28 November 2013

Thought of the day

It is so easy to thank God for when things go well. Do we thank Him for our crosses as well? Our crosses are His way to perfect us. A blessed Thanksgiving to all of you!

26 November 2013

Thought of the day

Society has been backwards for quite a while...and at the rate of walking backwards we're going it won't be long before we're off the cliff and not seeing where we are falling.

Prayer request

I am going to be placing my name in for the FT Position at my current job, I appreciate it :)

25 November 2013

My answers to the Vatican Survey

Don't let me find a survey, I will finish it...in this case, the Vatican has a survey: My answers in RED

III. Questions
The following series of questions allows the particular Churches to participate actively in the preparation of the Extraordinary Synod, whose purpose is to proclaim the Gospel in the context of the pastoral challenges facing the family today.
1. The Diffusion of the Teachings on the Family in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Magisterium
a) Describe how the Catholic Church’s teachings on the value of the family contained in the Bible, Gaudium et spesFamiliaris consortio and other documents of the post-conciliar Magisterium is understood by people today? What formation is given to our people on the Church’s teaching on family life?

There is absolutely no understanding by the vast majority of the Faithful of the Church's teaching. In many places there is open rebellion to the Church's teachings on the family. Those that do have an understanding of the Church's teachings, have a minimal grasp on the subject. Much formation is given to something that isn't even official Church teaching (NFP)...


b) In those cases where the Church's teaching is known, is it accepted fully or are there difficulties in putting it into practice? If so, what are they?

Those that are accepting of the Church's teaching encounter a culture which resists the Church's openess to life. There are various economic phenomena that make putting the Church's teachings into practice a bit difficult. 

c) How widespread is the Church's teaching in pastoral programmes at the national, diocesan and parish levels? What catechesis is done on the family?

Non-existent...

d ) To what extent — and what aspects in particular — is this teaching actually known, accepted, rejected and/or criticized in areas outside the Church? What are the cultural factors which hinder the full reception of the Church’s teaching on the family?

There is criticism for a lack of openness to contraception. We have a culture that enjoys murdering innocent babies, there is absolutely no respect for life at the most fundamental level. 
2. Marriage according to the Natural Law
a) What place does the idea of the natural law have in the cultural areas of society: in institutions, education, academic circles and among the people at large? What anthropological ideas underlie the discussion on the natural basis of the family?

Natural Law is unheard of or ignored in the academic situations that I am familiar with. 
b) Is the idea of the natural law in the union between a man and a woman commonly accepted as such by the baptized in general?
No, but the union between man and woman acceptance is decreasing even further. 

c) How is the theory and practice of natural law in the union between man and woman challenged in light of the formation of a family? How is it proposed and developed in civil and Church institutions?

No proposition of such situations. 

d) In cases where non-practicing Catholics or declared non-believers request the celebration of marriage, describe how this pastoral challenge is dealt with?

The non-Catholic parties are advised of the Catholic duties, and usually sign an agreement to raise the kids Catholic. 

3. The Pastoral Care of the Family in Evangelization
a) What experiences have emerged in recent decades regarding marriage preparation? What efforts are there to stimulate the task of evangelization of the couple and of the family? How can an awareness of the family as the "domestic Church" be promoted?

Marriage preparation consists of much on NFP, and not enough on the Sacramental meaning of Marriage. The Domestic church can be promoted with a return to the fidelity in the Liturgy and connecting private prayer to Liturgical prayer. 

b) How successful have you been in proposing a manner of praying within the family which can withstand life’s complexities and today’s culture?

Unscucessfull

c) In the current generational crisis, how have Christian families been able to fulfill their vocation of transmitting the faith?

They haven't, the family has not received the Faith in full.
d) In what way have the local Churches and movements on family spirituality been able to create ways of acting which are exemplary?

The showing of examples of young couples enjoying their marriage has been a positive influence.
e) What specific contribution can couples and families make to spreading a credible and holistic idea of the couple and the Christian family today?

