More Young Men Choosing Priesthood
During the past twenty years, I have noticed the Fire of the Holy Spirit moving through my Church as it has many times in the past. This is a time of renewal. And while I have been aware of the increase in Seminarians as more and more Seminaries got cleaned up, and even in those that were never corrupted in the first, I had to share this story from the secular press that has also taken notice of this phenomenon.More Young Men Choosing Priesthood
FORT WORTH (CBS 11) - No sex, no money, and complete obedience. Not what you think the average 20-year-old guy would go for. But according to the Catholic Church, the number of men joining the priesthood is up.
In the Diocese of Fort Worth alone, the number of seminarians has nearly doubled in the last 10 years.
And who is joining might surprise you.
Brett Metzler bench presses 250 pounds, squats 305, and can shoot hoops with the best of them.
But the former high school Athlete of the Year is not your typical college student.
20-year-old Brett believes becoming a priest is a better fit.
So many young men are becoming disillusioned with what the world has to offer. A life of self-indulgence is empty and more are seeing that.
It is Finished!
"They put a sponge full of the sour wine on hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine he said the words that are spoken of in the fourth cup consummation, "It is finished." What is the it referring to? That grammatical question began really bothering me at some point. I asked several people and their response was usually, "Well, it means the work of redemption that Christ was working on." All right, that's true, I agree it does refer to that, but in context. An exegete, a trained interpreter of the word is supposed to find the contextual meaning, not just import a meaning from a theology textbook. What is Jesus speaking of when he says, "It is finished?" I mean, our redemption is not completed once he [dies]- he's not yet raised. Paul says, "He was raised for our justification."
Dr. Scott Hahn was a Protestant Minister and a teacher at a Protestant seminary. This talk that he gives now is based on one of the great discoveries he made during his spiritual journey that would bring him into the Catholic Church. It wasn't a new discovery for Catholics. Much to his consternation, Dr. Hahn was informed that this was already in the Baltimore Catechism, we knew it all along, but it was new and very great for him.
Here is a YouTube presentation of his talk on "The Fourth Cup" and his discovery of what was finished on Calvary, and what it means for us.The Fourth Cup - Dr Scott Hahn
Evangelist, I have watched many of the videos you posted. I ask that you watch this one.
And for those who would like a transcript, I found this site as well - I think the odd word may be missing, but it seems to be useful enough.THE FOURTH CUP - The Sacrament of the EucharistRomans 4:24-25 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Look up "raised" in a searchable Bible, narrowing your search for Paul's epistles, and it because clear that while something was finished on the cross, it was not what many think it is. Our hope of salvation was not "finished" until Jesus was raised from the Dead. Without that resurrection, our Faith is in VAIN.1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
What Jesus finished on the Cross, was the Fourth Cup to complete the Passover Ritual. And Paul confirms this.1 Corinthians 5:7-8 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
With that simple phrase "It is finished", there is so much meaning, such richness, that it beggers the mind.
This is an excellent talk and I would encourage all to listen to it, regardless of religious affiliation. Dr. Hahn is a passionate teacher with a long love for the Scriptures.
My husband and I have a number of Dr. Hahn's books, CDs and DVDs. I highly recommend them.
MOTIVE and the Contrite Christian
Evangelist as many times said that what counts for Christians is not so much what they do as why they do it. Essentially that if we are doing good and obeying Christ, it aught to be for right reasons and not out of a sense of guilt or obligation.
I have never denied that we should always do right for the Love of God, and not out of any other reason - but stressed that while we ought to do all that we do out of love for God, that does not mean that we are free to do wrong if we don't feel that right motive.
I typically rely on the Bible, but oddly enough, when going against adherants of Sola Scriptura, I am often the only one who sticks with the Scriptures. And when the scriptures do not work out in their favour, the response is always an accusation that I am going by my Church's teachings. Since I get accused of it anyway, I think that this time I am going with another reliable source:The Catechism of the Catholic Church
VII. The Acts of the Penitent
1450 "Penance requires . . . the sinner to endure all things willingly, be contrite of heart, confess with the lips, and practice complete humility and fruitful satisfaction."
1451 Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."50
1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.
1453 The contrition called "imperfect" (or "attrition") is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin's ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.
1454 The reception of this sacrament ought to be prepared for by an examination of conscience made in the light of the Word of God. the passages best suited to this can be found in the moral catechesis of the Gospels and the apostolic Letters, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the apostolic teachings.
When a Catholic repents of his or her sins, there are two types of contrition (being sorry for one's sins).
For the newbie who is still growing in the Faith, there is the fear of Hell. The Grace that God gives us can bring us to repentance, but for those who are not quite "Saints" yet, it is the fear of going to Hell that drives us = even Paul mentioned that he kept his own body under subjection so that he would not end up in Hell.
But while that still works, and with the Sacrament of Reconcilation, we do receive Graces from Christ and have our sins washed away, it isn't the perfect motive for a Christian.
