Saturday, March 31, 2012

Holy Palm Sunday and Happy Wrestlemania!

My complex character, an usual hybrid of theology, transformers and prowrestling hopefully will never change.  I trust that God will take me as I am,..and just scrape off the barnacles that are unecessary...So, a short address to the Generation Benedict, and for the second year in a row, some Wrestlemania predictions!!!

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,..........ora pro nobis!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Power of Confession!!!!

As we prepare for Palm Sunday and Holy Week, a small reflection from the Cybertronian.  As Catholics, we are blessed to have it all.  The full deposit of Faith has been handed to us from the Apostles.  The Scriptures, the Sacraments and the Blessed Mother!  Yet, do we fully appreciate our gift as Catholics?  To quote from Spiderman, (my nerd side comin' out)  'With great power comes great responsibility!' - Uncle Ben... (Fr Jason Piper reflected upon that recently..)  Our protestant brethren, evengelical, pentecostal, baptist, western branch of reformed Presbylutheran,.(Rev. Timothy Lovejoy from the Simpsons) can sometimes make us as Catholics look foolish in how they live their lives.  They DO more with LESS!! 

Sadly one of the most devastating effects upon the last 50 years of Catholicism has been the near extinction of the sacrament of Reconciliation.  Confession, besides the Eucharist, is an incredible gift that Jesus left us, so why the silence?  Every Mass, we witness the same thing, throngs upon throngs of people going to Communion, to receive Jesus, body, blood, soul and Divinity under the appearance of bread and wine.  At the same time, confessions are almost non-existant.  We need to recover this incredible grace.  Speaking from experience, I first went back to Confession about 7 yrs ago.  I was scared and ashamed, my ego (the enemy perhaps?) was playing tricks on me, thinking to myself, well 'I don't need a buffer!'  It'll be me and Jesus,.He knows my sins!  Sadly this is the prevailing attitude of many Catholics since the 1960s.  Newsflash!  Vatican II did not do away with the sacrament of Reconciliation!  We still need to be in a proper way disposed before receiving the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine.  Scripture reads;

Gospel of St John, 20, 21-24  -

-He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.  Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.  Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.  The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.-

 Still in Scripture, we also see a distinction between mortal and venial sins.  The Church(Orthodox Church too) has been saying this for 2000 years,  yet sadly some of our protestant brethren don't believe this.  Some anglican do, yet it has been completely disregarded during the 'revivalist dispensationalist theology crowd.'  Once again we refer to Scripture;

1 John 5:16-17-

- He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask.  All iniquity is sin. And there is a sin unto death.-

In the early Church, the penitants would confess and be absolved publically.  Since then, the Church through the ages have the practice of individual confession.  The priest, whose authority is not his known but Christ's absolves the penitant in the name of Jesus.  Besides that, he as a man, is bound by the confessional seal, under the threat of excommunication!  It's just you and Jesus, the priest will offer some counsel, but the absolution comes from Christ.  Now your probably telling yourself, yeah, but I know Jesus forgives me,..(and you are right!)  However, as human beings, we are creatures of sense, and the Church makes use of the senses to bring about the message of Christ.  In a way, you can call it an extention of the Incarnation.  Imagine apologizing to your mother, and her just staring at you silently?  Now imagine the same scenerio, and she says to you, 'I forgive you' with a smile.  You can't beat it!!!  Any Catholic who hasn't received this unbelievable Grace, I challenge you to try it out,. I mean what have you got to lose?

Before I conclude especially on the topic of Reconciliation, I would like to turn everyone's attention to a Rosary dedicated especially for the reunification of Priestly Society of Saint Pius X with the Holy See.  From what I gather, the SSPX will be issuing a positive reply to Cardinal Levada of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Bishop Fellay of the SSPX is encouraging everyone to pray the Rosary that God'will may be done, (think of Jesus in the garden...).  To add to that though, let us pray Christ's prayer to the Father, that we may be one!  Oremus! see here

 Saint Pio de Pietralcina,.........Ora pro nobis!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Israel, Palestine and the Vatican Part 6

Back again with another snippet of our favorite Middle East political quagmire!!!! Woohooo!!!  Hopefully I can get through this series without any distractions as well as other 'important' events circulating throughout the Catholic world and my little diocese.  Soooo, let's put the theology aside,.well our theology anyway and resume our political breakdown with the declaration of Israeli independance!