Couples can show the integration of the Liturgical life of the Church into their daily lives. 

f) What pastoral care has the Church provided in supporting couples in formation and couples in crisis situations?

The Church offers counsel to those who have ears. There are many marriage enrichment classes and retreats that are offered in the local parishes and churches. 

4. Pastoral Care in Certain Difficult Marital Situations
a) Is cohabitation ad experimentum a pastoral reality in your particular Church? Can you approximate a percentage?

I'd probably say around 70%

b) Do unions which are not recognized either religiously or civilly exist? Are reliable statistics available?

I don't have statistics, but they do exist. 

c) Are separated couples and those divorced and remarried a pastoral reality in your particular Church? Can you approximate a percentage? How do you deal with this situation in appropriate pastoral programmes?

People aren't informed of the dispensation to live apart from the Bishop to strengthen their marriage. 
d) In all the above cases, how do the baptized live in this irregular situation? Are they aware of it? Are they simply indifferent? Do they feel marginalized or suffer from the impossibility of receiving the sacraments?

Most are indifferent, and do not feel marginalized. 

e) What questions do divorced and remarried people pose to the Church concerning the Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Reconciliation? Among those persons who find themselves in these situations, how many ask for these sacraments?

A few
f ) Could a simplification of canonical practice in recognizing a declaration of nullity of the marriage bond provide a positive contribution to solving the problems of the persons involved? If yes, what form would it take?

NO!
g) Does a ministry exist to attend to these cases? Describe this pastoral ministry? Do such programmes exist on the national and diocesan levels? How is God’s mercy proclaimed to separated couples and those divorced and remarried and how does the Church put into practice her support for them in their journey of faith?

No.
5. On Unions of Persons of the Same Sex
a) Is there a law in your country recognizing civil unions for people of the same-sex and equating it in some way to marriage?

Yes, these laws exist and it is equated to marriage.
b) What is the attitude of the local and particular Churches towards both the State as the promoter of civil unions between persons of the same sex and the people involved in this type of union?

Some of the local dioceses have been quiet on the issue, others have been very vocal.  All have been against the State promotion of this. 
c) What pastoral attention can be given to people who have chosen to live in these types of union?

Repent, and believe in the Gospel.

d) In the case of unions of persons of the same sex who have adopted children, what can be done pastorally in light of transmitting the faith?

The Truths of the Faith need to be told without fear of political correctness. 

6. The Education of Children in Irregular Marriages

a) What is the estimated proportion of children and adolescents in these cases, as regards children who are born and raised in regularly constituted families?

I'd say around 70-80%

b) How do parents in these situations approach the Church? What do they ask? Do they request the sacraments only or do they also want catechesis and the general teaching of religion?

Many seek the Sacraments of Initiation, but not the teaching of religion.

c) How do the particular Churches attempt to meet the needs of the parents of these children to provide them with a Christian education?

Many have a program in which catechesis comes along with the Sacraments. 
d) What is the sacramental practice in these cases: preparation, administration of the sacrament and the accompaniment?

The Sacraments are given after a catechesis period. 
7. The Openness of the Married Couple to Life

a) What knowledge do Christians have today of the teachings of Humanae vitae on responsible parenthood? Are they aware of how morally to evaluate the different methods of family planning? Could any insights be suggested in this regard pastorally?

Many people do not know of any other methods than NFP. But this NFP is an extra-ordinary situation. The majority of people do not know about the Church's teaching on life in marriage. My suggestion is to emphasize that God's grace can get them through financial difficulties. 
b) Is this moral teaching accepted? What aspects pose the most difficulties in a large majority of couple’s accepting this teaching?

Contraception is not used as much in marriage than without. 

c) What natural methods are promoted by the particular Churches to help spouses put into practice the teachings of Humanae vitae?

NFP

d) What is your experience on this subject in the practice of the Sacrament of Penance and participation at the Eucharist?

There has been less people participating in the Sacrament of Penance and more at the Holy Eucharist without the understanding of mortal sin. 
e) What differences are seen in this regard between the Church’s teaching and civic education?

