History (Religion)

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  • Is Catholicism the "Babylon Mystery Religion"? (Story of the Magi in Matthew's Gospel)

    12/21/2014 10:40:32 AM PST · by NYer · 17 replies
    Catholic World Report ^ | December 20, 2014 | Mark P. Shea
    How the story of the Magi sheds plenty of light on the historical soundness of the Gospel of Matthew and how early Christians viewed paganism. center;">"The Adoration of the Magi" by Matthias Stom (c.1600-c.1652) [http://commons.wikimedia.org/] As we saw last time in this space, the notion that Christianity is "really" warmed-over paganism is contradicted by the fact—abundantly in evidence not only in the New Testament but in the writings of the Fathers and the liturgy of the Church—that, well, early Christians just don't care much about pagan things, while both the New Testament and the Fathers are positively drowning in the...
  • Secularists Are Trying to Take Christ Out of Christmas

    12/21/2014 7:02:49 AM PST · by CHRISTIAN DIARIST · 23 replies
    The Christian Diarist ^ | December 21, 2014 | JP
    Joyous Kwanzaa. Happy Hanukkah. Merry Christmas. Happy Ramadan. So proclaims the secularist holiday poster that greets visitors to the office building where I labor. The building owner obviously thought the poster noncontroversial. But this Christ follower found it offensive. Because the upcoming holiday is not about Kwanza, the seven-day afrocentric celebration created in 1965, nor Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival hardly celebrated until the 1970s, and certainly not Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting that actually takes place in June. No, Jesus is the reason for the season. It is the annual acknowledgement of the fulfillment two mellennia ago of...
  • See What the End Shall Be: A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Advent

    12/21/2014 6:51:35 AM PST · by Salvation · 5 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-20-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    See What the End Shall Be: A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Advent By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn today’s Gospel we step back nine months to March 25th, the feast of the Annunciation, an event all but hidden, but which changed the world.God, whose focal presence had departed the Temple just prior to the Babylonian invasion (cf Ez 10:18) and the loss of the Ark of the Covenant, now returns to the Ark of Mary’s womb. The glorious presence of God returns now to His people in an obscure town of fewer than three hundred, a town so small...
  • Ward Christmas Party - Joseph and Emma Smith Family?? [A Humorous 'Merry Smithmas!' chat board!]

    12/21/2014 5:28:54 AM PST · by Colofornian · 9 replies
    NewOrderMormon.org ^ | Dec. 1, 2014 | ZelphlessNOM
    Zelphless NOM Dec 01, 2014 This is kinda funny actually. The Exec Sec of our ward just sent out this announcement for the ward Christmas Party: Quote: As a Bishopric we would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to come to the Ward Christmas Celebration...The theme this year will be "Christmas in Nauvoo" and will feature an 1843 Christmas in Nauvoo with the Joseph and Emma Smith family. Everyone is invited to come as you are, or dress in period clothing. The main dinner will be provided and if you wish you may bring your favorite holiday dessert...
  • For Advent: The Meaning of Christmas: Look Deeper [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

    12/20/2014 5:22:05 PM PST · by Salvation · 19 replies
    CatholicEducation.org ^ | 1986 | PETER KREEFT
    The Meaning of Christmas: Look Deeper PETER KREEFT While Christmas is so familiar that we sometimes wonder whether anything fresh and true can be said about it, there is a way to explore its meaning that may seem new to us today, yet is in fact quite traditional, dating back to the Middle Ages and the ancient Fathers of the Church.Modern interpreters often argue about whether a given Scripture passage should be interpreted literally or symbolically. Medieval writers would question the either/or approach. They thought a passage could have as many as four right interpretations, one literal...
  • How the Catholic Church Saved Hanukkah

    12/20/2014 11:25:30 AM PST · by millegan · 91 replies
    ChurchPOP ^ | 2014 | Joe Heschmeyer
    "And so we encounter another oddity of Hanukkah: Jews know the fuller history of the holiday because Christians preserved the books that the Jews themselves lost. In a further twist, Jews in the Middle Ages encountered the story of the martyred mother and her seven sons anew in Christian literature and once again placed it in the time of the Maccabees."
  • Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas [Catholic Caucus]

