Saturday, July 29, 2006

The One Book Meme

I've been tagged by Dilexitprior, so here goes.

1. One book that changed your life:
God and the World by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (This was the first book I read by Ratzinger and it spurred not only my interest in theology but also my conversion to the Catholic Church.)

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
Faith, Hope, Love by Josef Pieper

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
The Bible

4. One book that made you laugh:
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

5. One book that made you cry:
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

6. One book that you wish had been written:
My Journey to the Catholic Church by C.S. Lewis

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Any of book by John Spong or Hans Kung!

8. One book you’re currently reading:
Called To Communion by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (I'm almost done with this one and then I plan on reading Letter and Spirit by Scott Hahn.)

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

I now tag Frank, Greg, Jonathan, Moneybags, Thomas, St. Peter's Helpers, and the GOP Soccer Mom.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pray For Cardinal George!

Spokane Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement today after the announcement that Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago will undergo surgery this Thursday connected with bladder cancer. Cardinal George is vice-president of the USCCB.

“As both a fellow bishop and a close friend, I want to offer heartfelt prayers that Cardinal Francis George have a full recovery from his upcoming surgery and from the cancer which necessitated it.

“I know Cardinal George well. We served as bishops in the State of Washington in the adjoining dioceses of Spokane and Yakima where he followed me as bishop. In November 2004, we began another very close association when he was elected vice-president of the USCCB at the time I was elected president.

“At the meetings of the USCCB, at international gatherings of bishops, and on the visits which we make twice each year to the Holy See, I always find in Cardinal George great moral and personal support. Along with all the bishops, I appreciate as well the clarity and depth with which he thinks through the issues that face the Church.

“I know that our brother bishops join me in praying that Cardinal George will be restored to full health so that he may continue to serve as a good shepherd after the example of Christ for the Archdiocese of Chicago and as one of the foremost leaders of the Bishops’ Conference.” [source]

It Is 12:01 AM...

...That means it is now my birthday!

Saints Of The Day: St. Anne And St. Joachim, Parents Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Anne:

Mother of Our Lady. Grandmother of Jesus Christ. Wife of Saint Joachim. Probably well off. Tradition says that Anne was quite elderly when Mary was born, and that she was their only child. The belief that Anne remained a virgin in the conception and birth of Mary was condemned by the Vatican in 1677. Believed to have given Mary to the service of the Temple when the girl was three years old. Devotion to her has been popular in the East from the very early days of the Church; widespread devotion in the West began in the 16th century, but many shrines have developed since.

Patron of:
Puerto Rico; against poverty; Brittany; broommakers; cabinetmakers; Canada; carpenters; childless people; France; grandmothers; grandparents; homemakers; housewives; lost articles; mothers; poverty; pregnancy; pregnant women; women in labour

Prayer to Saint Anne

Good Saint Anne, you were especially favored by God to be the mother of the most holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Savior. By your power with your most pure daughter and with her divine Son, kindly obtain for us the grace and the favor we now seek. Please secure for us also forgiveness of our past sins, the strength to perform faithfully our daily duties and the help we need to persevere in the love of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

St. Joachim:

Husband of Saint Anne, elderly father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Grandfather of Jesus Christ. Probably well off. Tradition says that while he was away from home, he and Anne each received a message from an angel that she was pregnant. Joachim is mentioned in neither historial or canonical writings. The information we have on Joachim derives mainly from the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James.

Patron of:
Puerto Rico; fathers; grandfathers; grandparents.

Joachim and Anne, how blessed a couple! All creation is indebted to you. For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts: a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of him.

Joachim and Anne, how blessed and spotless a couple! You will be known by the fruit you have borne, as the Lord says: "By their fruits you will know them." The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your daughter. For by the chaste and holy life you led together, you have fashioned a jewel of virginity: she who remained a virgin before, during, and after giving birth. She along for all time would maintain her virginity in mind and soul as well as in body.

Joachim and Anne, how chaste a couple! While leading a devout and holy life in your human nature, you gave birth to a daughter nobler than the angels, whose queen she now is.

-From a sermon by Saint John Damascene.

Info from Patron Saints Index.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Quote Of The Day

When Pope John XXIII was asked, "How many people work at the Vatican?"

His reply was: "About half."

Before You Leave...

...Think about a few things.

Most people who leave the Catholic Church do so because of some bad experience they have had on the local/parish level. Whether it be with a priest, the music at worship, or whatever. One thing they don't realize is that although a parish or a particular priest is a member of the Catholic Church, they are not the ENTIRE Church.

