Monday, January 09, 2017

The Young Pope: My Review

First of all, I want to mention that I haven't watched all episodes of this new show called "The Young Pope" yet. In fact, I have not watched complete episodes. What I have watched is a large selection of 1-5 minute clips available on YouTube of this show.

The show seems somewhat interesting from a fictional point of view. But I think it's very far from reality. As with most shows and movies from secular sources, they portray the Vatican, the pope, and cardinals in a very particular way. Let me know explain.

In most fictional portrayals of the Holy See, the pope and cardinals are seen as very and exclusively political. They have little, if any, spiritual aspect whatsoever. Usually cardinals are scheming and plotting in order to advance their own causes. They are seeking most power, but also wealth and notoriety. These "church politicians" have people blackmailed, assaulted, or even killed to advance their evil. Plus they are so powerful, little can be done about it.

This particular series is no different. It is produced by Sky and HBO, and it has a clear resemblance with the Sopranos, also produced by HBO. The pope, played by Jude Law, is ambitious, rigid, and Machiavellian. He is a control freak and power hungry. He is not very Christ-like.

The activity within the Vatican seem no different than within a political party or something portrayed on West Wing, except in West Wing the characters aren't nearly as evil.

In the show, the pope and cardinals discuss doctrine as if it is as changeable as the policies of any political party. For example, the pope and a bishop who was almost elected are discussing abortion. But the way they talk about it was the bishop was urging the pope to change the Church's teaching on abortion. To say that it's not the intentional killing of a human person and therefore murder. They made it seem like the pope, on a whim, could easily just change the Church's teaching.

This betrays a complete lack of understanding of how doctrine works. It's not a "coincidence" that most popes don't change anything with regards to doctrine. Rather, once something is declared a doctrine it does not change. The only things that are changeable are disciplines. For example, not eating meat on Friday is a form of penance and practice, but not an eternal moral law. Therefore, a pope, or the church in general can change this teaching. But the Church does not see itself as having the ability to change the teaching on murder or abortion or marriage, or other issues such as this. I hope that makes sense.

The sad part about all of this is that people are left with completely incorrect views of how the Church functions and the people in it. The pope isn't a politician who can change any law, no more than a physicist can change any law of physics, even if he is the head of a department. Also, after watching the show, many non-Catholics and fallen away Catholics are left with the impression that the pope and cardinals, and others in the Church are conniving, ambitious, immoral people, which is very far from the truth. To see why, we need look no further than the last several centuries of popes to see their personal holiness which is usually exemplary.

For example, both Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI were known for living very simply. JPII didn't even usually remember what he ate because he was too focused on his dinner guests. They had small rooms and did not live in luxury. To improve himself spiritually, John Paul II would even use a discipline or small whip to "mortify" his flesh. These great holy men would pray (and in the case of Benedict XVI continue to pray) for hours daily for the needs of the Church and the world.

The papacy is not somewhere a traditionally ambitious person would want to end up. Most of a pope's days are spent entertaining guests and dignitaries, attending events and making big decisions. When a bishop is first elected pope, he goes to a room to get his outfit. This room has been dubbed the Room of Tears, given that most new popes break down in tears upon realizing the huge responsibility they are now charged with. Pope Benedict XVI made clear his desire not to be pope, but when elected anyway, he accepted.

On the bright side, it is possible that if people find this show interesting, they may seek more information themselves. Perhaps in their search they will find the truth and be attracted to it.

Friday, January 06, 2017

In the Netherlands, this prodigy would have been killed!

Last night my fiancĂ©e and I were watching a show about a man named Derek Paravicini.  He's an extraordinary piano Prodigy who can play any piece of music after hearing it just once. He is also able to improvise with very complex patterns of music. But there's something unique about this person. He was born premature and after being exposed to high levels of oxygen he became blind. He is also extremely autistic and cannot even take care of himself to do normal day-to-day activities. He doesn't interact with people in a normal way. However his musical genius outperforms almost anybody currently living.

 Then this morning I was going through my Facebook feed and I noticed an article from lifesitenews where they explained that doctors in Groningen Netherlands are legally allowed to kill children who have been born if the doctor believes that the quality of life of this child won't be sufficient. And their definition of what constitutes a good quality of life to these doctors is more stringent than you may think. As far back as 1992 the Dutch  Royal Society of Medicine decided that it's best to kill a child if that child would not be able to live independently and experience self realization which includes the ability to hear read write and labor among other things as well as having meaningful interpersonal relationships. They decided that if a child does not meet these criteria he does not have the right to even live and should be killed by the doctor.