    12/20/2014 9:55:55 AM PST · by Salvation · 6 replies
    CatholicEducation.org ^ | December, 1998 | MICHAELANN MARTIN
    Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas MICHAELANN MARTIN Issue: How can families better live the spirit of Advent and Christmas in their homes? ResponseThe Catholic Church has designated the four weeks preceding Christmas as Advent, a time to prepare the way of the Lord for His coming as our King and Savior. In addition, the Church teaches that: [w]hen the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Saviors first coming, the faithful...
  • Christmas Isnt Perfect So Find Christ in Your Real Christmas

    12/20/2014 9:35:30 AM PST · by Salvation · 13 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-19-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Christmas Isn’t Perfect – So Find Christ in Your Real Christmas By: Msgr. Charles PopeMost of us have a perfect Christmas in mind. Often it is the creation of Hallmark, Currier & Ives, and various marketers. But none of us will have a perfect Christmas, just a real one.The First Christmas wasn’t perfect either. In fact, the only way to describe it is to call it a crisis. Mary was pregnant before marriage, a very dangerous thing in those times. Just at the time of birth they were required to travel eighty miles on foot to Bethlehem. There was no...
  • Smithmas FR articles bumping up among top five hits on Google searches! [Vanity]

    12/20/2014 6:15:25 AM PST · by Colofornian · 18 replies
    Colofornian | Dec. 20, 2014 | Colofornian
    Finally, understanding the sub-culural history of "Smithmas" is making more digital headway! Smithmas Free Republic articles are "bumping up" among top five hits on Google searches! What exactly IS "Smithmas," anyway? Well, Joseph Smith -- THE founder of Mormonism -- was born on December 23. Through the decades, that recognition has often eclipsed a certain Other figure's birthday, Dec. 25. (To be fair to Mormons, who are my beloved extended family members, I would think they could extend a similar critique toward some Christians for allowing a jovial North Pole-based figure to edge out Jesus' birthday!) But if you want...
  • For Advent: Our Mother of Perpetual Help [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

    12/19/2014 8:08:48 PM PST · by Salvation · 14 replies
    SalveMariaRegina ^ | not given | SalveMariaReginia.info
    Our Mother of Perpetual HelpPainted in tempera on hard nutwood, 21 inches by 17, the original picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is one of many copies of the famed Hodeguitria of St. Luke. (The Hodeguitria, reputedly painted by St. Luke, was venerated for centuries at Constantinople as a miraculous icon. It was destroyed by the Turks in the year 1453.) This particular image, however, is THE ONE COPY singled out – by Our Lady herself – for special heavenly favors. You may see it today enshrined above the high altar at the Redemptorist Church of San Alfonso,...
  • Strange Moments In Liturgical History Paragon of Liturgical Tradition Caused Unintended Effects

    12/19/2014 1:46:27 PM PST · by NYer · 3 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | December 16, 2014 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    In the modern struggles and disagreements over the Liturgy, there tends to be a list of friends and opponents depending on one’s stance. For those of us with a more traditional leaning, Pope St. Pius X looms large as a friend and an image of tradition. He is usually seen as a defender of the tradition and a great proponent of what is called today the Extraordinary Form or Traditional Latin Mass (TLM)—so much so that the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) takes its name from him.And yet things, people, and movements are seldom as simple as we would...
  • Catholic Word of the Day: MASSA CANDIDA, 12-19-14

    12/19/2014 9:06:50 AM PST · by Salvation · 7 replies
    CCDictionary ^ | 12-19-14 | Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary
    Featured Term selected at random:MASSA CANDIDAA group of about three hundred Christians at Carthage who hurled themselves into a vat of burning lime rather than offer homage to Jupiter (c. 253). St. Augustine wrote and spoke of them, and Prudentius wrote of their courage in poetry. All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, Eternal Life. Used with permission.
  • Pope Gregory the Great: Advice to the Married

