Thursday, August 30, 2007

1. Thou shalt not have ugly Statues....

I'm sure the first commandment at least implies that! To me its just common sense---why would a church put ugly statues to "decorate"? I guess its because they want a more "modern" look, but the Church has stood against Modernism, so I don't think that's a good idea to be pushing. Anyway, I told Micki a while back I would put this post on what I mean by ugly statues (sorry Micki it took me so long. I felt really bad, so I added you to my links!). At our church, if I have gotten the story correctly, we hired a protestant to build us a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and we paid quite a hefty chunk for this statue as well. Now, why would I be against a Protestant building a statue of Mary? If he did a nice job I wouldn't care what religion he was, but from the result this statue doesn't resemble traditional Catholic artwork or depictions of Mary. In fact it doesn't resemble a beautiful woman at all, it in fact would seem it was modeled after the artist's grandmother. Don't believe me?? See for yourself (Sorry some of the pictures are not that clear).....

Now compare that to THIS which is right OUTSIDE the Church, put there by the Knights of Columbus!....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Holy Communion

Below are excerpts from the book Light and Peace which I thought were excellent regarding Holy Communion. Again, one who is in mortal sin and has not confessed his sin and received sacramental absolution is not permitted to receive Holy Communion, but Christ's Body was given to us who are imperfect, though striving to come closer to Him...

"Frequent communion is the most efficacious of all means to unite us to God. 'He that eateth my flesh,' said our divine Saviour, 'abideth in Me and I in him.'"...

"St. Francis de Sales says there are two classes of persons who should often receive holy communion; the perfect, to unite themselves more closely to the Source of all perfection; the strong that they may not become weak, the weak that they may become strong; the sick that they may be cured, and those in health that they may be preserved from sickness. You tell me that your imperfections, your weakness, your littleness make you unworthy to receive communion frequently; and I assure you it is precisely because of these that you ought to receive it frequently in order that He who possesses all things may give you whatever is wanting to you."...

"Rev. Father Margottet, a Jesuit died at Nice, April 1st, 1835, shortly after his return from Portugal where he had suffered a most cruel captivity with the courage that faith alone can inspire. During the last months of his life he took great pleasure in conversing with a certain young man who visited him regularly to be instructed and edified by his pious discourse. One day this young man confided to him the confusion he felt in availing himself of his director's permission to receive holy Communion several times a week. This was due especially to the thought that St. Aloysius, whilst a novice of the Society of Jesus, went to Communion on Sundays only. 'Come, come, my dear sir,' laughingly replied the good Father, 'continue your frequent Communions---you need them much more than St. Aloysius did.' It is indeed an error to consider holy Communion a reward of virtue, and, in a measure, a guage of perfection, whereas it is above all a means to attain perfection, and the one pre-existing virtue required in order to employ this means is the desire to profit by it."...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Beautiful Colorado
Here's some pictures I took on a hike from a trail in Ouray Colorado which is about 45 minutes south of Montrose.

A Wild Flower

A Mountain Scene

A Wild Butterfly

A Mule Deer

A Squirrel

A Mountain Scene

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Faith Journey thus Far...

I don't recall if I have ever shared my "Faith Journey" story before, and since I need to make some reparation for not blogging of late, I've decided to post this for anyone who might be interested.

First of all I did not grow up Catholic. I was born and raised Episcopalian. Now the Episcopalians are really not that far in most of their beliefs than Catholics (well there are the traditional and then the liberal Episcopalians), but there are some things that are flat out not accepted. My dad who was born Catholic and then fell away from the faith while a teenager, decided to come back to the Catholic Church after many years of study. This was the year 2000, and this was quite traumatic for our family. I was only ten at the time, but it was very difficult, as we had to decide which church to go to. The rest of my family (I have 2 sisters and a brother) was torn between attending our old Episcopal Church and supporting Dad at the Catholic Church. My dad also felt very alone and saddened to take this journey by himself, but he saw it as the Will of God. I naturally became quite anti-Catholic at the time (I have very religious parents and I as a young child was a quite a philosopher :-)). Eventually I was open to having dialogue with my Dad about the Catholic Faith, and I was doing a lot of thinking. Basically I had only a few hard things I had to work through to become Catholic.

1. Praying to the saints--- I thought it would be sinful to pray to anyone but God.

2. Confession---the need and the ability of the priest to absolve sins.

3. Mary's Immaculate Conception---Isn't EVERYBODY a sinner?

My Dad patiently helped me to tackle each of these subjects, and eventually I came to believe, though I remember how difficult it was. I cannot thank my Dad enough for all he did to help me learn about the Faith and bring me closer to Christ through it. So we got in contact with the DRE (Director of religious education) and my brother (who also decided to become Catholic) and I got in to the RCIA program. I was put through the "child's" version of RCIA, which in the end I can tell you I learned about 0.5% (being generous and rounding up) more about my Faith. If it was not for the many times my Dad was teaching me about the Faith I think I would still be Episcopalian or most likely would have decided to become "non-denominational" or something. I think it is absolutely terrible that the RCIA program was so bad, as it should be teaching people about their Faith and actually have CONTENT. Joyfully, on April 14th 2001, I joined the Holy Roman Catholic Church and received my First Communion and Holy Confirmation.