Obviously Derek Paravicini would not qualify for life under these strict conditions. Clearly Derek does not have the ability to live independently as he requires people to take care of him. He is not able to read or write or labor in the normal sense of the word. Obviously killing Derek would not make the world a better place but this is precisely what doctors in the Netherlands feel is the best course of action. This is absolutely unbelievable and extremely shocking and sad. That a so-called modern society can even get away with such atrocities is unimaginable. We are currently seeing Eugenics and genocide occurring before our very eyes in countries we thought more advanced but clearly are more barbaric than almost any others.

Even though the situation is particularly terrible in places like the Netherlands and Belgium, where the Culture of Death is, ironically, alive and well, we too have our fair share of blame. In our so-called modern Western cultures, over 90% of unborn babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. Down Syndrome people are some of the happiest, joyful, and unconditionally loving people in the world. And yet, they are killed before they see the light of day.

Whenever a small opening is allowed for the culture of death into a society, it inevitably expands. At first, doctor-assisted suicide was allowed in some countries under strict conditions. But as years go by, the conditions are continually reduced, and more and more people start being killed. Before you know it, anyone can become a victim. And so it goes in so many area.

Let's do everything we can to end these barbaric practices in our so-called modern societies.

Here's the video about Derek:

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Latin Mass Tip: Read the English

I hope I don't cause any controversy by saying this and if I'm making some kind of a mistake or doing something I shouldn't be doing please let me know as soon as possible in the comments section below. But what I wanted to mention was an idea that I have for facilitating and making the Latin Mass more approachable. One of the things that I like to do is especially when the priest is doing silent prayer and there is silence in the church is to read the English side of the prayer book to keep track of where the priest is and to follow along with the Mass.

I find this extremely beneficial because you are engaging your mind and your soul in participating in the Mass. I will also do this during parts of the Mass where the priest is reciting passages out loud. I find reading the English side of the Missal to be very beneficial in my spiritual attendance at Mass and I do not drift off in thought.

Now, as I mentioned, I'm not sure if this is what you are supposed to do. Are we always supposed to just read the Latin side and to recite the Latin prayers? I'm not 100% sure. In fact it is my understanding that we are not required to recite all parts of the Latin Mass designed for the congregation. I find in the Latin Mass that I attend that a lot of people will read the vast majority of these parts but while I was speaking with one of my friends who is very knowledgeable in this area he said that it is not required for Catholics to read aloud most of the parts of the Mass.

In fact he said the requirement is only to read two or three things during the Mass such as the Nicene Creed. Anyway as I mentioned this is just a tip that I find beneficial for connecting to the Mass on a deeper level. I hope to share more of these tips in the future weeks and months ahead. Have a great New Year!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Reason #152 I Like Latin Mass: No Talking Before and During Mass

One of the things I really prefer about Latin Mass over the typical vernacular Mass is the atmosphere. I went to mass this past Sunday and when I walked in there weren't a whole pile of people just talking about anything under the sun. In fact there were very few, if any, people talking whatsoever.

Usually when I walk into a church for Mass every single person is talking - many are talking at a very loud volume. But when I go into the Latin Mass church, people are silent and praying and being reflective as they should be. I even remember in one of the other churches that I attend where they have the ordinary Mass and they have a sign up that says "please respect the peace and quiet of this church while you were waiting for Mass to begin". But very few, if any, people actually follow this.

So from that standpoint being able to go into a church where people are prayerful and Silent is a really huge help and also during mass people listen to and respond to the prayers as they should and nobody is talking during the mass. It's so much better.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Forgotten Tradition of Blessing Mother After Birth

I found a fascinating article about an ancient tradition in the Catholic Church wear by a mother was reintroduced back into the church after giving birth to a new child. It was a form of blessing for the mother and for her health and for the health of her new baby and a form of Thanksgiving for the birth of the child. In earlier times children were always baptized very soon after birth often the same day or the next day. Nowadays it can be a little bit longer because the fear of a child dying soon after birth are diminished and often children are baptized a week or maybe 2 weeks after birth. But check out this fascinating article about this form of blessing for a new mother after giving birth.

