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Date: Sunday, 08 Jun 2014 23:47


Highly recommended!

Q&A with Patrick Madrid

Q. What inspired you to write Why Be Catholic?
It was more a matter of “who” than “what.” Over the last 30 years or so, I have encountered countless people who have posed this very question. Some couldn't imagine anything more ridiculous or objectionable than the Catholic Church, and others who were genuinely interested in becoming Catholic sought answers and information. I’m convinced that, “Why be Catholic?” is a very important question, whether it comes from a scoffer or from a seeker. I wrote this book so I could present to the reader, regardless of his or her feelings about the Catholic Church, what I believe to be the compelling and convincing answers. These reasons can change one’s life for the better if they are honestly considered and explored.

Q. What do you love most about being Catholic?

I love being Catholic the way Noah loved being on the Ark when the flood came. Like the Ark, the Catholic Church is not perfect. It’s not tidy, clean, and odor-free. It has plenty of problems and challenges and unruly passengers, but it’s still the “ark of salvation” given to us by God and I love that I get to be on board. I love the beauty of the Catholic Church’s teachings, its Liturgy, art, architecture, music, and wisdom. I love the Catholic Church because it is “ever ancient, ever new.” I love tracing its existence back 2000 years to Jesus Christ and the Apostles, and I get to be part of that. I love being Catholic because of its richness and diversity. It’s a big hospital for sick people – sinners like you and me. I love being Catholic because I can have the most personal relationship with Jesus Christ possible, by receiving Him, body, blood, soul, and divinity, in the Holy Eucharist.

Q. How did you become a Catholic apologist? What is the most rewarding part of your job? What is the most challenging?
Although born-&-raised Catholic (I never left the Church or even had the slightest doubt about whether I should be Catholic), I did nevertheless experience a profound re-conversion or re-commitment to Jesus when I was in my mid-20s. As I was praying to God to show me what to do with my life, the door to the world of apologetics opened unexpectedly. God answered my prayers by opening that door to work at Catholic Answers, back in early 1988. I’ve never looked back, always grateful for this wonderful opportunity to serve in this part of the Lord’s vineyard. I think the most rewarding aspect of the work I’ve been privileged to do is knowing that it helps others draw closer to God and the things of God. Not because of me, but because the truth, as Jesus promised, will set us free. As for challenges, to be frank, I really don’t see any. Sure, the work sometimes involves routine inconveniences that come with traveling, but that’s nothing compared to the hardships Saint Paul endured, including beatings, stoning, getting shipwrecked, starved, etc. (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). That puts it all into perspective for me.

Q. In Why Be Catholic you write that “being Catholic does not require that I fully comprehend every truth God proposes to me.” Could you elaborate on that point?
Well, for example, I don’t fully comprehend what it means to have a soul. I know I have one, I know it’s in my body. I can think, ponder, remember, be self-reflective, self-aware, and love. But how exactly that all happens in me, and how my soul and body work together as a single unit, I don’t fully comprehend. No one does. But we know these things are true even if we can’t understand all their complex realities. That is the nature of truth. It’s not necessary to first understand every single facet of a truth before he will deign to accept it. These divine mysteries revealed by God are deep and far more profound than the fact that I have a soul. We should never forget that a mystery is not something we can know nothing about, it is something we cannot know everything about.

Q. Who should read this book?
I wrote Why Be Catholic? for two particular audiences: the first is the person who is not Catholic, may not know much about the Catholic Church and, heck, may not even like the Catholic Church. I want to take that reader gently by the arm and show him what the stained glass windows look like from the inside, the way they were meant to be seen, with the sunlight streaming through them so that their meaning and beauty can be understood and appreciated.
The second audience, naturally, is Catholics, whether they are firm in their faith or wavering, plagued with many doubts and questions. For them, I pray that Why Be Catholic? will serve as a gentle and comforting reminder that they are in the right place. They are on the Ark and, no matter how turbulent the ride may get or how jostling the conditions on board might be, if they remain they will make it through the flood.