Sure there are false shepherds in the Church. The Church is made of sinners. However, most priests are very holy men. If you have a problem with a particular parish priest that you are unable to reconcile, don't leave the Catholic Church. Go to another parish!

If you don't like the music at your parish, don't leave the Catholic Church. Go to another parish!

If you realize that you don't know alot about the Bible and you think that the Catholic Church is not a Bible Church, keep in mind that in the course of three years we read through the entire Bible. Were you paying attention? If you don't know the Bible, start reading and studying it. Encourage others to do it with you. Yes, your parish should have Bible studies and be teaching the Faith, but if they are not then the laity should take the initiative. That is role of the sensus fidelium!

If you feel that your parish isn't warm or welcoming enough, what are you doing to change that? If you aren't willing to do anything about it, you really have no cause for complaint. And if you feel there is nothing you can do to make your parish more welcoming, find one that is. They do exist. Don't leave the Church because of it. Now, I'mnot saying that a parish shouldn't be warm and welcoming, it should. But is that your sole purpose for going to church? To be a part of a social club? Or is it to worship God and partake in the Eucharist and receive Christ in you so that you may attain the goal of salvation?

Before you leave the Church, ask yourself, "Am I leaving for doctrinal reasons or for purely emotional reasons?"

Most times, people leave due to emotional reasons. And if they leave for doctrinal reasons, it is because they don't fully understand them.

If you leave the Church, you leave the fullness of the Faith!
You leave the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ in the Eucharist!
You leave the Church that Christ established on the rock that is Peter, the Vicar of Christ!
You leave the Church that Christ promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against! Can you say that about any other church? No!

There is no shortage of Catholic parishes. Surely, one of them will be suitable for you. And even if you have to drive an hour away because that parish will keep you in the Church, compared to the one down the street from your house that you are frustrated with, is not an hours drive worth the salvation of your eternal soul?!

Surely the Church is not perfect due to it being composed of mere humans. But as the Mystical Body of Christ it is perfect in that Christ dwells within it. His Spirit is ever present to guide and protect it.

During the Reformation, Martin Luther and Erasmus both wanted to reform the corruption going on in the Church of their time. Luther left and formed his own sect where the fullness of the Truth did not exist nor did Christ reside in the Eucharist.
Erasmus stayed because he understood that the Catholic Church was the unity of all Christians. He knew that where the Catholic Church was, there was Christ!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Mystery Of The Church

"What an astonishing mystery! There is one Father of the universe, one Logos of the universe, and also one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same; there is also one virgin become mother, and I should like to call her 'Church.'"

-St. Clement of Alexandria

The Gates Of Hell Shall Not Prevail Against The Church

When Napoleon wanted to get rid of the Church because he thought it was a threat, he confronted the Archbishop of Paris and said, "I will destroy the Church in a month"

To this the Archbishop replied, "Your excellency, if the bishops and priests have not destroyed the Church in 1800 years I highly doubt you will succeed in a month"

Quote Of The Day

"I once went to a costume party with a tweed jacket and a tie disguised as a Jesuit theologian."

-Fr. Giles Dimock

Conversion Stories

I just finished listening to Jeff Cavins story of coming back to the Catholic Church. WOW! I love conversion stories!

If anyone has heard some great (or even ordinary...really, any conversion is already beyond ordinary) ones (or if you have one yourself) let me know!

I really can't get enough of them. They are really inspiring. So far I have heard Jeff's, Scott Hahn's, Alex Jones', and John Martignoni's.

If you have one email me at dmgarlandjr[at]

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saint Anselm's Prayer To Saint Mary Magdalene

St Mary Magdalene,
you came with springing tears
to the spring of mercy, Christ;
from him your burning thirst was abundantly refreshed;
through him your sins were forgiven;
by him your bitter sorrow was consoled.
My dearest lady,
well you know by your own life
how a sinful soul can be reconciled with its creator,
what counsel a soul in misery needs,
what medicine will restore the sick to health.
It is enough for us to understand, dear friend of God,
to whom were "many sins forgiven, because she loved much".
Most blessed lady,
I who am the most evil and sinful of men
do not recall your sins as a reproach,
but call upon the boundless mercy
by which they were blotted out.
This is my reassurance, so that I do not despair;
this is my longing, so that I shall not perish.
I say this of myself,
miserably cast down into the depths of vice,
bowed down with the weight of crimes,
thrust down by my own hand into a dark prison of sins,
wrapped round with the shadows of darkness.

