Tag Archives: sin

‘Consentimiento es sexy!’

Cha. Cha. Charity!

In recognition of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Catholic Charities Project UNICA visited area nightclubs, including Andrea’s Cha Cha Club, in Portland to host “Nights of Consent” on April 19 and 20. Project UNICA staff greeted patrons at club entry points and used a hand-stamp reading, “Consent is Sexy” to promote and engage them in prevention of sexual assault.

Only Ed Baker gets it right:

“Let me get this straight. A “Catholic” organization is promoting the grave evil of fornication as an alternative to the grave evil of rape. Did it even occur to anyone at Oregon “Catholic” Charities to be courageous enough to promote virtue?”

No Ed, it didn’t.

According to the Catholic Charities press release:

“It’s important for people to know that without consent for sexual contact, it is rape; we are all responsible for keeping night clubs safe environments [?] where women don’t have to guard their drink or feel threatened,” said Project UNICA Program Manager Karen Janes.

Project UNICA staff hosted “Nights of Consent” at the following locations:

• Thursday, April 19 at Andrea’s Cha Cha Club, located at 832 S.E. Grand Ave. in Portland, from 10 p.m. to close
• Friday April 20 at Casa Colima, located at 6319 S.W. Capitol Hwy. in Portland, from 10 p.m. to close

Well, of course, all this doesn’t make sense according to the catechism. But if we Catholics are all now responsible for keeping nightclub’s, like Andrea’s Cha Cha Club a safe environment for patrons, (assuming that means ALL patrons), then I say it’s time to create “Coronary’s Are Cool” stamps for Guy’s like Albert here…

ED NOTE: There is no Catholic edict against social dancing found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The subject herein is the offense of a Catholic organization promoting pre-marital sex, which according to Catholic teaching is fornication–Fornication “is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.” [CCC 2353]

And guess who goes to bars?

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Even Demons Believe and Tremble – A Story about the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

It was almost 15 years ago. I was At Old St. Mary’s here in D.C. celebrating Mass in the Latin (Extraordinary Form). It was a solemn high Mass. I don’t suppose I thought it any different than most Sunday’s but something quite amazing was about to happen.

As you may know the ancient Latin Mass is celebrated “ad orientem” (towards the Liturgical East). Priest and people all face one direction. What this means practically for the celebrant is that the people are behind him. It was time for the consecration. The priest is directed to bow low, his forearms on the altar table the host between his fingers.

As directed I said the venerable words of Consecration in a low but distinct voiceHoc est enim Corpus meum (For this is my Body). The bells rang as I genuflected.

But behind me a disturbance of some sort, a shaking or rustling in the front pews behind me to my right. And then a moaning or grumbling. What was that? It did not really sound human, more like the grumbling of a large animal such as a boar or a bear, along with a plaintive moan that did not seem human. I elevated the host and wondered, “What was that?” Then silence. I could not turn to look easily for that is awkward for the celebrant in the ancient Latin Mass. But still I thought, What was that?

But it was time for the consecration of the chalice. Again, bowing low and pronouncing clearly and distinctly but in a low voice: Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei, novi et æterni testamenti; mysterium fidei; qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem pecatorum. Haec quotiescumque feceritis in mei memoriam facietis (for this is the cup of my Blood, of the new and eternal covenant; the mystery of faith; which will for the many be shed unto the remission of sins. When so ever you do this, you do it in my memory).

Then, I heard another sound this time an undeniable moan and then a shriek as some one cried out: “Leave me alone Jesus! Why do you torture me!” Suddenly a scuffling as some one ran out with the groaning sound of having been injured. The back doors swung open, then closed. Then silence.

Realization – I could not turn to look for I was raising the Chalice high over my head. But I knew in an instant that some poor demon-tormented soul had encountered Christ in the Eucharistic, and could not endure his real presence displayed for all to see. And the words of Scripture occurred to me: Even Demons believe and tremble (James 2:19).

Repentance – But just as James used those words to rebuke the weak faith of his flock I too had to repent. Why was a demon-troubled man more aware of the true presence and astonished by it than me? He was moved in the negative sense to run. Why was I not more moved in a positive and comparable way? What of the other believers in the pews? I don’t doubt that any of us believed intellectually in the true presence. But there is something very different and far more wonderful in being moved to the depth of your soul! It is so easy for us to be sleepy in the presence of the Divine, forgetful of the miraculous and awesome Presence available to us.

But let the record show that one day, almost 15 years ago, it was made quite plain to me that I held in my hands the Lord of Glory, the King of heaven and earth, the just Judge, and Ruler of the kings of the earth. Is the Lord truly present in the Eucharist? You’d better believe it, even demons believe that!

