Archive for the ‘Apologetics’ category

Why homosexuals cannot have a marriage

August 12, 2012

I shouldn’t have bothered to read this article, because I always come away frustrated when the basic, foundational reason for why a homosexual relationship can never attain the status of a marriage is not presented.  To wit:

We are created in God’s image and likeness.  Marriage is meant to be a reflection to the world of the communio of the one true Trinitarian God.  What is it that generates that communio?  Bd Pope John Paul II taught us in his General Audience on 29-July-1998:

The Father begets the Son by loving him; the Son is begotten by the Father, letting himself be loved and receiving from him the capacity to love; the Holy Spirit is love given in total gratuitousness by the Father, received with full gratitude by the Son, and returned by him to the Father.

Married love is meant to be a reflection to the world of the mutual self-giving love between the Father and Jesus.  Married love is also meant to be a reflection to the world of the love that God has for his people.

We are called to image the Trinity.  Divine love has four primary characteristics:

  • free
  • total
  • faithful
  • fruitful

Authentic self-giving love is always:

  • freely given – completely voluntary
  • given in totality – holds nothing back
  • absolutely faithful – as God is to his covenant with us
  • open to fruitfulness – always open to new life

[If one understands it in any other way, then our own redemption by Jesus would just be some kind of fantasy, because that’s the only kind of love that could have effected God’s saving plan.]

Obviously, homosexual acts can never be fruitful; they can never generate new life.  Thus, they can never fully image the Trinity.  That alone disqualifies homosexual relationships from being considered as a ‘marriage’.

No need to go any further.

(Of course, if people don’t believe in a Trinitarian God, they won’t buy any of this.  But then they have a much bigger problem:  their culpable lack of faith!)

More Madrid

June 14, 2010

Having just read Glenn’s post below called The Fellowship of the Unashamed, which was taken from Patrick Madrid’s CD “WHY I AM A CATHOLIC,” I wanted to take a moment to encourage everyone to listen to this important talk.  After hearing Madrid’s personal reflections, I would like to get this in the hands of as many people as possible.  It is a CD I would hope every Catholic [and non-Catholic] would listen to and think about.  He is insightful, interesting and humorous. Try to get your hands on it, and if you are not receiving Lighthouse Catholic Media‘s “CD of the Month,” I highly recommend it as a good way to grow in your faith.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE UNASHAMED

June 13, 2010

    I listened to the latest CD from Lighthouse Media today. I receive a CD every month featuring solid teaching and inspirational stories about God’s loving care for his people. This month  the CD was a recording of a talk by Catholic apologist PatrickMadrid entitled “Why I am a Catholic”. In his conclusion he presented his “Mission Statement” entitled the “Fellowship of the Unashamed

     I AM A PART of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won’t lookback, let up, slow down, back away or be still.My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is in God’s hands. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, the bare minimum, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, frivolous living, selfish giving, and dwarfed goals.I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, applause, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, the best, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith. I lean on Christ.s presence. I love with patience, live by prayer, and labor with the power of God’s grace.My face is set. My gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, and my mission is clear.I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, let up or slow up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paidup, and spoken up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give until I drop, speak out until all know, and work until He stops me.And when He returns for His own, He will have no difficulty recognizing me. My banner is clear: I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.Adapted from the original (author unknown) by Patrick Madridwww.surprisedbytruth.com

       I have no doubt that I have been called to this fellowship but it is not easy to live out this calling every day. I thank God he has given me many companions through my involvement in the Guardian Of  The Redeemer Catholic Men’s Fellowship. I pray that more Catholic men will join us in fufilling this Mission.

The Good News?

June 3, 2010
Ever wonder why the Gospels are called the ‘Good News?  I was speaking with an ‘anti-theist’ the other day about free will and the problem of pain (the latter is the only good argument for being an atheist, but more on that later).  The Christian answer to why there is pain in the world is that we have used our free will to become very bad.  This doctrine is well known and hardly needs to be stated, but to bring this doctrine to light in the modern world, and even among Western Christians is very hard.
 
