Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When people say "I've seen no compelling evidence for God's existence"!

  What they're really saying is "I haven't been looking".  Sure, they may have been raised by a decent, church going Christian family.  May have even accepted Jesus at one point.  But then something happened.  Maybe they were hurt.  Maybe they saw someone else suffering.  Maybe they prayed.  And prayed.  But maybe they felt their prayers were unheard.  Maybe they came to the (selfish and probably inaccurate) conclusion that, since God didn't answer their prayers, God must not exist.  I could go into reason for the fallacy between making a decision that God doesn't exist based solely on faulty logic.  But to be fair to the non-believer, what is the alternative?  On the one hand, you have the person that claims to love God but would letter let their child die than have a blood transfusion after an auto accident.  On the other, you have those who reject all metaphysical reality and claim that something has to be material to be real (this is the same idea that brought about communism, by the way).  So what do you do?  This individual has prayed and prayed for God to alleviate suffering, maybe in a friend or a family member, and he sees that his friend or family member is still suffering.  When he thinks about how some people are not healed, and he knows some people rely entirely on prayer to relieve an injured child, he comes up with the most logical belief that he can think of: There is no God.  Now, the logical flaws with this argument are numerous, and I won't go into detail here, but I have found that those that hold a materialistic ideology can never seem to answer me about this question: "If God doesn't exist, why should we"?  They can give me all the scientific evidence that want, and that's fine, science is cool, but it still fails to answer that question.  Do you want compelling evidence for the existence of God?  Look around
-Adam Charles Hovey

Monday, February 16, 2015

Please watch this video

Sometimes, the things people say hurt very badly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2NB42_nEFQ

Sunday, February 15, 2015

I was liking this series until....

About 30 minutes into this episode, an Episcopalian receives communion at a Catholic Mass.  Everyone at that monastery knows he is Episcopalian.  And in fact, up until this episode, I had only seen him get blessings during Mass.  I really hope someone chastised the both of the afterwards.
https://vimeo.com/23118161.  I think I may write a post on why Episcopalians may NOT receive the Eucharist at a Catholic Mass. I am just upset that I saw that. I had never seen this series up until either yesterday or the day before, and I think it originally aired in 2006, at which time I was not Catholic, and I was 18 anyway.  It's interesting seeing what life is like inside a monastery but that bothers me.  The Episcopalian guy may really believe in transubstantiation, but he was not properly deposed to receive the Eucharist.  Honestly, if I had seen it in 2006, I wouldn't have cared.  Oh it's true, religion changes people.  I hope he was admonished, I do.
-Adam Charles Hovey.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

50 Shades mentality and the death of Western culture

  I had heard of the book, have never read it.  I have read a synopsis of it, I have even spoken with people who have read it, including friends.  I have read reviews, paraphrases, and quotes from the book.  I will not be reading it.  I will not be seeing the film, which is to be released here in the states the day before St. Valentines Day.  Interestingly, St. Valentines Day is on a Saturday this year, so that means 50 Shades of Grey will be released on Friday the 13th.  I am not particularly superstitious, and I do understand from a marketing standpoint why films are usually released on Fridays, but still.  Maybe it will be unlucky for superstitious people that think abusive relationships are romance.  Maybe they'll see this drivel in person, and realise the way to love is not through degradation and abuse.  I have a friend, let's call her, V.  V. is a Christian, she is a member of the Anglican church in North America, a body that broke away from the main Anglican tradition in the United States (the Episcopal church) due to fears that it was becoming too "liberal" (I already said I hate political terms).  V. was cohabiting with a boyfriend for a while (and may be still again, I have not spoken to her in some time, so I have no idea), but I convinced her to move out and she moved into a dorm.  Now, I was once visiting V.'s dorm, and I saw it.  The "book" "50 Shades of Grey", to which she responded "I like romance".  Okay, I like romance too.  Walks in the park, maybe seeing a movie (NOT 50 Shades), going to the lake, going for a hike, going out to eat, heck even swimming.  Those  all may be romantic without being degrading.  So, I told her exactly what I thought.  "This isn't romance, this is pornography".  I found out some things about the book 50 Shades, and it originated as a piece of Twilight Fan fiction.  Okay, Twilight is bad.  (I admit to having seen the first one, as my roommate at the time watched it, I did not like it as much as he did), but there can at least be a sense of morality in the series (even if it is overtly, or rather, covertly Mormon).  Look, you can talk about the relationship in 50 Shades of Grey, and argue they are "consenting adults", that does not make it right.  I thought for a very long time, I deserved to be used (let it show that I am a male) and I started thinking, that there may be a problem with the logic.  Does anyone deserve to be used?  No.  We all deserve to be loved.  From the least to the first, and the first to the least.  Again, having never read the book I don't know too much about details, but I do know, the main character Christian was molested when he was 15.  Maybe the young woman in this book should have actually been a shoulder to cry on instead of agreeing with some very sexual explicit demands.  And if things got out of hand, she should have done what any sane woman should have done.  Left.  No woman should have to put up with abuse even if it's "consensual".  And coming from a family where one of my closest family members committed suicide because of an abusive wife, the same goes for men.  50 Shades of Grey is not literature.  It is not a novel.  It is poorly written drivel for those who don't know what sex is for.  Sex can be Holy (in the context of marriage).  50 Shades of Grey is most certainly not that.  And the fact it has sold over 100 Million copies, solidifies my belief that it is the end of western culture.  And the fact, there is a movie being released this week based on the "book" I think may actually confirm this belief.  Unless we step up and condemn it for what it is.  It's porn.

