Believe

O Man, believe
That the Virgin did conceive
Her God and mine
And happily thine.

©2013 Joann Nelander

THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM–Documentary

THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM–Documentary

THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM–Documentary

This is very interesting and well researched. I really enjoyed it. Great mystery!

 

Preview YouTube video The Star of Bethlehem Documentary 2007

Why Does the Quran Give More Preference to Jesus than Mohammad? -Mario Joseph

When asked “Who is Jesus”,  Mario Joseph re-read the entire Quran, 114 chapters, 6666 words, and found that it mentioned the name of the Prophet Mohammad in 4 places and the Name of Jesus in 25 places and then had to asked himself, “Why Does the Quran Give More Preference to Jesus than Mohammad”.

The question led to Mario Joseph Conversion from Islam to Christianity. 

Big Bang Theories Are Not Inconsistent with the Biblical Creation Story

via Media Distort Catholic View on Evolution

After Pope Francis referenced the Big Bang and biological evolution this past Monday, a flurry of media reports appeared, contrasting Francis’ views with those of his predecessors and the Catholic tradition.

“Pope Francis made a significant rhetorical break with Catholic tradition Monday by declaring that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real,” gushed MSNBC. And elsewhere, MSNBC reported that “conservatives in the United States” who have been unhappy with Pope Francis “today have one more reason to be upset.”

Yet the real story here is that Francis was just reiterating the Catholic understanding of evolution first articulated by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

Had the journalists dug a little deeper, they would have discovered that the “father of the Big Bang theory,” Georges Lemaître, was a Belgian cosmologist and a Catholic priest. He was also a former president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the very group Francis was addressing Monday.

The Catholic Catechism itself states that the “question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man.” It also notes that these discoveries “invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers.”

But it seems that these journalists really just wanted to drive a wedge between Francis and his immediate predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, holding the former up as a free-wheeling liberal and tarring the second as a stodgy conservative.

via Media Distort Catholic View on Evolution,

 

via Independent.co.uk

The theories of evolution and the big bang are not inconsistent with the biblical creation story, according to the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

God is not “a magician with a magic wand” says Pope Francis while speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Tuesday.

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said. “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.

The Pontiff continued:

“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.  Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” continued here

Big Bang Theories Are Not Inconsistent with the Biblical Creation Story

via Media Distort Catholic View on Evolution

After Pope Francis referenced the Big Bang and biological evolution this past Monday, a flurry of media reports appeared, contrasting Francis’ views with those of his predecessors and the Catholic tradition.

“Pope Francis made a significant rhetorical break with Catholic tradition Monday by declaring that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real,” gushed MSNBC. And elsewhere, MSNBC reported that “conservatives in the United States” who have been unhappy with Pope Francis “today have one more reason to be upset.”

Yet the real story here is that Francis was just reiterating the Catholic understanding of evolution first articulated by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

Had the journalists dug a little deeper, they would have discovered that the “father of the Big Bang theory,” Georges Lemaître, was a Belgian cosmologist and a Catholic priest. He was also a former president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the very group Francis was addressing Monday.

The Catholic Catechism itself states that the “question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man.” It also notes that these discoveries “invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers.”

But it seems that these journalists really just wanted to drive a wedge between Francis and his immediate predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, holding the former up as a free-wheeling liberal and tarring the second as a stodgy conservative.

via Media Distort Catholic View on Evolution,

via Independent.co.uk

The theories of evolution and the big bang are not inconsistent with the biblical creation story, according to the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

God is not "a magician with a magic wand" says Pope Francis while speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Tuesday.

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said. “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.

The Pontiff continued:

“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.  Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” continued here

A People Who Dwell in Darkness…

NCRegister | The Four First Things.

The world was without form and void, and God said, "Let there be light" (Genesis 1). Therefore, the first of the first things is Light. I capitalize the word "Light" because we are talking about the Light of Lights; the source and beginning of all things is Light.