When the apostles preached, they could assume even among their pagan listeners, a real consciousness of deserving divine anger.  It was against this background that the Gospel appeared as ‘Good News’.  It brought the good news of possible healing to people who were mortally ill.  But all this has changed.  Christianity in the West now has to preach the diagnosis which is itself very bad news, before it can win any hearing for the good news.  Which is one of the reasons that Christianity is so unpopular in modern day America.  Because it makes no sense at all unless there is a problem.  “Jesus is a savior — from what?  Poverty, ignorance, voting for the wrong candidate?  From Sin?  Sin, what’s that?” 
 
So you have to preach the bad news before the good news makes any sense.  I believe sin to be a fact, and the holier a man is the more aware he is of that fact.  Who is the authority on how drunk you are: drunk people or sober people? Sometimes being a Christian in NEPA today feels a bit like working in a hospital where all the sick people are running around trying to infect the healthy people.

Speaking truth to power

April 29, 2010

That’s a phrase I have heard over and over the past several weeks in discussions with some of our more liberal ‘Catholics.’  That phrase is presented sometimes as an almost unalloyed good, in and of itself.  Usually, people who have this phrase in their lexicon have vastly different ideas of what ‘truth’ is.  More on that later in a doozy of a post I’m ruminating on.

Today, the St. Louis Beacon published a ten page Memo form the Lay father of Three Chancellor of the Diocese of Bellesville IL to his Bishop, then USCCB president Wilton Gregory.  It’s a doozy too, all about ‘Speaking truth to power.’  The Beacon is calling it ‘The memo that changed the Catholic Church.  That’s probably a bit of hyperbole, but one can understand once you’ve read it.  I won’t quote much of it here as I want you to read the whole thing.  It is important to note that even in this dark hour of the church (2002) there were sane voices in the Chanceries advising the Bishops.

You should know by now that our children are more important to Sharon and me than anything in the world. Let me repeat that in bold Italics: Our children are more important to Sharon and me than anything in the world. With all due respect, though you probably come as close to understanding the significance of that statement as any bishop in the Church, you don’t. You can’t. No priest, no religious, no lay person who is not a parent can truly appreciate the incredible weight of that single sentence any more than I could before Erin was born. Three children later, I’m not sure I fully grasp it yet, and I know I can’t adequately articulate it for you in a simple memorandum. Similarly, I could never hope to fully comprehend how your pastoral ministry is the most important thing in the world to you. I can witness your vocation and try to appreciate the extraordinary commitment you have made to the Church, but I am not and will likely never be a priest. I may work in your chancery, but I am, above all else, Sharon’s husband and Erin, Jonathan and James’ dad.

Read the whole thing here

The memo screams out for penance on the part of Bishops.  I found this article on a Deacon’s blog, The Deacon’s Bench where he posited another great idea from the Deacons:

So here is my question for you. What if our bishops chose to do public penance? What if they lay prostrate or knelt in front of their cathedrals as penitents before each Mass on the weekend closest to the feast of St.Peter and Paul or on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or some other appropriate day or days? Or, even better, on the first Friday of every month for the next year starting with the feast of the Sacred Heart or Sts.Peter and Paul? And what if we, as their deacons, as an order in the Church, in all humility, not only called on our bishops to do public penance, but offered to join them in it?

As deacons we invite God’s holy people to pray for mercy in the Penitential Rite. As deacons we call God’s priestly people to pray for the needs of the Church and world at every Mass. As deacons on Good Friday, it is our part to invite our bishop and priests and all the faithful to kneel in prayer.

Just as I think it is our part to call our bishops to do public penance, I think it is also our part to join them in penance as well. Clearly, our place is with our bishops: we stand at the side of our bishop during every celebration of the liturgy and the sacraments, ready to assist them. We lie next to them every Good Friday as we prostrate our selves before the mystery of the Lord’s death on the cross. And I think that if we, as deacons, are willing to stand (or kneel or prostrate ourselves) at the side of our bishops, they might say yes to doing public penance

What do you think?