Therefore, since you are now with the chosen
because you are beloved
and are beloved because you are chosen of God,
I, in my misery, pray to you, in bliss;
in my darkness, I ask for light;
in my sins, redemption;
impure, I ask for purity.
Recall in loving kindness what you used to be,
how much you needed mercy,
and seek for me that same forgiving love
that you received when you were wanting it.
Ask urgently that I may have
the love that pierces the heart; tears that are humble;
desire for the homeland of heaven;
impatience with this earthly exile;
searing repentance; and a dread of torments in eternity.
Turn to my good that ready access
that you once had and still have to the spring of mercy.
Draw me to him where I may wash away my sins;
bring me to him who can slake my thirst;
pour over me those waters
that will make my dry places fresh.
You will not find it hard to gain all you desire
from so loving and so kind a Lord,
who is alive and reigns and is your friend.

For who can tell, beloved and blest of God,
with what kind familiarity and familiar kindness
he himself replied on your behalf
to the calumnies of those who were against you?
How he defended you, when the proud Pharisee was indignant, how he excused you, when your sister complained,
how highly he praised your deed, when Judas begrudged it.
And, more than all this,
what can I say, how can I find words to tell,
about the burning love with which you sought him,
weeping at the sepulchre,
and wept for him in your seeking?
How he came, who can say how or with what kindness,
to comfort you, and made you burn with love still more;
how he hid from you when you wanted to see him,
and showed himself when you did not think to see him;
how he was there all the time you sought him,
and how he sought you when, seeking him, you wept.

But you, most holy Lord,
why do you ask her why she weeps?
Surely you can see;
her heart, the dear life of her soul, is cruelly
O love to be wondered at;
O evil to be shuddered at;
you hung on the wood, pierced by iron nails,
stretched out like a thief for the mockery of wicked men;
and yet, 'Woman,' you say, 'why are you weeping?'
She had not been able to prevent them from killing you,
but at least she longed to keep your body for a while
with ointments lest it decay.
No longer able to speak with you living,
at least she could mourn for you dead.
So, near to death and hating her own life,
she repeats in broken tones the words of life
which she had heard from the living.
And now, besides all this,
even the body which she was glad, in a way, to have kept,
she believes to have gone.
And can you ask her, 'Woman, why are you weeping?'
Had she not reason to weep?
For she had seen with her own eyes
if she could bear to look
what cruel men cruelly did to you;
and now all that was left of you from their hands
she thinks she has lost.
All hope of you has fled,
for now she has not even your lifeless body
to remind her of you.
And someone asks,
'Who are you looking for? Why are you weeping?'
You, her sole joy,
should be the last thus to increase her sorrow.
But you know it all well, and thus you wish it to be,
for only in such broken words and sighs
can she convey a cause of grief as great as hers.
The love you have inspired you do not ignore,
And indeed you know her well,
the gardener, who planted her soul in his garden.
What you plant, I think you also water.
Do you water, I wonder, or do you test her?
In fact, you are both watering and putting to the test.

But now, good Lord, gentle Master,
look upon your faithful servant and disciple,
so lately redeemed by your blood,
and see how she burns with anxiety, desiring you,
searching all round, questioning,
and what she longs for is nowhere found.
Nothing she sees can satisfy her,
since you whom alone she would behold, she sees not.
What then?
How long will my Lord leave his beloved to suffer thus?
Have you put off compassion
now you have put on incorruption?
Did you let go of goodness
when you laid hold of immortality?
Let it not be so, Lord.
You will not despise us mortals
now you have made yourself immortal,
for you made yourself a mortal
in order to give us immortality.

And so it is; for love's sake
he cannot bear her grief for long or go on hiding himself.
For the sweetness of love he shows himself
who would not for the bitterness of tears.
The Lord calls his servant by the name she has often heard
and the servant knows the voice of her own Lord.
I think, or rather I am sure,
that she responded to the gentle tone
with which he was accustomed to call, 'Mary'.
What joy filled that voice, so gentle and full of love.
He could not have put it more simply and clearly:
'I know who you are and what you want;
behold me;
do not weep, behold me;
I am he whom you seek.'
At once the tears are changed;
I do not believe that they stopped at once,
but where once they were wrung
from a heart broken and self-tormenting
they flow now from a heart exulting.
How different is, 'Master!'
from 'If you have taken him away, tell me';
and, 'They have taken away my Lord,
and I do not know where they have laid him,'
has a very different sound from,
'I have seen the Lord, and he has spoken to me.'