HAT TIP/BREAD FROM HEAVEN

A prayer for healing your family tree…

I can think of no greater crisis in America, than the personal heartbreak of the destruction of our families due to the “generational bondage” resulting from “the sins of the parents being visited upon the children to the third and fourth generation…” Below is a daily prayer for the one who needs it in this hour...

Heavenly Father, I come before you as your child, in great need of your help; I have physical health needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs. Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglect and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lord. But I also ask you to forgive the sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behavior patterns and defects in body, mind and spirit. Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders.

With your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially living or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders. In the name of your divine Son, Jesus, and in the power of his Holy Spirit, I ask you, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one. Free all living and dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships, and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage. By your loving concern for us, heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of your precious Son, Jesus, I beg you to extend your blessing to me and to all my living and deceased relatives. Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree.

I symbolically place the cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree, and between each generation; I ask you to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the bloodlines in my family lineage. Set your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer your divine healing power to all of us, even in areas of genetic disability. Give special power to our family members’ guardian angels to heal, protect, guide and encourage each of us in all our needs. Let your healing power be released at this very moment, and let it continue as long as your sovereignty permits.

In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love. And let there be an ever-deeper bonding with you, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to your Son, Jesus. Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships. All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.

+++++++++++++++
St. Joseph, Patron of family life, pray for us.

For more information on healing your family tree, [click here]

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Flawed Gay Policy — Archdiocese of Boston to Announce Catholic School Admission Policy for Children of Gay Parents (via Bryan Hehir Exposed)

 

There’s nothing pretty about sin… Especially when it’s flaunted about as normal adult behavior when children are present.

Found this in my e-mail this morning…

Very shortly, the Archdiocese of Boston plans to unveil their new Catholic Schools Admission policy expressly requested by Cardinal Sean O’Malley so as to direct that children of gay and lesbian parents be admitted to Catholic Schools. Rumor has it that the policy might be released publicly as early as Thursday, January 6 at the annual convocation of Catholic school principals and pastors. The policy, if implemented even remotely as it appeared i … Read More

via Bryan Hehir Exposed

ELCA: Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the doors to sin, and out run all the people…

The sane ones anyway…

Last year I reported on this inverted Cross dangling atop the steeple on the Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis following a rare downtown twister as the ELCA Churchwide Assembly was in legislative session across the street at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The ELCA was meeting to vote on allowing gay and lesbian pastors in committed relationships to lead congregations. It passed by a vote of 559 to 451.

Following the vote last year the Minnesota Family Council released a statement saying:  

“With this vote to affirm homosexual behavior and clergy, the ELCA has fully embraced moral relativism and jettisoned its moral authority in the community. They’ve embraced postmodernism and rejected the clear teaching of Scripture and Christian practice for nearly 2,000 years,”

And so, the following story:

CHICAGO — The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lost almost 91,000 members and 48 congregations last year, but saw a slight increase in per-congregant giving.

In 2009, the denomination dropped to 4.5 million members and about 10,300 congregations, according to a report released Tuesday by David Swartling, the ELCA secretary.

Total offerings in congregations dropped by nearly 3 percent, to about $2.6 billion, but average giving per baptized member increased by a similar percentage, to $492.

The ELCA is dealing not only with the impact of the recession, but also with the fallout from the denomination’s vote last year to lift the celibacy requirement for gay clergy.

HAT TIP: http://www.sunherald.com/2010/08/13/2404537/lutheran-group-reports-decline.html#ixzz0wZ8dRQT2

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The New Evangelization — I Don’t Need Your Catechism!

…the necessity of teaching doctrine to children.

EDITOR: The much-needed New Evangelization of America as proposed by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI will take courage and patience to implement. Mr. De La Torre and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph are the example.

From the Catholic Exchange today:

Posted By Marlon De La Torre On July 22, 2010

I Don’t Need your Catechism!

A couple of years ago, a Pastor asked me to provide a catechetical training day for teachers in his Catholic school and CCD program. One of my first questions to him was what issues had developed requiring my assistance. The Pastor voiced to me his concern over poor doctrinal formation he suspected the children were receiving. I asked him how he finally came to this point. He said; “I knew things were off when all I saw was glue, crayons, construction paper and scissors during an eighth grade religion class.” Right there and then I realized what I had to work with.

The inevitable day arrives. As the catechists walked into the parish center, we began with prayer and introductions.  I typically begin with a short story reflecting on the catechetical formation for the day. This process helps to gauge the audience and determine when to run when they have had enough. Kidding aside, the first segment involved preparing them for the day, the aim of the instruction, purpose, goals, desires and application for the classroom. A good strategy when teaching teachers is not to patronize them. They are teachers and know everything. I know I am one of them. In reality, the heart of instruction here lies with an authentic witness of the living Gospel of Jesus Christ in a gradual loving way.