"The Catholic Church is the last place most people would expect to find their intellectual and spiritual home, so they never investigate it. Why should they? How could the Church—with its rules, rigidity, and reputation—possibly be where true happiness is found? How could it, appreciated for its pageantry but disdained for its teachings, have anything to offer the modern world in general or them in particular? It’s this very improbability that Patrick Madrid cuts through in showing that only the Catholic faith can satisfy everyone’s deepest longings." -Karl Keating, President, Catholic Answers

"If this book had been available when I was still a Protestant, I may have been convinced to become Catholic without reading any further.  It’s a great resource for dispelling much of the misinformation and ignorance that abounds about the Church and also a reminder to us Catholics as to how blessed we truly are." -Gail Buckley, Founder & President, Catholic Scripture Study International

"This book is as simple and clear as its title.  In ten chapters, master apologist Madrid explains and explores ten good reasons to be Catholic--ten good, true and beautiful things the Church offers us.  Each is explained in a way almost impossible to misunderstand, and enlivened by fascinating actual incidents from the author's life.  Full of historical facts and commonsense arguments for Catholic teachings, yet not intimidatingly 'scholarly,' this is a perfect book for inquirers or beginners." 
~Dr. Peter Kreeft, author of Handbook of Christian Apologetics"Patrick Madrid's latest book goes to the heart of the matter and answers the question 'Why Be Catholic?'  In a world that has a love hate relationship with religion, and especially all things Catholic, Mr. Madrid bravely, clearly, and convincingly provides the answer to that question, helping every Catholic understand the basics of the faith but also gives the Church a reason to celebrate it!" 
~Fr. Leo E. Patalinghug, founder of GraceBeforeMeals.com

"To be Catholic is to be joyously human and alive; ready to both party and to feel deeply the grief of this world.  It is to know deep common sense and deep mystery; to weep at the tomb of Lazarus and to shout in triumph over death at the tomb of Jesus.  Patrick Madrid gets this and is one of the best guides to the Faith writing in English." 
~Mark P. Shea, author of The Heart of Catholic Prayer"Our Sacraments, Church history, our Traditions, the Saints; after reading this beautiful examination of our faith, the question that comes to mind for me is not why be Catholic but why would you be anything but Catholic? Patrick's latest book will no doubt be a tool to bring fallen away Catholics back into the fold and help attract others to the one, holy, apostolic faith as well." 
~Teresa Tomeo, author of God's Bucket List
“Patrick Madrid has done it again.  With wit, humility, and nearly three decades of experience, Madrid lovingly responds to the top misconceptions about Catholicism, making it simple for each of us to swing wide the gates in welcoming people into the Catholic Church.” 
~Greg Willits, author of The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid

More About the Author


PATRICK MADRID is a life-long Catholic. He has authored or edited 16 books on Catholic themes, including Search and Rescue, Where Is That in the Bible, and the acclaimed Surprised by Truth series.

In the fall of 2012, he will release four new books with four different publishers: Our Sunday Visitor, Servant Books, Saint Benedict Press, and Random House.

Since 1996, Patrick has published Envoy Magazine, and he also serves as the director of the Envoy Institute, which is dedicated to teaching Catholics how to explain their Faith more intelligently, defend it more charitably, and share it more effectively.

Commenting publicly on the effectiveness of Patrick's approach to doing apologetics, Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop Emeritus of New York, said, "How do you bring a friend or relative back into the Church? First you pray. Then, you follow Patrick Madrid's advice in [his book] Search and Rescue."

Prior to launching the Envoy apostolate, Patrick worked at Catholic Answers for eight years (1988 to 1996), where he served as vice president.

A veteran of a dozen formal, public debates with Protestant ministers, Mormon leaders, and other non-Catholic spokesmen, he has presented over 2000 seminars on Catholic themes, in English and Spanish, at parishes, universities, and conferences across the U.S. and around the world.

Patrick hosts the Thursday edition of EWTN's "Open Line" radio broadcast (3-5 p.m. ET), heard on approximately 195 AM & FM stations across the country, as well as on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 130 and globally via shortwave.