Civic education is completely opposed to the Church's vision of the Family.

f) How can a more open attitude towards having children be fostered? How can an increase in births be promoted?

Year of Conception?

8. The Relationship Between the Family and the Person
a) Jesus Christ reveals the mystery and vocation of the human person. How can the family be a privileged place for this to happen?

More families should try to imitate the Holy Trinity

b) What critical situations in the family today can obstruct a person’s encounter with Christ?

Bad Liturgy...Marty Haugen, David Haas hits
c) To what extent do the many crises of faith which people can experience affect family life?

The Crisis of Faith has major effect on Family life. 

9. Other Challenges and Proposals
What other challenges or proposals related to the topics in the above questions do you consider urgent and useful to treat?

N/A

Thought of the day

No where in Newton's work does he imply anything about a rate of change of momentum, not in the Latin, definitely not in the English text..To impose one's own interpretation of what is blatantly clear is absolutely ridiculous.

Monday morning news...

a. Our prayers for our Holy Father are apparently working...but keep praying

Some articles, here, and here.

While we haven't seen a retraction of some of the confusing things that have come from Rome, there most certainly has been a change in tone lately, and hopefully this tone continues....and the actions match the tone that is spoken. I'm not going to be all giddy giddy, for a few good things do not necessarily mean that things have turned around. But it does seem that the Holy Father is getting the message about how he's speaking which I can't complain about because quite frankly, some of what has come has been atrocious.

As I've stated before, I believe that Francis should be able to stand on Francis' own words and not the words of Benedict XVI or anyone else, and if he can't stand on his own words, he needs to re-evaluate what is being said. I'm not sold on "Reading Francis through Benedict" (TM), but I'll say that it is encouraging to see explicit support from Pope Francis towards the mindset of his predecessor.

We of course must continue to pray for Our Holy Father, the enemies are out to get him, both from within and from outside of the Church. We need to pray that he does not flee from the wolves, and does something about them. :D

b. Sometimes, things are just better in Russian....Newton's Law page is an example...their page gives a much more orthodox explanation of Newton's Laws (though there are still a few pages to fix)...I'm presently working on doing the corrections to the English page.

c. I have recently began singing the epistle for St Cyril's. Your prayers would be awesome :)



24 November 2013

Thought of the day

Are we forced down by our sinful ways? Or do we allow ourselves to be free by the merits of the Cross through the Sacrament of Confession?

21 November 2013

20 November 2013

18 November 2013

Physics, clearer, better, uncut


Thought of the day

This idea that everyone needs to be equal is non-Biblical, non-Traditional, and doesn't make logical sense. There will always be those that have more than another. It doesn't make them any less dignified.

Anti-bullying...is it really about that, or about the sissification of children?

One way to find out I suppose...

Perhaps since all of this anti-bullying stuff seems to be a trend in modern culture...I should say the following:

In terms of what we'd now call "bullying" ...these things happened to me during school. I was picked on, had several things happen to me which I'd rather NOT discuss on the blog...I've received mean letters, people threaten to beat me up, been called several different names, mocked, etc. It most certainly wasn't pleasant, or desirable, but it happened.

This might be a harsh reality for some people to accept, but here it is: Children are harsh and typically don't have filters...You know they haven't learned exactly how to use said things yet...Children do ned to be taught.

Looking at this ought to help convey my thoughts better:

At what point do good intentions do more harm than good? In our attempt to protect kids, are we not doing more harm than good? Society isn't going to coddle them every time a problem comes up, and they will learn that people can be rather ruthless at times.

People will do anything to intimidate others in various situations, the things people will do to get a job, or take advantage of a system are endless...

