“For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church. “
Saint Paul – Ephesians 5:31-33
Saint Paul’s message to the Ephesians couldn’t possibly make it more obvious that marriage is between a heterosexual man and a woman. This is only one small example in many from our holy bible to illustrate this fact. Is it even remotely possible for one to believe in any small part of the bible and conclude that homosexual marriage is desirable and acceptable to God? How did something that is so disordered become popular and desirable among the heterosexual population? Gay relationships have not only become acceptable, but embraced to the point that they are now an applauded, cause for festive celebration in most of America and Europe. Turn on the news; look on Facebook; read your local newspaper and your senses will be flooded with celebrations of homosexual relationships. Prominent companies like Starbucks, for example, proudly own up to their dear love for gay relationships. As a human race, what exactly are the prizes, rewards and victories that we are applauding and celebrating? Today, American’s infatuation with gay relationships is second to none. Why is this? Is it because the traditional family, created from the fruitful love between a faithful man and woman is no longer deemed necessary? Have we discovered a new and better way to procreate and build the loving structure and back-bone of what used to be the foundation and building blocks of a free and compassionate society? How have we been fooled into thinking that our roots of freedom and selfless love must somehow be tied into accepting, endorsing and promoting gravely, disordered sexual relationships? Read more...
St. Peter, Starring Omar Sharif, is not only a great movie, but one that happens to be very, very Catholic. As the story unfolds, the illustration between sacred, Catholic tradition and scripture is captured in subtle, yet extremely powerful and theologically, accurate revelations that bring forth the fullness of truth in our living, Catholic Church. The Catholic message is undeniable to anyone who reads and accepts the bible as the word of God. While not all denominations would agree 100% on St. Peter's role in Christ's Church as the very first Pope, no Christian believer could possibly deny his proper history and place in the bible. And I cannot imagine that anyone watching this film that knows their bible would not think very highly and fondly of St. Peter. While watching this great film, I found myself thinking how difficult it must be for non-Catholics to dismiss the infallible role of our first Pope, Saint Peter. Read more...
What do we say to our Protestant friends who are offended by the Crucifix? This is what I wrote to one such individual.
I wear a crucifix. I wear a crucifix because it reminds me of how powerful Jesus' love is for us. Jesus tells us himself that no greater love does a man have than to give up his life for a friend and then he tells us to follow Him. So, I wear a crucifix to remind me also that to love like Jesus requires great sacrifice. In fact there is no such thing as love without sacrifice.
The crucifix also brings to mind the greatest paradox, a paradox that reminds us all that with God all things are possible. The greatest sin on earth is also our greatest blessing. Through death Jesus conquers death. As a Catholic, I believe that Jesus takes mere bread and mere wine, the fruit of the vine and work of human hands, and transforms them into his Body and Blood. At every Mass I believe that I stand at the foot of the Cross as the perpetual sacrifice of Jesus is made present and we participate in this sacrifice in a mysterious way that our human minds cannot comprehend. Time stands still as the past becomes the present and the present becomes the future as we celebrate, with all of the angels and saints, the Heavenly banquet where Jesus Christ is our true and unblemished Lamb. Jesus battered and bloodied upon the Cross is the Lamb of God. By taking on our sins he conquers sin. And it fills me with great comfort to know that no matter how bleak things look here on earth Jesus can take whatever we offer Him, even our greatest sorrows and our most shameful failings and transform these things into something beautiful. The crucifix reminds me of this. We can make our entire lives an offering to Jesus, unite our offerings to the Cross of Jesus, and allow him to transform us all into great saints.
The crucifix also reminds me that I am a sinner. Our sins crucified Jesus and unless we recognize that it is His Grace that saves us, we have no life in us.
Finally, I can pray before the crucifix while I gaze upon our Lord on the Cross. I look at him and I talk to him. It is hard to do that with a plain cross. When I bring my sufferings and sorrows to him before the crucifix, there he is bearing a much more unimaginable suffering for not only me, but the whole world.
I want to be reminded every day that on earth we all carry our own crosses, and therefore I love the crucifix that hangs on the walls of my home as well as the small crucifix that I wear around my neck.