Sunday, June 10, 2018

No greater love

  Yesterday, I visited an old friend of mine's grave.  I was upset, I was crying out to God, and I told him that I missed him.  As providence would have it, I was reading Augustine of Hippo's "Confessions", and I came across the part of the book where Augustine was speaking of how he felt when his friend had died.  But what is a friend?  A homie?  A buddy?  A comrade?  Well, let's talk about it.  "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).  So, what does this mean?  Well, Jesus laid down his life so that you may live in him, and we are supposed to be imitators of Christ (1 Peter 2:21).  This means, even dying for our friends, because we love them.  Reading Augustine's word, even though he was not yet an orthodox Christian (remember, this was pre-schism, Orthodox and Catholic were pretty much interchangeable), I think he would have gladly died in his friend's place.  I would take a bullet for my worst enemy (assuming they weren't the one pulling the trigger).  In my culture, friends are an extension of family, and I do believe this is an extension of the natural order.  I'm not saying you need to be nice to everyone (there are times when being brash is called for), but I'm saying, that if someone is your friend, than they are also your brother and sister, and since everyone is your brother and sister, we are all friends, or at least should be.  There are many people that put this aspect of Jesus as absurd, but Jesus himself said he was our friend, most people do not doubt that Jesus is our brother if they call themselves Christian, so why would he not be our friend?  This is why we're saved as part of a community, or at least that's my theological opinion. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Why patriotic hymns do not belong at Mass

Today, 27 May 2018, is Trinity Sunday.  Mass was, to put in mildly, beautiful.  All except the closing hymn.  The jingoistic "America the beautiful".  Please relax, I am not bashing the song, America (I am, after all, American), or soldiers.  In fact, the Bible exhorts us the be soldiers for Christ (2 Tim 2), and both my maternal and paternal grandfathers served in the military (my maternal grandfather largely raised me),  I guess my problem is, is that we're not there for patriotism and honouring our soldiers, though those are good things in and of themselves,  This is an example of putting man before God.  The song was sung to honour, not God, but America.  I know hymns don't have to be about God (National anthems can also be called hymns).  Something about it, seems, out of place.  Again, I mean no disrespect toward veterans (although I am very critical when someone automatically assumes a veteran is heroic, that is usually true, but the inverse is too often true).  Another thing is this, if the song was to honour the veterans, why didn't they play it TOMORROW at Mass, instead of the closing hymn today?  To me, that kind of cheapens not only the song, but is really disrespectful to why we're there.  It is the CATHOLIC Church, not the American church, not the veterans church, but a church for all people, in all places, at all times.  Today was supposed to be about God, not veterans.  Honour our veterans, honour them everyday, but not at the expense of why we're at church.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

God's love for us

  Hey y'all, it's been a while.  I thought I would do something a little different today, but still apologetic in nature.  I wanted to talk about God's love.  See, you may love your Grandma or your spouse, but that's only an iota of how much God loves you.  All throughout scripture, we read about about God's love and mercy, Psalm 86 (85):15, for example: "But you, O Lord, are a God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and faithfulness". (RSVCE 2nd Edition).  So, what does this mean?  Well, a few weeks ago, I made a video about how the universe could not possibly be infinite (if something's growing, it can't go on forever, if it has room to grow, than it's finite), but how God's love is.  Apparently, people love changing definitions of words.  Anyway, when Jesus died on the cross, that was God showing his love to us.  "Greater love than this, no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends".  (John 15:13 Douay-Rheims version).  Of course, Jesus did just that.  Jesus could do that, because Jesus is God, and God is not limited by what we think is impossible.  God loves us, not only because he is our friend (although I'm beginning to think some apologists ignore that verse), but because a Father loves his children.  (I'm not getting into the heresy of modalism, relax).  God isn't selfish because he demands our obedience and worship, we're selfish because we're arrogant enough to think he doesn't deserve it.  So many people think that they can magically prove God doesn't exist just by willing that he doesn't (and yes, "magical" is the correct term, psychologists call it "magical thinking"), because someone with pretty ill thougthout rage against an allegedly nonexistent God told them he doesn't.  Pretty irrational to me.  So does God love those people?  You bet he does, in fact, he even gives them time to repent.  But if you spend your life rebelling against the law, then you only have yourself to blame when you end up in prison.  God does love you, and he sends no one to Hell.  Hell is a choice, and the choice is yours.  Either you can choose to deny that God exists, or you can serve him and be with him for all eternity.  (Keep in mind, that in the New Testament, a  word often translated to love "agape" is charitable love.  God has so much charity for you.  Think about how important that is).  That is LOVE.  Now, before anyone gets the wrong idea, I am NOT saying that atheists automatically go to Hell, I don't pretend to be able to judge someone's eternal destiny, but I think an atheist would do well to learn about God.  God not only loves you, but God IS love (1 John 4:8)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The fascist and socialist Christ-haters