The year of 1948, was to put in a few words, disturbing.  Violent clashes abounded whereby setting the present day 'tit' for 'tat' scenerio.  The Ben Yahuda street bombing,..whereby the Arabs arrange three cars to blow up,. Then the Jews countered with Nachslon and broke the siege of Jerusalem.  Next up,..the Deir Yassin Massacre whereby the Jews killed up in the offensive between 100-300 Palestinians, among them civilians, women and children.  Sadly, war doesn't discriminate.  As retribution for this, the Arabs counter with the Hassasah medical convoy massacre, killing mostly unarmed doctors carrying patients.  Finally the last majour attack before the expiration of the British mandate came from the Arab forces after a surrender of a Jewish village.  The Kfar-Etzion massacre, saw an entire village wiped out.  The bodies were left unburied until 1949.

The day arrived.  May 14th 1948.  Before midnight came, Israel declared independance and immediately was invaded by Lebanon, Transjordan, Iraq, Egypt and Syria.  The Arab goal was simple, to wipe Israel, and the Jews off the map of the Middle East.  (See Islamic theology earlier within this series..)  Time to tell the truth.  According to Islam, this land was considered Islamic territory and to be subject to Jewish laws,.where the Dome of the Rock was, was considered an afronterie.  This is why people need to understand Islamic theology which plays a vital role in this particular problem.  The newly formed IDF, or Israeli Defense Force managed to defeat the Arab armies in just over one year.  Israel was born and survived. 

Despite their victory, in 1949, the British mandate was divided and saw the land of Israel carved up into two states.  One was the now Kingdom of Jordan (formerly transjordan) and was intended as a home for the Palestinian people.  After the original war for Israeli independance, over 1 million Palestinian Arabs had become refugees.  Still, individual raids continued in 1951-52 and Palestinian infiltrators, killed nearly 300 Jews.  This led to Israel's unit 101, led by Ariel Sharon, who in most recent times was Israeli Prime Minister to carry out a massacre in Qibya (located in the West Bank).  In this massacre, 69 Arabs were killed, two thirds of them women and children... They destroyed houses, a school and a mosque.

Until next time

Our Lady of Ville Marie,............ora pro nobis!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Shout outs to the New Shepherds!!!!!!

Once again, dear readers please excuse my tardiness regarding The Israel/Palestine posts,..(part 6 will be up shortly)  More important news,.Montreal has a new Arch Bishop!  As information comes in, the tale of the tape is gonna be revealed!  We know that as of yesterday, Archbishop Christian Lépine took canonical possession of the Diocese, the second largest in Canada.  His co-pilot?  None other than the man himself, Thomas Aquinas for the 21st Century and Canada's youngest Bishop,...Bishop Tom Dowd!!!  (....Dowd!  Michael Buffer voice!)  The tale of the tape will follow,..

ArchBishop Christian Lépine

What can I say?  Staunchly pro-life, staunchly orthodox, a saintly and pius man, who truly loves Jesus and His Church!  The ArchBishop is considered an intellectual and following his appointment as an auxiliary bishop, was safe to assume that he would be suited for the job.  In true Optimusmastro fashion, Archbishop Lepine has balls, isn't afraid to tackle issues head on, and will not be intimidated.  He has attended John Pacheco's pro-life seminars in Ottawa as a priest.

Bishop Tom Dowd(Auxiliary)

What else could be said about the man who was the cataclyst for my return to the Catholic Church?,..(well orthodoxy at least!)  Bishop Tom Dowd, at one time the beat the living sh&t out of me on an intellectual level at the now defunct anglican diocesan bookroom. (see this post)  We have lunch together usually once or twice a year...He is basically an amalgamation of Thomas Aquinas, Jacques Maritain and Krang the brain from the ninja turtles series...When he thinks, can almost see the lights flicker...

