News has been going around, perhaps unworthily, that Jon and Kate who star in their own reality show called Jon and Kate Plus Eight are going through some marital turmoil because Jon allegedly "tried" to cheat on Kate. We're not even sure if anything happened.
In the few times that I've watched this show, I've noticed that Kate treats Jon very poorly. She treats him like a child who is not allowed to have any of his own opinions. He is like her servant. In one episode, they were in the store with their kids, and Kate like yelled at Jon in front of everyone and said something like GET OVER HERE NOW JON! She completely treated him like a baby. Also, when they're being interviewed on the show, Kate completely dominates. She answers every question. When Jon tries to answer a question, she usually looks at him with a blank stare and is like, what are you talking about? you're completely wrong. I really don't think she acts very nice to him.
Does this qualify him to cheat on her with another woman? Absolutely not. He made a marriage vow with her and he has an obligation to carry it out in good times and in bad, from whatever perspective, be it the relationship as a whole or his own personal situation. Adultery goes against one of the ten commandments, it violates the virtue of chastity and damages the good of marriage.
But what if Jon did cheat on Kate? Is adultery grounds for divorce or annulment? The short answer is no. Something that happens AFTER a marriage is contracted is never grounds for a divorce. Only a pre-existing condition which makes the marriage invalid would be grounds for annulment. If, for example, Jon had never really intended to remain in this marriage till death did them part, or he planned on committing adultery with his wife after they were married. These could possibly constitute grounds for annulment.
Jesus himself specifically mentions that adultery is not grounds for divorce and that people were only accepting it because of their hard hearts.
Another issue I feel needs to be addressed is society's perception of adultery. It seems to be the only thing that is immoral in today's society. Sure, go ahead and have one girlfriend after another, perhaps 3 or 4 per month and have sex with all of them, that's ok. Or go and get pregnant and then have an abortion, that's fine as well. Or perhaps you'd like to enter into a gay relationship, that's totally acceptable. But if a man ALMOST sort of thinks about cheating on his wife then he is lower than the lowest scum on the face of the planet. The woman should just divorce him immediately and save herself from this pig who is only ruining her life. He is not worth any effort to save the marriage. If this is the world's new morality, I don't want it!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
News has been going around, perhaps unworthily, that Jon and Kate who star in their own reality show called Jon and Kate Plus Eight are going through some marital turmoil because Jon allegedly "tried" to cheat on Kate. We're not even sure if anything happened.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
News today has emerged that Michaelle Jean, the Governor General of Canada, has eaten raw seal heart in a show of solidarity with Seal Hunters in Canada. She does not believe the seal hunt is immoral and certainly not "inherently inhumane" as the EU puts it. Eating raw seal heart is a traditional food for Inuit, aka Eskimos, from Canada.
Calling the seal hunt "inherently inhumane" means it is always immoral, no matter how it is done. This would either mean eating meat is always wrong or eating seals is always wrong, or hunting seals is always wrong. I cannot see anyone making the case that is only immoral to hunt seals, but not to hunt other mammals, such as caribou or moose. So, the EU calling the seal hunt inherently inhumane does not make sense, unless they are advocating a ban on all hunting. Is this possible?
Perhaps. It seems to me, with the decrease of traditional morals in terms of relationships, drugs, sex, the sanctity of human life, and care toward the disadvantaged of society, people have struggled to find a moral cause. The cause of choice for many people is animal rights, and this makes sense to me, but in a twisted kind of way.
I believe people who have forsaken standard morals for animal-focused morals have a specific reason, whether or not they are doing it consciously. They are making the statement that they are so compassionate, they care not only for people, but also for animals. They care for the weakest members of our society. How can we criticize their stance on sexual morals if OBVIOUSLY they care so much about all of God's creation. Another side effect of this ethic is a form of oneupsmanship. These vegetarians do not simply say, "As moral relativists, although we believe eating only non-animal food is preferable, we do not condemn those who choose to eat the flesh of other species." Rather, they say "Meat is murder!" Ahh, the tables have turned, so they think. Now they can be on the offensive rather than being on the defensive for their lifestyle choices, "different" morals, and other issues.
It's rather convenient too. What percentage of strong Christians eat meat in the Western world? I don't know, maybe 98%? How many atheists eat meat? Again, I do not know, but I would assume perhaps only 40-50%. I know from personal experience that some of the most ardent vegetarians (usually vegans), who consider the eating of meat to be murder and eating eggs or cheese immoral, are also vehement pro-abortionists. Again, they have "freed" themselves from all vestiges of traditional morality, but as a certain "shield" have taken up a new cause.