    12/19/2014 7:59:09 AM PST · by Salvation · 25 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-18-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Pope Gregory the Great: Advice to the Married By: Msgr. Charles PopeEvery now and again when I write on Holy Matrimony, especially the Church’s more staunch biblical teachings (indissolubility, no contraception, etc.), someone will inevitably write in with a kind of sneer and wonder at or even laugh at a celibate man advising married people about marriage. To be sure, inner experience of something has its place, but so does external observance. I remember as a youth that my swimming coach, who was out of the water, would often correct us if our form was wrong, and advise us...
  • Patton on Prayer

    12/19/2014 6:49:54 AM PST · by NKP_Vet · 22 replies
    http://the-american-catholic.com ^ | December 18, 2014 | Donald R. McClarey
    Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.” The famous “weather prayer” of General Patton was written by a Catholic Chaplain, Colonel James H. O’Neill, Chief Chaplain of the Third Army. Here is his article on the incident...
  • Changes in Catholic Attitudes Toward Bible Readings

    12/19/2014 6:27:23 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 122 replies
    Average Catholics asked today how often they read the Bible likely would say that they do not read the Bible regularly. However, if asked how often they read Scripture, the answer would be different. Practicing Catholics know they read and hear Scripture at every Mass. Many also recognize that basic prayers Catholics say, such as the Our Father and the Hail Mary, are scriptural. But for most Catholics, the Scripture they hear and read is not from the Bible. It is from a worship aid in the pew. Scripture always has played an important role in the prayer life of...
  • For Advent: Why Dont Catholics Read the Bible? (They Do!)

    12/18/2014 5:00:17 PM PST · by Salvation · 209 replies
    HolySpiritInteractive.net ^ | not given | Dwight Longenecker
    Why Don’t Catholics Read the Bible?by Dwight Longenecker The independent Evangelical church I went to as a boy gave me a fantastic amount of Bible knowledge. There were Bible drills in Sunday School classes, Bible memory contests and Bible quizzes, not to mention a complete grounding in all the Bible stories—illustrated with those wonderful flannelgraph figures. As I got older I listened to long Bible sermons, went to home Bible studies, youth Bible camps and a Bible holiday club. I ended up going to a Christian University where Bible study was part of our everyday schedule. Our Christian home...
  • Jane Austens Guide to Thomistic Virtue Ethics

    12/18/2014 3:27:19 PM PST · by NYer · 16 replies
    lauramcalister ^ | December 17, 2014
    Everyone knows that good Christian girls love Jane Austen.But perhaps not everyone knows that good Catholic Christian girls also love St. Thomas Aquinas.That is why I had to have mama fetch my smelling salts when the Masked Thomist linked me to a whole series of posts on Austen, Aquinas and Aristotle at the Dominicana blog. In a series of 5 posts, Br. Aquinas Beale argues that, There is something more than romance and drama in the novels of Jane Austen, namely a systematic approach to leading the good and happy life. It’s true you know.Austen’s novels are a perfect education in...
  • Ishmael is not the Father of Muhammad

    12/18/2014 11:44:45 AM PST · by OneVike · 38 replies
    Answering Islam ^ | 12/18/14 | Sam Shamoun
    (I offer this for those who need information to refute the lies about Islam being just another religion born from Abraham. Muhammad is NOT a descendant of Ismael and thus it is not a fulfillment of a prophecy given to Hagar in Genesis 16:11 or Genesis 21:13-21.) Ishmael is not the Father of Muhammad Sam Shamoun According to the Holy Bible Ishmael settled in Paran and married an Egyptian from whom he had twelve sons: "Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders...
  • Catholic Word of the Day: BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY. 12-18-14

    12/18/2014 8:53:37 AM PST · by Salvation · 1 replies
    CCDictionary ^ | 12-18-14 | Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary
    Featured Term selected at random:BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITYA term used by Petrarch and later writers of the exile of the popes at Avignon, France, from 1309 to 1377. Seven French popes--so called Clement V, John XXII, Benedict XII, Clement VI, Innocent VI, Blessed Urban V, and Gregory XI--were involved. Pope Gregory, the last one, yielded to the entreaties of St. Catherine of Siena (1347-80) to return to Rome in sprite of the protests of the King of France and most of the cardinals. All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, Eternal Life. Used with...
  • Run, Dont Walk, to the Nearing Jesus!