But how should I, in misery and without love,
dare to describe the love of God
and the blessed friend of God?
Such a flavour of goodness will make my heart sick
if it has in itself nothing of that same virtue.
But in truth, you who are very truth, you know me well
and can testify that I write this for the love of your love,
my Lord, my most dear Jesus.
I want your love to burn in me as you command
so that I may desire to love you alone
and sacrifice to you a troubled spirit,
'a broken and a contrite heart'.
Give me, 0 Lord, in this exile,
the bread of tears and sorrow
for which I hunger more than for any choice delights.
Hear me, for your love,
and for the dear merits of your beloved Mary,
and your blessed Mother, the greater Mary.
Redeemer, my good Jesus,
do not despise the prayers of one who has sinned against you
but strengthen the efforts of a weakling that loves you.
Shake my heart out of its indolence, Lord,
and in the ardour of your love
bring me to the everlasting sight of your glory
where with the Father and the Holy Spirit
you live and reign, God, for ever. Amen.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Pope Declares Day Of Prayer For Mideast Peace

Jul. 20 ( - Pope Benedict XVI has called for a worldwide day of prayer and penance for peace in the Middle East, to be observed on Sunday, July 23.

In a statement released on July 20 through the Vatican press office, the Holy Father called upon "the pastors and faithful of all the particular churches, and believers of the world, to implore from God the precious gift of peace."

The Pope's statement listed specific petitions to be raised during the day of prayer and penance:
-for an immediate ceasefire,
-for the opening of humanitarian corridors allowing the delivery of humanitarian aid, and
-for reasonable and responsible negotiations to begin to put an end to objective situations of injustice that exist in that region."

Pope Benedict also encouraged relief agencies to provide help to those civilians caught up in the fighting.

The papal statement included a summation of the Holy See's viewpoint on the struggle:

In reality, the Lebanese have the right to see the integrity and sovereignty of their country respected, the Israelis the right to live in peace in their State, and the Palestinians have the right to have their own free and sovereign homeland.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Public Service Announcement

Because, the more you know...

Question Of The Day

Since some fundamentalists say that the KJV is THE inspired and only valid English translation of the Bible, and in Acts when they are looking for a successor to Judas, the KJV says, "Let another his bishopric take," why are they so against bishops and Church hierarchy?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"Sons Of God"

Genesis 6:1-4

1: When men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, 2: the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose. 3: Then the LORD said, "My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for he is flesh, but his days shall be a hundred and twenty years." 4: The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.

A friend of mine from school and I are in the middle of a discussion about who the "sons of God" are in this passage. Some say it refers to fallen angels and others say that it refers to descendants of Seth. The tricky thing is that there are noted Church Fathers on both sides of the debate, with Fathers such as Ambrose, Justin Martyr, and Clement of Alexandria arguing for the fallen angels theory and Fathers such as Augustine, John Chrysostom, and Cyril of Alexandria for the descendants of Seth theory.

Not to mention that the debate has been going on for centuries between rabbis.

At Franciscan University, there is also professors on both sides of the fence with convincing arguments.

So what does everyone out there think, and why?

Your Prayers

Please pray for the priest in Rome who has contracted the bird-flu!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

God Or Mammon

"All bow down before wealth. Wealth is that to which the multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They measure happiness by wealth; and by wealth they measure respectability. . . . It is a homage resulting from a profound faith . . . that with wealth he may do all things. Wealth is one idol of the day and notoriety is a second. . . . Notoriety, or the making of a noise in the world - it may be called "newspaper fame" - has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of veneration."

-John Henry Cardinal Newman

Fr. Dimock

My Theology of the Church class is awesome! Fr. Dimock is a great teacher. He is the kind of professor that makes a three hour class seem like it only lasted a half hour and making you wish the class was longer!

As a Dominican, he never resists taking shots (jokingly of course...) at other orders in the Church. The Franciscans seem to be an easy target (sorry, Frank!).

And in that manner I can't resist reposting this joke:

What is similar about the Jesuit and Dominican Orders?
Well, they were both founded by Spaniards, St. Dominic for the Dominicans, and St. Ignatius of Loyola for the Jesuits. They were also both founded to combat heresy: the Dominicans to fight the Albigensians, and the Jesuits to fight the Protestants.
What is different about the Jesuit and Dominican Orders?
Well, have you met any Albigensians lately?
And to be fair, here's some that make fun of Dominicans:

The Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits were having a big meeting that went well into the middle of the night. Suddenly all the lights went out in the meeting room. The Franciscans immediately took out guitars and sang songs, while the Dominicans began preaching; but the Jesuits went to the basement, found the fuse box and reset the breaker.

A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Trappist were marooned on a desert island. They found a magic lamp, and after some discussion decided to rub it. Lo and behold, a genie appeared and offered them three wishes. They decided it was only fair that they could each have one wish. The Jesuit said he wanted to teach at the world's most famous university, and poof, he was gone! The Dominican wished to preach in the world's largest church, and poof, he was gone! Then the Trappist said, "Gee, I already got my wish!"