The Forgotten Tradition of “Churching,” the Ancient Post-Partum Blessing

Monday, January 02, 2017

WARNING: Pot-Smoking Nuns FAKE

CAUTION: THESE ARE NOT REAL NUNS!



 There has been a video that has been circulating widely about a group of nuns who are in the business of growing and selling marijuana. They wear a habit just like ordinary Catholic nuns but it must be pointed out that these are not legitimate real actual Catholic nuns that are sanctioned by the Catholic church in any way shape or form.

These are in fact imposters who for some reason are trying to make themselves look like their actual Catholic nuns or sisters but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact I don't believe they follow any form of Catholic spirituality whatsoever. The only reason they are wearing a seemingly Catholic outfit is to give themselves an appearance of legitimacy. Obviously all around the world especially in the United States there are all kinds of people who are growing and selling marijuana. But nobody is covering them as a news story because they don't seem  noteworthy. But when they don a religious habit all of a sudden they appear to be more legitimate.

I strongly urge you to reject these people and to call them out to tell them to stop imitating Catholic nuns because they have no business doing so and they should stop doing it immediately.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year AND Feast Day of Mary, Mother of God

First of all I want to say Happy New Year to all of the people who read this blog. I hope 2017 is your best year yet and that it brings all kinds of joy peace and happiness in your life. January 1st is celebrated as New Year's Day in most of the world but for Catholics it also marks another very special day. It is the solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. It is celebrated exactly one week after Christmas and it is especially celebrated to contemplate Mary's unique motherhood of God in the person of Jesus Christ.

 The title of  Mother of God in relation to Mary was officially adopted and defined at the First Council of Ephesus in the year 431 however even before then Mary had been called the Mother of God. It follows an unavoidable series of logic:

1. Jesus is God.
2. Mary is the mother of Jesus.
3. Therefore Mary is the mother of God.
In Greek the name is Theotokos which technically means God Bearer or She Who Gave Birth to God.

 In Canada the solemnity of Mary the Mother of God is a holy day of obligation. Every country has its own list of holy days of obligation which by definition are days on which Catholics are obliged to attend Mass but which are not Sundays. In Canada there only two such days. One is Christmas day and the other is January 1st, the solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. This particular Christmas season both of these days fall on a Sunday which means you actually do not have to attend any additional masses this year.

 So once again happy and joyful New Year and may 2017 be your best year yet!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

I HAVE to see this Movie

CORRECTION: Chinese Church does NOT want to separate from Rome.

A very astute reader called attention to my misleading headline on a previous blog post. I said The Church in China wants to be separate from Rome! But that is very misleading because the Chinese CHURCH does not want to separate from Rome. In fact, it is Chinese officials. The Chinese government wants to take control of the Church and their worship. They want to make sure people have an allegiance to Beijing and no allegiance nor to the Holy See, for they fear outside influence. Despite progress, China is far from a free country. They control much of the information that enters the country and people are not free to make their own decisions in many areas. It's also worth noting that atheism is the official state belief system in China and they have cracked down forcefully on religious practice.

Members of Falon Gong have been systematically intimidated, tortured, and overall coerced into not following that religion. Other religions have been severely limited in what they can and cannot do. Many brave martyrs have died defending the Truth in China and will continue to do so until it becomes legal.

There are many faith-filled and great Chinese Catholics who want to listen to and follow the Pope in Rome but it is the Chinese Government which is preventing them. Sorry about the error and big thanks to the Facebook follower who pointed this out!

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Church in China wants to be separate from Rome!

This is absolute LUNACY. The Church in China and everywhere else must be subject to Rome!!

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/12/30/chinese-patriotic-catholic-church-asserts-independence-vatican/

Italian Bishop DENIES Mass Intention for Slain Mafioso

Read the Article here: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/church-mass-for-murdered-canadian-mafioso-rocco-sollecito-kiboshed-by-catholic-authorities

A notorious mafia boss, Rocco Sollecito, was killed back in May. Then just the other day, a priest in Italy wanted to celebrate a Mass where they would remember this mafia boss. But the archbishop of the area intervenes and strictly forbade the priest from doing so.

For some bizarre reason, the priest says he will appeal to the pope. I think the archbishop is right to deny a Mass intention for a known criminal thug. I applaud that BRAVE bishop for standing up to this evil and confronting it.

By the way, I doubt Pope Francis will do a lot. He openly said the mafia needs to repent IMMEDIATELY before it's too late.