Physicists tell us that energy is simply Light in various different forms or expressions. Atheists like to point out what they consider foolish about the creation story in Genesis: "How can you believe this when Light is created first, but the sun, moon and stars that give the Light are only created on the fourth day?"

They have missed the theological point. They have been too literal and fundamentalistic about the text. Light is created first because there is a Source of Light that is greater than the sun, moon and stars. This is why the story of Genesis is echoed in the last book of the Bible, where we are told that in heaven there is no sun or moon because "The Lamb is the Light in the city of God."

There’s the answer to the riddle! Christ the Lamb is the Light. The Son is the Source of the Sun. The second Person of the Holy Trinity is the Light of the World.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/the-four-first-things/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NCRegisterDailyBlog+National+Catholic+Register#When:2013-12-814:07:01#ixzz2mubkU52s

Divine Office – Liturgy of the Hours – Breviary – Free Audio – Bible – Prayer

Divine Office – Liturgy of the Hours – Breviary – Free Audio – Bible – Prayer.

The Anatomy of a Sin as set forth in a lesser known Biblical passage. « Archdiocese of Washington

via The Anatomy of a Sin as set forth in a lesser known Biblical passage. « Archdiocese of Washington.

. They suppressed their consciences-  What is the conscience? The Catechism defines it thus: For Man has in his heart a law inscribed by God, This is his conscience, there he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths… (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) # 1776). So, in effect, the conscience is the voice of God within us. God has written his Law in the hearts of every human person.

Thus, in terms of basic right and wrong, we know what we are doing. There may be certain higher matters of the Law that the conscience must be taught (eg. the following of certain rituals or feasts days etc.). But in terms of fundamental moral norms, we have a basic and innate grasp of what is right and wrong. Deep down inside we know what we are doing. We see and salute virtues like bravery, self-control, and generosity. We also know that things like murder of the innocent, promiscuity, theft, destruction of reputations etc are wrong.For all the excuses we like to make, deep down inside we know what we are doing, and we know that we know.   I have written substantially about conscience elsewhere (HERE).

But notice that it says that they “suppressed their consciences.” Even though we know something is wrong we often want to do it anyway. One of the first things our wily minds will do is to try and suppress our conscience. To suppress something is to put it down by force, to inhibit or to try and exclude something from awareness or consciousness.

The usual way of doing this is through rationalizations and sophistry. We invent any number of thoughts, lies and distortions to try and reassure our self that something is really OK, something that deep down inside we know isn’t OK.

We also accumulate false teachers and teachings to assist in this suppression of the truth that our conscience witnesses to. St. Paul wrote to Timothy: For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Tim 4:1-3).

It is quite an effort to suppress one’s own conscience and I would argue that we cannot ever do it completely. In fact the whole attempt to suppress the conscience is not only quite an effort, it is also very fragile. This helps explain the anger and hostility of many in the world toward the Church. Deep down they know we are right and often, just the slightest appeal to the conscience to awaken its voice, causes quite an eruption of fear and anger.

So here is the first stage in the anatomy of a sin: the suppression of the conscience. In order to act wickedly and not face deep psychological pain of significant guilt these men in the story first  suppress their conscience in order to shut off the source of that pain. Step one is underway.

2. They would not allow their eyes to look to heaven– In order to sustain the fictions, stinking thinking, rationalizations, and sophistry that are necessary to suppress the conscience, it is necessary for one to distance himself  from the very source of conscience, God himself.

One way to do this is to drift away from God though neglect of prayer, worship, study of the Word of God and association with the Church which speaks for God. Drifting away may become more severe as times goes on and the refusal to repent becomes deeper. Drifting soon becomes absence and absence often becomes outright hostility to anything religious or biblical.

Another way that some avert their eyes from heaven is to redefine God. The revealed God of Scripture is replaced by a designer God who does not care about this thing or that. “God doesn’t care if I go to church, or shack up with my girlfriend etc.” On being shown scripture quite contrary to their distorted notions of God they simply respond that Paul had hangups, or that the Bible was written in primitive times.

