Archive for the ‘Catholic’ Category

Commission

Posted: February 25, 2011 in Catholic, Christian Life

By definition a commission is an act of giving charge or an authoritative order or direction. (Thank you dictionary.com)

This definition would also explain why  my Freshman Confirmation students looked at me funny when I told them that “Confirmation was not a graduation from the Church, but a commission to go out and learn more.” What concerned me more was that their sponsors looked at me just as strangely.

Class then opened up for students to try and stump the Youth Minister. I will say that this is one of my favorite times of the class. Then came the usual questions of why women can’t be priests, why aren’t priests married and the like. One student did get fairly creative and asked are we “half – Jewish?” After this class was over and I just presented myself to be open to chat with the students. They came over and started talking about their sports, activities and what would be a pretty color to wear for the Confirmation mass.

I then spotted one young man still thinking about the topics we had discussed. He looked aptly confused so I went over to have a quick chat. I asked him what was on his mind and if there was something that I needed to clear up from my answers. The young man smiled happily and replied that no, there was nothing that I needed to clear up, but how did I know so much about the Catholic faith? I sat down with him absolutely over joyed with this question, he was curious about a commission. We spoke for a while and we got to what I had said about Confirmation being a commission to learn more about your faith. He looked at me sadly and commented that he didn’t know if he could.

My husband who was standing nearby and waiting for me, had been listening to our conversation. He leaned in and quoted Star Wars “You have learned much young padawan, but you still have much to learn.” All of a sudden it came to him, although he had learned enough to be out in the world alone, he still had to go out and learn more. He then turned to me and eagerly asked, “Then how do I learn?” I gave him a list of a few websites and books that he could start with, then I reminded him, “always ask questions.” His face lit up like a kid that has conceived the perfect scheme, “I vow that someday I will ask you a question you cannot answer” and he happily departed with his mom.

Every time I see him  I ask, “Do you have another question yet?” He smiles and reassures me that he’s thinking. I smile back with the knowledge that he is living up to his commission.

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Righteous Anger

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Bible, Catholic, Christian Life, Jesus, Opinion

There has been quite the buzz lately about the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” ad contest. One entry that has been widely boycotted by Catholic groups nation wide depicts Doritos and Pepsi Max as suitable substitutes for bread and wine for communion. *Please note the usage of the little “c” on communion.”

Since the ad has already been pulled by Youtube and other sources, you can watch it here Doritos Ad

The primary question about this ad shouldn’t be “Should it make me mad?” but “Why does it make me mad?”

Anger and wrath are powerful emotions; in fact so powerful that they can be considered one of the seven deadly sins. Anger itself is a desire for revenge, CCC 2302 has this to say.

“[…] ‘To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,’ but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution ‘to correct vices and maintain justice.'”

So how can something be both vengeful and good? Let’s take a look at an instance.

And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?” And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet,  from Nazareth in Galilee.” Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all those engaged in selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And he said to them, “It is written: ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a den of thieves.”
Matthew 21: 10-13

I think it’s safe to say Jesus got upset. Jesus being upset over this wasn’t just a meek little ‘Excuse me, could you stop selling that?” It was a bold, out going, massive upheaval that kicked all the money changers and those looking to make a profit on worship out of the temple. Many of these people who Jesus just laid a can of whoop on, just saw him ride triumphantly into Jerusalem for the Passover.

Let’s take a look at this in another light. Were the services that these people were providing necessary? Yes. Because it was the Passover, devout Jews from across the world were coming to Jerusalem in order to make sacrifices. They often would not travel with their lambs and doves because they wouldn’t survive the journey.  Of course though, because they would be traveling they would need to exchange currency. Sooooo… having all these amenities near the Temple just kinda made sense. But why in the Temple?

The merchants could have easily set up shop outside of the Temple gates. Instead to maximize their exposure they were right inside and set up on sacred ground. That’s why Jesus was upset.

So why be mad at the Doritos ad? I admit there are parts of it that liken it more to a Protestant service over a Catholic Mass, ie: shots of Pepsi Max, and self receiving from the plate.

The reason I was hurt is that it could be seen that any part of our faith is disposable and can make a profit. Secondly if this was to be likened to Catholic Communion, there is no way in hell that a Catholic Church would use anything but unleavened bread, wine and water.