Patrick earned a bachelor of science degree in business at the University of Phoenix, as well as a B.Phil. in philosophy and an M.A. in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum (Columbus, OH).

He teaches theology and apologetics as an adjunct professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

His website is www.patrickmadrid.com.
Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Books, Patrick Madrid"
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Date: Tuesday, 03 Jun 2014 13:16

"Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the Ark of the Covenant, the place where the glory of God dwells. She is 'the dwelling of God [...] with men.'"
CCC# 2676

The Ark of the Covenant
The Virgin Mary
The Ark of the New Covenant
God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and then indwelled the Ark. The Ark became the dwelling place of the presence of God [Exodus 40:34-35] God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and then indwelled Mary. At that time Mary's womb became the dwelling place of the presence of God [Luke 1:35].
The Ark contained 
• the Ten Commandments (the words of God in stone)
•  a pot of manna
•  Aaron's rod that came back to life
[Deuteronomy 10:3-5; Hebrews 9:4]
The womb of the Virgin contained Jesus:  •  the living Word of God enfleshed
• the living bread from heaven
•  "the Branch" (Messianic title) who would die but come back to life
[Luke 1:35]
The Ark traveled to the hill country of Judah to rest in the house of Obed-edom [2 Samuel 6:1-11] Mary traveled to the hill country of Judah (Judea) to the home of Elizabeth [Luke 1:39]
Dressed in a priestly ephod, King David approached the Ark and danced and leapt for joy [2 Samuel 6:14] John the Baptist, son of a priest who would himself becomes a priest, leapt for joy in Elizabeth's womb at the approach of Mary [Luke 1:43]
David shouted for joy in the presence of God and the holy Ark [2 Samuel 6:15] Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry of joy in the presence God within Mary [Luke 1:42]
David asked, "How is it that the Ark of the Lord comes to me?" [2 Samuel 6:9] Elizabeth asks, "Why is this granted unto me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" [Luke 1:43]
The Ark remained in the house of Obed-edom for 3 months [2 Samuel 6:11] Mary remained in the house of her cousin Elizabeth for 3 months [Luke 1:56].
The house of Obed-edom was blessed by the presence of the Ark [2 Samuel 6:11] The word "blessed" is used 3 times in Luke 1:39-45 concerning Mary at Elizabeth's house.
The Ark returned to its sanctuary and eventually ends up in Jerusalem where the presence and glory of God is revealed in the newly built Temple [2 Samuel 6:12; 1 Kings 8:9-11] Mary returned home from visiting Elizabeth and eventually comes to Jerusalem, where she presents God the Son in the Temple [Luke 1:56; 2:21-22]
God made Aaron's rod (which would be kept in the Ark) return to life and budded to prove he was the legitimate High Priest [Numbers 17:8]. God would resurrect His Son, who had become enfleshed in Mary's womb and born to bring salvation to all mankind, to prove He is the eternal High Priest [Hebrews 4:14].
When the Ark was outside the Holy of Holies [when it was being transported] it was to be covered with a blue veil [Numbers 4:4-6] In Mary's appearances outside of heaven visionaries testify that she wears a blue veil.
In Revelation 11:19 John sees the Ark of the Covenant in heaven [this is the last verse of chapter 11] In Revelation 12:1 John sees Mary in heaven. It is the same vision Juan Diego saw of Mary in 1531 — the Woman clothed with the sun and standing on the moon.

Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)"
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Date: Thursday, 08 May 2014 18:39
In Catholic Angelology, the Seraphim & Cherubim are the first two highest order of a nine-fold celestial hierarchy of beings we so commonly call collectively "the Angels". 

Known as the "multi-winged ones", they are the models of perfect reverence. Before the intimacy of the consecration in the Sanctus we should invoke a unity with them and entering an acknowledgement we are before the throne of Calvary's summit to whom our kneels are bending.
  •  Revelation 4:8
    Each of the four living creatures had six wings and were covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,' who was, and is, and is to come."

  • Isaiah 6:2 
    "Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory."

  •  Ezekiel 1:11
    Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body.