    12/18/2014 7:08:19 AM PST · by Salvation · 26 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-17-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Run, Don’t Walk, to the Nearing Jesus! By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe Lord’s coming is near. And though we have all been well taught that the word “Advent” means “coming,” there is the danger that we think we are only passively waiting for him to come.  It is not just that the Lord is coming to us, but that we are also journeying to Him. In fact, as the Advent prayers in the Roman Missal instruct, we ought to run, not walk, and hasten to greet Him as He draws near.The image of the Prodigal Son comes to mind. His...
  • Righteous Mockery: A Biblical Case for Sarcasm

    12/17/2014 5:38:36 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 13 replies
    WV4G ^ | July 3rd, 2014 | Jaycen Saab
    And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself the prophet Elijah to the prophets of Baal, 1 Kings 18:27 How boring would life be if we only spoke to one another with necessities? How mundane would play-by-play sports be if sports announcers were replaced with the equivalent of the Emergency Response System robot voice? That is exactly what we would have in our daily conversations without the crayon of the English language known as sarcasm. I will be the first to admit that I...
  • For Advent: Where in the New Testament are "priests" mentioned?

    12/17/2014 4:04:52 PM PST · by Salvation · 143 replies
    Catholic.com ^ | n/a | Catholic.com
    Where in the New Testament are "priests" mentioned? Full QuestionThe New Testament mentions three categories of Church leaders: bishops, presbyters, and deacons. So how can the Catholic Church justify its office of "priest"? The New Testament writers seem to understand "bishop" and "presbyter" to be synonymous terms for the same office (Acts 20:17-38).AnswerThe English word "priest" is derived from the Greek word presbuteros, which is commonly rendered into Bible English as "elder" or "presbyter." The ministry of Catholic priests is that of the presbyters mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 15:6, 23). The Bible says little about the duties...
  • And the winner of the Charlemagne Prize is

    12/17/2014 11:42:17 AM PST · by Gillibrand · 3 replies
    Cathcon ^ | 17.12.2014 | Cathcon
    uropean Parliament President Martin Schulz receives 2015 Charlemagne Prize of Aachen, Schulz is acknowledged in Charlemagne's city as an "outstanding representative of the revival of European democracy". Aachen (Catholic news). Martin Schulz who has his roots in the Aachen region (born in Eschweiler, living in Wuerselen) receives the Charlemagne Prize 2015. Schulz was an outstanding representative for the revival of European democracy, it said in the grounds given by the Charlemagne Prize Board on Saturday in the imperial city of Aachen. As a pioneer, he has rendered outstanding services to....
  • 4 Literally Awesome Facts About Our Lady of Guadalupe

    12/17/2014 11:31:24 AM PST · by millegan · 62 replies
    churchpop.com ^ | December 11, 2014 | Mattew Sewell
    But this article isnt about the whole apparition story so much as it is about the tilma, Juan Diegos cloak, on which the image of the Blessed Mother was imprinted. In the centuries following the event, some amazing and unexplainable qualities have been discovered about it. Heres four (literally) awesome facts about the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe:
  • Strange Moments In Liturgical History How a Paragon of Liturgical Tradition May Have Caused....