Jesus gave us a feast not snack food. In defense of our faith do we get righteously angry and defend our faith in truth and compassion or do we try to slam our faith into the faces of those that question us?

O Antiphons

Posted: December 17, 2010 in Bible, Catholic, Christian Life, Jesus

Blessed Advent all. This is an exciting time of the Advent season. Today we start to see the glimmers of light promised to each of us in the coming of the Christ Child. Isaiah spoke very prophetically about the coming Messiah and signs that we are to look for. During each of these times we are have a chance to look back at these signs as we look forward to the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior.

Beginning today, December 17 and going all the way through the 23 the Church has given up some spectacular prayers. These are commonly known as the O Antiphons. Each Antiphon begins with a title for Jesus and refers back to one of the prophecies of Isaiah. Also if you are familiar with the hymn, “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” each of the O Antiphons are paraphrased through the whole song. *Hint Hint* That’s also why it has seven verses!

December 17 O Sapientia, O Wisdom

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Prophecies Fulfilled: Isaiah 11: 2 – 3 and Isaiah 28 : 29

December 18, O Adonai, Adonai meaning Lord or Ruler

O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

Prophecies Fulfilled: Isaiah 11 : 4-5 and Isaiah 33 : 22

December 19, O Radix Jesse, O Root of Jesse

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.

Prophecies Fulfilled: Isaiah 11:1 and Isaiah 11:10

December 20, O Clavis David, O Key of David

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison-house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Prophecies Fulfilled: Isaiah 22:22, Isaiah 9:7, Isaiah 42:7

December 21, O Oriens, O Rising Sun or O Morning Star

O Morning Star,
splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Prophecies Fulfilled: Isaiah 9:2

December 22, O Rex Gentium

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.

Prophecies Fulfilled: Isaiah 9:6 and Isaiah 2:4

December 23, O Emmanuel, God is with us

O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Prophecies Fulfilled: Isaiah 7:14

Then Christmas Eve and the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. Which we celebrate for 12 days. Who said Catholics can’t party? There ain’t no party like a Catholic Party because a Catholic Party don’t stop!

We are now in the final stages of the joyful anticipation we have been preparing for over the past 4 weeks. May we continue to be ever vigilant and continue to prepare a place for the Christ Child in our hearts and homes.

Blessed Advent all!

*Goes off humming O Come, O Come Emmanuel*

🙂

 

 

Lord Have Mercy

Posted: December 14, 2010 in Catholic, Christian Life, Prayer

I was watching one of my latest guilty pleasures on Hulu tonight, The Sing Off. I was out with some good friends and I knew I needed to catch up before I am able to watch the new episode tomorrow night. It’s a little ironic that I start off the post tonight talking about my “guilty pleasures” since that was one of the song topics for tonight. One of my least favorite groups actually did pretty well tonight with a very unlikely song, Mister Mister’s “Kyrie.” This is their preformance

When I was a kid I used to love this song only because it had the words Kyrie Eleison in it. I was learning the Latin Mass Parts and thought it was the coolest thing in the world. This was especially true because I was also taught the translation, “Lord have Mercy.” Over the years as I became an over exuberant “Catholic Traditionalist,”   I started thinking “How dare they use something so sacred in such a song?” Well needless to say I’ve taken another turn in growing and in my opinion.

Kyrie Eleison is used in every mass that is ever said in the Penitential Rite of mass. We publicly acknowledge all of our sins and our failures in front of everyone. Then we ask for forgiveness; “Lord have Mercy. Christ have Mercy. Lord have Mercy.” Then the priest prays over all of us and our venial sins are forgiven, but that doesn’t mean we get a “Get out of the Confessional free” card. The stain of sin is still there, that’s why we still need to go to Confession. Plus, it doesn’t get rid of those pesky Mortal sins. You know those ones that completely separate you from God and can send you to Hell? Yeah those, they can only be removed in Confession, but that’s another topic.

Through God’s infinite mercy, which in mass we just have asked for, our sins are forgiven. The way we look down on the person digging through the trash for pop cans, when we don’t pick up a crying child’s toy flung out of a shopping cart when mom or dad doesn’t see it, when we don’t do the little acts of charity we find every day, in that moment are forgiven. Sure, we still need to go to Confession, these are examples of the sins we don’t realize we are doing and rarely if ever think about confessing, but they are gone.

