Archives for September 2011

Elsewhere: Jack Chick vs. Our Lady


I have written previously about Jack Chick. You will recall that he is the prolific, fundamentalist anti-Catholic writer of absurd “tracts” attacking the faith. These cartoon exposés are packed full of blatant lies, half-truths and misrepresentations of our faith. They are ideal for the poorly catechized who are prone to believing what they read in comic book form without checking any of it for accuracy.

Don’t underestimate Chick’s influence. He has printed 750 million copies of this trash. Some churches distribute it.

One of the pieces in Chick’s portfolio is called “Why is Mary Crying?” attacking our veneration of the Mother of God. It is a shameful, offensive piece – one of many in his seemingly endless series.

Godwin Delali Adadzie is a recent convert in Ghana. Gadel writes an excellent apologetics blog called Catholic Fiction – Myths and Half-Truths Busted! (tag line: “So that NO SILLY ALLEGATION against Holy Mother Church, no matter how complex, should ever go unanswered again”).

Gadel’s latest piece looks at this Chick tract, point-by-point:

Chick 1 20110909

Is Mary the Mother of God?

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14 KJV)

This is the very first indicator of Mary as the mother of God. Of course, Mary is a creature and did not create God. That is not the point over here. She is a creature that God the Father chose to bring forth His only Begotten Son. In other words Mary is the Mother of God the Son since Jesus is God.

Also, Saint Paul reminds us:

But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4-5 KJV)

Chick 2 20110909

The Scripture didn’t say Mary sinned either. Again I shall repeat what I’ve said already since Jack Chick likes to be repeating things in the hope of convincing / confusing his readers.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23 KJV)

All doesn’t means all but many as indicated in the original Koine Greek word used for all, “pantes”

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22 KJV)

The Bible makes it very clear that not all have died for example Enoch and Elijah and also not all will make it to heaven. This proves that all doesn’t always means every single person. A great case for Mary’s sinlessness as taught by the Catholic Church.

Chick 3 20110909

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:1-5 KJV)

Catholics asking Mary to pray for them is just like asking a fellow Christian to pray for you, the only difference here is that Mary is closer to God, although we are all members of the same Body of Christ.

Praying to Mary neither takes away the sole mediatorship of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church has never taught that Mary is the Mediator between God and men! The Blessed Virgin Mary’s intercessory prayer to Jesus on behalf of us is only possible because of Christ and her relationship to us through His Mystical Body, the Church.

The fact, that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, was made clear when Saul of Tarsus was persecuting the Church and Christ Jesus revealed to him on his journey to Damascus that he was persecuting Him.

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (Acts 9:3-5 KJV)

The complete article is much longer and quite good. Read it at Why Is Mary Crying? Chick Cartoon Tracts.

On a related note, if you are Protestant and wonder what Catholics believe about Mary and why, there is a superb video I recommend. It will not only address your questions, but do so on a solidly scriptural basis. Please take a few minutes to view The Truth About Mary and Scripture.

Father Mychal Judge, OFM, fallen hero

Today marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Almost 3,000 souls left this world that day by this tragedy. Of those, the very first certified death was Father Mychal Judge, a 68 year old Franciscan priest. Father Judge served as Chaplain of the NYFD.

When the news of the attack reached him, Father Judge rushed to the site and was met by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who asked him to pray for the victims. Father immediately administered last rites to the dying. He then entered the WTC North Tower lobby to give aid and offer prayers.

As the South Tower suddenly collapsed, debris crashed through the North Tower lobby windows striking Father Judge, ending his earthly pilgrimage as he prayed aloud.

Father Mychal Judge, RIP

Father Robert Emmet (Mychal) Judge – Catholic priest, first responder and hero.

Sadly, Mayor Bloomberg’s memorial today has no place for God or heroes. It will be a strictly secular affair excluding any remembrance by Father Judge’s brother priests and their counterparts in other religions. Maybe there will be some awkward “moments of silence,” whose purpose will remain vague. Bloomberg is also excluding responders from speaking, so men like Father Judge are silenced on 2 counts. I suppose all the available time and space was reserved for the very important people – politicians and “community leaders.” They were a big help on 9/11.

The rest of us will remember and pray for all who died that day, the victims in the towers, at other locations and the many brave responders, including Father Judge.

Wtc Cross

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.


7 Quick Takes Friday (set #40)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: Two great videos on what it means to be Catholic, from a young perspective. A touching story on organ donation. A picture of the Mass, in difficult circumstances. A case for communion on the tongue? A politician who actually “gets” Catholic social teaching.

— 1 —

Joseph K. put together this very nice video for a young Catholic group:

Created by Joe at Defend us in Battle

— 2 —

The folks at Life Teen do a lot of good work, applicable not just to our children but all of us. Here is a piece they did on the Armor of God:

— 3 —

13 year old Taylor Storch died in a ski accident. Her parents, Todd and Tara donated her organs to help 5 other people. Taylor’s heart saved a mother of 3. It has been a long time since Taylor’s parents heard the strong beat of that precious heart:

Spotted by OSV

— 4 —

This incredible picture was featured aspect in Latin Mass Magazine sometime in 2008 or 2009. It appears to depict a Solemn High Mass somewhere in bombed-out Germany. The best description of the scene is at Gottesdienst Online (an LCMS Lutheran blog) entitled Real Worship. They describe it beautifully (also with interesting comments from Lutheran clergy).

Bombed Out Mass

Spotted by Shawn Tribe at NLM

— 5 —

Communion in the hand or on the tongue? What’s the big deal?