    12/17/2014 9:34:51 AM PST · by Salvation · 6 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-16-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Strange Moments In Liturgical History – How a Paragon of Liturgical Tradition May Have Caused Unintended Effects By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn the modern struggles and disagreements over the Liturgy, there tends to be a list of friends and opponents depending on one’s stance. For those of us with a more traditional leaning, Pope St. Pius X looms large as a friend and an image of tradition. He is usually seen as a defender of the tradition and a great proponent of what is called today the Extraordinary Form or Traditional Latin Mass (TLM)—so much so that the Society of...
  • Spain Church Criticized Over Cordoba Monument Name

    12/17/2014 6:30:53 AM PST · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    AP ^ | 12/15/14 | Ciaran Giles
    MADRID (AP) -- A regional government in southern Spain has filed a complaint with Roman Catholic Church authorities over what it believes are church moves in recent years to blot out the Islamic past of Cordoba's ancient mosque-cathedral, one of the country's leading tourist attractions. The Andalusia region's tourism department said Monday the practice by church authorities who own the complex of calling it simply "The Cordoba Cathedral" on its website and on pamphlets and tickets could hurt tourism and confuse the 1 million-plus tourists who annually visit the "mezquita" (mosque), as it is known popularly. Tourism chief Rafael Rodriguez...
  • "O Antiphons" for the Week before Christmas

    12/16/2014 4:27:36 PM PST · by Salvation · 8 replies
    Catholic-Resources.org ^ | 2010 | compiled by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D
    "O Antiphons" for the Week before ChristmasIntroduction: Most familiar today from the Advent hymn, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," the seven traditional "O Antiphons" are actually more than a thousand years old. They have long been used at the very end of Advent (Dec. 17-23) in the liturgical prayer of the Church, as Antiphons for the "Magnificat" sung or recited during Vespers (the Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours). Since the Second Vatican Council, they have also been adapted (slightly reworded and rearranged) for the "Alleluia Verse" of the Mass (the short scriptural text or paraphrase that...
  • In Defense of the Immaculate Conception: Part 4

    12/16/2014 4:26:56 PM PST · by NYer · 20 replies
    Catholic Stand ^ | December 16, 2014 | Nick Hardesty
    In Part 1 we saw that Mary is the “woman” from Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 12 who is at enmity with the devil. In Part 2 we saw that Mary is the “Ark of the New Covenant.” In Part 3 we saw that Gabriel’s salutation points to Mary as an extraordinarily graced individual. Here in Part 4 I would like to examine what it means that Mary is “blessed among women.”Blessed Are You Among Women Elizabeth’s words to Mary continue to be important here: … [A]nd she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is...
  • For Advent: Life Begins in the Womb

    12/16/2014 4:11:27 PM PST · by Salvation · 24 replies
    CatholicPlanet.com ^ | not given | Christopher D. Surber
    Life Begins in the Womb “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5, ESV) Every Christian living in the United States is confronted with a question. Is abortion permissible? Abortion is lawful. Many people consider it a viable alternative to an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. Many of the people who espouse such a belief are intelligent and appear to be well informed. Regardless of a person's social status or level of education, that person is still subject to truth....
  • In Defense of the Immaculate Conception: Part 3

    12/16/2014 2:30:50 PM PST · by NYer · 14 replies
    Catholic Stand ^ | December 15, 2014 | Nick Hardesty
    In Part 1 we saw that Mary is the woman from Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 12 who is at enmity with the devil. In Part 2, we saw that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant. Now I would like to examine the salutation of Gabriel, which I think provides some of the strongest evidence for the Immaculate Conception and the sinlessness of Mary.The Salutation of Gabriel With this section, I am attempting to synthesize information taken from the following articles: Lk 1:28 and the Immaculate Conception: Linguistic and Exegetical ConsiderationsDialogue on the Exegesis of Lk 1:28 and the...
  • The Past and Present of The Russian Orthodox Church Contain Some Valuable Lessons for Roman.....

    12/16/2014 1:57:38 PM PST · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    Abyssus Abyssum Invocat / Deep Calls to Deep ^ | 12/15/14 | Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev
    Atheism and Orthodoxy in Modern RussiaBy Metropolitan Hilarion AlfeyevMay 2001In this talk I propose to outline the history of atheism in Russia during the last hundred years. I will start by considering the kind of atheism present in Russia before the Revolution. Then I will say something about the development of atheism during the Soviet period. And finally I will conclude with some observations concerning the nature of Russian post-Soviet atheism.