That group needs to stop calling itself "Catholic".

Canada's Assisted Suicide Rates Spiraling out of Control

So far, over the past 6 months or so since Canada legalized assisted suicide, at least 744 people have had doctors kill them. We are now fully on a path where old age is considered a terminal condition and people will be put down like dogs we don't like anymore. This is only the beginning. But this number has shocked even the greatest supporters of this new law.

It's no surprise. People think the government has to do everything for them. They no longer feel obliged to care for their elderly parents. They think that's the government's responsibility. Then when the older person becomes too much of a burden, they toss them in an old age home and never visit. When they do visit, they talk about the older person in the third person and make it very clear how much of a burden that person is to them. Well, they will usually say they are a burden to the "family" instead of "me" because that just sounds more noble.

After hearing this over and over the older person decides to commit suicide. The children can barely contain their glee, but try to hide it a little to be a tiny bit respectful. Now, this isn't always the case. Sometimes the older person has no children or none of the children visit them anymore. Whatever the case, older people are treated really poorly.

But sometimes the old person themselves is to blame. They do not want to suffer in any way. In terms of Catholic theology, a person can receive painkillers even if they are fatal if they are required to relieve the pain. Therefore, no one has to needlessly suffer.

Some have equated choosing to end one's life as dying with dignity. They imply that having medical needs or requiring assistance from others to do normal everyday activities is somehow undignified, but nothing could be further from the truth. Dignity means living the life God has given you to the best of your ability. It doesn't mean ending the life God gave you because it doesn't fit some pre-determined standard.

The law about assisted suicide was not enacted democratically. It was legislation from the judicial bench. Somehow our brilliant supreme court justices decided that there was a right to doctor assisted suicide BECAUSE of our right to life. Even attempting to explain this inanity would prove difficult, and I suggest you look at the ruling yourself because you probably won't believe me.

To summarize it, because people have a right to life, doctor-assisted suicide must be provided and regulated by the government because this could potentially give the person some time to contemplate this decision to end their life (thus potentially extending it). No evidence of this was ever offered. Clearly this isn't the case. For the most part, if an elderly person isn't able to procure a doctor-assisted suicide, they probably won't do it on their own.

BY making suicide by doctor legal, you make it acceptable. At least that's the case in the religion-less populace of Canada that has no morals. Sadly, we rely on the government for everything, even deciding our morals.

Anyway, as mentioned, this will only continue to get worse. Much worse. But at leaset the government-worshipers will be happy. To them, human beings are expenses, a budget item, not people with dignity.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Note to People: Stop Talking Throughout the Mass

One of the things I find most annoying when I go to mass is people talking. I'm not referring to people who have a couple of words to say or a few sentences here and there because that's human nature. So that's not so bad. What I'm referring to is people who are talking on the way into the church, they talk all the way as they enter into their seat, and then they continue talking throughout the entirety of the mass. They do not hesitate even for a couple of minutes.

There have been times when I've sat at mass and there might be a couple of people, usually women I hate to say it, who will just have a long unending conversation throughout the entire Mass. Because it's sometimes impossible not to overhear them, you can catch some of the things that they're saying and I can tell you that they are not important or earth-shattering things that must be said immediately. For example they often talk about what they are going to cook for dinner what they will be doing for Christmas, or what TV shows they like, etc.

My question is "Why do you even bother coming to Mass?" Seriously. Obviously you have no idea why you are there or why the Mass has any value or importance whatsoever. You are just there to gab the entire mass and get absolutely nothing out of it. Plus, you are distracting everyone else who is there to be spiritually fed.

I would even ask a deeper, spiritual question. Does it fulfill your Sunday Obligation to attend Mass every Sunday, if, while you are there, you talk the entire time and pay absolutely no attention. If you have no interest in what is happening during the Mass and are not interested in connecting to God spiritually whatsoever. Can it really be said that you "attended the Mass" given all of this?

I think somewhere along the way people were told they had to attend Mass every Sunday, which is true. But even though they technically enter in through the church doors, they are in no real way "attending" the Mass. It's no different than staying outside in your car while the Mass is happening inside and listening to the radio and then later claiming you actually attended the Mass. It's ridiculous and inaccurate.

The priest should always, at the beginning of Mass, inform the people there that there should be absolutely no talking whatsoever unless there is an extreme emergency. The only things people should say are the responses to the prayers that are designated to the people.