— 6 —

Faithful Catholics should vote neither Democrat nor Republican, but “Catholic.” That is, for candidates who are closest to our genuine teaching regardless if they are Catholic themselves or not. (There are countless pro-death politicians who profess the faith so obviously, being Catholic per se is no indicator.) Here is someone who truly understands:

— 7 —

Saturday Evening Blog Post

Elizabeth Esther kindly hosts a feature she calls The Saturday Evening Blog Post. Published monthly every first Saturday, it features the best post in the preceding month on each of a few dozen Christian blogs. The “best” entries are chosen by the authors themselves (so they should know!).

It is a great way to discover new blogs. Be sure to check-it out. My entries this time were civil vs. divine law and the soul.

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

There are no clocks in heaven

There Are No Clocks In Heaven

I am fascinated by time. Every moment in time is a permanent, fixed snapshot of the entire universe. In the next moment everything has changed (at least some). Time is relentless. Analogous to traveling in a car, we see where we are and can look back with certainty where we have been. We can look forward where we think we will be, but the further we look ahead, the greater the uncertainty.

As a child, I looked forward to holidays – particularly my birthday and Christmas. Time crawled as I anxiously awaited these days to arrive. They happened only once per year and in the framework of my short life, that was a very long time. Having now sailed through almost 5 decades, each year taking exactly as long as it used to, yet it sure doesn’t feel that way. The years fly by. It is like watching a wheel turn, slowly at first then faster and faster until it is just a blur.

Science fiction notions of stopping or traveling through time aside, the march of time is an immutable fact. It’s pace from the viewpoint of the observer is constant (even Einstein would agree). Time brings order and structure to our mortal lives.

God created time for our benefit. It is a canvas upon which we learn, grow and exercise our free will. It is an incubator for our soul.

God Himself is not subject to time any more than He is to anything else He created. God is completely outside of time. It is challenging for us to understand this, much as it is difficult for us to imagine our existence outside the physical world. These notions are contrary to our experience, yet we know for certain that mortal experience will end. It is just a matter of time…

For God, all moments of our time are current. There is no “past” or “future” as we know it. Among other things, this means that God knows our future. He knows the struggles we will face and the decisions we will make. He knows the hour and circumstance of our death. None of this is the “future” to God, but it is to us. This is not predestination. We live the struggle, exercise our free will, and determine our path. We are not God and the result is unknown to us.

Since God is outside of time, those in His presence are as well. Heaven is eternal for God and all who are with Him. Time does not exist there. Likewise, hell is also eternal and outside of time.

One heresy that has appeared at various points in the Church history, is the notion that souls in hell can be released and go to heaven. This error is often based upon sufficient punishment as merited by the sins of the damned, accumulation of prayers for the damned or repentance of the damned. In short, things which occur in (the non-existant) time. (The Catholic Encyclopedia explores the theology of this topic in Eternity of hell.)

Descriptions of heaven and hell have been offered as analogies by Jesus, Church Fathers, and theologians. These analogies are necessary to present the nature of these places to us in terms we can relate to. Likewise, purgatory has been described including “time in purgatory.” Unlike heaven and hell, souls in purgatory are transitional. All we know is that they are cleansed and released to heaven. The process and how “long it takes” is a mystery.

OK, mortal life is in time and immortal life is not. As earthly pilgrims enveloped by time, we are generally separated from the “other side” (except spiritually). There is one very notable exception: the Mass.

At every Mass we are joined to timeless heaven. Through the priest, Jesus himself confects the Holy Eucharist into His body, blood, soul and divinity. Not yet again, but at the Last Supper. We are present at Jesus sacrifice. Not yet again, but Calvary. We join with our Lord, the angels and saints. We are also united with each other at that Mass – and every Mass of the past, present and future. The mystery of Mass literally transcends our mortal world of time and space, giving us a taste of the heavenly kingdom!

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #39)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: World Youth Day in reality and as portrayed by the mainstream media. A fallen SEAL and his dog. Abortion honors for Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Rick Perry signs the pro-life pledge. Susan G. Komen, still more than meets the eye. A simple explanation of the economic crisis. Puppy dreams.

— 1 —

A wonderful sampling of World Youth Day attendees:

Spotted by Russ Rentler

— 2 —

Mainstream media bias at World Youth Day was to be expected. When they cover a pro-life march with hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers, they will find the handful of protesters and cover that. When they cover 1.5 million happy, energetic Catholics they do likewise. Father Barron nails it:

— 3 —

On August 6th, 30 Americans and 8 Afghans died when their helicopter crashed under enemy fire. Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson was among them. At his funeral service in Rockford, Iowa 1,500 mourners paid their respects. Among them was Hawkeye, Jon’s dog who laid quietly at his master’s feet one last time.

Tumilson Hawkeye1

Tumilson Hawkeye2

Spotted by Weasel Zippers

— 4 —

Black and white. First, the black: Hailed by president of Planned Parenthood as a heroine for her relentless support of abortion, Debbie Wasserman Schultz – Obama’s pick to chair the Democratic party – headlined at a recent PP rally.

Now the white: Rick Perry joins Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum in signing the Susan B. Anthony List Pro-Life Leadership Presidential Pledge. Read the pledge if you are unfamiliar with it.

— 5 —


Pink is a color too! Last year Susan G. Komen took a break from racing for the cure to redistribute funds that could have been used for breast cancer research. Instead, they re-gifted over a half million dollars to Planned Parenthood, with whom their founder has deep ties. Do not believe their cover story that PP performs mammograms, they do not. Killing millions of women in the womb is not a cure for breast cancer. Our bishops have also commented on Komen.

— 6 —

A simple, straight-forward explanation of the US economic crisis:

Further explanation and a really good “What if the U.S. Government were an American Family?” comparison is at Man vs. Debt.

— 7 —

Puppy dreams, just because…

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!