Wednesday, January 27, 2010

St. Thomas Aquinas

It's just after midnight where I am, and therefore officially January 28th, and the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas is one of my favorite saints. He wrote a book on theology which is 3 times the size of the Bible called the Summa Theologica. He had such an amazing mind and loved God with all his heart. I may write more about him soon.

Fearless Pope during the Black Plague

Today is the 667th anniversary of the publication of Pope Clement VI's papal bull Unigenitus. In it, he explains indulgences and justifies their use. As I was reading Clement's biography, some things stood out as exemplary. He was the pope during the black plague in Europe, which killed between 1/3 and 2/3 of the population of Europe. The pope consulted with many people, including astronomers and doctors to see if they could find a cure. Many people blamed the Jews for the outbreak, and it was a very popular public opinion, but Clement condemned this belief and said those who blamed the Jews were being influenced by Satan.

Clement also tended to those with the illness, without fear that he would contract it himself. This is similar to the early Christians. In early times, some plagues swept through the Roman Empire. Pagan Romans tried to save their own lives and did not provide much care to family and friends. The Christians however, not fearing death, risked their lives to help their brethren. Ironically this helped the Christians live. The reason is that these diseases were not necessarily deadly if proper care was given. However, left alone a person had a much greater chance of dying. So, the Christians, by helping each other, survived. Also, the caretakers would develop an immunity to the diseases. After this had occurred several times, the proportion of Christians in the Roman Empire increased substantially.

Back to Clement. He also did not get the disease, even though he cared for those who were ill. There are many good things about Clement's life which are worth emulating.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pope embraces technology

In a speech, Pope Benedict encouraged priests to use the internet to spread the Gospel. This harkens back to the time of the apostles when they traveled to far off lands to spread the good news. Although he was speaking to priests, the message is for all Catholics. I'm glad that my blog is able to reach a lot of people.

Check out more on this story at: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/pope-wants-priests-to-become-web-savvy/?news=123

Friday, January 22, 2010

Women with Hairy Legs at MUN: Strange fundraiser

Memorial University is sponsoring a strange event where they are asking women (and men?) to not shave their legs for nearly a month. They are raising money for Planned Parenthood. Obviously there are several problems with this.

First and foremost this event, dubbed "Feb-U-Hairy", is sponsoring Planned Parenthood. Officially the money is going towards paying for pap smears to help prevent cervical cancer. There is nothing wrong with preventing cervical cancer, and it is in fact commendable. But giving money to Planned Parenthood is not. Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger to assist with her eugenics plan. She wanted to eliminate "minorities" as much as possible, especially black people. Nowadays, Planned Parenthood is the world's largest provider of abortion, and they are trying to extend this to every corner of the Earth. True to their roots, black people are the main target of their activities, especially in the United States.

Secondly, this Febuhairy (Februhairy) event is encouraging women to not shave their legs. What is the purpose of this? They say they are encouraging men and women not to, but 99% of men don't shave their legs anyway, unless they are professional wrestlers or swimmers or something. What is the point of encouraging women to act like men? Maybe that's something Planned Parenthood encourages because it fits with their ideology. They want women and men to be the same, not equal. Then they can more easily promote their ideology that an unborn child is a parasite that inhibits a woman's progress, because women compare themselves to men who do not get pregnant.

People should give their money to more worthy causes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Scott Brown wins!

I was glad to hear Scott Brown got elected today in Massachusetts. I haven't been reading a huge lot about this issue, but I understand Massachusetts has always been a Democrat stronghold, but now it has fallen. This is good because Obama can't get away with a fillibuster-proof government. I hope the US government works for the most destitute who need medical services, just as Church groups have for centuries. They must do so in the spirit of do no harm and look out for the best interest of all patients.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

An Accidental Lenten Pun

I just received an email with I believe an unintentional pun. It said "Lent is Fast Approaching". It has a double meaning. First of all, Lent is nearby. But also, there is an approaching fast, where we refrain from food during Lent, so it's a fast approaching. I'm not sure if anyone else will appreciate this punny situation.

Will Massachusetts end Obamacare?

Tonight Massachusetts will vote for their senator: either Democrat Martha Coakley or Republican Scott Brown. This election is being watched across America, and perhaps much of the world, because if Brown is elected, then Obamacare will not be able to pass so easily. Right now, the Democrats have 59 senators, but will need 60 in order to be fillibuster-proof and allow the bill to pass.

Many people of faith would like to see Mr. Brown elected. First of all, Obama's health care plan could involve millions of dollars of donations to Planned Parenthood, which has doctors that performs abortions. Right now, abortions are not paid for by tax-payers, but if Obamacare is passed, it may start being funded, which is a bad thing.

Also, Mrs. Coakley made some disparaging comments to people of faith, suggesting they should perhaps not work in emergency rooms in hospitals because they may be against abortion and other things. This flies in the face of legislation which guarantees the right of people of faith to work in any environment and not be forced to violate their faith and morals. Anything less is tyranny. Also under this law, medical practitioners have the right to not give contraception and other things.

Let's hope that Scott Brown is elected and that he helps reduce abortion.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pope John Paul II's would-be assassin released from prison

Mehmet Ali Agra, who attempted to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981 by shooting him was released from prison in Turkey. Agra spent almost 20 years in prison in Italy and was then sent to Turkey where he served another 10 years for a murder he committed in 1979. Pope John Paul visited Agra in prison in Italy, in a very touching moment.