  •  Exodus 25:19 
    "Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends. 20"The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat.
    Mercy Seat

Thank you to David Crawford for this info.  God bless my Facebook Friends!
Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Angelology, FB"
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Date: Monday, 05 May 2014 23:24
From the first apology in defense of the Christians by:
~Saint Justin, martyr

The Celebration of the Eucharist

No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.

We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Saviour became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.

The apostles, in their recollections, which are called gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do. They tell us that he took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me. This is my body. In the same way he took the cup, he gave thanks and said: This is my blood. The Lord gave this command to them alone. Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things. The rich among us help the poor and we are always united. For all that we receive we praise the Creator of the universe through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.

On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts. The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings. Then we all stand up together and pray.

On the conclusion of our prayer, bread and wine and water are brought forward. The president offers prayers and gives thanks to the best of his ability, and the people give assent by saying, “Amen.” The Eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and the deacons take it to those who are absent.
The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.

We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our Savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration.
Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Early Church Fathers, Eucharist, Saints"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 15:44
You just never know. . . . but that doesn't take away one single bit of the charity that is shared.

@ St. Francis High School
     Math Teacher, Jim O'Conner

Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Charity, Video Clip"
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Date: Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 23:42


Here are a few steps — in no particular order — that can help us draw closer to God.

Archbishop of Philadelphia
Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. CAP.

Over the years I've heard from many good people who want a closer relationship with God.  But they're stymied by what they perceive as God's silence.  What they often mean, without knowing it, is that they'd like God to do something dramatic in their lives; something with a hint of Mt. Sinai that proves his credentials.

But God typically doesn't work that way.  He's not in the theater business.  God wants to be loved and even in a sense "courted" — which means that we can't be passive partners in the relationship.  We need to pursue God as we would the persons we love.
So here are a few steps — in no particular order — that can help us draw closer to God.

First, start by listening to him.  Faith isn't a 12-step action program.  Nor is it an algebra problem that needs to be "solved."  It's a love affair.  As with a spouse, the most important thing we can do is to be present and listen.  This requires the investment of time and focus.  If a spirit of impatience or pretending to listen doesn't work with your spouse, why would it work with God?

Second, cultivate silence.  We can't listen when our world is filled with noise and toys.  C.S. Lewis often said that noise is the music of hell.  Our toys — those things we choose to distract us — keep us diverted from focusing on the main questions of life:  Why are we here?  What does my life mean?  Is there a God, and if so, who is he, and what does he ask of me?

Third, seek humility.  Humility is to the spirit what material poverty is to the
senses:  the great purifier.  Humility is the beginning of sanity.  We can't really see — much less love — anyone or anything else when the self is in the way.  When we finally, really believe in our own sinfulness and unimportance, many other things become possible:  repentance; mercy, patience, forgiveness of others.  These virtues are the foundation stones of that other great Christian virtue:  justice.  No justice is ever possible in a spider's web of mutual anger, recrimination and hurt pride.

Fourth, cultivate honesty.  Complete honesty is only possible for a humble person.  The reason is simple.  The most painful but important honesty is telling the truth to ourselves about our own motives and our own actions.  The reason honesty is such a powerful magnet is because it's so rare.
Modern life is too often built on the marketing of half-truths and lies about who we are and what we deserve.  Many of the lies are well-intentioned and not even very harmful — but they're still lies.  Scripture praises the honest woman and man because they're like clean air in a room full of smoke.  Honesty allows the mind to breathe and think clearly.

Fifth, seek to be holy.  Holy does not mean nice or even good, although truly holy people are always good and often — though not always — nice.  Holiness means "other than."  It's what Scripture means when it tells us to be "in the world, but not of the world."  And this doesn't just miraculously happen.  We need to choose and seek holiness.

God's ways are not our ways.  Holiness is the habit of seeking to conform all of our thoughts and actions to God's ways.  There's no cookie-cutter model of holiness, just as piety can't be reduced to one particular kind of prayer or posture.  What's important is to love the world because God loves it and sent his Son to redeem it, but not to be captured by its habits and values, which are not godly.