Seriously all kidding aside, we must unite our prayers to these two amazing Shepherds as their task, this diocese won't be an easy one.  The Holy Spirit knows this and appointed two kickass men truly living their vocations!  Thank you Jesus for giving us these Bishops!

St Jean Vianney,...........ora pro nobis!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Satan lands another left hook,..

Well,.to all those waiting for another Israel, Palestine and the Vatican part whatever post,'ll have to wait a little longer as more important news is surfacing.  It seems that Washington DC area Catholics are losing a priest who has been put on administrative leave with his priestly faculties suspended.  The priest in question is Fr Marcel Guarzino, who has been serving as parochial vicar at St John Newmann in Gaithersburg Maryland.  The accusation, was it another instince of priest abuse?,..Noooooooo,..It was because Fr Guarzino actually believes in the Catholic Church's position on homosexual lifestyle and refused Communion to an openly practicing lesbian woman, who actually introduced him to her partner!  All of this took place at the woman's mother's funeral!  See here.

 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 :  “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the 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 body, eats and drinks judgment on himself”...

By the way,..the woman in question also identifies herself as a Buddhist, of course her wanting to receive a Catholic sacrament makes total sense to the Archdiocese of Washington...sigh...

Dear Cardinal Wuerl,..

Really?  I mean really? 


a Catholic.

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

Sunday, March 11, 2012


A short post and a happy and Holy Sunday to you!  Why am I happy,.because sometimes God gives us little 'a ha' moments that are truly remarkable!  Today, after Mass, I was surfing the web, as I'm writing a paper on St Augustine.  I'm not quite sure how, but I stumbled upon 'Epic Erin Hamilton's blog.  Erin is my cousin through marriage and he pastors a community in California.  The last time we spoke was at my parent's house, discussing Theology in my little study! See here .

Perhaps the start of a long distance ecumenical dialogue between relatives?  The (potential) priest and the pastor?  All that would be missing is the standard 'walk into a bar one day...'

St Joseph,........ora pro nobis.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Youtube Vid, Long Overdue,...

Calling out Ray Comfort, an evangelical Christian who denies that Catholics are Christian!  To my evangelical brethren, I love you with all my heart, but seriously, I think it's high time to educate yourselves on our Faith!  If you have a question about Catholicism, ASK A FRIGGIN' PRACTISING CATHOLIC!!!!  It's that simple!  I didn't learn about Islam by asking Angus McDonald!!!!  I asked and learned from a friggin' Imam!!!

God Bless!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Israel, Palestine and the Vatican Part 5

Remarkable that we haven't even gotten to 1948 yet!  All in due time, hopefully this blog post will get us to the Israeli independance.  A point to note is that I will have no choice but to intersperce different theologically oriented posts in between this series on Israel/Palestine.  Remind me why I started this series again??

Okay so the year is now 1939ish,..and the White paper is now calling for the creation of a new Palestinian state while at the same time affirming the Balfour declaration.  Thus the two state solution is being proposed.  The leadership of the Arab countries however, would have none of it going so far as to even refuse meeting with their Jewish counterparts. 

The Second World starts, and the Jewish Hagganah begins smuggling Jews into Palestine to protect them from the Shoa.  The Palestinians are split,..while some do assist in the smuggling of Jews, many, especially the notables assist the Axis..(thereby lending credibility to that earlier Hadith of Muhammed..)  Jews now living in the Middle East, are attacked by Axis sympathizing Arabs, and thus the exodus of Jews from those Muslim lands commences.  Where do they go?  They settle in Palestine.

So we are now in the year 1940, and the Jewish are beginning to fight back.  A radical group mounts explosives on a donkey and sends it into a crowded marketplace in Haifa.  Similarly, 13 Arabs are killed by gunfire in a one hour period.  The worldwide propoganda controlled by the Arabs, showed them as pure sympathizers with the Nazi Regime.  Muhammed Amin-Al-Hussayni meets with both Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler to strengthen his ties to the Axis.  During the war, the muslim Waffen SS was created to ensure that the Jews not escape Europe and reach Palestine.  Meanwhile, in Palestine itself, the British formed two(three?) units of a Palestinian army, both Jewish and Arab in order to fight against the Axis.  In 1944, the Army was only Jewish, thus the Jewish Brigade.