I should like to begin with the following questions. How did it happen that the country known as ‘Holy Russia’, with such a long history of Orthodox Christianity, was in...
  • Catholic Word of the Day: REGIMINI ECCLESIAE UNIVERSAE, 12-16-14

    12/16/2014 9:01:57 AM PST · by Salvation · 1 replies
    CCDictionary ^ | 12-16-14 | Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary
    Featured Term selected at random:REGIMINI ECCLESIAE UNIVERSAEApostolic consititution authorizing the new constitution of the Roman Curia. This estensive document gives the juridical structure of: 1. the whole Roman curia in general; 2. the Secretary of State and the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church; 3. the Sacred Congregations (nine); 4. the Secretariats (three); 5. the Council of the Laity and Commission "Justice and Peace"; 6. the Tribunals (three); and 7. Offices (six). Pope Paul VI hereby ratified the centureies-old curial system which he described as "rendering the universal Church outstanding service" (August 15, 1967). All items in...
  • Dont Forget to Worship God! A Call to Better Liturgy from an Unlikely Source

    12/16/2014 6:54:56 AM PST · by Salvation · 34 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-15-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Don’t Forget to Worship God! A Call to Better Liturgy from an Unlikely Source By: Msgr. Charles Pope We have discussed before many of the trends of modern liturgy and how the focus has shifted from God to the “assembly.” Too much of modern liturgy today is anthropocentric (focused on man).Back in the 1990’s, Thomas Day observed in the book Why Catholics Can’t Sing, that liturgy today often comes down  to “the aware, gathered community, celebrating itself.” Many modern songs go on at great length about how we are the gathered, we are the flock, we have been sung throughout all of...
  • 22. "Praise to the Man": A Review of the Annual Joseph Smith Memorial Sermons ['Smithmasing']

    12/15/2014 8:48:42 PM PST · by Colofornian · 30 replies
    BYU Religious Studies Center ^ | 2005 | Thomas E. Thunell
    One of the most significant ongoing tributes to the Prophet Joseph Smith is the annual Joseph Smith Memorial Firesides...These...began in 1944 and have been held each year since, as close as possible to December 23, Joseph Smiths birthday...Brother Chase...published a ...volume titled Joseph the Prophet, As He Lives in the Hearts of His People. SNIP ...William E. Berrett...It is an appropriate thing to remember the birthday of...Joseph...This is the birthday of our greatest countryman. Joseph Smith is the only American whose birthday is heralded around the world...People of every land and of every race are coming to honor the birthday...
  • For Advent: Inspiring Examples of Aged Faith

    12/15/2014 6:58:43 PM PST · by Salvation · 4 replies
    CatholicExchange.com ^ | September 7th, 2010 | Fr. Kyle Schnippel
    Inspiring Examples of Aged Faith September 7th, 2010 by Fr. Kyle Schnippel   Last week, I had the opportunity to con-celebrate Mass with two priests who, together, have 120 years of priestly experience.  Only bringing 6 years to the Altar myself, I was somewhat in awe of the two aged servants who have toiled long in the vineyard of the Lord.As I reflect back on this Mass, and as I have continued to grow in friendship with these two men (who are both old enough to be my grandfather!), I continue to marvel at the great gift of the...
  • Straight Answers: Who Were the Magi?

    12/15/2014 1:25:07 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 55 replies
    Catholic Herald ^ | Fr. William Saunders
    Who were the Magi? The Gospel of Matthew mentions the Magi who came from the East to worship the newborn Christ child (cf. Matthew 2:1-12). Exactly who the magi were though remains somewhat of a mystery. Oftentimes, the English translations of the Bible use the word astrologers for magi. In Greek, the original language of the Gospel' the word magos (magoi, plural) has four meanings: (1) a member of the priestly class of ancient Persia, where astrology and astronomy were prominent in Biblical times; (2) one who had occult knowledge and power, and was adept at dream interpretation' astrology, fortune-telling,...
  • How December 25 Became Christmas