It seems the EU is going down this same path. The EU is struggling to shed all traces of its Christian heritage in favour of a "new ethic", one where homosexuals are free to marry, sex is cheap, easy, and "safe", where the lives of the unwanted such as the elderly and unborn are for us to decide, etc. Ordinarily, the changes being implemented by the EU would seem contrary to everything we as a society see as good, but they are keen. They have donned a thin veneer of humanity by taking on "alternative" causes such as animal rights and protection of nature. As we know though, Satan does not tempt us with things which appear horrific and ugly. He presents to us a gift, covered with a beautiful wrapping, with a beautiful bow on top. This wrapping is the causes which the EU has adopted. But when we open this "gift", we will be shocked to find out that it contains nothing beautiful, but rather it is full of pride, anger, gluttony, laziness, jealousy, envy, and lust.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 1:06 pm
Thursday, May 21, 2009
It's been said that while Obama is President, and surely in Canada while we do not have a real pro-life party, the main thing we can do is pray for the change of heart of the people. This is ultimately what the Pro-Life movement wants. Not only does it want to eliminate abortion, it wants to change people's hearts and minds. Great news toward this goal was released by Gallop. It says that there are now more pro-life people than pro-abortion. For more news on this, please go to:
Posted by Philip Lynch at 8:01 pm
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Culture of Death is insidious
It's hard to believe the kind of attack we are under by the world and the devil, especially when it comse to the Culture of Death. John Paul II warned us about the culture of death, but are we really aware of how much damage is it capable of doing in our world?
Few pepopel realize just how bombarded we are by messages of death. Just today I flicked on National Geographic on Demand, which is a feature of Rogers Cable. They have on demand programming and one of the films they had was about sexual deviancy in the animal world. This documentary could have easily been called Sexual Ethics as presented by the Culture of Death.
The documentary showed example after example of what people would consider sexual deviancy in the human population, such as homosexual behavior, polygamy, pedofilia, transgenderism, masturbation, orgies, etc. Then they tried to pretend these were completely normal and legitimate. Near the end, they mentioned monogamy, and said in the animal world, monogamy is downright deviant, and that it is exceedingly rare, unlike everything else they had talked about. Throughout the documentary, the narrator kept saying things to the effect that in the animal world, those who practice these "so-called" deviant behaviors are not shunned, or looked down on or criticized, but they are active members of their groups. Also, he kept saying things about how they are not bound by strict morals when it comes to these behaviors, etc. Clearly, the implication is that sexual deviancies are actually not deviant at all, and that we only think they are bad because religious people try to impose their morals on the rest of society.
It's very sad that an esteemed organization such as National Geographic would produce a documentary like this one. This film is contrasted by another I saw a couple of days about population issues. In this other documentary, they were talking about how the birth rate of Western nations is dropping dramatically and that we must immediately reverse this trend or the whole economy might collapse. The conclusion of the film was that we must live Christian lives and be fruitful and multiply.
Don't listen to the lies spouted by the main stream media. Listen to the words of the Eternal Lord.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 6:19 pm
It's been a while since I've posted. There's a couple of reasons why. First of all, I do not have internet access at home now, and we just had a long weekend, so I could not post anything for Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. Then yesterday, I visited my grandmother who is in an old age home, and I was there from after work until after 10, so I did not have time to prepare a posting. I will hopefully have another post up today.
Thanks for your patience,
Posted by Philip Lynch at 7:34 am
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I love Wikipedia. You can find anything you want to know about popes, church councils, saints, sacraments, church history and more. It is a great resource. But be warned, Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, and often times Catholic articles are infiltrated by anti-Catholics and atheists. I find this practice not only annoying, but academically dishonest.
Atheists are usually most obvious when reading about saints and miracles. For example, an article might state that a saint performed a particular miracle. Evidence exists for the miracle, it is well documented and no counter evidence is presented in history. However, anti-Catholics will add words which are meant to show doubt or disbelief. The article might say a saint walked over hot coals but was saved from being burned. Anti-Catholics will edit this article and make it say "if you are to believe church historians, ........" This is an actual example. Why would you sew doubt concerning the author of the information. I don't see this happening in any other articles. It would never say, if you believe nutritionists, apples are full of vitamins. Another practice is to use the word "allegedly". They will say Padre Pio "allegedly" bore the wounds of Christ. Even though we have scientific proof that Padre Pio was a stigmatic, and this is documented by doctors, these anti-Catholics still add the word "allegedly". This is academically dishonest. You do not add words to express your own point of view. I do not say "the weather in Florida is ALLEGEDLY 30 degree Celsius". I just state it as a fact.
Do not be disturbed. Atheists are wrong about God, and therefore their philosophy and logic will be self-contradictory. They will refuse to believe something, even if it fits their model for evidence, so long as it does not conform to what they WANT to see. For example, they may say they will only believe in things which are scientifically verified. Well, if you show them a miracle which is scientifically verified, and which shows that God exists and that there really are saints, they will refuse to believe it. Why? Not because it didn't fit their criteria, but rather because it did not fit their DESIRES. This is thoroughly unscientific. It seem the atheists are really guilty of the charges they make against believers.
