Archives for April 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #60)

7 Quick Takes Friday the 13th

This week: Several new vocational videos. An update on a falsely convicted priest. Issues for Catholics, other Christians and all Americans to consider in November. It’s back to church time at the White House. Jesse Jackson: Jesus was an occupier. Catholic church bowling alleys – who knew? Born again Catholics.

— 1 —

The Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana has produced this new priest vocation video. I quite like it, but the Anchoress is somewhat less excited.

The Diocese of Rockville Center on Long Island has also produced a really good vocations video. It is longer, less of a promotion and more “meat and potatoes,” with 7 priests individually answering 9 questions about the call to the priesthood.

Finally, This Side of Eden is a documentary film about the Benedictine monks of Westminster Abbey in Mission, B.C. The trailer alone makes a good vocation promotion video:

— 2 —

After the children (obviously), the next largest group of sex scandal victims were innocent priests. Unscrupulous people (and their lawyers) seeking cash settlements fabricated abuse, victim rights groups see every priest as deranged and dangerous, and liberal news media see an opportunity to attack the Church for her true moral teaching.

Many innocent priests have suffered greatly, some imprisoned longer than guilty rapists and murderers. I wrote about Father Gordon MacRae’s sad case in February. Ryan MacDonald wrote about this case yesterday for Catholic Lane. In Why Do SNAP and VOTF Fear the Case of Fr. Gordon MacRae? he looks at how the media and victims rights groups treated Fr. MacRae when he was accused and their silence now that strong exonerating evidence has emerged. Shameful.

— 3 —

Divisive class warfare demagoguery aside, what are the real issues that should guide our November vote?

— 4 —

It’s back to church time for the Obamas! After a protracted absence, the family has began attending services from now all the way through the November election. There is more! While our president spoke only vaguely of “holiday greetings” 2 years ago and broke new ground last year by skipping the Easter address altogether, this election year his campaign provided a solid Christian sounding one. This is exciting news for his efforts in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Keith Koffler has the story: Obama Wishes You a Very Religious Easter.

— 5 —

What level is too low for even Jesse Jackson to stoop to? I don’t know, but calling our Lord and Savior an “occupier” doesn’t reach it. The Rev. Jackson reminds us that Jesus was killed because he fought and occupied the corrupt temple. Why should the rich occupy the holy place while the widow across the street is the 99%?

Spotted on Weasel Zippers (by Matthew)

— 6 —

The door on the left reads “Adoration Chapel”, the one on the right “Bowling Alley” (FWIW, their widths appear to be the same). This is St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Peoria, IL. Apparently, and completely unbeknownst to me, having a small bowling alley in your church was something of a fad in the 40’s and 50’s. A few are still left. According to this USA Today article, Catholics appear to be well represented. Per their website, St. Ann’s alley was built by the men’s club in order to sell beer before noon on Sundays. Really.

— 7 —

Catholics are born again Christians. At my parish Friday Morning Men’s Fellowship I spoke about that and related topics some months ago. Russ Rentler has taken-up the topic in an excellent reader response: Are There Born Again Catholics?.

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!

Not in scripture: about real presence

Not in Scripture

Catholics believe in the real presence of our Lord in the Eucharist. Bread and wine literally become the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus. This is the well-documented belief of the Church from the time of Jesus onward.

The Holy Bible itself is also quite clear, requiring something akin to a Herculean effort to explain away. Let’s try anyway! Not in scripture are words shown in strike through. Words shown in bold actually are in scripture.

Bread as a Metaphor?

When Jesus became aware of this he said, “You of great faith, you concluded among yourselves that it is because you have no bread. You understand, and need not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and the many wicker baskets you took up. Nor the seven loaves for the four thousand, and the many baskets you took up. You comprehend that I was speaking only of the ordinary, of simple bread. I had no other point.

When Jesus became aware of this he said, “You of little faith, why do you conclude among yourselves that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand, and do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many wicker baskets you took up? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? How do you not comprehend that I was not speaking to you about bread?