A Franciscan and a Dominican were debating about whose order was the greater. After months of arguing, they decided to ask for an answer from God when they died. Years later, they met in heaven and decided to go to the throne of God to resolve their old disagreement. God seemed a bit puzzled about the question and told them he would reply in writing a few days later.
After much deliberation, God sent the following letter:

My beloved children,

Please stop bickering about such trivial matters.

Both of your orders are equally great and good in my eyes.

Sincerely yours,

God, S.J.
Here are a couple of Fr. Dimock's quotes from class:

"A lot of our (the Catholic Church nowadays) music isn't music, it's muzak!"

"The Church is not an individualistic entity. The Church is visible. The Church is not Jesus and Me and to Hell with Thee!"

Oh, and he also looks just like Sir Alec Guinness in the role of Jedi Master Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi!

Colbert Is The Man!

Go here to see Steven Colbert take on the Agnostic author, Bart Ehrman. Scroll down and click on Ehrman's name.

It's great to see Colbert fearlessly defending the Faith on National media!

H/t to Michael Barber.

General Exhortation

UPDATE: I did not mean for my intro to sound like I am saying that my friend is going against Church teaching. That was not my intention. After re-reading it I understand that it could be interpreted that way. My original meaning for the second part of the letter was to defend Catholic Blogs and explain what they are doing. I repeat: In no way am I implying that my friend goes against Church teaching!

Here is a response to an email that a friend sent me after reading my blog. I am posting it because it would generally be my response to all who wish to go against the teachings of the Church.

You say that back in the Middle Ages there wasn't " a clear, defined difference between "sacred" and "secular" music like there is today."

But there IS today, and that is why we need to use the music that was created for the Liturgy IN the Liturgy. Like I have said in my posts, I like Third Day and some of the other songs that are contemporary, but they have no place in the Liturgy. I have said nothing that Cardinal Arinze, (who is the Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship) and Pope Benedict haven't said.

American Folk music is not liturgical music. Drums, electric guitars and other such instruments do not belong in the Liturgy. Cardinal Arinze has stated this as well, and he even mentioned the use of certain instruments that are okay according to certain customs and cultures. The fact is that America has a tradition of using organs and other appropriate instruments for Liturgy. I bet you that the cultures who are using different instruments in other countries are still using sacred hymns though. They are not using contemporary music and especially not H&H!

You keep mentioning that we are a World Wide Church and I agree. That means we have to abide by the Magisterium and it's teachings and specifications for Liturgy. There has been such a misinterpretation of Vatican II that people think they can do whatever they want with the Liturgy. This is not so! The Magisterium has said that they are going to start cracking down on Liturgical abuses and the music of the Liturgy is one of the things they are looking at.

You mention that several blogs that you have seen are wrought in criticism of fellow Catholics. The ones I read are not so much criticizing, but exhorting fellow Catholics to follow the Church's teachings. You can't pick and choose what you are going to follow. If you are a Catholic you must abide by all the Church's teachings or you are not a Catholic. And why would those people even want to call themselves Catholics if their beliefs do not coincide with the Catholic Church's beliefs?

Now, I'm not saying those people should leave the Church. By no means! I am saying that they need to think seriously about the Church and about the authority that Christ has given the Church. They need to realize that the Church didn't make this stuff up. It is continuing in the teachings of Christ. That is what the Church is for. To make sure that the faithful continue to follow Christ's teachings and guard them against false teaching. The people need to also realize that if they reject the Church, they reject Christ! This is a heavy thing! That is why many blogs are calling for our fellow Catholic (and all Christian) brothers and sisters to repent and follow the Lord. I have not seen any hatred in the blogs I have seen other than hatred of false teaching. I don't know what blogs you have looked it.

You asked:
"Why isn't anyone blogging about the poor and homeless intheir hometown? Why isn't anyone blogging about a war that the Churchfinds to be unjust? Why isn't anyone blogging about unfair wages?Why isn't anyone blogging about economic justice? Why isn't anyoneblogging about the death penalty? Why isn't anyone blogging aboutracism? Why have so many of us Catholics forgotten one of the mainpoints of the Gospel? That of service to others?"

I would answer that they have and are! Maybe you haven't looked at the right blogs (and again, I say this without knowing which blogs you have looked at). The things you named are all social justice issues and I agree that they are very important, but they are not the only thing that the Church is about and/or concerned with. In fact, we have seen what happens when social issues are all that people focus on: Liberation Theology, radical-feminism, and at the extreme end an outright rejection of what the Gospel says (I speak here about the movement against the family and the sanctity of life).