The above said, this certainly doesn't mean that we shouldn't take steps to stop things that cross the line absolutely. No kid should have to worry about a death threat, or be in a situation where they have a substantial fear of something happening....But I will say this:

1) A person that places themselves out there, should not be surprised that people have reactions to what they are doing, or that a person has an opinion on it. So, thus if a person comes out as say a homosexual, people will react accordingly...It wouldn't have been a big deal, but once information is brought to the public arena, people will have a reaction one way or another. Certainly everyone should be treated with respect and dignity, but hey as the old saying goes, do not say anything one does no wish to have a reaction one way or another. (or rather, speak once, think twice)...and it works the same way when one says something such as "who am I to judge?" The words that are brought to the public square need to be carefully plotted....Yes, people do NOT need to say everything that's on their minds. No, people should NOT feel free to speak at will about everything....somethings are just none of our business :)

2) Anyone reading this who takes this as condoning the mistreatment of people is beside themselves. This is not the point, the point is while people do deserve respect and dignity...people do have to know when to speak, and when not to. It's not a matter of being afraid, it's a matter of knowing when to say and when not to say something. Some would call it prudence, I'd call it common sense. (Which is missing)

Surely, let us all promote a safe environment for kids to learn in, but let us also not sissify them in the process....and you bet I have some things to say about Common Core, but that is still in the works.

Pax Vobis





Has the Liturgy become subjective?

I hear often times in various circles that it doesn't matter how Mass is celebrated, all that matters is that Jesus is there. Stop worrying about the music, the rubrics, etc. And while I sympathize with much of this...it just can't be done. The commandments and the virtues do not allow us to be so indifferent towards things.

Justice as defined in the catechism is as follows: 1807 Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the "virtue of religion." Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. the just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. "You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor."68 "Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven."69

That is to say that it is Justice to give back to God what we ought to. It is not necessarily that God per se, needs our gratitude, God is God, but it is proper for us to give back to Him who gave us life right worship, correctly and by the rubrics established by Holy Mother Church. 

The virtue of justice commands us to follow the rubrics of Holy Mother Church...everyone, the Pope included is not exempt from this. The virtue of justice means that we give to God the best e have, nothing banal, anthrocentric, devoid of beauty. It is justice that requires of us that we give to God the most solemn worship possible. 

In the Christian East there is no such thing as "low Mass"...everything is sung. This the normative for the Roman Liturgy as well, the sung solemn Mass is the norm for the Roman Church, anything less is an exception to the norm and not the norm established by the Church. 

One might say, but what if Father has a horrible voice ala Justin Bieber? Well, as my mom used to say, God gave us a voice, we ought to use it. (She always complained that I never sung in church....of course with Haugen-Haas greatest hits, can you blame me for not singing? ;)...even though I was no perfect Catholic as a child, I knew horrible music when I heard it :p)...(of course now I'm always singing at church (see what happens when there's good music, I sing ;))...God cares that we try to give justice to Him...

The willful ignoring of the rubrics of Holy Mother Church leads to an elevation of the dictatorship of relativism which goes on in our culture. Our love for God should command us to justice to serve the rubrics of Holy Mother Church and not disobey them at arms command. 

One could very well argue with our Liturgically indifferent Pope at present that this is a contribution to the losing of the culture war. We can't transform the world if we don't have our relationship/worship with God correct. This isn't to say that from the Mass should flow certain things (Mass is meritorious in of itself regardless of the persons cooperation (or lack there of) with graces received)...but if we veil Jesus Christ at the Liturgy, how in the world do we bring Christ into the world? We don't, or we bring in a distorted version of Christ that is at the service of us, rather than us at the service of Him. 

For example, that Christ supports gov't program x, or that Christ would support so called gay marriage, is this the Christ that we're supposed to bring into the universe? I don't think so. 

Our understanding of Jesus primarily comes from the Liturgy, it is where He comes in His love for us Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist, it is He who we need to bring out to transform the world, but this can't be done at the expense of our Liturgy. 

Religion also follows under this justice. Religion, listening to our leaders (when they preach the orthodox Faith) comes under the virtue of justice. It is difficult, especially since the dis-enlightenment which wanted to define man as the centre of the world. This is especially true in American society which has its moments of independent mindset...We become selfish and we in a way become like the rich fool in the parable of the foolish rich man where we get concerned about ourselves and not about the 2 great commandments to Love God and to love neighbor. 