Anyway, I know I was very young, and that young children can be easily formed by their parents etc, but I really did make the decision, and it was difficult that my 2 older sisters and mother did not join the Church as well (My mother joined on Pentecost 2005 praise be to God!). I am now 17, and although I still have much to do before I am really "grown up", it has taken conviction, study, and God's grace to keep me in the Faith. I have gone through difficult times of doubt and persecution. I have suffered through a stage of scrupulosity in the past. I have many times failed to be a proper witness to my Faith, but Faith God has still allowed me to possess through all of this, and I thank Him with all of my heart! I am currently wishing to serve Christ as a Roman Catholic Priest, though this is up to God and if He Wills it or not.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Caption Contest...

The current winner: Mac McLernon, "Who says blondes can't park cars in small spaces? "

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Poll Results
Here are the results to the polls and please take a second to vote on the next ones!
What do you think about the War in Iraq?

I'm glad we started and glad we're there: 57% 66

I'm glad we started but we should be gone now: 8% 9

We shouldn't had started but we need to finish: 21% 24

We shouldn't have started and we shouldn't be there: 13% 15

I have no idea: 1% 1

115 votes total

What Content in Movies Bothers you Most?

Sexual Content: 59% 22

Violent Content: 19% 7

Language Content: 8% 3

Drug and alcohol content: 0% 0

Spiritual content: 8% 3

Nothing bothers me: 5% 2

37 votes total

Friday, August 10, 2007

Song Update...

Please take note and inform your local church music director that the following song has been revised from its original format. The tune will remain the same, though the words have been changed to fit our modern Church.

All Are Welcome

Let us build a house where liberals can dwell, and so Catholics can safely live.
A place where lefts and liberals tell How hearts could grow so cold. Built of hopes, and dreams, and visions, woman priests, and pro-choice death.
Refrain: "All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome to leave the Church"
Let us build us house where people talk, and words are strong and dumb,
Where all Satan's friends dare to seek to dream a Church anew.
Here the cross is gone as forgotten And symbols are all they want,
Here as one we can forget the liberals.
Refrain: "All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome to leave the Church"

---Just a friendly reminder that you cannot be a cafeteria Catholic! Not meant to sound "holier than thou" ---believe me, we are ALL sinners.---

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Is Cremation an option?

Cremation seems to be an interesting topic as the Church used to strongly condemn cremation unless it was strictly necessary (e.g. epidemic or war). However the 1983 Code of Canon Law does not forbid the practice of cremation "unless this is chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching" (Can. 1176). An example, (although there could be many examples) of a reason contrary to Christian teaching would be preferring to be cremated because you a member of the Masons or have taken to heart some sort of Buddhist belief (Being apart of the masons is in itself condemned by the Church). Funerals can be celebrated in the Church for those members who have chosen cremation in line with the Church.

Also, it is not appropriate to "scatter the ashes" over an area or to keep the "ashes" in an urn in your home etc.. The Church still requires that a proper burial take place, so as to preserve the dignity of the deceased. I have given you what the Church teaches. Now the next paragraph I'm writing will be my opinion on this matter although I place my Faith in Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church and agree with all of the Church's teachings.

In my opinion I think cremation is not a good choice. Although I agree it is not wrong ordinarily, I think cremation doesn't have the same dignity that being buried with the body unharmed has. I recently attended the funeral vigil for a young man (early 20s I think) that died. The church was filled with people mourning and praying the rosary for him. His face was visible from the casket and it was very moving. Also, this week I served at a different funeral where the individual had chosen cremation. A small simple box replaced the traditional casket and it seemed so strange to think that a man was reduced to ashes (although we can recall through this the scriptures saying "You are dust, and unto dust you shall return"). To have the body present though, we can look at the remains and remember the individual much clearer and this can be a symbol for us to pray for them, just as a statue of a saint lifts our minds to that saint and inspires us. To me, leaving the body unharmed seems to have the most dignity and honor possible for those individuals.

What say ye faithful of Jesus Christ?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I've been tagged by Nick at Mysterium Fidei Here are the rules:

The rules are simple…Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

My bad and good habits...

  1. I have a set amount of prayers that I must pray everyday to feel I've done my duty. However, I hope to insure that I compliment my spiritual life with personal prayer often, and visiting Jesus in the Eucharist as often as possible.

  2. I work at a restaurant. I am a teenager but I cannot stand serving other teenagers in general. Tips have nothing to do with it.
  3. I have a fear of talking on the telephone to people I don't know, or do not know very well, or when it is someone that cannot carry on a conversation.
  4. I almost always pray the rosary when driving, unless someone else is in the car. Then, I turn on music.
  5. Liberals in the Catholic Church I cannot stand. Ugly statues of saints are worse, especially because the fifth commandment doesn't apply to statues.
  6. I very much enjoy talking to others about Faith topics. I will be very upset however if the other person resorts to being disrespectful, illogical, or un-open.
  7. I can make a mess even if it is difficult.
  8. I am especially talented at breaking and losing things.

I now tag the people from these blogs:

Prodigal Son (Are you out there?)

Mulier Fortis

Jimmy Akin

A Catholic Mom in Hawaii

A Catholic Mom climbing the Pillars

A Catholic Londoner

Emitte lucem tuam

Alive and Young

If you have already done this, then give us 8 new facts about you...