Concerning your thoughts:
"It amazes me that you hold Franciscan University in such high esteemwhen it is the "hot spot" for contemporary and charismatic worship.From what I've read and heard, the University supports what I wouldconsider to be much like "protestant worship.""

I admit that the Liturgy on at Franciscan is not how it should be, but I would not call it "protestant worship."

and in response to your concern here:"Finally, and most importantly, I tell you this as a friend and future colleague in ministry. You cannot be judgemental of Church officials or of accepted groups in the Church, and promote a political party ona public forum if you want to work for the Church. You simply cannotmake statements saying that a Cardinal should not be a Cardinal orattack different groups, or be judgemental of most Catholics outthere. "

I as a Catholic Christian will always speak the Truth and proclaim the Gospel. If a Cardinal (such as Cardinal Mahoney or other Cardinals) or priests or laity, teach false teachings it is our Christian duty to speak out against such things! We need to not be afraid to proclaim Christ from every corner and every media we can! Anything less would be disobeying our Christian duty.

I'd also like to point out that I have never promoted a political party on my blog. I however, will not hesitate to criticize politicians who go against Catholic Christian teaching and call themselves Catholic (such as Kerry) nor will I hesitate to praise politicians who support Catholic teachings (such as Bush if he signs the veto tomorrow on the stem cell bill).

You constantly tell me that there are different theologies and that there are many different views in the Church. I agree that there are many different theologies, but that doesn't make them all correct. That's the thing! If a theology doesn't agree with Christ's teachings, Apostolic teachings, and the Church's teachings then the theology is wrong. It is that simple. That is how you judge what is right or wrong in the Church. Pluriform truth is wrong and the Church will never allow it. Two opposite things cannot both be true. It is one of the first laws of metaphysics, the law of non-contradiction.

I appreciate your concern, I really do, but I will always stand by the Church's teachings because they are the teachings of Christ.

Many Blessings,

Monday, July 17, 2006


Today, the last of my Summer classes begins; Theology of the Church! It is taught by a Dominican (!) named Fr. Giles Dimock. He is supposed to be great.

And just to declare once more....

I Love Being Catholic!!!


I Love Being A Catholic Theology Student!!!'s everyone else doing?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

More Silliness

5 Things I've Learned From Monty Python:

1) How to defend myself against a banana...and other various fruits.

2) How to tell if a woman is a witch or if she's just really a duck.

3) Philosophers are most always drunk!

4) Norwegian Blues like to pine for the fjords.

5) How to use a Holy Hand-Grenade.

Whoever is a fan of Monty Python and wants to be tagged, consider yourself tagged!

Quote Of The Day

"Prayer is the oxygen of the soul!"

-Fr. Joseph Johnson

Friday, July 14, 2006

5 Silly Things About Me

The American Papist has tagged me for "5 Silly Things about Me."
It's taken awhile to get to it due to school, but here goes:

1. I used to work at Universal Studios as Yogi Bear, George Jetson, Popeye, Toni Taponi (from An American Tail), and Beetle Bailey.

2. I frequently sing the theme song to Fraggle Rock...even when no one is around.

3. I also know all the words to the songs in Aladdin....and also almost every other Disney movie.

4. I love Veggie Tales....especially silly songs with Larry!

5. I aspire to one day work for the Ministry of Silly Walks.

I hereby tag Frank, Antonia, Moneybags, Dymphna's Well, Cathy, and dilexitprior.

More Exegesis

This was my exegesis for Luke's Agony in the Garden for my final exam.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

John Martignoni Answers Letters From His Mail Bag

Hello. I've recently found your radio program and listen in the mornings - about a week now. I have been raised in the Roman Catholic Church, but have been away from it since I was 19 yrs old (now 54 yrs old). I've been searching for a spiritual home for 15 yrs. and most recently a fundamental, bible-believing church - 3 yrs now. I am questioning where I belong and re-thinking Catholicism because of your radio show and this website. I went to mass a few weeks ago, and I can't help but feel like there is no heartfelt participation by the congregation. It feels like the worship singing is done by the "singer" up front and not very much singing from the people. I almost want to come back to my upbringing, but not sure if I can get past this stumbling block. I have seen and felt the enthusiasm in my bible church and feel like this is something I would have to give up to come back to Catholicism. Can you help me with this? More than anything, I want sincerity in my worship. Am I being too judgemental of the mass attendees? Thanks for any advice you can give me.