Sixth, pray.  Prayer is more than just that portion of the day when we advise
God about what we need and what he should do.  Real prayer is much closer to listening, and it's intimately tied to obedience.  God certainly wants to hear what we need and love and fear, because these things are part of our daily lives, and he loves us.  But if we're doing the talking, we can't listen.  Note too, that we can't really pray without humility.  Why?  Because prayer requires us to lift up who we are and everything we experience and possess to God.  Pride is too heavy to lift.

Seventh, read.  Scripture is the living Word of God.  When we read God's Word, we encounter God himself.  But there's more:  J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Georges Bernanos and so many others — these were deeply intelligent and powerful writers whose work nourishes the Christian mind and soul, while also inspiring the imagination.  Reading also serves another, simpler purpose:  It shuts out the noise that distracts us from fertile reflection.  We can't read The Screwtape Letters and take network television seriously at the same time.  And that's a very good thing.
God wants to be loved and even in a sense "courted" — which means that we can't be passive partners in the relationship.  We need to pursue God as we would the persons we love.
 By the way, if you do nothing else in 2014, read Tolkien's wonderful short story, Leaf by Niggle.  It will take you less than an hour, but it will stay with you for a lifetime.  And then read C.S. Lewis' great religious science-fiction trilogyOut of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength.  You'll never look at our world in quite the same way again.

Eighth, believe and act.  Nobody "earns" faith.  It's a free gift from God.  But we do need to be willing and ready to receive it.  We can discipline ourselves to be prepared.   If we sincerely seek truth; if we desire things greater than this life has to offer; and if we leave our hearts open to the possibility of God — then one day we will believe, just as when we choose to love someone more deeply, and turn our hearts sincerely to the task, then sooner or later we usually will.
Feelings are fickle.  They're often misleading.  They're not the substance of our faith.  We need to be grateful for our emotions as God's gifts, but we also need to judge them in the light of common sense.  Falling in love is only the first taste of love.  Real love is both more beautiful and more demanding than the early days of a romance.
In like manner, a dramatic "road to Damascus" style conversion doesn't happen to most people, and not even St. Paul stayed on the road very long.  Why?  Because in revealing himself to Paul, Jesus immediately gave him something to do.  We know and more deeply love Jesus Christ by doing what he tells us to do.
In the real world, feelings that endure follow actions that have substance.  The more sincere we are in our discipleship, the closer we will come to Jesus Christ.  This is why the Emmaus disciples only recognized Jesus in "the breaking of the bread."  Only in acting in and on our faith, does our faith become fully real.

Ninth, nobody makes it to heaven alone.  We all need friendship and community.   A friend of mine who's been married more than 40 years likes to say that the heart of a good marriage is friendship.  Every successful marriage is finally about a deep and particular kind of friendship that involves honesty, intimacy, fidelity, mutual sacrifice, hope and shared beliefs.
Every successful marriage is also a form of community.  Even Jesus needed these two things:  friendship and community.  The Apostles were not simply Christ's followers; they were also his brothers and friends, people who knew and supported him in an intimate way.  All of us as Christians need the same two things.  It doesn't matter whether we're a religious, layperson, deacon or priest, single or married.  Friends are vital.  Community is vital.  Our friends both express and shape who we are.  Good friends sustain us.  Bad friends undermine us.  And that's why they're so decisive to the success or failure of a Christian life.

Tenth and finally, nothing is more powerful than the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist in leading us to the God we seek.  God makes himself available to us every week in the confessional, and every day in the sacrifice of the Mass.  It makes little sense to talk about the "silence of God" when our churches are made silent by our own absence and indifference.  We're the ones with the cold hearts — not God.
He's never outdone in his generosity.  He waits for us in the quiet of the tabernacle.  And he loves us and wants to be loved wholeheartedly in return.
If we're willing to give that love, these steps will lead us to him.

The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. "Ten ways to deepen our relationship with God." CatholicPhilly.com (February 12, 2014).
Reprinted with permission of The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.