Monday, February 9, 2015

If Christ didn't find the Catholic Church

 Then who did?  There's the Old Constantine canard.  This is odd, since if Constantine was so involved in the First Council of Nicaea, should it have reflected Constantine's Theology?  Constantine was (at least at the time) more sympathetic to the Arian beliefs (Arians believed there was a "time when the Son was not").  If Constantine was so involved, why is modern Christology so Trinitarian?  And then you hear the argument that the Church was influenced by Paganism, then it would have had to be so early on.  Consider those who claim that the Eucharist is a Pagan invention.  Well then, I guess St. Paul (1 Corinthians 11:23-30) was a Pagan!  What of St. Ignatios of Antioch (one of my favourite Apostolic fathers), if he didn't believe that this was really the Body and Blood of Christ, why did he write so vehemently defending the Eucharist?  Furthermore, what Pagan religion believes that Bread and Wine become their god or gods?  Egyptians, Mithraic cults, Roman and Greek Pagans, had meals of bread and wine offered to their gods, but they did not, believe that they became the Body and Blood of said gods.  (Side note: It actually seems, that Mithraic cults borrowed from Christianity, not the other way around, Justin Martyr had some writing on this issue).  If Christ did not found the Catholic Church, than those that attack the Church as being founded by Constantine may have a point.  If it wasn't for this.  Most people who call themselves Christian accept the canon of the New Testament.  Which was given to them by the Church.  (For the record, I am a supported of the earlier dates of the New Testament books), most would accept the Doctrine of the Trinity, no problem, the Virgin Birth, and the Sinless of the Lord, and many also accept the Apostle's Creed.  The Anti-Catholic's own logic, would mean, that if their assertion were true, their beliefs would be from Constantine, not from God.  Good thing we Catholics have history on our side.  Just remember, what the Lord said to Simon Peter about the Church "And the Gates of Hell shall not prevail".  And they most certainly have not!
-Adam Charles Hovey

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fasting

  In Mark 9:14-27, Jesus drives a Demon out of a boy.  Some of the disciples asked him why they could not cast out this demon, to which Jesus responds "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but  prayer and fasting" (Mark 9:29).  Really though, how often do we fast?  I don't want a show of hands, but do you know how important fasting is?  In the Latin Church, we are only told to fast twice a year, just because this is the requirement, does not mean it should be the minimum!  One of my favourite Saints is a Lebanese Maronite Catholic by the name of St. Charbel Makhlouf.  St. Charbel Makhlouf was a hermit that fasted regularly.  He only took one meal a day, and no more.  During Lent (Great Lent), he was to eat no meat, dairy, or eggs.  He prayed, and as he was a Priest, he offered the Mass (Divine Liturgy) daily.  St Charbel is an inspiration to me because this how I want my spiritual life to be.  Now, I have no interest whatsoever in being a Priest (and God bless the men that do!), but I think that we could all use a little monastic living once in a while.  In the Western Church, Ash Wednesday is soon.  When was the last time you fasted? (Don't tell me, I don't want to know).  When was the last time you did an act of charity?  Your last confession?  Do you Pray regularly?  We have more than one penance.  Our life should regularly be lived as a penance.  I went to Confession this morning, I had what some people would consider a rather severe penance, but I love Penance.  The harsher the penance, the better!  Fasting is a type of self mortification, a way for us to grow in holiness to God.  If you can, try to fast at least twice a week (I understand some people have medical problems and may not be able to do so).  Don't forget to Pray when you fast, because to paraphrase Matt Fradd, "Fasting without prayer is, well, dieting".  God bless.
-Adam Charles Hovey

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Vocations

  So many of us have felt that we are called to marriage, and some have felt they are called to religious life, whether they are or not, I think we shall let the Church decide.  That said, I have thought long and hard about it, and I thought I may want to be a monk.  Then again, thinking about it, I think I may want to get married.  I have found a woman (I am a college student) that I didn't even realise I liked until yesterday.  Why do I bring this up?  Because some people are NOT called to religious life, just as some people are not called to a marriage vocation.  Many are called to neither (I always thought it was odd we had the emphasis on one or the other).  Now, that said, if I do get married, my job is to teach my wife and children the Faith.  Did you know that marriage is about helping your spouse get to heaven?  Is that not awesomeness?  Now, I will point out that I know of a few validly ordained Catholic priests that are married (Two of which I have met, both former Orthodox, Eastern Catholic biritual priests) as well as one in Augusta that became a priest through a the Pastoral Provision.  They are very hard working men, and a really good defense of the Western norm of clerical celibacy (remember, celibacy is a discipline not a doctrine.  I remember talking to one of these priests about what it was like to be married and to be a Catholic priest, he said "why would you want to be crucified twice"?  But he also stated that "two crucifixions means two resurrections".  He's a bit of a pessimist, but I like him anyway).  I have been engaged twice (not that the second one will admit to it, not sure why she is so hostile toward me, wait, keep reading, you're about to find the answer), the second woman I was engaged to is a Baptized Catholic that is now Anti-Catholic, and much of the reason I became Catholic (this was about a year and some minutes after she and I broke up that this happened, she was there at the church when I was Baptized, Confirmed, and received my first Holy Eucharist).  She wanted to get Confirmed, which is why I started going to Church with her anyway, to the best of my knowledge, she never did, but she's on her third Baptism, so there's that :'(.  So I pray for her.  That's another thing I have been thinking about, in all honesty, how often do we tell people we are going to Pray for them, just to forget about them?  Back to the original point of this post.  We must remember, it is not us that makes the call, it is God working in us.  Some of us will have happy marriages, some of us will have broken ones.  Some of us will spend time in seminaries only to realise we do not belong there, some of us will stay at a monastery for a while to realise that this may not be the right path for us.  And that's what it's about.  God calls us to holiness.  He calls us back to him, sometimes, we just have to figure out how to get there.
-Adam Charles Hovey