Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Manhood and Spiritual Warfare..

***Before I begin this post, I would like to give a fair warning to any parents reading this, or to kids who follow this blog. I will be tackling an issue which many guys are ashamed to admit and following from my own struggle lay out a blueprint suitable for men struggling with that same issue. Due to the content, I encourage parents to read this before letting their children read this, secondly, I encourage women to read this in order to better understand the struggle that us guys go through, and finally, I'll encourage couples to read this, as a way of sanctifying their own marriages.***

As was mentioned this post is going to cut straight to the bone as only I can without pulling any punches or wishy washy stuff. Here goes. In today's day and age, men struggle with pornography addiction. period. Exclamation mark! Unfortunately 'pop' psychology has declared (infallibly...) that this is normal and healthy. Well,.Let's paint a picture,..You come home, tired wanting to 'surf' the net and lo and behold you stumble upon some suggestive pictures. Your brain, being the camera that it is, begins to process, and within thirty seconds, arousal has been initiated.

Now at this point, do I need to go into epinephrine/dopamine and every other cocktail rushing out your pituatary? Or can I just get to the meat and potatoes of the situation? I'm gonna go with the latter!! Okay Pornography, the attack is on, now gentlemen, time to mount a defense!

1. Pray!! Unite your suffering to the Cross! (Rosary, sorrowful mysteries, Jesus getting scourged at the pillar.) In my experience a powerful tag team can be the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother!!! (headed into the spiritual ring managed by St Maria Goretti!)

2. Stay calm,..remember that your free will is just that, free will! If need be, turn off your computer and as dumb as this sounds, lie on the floor, hard wood surface, (a little shout out to St Jose Maria Escriva).

Usually this will relieve the initial onslaught, only now you as a tactician need to train, thus preparing yourself for the next onslaught..So here we go, let's develop a blueprint for action!

Step one. Pray. Ask that God grant you the Grace to overcome this hurdle. Recognize it for what it is! Understand your own dignity as a human being, and the fact that the person in the image or on the screen has the same dignity,..(meaning, she could be someone's daughter, wife, mother or sister.)

Step two. Find a Spiritual director. Someone, a priest preferably, in order for you to be held accountable as you begin the battle. Start the practice of frequent confession and bathe in the Graces of absolution. This won't be won overnight, in fact in won't be won at all, until death. Christ through His merits on the cross has freed us, but our free will again remains intact.

Step three. Apply an internet adult protection setting against such stuff. This will enable you not to have access to sites containing pornography. Set it up, choose the most ludricous of passwords, strange combinations of letters and numbers, and then forget said password!!! So much for the internet!

Step four. Now that the internet is under control, the battle will rage on elsewhere, magazines, etc..Step four is corporal mortification. You don't have to beat yourself silly with a whip, a simple stone in your shoe will suffice. Needless to say, that at the end of the day, the discomfort you will feel will distract you from any other extra curricular activity of that sort, that you would have engaged in.

Step five. Keep busy. Often times, sloth leads to this particular sin. By keeping busy, our mind becomes occupied with other thoughts and actions other than those types.

So there you go, gentlemen. A blueprint for the battle that all of us face day in and day out. Remember it won't happen overnight, but don't lose courage, by the Grace of God, it will be made subject to you, not you to 'it.'(As well, it should be noted that the only difference between a Saint and a sinner, is a Saint always gets back up after being knocked down!,..The sinner on the other hand stays down!) We should now be ready for battle! Allright,,. bring it on!!!!

St Maria Goretti,...ora pro nobis.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus

Over the last few years since my reversion, I have had the opportunity to dialogue and discuss many differing points of contention between Catholics, other Christians and members of other Faith traditions. Obviously not all these discussions have happened with a spirit of kindness and openness. Mankind, flawed as we may be suffers from the ego, and points of discussion involving 'Truth' often lead to a full blown argument. Needless to say that this of course is pointless as no good fruit may come of it. About two months ago, I received a most curious email, but one that required me to not just write a simplistic blog post, but to amplify my answers within the context of a near full blown thesis. The question, paraphrased, 'Are non-Catholics saved?' So that being said, I hope to clarify as much of the Catholic position as possible! Here goes, enjoy and have fun!

First off, as a primer, I'll quote from Sacred Scripture,.."I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (St John 14:6) Simple enough, in this passage, Jesus clearly teaches that He is the only way to Salvation. Next up we'll go to the Church Fathers on this very topic. So here goes, St Ignatius of Antioch, in his letter to the Philadelphians, chapter three goes on to say that (paraphrase) For all who belong to Christ Jesus are with the Bishop...He latter says that people who go into schism will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (1 Cor.6:9) So far we've got a consistant model right? So the question becomes the following, are people living good lives in other religions saved? The simple answer is they can be, in a way known only to Christ Himself,.for they are saved through Christ by His merits on the Cross and by their relationship to the Church.