Knowing that many teachers resort to arts and crafts because of a genuine fear and ignorance in teaching the Catholic faith to students I began the training by asking the catechists for the one thing they would like to know about the faith they still had questions on. After a subtle pause (pretty typical) hands were drawn. The questions asked centered on sin, true presence of Christ in the Eucharist, confession, purgatory, mass participation, is the Church biblical, Mary, how to read the bible, other religions etc. My next question to them was why they wanted to know about these particular doctrines. Their response was nothing short of amazing.  They did not know how these particular teachings came to be! Keep in mind, these catechists are supposedly teaching children the Catholic faith. Right there and then I realized we needed to start at the very beginning e.g. Do you believe in God the Father the almighty?

If the teacher does not have a sound understanding of how their life reflects the Gospel let alone living within the Story of salvation, then how are they going to impart the story onto their students?  Hence, the focal point of the problem we face in the catechetical field. Our catechists lack basic doctrinal formation. I charted a different course of action realizing that this group needed a systematic engaging approach to learn and apply Catholic doctrine in the classroom.

The result was a mini-RCIA course where I went through Salvation History and presented to them their role in light of Jesus Christ the Divine Teacher (Heb 11:6). In other words, they needed to see how the Church came to be, their role within the Church and the graces given to us by Christ at Baptism to continue His work in the Church He founded. A basic outline of the curriculum for this training session looked something like this:

  1. Introduction to God’s plan for salvation in our lives.
  2. Creation and God’s love for us.
  3. Original Sin and the fall from grace because of the first sin.
  4. Proto-evangelium (First Gospel)
  5. God’s covenants with his people i.e. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses
  6. The role of our Blessed Mother as the “New Eve.”
  7. Summary on Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture
  8. Summary on Apologetics
  9. Summary of the Seven Sacraments
  10. Summary of the Ten Commandments
  11. Summary of Mortal Sin and Venial Sin
  12. The Incarnation
  13. Liturgy and the Mass
  14. The Church
  15. Lives of the Saints
  16. The Our Father, Hail Mary, and the Apostles Creed.

It was important the catechists saw the biblical basis for these doctrinal pillars. In addition, how the Catechism references the teachings of the Church through the footnotes. A short primer on how to use the Catechism of the Catholic Church and view the references, cross-references, and articles numbers to find a particular teaching gave the catechists a better grasp of the information.

This experience is common. A generation of uncatechized faithful over the past thirty-years has drifted throughout their Catholic life not knowing the graces they received through their Baptism. The recitation of our Baptismal promises appears as an afterthought to many. When asked within the Rite of Baptism, Do you reject, sin, and all his empty works, and all his empty promises . . . it begs to ask the question to these teachers whether they truly understand what sin is in order to reject it.

When I posed this very question to one of the teachers in the training session, the response was a common one. Why do we need to concentrate on sin, it is more important to focus on the works of Jesus? Do you see where this particular catechist has quietly misaligned the purpose of Christ and His Church. Whether its ignorance, issues with the doctrine of sin, or a personal experience initiating this response, the opportunity to discuss the nature of sin was difficult. Now, we must be careful when discussing the doctrine of sin from this pastoral perspective; we do not know what the person has gone through personally where a certain sinful act may have caused negative, spiritual harm or drawn out a bad experience. It is vital that a catechist be carefully aware of the audience they are instructing. However, we cannot shy away from addressing the dangers of sin itself.

Another teacher, noting her frustration in sitting through a dreadful class in her opinion said these magic words:You can keep your catechism, how do you expect me to apply it in the classroom?” Moreover, there you go, this brave soul echoed the sentiments of others who had resisted on using the catechism in the classroom. This “shot heard around the classroom,” reflected the genuine mentality of many teachers viewing the catechism as a useless tool because it probably did not provide cutouts for the kids to “draw” and “cut-out.” This comment troubled me because of an apparent ignorance towards the application or appreciation of the Catechism. There is fruit to the argument that it is not the teachers fault. From one perspective, this may be true; nonetheless, it does not negate the fact of what we are dealing with now. St. Augustine-the Father of Catechetics describes catechizing the ignorant in this way:

“The best method for instructing ignorant men in Christian doctrine, one that will bear much fruit is to ask questions in a friendly fashion after the explanation; from this questioning one can learn whether each one understood what he heard or whether the explanation needs repeating. In order that the learner grasp the matter, we must ascertain by questioning whether the one being catechized has understood, and in accordance with his response, we must either explain more clearly and fully or not dwell further on what is known to them etc. But if a man is very slow, he must be mercifully helped and the most necessary doctrines especially should be briefly imparted to him.”

