“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

December 8, 2008

What All the Cool Catholic Kids Will Be Wearing on Christmas Morning

Seriously. Check these out. They're called “Sacrifice Beads.”

I happen to have come into possession of six of these beauties, and my wife and I are giving them as Christmas stocking giftlets for our six youngest kids. But adults of all ages can (and should) use them to stay recollected in a spirit of mortification. 

Check them out here, along with all the other great Catholic stuff for your kids (or grandkids), available from the good people over at www. HolyHeroes.com

A Holiday Message From the Religion of Peace

Ignorance and Arrogance Make for an Unflattering Combination

Terre Haute Tribune-Star columnist Stephanie Salter personafies this combo with her inane article A Catholic priest is about to be excommunicated; guess why”.

This is my letter to the editor about this article:

“Stephanie Salter's article, ‘A Catholic priest is about to be excommunicated . . .’ was truly a bold, fresh, piece of foolishness, even by her standards.
It seems clear that she has no idea why the Catholic Church teaches what it does about the sacrament of holy orders (reading Pope John Paul II's document ‘Ordinatio Sacerdotalis,’ which is available in English at the www.vatican.va website, would be a good start). Nor does she seem to understand what ‘Liberation Theology¹ actually is and why it has been rejected as a distorted and destructive ideology by the overwhelming majority of Catholics in this country who have even heard of it and who know what it really is.
The next time Ms. Salter gets the urge to lash out publically against the Catholic Church, I suggest that she do some actual research on the subject before spouting nonsense, as she did in this article. It was effective in exposing her ignorance, but not in much else.”

Something to Read on The Feast of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception

By Patrick Madrid
This Rock Magazine, December, 1991

HIS FACE STIFFENED, and his eyes narrowed to slits. Until now the Calvary Chapel pastor had been calm as he "shared the gospel" with me, but when I mentioned my belief in Mary’s Immaculate Conception, his attitude changed. 

"The problem with you Roman Catholics," he said, thin forefinger stabbing the air a few inches from my face, "is that you’ve added extra baggage to the gospel. How can you call yourselves Christians when you cling to unbiblical traditions like the Immaculate Conception? It’s not in the Bible--it was invented by the Roman Catholic system in 1854. Besides, Mary couldn’t have been sinless, only God is sinless. If she were without sin she would be God!" 

At least the minister got the date right, 1854 being the year Pope Pius IX infallibly defined the doctrine of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, but that’s as far as his accuracy went. His reaction was typical of Evangelicals. He was adamant that the Catholic emphasis on Mary’s sinlessness was an unbearable affront to the unique holiness of God, especially as manifested in Jesus Christ. 

After we’d examined the biblical evidence for the doctrine, the anti-Marianism he’d shown became muted, but it was clear that, at least emotionally if not biblically, Mary was a stumbling block for him. Like most Christians (Catholic and Protestant) the minister was unaware of the biblical support for the Church’s teaching on the Immaculate Conception. But sometimes even knowledge of these passages isn’t enough. Many former Evangelicals who have converted to the Catholic Church relate how hard it was for them to put aside prejudices and embrace Marian doctrines even after they’d thoroughly satisfied themselves through prayer and Scripture study that such teachings were indeed biblical. 

For Evangelicals who have investigated the issue and discovered, to their astonishment, the biblical support for Marian doctrines, there often lingers the suspicion that somehow, in a way they can’t quite identify, the Catholic emphasis on Mary’s sinlessness undermines the unique sinlessness of Christ. 

To alleviate such suspicions, one must understand what the Catholic Church means (and doesn’t mean) by the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Pope Pius IX, in his constitution Ineffabilis Deus (issued December 8, 1854), taught that Mary, "from the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin." The doctrine includes the assertion that Mary was perpetually free from all actual sin (willful disobedience of God, either venial or mortal). 

Several objections are raised by Protestants. . . . (
continue reading)