Culturally the refusal to look heavenward is manifest in the increasing hostility to the Catholic Christian faith. Demands growing increasingly strident that anything even remotely connected to the faith be removed from the public square. Prayer in public, nativity sets, Church Bells, any reference to Jesus or Scripture in schools, etc. It must all be removed according to the radical seculars who refuse to turn their eyes heavenward or even have anything around that reminds them to do so.

The cumulative effect is that many are no longer looking to heaven or to God. Having suppressed their conscience they now demand a Godless public square. Still others reinvent a fake God, a false kingdom, an idol. Either way, the purpose is to isolate and insulate the self   from God and what he reveals.

This makes it easier to maintain the rather exhausting effort of suppressing the conscience.

So for these men in the story, step two in engaged and it further supports the suppression of conscience necessary to commit sin without the pain of guilt.

3. And did not keep in mind just judgment– Finally lets throw in a little presumption which dismisses any consequences for evil acts. This of course is one of  THE sins of our current age. There are countless people, even many Catholics in the pew and clergy too who seem outright to deny that they will ever have to answer to God for what they have done. But of course this is completely contrary to Scripture that insists that we will indeed answer one day to God for what we have done.

This final stage of presumption is meant to eliminate the salutary fear that should accompany evil acts. The sinner at this stage has had some success in alleviating the psychic pain of guilt and even a lot of the fear that used to accompany sin when the voice of conscience was less layered over and muted.

But, even after suppressing the conscience and refusing heaven’s influence,  still some fear remains so now an attack is made on any notion of consequences. Perhaps the sinner exaggerates the mercy and patience of God to the exclusion of God’s holiness which sin cannot endure. Perhaps he denies the reality of hell which God clearly teaches. Perhaps he denies that God exists at all and holds that there is no judgment to be faced. However he does it, he must push back the fear the punishment and/or judgment.

Here then is the anatomy of sin. Having suppressed the conscience, the voice of God to the extent possible and having removed oneself from heaven’s influence, and then denying that anything of negative consequence will come, one is freer to sin gravely. It is as though one has taken a number of stiff drinks and anesthetized himself sufficiently to proceed without pain.

But guess what, it’s still there deep down inside. The voice of conscience remains. Under all the layers of stinking thinking and attempts to insulate oneself from the true God, deep down the sinner still knows what he is doing is wrong. Even the slightest thing to prick his conscience causes increasing unease. Anger, projection, name-calling, ridiculing of anyone or anything awaken his conscience will increasing be resorted to. Sin is in full bloom now and repentance seems increasingly difficult or unlikely. Only great prayers and fasting by others for him will likely spring him loose from the deep moral sleep he is currently in. Pray for the conversion of sinners.

via The Anatomy of a Sin as set forth in a lesser known Biblical passage. « Archdiocese of Washington.

via The Anatomy of a Sin as set forth in a lesser known Biblical passage. « Archdiocese of Washington.

. They suppressed their consciences-  What is the conscience? The Catechism defines it thus: For Man has in his heart a law inscribed by God, This is his conscience, there he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths… (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) # 1776). So, in effect, the conscience is the voice of God within us. God has written his Law in the hearts of every human person.

Thus, in terms of basic right and wrong, we know what we are doing. There may be certain higher matters of the Law that the conscience must be taught (eg. the following of certain rituals or feasts days etc.). But in terms of fundamental moral norms, we have a basic and innate grasp of what is right and wrong. Deep down inside we know what we are doing. We see and salute virtues like bravery, self-control, and generosity. We also know that things like murder of the innocent, promiscuity, theft, destruction of reputations etc are wrong.For all the excuses we like to make, deep down inside we know what we are doing, and we know that we know.   I have written substantially about conscience elsewhere (HERE).

But notice that it says that they “suppressed their consciences.” Even though we know something is wrong we often want to do it anyway. One of the first things our wily minds will do is to try and suppress our conscience. To suppress something is to put it down by force, to inhibit or to try and exclude something from awareness or consciousness.