Let us say a special prayer as we do during the Easter Vigil for the conversion of non-believers, so that they may find the truth and beauty of Christ's Church.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 8:29 am
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
As readers of my blog have discovered, sometimes I like to post titles which contain puns or statements whose meanings are not overt. This title will have to be broken down a little. In the Catholic Church, various liturgical seasons and holy days are celebrated. Each one has a particular color and the priest at mass will wear vestments to reflect this. For example, Pentecost is red, Lent is violet, and Easter is white. The liturgical colour for ordinary time is green. Ordinary time is as the name implies, a time where we worship Christ and his sacrifice but where there is not a particular feast. My title is reflective of this.
Pope Benedict XVI came after a very great pope. John Paul II did things that no other pope had ever done, such as being born in Poland. John Paul's nationality was to foreshadow his trailblazing papacy. He is known for his firsts. He dialogued with non-Christians more than any other pope. He visited synagogues and mosques. He became a truly universal pontiff. He traveled more than any other pope, canonized probably more saints than any pope before him, and got young people involved more than ever. He wrote on the Theology of the Body, he was the pope of the new media age, etc. Pope John Paul II will truly go down in history as a trailblazing pope, during his 26 years in the seat of Peter. Oh, and did I mention that he helped bring down Communism in Europe?
Following this, Pope Benedict's actions may not stand out as much as they should. It is not hard for Benedict's actions as pope to appear "ordinary" in the shadow of John Paul the Great. Benedict, or as some like to call him B16, has done many trailblazing things himself, even in his short 4 years as pontiff. Benedict has traveled extensively, he has visited Muslim and Jewish leaders, he has taken on world issues, and has embraced the media age. Pope Benedict even has his own youtube page.
Perhaps if Benedict had been elected after the death of Pope John Paul I, instead of Karol Wojtyla, he would now be regarded as just as much of a trailblazer. This would have been possible, although perhaps unlikely. Benedict was at the conclave of JPII, one the few who was still alive after John Paul's record setting pontificate which lasted over 26 years. John Paul II actually selected nearly all the cardinals who were present at the time of his death, except a couple, one of which was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now B16.
As the world continues to love Pope Benedict more and more each day, let us say a prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Ever hear the song Signs, by Five Man Electric Band? Part of the song says "Signs signs, everywhere there's signs. Do this, don't do that, can't you read the signs". I think an attitude a lot of Christians have taken is to let everyone know about the signs, but fewer have taken the role to explain them and allow people to love the signs and not just obey them. I am talking about a lack fo charity. Charity is love. We must love one another. But we must also admonish the sinner, as it is one fo the spiritual works of mercy. How can we reconcile the two?
It is very easy to find a group of people condemning the actions of another, but let's look at Christ's example. When he met the woman at the well who was cheating on her husband and involved in adulterous relationships, he didn't say, you are a terrible person and proceed to call her names, and then leave. He first loved her. A true, genuine love. He cared for her well being and wanted the best for her. He wanted her to know God, to understand his love for her and for her to be close to her Creator. This is so important. Often in our society, it is easy to be condemned. I've had religious people tell me I'm doingo something wrong or bad, without ever trying to understand where I'm coming from or even reassuring me that I am a good person or anything, just pure condemnation.
Do we feel that we are superior to others? Do we condemn the actions of the others so we can feel liek we're doing the right thing, but they are failing thus making ourselves feel better? If so, we are completley missing the point. We are not on a high horse, helping out a poor, worthless person by pointing out their faults. We should rather visualize our situation as helping each other to mount the horse and riding away together. Mother Teresa didn't drive by in her fancy car and throw money out the window. She lived with the poorest of the poor and helped them by first understanding them. She is an example to all of us.
Remember, we must love the sinner, but hate the sin. It also reminds me of Simeon Stylites. He is known as a pillar saint. He built a huge pillar, dozens of feet in the air. He stayed there day and night praying and worshipping God. His austerities were exceedingly harsh. However, when people went to him for advice, he didn't tell them how bad they were and that they'd have to do what he is doing or more to ever be worthy. No, instead he was very lenient on them and loved them deeply first.
Let's admonish the sinner, but first, let's remember the words of Christ - Love God with everything you have, and then love your neighbor as yourself. Once we do this, then we can admonish the sinner. Done in this order, you can be sure they will thank you.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 7:23 am
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Thomas Aquinas is one of my favorite saints. I believe he should be the patron saint of apologists. He gave rational reasons for the faith, in great detail, and his most complete work was the Summa Theologica. Aquinas understood that good philosophy can come from various sources and he was able to use many ideas from Greek and Roman philosophers. The Catholic Church recognizes that religions can be praised for what is true in their faiths, and Aquinas understood this as well. Of course, to fully understand God, we must look to the Catholic Church. The question I am asking is, what if St. Thomas lived a little longer?