The Church and her Liturgy is not a subjective thing where our own opinions matter....no, no, we are but humble servants to the Liturgy and we follow her rubrics out of Love for our God, period. The rubrics emancipate us as to focus on Christ himself.

Pax Vobis



15 November 2013

Thought of the day

The answer sometimes to our questions are quite obvious, but we worry so much that we miss the obvious.

13 November 2013

Thought of the day

The things that we have zero control over, chances are it's a good thing that it's the case.

11 November 2013

10 November 2013

Thought of the day

To what extent are we helping our neighbor, are we ignoring them like the priest and the levite, or are we treating them with compassion such as the good samaritan?

08 November 2013

07 November 2013

Thought of the day

Trust is something that is earned...of course it's a lot easier when one doesn't get let down by that particular person.

06 November 2013

Thought of the day

While indeed there is a difference between memorization and understanding...memorization does make understanding easier.

04 November 2013

Thought of the day

This is very soothing...May our mouths be filled with Your Praise O Lord so that we may sing of your glory, for You have deemed us worthy to partake of Your Holy, divine immortal, pure and life creating mysteries. Keep us in Your holiness so that all the day long we may live according Your Truth. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia :)

03 November 2013

How do we define what is "essential"?

I hear a lot lately of people focusing on the "essentials" of *insert x* whether it be Catholicism, problems in society, or whatever the so called issue of the day may be.

To which I respond: How do we define what is essential? Especially when it comes to our Faith.

In the secular world in particular in my fields of math and physics, this question is easy to solve. The essentials can be defined as those from which without them, you'd be completely lost...For exampe, fi one does not know algebra and trigonometry, calculus would be very difficult. (I don't say impossible, as I'll be teaching my future kids Calculus at age 1 ;)). Another example is in physics without understanding the laws of motion at non relativistic level, one can't extend that concept to the quantum level. There are so many situations by which one has to have a basis from which to begin.

But how can we do with with the Logos, the Word Himself? How do we define essential teachings? To devalue the teaching on the Eucharist causes damages to various other teachings in the Church Universal...This domino effect does not exist as much in the secular disciplines as it does in the teachings of the Church. That is to say one doesn't necessarily go into all of the details of various disciplines in the secular world (hence the idea of majors in university study)

The thing about the Church is that if we decide to de-emphasize something, there are severe consequences when we do that. For example, the Church teaches that the Mass is the unbloody re-presentation of the same Sacrifice on Calvary. (Christ is not re-crucified at Mass, Jesus died once and for all)...in many places the Mass is treated as a glorified social gathering....by doing this we give grave harm to the virtue of Justice in which we give to God what is due unto Him (proper worship, which falls under religion) in exchange for self-idolatry...(Something that Pope Benedict XVI severely warned us against)

The same effect happens for the "red letter" Bibles that place emphasis on the words that Jesus said. What? Is the rest of the Bible not God inspired or not as important? God inspired the whole Bible, not just the words of Christ, although He's the 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity...what are the 1st and the 3rd persons of the Trinity not important? You can see where I'm going with this can you not? That is to say that is to say in the Church, all of Her teachings are important. One can't simply discard them for the sake of an interview, or to be comfortable with someone. The Truth is the Truth, and we need not apologize for it.

Prudence is not the ability to be sissy about the Truth...it is not prudent to not teach the Truths of the Church. It may very well be a matter of respect that one acts according to the rules of the owner, but this is not prudence, it falls under a different category.

Enough with the capitulation of the Truth, we need to speak it whether people want to hear it or not. Whether they get offended, or praise us. The Truth is the Truth, we need to speak it with charity and clearness. Not to eliminate "non-essential things"...all of Her teachings are essential...ALL of them, not one, not two, ALL....just as ALL of Christ is important, not just his human nature, not just his Divine Nature, All of Christ.

Pax Vobis

01 November 2013

Thought of the day

We ask for the Saints' help, because we need all the help that we can get, and it's in our nature to seek as much help when we do ask for it. Praying to (through) the Saints is beneficial and does not destroy our relationship with Christ...if anything, it shows how powerful God is.