A mature Christian does not repent out of fear of Hell. They repent out of Love for Christ and Their Father. If they feel guilt or shame it is because it bothers them that they could do something that they new was against what their Loving Father wanted for them.
I know that my own father on earth loves me know matter what. Even if I became a drug addict and paid for it by turning tricks and breaking into houses, my father would still love me. But chances are, should I sober up, I know that my father loves me and I would feel terrible for bringing any dishonour to our Family Name, or to him, personally. I would be ashamed - more from having disappointed my father who loves me than for anything else that I did.
Well, my FATHER in Heaven loves me more than my earthly father ever could. And even more than I would not want to offend my own father who would never stop loving me, I would be horrified to offend my Father who is in Heaven.
While we are called to be perfect and do all that we do out of Love for God, which is that right motive, that does not mean that if we don't "feel" that right motive that we should not repent or seek to do right.
If we don't LOVE God, then are we truly saved?
The Scriptures are clear that those who LOVE God, KEEP His Commandments.
Under Grace, Above the Law?
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
There is a shocking trend among modern Christians to believe that being under grace means that we are above the Law, that it somehow no longer applies to us. Worse, many believe that instead of being freed from sin, we have been freed from the Law so that we may sin without guilt or lasting penalty.
This is what happens when one treats the Bible like the Koran. The Koran was written in individual verses and then later organized into categories. Therefore, it is reasonable to take a single verse from the Koran at a time as it may or may not be all that closely related to any of the verses surrounding it except by general theme.
However, the Bible is not the Koran, it was not written the same way and should not be read the same way. The Bible is the inerrant and inspired Word of God written for our instruction. And now more than ever, it needs to be used that way to correct the many errors that have cropped up from skimming the Bible instead of actually studying it.
It is true that Christians are not under the Law, but under Grace. But this does not mean that we are above the Law or free in any way to break the Law. Jesus made it clear that HE came to fulfill the Law, not do away with it.
When Paul writes about the Law it is too easy to just apply that word to every law that ever existed inside or outside the Scriptures; however, often he is not referring to every law in general, but the works of the law, which are the Ceremonial Laws of the OT - circumcision, animal sacrifices, etc. In this particular case, he may be broader and be including the Mosaic Law, but the very notion that this means that we are free to sin is abhorent to him - in his words: God forbid!
To see the fuller meaning of that verse, it is useful to see the surrounding passage. After speaking on dying to sin (not literally dying in the flesh), Paul goes on to say the following:
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Paul makes it very clear that this impacts our full being, including our flesh. And, that we are not to serve that which we should be dead to. We obey whom we serve - sin unto death or obedience to God unto righteousness - this is how it is. We must obey God in the flesh to be counted as His. We have the choice, and the freedom to make that choice.
Jesus paid our debt to sin. Freed us from sin. Gave us every means to overcome sin. So to return to sin after all this would be a horrible thing for a Christian.
But we do have more than what we had before. We have an advocate in Christ Jesus. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us. We have the Church for local support.
God knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation - 2 Peter 2:9 - and Godly sorrow will bring us to repentance - 2 Corinthians 7:10
Some say that the Law was given to show us that we couldn't keep it and needed a saviour, but that would mean that God created a situation in which we needed a saviour. That doesn't sound right. That would make God a very twisted god.
Why was the Law given?
1 Timothy 1:8-11 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
God's Law is written upon our hearts. The OT said this would happen and the NT confirms it. But there are those who need laws to tell them what they may not do to reign them in.
But those under Grace, who are walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh (not engaging in lustful actions), do not need any Law to tell them what is right or wrong. They know and do what is right.
Jesus even made it simple for those who are not yet where they should be in Christ. Two Commandments upon which all the rest hang. If we Love God with all of our being (including our flesh), and love our neigbours as ourselves, we can't go wrong - unless we stick loopholes in there. Many will and that is why Paul had to write to the Corinthians at least three times to straighten them out.
If we walk after the Spirit, we do spiritual things with our whole being - not just our spirits. Walking after the flesh means ignoring spiritual things and indulging in the desires of our flesh. We cannot do both. We do have to pick one path and stay on it.
Now if we stumble, and we do stumble from time to time, we have each other to warn us and pray for us. We have the Church and the Scriptures to guide us and Jesus gave the authority to His Apostles to forgive sins on earth so that we can be reconciled again to God.
It may seem impossible for us to be perfect, and so many do not even try, but we forget - by ourselves this would be impossible, but with God ALL things are possible.
Cote D'Ivoir - NIgerian Scam
I got another one of those scam emails through Speromail. Based on the infamous Nigerian scam. Just a heads up that it is a scam for any who may not have figured it out yet.
No free money, they are out to get yours.
Spammers and Old Threads
Because spammers like to resurrect dead threads, I was wondering if it might be possible to lock inactive threads that have not had any activity for one year. I have noticed that many of the spammers have been resurrecting threads from two or more years ago.
There isn't much that can be done for those that start brand new threads, but at least keeping the older threads out of their hands would be fine with me.