The reason I ask is because he died on his way to the Second Ecumenical Council of Lyons, on March 7, 1274. He was summoned there by Pope Gregory X himself. This was a very important council (as they all are indeed) as it was to attempt a reconciliation between the Eastern and Western churches, which were split during the Great Schism, a very sad time for Christendom. St. Thomas was revered from all the Christian world for his grasp of theology and philosophy. He was eminently brilliant and much of our current beliefs are best expressed through his words. Just take a look at the Catechism and you will know his great impact.
Because of his understanding, Aquinas was to be a very important member of this church council. Perhaps his words could have brought the Eastern Churches back into the fold. St. Thomas was able to expound on any topic and create an air-tight argument in favour of the Catholic Church. If St. Thomas had not been hit on the head a couple of times on his way to the council, he could very well have survived to brilliantly bring together these separated brothers. Of course, St. Thomas would acknowledge his debt to the Holy Spirit for giving him such great wisdom and knowledge. Another great saint and doctor of the church, St. Bonaventure, was able to make it to much of the proceedings, but he too died before the council was over. St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas Aquinas have much in common. Let us say a special prayer tonight for the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, that he may intercede to God on our behalf to make our minds clear and bring us to a better understanding of God, through the workings of the Holy Spirit.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
I just read an article by the BBC. As a mainstream media outlet, they are not concerned about the facts or presenting something as it really is, but rather to cause controversy where none exists. This happened in their latest article concerning Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Israel, which began today. There is a major bias in the media that says Pope Pius XII did nothing to save the Jews during the Holocaust and that he actually helped Hitler in what he was doing. I think people really need to sit down and weigh the evidence. I'm not telling you you have to believe what I say. I'm saying, look at the evidence for yourself. Do research. And see what conclusion you come to.
A Rabbi named David G. Dalin published a book in 2005 called "The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis". In it, he notes that the Pope saved more Jews than Schindler, of movie fame. He points out that many famous Jews attested to Pius's help during WWII. These include Israeli Prime Ministers Golda Meir and Moshe Sharett, and Israel's first president Chaim Weizmann.
Why would the Pope like Hitler anyway? Thousands of priests and nuns were executed in the gas chambers of the Holocaust. Hitler hated the Catholic Church and a plot has been revealed that Hitler planned on killing the Pope himself if he became too much of a trouble-maker for
The chief Rabbi of Rome actually converted to Catholicism after what Pius XII did, and he took as his new name Eugene, after Pope Pius XII's pre-pontifical name of Eugenio Pacelli.
Sources now believe the Pope saved anywhere from 500,000 to 860,000 Jews during the Holocaust by his actions, which included issuing fake baptismal certificates, and housing Jews in churches and monasteries.
Probably the most well-known Jewish figure of this century, Albert Einstein, said: "Only the Catholic Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught on liberty. Up till then I had not been interested in the Church, but today I feel a great admiration for the Church, which alone has had the courage to struggle for spiritual truth and moral liberty."
The myth of Hitler's Pope has been thoroughly debunked, but some want to keep rehashing this old canard. Why? Perhaps the author of the Myth of Hitler's Pope says it best:
"anti-papal polemics of ex-seminarians like Garry Wills and John Cornwell (author of Hitler's Pope), of ex-priests like James Carroll, and or other lapsed or angry liberal Catholics exploit the tragedy of the Jewish people during the Holocaust to foster their own political agenda of forcing changes on the Catholic Church today."
Let us pray for the Pope's visit to the Holy Land, and that people's hearts will be opened up to the light of Christ.
Friday, May 08, 2009
A friend of mine sent me an email indicating we can now directly contact those in government here in Canada in a simple way and tell them to make legislation to end abortion and protect life. I encourage everyone who can to do so. Here is the email he sent me:
End 40 Years of Abortion, Email all MPs with just 2 clicks
May 14, 2009 is the sad 40th anniversary of abortion in Canada. Now is time for the Members of Parliament to have their email inboxes flooded by us calling for legislation to protect life and end abortion! http://www.contactmps.com/ is a new free resource for us pro-life Canadians where we can send an email to all MPs with just two clicks.
Help make http://www.contactmps.com/ a grassroots success. Use and it share it with others today!
Kindly forward the above note to all pro-lifers in your address book, place it in Church bulletins, put it on pro-life blogs/websites, tell your friends, etc...
This website will stay in operation after the May, 2009. So keep visiting to send more letters!
Doctors in Toronto have successfully performed heart surgery on a baby still in the womb. The baby, named Oceane, is doing very well. This is a really great thing for medicine and humanity. A couple of interesting questions arise. First, if an unborn baby is not a person, what was being operated on, a "lump of tissues", and if the mother had decided that instead of operating on the baby, she would rather kill him, how can both decisions be seen as equal? If she could have killed this child and that would be "acceptable", then how could saving her life be a good thing? In other words, if something is good, then the opposite cannot also be good. Or, if one thing is acceptable, then the opposite cannot be good, or very good.