By now, the liberals are gushing, going God loves everybody/everything, there is no hell, blah, blah, blah,...The Conservatives, on the other hand are rigidly interpreting the 'No salvation outside the Church within the confines of a very literalistic interpretation. The Catholic Church, in her wisdom discerns that there are elements of Truth in other religions, but that truth is first and foremost Catholic truth, as it properly belongs or finds its natural end within the Catholic understanding. At this time, we can now begin to understand that with God, all things are possible, God wills all men to be saved, man however has free will and therefore a free choice. An ignorant buddhist who never heard the Gospel, yet lives as best he can by the dictates of the natural law and of his conscience can therefore be saved. How? By Christ, in a manner known to Himself, and by that person's relationship to the Church. Therefore we can conclude the Buddhist is not saved by his buddhist faith, but by Christ! St Thomas Aquinas argued that people are united to the Church (invisible) by various degrees, (in potencia...). So people not in full communion with the Church can still be receiving Grace from Her. The Church will look at these communities and religions and therefore see how much Catholic Truth they contain. Here goes:

The Fullness of God's Revelation is found in the Catholic Church...***The Orthodox Churches in the East also are true Churches, and the schism of 1054 has been removed, so by the will of the Holy Spirit, we will probably achieve unity under the Papacy two generations from now,..(In my opinion.)

Next up we have the protestant communities stemming from the 'Reformation.' Although most vary in degree within themselves, the further back you go, (Anglicanism) the more Liturgical they are. Most evangelicals only recognize two sacraments, yet they possess the Bible, a moral code, and traditional beliefs in the Trinity, and the Redemption of mankind by the cross.

After that we have Traditional Judaism,.which we can consider our elder brothers in the Faith. While we disagree on who the Messiah is, we look to them for the Old Testament. Within Judaism, its own schisms started to occur, with Reform, liberal, Hassidic, Orthodox, name it!

Finally within the monotheistic realm, we have the first of what we could call the great heresies. Islam. We(Catholics) affirm that they believe in one God, and to quote Vatican II (Nostra Aetate)they also profess to hold the faith of Abraham. We disagree on God's nature, and thus disagree with Master/slave imagery. To paraphrase John Paul the Great, Islam sees Christ as through broken lenses. (For more on Islam, for my posts on it,...)Obviously I could go on forever, considering all major religions and faith systems.

I hope this example serves well, because ultimately we are all called to evangelize. The next time we are at a funeral, and the priest unofficially canonizes the deceased, (most of the liberals do,..) gently remind them not to judge, (proclaming a person in Heaven is rendering judgement too!!) lest we be judged. It is especially important when at a funeral of a non-Catholic or non Christian. Ask that Almighty God shine His face upon them, and that at death, they had repented asking God, in their own understanding, of forgiveness. Are non-Catholics saved? To answer the question, I will ask if a person can get to China on a canoe without directions, I would argue they can,..but... (I think you get my point...)

Sorry for the drab post today,..but I hope I made sense...

St Thomas Aquinas,....ora pro nobis.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Beatification of Cardinal Newman,...

Just a brief note today regarding the upcoming Beatification of Cardinal Newman, for which the Pope has undertaken a courageous trip to England. Why courageous? Simply because Britain has lost its marbles decades ago, and thus has fallen into secularist limbo as it awaits its inevitable 'Islamicization.' That being said, that's a post for another day.

John Henry Newman remains one of the most influential members of what was then known as the 'Oxford' movement. Simply put a group of Anglican clergy who wished to restore many of England's more traditional Catholic beliefs. Eventually like any other intellectual he had to give assent to what is true and became a Catholic, later a Cardinal no less. His 'Apologia Pro Vita Sua' remains a masterpiece.

A quote I love,.."The gift of inspiration requires the complimentary gift of infallibility." Cardinal Newman.

Cardinal Newman,..pray for us!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What were you saying about the Church being against sex?....

