters/82782602/

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-marriage-idUSKCN0X42TB?utm_source=twitter

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20160408/pope-francis-offers-hope-to-divorced-catholics-says-no-to-gay-marriage

http://linkis.com/www.cnn.com/2016/04/l0gbP

http://mashable.com/2016/04/08/pope-francis-the-joy-of-love/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29#WYFyFXrtbZql

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20160408/pope-francis-offers-hope-to-divorced-catholics-says-no-to-gay-marriage

http://brisbanecatholic.org.au/articles/pope-francis-marriage-family-life/

https://www.yahoo.com/news/pope-insists-conscience-not-rules-must-guide-faithful-100149710.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2016/04/amoris-laetitia-pope-francis-1968-moment.html

http://www.romereports.com/2016/04/08/full-text-of-pope-francis-post-synodal-apostolic-exhortation-amoris-laetitia?platform=hootsuite

http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2016/04/08/pope-francis-in-epic-bid-to-save-the-family-convert-the-church/?platform=hootsuite

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/04/08/pope-francis-releases-key-text-family-matters/82782602/

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/popes-family-document-amoris-laetitia-tackles-complex-pastoral-challenges/


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