Obviously, the whole point is that abortion is never good. If abortion was good, then saving a child in the womb's life would be bad. I hope stories like this continue. They are edifying for two reasons. First of all, people who read this story are touched by the tiny life. Secondly, this confirms that even unborn children are full human beings in need of our care.
For the full article, please go here:
This is a short list of things many Catholic believe are permitted by the Church, but in fact are not. The following list is by no means exhaustive, and really only scratches the surface. Later, I will post an opposite article which lists things which sound illegal but in fact are legal.
Homily by a nun or layperson
Canon law permits only a priest to say the homily at Mass. Even during a funeral, laypeople cannot speaking after the Gospel reading. Priests are required to have a homily on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, but not on other days, although it is recommended.
Extraordinary ministers of Communion at any Mass
Extraordinary minsters are meant to be just that - extraordinary. Communion should usually only be given out by priests. If a situation arrises where others MUST help, then this is allowed, but extraordinary ministers of communion should not be a regular part of every Mass. Even if there is a chronic situation of too many communicants, this does not allow for the use of extraordinary ministers. Their use is reserved for unforeseen circumstances. Also, they are to be called "extraordinary ministers of communion", not Eucharistic ministers. The only real Eucharistic Ministers are priests and bishops.
Participating in non-Catholic worship
Catholics are obliged to participate in Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation unless there is a serious reason why they cannot. Catholics are not permitted to attend a non-Catholic worship service in place of their Sunday obligation. Normally Catholics should not attend non-Catholic worship, unless for an extraordinary reason such as a wedding or funeral. In a marriage with a non-Christian or non-Catholic, participation is allowed, but it cannot involve consent, such as receiving non-Catholic communion. The best way to explain it is to say the Catholic can "observe". Also, this does not remove the necessity to attend Catholic Mass on the required days.
Having ashes of the dead scattered
Cremation is only legal as long as it is not done to deny the resurrection of the body. If cremation is performed, the cremains must be buried or placed in a mausoleum. The cremains cannot be kept in a home or scattered over a area, they must be kept together.
Non-Catholic receiving communion
Non-Catholic and non-Christian people cannot receive communion at a Catholic Mass. Many are uncomfortable with this teaching, but it makes sense. Communion, as the name implies, means a community of believers. We are united with Christ. We believe the Church is the Bride of Christ and fully united with him. We also believe the Church is a visible organization, namely the Catholic Church. Therefore in order to receive communion, we must be in full communion with the Church, which is Christ's Bride and our Mother. If someone refuses to be a member of the Church through whom Christ's grace is communicated, they are refusing to be in communion, and therefore cannot partake in this sign of union, communion and thanksgiving. Of course, we believe the Eucharist is the real body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ.
Worshiping Mary or the Saints
Catholics are interdicted from worshiping Mary or the saints. Adoration and worship are reserved to God alone. We can venerate or praise saints. In Latin terms, latria is the adoration or worship owed to God alone, whereas dulia is given to saints, and hyperdulia, a greater form of dulia, is given to the greatest of God's creatures, Mary.
Using Contraception in Marriage
Contraception is always gravely wrong in Catholic teaching. This is because it violates the natural law and makes an act unnatural. Many object by saying natural family planning is the same thing, but it's not. In the case of contraception, the means is intrinsically wrong, but with natural family planning it is not, because with NFP, we are cooperating with God's plan for creation, whereas with contraception, we are contriving against it. A good example if eating ice cream with its end of gaining weight. It would be licit or ok for someone to understand their physiology and metabolism and discover that they can eat ice cream in the morning and burn the calories throughout the day so as to avoid weight gain, as opposed to eating at night and gain weight. But it would be morally wrong for someone to eat ice cream at night then just before going to bed cause themselves to throw up so they wouldn't gain weight. They both achieve the same end, but the means are different. One cooperates with God's plan, the other contrives against it.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 8:06 am
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Apparently Fr. Mitch Pacwa, the famous priest who makes regular appearances on EWTN and Catholic Answers Live was on CNN tonight with Roland Martin. I can't wait to get the video of this. I think Fr. Pacwa is one of the most awesome priests out there. He is an awesome apologist, scripture scholar, and expert in the occult, new age, and Islam. He is even fluent in Arabic. He is also able to celebrate Mass in both the Latin and Maronite Rites.
