Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

Baptism radiates light…

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“Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift. . . . We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship.”

St. Gregory Of Nazianzus, Oratio 40,3-4:PG 36,361C

Congratulations to a faithful friend…

To learn more about the necessity of baptism for salvation and eternal life, click here.

New Testament: Sacrifice or Execution

Dr. Hahn explains why we call the Cross a Sacrifice and the implications of Christ’s command to “Do this” at the Last Supper. Listen closely and you’ll never view the New Testament the same way again…

SOURCE: St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology — YouTube — Facebook — Home page

Year of Faith: Read the Catechism in a Year…

An easy way to study and reflect on the Catechism of the Catholic Church for this Year of Faith

For this Year of Faith, Pope Benedict has encouraged you to study and reflect on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Well, here’s an easy way to do it. Simply subscribe to this List and – starting October 11, 2012 – you’ll start getting a little bit of the Catechism emailed to you every morning. Read that little bit every day and you’ll read the whole catechism in a year.

Poll: On ‘The Beatbox Nativity’

Not sure that The Beatbox Nativity doesn’t act to minimize the profundity of the season, Catholicism, or for that matter the cause of Christ in the world. What say you?

[Full Text] JOINT STATEMENT ABOUT “CATHOLICS FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY MN”

Taken from Selby Av side; 2006.
Image via Wikipedia

JOINT STATEMENT OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS AND THE MINNESOTA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE, 9/29/11

A group calling itself “Catholics for Marriage Equality MN” seeks to confuse Catholics and the public about authentic Church teaching related to matters of marriage and sexuality. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC) wish to make it known that this group does not speak for the Catholic Church, is not an agent or entity of the Archdiocese, MCC, or the universal Church, and has no authority to determine what does and does not constitute Christian doctrine and morality. The Archdiocese asks that Catholics avoid associating themselves with this group, and not be deceived by its messages, which are in conflict with the fundamental teachings of the Church.

“Catholics for Marriage Equality MN” attempts to convince Catholics that they can be in good standing with the Church and oppose Church teaching about human sexuality and marriage, which centers on the complementarity of the sexes and the mutual self-gift of loving spouses in marital union. The group also misleads people by proposing a false ecclesiology that undermines the legitimate authority of the bishops and the Magisterium as the authentic guardian, interpreter, and teacher of the faith handed to the apostles by Jesus Christ.

The Archdiocese and MCC also wish to remind Catholics of the importance of showing loving support and solicitude to those struggling with same-sex attraction and condemning every instance of unjust discrimination against them. The Catholic Church desires that all persons enjoy the same basic rights consistent with their human dignity.

From the Catholic Spirit:

Group seeking marriage amendment defeat is not affiliated with Catholic Church

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Minnesota Catholic Conference issued a joint statement Sept. 29 explaining that a newly formed group called “Catholics for Marriage Equality MN” has no recognition from, nor affiliation with, the Catholic Church.

One of the group’s aims is to defeat a state constitutional amendment on the ballot in November 2012 that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

“The group misleadingly tries to convince Catholics that they can, in good conscience, support a state redefinition of marriage without undermining marriage itself,” the MCC, which represents the Minnesota bishops on matters of public policy, said in a Sept. 29 news release. “The Catholic Church, in keeping with Catholic teaching, reason and natural law, and in concert with many other faiths, strongly supports maintaining the current, traditional definition of marriage by voting ‘yes’ for the amendment during the November 2012 election.”

“Anyone can selectively piece together statements taken out of context from church documents or the writings of theologians to construct a religious worldview that suits his or her personal preferences,” Jason Adkins, MCC executive director, stated in the release. “But such a pick-and-choose cafeteria religion is antithetical to Catholicism. One of the most compelling reasons for being Catholic is that we believe in the faith given to the Apostles by Jesus Christ himself and handed on and safeguarded by their successors, the bishops.”

Adkins added: “It is the responsibility of the bishops in communion with the pope to uphold the truth as well as encourage and support all Catholics who are trying to live their baptismal promise of believing and trusting in our one, Catholic and apostolic faith. This is especially true in the area of marriage and sexuality, where the universal moral law and Gospel values are constantly under attack in American law and culture.”

Both the MCC and the archdiocese “stress the importance of respecting the God-given dignity of all persons, which means the recognition of authentic human rights and responsibilities, while pointing out that official Catholic teaching goes well beyond what Catholics for Marriage Equality MN’s website states,” the news release said.

“Homosexual persons are to be fully respected in their human dignity and encouraged to follow God’s plan with particular attention in the exercise of chastity,” Adkins said, reiterating Catholic Church teaching. He added that the “duty calling for respect does not justify the legitimization of behavior that is not consistent with moral law” for those with same-sex inclinations or heterosexuals, married or unmarried.

This is your brain on atheism

This is your brain on atheism

By MATTHEW CULLINAN HOFFMAN

September 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The ranks of celebrity atheists lionized by the major media is now being joined by a psychiatrist and journalist who have jointly written the book “Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith.” The two authors claim, in short, that God is nothing more than a figment of our biologically-determined imaginations.