Speaking very, very clearly – or just rhetorical flourishes?

Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am like the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this recalls is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the symbolic living bread that came down from heaven; whoever accepts me eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give represents is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you metaphorically eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink wine in his memory his blood, you do not have life within you. Of these things I speak in remembrance, for the law of Moses forbids you to actually drink blood. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who is sent by feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? Be not afraid. I am not speaking literally but figuratively. What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who misinterpreted my words do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would be confused not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

Jesus knew of the confusion his words had caused and said “I speak to you by analogy, not that you must literally eat my body and drink my blood. That would be cannibalism. Stay with me. As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

When time was running out, did Jesus speak in puzzles?

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this represents is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this represents is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.

Bringing judgment upon yourself for eating ordinary bread?

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the false remembrance body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the symbolic meaning body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.

The above verses only touch on this topic. There is much, much more. An excellent resource is They provide many citations.

The specific word of God notwithstanding, sometimes folks read Holy Scripture as if certain words and phrases have been removed – or as if others have been added. I am here to help!

I call this series not in scripture. These are Bible quotes with a twist: words and phrases not actually present are shown with strike-through. Scripture simply does not say that! Conversely, words that are actually in scripture (but sometimes overlooked) are shown in bold.



O God, who on this day,
through your Only Begotten Son,
have conquered death
and unlocked for us the path to eternity,
grant, we pray, that we who keep
the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection
may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit,
rise up in the light of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Good Friday

Good Friday

At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “Look, he is calling Elijah.” One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down.” Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

There were also women looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome. These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him. There were also many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

Meditation: first sin

Meditation First Sin

Guest contributor:   Richard Myer

Prepare yourself before entering into conversation with our Lord. Breath slowly, close your eyes and relax. Empty your mind of the world and all its noise. Place yourself in the presence of God. Enjoy the quiet and gentle spirit of the Lord; relax in his peace, feel the peace of the Holy Spirit come upon you. Allow the warmth to spread through you. Remember he is listening always, especially today, as Lent is the season of penance and spiritual renewal. Feel God’s presence as he looks upon you.

I try to remember my first breath of air, drink of milk, the first bite of solid food, my first steps, or later in life the first time going to the movie theatre, or riding my bicycle or any other firsts. Not being able to remember any of the aforementioned, as they became so numerous, my first sin I cannot, as sin too has become abundant. Through life these all became so frequent I have lost count, lost memory of the first time I drank, ate, took my first steps, and the first sin I committed. Have I always given thanks, have I always trusted, in you my God? Do I complain, find fault, argue, and carry a grudge against others? Have I hurt others throughout time, as I had the evil inclinations to acquire earthly treasures? Have I spoke unkindly about people when they were not present? Have I been angry with myself, others or you my God? Have I not taken care of my body, as Paul wrote, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, that you are not your own?” Have I judged others, failed to forgive others, or stolen from others? Have I desired worldly things with such intensity, I attempted to worship two masters? Have I lied or exaggerated, tried to make others see things differently from the way they really were? Did I abstain from fleshly lusts, or indulge in any lustful activity? Have I been a hypocrite or full of lawlessness? Have I become a stumbling block for the weak by not following the example of Christ? Have any of these sins been my first, or can it be another? My God the sins I have committed have become so numerous I know not which might have been my first. My sins, through my thoughts, desires, deeds, words and actions have spread to others. What example am I showing others? Do I want my friends, family, or acquaintances to follow in these footsteps? Do I want them to become enslaved to the devil? I have become unclean as my sins have soiled my soul; my soul has become stained with sin. When did I first commit a sin?

Lord I have ignored your presence, looking only for self gratification. Sin has weakened me, and has made me more inclined to sin. I am dominated by sin more and more each day. I became a hearer of the word and not a doer, for I was like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looks like (James 1:24). My faith was dead as there were no works.