As the Catechist trainer in this situation, you cannot scold nor demean these individuals. In many ways, ignorance is rooted in their responses due to a lack of formation. Thus, a gentle but firm disposition serves us well in this type of situation because we do not want to lose them.  Our hope rests in a genuine conversion for these teachers (1 Pt 3:15). The “you can keep your catechism” statement by the teacher mentioned earlier should not detract anyone from teaching the faith. My call for this person was to help her find God. An opportunity arose to present the Gospel, reveal the importance of Christ in our lives and provide her with an open opportunity to seek Him.

It is very important that the catechist reveal the relevance of doctrine in the lives of the faithful. Our faith is naturally explicit (1 Thess 2:13) because God has made Himself visible through His Church. Man naturally seeks what is visible and revealed. For instance, when we are able to observe and recognize a moral act the exercise of the doctrinal action takes effect on our senses. We are able to witness doctrine exercised.  The liturgy – a public work, provides a visible reality of the existence of faith and the exercise of doctrine.

By the end of the day, the teachers who survived my training session realized in a small way the necessity of teaching doctrine to children. The success of the day came not by how much doctrine I could expose them to, it was helping them realize how little they knew about the faith and what to do about. Not only for their souls but also for the souls of the children they teach.

The religion instructor must be prepared to proclaim the truth of the Catholic Church. His/her responsibility is to aid the development of the person they are instructing by explaining Church teaching carefully and appropriately through a careful transmission rooted in Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The door to the nourishing a soul in Catholic doctrine must be convincing so the person applies these doctrines to everyday life. The need for the Catechism of the Catholic Church is more relevant than ever if we genuinely desire to impart the Catholic faith. Our duty and responsibility is to answer the questions our students have. Clarity of truth is primary in our instruction.


Marlon De La Torre is the Associate Director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

 

Saint Thérèse: How my ‘adopting a priest with prayer’ came about…

Saint Thérèse, sister and friend of priests, pray for us…

For the past few weeks I’ve been offering my work day in reparation for my sins, those of the whole world, and for priests as well. I wish I could say that I’ve been consistent in these prayers during this time, but I haven’t. In fact, following my confession this past Sunday I spoke with the priest about my current lackadaisical attitude towards prayer…

Without knowledge of my recent prayer intentions, the priest gave me my penance: I am to pray during work in reparation for my sins, and after a brief pause, he added, “and for the sins of we priest’s too…”

I left confession a bit amazed (at the action of the Holy Spirit) remarking to my wife back in the car, saying, “Huh! My penance is exactly what I’ve been doing of late.

I suppose this penance could fall under a couple of categories: 1. God inspiring me to fortitude; or, 2. God convicting me of sloth (Note: Sloth begets in the soul a spirit of indifference in our spiritual duties and a disgust for prayer). I’m leaning hopefully toward the 3rd option, a combination of both…

A couple days later I received an e-mail with the latest parish bulletin information to place on our mission blog, and this immediately caught my attention:     

ADOPT A PRIEST WITH PRAYER

In 1996 the Oakland, CA Diocese started this program and we just learned about it and would like to start it in the Archdiocese of Portland. Priests have a Divine Mission but they are also very human and daily face the problems and struggles common to all of us. They have a great need of our support in prayer, love and concern. If you would be willing to pray each day for a year for an individual priest in the Archdiocese of Portland, please email Adoptapriestwithprayer@yahoo.com or mail your name and address to Mary Ann Schlumpberger, 2736 Fish Hatchery Rd., Grants Pass, OR 97527. Mary Ann will e-mail or mail you the name of a priest for you. Since the program is just getting started here, it will take a bit to get organized. No meetings, no dues, just prayer!

Last night I contacted Mary Ann via e-mail, and today she replied. (You can view the priest I’ll be praying for this year on the right sidebar– Fr. Elwin Schwab.

A side story: I’ve also been lamenting lately the fact that when our family came into the church 12 years ago we placed our spiritual trust in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel by enrolling in the Brown Scapular Devotion. A sacramental which requires:

 1.The scapular must be worn and the wearer must be enrolled in the scapular. 2. Chastity to one’s state in life must be observed. 3. One must fast from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 4. Recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin or the rosary everyday.

Slouching back to sloth, I am…

So, tonight when considering what daily prayer(s) I could recite on behalf Fr. Schwab, I found myself drawn to Saint Thérèse, a friend of both hardened sinners and of priests.  Here is the daily prayer I’ve decided upon that will be found within my heart at work for both Fr. Schwabb and myself:

Saint Thérèse, sister and friend of priests, pray for us…

I’m finding that we must do more than simply pray for more vocations, we must pray to sustain them also. And I’m also learning that when we ourselves forget to pray, heaven doesn’t. Perhaps someone is doing a good work from heaven upon the earth… The next year will tell.

Please pray for us. 

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