    12/15/2014 9:22:24 AM PST · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 45 replies
    Biblical Archaeology Society ^ | 8/12/2104 | Andrew McGowan
    On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus' birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods - these all characterize the feast today, at least in the northern hemisphere. But just how did the Christmas festival originate? How did December 25 become associated with Jesus' birthday? The Bible offers few clues: Celebrations of Jesus' nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts; the date is not given, not even the time of year. The biblical reference to shepherds tending their flocks at night when the hear the news of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:8)...
  • Bible Mystery: What Terrible Thing Did Ham Do to Drunken, Naked Noah?

    12/15/2014 9:12:57 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 54 replies
    Pajamas Media ^ | 12/15/2014 | Dave Swindle
    Yesterday a friend and I were talking about some of the weird, perplexing things in the Bible, swapping quotes and links to try to make sense of a strange passage. I decided I’d throw it out there today and see what others thought.Genesis 9:18-27 describes how after Noah lands the ark and makes a covenant with God he plants an orchard, invents wine, and gets drunk. Then his son Ham “saw the nakedness of his father” and told his brothers, who then covered their eyes so they didn’t see him, but went in and covered him. Afterwards Noah curses Ham’s...
  • Catholic Word of the Day: KEYS, 12-15-14

    12/15/2014 9:04:32 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    CCDictionary ^ | 12-15-14 | Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary
    Featured Term selected at random:KEYSThe emblem of Christ's conferral of spiritual power on St. Peter: "I will give unto you, the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 16, 19). This distinctive power in the Church given to Peter is expressed by the two crossed keys, the first emblem to have been assigned to any saint, at the same time as the sword came to represent St. Paul. All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, Eternal Life. Used with permission.
  • Some with Same-Sex Attraction Choose Celibacy A Reflection on an Article in the Washington Post

    12/15/2014 7:48:25 AM PST · by Salvation · 36 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-14-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Some with Same-Sex Attraction Choose Celibacy – A Reflection on an Article in the Washington Post By: Msgr. Charles PopeA little over a year ago, I wrote an article asking and answering this question: What Does the Catholic Church Offer for those with Same-Sex Attraction? And the answer is, “the truth.” It is the same gift we offer anyone who will give us the gift of attention and presence. The truth, as revealed by God, is what we offer and celebrate along with the Sacraments, the communal life, and prayer.Of course the truth we offer in terms of human sexuality...
  • John Knox 500: Reformer, Pastor, Critic of Political / Religious Tyranny

    12/15/2014 5:35:36 AM PST · by Gamecock · 9 replies
    The Aquilla Report ^ | December 14, 2014 | Don Sweeting
    Knox was the leader of the Scottish reformation and the founder of the Scottish Presbyterian church. John Knox had a passion for Gods Word and a passion for Scotland. He was known for his stance against both political and religious tyranny. He did not want to see Scotland come under the dominion of the Roman Catholic Church or a French monarch. Instead, he wanted to see it under the dominion of Christ and his Word. His famous prayer was, echoing Hannas prayer in the Old Testament, Oh God, give me Scotland or I die! Knox distrusted and worked against absolute...
  • For Advent: Celibacy in the First Two Centuries

    12/14/2014 7:25:42 PM PST · by Salvation · 31 replies
    Celibacy in the First Two Centuriesby Fr. Michael E. Giesler It is a fact that virginity and continence (restraint from sexual activity) were highly regarded in ancient times. Many non-Christian peoples valued these practices for their ascetical example as well as for their religious significance.1 Hebrew priests were asked to abstain from intercourse in order to prepare themselves for certain rituals, the Roman vestal virgins were considered sacred guardians of the city, and many tribal religions considered sexual abstinence, at least for a time, as a way to win favor from God. Closer to the time of Christ, a religious...
  • The Sunday Propers: Gaudete Sunday