If anyone out there has a video of this, please let me know. I was not able to watch it when it came on tonight.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 10:03 pm
St. Maria Goretti was canonized on June 24, 1950 by Pope Piux XII. She was one of the youngest people ever canonized, especially after the reforms which put the pope in charge of the process starting just after the year 1000 AD. This brave 11 year old girl fought off her attacker who was trying to rape her. She did not want him to commit a mortal sin by raping her, and she always wanted to maintain her virginity. Her motives could not be more pure and she is an example of chastity that is worth emulating. But recently many critics have spoken out against her actions. They claim it would have been better for her to be raped and then live a life doing good for others. Some say her actions tell rape victims that they must die before they would ever be raped and if they don't, well they just didn't try hard enough and are, in fact, somewhat to blame. Still others say someone's choice to die rather than be raped could be bad since perhaps she was integral to many people's lives, so for her to die could put them in a very bad spot. These opinions come from our modern day society and have several errors.
The first issues is whether she could have done more good by living, rather than dying. This question could be asked of many martyrs. There is an expression that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. It is from Tertullian's Apologeticus. Tertullian is famous for having coined the term "trinity". He unfortunately fell from orthodoxy later in life, but many of his teachings remain valid. What does Tertullian mean by this? In the beginning of Christianity, the most famous Christians were the martyrs, those who gave their lives for the faith. Their example would be far reaching. Many Christians were killed in the Colosseum and other places in Rome and elsewhere. Their example led many to embrace the faith. Their martyrdom was an expression of their great hope in Jesus Christ. We cannot underestimate the power of the martyrdom of most of the Apostles, as well as Paul, Stephen, and more. I believe their willingness to give everything for the faith is a far greater example than to simply live as a "good" person.
Jesus is of course the ultimate example. Though sinless, he endured the greatest death, with more suffering than we can ever experience in this world, because he bore the sins of all. Jesus could have chosen to live a long life instead and do good works for lepers and so on, but Jesus had a much greater plan. He wanted everyone to know his great love for them. This would never have happened had he just lived a simple of life of charity.
St. Maria Goretti is revered throughout the world now. Schools, churches and other important places are named for her. She gives us a great example. But it is more than what she did specifically. Another aspect of her martyrdom was her incredible faith. She realized that we are here only for a moment on this Earth, but that our true home is in Heaven with God. She did not worry about the insignificant temporal things of this world, but rather, she concerned herself with the everlasting glory of the world to come. Those who say people should save their lives instead of becoming martyrs do not realize the glory of God and Heaven and how much more significant they are than this flash in time we know as our Earthly lives.
Maria's decision to maintain her chastity at any cost does not in any way make light or blame those who are victims of rape. What Maria Goretti did was heroic, not usual or normal. The Catholic Church makes a distinction between morally good or neutral acts and heroic acts. We are required to choose actions which are neutral or good, but there is no "requirement" to do heroic acts. This is similar to the fact that we are required to attend Mass once a week on Sunday, but going to Mass daily is meritorious. For a girl to save her life by being raped, she is doing something which is good. But what Maria Goretti did was heroic. If we truly love God, we do not ask what we MUST do, the bare minimum, we ask what is the BEST thing to do.
By proclaiming a great act which someone has done, we are not comparing them to others or saying they are better than other people. Rather, we hold them up as a great example of our values. Mother Teresa could have lived a great life in Albania, giving part of her salary to the poor, but instead she chose to live in the slums of Calcutta with the poorest people and do many great works. We do not diminish the greatness of others by speaking of her, rather we give example as to what humanity is capable of when we trust in God.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 7:16 am
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I'm sad to find out that today Maine has allowed gay "marriage". Of course, this is not true marriage, but rather a legal term with no backing from natural law. It's an unfortunate situation. And what makes it worse is that people didn't vote for it, it was mandated on them. Let's hope that Maine will reverse this situation soon.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 8:01 pm
My friend asked if intinction is legitimate in the Latin Rite Catholic Church. I knew that it was, but I have found official documentation to support this. In the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, it states the following (in Chapter IV):
245. The Blood of the Lord may be received either by drinking from the chalice directly, or by intinction, or by means of a tube or a spoon.
249. If the concelebrants' Communion is by intinction, the principal celebrant receives the Body and Blood of the Lord in the usual way, but making sure that enough of the precious Blood remains in the chalice for the Communion of the concelebrants. Then the deacon, or one of the concelebrants, arranges the chalice as appropriate in the center of the altar or at the side on another corporal together with the paten containing particles of the host.
285. For Communion under both kinds the following should be prepared:
- If Communion from the chalice is carried out by communicants' drinking directly from the chalice, a chalice of a sufficiently large size or several chalices are prepared. Care should, however, be taken in planning lest beyond what is needed of the Blood of Christ remains to be consumed at the end of the celebration.
- If Communion is carried out by intinction, the hosts should be neither too thin nor too small, but rather a little thicker than usual, so that after being dipped partly into the Blood of Christ they can still easily be distributed to each communicant.