Now that Agra is released, rumours about his connection to communists are re-emerging. Did the KGB hire him, directly or indirectly, to assassinate John Paul, the great voice against communism? The Pope at the time believed there was more to the plot than Agra acting alone and believed it was the work of the Soviet Bloc. JPII was instrumental in defeating communism and so such a plot would make sense. By the way, the pope credited the Lady of Fatima with saving his life.

Agra was a trained gunman and member of the Grey Wolves. The injuries sustained by the pope were very substantial. He lost nearly three quarters of his blood as he was shot several times. He lost consciousness on the way to the hospital, but just before the operation, he regained consciousness and told the doctors not to remove his Brown Scapular of our Lady of Fatima.

A little over two years later, Pope John Paul II went to the prison to visit his would-be assassin, and spoke to him for 20 minutes. He completely forgave him. We will never know what was said during the meeting.

A commission was set up in 2006 by Silvio Berlusconi in Italy and it concluded that the Soviet Union was indeed behind the assassination attempt on John Paul II.

Pope Benedict was also attacked. A mentally disturbed 25-year old woman jumped at him during Midnight Mass at the Vatican. He was uninjured. Last week, he met with her privately and expressed his forgiveness.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chinese World Map from 1600s show Catholic involvement in Science

Yesterday an exhibit started at the Library of Congress which will showcase a rare World Map, the first in Chinese to show the Americas, which was created by Jesuit Priest Matteo Ricci. Ricci was a missionary in China, but was also heavily involved in science.

Ricci was one of the first Westerners to to master Chinese script and Classical Chinese. Ricci was invited to live in Zhaoqing when the governor there heard of his skills as a mathematician and cartographer. It was here that Ricci prepared several maps in Chinese that contained the Americas. Six survive to this day.

Ricci and his companion not only developed several Chinese maps, but also created the first European-Chinese dictionary, translating Portuguese into Chinese. Ricci's amazing breakthrough into China continued when he was the first Westerner ever to enter into the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Ricci converted many people when they heard about Our Lord. He combined his love of God with a love of science. His beatification is under review.

For more on this story, please visit: http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2010/10-002.html

Here's a great video about Ricci:

Archbishop of Port au Prince, Haiti killed in Earthquake

As churches and cathedrals are reduced to rubble in Haiti, the archbishop has been tragically killed. Joseph Serge Miot, the spiritual leader of over 10.5 million Catholics, died today and his body was found in the ruins. He was 63 years old. Let's pray for all the thousands of victims of this great tragedy!

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/1422923.html

Victims of Haitian Earthquake

Everyone should say a prayer for the relief effort now happening in Haiti after a huge earthquake hit the country. There are many poor people there. If you can support the Red Cross or another aid organization, I would recommend you do so. Let's keep them in prayer.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Malaysian Christians being oppressed by Muslim terrorists

In Malaysia, Muslim terrorists are attacking Christian (mostly Catholic) churches. Is it because Christians committed violence against Muslims? No, it's because Christians were using the word Allah to refer to God. You would think these groups would be happy. I've spoken to many Muslims and they insist God's name is Allah. So why are they so angry if Christians are using Allah as well?

In any event, 6 churches have so far been attacked. Many were fired bombed, others had paint thrown on them, etc. Although the constitution of Malaysia guarantees religious freedom, the minority Christians are being heavily persecuted.

Do these groups, who seem so offended by what they perceive as a faux-pas toward their religion, feel their religion also considers the use of violence, including fire-bombing churches, a proper response? Where are the protests by Muslim leaders in the country denouncing these acts?

Let's pray for the safety and religious freedom of Christians in Malaysia. Let's also pray for the terrorists that they will see the light and end their violent ways.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

How we know Jesus is God

I was about to write an article on how we know Jesus is God. Then I found this video where Lee Strobel explains it very well.




I would add to this that Jesus forgave sins, something only God can do. He also changed people's names, again something only God was allowed to do.

Very good video.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Another Attack on Religion, this time in Greece

In Greece, a predominantly Orthodox country, some people are trying to have religious symbols and practices removed. Greece has been a Christians country for millenia, and this is just another attack on its identity.

A schoolmaster wonders out loud if soon there will be challenges to the Greek flag, an issue I brought up several posts ago. The flag of course contains a cross, just like dozens of others around the world.

The Christian faith is an integral part of Greek culture. Any student who is not Orthodox is not or should not be required to participate in a prayer, but to ban them outright is wrong. Christianity is an integral part of Greek culture. Removing it would be like removing their food, language, or any other aspect. If some people do not like the language or food, then do not partake, but to ban it for everyone is an attack on religion and culture.

A culture is made up of various aspects, including language, religion, food, and way of life. To remove or ban any of these things is to commit a sort of cultural genocide.

To see a video of this, please go to: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g0XI3wQ48QLUDJZZ8NlNOrEHnXIQ

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone. 2009 was a great year for my blog. I got many more followers, I wrote more articles, and had more comments and overall many more viewers. I hope this continues.

The results are in from the survey on this website asking people's religion. I am very surprised by some of the findings. This blog is obviously all about the Catholic faith and how it relates to the world, yet only 35% of my readers consider themselves Catholic. A whopping 42% of those completing the survey are atheists. Even 2% are considered "anti-theists". Nine percent are non-Catholic Christians, and 4% were Muslim. I did seem to receive a fair number of comments from Muslims.

I'm glad to have the opportunity to share my Catholic faith with many non-Catholics.

Thanks everyone for making this blog a success.