Nope I'm not talking about John Paul II's magnificant opus, the Theology of the Body, I'm talking about the recent statement attributed to an Italian priest. Father Piero Gheddo, assessing the future of Europe has hit it 'bang on!' While its no secret unless you subscribe to the socialist verbal diarhhea diatribe known as progressivism, or whathever word they'll make up, that Europe is fast becoming Islamic, sooner rather than later. So what's the cure? Christians producing children!!! What a novel idea! You see, us subscribers to common sense, (closed-minded people) believe that when the penis ejaculates into the vagina, it leaves open the possibility of new life! Condoms seem to prevent this from happening, and sodomy just can't figure out how to reproduce. Until they(socialists) can succesfully participate in their selfish ventures while reproducing, it would seem that they'll resort to their mandated 1.5 children per family, if any at all. Cause' y'know, women need careers, and children are obstacles to said careers!

'No,. Your too much,' said a feminazi liberal to me yesterday at the gym. (big grin on her face) So what if it becomes muslim, its all secular anyway,.right? The fall of the Roman empire was defeated when Rome, secularized itself into oblivion,.. and by the way, Canada, our beloved home and native land, voted down 'Sharia law' in Ontario. Who knows, maybe in 100years, they won't have to vote, they'll just implement it! So let's put it all together shall we, forget Europe for a moment,.native Canadians producing little or no children, muslim immigrants producing 5-7 children...I think you see where we are headed...

Our Lady of Fatima,....ora pro nobis.

Optimusmastro reflecting on Sunday's Gospel

This vid was taken by Mike Poli over at Poli's Playground, you can link to it from my links section. The context surrounding it, was why when a Gospel so profound as the prodigal son is read, do we need to hear homilies based on water scarcity somewhere in South America? As I mention, I find myself i both sons. The one who squanders is obvious, but the bitterness the other son shows, is something we all have to work on. Jealousy, rage, envy,..all fruits from the same poisonous plant!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Yeah,..I'm back again...

Okay, forgive me, I know its usually one post a week, but this week is a little different! You see just so many things are happening on both the Catholic and the political front, that if I don't post, I may end up bodyslamming a liberal!(oh yes, I mean that literally...)

News out of Scotland! It seems the rumour mill is spinning concerning the Papal visit and the protocol used for celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There would appear to be some very uncomfortable Bishops (I'm sure aided by some lefty-looney nuns,.err sorry 'women relgious'...)mulling over the Monsignor Guido Marini statement that the Pope intends to use Latin in the Mass! As well, the Pope will probably not use the ministers of Communion (Extraordinary) because there will be an abundance of priests, prefers seven candles on the Alter, (I didn't say 'table') and prefers people receiving the Eucharist from him, to receive kneeling on the tongue. (Actually he has expressed this practice to be applied to the Universal Church.) The shock! The horror, I mean how dare this Pope exercise his role as universal shepherd! (sarcasm.)

Okay, liberals, using your flawed logic, let's break down your argument shall we?
You affirm that the Holy Spirit governs the Church, and was especially present during Vatican II. As Catholics, we affirm that the same Holy Spirit chooses the Pope, (oh wait you guys/girls/people..whatever, don't want to offend...only believe that to be the case when it goes your way!) and protects the deposit of Truth which is unchangeable and is interpreted by the Magisterium. Nevertheless, you have accepted the decision, because you are still in Communion with Rome. (at least for now...) BTW, when I reference Vatican II, I mean the pastoral council, the first of its kind, when they say it, they mean a 'fuzzy' feeling they had during the council. (Probably the same 'fuzzy' feeling Hitler had writing Mein Kampf!)

So, by deduction, both of us can state that the Holy Spirit guides the Church and that the Pope is the visible sign of unity. So let's take a look at the catechism,..

CCC 882,- The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered."- (CCC 1994, way after Vatican II...)

So there you go! My advice to all the people holding to heterodox opinions all the while occupying chancery offices around the world, you know you are, feminazi nuns and practioners of reiki, liberation theology, process theology, and general dissidents, the next time you find yourself at Mass, look for the exit signs. Ask yourself, why every Sunday, you make a free choice to remain Catholic. Then, after you've realized your selfishness, leave the Church, and find yourself a nice episcopalian community that shares your beliefs or lack thereof. Just don't endanger souls who actually care. As far as Scotland is concerned, may the Holy Father's wishes be done, if not, people should realize that the heterodox crowd are the real dictators and have been for the last forty years!

St Andrew,...Ora Pro Nobis!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Father Greg,..Reverence,..(you hear that hippie/socialist/feminazis, sorry about not being Charitable)

Check out this amazing video,..some people will nitpick,.but it is not about the rubrics so much as it is about beauty! This video provokes a deep sense of the sacred in all of us, and the fun part is that it is a Novus Ordo Mass! Good stuff Fr Greg!!!