287. If Communion from the chalice is carried out by intinction, each communicant, holding a communion-plate under the chin, approaches the priest, who holds a vessel with the sacred particles, a minister standing at his side and holding the chalice. The priest takes a host, dips it partly into the chalice and, showing it, says, Corpus et Sanguis Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ). The communicant responds, Amen, receives the Sacrament in the mouth from the priest, and then withdraws.
Thanks for the great question.
You may be shocked to learn a species is facing intinction. Wait. Do I mean extinction? No, I am referring to the practice of dipping the Eucharistic host into the Most Precious Blood, known as intinction. The species I am referring to is the Eucharist, under the species of bread, being dipped in the Eucharist under the species of wine and then given to the communicant. Is this valid and licit?
It is legitimate to receive the Eucharist via intinction, however there are some guidelines. One cannot dip the Host into the Precious Blood on their own and communicate themselves. This is forbidden. However, the Eucharistic Minister may dip the Eucharistic Host into the Precious Blood and give this to the communicant. I would advise this be done directly into the mouth, rather than passing the Body of Christ back and forth often.
When I was in the Netherlands several years ago, during our small youth Mass, many would intinct themselves and receive. This is a violation. I received many false teachings from the priest there. He allowed people to self-intinct. Every second week, a Catholic priest would not be available to perform Mass. I asked him if the bread prayer over by a non-Catholic and sometimes female minister could be received by Catholics. He basically said well, they say the same words of consecration. He did not indicate that Catholics are not to receive bread prayed over by non-Catholic ministers. Another point is that he argued for gay marriage, rather than against it in a private meeting with several students. He was a good man, but I think much of his philosophy was quite heterodox. Let us pray for this priest that he shares the true faith that comes to us from Christ.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 7:22 am
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
The European Union has once again shown how contrary to good morality it truly is. The ban is likely to start before the 2010 hunting season. This decision is very misguided and contrary to a proper understanding of our place in the world, but I am not surprised the European Union would enact such a law. In the entire world, there are few organizations which are such a major threat to good morals as the European Union.
Although it tried to ban foreign aid to Nigeria because it would not support gay "marriage", and is a vehement supporter of abortion on demand, the European Union feels it is unjust and immoral to hunt seals. That's right, seals. It's totally ok to violently rip an unborn baby from its mothers womb limb by limb in a gruesome procedure, but it's an affront to morals and decency to hunt prey animals for food and clothing. The culture of death is like a king who has dominance over the EU, and the EU is doing everything in its power to make him happy. There is no issue too immoral for the EU to promote, whether it be destroying embryos, killing babies and elderly people, forcing abortions and sterilizations, demanding that all countries support homosexual marriage, shunning the Christian faith on which it was founded, and the list goes on.
If there was a group that said it hated humanity and wanted to destroy it, people would be shocked. But ask yourself: what policies would this group support to further its cause? It would kill children and the elderly, "the ones people don't want", it would promote contraception vigorously, it would support countries that performed forced abortions and sterilizations, it would diminish or destroy the definition of marriage so that fewer children would be born, it would promote divorce to destroy already existing marriages, it would encourage people to wait until an old age to have children so that fewer would be born, it would continuously tell people that the world is over populated and that it is irresponsible to have more kids, it would reject good morals and Christianity, it would portray those who support life as terrorists (pro-life groups are their competition), etc. Come to think of it, I've just described the European Union.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 7:31 am
Monday, May 04, 2009
Netherlands has unfortunately been the hub of a lot of moral ills. They legalized gay "marriage", legalized drugs, prostitution, etc. Without recognizing problems as such, you lead to their increase. The Netherlands has taken a very immoral route, and it's unfortunate. But do not despair. God is there, like he is everywhere. I lived there for 4 months and met a great group of energetic young people with a passion for Christ. We participated in Mass every week.
However, news has emerged of a seeming contradiction of terms - a military chaplain who does not believe in God. This makes no sense. Chaplains by definition are religious people who give moral support to people, in this case, to military personnel. Now from the Netherlands come a woman who claims to be a chaplain who does not believe in God. How terrible.
Her name is Eline but her last name is not revealed for security reasons. The only thing is related to security is the false sense of security she will give to people seeking to know the One True God. As a philosopher once put it, if God does not exist, nothing matters. What's even more disturbing is that she is called Padre, which actually means "father", and has always implied a priest. She is not a man, and therefore cannot be a priest.
In the Catholic faith, the only person who can legitimately be called a chaplain is a priest, not a lay person, and certainly not a woman.