By the way, it's also worth noting that this includes the rosary. Sometimes people will go to Mass and just recite the rosary the entire time that they are there. They again don't have any interest in the Mass. They are only there to say the rosary. Now, individually the rosary and the Mass are good. Combined, not so much. It's inappropriate to recite the Rosary throughout the Mass. You are not participating int hat case.

And in some cases, when someone does recite the rosary, they do so very loudly. Not literally talking out loud, but whispering very loudly. Some older people have a tendency to make a very high pitched S sound every time they read a word with that letter. It's very distracting.

The point is, if you go to Mass, then GO TO MASS. Don't go there to discuss your grocery list. Don't go there to say the rosary. Go there to participate in the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Fourth Sunday of Advent - December 18th, 2016

Today, Sunday, December 18th, 2016 is

The Fourth Sunday of Advent in Christianity

Today, Sunday, December 18th, 2016, is the fourth week of Advent which means that next week is Christmas Day! Jesus Christ out Lord will be born in 1 week. The fourth week is a time of great preparation, not just for material things, but mostly for spiritual things. Think of others who are needy both materially and spiritually. Pray to God and place your trust in him.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Third Sunday of Advent: December 11, 2016

Today, Sunday, December 11th, 2016 is

The Third Sunday of Advent in Christianity

Today is the Third Sunday of Advent in the Catholic and Christian Calendar. That means it is two weeks before Christmas Day. Today is called Gaudete Sunday ("Gaudete" means Rejoice in Latin). The official colour is rose and we always light that candle. As noted earlier, this is the earliest possible date for the third Sunday of Advent.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

DIARY of a Catholic: I'm Not Really Feeling It...

Hey guys, just wanted to write a very personal entry today about how I'm feeling. As I've mentioned before, I sometimes feel angry. I think this stems from frustration which comes from various sources. I think I get frustrated from my workplace and just feeling like I can't make a good go at things. I would say that overall my enjoyment for my job is at about 20%. Sometimes it's okay, but sometimes it seems very boring and also annoying.

I work in customer service. I don't need to get into the exact details, but basically I deal with people in a serious area. They depend on the service we proide. I spend much of my time telling these people they do not qualify or they have not filled out the proper application or that the thing they need immediately will take a couple of weeks to receive by mail. I deal with a lot of upset and angry people.

On top of that, most of the calls I take are in French. Although I studied French in school from kindergarten to graduation, I had not spoken it for many years before I took this job. It was about 15 years since I had really spoken any French in school when I took this job. But I still indicated on the application that I was bilingual in French. I don't mind speaking to people in another language especially since I've been doing this job for almost 2 years now. But after a long day it becomes more and more difficult to speak in a foreign language in a continuous basis. On top of that, management is continually training me in new material. I do not have a deep interest in the material that they teach us and the subjects can be very tedious and boring. Then I am obliged to be an expert on these topics in French. In many cases I've never even heard most of the words that I am being asked to explain.

On top of my job I am also struggling very hard to have my own business which I find very difficult and I have not yet attained very much success in at all. In fact, very little.

Furthermore, I sometimes feel like there's no time in the day to work on the things I want to and then I'm always overwhelmed with so many things to do. I feel stressed out, overwhelmed and like I sometimes cannot cope. And that's the point of my diary entry today is to say that I'm feeling very frustrated and I would like for you to pray for me on this subject.

Sometimes I feel like things can be helpless because I feel like ultimately we do not have a lot of control over things that are happening to us. I sometimes wonder about the nature of God and how we do not have a lot of power and don't get a say on what happens to us or the world. I see a lot of people suffering in various ways and it's difficult to cope with it.

Anyway, I'm just being very real about some of the struggles that are happening and I wanted to throw it out there. Please feel free to write your own experiences in the comments section below and I look forward to hearing what people have to say. In the meantime, I'm going to say my daily Rosary now. So have a great day and God bless.

Jesus is NOT the Immaculate Conception!

Today is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception, but a common misconception is that this refers to the conception of Jesus Christ but it doesn't. It refers to the Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception in the womb of her mother St. Anne. Mary was preserved from the stain of original sin from the first moment of her conception so that she would be a fitting woman from which to be born the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

In some places, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Obligation meaning you have to go to Mass as a Catholic just as if it were a Sunday. However, this is not the case in some places such as Canada.

To summarize: Happy Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016