Evolution of Christianity
In early Christianty, as evidenced by the Epistles, the call was to Holiness. There were exhortations to gather together regularly to break bread, to keep the commandments, to avoid all semblance sinful behaviour.
They were mocked for not continuing in the sins of their youth, and they themselves were vexed by living among those who continued in sin.
The inspired authors wrote about God delivering the godly out of temptation so that they could remain righteous, even as Lot remained righteous even in the midst of great sin.
2 Peter 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
Righteous means the same now as it did then.
Early Christians were exhorted to walk as Christ walked, and be fruitful in every good work:
Colossians 1:9-10 9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
It was a constant theme in the New Testament:
1 Thessalonians 4
1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
If we don't do this, we are not doing the Will of God and are not being sanctified. We are called to keep our BODIES (vessel) free from sins, not just our spirits.
This was so important that they never ceased to speak of it, and this was raised by all of the writers, not just one or two.
1 John 2:5-7 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
This was so serious a matter that if a member of the Faith Community were to walk in sin rather than righteousness and not repent of it, the community was asked to withdraw from these born again sinners. Paul repeated this in more than one of his epistles, I quoted elsewhere that he gave this rule in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 5), but he raises this again to a different group:
2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
Disorderly, unruly, not following the rules and traditions taught to them by the Apostles and Presbyters.
The early Church had rules.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
Acts 15 shows that there was structure and organization even to dealing with developing doctrines. The early Church was a Religion, with rules, and structure and traditions.
Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
That is how it was.
Today, we still see this in many churches, including the mother Church, but there are many fringes where this is rapidly devolving into chaos - no more rules, no more traditions, and religion has become a dirty word.
Today, avoiding "fornication" has been changed to avoiding "religion"; keeping ourselves spotless has been changed to God keeps His spirit within us spotless so we don't have to worry about it.
Today, loving God with all our being and loving our neighbour as ourself has been replaced with accepting the free gift of salvation.
Before Faith in Christ saved, now only faith in the doctrine of faith alone saves.
In the NT the great sins were adultery and fornication, now the great "sins" are obeying God and repenting of our sins after baptism.
Boy have things changed.
Catholic Answers - How to get out of the CC
I listened to a recent podcast for a Catholic Answers open forum with Jimmy Akin
. And one of the most interesting callers was a Protestant who was calling in for a Catholic friend to find out how to get him excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
His concern was that his friend was in danger of going to Hell for skipping Mass, and his friend wanted to get out of the Catholic Church so he could be a free non-Catholic Christian and therefore no longer be under the authority of the Catholic Church and thus free from being bound with the requirement to go to Mass every week or anything else he didn't like doing.
I find it humorous because it became very apparent that the man and his Catholic friend both realized that the Catholic friend was in danger of Hell for not following the precepts of the Catholic Church and that just leaving did not absolve him of that responsibility.
The Protestant caller wanted to know how his friend could be excommunicated so as to no longer be bound by the Catholic Church. He was informed that excommunication does not release anyone from God's rules, and that a Baptized Catholic will always have the seal that makes him Catholic no matter what.
Jimmy Akin and the host both informed the man that in order to be exommunicated one would have to commit a grave crime (sin) and this would still put them at risk for Hell - including the Protestant friend who helped him do this. And that a better solution would be to try and find out why this lapsed Catholic didn't want to go to Mass each week and help him to resolve his issues with the Church.
I figure that given that even this non-Catholic acknowledged the authority of the Catholic Church to bind and loose and that Catholics refusing to submit to this authority risked damnation, that perhaps he should consider becoming Catholic.
The reality is that we can't just shop around to find the "church" we are comfortable with. All Christians are obligated to seek out Christ's Church, not just any church. Not all Protestants recognize which church is the True Church, and so they are not bound like Catholics to the authority that the Church wields, but all who are properly baptized with the proper matter, form and intent are Catholic, they just don't all know it yet.
Scientific Proof that Mary was Blessed Among Women
I was introducted to this blog on a most interesting development.Scientific Proof that The Blessed Virgin Mary is “Blessed for All Generations” UPDATED
This is based on the recent discovery, and an older one before the impacts would be known, that the cells of babies in the womb migrate into the mother to relocate into the brain and other organs.
These cells theoretically provide some protective benefits for the mother and may do some pretty radical things.
Even if one were to assume that because these are biological cells and may not contain spiritual matter, cells from Jesus Christ formed by God in Mary's womb without a father, and yet male, would have entered into Mary and become part of her.
Trishia4Christ - Nigerian Scam
I just got a Speromail that has all the hallmarks of a Nigerian Scam - large sum of money involved that they want the target/victim to help move out of a country for a substantial reward.
Most should be savvy enough to recognize this as a scam, but just in case, I am posting this warning. Do not contact this person. I have included the top part of the scam email below:
Hi My Beloved Friend,
How are you doing today? I am Mrs. Wood Trishia from Australia who based in Damascus; I wish to brief you the reason I am contacting you, is to carry out this project in my name ...
Stay sharp. This is just another one of those annoyances that have been popping up on this forum.