Dear Sally,

I know exactly what you're talking about, but my question to you is: Which is more important, the way other people react to the truth, or the truth itself? Are there Catholics who just go through the motions at Mass and who, in general, just go through the motions of being Christian? Absolutely...way too many in fact. Are there priests, and even some bishops, who don't properly instruct their people and give bland and fairly meaningless homilies? Absolutely. Are there parishes where the singing (or lack thereof) leaves a whole lot to be desired? Absolutely.

But, again, do you allow those who don't appreciate the priceless treasure they have right in front of them to keep you away from that treasure? Would you have allowed the reactions of the twelve apostles on Holy Thursday to keep you away from Christ? Afterall, one of them betrayed Him and 10 of the other 11 abandoned Him. Would you have said, "Well, if that's how those closest to Him react, then I don't want to have anything to do with Him?" Should the sincerity of worship be the determining factor in what you believe to be true? Mormons worship very sincerely, and they have some incredible singing. Muslims are very sincere in their worship...they stop, wherever they are, five times a day to hit their knees and pray. The trouble is, sincerity has nothing to do with determining truth.

Also, you need to consider that Catholics, in general, are not as emotional in their worship service as our Protestants. Why not? Because we don't need to be. Now, that's not to say that we shouldn't have good singing and more participation in the singing and things like that, but our worship service is not about making us feel good, it's about worshipping God. The God Who is physically present in the Eucharist in a way that He is not present in any other church. And, while it is possible that at any particular parish there is a lack of "heartfelt participation," it is also possible that the participation which on the surface doesn't appear to be heartfelt, is actually much more heartfelt and much more intimate than at other simply isn't expressed in song or such.

Catholics have a lot we can learn from our Protestant brothers and sisters...particularly in the areas of fellowshipping, Bible reading, youth ministry, singing, etc. That's not to say that there isn't good singing or good youth groups or Bible studies or fellowshipping in the Catholic Church, there is. But, on average, Protestant churches do such things better. However, we have something that no other church has...the fullness of the truth as given to us by Jesus Christ. We have the Eucharist. We have the other Sacraments. We have the Priesthood. We have the Pope and the Magisterium. We have the Communion of Saints. And so much more. Do we often fail to appreciate all that we have...yes, unfortunately. But, that shouldn't be enough to keep someone who knows the truth away from the truth.

I would simply say to keep attending Mass, but do some independent study on the Mass. Know what's going on and why. If you would like, I could suggest some resources. And keep praying that Christ show you the truth and ask Him to help you get past this particular stumbling block. And, don't be surprised if, once you get past this stumbling block, others get thrown in your way.

Well, I hope that helps. If I can do anything else, please let me know.

God bless!

John Martignoni

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Saint Of The Day: Saint Benedict

When the Roman Empire fell apart, consumed by dilapidation and vices, and when the Barbarians tore into its provinces, this man who (according to Tertullian) has been called the last of the great Romans, who combined what was Roman with the Gospel, drew from these two sources the help and the strength to powerfully unite the peoples of Europe under the banner and authority of Christ. For legions of Benedictine monks spread from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, from the Atlantic to the plains of Poland, soothing the rebellious and savage nations by means of the cross, books and the plow.

Pray and work. Does not this Benedictine motto contain in its majestic brevity the main law and rule of life of humankind? Praying is a divine precept; working is also one. We must fulfill the one and the other for the glory of God and the perfection of our minds and bodies. Now [very soon after the Second World War], Europe is groaning from calamities and destitution. In the midst of this storm that caused Europe to fall into disaster and misfortune, it is not inappropriate or useless to remember that powerful interior forces, a long and excellent civilization were established in Europe as if built on extremely solid foundations.

-Pius XII, Pope from 1939 to 1958 Homily in Saint-Paul-outside-the-Walls, September 18, 1947.

Monday, July 10, 2006

I Love Exegesis!

Here is an exegesis paper I did on John 19:8-16a for my Principles Of Biblical Studies II class.

I got a 97 on it!

Quote Of The Day

"I watched as people would receive [communion] and go right on out the door- I guess they wanted to be the first out of the parking lot. Can you imagine going to dinner somewhere and not even thanking the host who had provided the meal? And yet, supposedly, these people were receiving the Lord of the universe, the God-man who had died to save them! And they had no time to give him thanks for this incredible gift! Scott called this the Judas Shuffle- receive and leave."

-Kimberly Hahn in Rome Sweet Home.

New Class

Today I have started a new summer class; Christian Moral Principles.
It looks to be a great one! We will be reading:
Josef Pieper's Four Cardinal Virtues and Faith, Hope, Love.
John Paul the Great's Gospel of Life, Keeping the Lord's day holy, Letter to the Family, and On the hundredth anniversary of Rerum Novarum.
Ratzinger, Von Balthasar, and Schurman's Principles of Christian Morality.