The usual way of doing this is through rationalizations and sophistry. We invent any number of thoughts, lies and distortions to try and reassure our self that something is really OK, something that deep down inside we know isn’t OK.

We also accumulate false teachers and teachings to assist in this suppression of the truth that our conscience witnesses to. St. Paul wrote to Timothy: For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Tim 4:1-3).

It is quite an effort to suppress one’s own conscience and I would argue that we cannot ever do it completely. In fact the whole attempt to suppress the conscience is not only quite an effort, it is also very fragile. This helps explain the anger and hostility of many in the world toward the Church. Deep down they know we are right and often, just the slightest appeal to the conscience to awaken its voice, causes quite an eruption of fear and anger.

So here is the first stage in the anatomy of a sin: the suppression of the conscience. In order to act wickedly and not face deep psychological pain of significant guilt these men in the story first  suppress their conscience in order to shut off the source of that pain. Step one is underway.

2. They would not allow their eyes to look to heaven– In order to sustain the fictions, stinking thinking, rationalizations, and sophistry that are necessary to suppress the conscience, it is necessary for one to distance himself  from the very source of conscience, God himself.

One way to do this is to drift away from God though neglect of prayer, worship, study of the Word of God and association with the Church which speaks for God. Drifting away may become more severe as times goes on and the refusal to repent becomes deeper. Drifting soon becomes absence and absence often becomes outright hostility to anything religious or biblical.

Another way that some avert their eyes from heaven is to redefine God. The revealed God of Scripture is replaced by a designer God who does not care about this thing or that. “God doesn’t care if I go to church, or shack up with my girlfriend etc.” On being shown scripture quite contrary to their distorted notions of God they simply respond that Paul had hangups, or that the Bible was written in primitive times.

Culturally the refusal to look heavenward is manifest in the increasing hostility to the Catholic Christian faith. Demands growing increasingly strident that anything even remotely connected to the faith be removed from the public square. Prayer in public, nativity sets, Church Bells, any reference to Jesus or Scripture in schools, etc. It must all be removed according to the radical seculars who refuse to turn their eyes heavenward or even have anything around that reminds them to do so.

The cumulative effect is that many are no longer looking to heaven or to God. Having suppressed their conscience they now demand a Godless public square. Still others reinvent a fake God, a false kingdom, an idol. Either way, the purpose is to isolate and insulate the self   from God and what he reveals.

This makes it easier to maintain the rather exhausting effort of suppressing the conscience.

So for these men in the story, step two in engaged and it further supports the suppression of conscience necessary to commit sin without the pain of guilt.

3. And did not keep in mind just judgment– Finally lets throw in a little presumption which dismisses any consequences for evil acts. This of course is one of  THE sins of our current age. There are countless people, even many Catholics in the pew and clergy too who seem outright to deny that they will ever have to answer to God for what they have done. But of course this is completely contrary to Scripture that insists that we will indeed answer one day to God for what we have done.

This final stage of presumption is meant to eliminate the salutary fear that should accompany evil acts. The sinner at this stage has had some success in alleviating the psychic pain of guilt and even a lot of the fear that used to accompany sin when the voice of conscience was less layered over and muted.

But, even after suppressing the conscience and refusing heaven’s influence,  still some fear remains so now an attack is made on any notion of consequences. Perhaps the sinner exaggerates the mercy and patience of God to the exclusion of God’s holiness which sin cannot endure. Perhaps he denies the reality of hell which God clearly teaches. Perhaps he denies that God exists at all and holds that there is no judgment to be faced. However he does it, he must push back the fear the punishment and/or judgment.

Here then is the anatomy of sin. Having suppressed the conscience, the voice of God to the extent possible and having removed oneself from heaven’s influence, and then denying that anything of negative consequence will come, one is freer to sin gravely. It is as though one has taken a number of stiff drinks and anesthetized himself sufficiently to proceed without pain.