In a recent article about the book, J. Anderson Thomson, a University of Virginia psychiatrist, and “medical writer” Clare Aukofer repeat stale clichés from the repertoire of 19th century German atheism, dressed up as modern “science.” They begin by citing the inane lyrics of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” in which he claims that the socialist paradise he envisions will bring “peace” with “no heaven…no hell below us…and no religion too.”

“No religion,” the authors rhapsodize. “What was Lennon summoning? For starters, a world without ‘divine’ messengers, like Osama bin Laden, sparking violence. A world where mistakes, like the avoidable loss of life in Hurricane Katrina, would be rectified rather than chalked up to ‘God’s will.’ Where politicians no longer compete to prove who believes more strongly in the irrational and untenable. Where critical thinking is an ideal. In short, a world that makes sense.”

How we make “sense” out of a world that is nothing more than the blind churnings of matter, without any ultimate purpose, is beyond me, and is unsurprisingly not addressed by the authors. But surely this duo could come up with more than the jaded accusations of “violence” always leveled against religion by atheists, who always seem to forget that the cruelest and most violent regimes in history, such as Mao’s China and Stalin’s Russia, were inspired by and led by atheists.

China’s atheist regime continues to impose mass murder on its people through its coercive “one child policy,” which has now resulted in hundreds of millions of deaths by abortion.  But who’s counting? Certainly not atheists, who are unlikely to even acknowledge the humanity of the unborn.

Those who defend theism in a generic sense do not claim that it is a sufficient condition for virtue. The great world religions are not always conduits of truth, and the errors that mar some of them have caused real suffering for humanity. But denying the existence of God, which is the only conceivable basis for an objective morality, is hardly the answer. If human beings are nothing more than a configuration of atoms with no ultimate purpose, the concepts of right and wrong are rendered meaningless. Surely even a psychiatrist can see that, and perhaps even a reporter.

Do the authors expect us to forget that religion has produced much, if not most, of the greatest art and architecture enjoyed by mankind, as well as the modern educational system? Do they think that a cheap crack about Osama Bin Laden will serve to dismiss the vast charitable works, from hospitals and homeless shelters to massive international aid agencies, that have been inspired by religious belief? Surely Thompson and Aukofer can do more than pass over these towering facts in silence, as if ignoring them will make them go away.

The authors then pull the old trick of 19th century German atheists like Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzcsche, and Freud, who never made any attempt to answer the historic arguments for the existence of God, and instead threw out the red herring of psychological, economic, and biological explanations for religion. The assumption is that if you can explain the origins of a belief, you have somehow refuted it, a silly non-sequitur that only serves to remind us of the impotency of the atheist’s position.

Thompson and Aukofer take the biological route, claiming that we are genetically hard-wired to believe in God because it served our ancestors as a survival mechanism.

“Like our physiological DNA, the psychological mechanisms behind faith evolved over the eons through natural selection,” they claim. “They helped our ancestors work effectively in small groups and survive and reproduce, traits developed long before recorded history, from foundations deep in our mammalian, primate and African hunter-gatherer past.”

The authors drone on like this from one paragraph to the next, citing speculative evolutionary pathways to theism that they say have been offered by researchers. They sprinkle their commentary with silly observations about man’s need for social “attachment,” “reciprocity,” “romantic love,” and “group hatreds,” as if a few trite references to psychological phenomena can explain away man’s almost universal belief in the divine.

The questions they leave begging, however, speak more about their own psychology than anything else. If evolutionary biology explains man’s belief in God, how do we explain the authors’ atheism? Do they claim to be supermen who, unlike the rest of us, can transcend their own natures?  If religion can be explained by our genes, would the same not be true of atheism? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Reducing man’s ideas to his biology, in fact, destroys the foundation of all knowledge. If our ideas are determined by our genes, then how can we know if anything we believe is true? Such refutations were long ago leveled against the muddled thinking of materialists, but the authors, confused by the crude empiricist errors of modern scientism, apparently are unaware of the historic debate. Ignorance of the history of ideas is a woefully common trait among atheists.

The LA Times piece is just the latest reminder of the effect of atheism on an otherwise able mind.  The fact that the authors of the article have written an entire book elaborating on their evolutionary thesis on the origin of religion, apparently totally unaware of the simple fallacies that underlie their premise, does little more than illustrate a truth that has been demonstrated time and again by the modern partisans of disbelief: the irrationality of atheism undermines one’s ability to think.

It’s Polka Mass Sunday!

And I was all twisted-up yesterday at Mass over having to sit through, yet again, another reprise of the non-Catholic Protestant classic “Amazing Grace”…

Bishop Peter F. Christensen of the Diocese of Superior, at Moon Lake Park, celebrating the Polka Mass.

Yep. The Polka Mass… With music provided by, get this, the “Singing Slovenes”, ( A name that recalls to my mind the indecorous barking of an old crusty Marine Corp D.I. from years past– “GET YOUR ‘SWINGING, er, SLOVENES‘ ON THE ROAD LADIES!!”). I know, I know… It makes about as much biological sense as the polka mass does to me and the Badger Catholic, who has the story here.

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