So tonight I had a change of heart, I actually decided to look up these lyrics that I really didn’t care about. This is a cheesy 80’s song that people listen too when they are reminiscing about  the good ol’ days, but this is what I found.

Kyrie Eleison
Down the road that I must travel
Kyrie Eleison
Through the darkness of the night
Kyrie Eleison
Where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie Eleison
On a highway in the light

Mister Mister “Kyrie”

This is probably no different than the version you hear repeatedly sung in various karaoke bars or played on 80’s radio, but look a little deeper. Look at how things change when it’s all in English:

Lord have Mercy
Down the road that I must travel
Lord have Mercy
Through the darkness of the night
Lord have Mercy
Where I’m going will you follow
Lord have Mercy
On a highway in the light

How powerful do our prayers become when they are said in the name of the Lord? The easiest way to get someone’s attention is to call them by their name. That translation can easily be said by any of us. Lord have Mercy on me where I am right now. Lord have Mercy when I have no where else to turn. Lord have Mercy when I’ve turned my back on you. Lord have Mercy when I’ve turned back to you.

Lord have Mercy.

Kyrie Eleison.

There is a meditation within the Catholic Church that particularly delves into Christ’s Divine Mercy. It is called the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Using a regular Rosary it’s pretty simple, and it only takes about 10 minutes to recite. One of the promises given to those that say this Chaplet is that upon their death, if any person says this prayer even once, God will look at them with more mercy because they have asked for God’s mercy. I think it’s pretty cool. Take a peak. Divine Mercy Chaplet

What is Truth?

Posted: December 10, 2010 in Catholic, Truth

I know right now that I am nowhere near Holy week but one of my favorite Scripture verses comes from Jesus’ trial. Jesus is being questioned by Pilate and he asks, “What is truth?” We don’t know if Jesus answers Pilate but we know the next thing that Pilate does is to address the people and say “I have found no fault with Him.”  See John 18:38 for more details.

In American society, people often look to themselves to find truth. Because this is how it works right, you believe something, I believe another and we’re both right. Right? Wrong!

If something is true then it is always true. For instance 1 + 1 is always 2, oil and water always separates, and a tangent line will always touch only one point on a circle. Sorry tried to stay away from obscure math references. Of course then when you get to the topic of faith, either no one wants to touch it, you are like me and will go there with a little bit of authority or people start claiming to be experts. Those that don’t want to touch the topic of faith usually say that, “That’s true for you, but not for me.” We try to be to politically correct about our beliefs.

Being politically correct only helps to fuel confusion about what is true. Within logic there is a principle known as the Principle of Non-Contradiction. What this states, “A thing cannot both be and not be at the same time in the same way.”

For example if we were looking at a lit candle and I said the candle is not burning and you said that the candle is burning, who is right? You would be right, there is a flame, the flame is exuding heat and light, therefore the candle is lit. If I were to continuing to argue, I would just look like an idiot.

Now looking at a very common Catholic debate we have the issue of Christ’s presence, body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. So flipping back to the John chapter 6 we have Jesus himself saying,

“Unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks of 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.” John 6: 53-55

So looking at logic, Jesus is absolutely right or Jesus is absolutely wrong.  Even the Jews of the time thought Jesus was nuts and “Many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer followed Him.” John 6:66  Those disciples who left Jesus could not accept this teaching as truth, so they left. It was not a matter of saying, ‘let’s agree to disagree’, but Jesus spoke in absolute language. This is truth and looking ahead at the Last Supper, these words are echoed by Matthew.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup and gave it to them saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.'” Matthew 26: 26 – 28

So either the Catholic belief of the true presence in the Eucharist is either true or false. Personally I am going to say it’s true, and if you say I’m wrong, one of us will be right.

When something is true, it will always be true. So can we handle the truth? We can’t handle the truth, or at least we can’t handle it alone. That’s why we Catholics have the Church, the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and each other. We all contain the truth and together that truth is pretty amazing.

And no, this truth is not just my truth, it is the truth.