Some more aids for observing lent

March 2, 2010

The Curt Jester has just opened up his Lent-Mart store to help us all in observing Lent.  You have to check it out.  Good Stuff.  Some Specials that I like:

Sackcloth T $17.99

Have you ever wanted to try out sackcloth, but just weren’t sure how it was done properly?  If you answered yes you are a candidate for the Sackcloth T the finest in penitential undershirts and you can get them monogrammed. People might give you strange looks as you constantly scratch your upper body, but they won’t know your wearing sackcloth under your work shirt.  If you want something more fashionable then you can also order are sackcloth hoodies. (This one’s for you, Walt)

Charity Checker $22.99.  Are you a blogger or commenter and find that sometimes in enthusiastic defense of the faith you go a little overboard in attacking others personally instead of setting forth arguments to defend the Church? If so you will love this new browser plugin “Charity Checker” that works with your favorite browser and can even incorporate itself into blogger, MT, or WordPress. Also works great outside of Lent.

Portable Font $7.99  On Ash Wednesday does your parish remove the Holy Water from all the fonts? Do they replace it with marbles, sands, twigs, or basically any object but Holy Water? If so check out the Portable Font. Easily collapses and fits in your pocket. While traveling the water won’t leak, but with just one twist of our patented lid you can then dip your fingers and bless yourself. Holds enough water for you and your family.

Beginning of the End of the Reformation?

February 27, 2010

There is a great article in the Wall Street Journal featuring our very own Fr. Eric Bergman. In it, he speaks about how the Pope of Christian Unity, Benedict the XVI’s great gifts of widening the use of the ‘Latin Mass’ and now the Anglican Use communities are setting the foundation for the end of the Reformation in mainline Protestant denominations.  Definitely food for thought, whether you think Fr. Eric is overstating his case or not.

But I also highly reccomend visiting the comments on the article.  There is a very clear and brief discussion between an atheist and an Eastern Orthodox concerning the path of Christianity in the modern West.  A snippet:

Similarly, if modern science shrinks the possibility of miracles, it is merely holding true to its own tautological foundations in doing so: if science is indeed the study of nature using the scientific method, miracles are not excluded from existing, they are excluded from being analyzable. That shouldn’t bother a sensible theist a whole lot. If science is being used to develop a new wonder-drug, I quite expect that the development plan should not include something along the lines of ‘step 5 — at this time hope for a miracle’.

The ‘gaps’ in our knowledge, therefore, are not something that has to, or necessarily can be, filled by empirical experience or analysis. They are where meaning quietly enters, where the ‘human weakness’ you concede resides. Two sayings that help define the weakness are “The beginning of knowledge is ‘I do not know'” and “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord” — i.e. accepting our own lack of full understanding and our vulnerability before the Unknowable. From the vantage point of a believer living out his faith (as best I can), I can assure you God is not some kind of opiate-like divine spackle for filling in those gaps of ignorance or fear in our lives. Those gaps, when turned to our advantage, are windows into something beyond, where meaning does reside. Human weakness is the starting point of growth, not the final verdict on life and its purpose.

Finally, as for Christianity dying — well, it is certainly not dying in terms of numbers of believers, and in the First World it is unquestionably undergoing a vigorous intellectual revival that is starting to spread into the Church as a whole. Rapprochement with Judaism, between Catholic and Orthodox, sparks of reunification in the Protestant world, the return of theology as a living touchstone on best seller lists are some outer signs. That revival is taking place in the context of a different kind of society than in the past — secular, aging, under demographic and ideological pressure from the Islamic world — and in the wake of some awful scandals. But reports of Christianity’s death are as premature as rumors of the Second Coming, which we are always assured will be just a tad bit too early.