  As many of you know, I regularly comment on various sites using Disqus.  I’ve noticed, however, a very disturbing trend.  That trend that removes whatever comment is seen as politically incorrect.  I’ve been banned from a French language blog simply because I said I hate the phrase happy holidays, and because I asked that their movie list show something other than homosexuality.  I’ve been banned from a Texas BBQ site (I’m a vegetarian, but I like to read about things like that ), quite literally, for being a heterosexual.  Meanwhile, the guy with the name “White Pride World Wide", gets off scot-free.  I don’t get it.  I never advocated violence against anyone, I never said anything racist, I apparently had a picture and they didn’t like what it was saying.  So, I guess, in the eyes of the world, it’s now a sin to say Merry Christmas, or to proclaim your heterosexuality.  Being a white supremacist is fine though, apparently.  Free speech for the privileged, I suppose.  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+24%3A15&version=RSVCE

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween is not Pagan

  No matter what some Neopagans and well-meaning Fundamentalists think. (Unfortunately, even some Catholics fall into this, see here, https://adamcharleshovey.blogspot.com/2016/10/what-to-do-when-your-pastor-is-wrong.html).  Now, there are causes for concern.  Tarot cards and Ouija boards are major issues, but trick-or-treating isn't going to send you to hell.

       That said, I think we need to take back Halloween to its Christian origins, not its alleged Pagan origins.  Anyone with me?  People think Christians are scary anyway, let’s show them what it means to be a soldier of Christ.  I’ve actually gotten Bible verses going trick-or-treating.  Let’s do it!   Give them verses on the Eucharist to show their parents!
http://www.ncregister.com/blog/astagnaro/halloween-is-a-great-catholic-holiday

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"Transgenderism" and the bandwagon effect

  A funny thing happened.  When I typed in the word "transgenderism", but my computer is telling me to correct it.  Anyway, we have a phrase used in American English, and I'd imagine some other dialects of English, called "Jumping the bandwagon".  Say you hate sports team A, until sports team A is going to make it to sports championship.  All the sudden, the sports team you despised, is now your favourite sports team.  This is what happened with transgenderism here in America.  A few short years ago, it was understood, that most people could be classified as male of female.  It was understood that even someone who was a transsexual was actually their birth gender, as most people knew that gender could not actually be changed.  Where have we gotten to?  I remember listening to a show on the radio, where a lady called in saying the Bible says "nothing about gender".  I think she would do well to read Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God, male and female he created them".  Now, children are being told that they can be the opposite gender.  Where does this nonsense end?  It's not even about the Bible saying it, it's about common sense.  Why can't we understand that a man with a mutilated genitals is not a woman (or vice versa) is beyond me.  Liking silky clothes doesn't make a boy a girl.  Preferring to wear slacks and ties doesn't make a woman a man.  And no, transgender "men" can't  get and aren't pregnant men, they're women.  You can't change biology, and no, contrary to Justice Kennedy, you can't define your own reality. ("Concept of existence").  And so, it happens with the transgenderism bandwagon.  People support it because it's the popular thing to do.  Not because it actually makes sense to support.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Why football (Soccer) is the most Catholic sport

  Right now, I am watching the CONCACAF Gold Cup.  The match is US-El Salvador.  I am convinced that Soccer is the most Catholic sport.  Not because its immense popularity (it is the most popular sport on Earth), not because of the witnessing of some of its players (making the sign of the cross), not because people of all colours play it.  It's all of these things.  We are told to go "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15), and this is how we witness.  Soccer players make real witnesses for Catholicism.  True, not all of them always live their faith, but at least, for the most part, they aren't afraid to show it.