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Thursday 12 September 2013

I highly recommend this

Interesting article....

The poll found that 45 percent of practicing Catholics — those who attend Mass regularly and abide most of the church’s teachings — said yes, the world was living out its end times.

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MachoMan speaks..  A big thanks to LozzerEngland for this text. And, I must add that we need to Lord of the World.

New York Times

'Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.

Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.

Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.

From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.

No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.

It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”

But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.

No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.

The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.

We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.

A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.

I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.

If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.'

Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russi

Is it not ironic? And two sides to a coin.....

Is it not ironic..that the nastiest comments I get are from Anonymous. A person who cannot identify themselves even with a nom de plume is not reading the sign on the side bar. As to those who just want to vent, please do that on twitter or another blog. I am not interested in illogical arguments which are merely emotional outbursts.

As to those who are hurting and crying out for understanding, those Anonymous I pray for at Mass.

But, I do want to address a confusion about the role of the laity and the idea of Triumphalism, which a reader brought up.

First, the laity have to be savvy enough to spot heresy and disagreement with Church teaching. That is our baptismal duty. To merely state that priests, bishops or even cardinals can make decisions for us is a terrible misunderstanding of our relationship with truth.

We must appropriate Catholic teaching. We must be able to spot errors when we read, watch, hear speakers and teachers. That is part of the virtue of prudence. We must be able to spot modernism in sermons.

We can judge private revelations merely by using the teaching of the Catholic Church. Those Catholics who are in contradiction with Catholic Teaching because of private revelations have fallen into grave sin. We do not have to follow any private revelations. Period.

We do have to accept the doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic Church. Sadly, many Catholics are choosing against the Teaching Magisterium in favor of false seers. Remember, heretics go to hell. We need to be fearful and be careful in what we believe.

Satan does not care how you get to hell...he can lead you away from being obedient to the Church in many ways. Spiritual pride is one. And, if a person cannot spot error that person needs to pray, study, be humble.

As to Triumphalism, some readers are confused on this term recently referred to by the Pope. Now, there are two kinds of Triumphalism. The first is ok. This first definition is the recognition that the Catholic Church has the fullness of Truth, that the Kingdom of God is found in the Catholic Church.

Here are two quotations from Dominus Iesus.

Therefore, the theory of the limited, incomplete, or imperfect character of the revelation of Jesus Christ, which would be complementary to that found in other religions, is contrary to the Church's faith. Such a position would claim to be based on the notion that the truth about God cannot be grasped and manifested in its globality and completeness by any historical religion, neither by Christianity nor by Jesus Christ.

The Catholic faithful are required to profess that there is an historical continuity — rooted in the apostolic succession53 — between the Church founded by Christ and the Catholic Church: “This is the single Church of Christ... which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care (cf. Jn 21:17), commissioning him and the other Apostles to extend and rule her (cf. Mt 28:18ff.), erected for all ages as ‘the pillar and mainstay of the truth' (1 Tim 3:15). This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in [subsistit in] the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him”.54  With the expression subsistit in, the Second Vatican Council sought to harmonize two doctrinal statements: on the one hand, that the Church of Christ, despite the divisions which exist among Christians, continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church, and on the other hand, that “outside of her structure, many elements can be found of sanctification and truth”,55 that is, in those Churches and ecclesial communities which are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church.56 But with respect to these, it needs to be stated that “they derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church”.57
17.  Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him.58The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches.59 Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.60

In the Netherlands.....
This is good Triumphalism.

Bad Triumphalism is when a person thinks they are better than someone else because they are a Catholic. That is an erroneous position based on pride. Humility demands that we are thankful for the gift of Faith and that we try and help others see the Truth.

One cannot call into subjective thinking or relativism, one of the many modernists heresies concerning the Truth. But, likewise, one cannot fall into pride. 

One of the greatest examples of bad Triumphalism are the wars started by the Muslims against Christianity. Even today, there are those who believe they have a duty to start wars and make jihad under the name of a false religion. That belief, based on bad Triumphalism, is why the Pope was giving us a warning. 

Do not be proud, but be confident in the Truth. Truth and the love of God give us confidence, not in ourselves, but in God. 

Portia's Speech from The Merchant of Venice

This is the first passage of Shakespeare I ever memorized in school. Great stuff...and a good meditation. 

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
Upon the place beneath.
It is twice blessed.
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
It is mightiest in the mightiest,

It becomes the throned monarch better than his crown.
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
An attribute to awe and majesty.
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power dost the become likest God's,
Where mercy seasons justice.

Therefore Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice we all must see salvation,
We all do pray for mercy
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render the deeds of mercy.
I have spoke thus much to mittgate the justice of thy plea,

Which if thou dost follow,
This strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentance gainst the merchant there.

Excellent video on Fr. Z.

Wow, The Modern Mom - A Complete Cop-Out of Authority

Since when has adolescence been all about sex? I am astounded by this mom's article, but now I understand all the kids out there without moral frameworks. With moms like these, who needs predator training? That a grown woman would be so naive and slanted towards sexual permissiveness not to see that a child who is doing things as described in the article is already perverted is breath-taking.

Catholic parents, home school. I really do not see that you have a choice with parents of kids out there who see nothing wrong with sexually provocative selfies on cell phones.

We need a counter-culture NOW.

Adolescence is about many, many things other than just sex. It is a time of discovering gift, vocations, growing in responsibility, becoming confident through responsibility.

A snippet.

And adolescence is a lot about sex, too; one of the ways that sexual attraction is played out these days is on the internet. Teenagers of both sexes have always experimented with their sex appeal, and one of the big differences between our day and theirs is that this experimentation has other outlets in 2013. I'm not saying it's good, and I'm not saying it's bad – what I am saying is that it's something we did too when we were young, just in a different way.

Selfie advice