My wealth will rot away, my gold and silver corrode, my clothes become moth eaten, and these treasures are no longer of value. Why didn’t I see the treasures you have given me; the treasures that will be with me through eternity? Why then have I sinned?

Sin is infinitely wicked against what is infinitely good. My dear God, please forgive me, give me guidance, make known your ways to me Lord, guide me, and wash away my guilt so my afflictions will disappear. As I confess my faults, please take away the guilt of my sin. You have been so good to me, choosing me to have life, placing me in a good loving family, and providing for all my needs. You have given me the Sacraments, as I let the fruits of these wither, like weeds pulled from the dirt laying in the hot sun. As you are continuously running after me to save me, I run the other way. For as long as I kept silent, my bones wasted away. Please God, help me rise from my sins with the grace you have bestowed upon me through the sacraments, which have derived their power from your son.

I detest all my sins because they have offended you. Without you I can do nothing, teach me to find a new life through penance. Awaken me my Lord, as I beg for your forgiveness, as I have sinned against you, and my brothers and sisters. My sins are more numerous then the sands of the sea. My God that is good and deserving of all my love, I am truly sorry for having offended thee, I beg for thy mercy and forgiveness.

Lord please remember my first sacrament, Baptism, for your forgiveness of sin. It unites us with your son, Christ our Lord who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit. Remember this has not abolished the frailty and weakness of human nature, nor the inclination to sin. With your grace and the help of your son, Christ our Lord, may sin no longer be an obstacle, hindering my entrance in to your heavenly kingdom. Remember Lord, the blood of your son, our Lord Jesus washed away our sins. May I live my life as an example of your son, and the Saints that have gone before me? I can never do enough to make up for the serious faults I committed. Please allow the light of your healing presence to shine into the deepest recesses of my being, cleansing, healing, refreshing and renewing me. Please, may I accept the full forgiveness that you offer me continually.

You have been patiently waiting for this moment. The sins I have committed appeared so small, yet they are now like mountains. I must struggle each day to climb over these mountains. Please Father take my hand, instill courage in my heart, and lead me over the mountain which I have created. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and amend my life. Send your spirit to make me strong in faith and active in good works. Give me the grace to rise above my human weaknesses.

Please remember your Saint Augustine, whom for many years lived a sinful life. May Paul’s letter to the Romans, where Paul says to stop living an immoral life and live in imitation of Jesus, (chapter 13) have the same affect on me as it did for Saint Augustine? May I also begin a new life? May it not be too late that I have loved you.

I pray to Saint Joseph to help strengthen me in my spiritual growth. Saint Joseph, we bless the Lord for choosing you to be the one to raise the Son of God. You loved Jesus with a father’s love and he loved you with the love of a son. You held him in your arms and helped him take his first steps. You heard his first words and taught him his prayers. By faith you adored in him the Incarnate Son of God, while he obeyed you, served you, and listened to you. You held pleasant conversations with him, shared work, great sufferings and most tender consolations. Obtain for me the grace never to offend Jesus by sin. Pray for me that I may nourish myself often at the Eucharist and experience Jesus’ mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Through your prayers may we attain to a great intimacy with Jesus and a tender strong love for him while on earth, that we might possess him forever in Heaven. Saint Anthony, I seek your intercession. With heartfelt sorrow for my sins, and trust in your prayers to God for me, I ask your help, your protection, your counsel, and your blessing. Obtain for me from God all the Graces necessary for my spiritual welfare and the particular favor I ask at this time. Give me strength to have only good desires and sin no more. Help me acquire the treasures of our Father’s heavenly kingdom. Heavenly Father, during this time of Lent, as we remember the passion of your son, I seek your help that I may imitate Christ your son and share his love with someone in need. Help me to pass from my old life of sin to the new life of grace.

Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

Blessed Virgin Mary, please intercede on my behalf, that I may no longer offend thy son with sin.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning is
Now, and ever shall be, world
without end.