This whole incident is a total travesty. A priest should be available to Catholics, and fortunately they usually are, and there are priests specifically chosen to serve in the military. But this should be available to everyone. In a time of war and battle, one needs true peace and love, not a false love which denies God and Christ's priests. What will she tell men and women who are on the frontlines starring death in the face? She cannot tell them to repent and believe in the Good News, or to seek forgiveness for their sins before the end. She can only tell them they had a good run at life but now it's over. There is absolutely no hope. I pray that she revokes her position and does something else, but if she persists, I pray specifically for those unfortunate men and women, who in their most desperate times will not hear the loving words of Christ spoken by a man who is in the person of Christ (persona Christi), but rather that of one who can only add more fear, desperate and sadness to an already terrible situation. May God touch their souls.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 9:13 am
I didn't mention this yesterday, but yesterday was the feast day of the apostle of my namesake, Philip. Philip means lover of horses. How? It originated from the longer Phil Hippo. Phil means love, hippo means horse. Hippopotamus means water horse. Phil hippo became Philhippe, and eventually Philip. Other languages spell it differently. I have a mug from Germany that says Philipp. French spell it Philippe, etc. The spelling Phillip with 2 Ls is a relatively novel spelling. There is no mention that I am aware of that Philip the Apostle had any special inclination toward horses, though.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 8:08 am
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Recently the world has been panicked by the swine flu. It is starting to appear in more countries from its origin in Mexico. People get flu-like symptoms but most of the time it's not that serious. Around the world less than a couple of dozen people have died. Let us pray for the repose of their souls. But there is almost hysteria about the disease, even though thousands of people die every year from the usual influenza. But let's compare this situation with the AIDS crisis and Pope Benedict's recent comments about condoms.
Pope Benedict said condoms are not the answer to the AIDS problem. People reacted furiously, basically between the lines saying they would never sacrifice any of their sexual behaviours in order to reduce a disease. I guess Pope Benedict just cares too much and would rather people live than be promiscuous. But how does this compare to the swine flu? Well, just say the swine flu is extremely contagious and somebody is a known carrier of it. Imagine you wanted to see this person daily, but then the doctor told you that being in direct contact with this person and touching them and sharing drinks could give you a deadly disease. He says you can be near that person, you can talk to that person, but you cannot touch that person or share drinks, etc. You would obviously agree. Do you think it would be responsible for the doctor to say, "This person is extremely ill and his disease very contagious. I do not suggest you touch or share drinks with this person, EXCEPT once every 2 weeks. Every second Friday, you can touch that person, feel them, share drinks with them, or anything else you want. There is a good chance you'll get the disease after this, but in case you don't, you can always do that again two weeks later.
This would be extremely misguided and dangerous. You would be shocked that he would suggest putting yourself at risk. Then first doctor said, I do not htink you should ever touch this person or share drinks until their disease is gone and you are in a committed relationship and you are certain he has not contracted it from elsewhere. This would of course sound more reasonable. Now imagine if your family found out about both doctors and they were infuriated by the doctor who siad you should avoid all contact. They say, that is not possible! Every now and then you MUST put yourself at risk!! Then they go so far as to say the doctor who advised 100% protection was irresponsible and that lives would be lost because of his policies.
This is exactly what happened with Pope Benedict. He is the doctor who said to avoid all contact until there is commitment and no risk of contamination from other sources. Condoms have an effectiveness rating. Some say it is between 90 and 98% effective. No one claims it is 100% effective, under any circumstances. If it is 90% effective, then the example above would be saying you can touch the person once every 10 days, etc.
As you can see from this example, only the Pope's advice is worth following.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 9:49 am
Friday, May 01, 2009
According to historian Steve Ray, who has produced many great Catholic movies and books, including In the Footsteps of God, the Pope may be given the keys to the upper room, where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper and the first Eucharist.
Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting the Holy Land from May 8 to 15, 2009 (this year). As Catholics, and especially for priests, the site of the Last Supper has ultimate significance. The sacrifice of the Mass, which is celebrated every day around the world had its start in this location. It is where for the first time, we received the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ in the form of bread and wine.
However, sadly, Christians did not have access to this most holy of places for many centuries. At first, the location was a synagogue. Three of its walls still exist from that time. Roman Emperor Theodosius built a basilica next to the synagogue. Several years later in 415, the church that was built there was expanded by John II, Bishop of Jerusalem. This was destroyed by Persian invaders in year 614, but was soon rebuilt. In 1004, Muslim marauders destroyed the basilica that was there. Soon it was rebuilt by Crusaders. In 1219, the Muslims came back and destroyed the basilica once again! But the history is not yet complete. From 1333 to 1552, the basilica was rebuilt with large naves and was cared for by Franciscan monks, but of course, in 1552, Muslims once again took over. At least this time they didn't destroy the basilica that was there. But they didn't allow any Christians to worship at this most holy place. It was only in 1948, with the advent of the state of Israel, that Christians were permitted to return to this holy site.
As we know, good always triumphs over evil, sooner or later, and that's what would make it such a spectacular event for Israel to give Pope Benedict the keys to the Upper Room. Of course, this remains speculative, but we'll find out when he visits this area later this month.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 9:27 am