More details to come as the class progresses...

Proof That The Anglican Communion Has No Intention To Restore Unity With Rome...

Anglican Synod approves women bishops.

Friday, July 07, 2006

An Interview With Cardinal Zen

Here is a good interview with Cardinal Zen from the Tablet.

May we all keep the good Cardinal, Chinese Catholics, and all Christians who are oppressed in our prayers.

Minute Meditations From The Popes

You have been called to liberty, brothers and sisters; only do not use liberty as an occasion for sensuality.
-Gal 5:13

Liberty and authority are not opposing terms, but values that complement each other.
Their mutual cooperation fosters growth of the community and of the capacities for initiative and enrichment of individual values.
-Pope Paul VI

Heavenly Father, teach me to cherish the freedom that is Your gift, a freedom that is not afraid to commit itself to love or to obey authority.

Love Your Enemies

It is mercy I desireIn loving your enemy, you want him to be your brother. You do not love in him what he is, but what you want him to be. Let us imagine some oak wood that has not been carved. A capabable craftsman sees this wood that has been cut in the forest; he likes the wood.
I do not know what he wants to make out of it, but the artist does not love this wood so that it might remain as it is. His art lets him see what the wood can become. He does not love the rough wood; he loves what he will make of it, not the rough wood.

That is how God loved us when we were sinners. For he said: People who are in good health do not need a doctor; sick people do. Did he love us sinners so that we might remain sinners? The craftsman saw us like a piece of rough wood coming from the forest, and what he had in mind was the work he would draw from there, not the wood from the forest.

It is the same with you: you see your enemy who opposes you, who overwhelms you with scathing words, who is harsh in his insults, who pursues you with his hatred. But you are attentive to the fact that he is a human being. You see everything that this person did against you, and you see in him that he was created by God. What he is as a human being is Gods work; the hatred he bears towards you is his own work. And what do you say to yourself? Lord, be kind to him, forgive his sins, inspire him with fear of you, change him. In this person, you do not love what he is, but what you want him to be. Thus, when you love your enemy, you love a brother.

-Saint Augustine of Hippo

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Liturgy Is No Time For Popular Music

The following is an interview with Francis Cardinal Arinze found in the summer 2006 issue of Sacred Music, Vol. 133 No.2:

The Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship spoke to Inside the Vatican about sacred music, November 2005:

ITV: In Sacrosanctum concilium (Vatican II's Decree on the Liturgy), it indicated at Mass, pride of place must be given to Gregorian chant. But the reality is that few Catholics under the age of 50 would ever have heard a Te Deum sung in their parish church. Liturgical music today is largely guitars and tambourines, etc. Is this an appropriate form of musical expression for divine worship?

Arinze: For music in the liturgy, we should start by saying that Gregorian music is the Church's precious heritage. It should stay. It should not be banished. If therefore in a particular diocese or country, no one hears Gregorian music anymore, then somebody has made a mistake somewhere.

But, the Church is not saying that everything should be Gregorian music. There is room for music which respects that language, that culture, that people. There is room for that too, and the present books say that is a matter for the Bishops Conference, because it generally goes beyond the boundaries of one diocese.

The ideal thing is that the bishops would have a Liturgical Music Comission which looks at the wording and the music of the hymns. And when the commission is satisfied, judgement is brought to the bishops for approval, in the name of the rest of the conference.

But not individuals just composing anything and singing it in church. This is not right at all. No matter how talented the individual is. That brings us to the question of the instrument to be used. The local church should be conscious that church worship is not really the same as what we sing in a bar, or what we sing in a convention for youth. Therefore it should influence the type of instrument used, the type of music used.

I will not now pronounce and say never guitar. That would be rather severe. But much of guitar music may not be suitable at all for the Mass. Yet, it is possible to think of some guitar music that would be suitable, not as the ordinary one we get every time, the visit of a special group, etc.

The judgement would be left to the bishops o the area. It is wiser that way. Also, because there are other instruments in many countries which are not used in Italy or in Ireland, for instance.

But music should nourish faith, burst from our faith and should lead back to the faith. It should be a prayer. Entertainment is quite another matter. We have the parish hall for that, and the theater. People don't come to Mass in order to be entertained. They come to Mass to adore God, to thank him, to ask pardon for sins, and to ask for other things that they need. Those are the reasons for Mass. When they want entertainment, they know where to go: Parish hall, theater, presuming that their entertainment is acceptable from a moral theological point of view.

*Emphasis added.