But guess what, it’s still there deep down inside. The voice of conscience remains. Under all the layers of stinking thinking and attempts to insulate oneself from the true God, deep down the sinner still knows what he is doing is wrong. Even the slightest thing to prick his conscience causes increasing unease. Anger, projection, name-calling, ridiculing of anyone or anything awaken his conscience will increasing be resorted to. Sin is in full bloom now and repentance seems increasingly difficult or unlikely. Only great prayers and fasting by others for him will likely spring him loose from the deep moral sleep he is currently in. Pray for the conversion of sinners.

via The Anatomy of a Sin as set forth in a lesser known Biblical passage. « Archdiocese of Washington.

Fear of Technology, Fear of Government & Fear of the Lord

This made perfect sense to me. The Anchoress is talking about our magical gadgets demonically influencing our lives, and Buster sees the demons of government stealing and cataloguing our lives or something akin to that.

You know, that’s very true, and very much wisdom from God. All of this is ‘moving on air,’ and who rules the air, is “the prince of the air?” The same being who is the Father of Lies. As with the internet which seduced us with information and confused us by laying “the whole world” at our feet, this will seduce us with insta-everything then befuddle us to where we don’t know what is real anymore. Diabolical disorientation disguised as a fun new toy!

Buster shot back:

Ummm…I wasn’t calling it the devil. I just meant it could very easily turn into a means for the government, or even media and advertisers, to track every action you make. After all, it has a camera and will have wifi. They could know everything you read, who you see; they’d know your politics and everything. Nothing secret would be hidden. Btw, you sound like that old woman who sits on the porch in a rocking chair with a shawl, sneering at the children as they pass by your house, and muttering soft condemnations of their new 12-speeds, proclaiming all new toys of theirs to be ‘the devil’…like the mother in Waterboy.

That response cracked me up. I laughed out loud and then, because of my cold, coughed for a few minutes. Well, I am the old lady in the chair, with the shawl, sneering at too much.

You playin’ de foosball, son?

What puts the fear of God in me, is that I can see,  how the biblical description of Judgment Day as revealing to all eyes the record of my life,  is not some medieval fear and impossibility, but possible even in this world.


Living Lexio Divina

Living with a charged bit of Holy Scripture playing in the background of my day sets me up for some animated discussions in my car, at the sink, wherever my day may take me.  Occasionally the conversation turns to Presence.  How we hunger for this Presence, this awareness of God, even though we may be flying in all directions.  Perhaps, the more the activity, the more the hunger.  It’s akin to searching for the car keys.  We begin thinking we know where to find them.  As they remain hidden, our pursuit turns to frustration and then to frenzy.  Relief comes only when we hold the keys in our hot little hands.

What does searching for car keys have to do with Lexio Divina, ruminating on Holy Scripture?  It’s simply that we are always on the go.  Getting to our destination depends on something as ordinary and necessary as the car keys.  Holy Scripture is such a key, however,  it is not inanimate but living and active.  When the Word, Lexio, comes to fruition, it is the listener who becomes the Word, in essence, and so reaches his destination.

In a World of Soundbites

In a world of soundbites and video-clips with the mainstream media supplying morsels of immoral madness and pathetic pop-psychology for quick, thoughtless, consumption,  is it any wonder that so many are lost?  I ask how culpable am I?  Do “the many” even know when they’re off track or even lost?  I don’t know about you, but I have little clue where even those close to me have wandered.   As far as I can tell,  they are all  well meaning.  Is “well meaning” enough to inherit eternity?   It’s the old thing of , if  you aren’t growing, you are dying.   Misled means spiritually unfed.  Anyway, that’s the way it seems to me.  My hope is, “He knows how we are formed;  He remembers that we are dust.’ Psalm 103:14.

From the Gospel for the day:

When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd;and He began to teach them many things.  Mark 6:34

Is it any wonder that we, along with our children,  move the heart of God to pity?  Hope, though, is all around us.  The Church is at prayer.  When I go off to Mass each day,  I can look forward to hearing soundbites of true substance, sanity and solace.