Battle on the Homefront

It would seem all too easy no to comment about the current 'language tension' in and around my 'belle province' and supported by such luminaries as the Societe Saint Jean Baptiste as well as other fringe political zealots bordering on extreme cases of paranoia. Okay, so now that we know that his post will be more political (domestically), I will provide a primer for my international readers. First off I am completely bilingual. I choose to blog in english simply because of the law of supply and demand, in other words, more readership. That being said, I consider myself a proud Canadian and a proud Quebecer. (The latter has not been defined as to 'who' constitutes a real Quebecer.

A recent case came up whereby, the 'federalist' liberal party of Quebec had to rule restricting the number of french children allowed to seek education in english!! Translation,.if you're french-Canadian, you have no choice but to send your kids to french school, but if you're english, the choice is up to you!!! WOW!! This comes from a federalist provincial party, not the separatissssss. I hope everyone in bloggerland can see the absurdity in this equation. Oh yeah, all in the name of protecting culture and language! Ahh, living in Quebexico, and they wonder why...

Patron saint of common sense,(is there one?) Pray for us!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Patience,..a Virtue? a Vice?....

So many interesting things happen whenever I enjoy Saturday 'downtime.' Let me set the setting. I got up early in the morning, trained, (P90x Chest, Shoulders and triceps) returned home and continued working on a website for a fellow trainer. By about 2pm,.I felt mentally exhausted and thus decided to go for a drive, to decompress. My destination of choice was the Christian Book Depot, run by two of the most inspiring faith filled evangelical Christians I have ever had the privelidge of meeting. I have spoken about them before, for more info use the 'search' located on the Blog. Anyway, going through the threshold of this store makes me always feel comfortable, an overbearing sense of peace. Yes, we do disagree on some issues, but it has become an exercise in authentic ecumenism, as the Truths they do hold, I do not disagree with. This day's experiment would be a little different.

I met a couple there shopping, and through dialogue, we started to draw comparisons as lay people whereby the Gospel is not being preached faithfully. I agreed and pointed out certain areas that were in a sense 'hijacked' by politically correct feminist individuals trying to undermine the social class (abortion, homosexual agenda...). After several minutes she said her denomination, so matter of factly 'Baptist' and I in turn said 'Catholic.' Wellllllllllll,.....she might as well have heard 'child raping serial murderer/satanic idolator.' Thus my friendly conversation became an all out assault against (what she believed) my Church taught.
Oh boy, here we go,..(a silent prayer to the Holy Spirit for patience and kindness)

My friend, the owner, a very devout man, I'm sure sat praying for this lady, that I wouldn't destroy her faith,..I didn't. All I did was defend as best I can six (6) questions that were rattled off at me without having the time to answer individually. I had had enough,.so I asked the lady, can I speak now? Trying as best I could to be charitable (believe me it was hard...). 'Madam, please refrain from telling me what or what I do not believe,..if you are open, and both of us believe we possess truth, yet there can only be one truth, this would mean one of us is in error. Do you agree? I can't affirm the existence of a chair and that it doesn't exist at the same time. She replied yes. (wheww,..good start). Her first question was about Mary's Immaculate Conception. (She said that if I answered this to her satisfaction, she'd be more willing to listen in the future.

I began,.('Luke 1.) The angelic greeting uses the greek 'Kecharitomene' which is a perfect past participle. The latin vulgate translates 'Full of Grace' or 'Graced one.' This word/title appears no where else in the New Testament. I was lucky, because there were greek concordances everywhere...The angel, throughout the Bible as well as history, acts as a messenger from God. Do you agree? She replied in the affirmative. Therefore we can conclude by deduction, that God is calling her 'full of Grace.' She answered, to paraphrase, 'yeah,.I guess so..but what about this Immaculate conception?' Well,.I began, if Mary is already 'Full of Grace' and the Passion/Death/Ressurection hasn't happened yet, only comes toward the end of Luke's Gospel,.what becomes the natural conclusion? Answer,.that she was preserved from sin!. (The look on her face was priceless...!!!) She wasn't angry, but I think her appetite was wet for more. So I gave her my email, and left her with a thought. 'Madam, the New Testament we have today was discerned at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage under St Jerome and Pope Sylvestre. The Holy Spirit used the Church to create the Canon. How can you as a protestant, reject Tradition when the first 350years of Christianity used it.. Needless to say we left on a pleasant note.

The title of this post reflects what at one time, especially when I was confronted I would do,..either get really angry, which is wrong, or remove myself from the conversation which is equally wrong. I remembered a quote from philosophy class, that 'information will always be received by the mode of the receiver.' I had mentioned a silent prayer to the Holy Spirit,..the key is that we don't convert or save anybody, God does!!!

Happy Sunday!

Ecce Agnus Dei.