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Showing posts from March, 2015

Pray for the 2015 Ordinary Synod on the Family

On the 13th day, of May through October of 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima Portugal. Visions of the future were given to them, along with dire warnings, instructions and a promise. The warnings centred around the trials of the 20th century, an upcoming Second World War,
the rise of communist Russia, the persecution of Christians, the loss of Christian faith in the industrialised world, suffering for the pope, and a form of sexual 'liberation' that would send many souls to hell. It is one of the few Marian apparitions that the Vatican itself has confirmed as authentic, and it has been acknowledged by every pope in recent memory.

There is a strong connection between the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal and Our Lady of Lourdes in France fifty-nine years earlier. The connection centres around the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In Lourdes the dogma was revealed by Mary to a peasant girl. In Fatima, Mary promised the th…

Pope Francis and the Blood of Saint Januarius

Saint Januarius was a Catholic bishop of Naples (in Italy) who was martyred for being a Christian under the reign of Caesar Diocletian in about AD 305. He was beheaded at the Solfatara crater near Pozzuoli. His martyrdom is honoured in both the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox churches. There is a cathedral in Naples which stands as a shrine in his memory, housing the relic of a small vial filled with some of his blood. According to legend, the blood was saved by a woman named Eusebia just after the saint's death. The blood, being some 1,700 years old now, has long since hardened. However, three times a year, a phenomenon occurs, in which the clotted and decayed blood returns to its liquid state.  This happens on September 19 (Saint Januarius day, to commemorate his martyrdom), on December 16 (to celebrate his patronage of both Naples and of the archdiocese), and on the Saturday before the first Sunday of May (to commemorate the reunification of his relics). Religious p…

Jesus Christ Opposes Sin

It's something our Secularist culture seems to have forgotten. Jesus didn't come to earth and die on a cross just to teach us how to 'be nice.' Though being kind and charitable is certainly part of the Christian gospel, it is not the central part. Lot's of religions teach niceness. If the gospel of Jesus Christ was just about being kind to our neighbours, we could argue that being a Buddhist will make you a better Christian. In fact, why need Christianity at all? Buddhism seems to have 'being nice' pegged all by itself. We could point to other religions that do the same. Perhaps this is the reason why so many people in our Secular world today think that 'all religions lead to the same place.' Indeed, if being nice is all there really is to religion, then we could probably make that argument validly. However, if being nice is really all Jesus set out to teach us, then he certainly had a funny way of showing it.
Then Jesus entered the temple and drov…

The Death of America and the West

There is a popular story that goes like this. Benjamin Franklin (depicted as seated and facing us, lower centre in the painting above) emerged from Independence Hall at the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787. He probably exited the building much slower than the other delegates as he was suffering from an infection in his foot at the time. A woman approached him and asked, "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Mr. Franklin paused for a moment and replied, "A republic, madam – if you can keep it."

Later John Adams, as the second president of the United States (depicted seated to the right of Franklin above, facing us), elaborated on this remark, when he wrote a letter to the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts on October 11, 1798...
"Should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations…

Reaching Out to Muslims

There has been a lot of talk recently about the bloody history between Christianity and Islam. Much of this was spawned by recent remarks made by Barack Obama at the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast, in which the president echoed the popular, but false, narrative that Medieval Christians attempted to spread their faith by the sword. Nothing could be further from the truth actually, and there are many historians who have set the record straight. In summary, the crusades were a defensive military action, like the reconquista of Iberia, to retake some Christian lands that were forcibly taken by Muslim conquest. Forced conversion was not permitted by the Catholic Church, so if any of that business went on, it was against the instructions of Rome. The president of the United States needs a history lesson.

Today we live in a time of great fear and uncertainty, especially in regard to Islam. The savage brutality of the ISIS caliphate in the Middle East is a daily reminder of how bad things ca…