The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. is the ninth and current Archbishop of Philadelphia, serving since his installation on September 8, 2011. He previously served as Archbishop of Denver (1997-2011) and Bishop of Rapid City (1988-1997). As member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe, Archbishop Chaput is the second Native American to be ordained bishop in the United States, and the first Native American archbishop. He is the author of the e-book, A Heart on Fire: Catholic Witness and the Next America, as well as Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life, and Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics.
Copyright © 2014 Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. 

Source: http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/Interiorlife/il0142.htm
Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Chaput, Lists"
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Date: Monday, 24 Mar 2014 13:50

A wonderful article by Kathy Schiffer 

Contemporary artist John Collier tells the story of the Annunciation in a fresh way in this painting, which can be found in the narthex of St. Gabriel Catholic Church in McKinney, Texas.

In Collier’s “Annunciation,” Mary is a young schoolgirl dressed in blue and white.  When the angel Gabriel comes to her, she is reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah, chapter 7 verse 14, where the prophet proclaims the sign that God will give:  “The virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.”

Some of the traditional elements can be found in the painting:  The lilies are a recognizable symbol of Mary’s purity.  The intact glass pane next to the door typifies Mary’s perpetual virginity.  And look closely:  A dove, representing the Holy Spirit, rests on a nearby house—not presuming Mary’s response but awaiting it.
Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "FB, Texas, The Annunciation"
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Date: Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014 23:52
I. Principles of Reason
1) The Principle of Complete Explanation
(Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle) The best opinion or theory is the one that explains the most data.

2) The Principle of Noncontradiction
(Plato and Aristotle) Valid opinions or theories have no internal contradictions

3) The Principle of Objective Evidence
(Plato and Aristotle) Nonarbitrary opinions or theories are based upon publicly verifiable evidence

II. Principles of Ethics

4) The Principle of Nonmaleficence (Jesus, Moses, and worldwide religious traditions) Aviod unnecessary harms; if a harm is unavoidable, minimize it. Silver Rule: Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you.

5) The Principle of Consistent Ends and Means
(Saint Augustine) The end does not justify the means.

6) The Principle of Full Human Potential
(Las Casas) Every human being (or group of human beings) deserves to be valued according to the full level of human development, not according to the level of development currently achieved.

III. Principles of Justice and Natural Rights

7) The Principle of Natural Rights
(Suarez, Locke, Jefferson, and Paine) All human beings possess in themselves (by virtue of their existence alone) the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property ownership; no government gives these rights, and no government can take them away.

8) The Principle of the Fundamentality of Rights
(Suarez, Locke, and Jefferson) The more fundamental right is the one which is necessary for the possibility of the other; where there is conflict, we should resolve in favor of the more fundamental right.

9) The Principle of the Limits to Freedom
(Locke and Montesquieu) One person’s (or group’s) freedoms cannot impose undue burdens upon other persons (or groups).

IV. Fundamental Principle of Identity and Culture

10) The Principle of Beneficence
(Jesus) Aim at optimal contribution to others and society. The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Philosophy"
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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 21:20
My son was recently asked to write about a person that he considers to be his hero. This is who he wrote about:
Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río (March 28, 1913 – February 10, 1928) was a young Mexican Cristero who was put to death by government officials because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith. He has been declared a martyr and was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on November 20, 2005.  ...At times they stopped him and said, 'If you shout,
Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río (March 28, 1913 – February 10, 1928) was a young Mexican Cristero who was put to death by government officials because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith. He has been declared a martyr and was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on November 20, 2005.

. . . . At times they stopped him and said, 'If you shout, "Death to Christ the King" we will spare your life.' José would only shout, 'I will never give in. Viva Cristo Rey!'". . . .  Moments before his death, the boy drew a cross in the dirt and kissed it.
Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Personal Journey, Saints"
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Date: Tuesday, 04 Feb 2014 18:08
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Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Patrick Madrid, Video Clip"
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Date: Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 12:31
As Catholics, we all find ourselves in situations where we are the only Christians in a group of people.  It may be in the workplace, at school, the family you marry into, a group of friends or simply a random gathering. I believe it is our perspective that matters most when we find ourselves in these situations. Here are three points that have helped me.