In 1942, after a period of calm, the Jewish Irgun (radical splinter group..) bombs the British immigration services in Palestine, while from Germany, Al-Hussayni plans a Jewish massacre using chemical weapons through the deployment of a joint German/Arab parachute strike, known as Operation Atlas.  They were caught by the British police forces near the town of Jericho. 

Fast forward to the year 1947.  The UN General Assembly passes the partition plan to create two states.  The Jews accept, while the Arabs reject it.  The Palestinians erupt in violence, the 'civil war,' the Jerusalem riots, with the British stopping them near Zion square but unable to fend them off in other attack on Jewish neighbourhoods.  Irgun responded and threw bombs at Arab workers in an Oil Company.  The Arab league then sponsored the Arab Liberation Army, recruiting not only Palestinians but other Arabs from other countries, who once again saw this as their muslim duty to defend their 'brothers.'

Till next time!

Our Lady of Ville Marie,.........ora pro nobis!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Musical Interlude with Joe Zambon

Stepping away from the politics,..we'll take a little break, relax our brains, and listen to Joe Zambon, an amazing talent, a young Catholic artist who I had the priveledge of meeting when I lived in Ottawa for a few months, is his latest song! 

Israel, Palestine and the Vatican Part 4

So many requests,.'Hey Optimus,..when you gonna get back to making us laugh?'  Soon,.perhaps next week,..but for now we will be continuing along the political science root and extrapolating (albeit very surface like..) the intricacies and theology behind the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 

So,.on we go supposedly,.with the British moving ahead with regards to setting up a State for the Jewish people on the land of Palestine.  In 1929,..more violence erupts as the Jews are trying to gain access to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall), here once again, the theological element gets swept inside the political problem.  For Muslims,.the Jews are considered inferior,.this is not a blanket statement,..This comes from a Hadith,..Book 041, Number 6985:
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.
 The irony about the above statement is that it is also found within Hamas' (the ruling political entity in the Palestinian territoies) covenant.  Sadly,..the reality within this mindset which even exists to this day, is that it is improper for non-muslims (especially Jews) to have access to the Islamic holy places.  Remember that when the muslim army conquered they SPECIFICALLY built the Dome of the Rock on the site where the Western Wall remained as the last vestige of the temple destroyed around 70AD.  As well,..they bricked up the place where the Jews believe the Messiah would go through.  Another interesting 'nugget' is that they also built the Dome of the Rock taller than all the other Churches, show the superiority of Islam.   Here's a modern picture of a highway in Saudi Arabia, a country which airlifts Jewish and Christian soldiers off its land when they want to hold a religious service or a Mass.

Still in that same year was the Hebron massacre, whereby Jews were forced by the British to evacuate the cities of Hebron and Gaza.  The local Jews,.(who were Palestinians that practised Judaism) were hidden by muslim neighbours until the British forced their hand and ended up limiting Jewish immigration for fear of riots.  Nevertheless,.The Black Hand Islamist under the leadership of Izz Al-Din Al Quassam declares war on the British soldiers and the Jewish infidels.  He is killed within five years and then the Arab leadership declares a general strike which degenerates into a violent rebellion, known as the Arab revolt.  The casualites were mostly arab.  The Haganah defense group schisms itself, and splinters a more radical group called Etzel, its policy was one of revenge.

The next major issue to come about was the Peel Commission.  It was here for the first time that the British sought to partition the land and create two states,.one for the Jews and one for the native Arabs.  The proposal was unanimously rejected by the Arabs, while the Jews were divided on the issue.  The sticking point for the Jews was that this British proposal limited jewish immigration to 12 000 and thus was rejected by the Zionist commission. 

That's all for now! Stay tuned for our next exciting episode!

Our Lady of Ville Marie,.........ora pro nobis!