1) You are not entitled to a Christ-loving home, workplace, environment, or country.

We are not owed an easy walk with God.
A believer in a room of unbelievers is an opportunity for miracles. The chances to love others with God’s love are endless. The opportunities to share the Gospel are innumerable, whether by your words or by your actions. Remember,
"preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words."
We need to make the most of where Jesus has placed us in our lives. It is crucial to realize how intentional His plan is for us and that through Him, we have more influence than we realize. Ask the Lord for direction as you build and form relationships with unbelievers, and be ready for God to use you to share His truth with them. Backlash should be expected, intolerance as well . . . offer it up.

2) You are part of God’s family

Being the only Christian in a group can feel lonely or raise defenses. It is important to keep sight of the bigger picture. In God’s family, we are here for each other, we are called to bear burdens together, to encourage one another, to teach, correct and love one another. Praise God for the Sacraments. They fill us with grace and give us courage.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to Mother Mary, the angels and the saints, and each other. Remember that God is the author and perfecter, not us.

3) Changing hearts is God’s job, not yours

Maybe this is the most important reminder.
In Romans 8:37, Paul says, 
         “Overwhelming victory is ours, In Christ, who loved us.” 
Christ already has the victory. He is the author and perfecter, not you. We must remember to submit to His will. Meditate also on Corinthians 3:7,  
          “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.”
Apart from Jesus we can do nothing, but in submitting to Him anything is possible. Pray for your family and peers. Share the Gospel and the Bible with them, but remember it is God who is working all things together, not you. Be submissive to God working through you. Turn constantly to the Holy Spirit. 


May Christ's peace be with your spirit.

Original Article: Corinne Carver
Heavily edited by: Soutenus
Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Evangelical"
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Date: Wednesday, 01 Jan 2014 14:02
I am a member of the New Saint Thomas Institute and one of the perks is frequent emails from the founder, Dr Taylor Marshall!   Here is an excerpt from today's correspondence with Dr. Taylor Marshall.

Readers are the leaders of the world. You must cultivate the habit of reading. My challenge for you this year is to read 12 books – 1 per month.
Here are the books that I think you should read (in no particular order). They have changed my life and outlook.
  • If you have the money, you should just get all of them, stack them next to your bed, and get to reading.
  • Most of the books are about $10 or less.
  • I chose books that are relatively short and easy to get through.
  • Most of them are in the 100 to 175 page range
And here they are:
  1. Orthodoxy
    by GK Chesterton 
  2. The Great Heresies
    by Hillaire Belloc
  3. Saint Thomas Aquinas: “The Dumb Ox”
    by GK Chesterton
  4. Confessions (Oxford World’s Classics)
    by Saint Augustine
  5. 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration
    by Fr Michael Gaitley
  6. The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society
    by Brad Gregory
  7. All Generations Shall call me Blessed: Biblical Mariology
    by Fr Stephano Manelli
  8. Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart (this book has changed my life)
    by Fr Jacque Phillipe
  9. Reality: A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought
    by Fr Garrigou-Lagrange
  10. The Three Conversions in the Spiritual Life
    by Fr Garrigou-Lagrange
  11. Thomas Aquinas on the Theology of Baptism
    Here it is free from his Summa theologicae:
    BAPTISM ITSELF: The sacrament itself (66). The minister (67)recipients (68) and effect (69) of this sacrament.
    PREPARATION: Circumcision (70), which preceded Baptism. Catechism and Exorcism (71), which accompany Baptism.
  12. The Way, Furrow, The Forge (daily proverbs to keep you moving)
    by Saint Josemaria Escriva
Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Books, New Saint Thomas Institute, Taylo..."
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Date: Monday, 30 Dec 2013 13:01
Video - Scott Hahn
Author: "Soutenus (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Eucharist, Scott Hahn, Video Clip"
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Date: Saturday, 12 Oct 2013 11:53
Guest Writer - Pablo (14 years old)