    12/14/2014 8:32:51 AM PST · by Salvation · 3 replies
    CatholicExchange.com ^ | December 2014 | Kevin Tierney
    The Sunday Propers: Gaudete Sunday Kevin TierneyIn his commentary on today’s Mass in The Liturgical Year, Dom Prosper Gueranger speaks of a Church that will “somewhat lessen” the penitential season in today’s liturgy.  Bells are rung, the Gloria is sung and the organ is played, something that doesn’t happen during Advent normally.  Why is this so?  While normally we answer “to anticipate the joy of the Messiah”, I think a deeper answer is in order, and today’s liturgy provides it.When we fast, it is important to remember that the point is not to “give something up.”  The point is...
  • Christmas, time, and eternity

    12/14/2014 8:15:52 AM PST · by NKP_Vet · 5 replies
    http://thecatholicthing.org ^ | December 14, 2014 | Russell Shaw
    I need to begin with a confession: Im one of those people who gets his Christmas cards done way ahead of time. This year I started a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, which is more or less what I always do. Why so early? Because this is how people with a compulsive streak do everything. Granted, our obsession with punctuality makes us pains in the neck, but remember we compulsives are the ones who arrive on time for appointments, meet our deadlines, and make the trains run on time. Time. That was what I was thinking about during one...
  • Sweet, Beautiful, Soul-Saving Joy A Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Advent

    12/14/2014 7:31:49 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-14-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Sweet, Beautiful, Soul-Saving Joy – A Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Advent By: Msgr. Charles PopeThis Sunday is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday based on the Introit for the day: Gaudete in Domino semper, iterum dico, Gaudete (from Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, Rejoice). This theme is developed most fully in today’s readings in 1 Thessalonians 5:16ff. It, too, begins with the salutation and imperative, “rejoice always!”Let’s take a closer look at that reading and what is meant by the admonition to “rejoice.”The text begins, Rejoice always. The Greek word properly translated here as “rejoice”...
  • For Advent: The Importance of Mothers and Fathers

    12/13/2014 5:43:59 PM PST · by Salvation · 7 replies
    StayCahtolic via Columbia Magazine ^ | 2013 | Archbishop William E. Lori
    The Importance of Mothers and Fathersby Archbishop William E. LoriNo one loves us quite so tenderly and persistently as our mothers. Where would we be without them? They are the glue that holds families together. Even though Mother’s Day is past, it is never too late to pay tribute to our mothers, living and dead, and to commend them to the Lord. Let me wager, however, that good mothers desire, more than anything else, good husbands and fathers. They deserve husbands who are loving and faithful. Mothers understand how important a father’s love and example is for their children....
  • Catholic Word of the Day: FATHERS OF THE CHURCH, 12-13-14

    12/13/2014 7:55:35 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    CCDictionary ^ | 12-13-14 | Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary
    Featured Term selected at random:FATHERS OF THE CHURCHSaintly writers of the early centuries whom the Church recognizes as her special witnesses of the faith. Antiquity, orthodoxy, sanctity, and approval by the Church are their four main prerogatives. They are commonly divided into the Greek and Latin Fathers. It is now generally held that the last of the Western Fathers (Latin) closed with St. Isidore of Seville (560-636), and the last of the Eastern Fathers (Greek) was St. John Damascene (675-749). LATIN FATHERS OF THE CHURCH St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (340-97) Arnobius, apologist (d 327) St. Augustine, Bishop of...
  • How the First Christians Changed the World (and What We Can Learn from Them)

    12/12/2014 9:41:27 PM PST · by NKP_Vet · 153 replies
    http://www.catholic.com ^ | Fr. Michael Giesler
    A small group of men and women once set its principles of charity and temperance against the prevailing values of the ageand in so doing altered the course of civilization. Because the early Christians belief had a specific content of truth and morality based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, they could not simply go with the flow. Jesus was both God and man. They could not worship, or pretend to worship, a mere human being who claimed to be God because he was Caesar. And this seemed to non-Christians to be an unpardonable stubbornness and perversity. Marriage...
  • For Advent: The Seven Capital Sins: Lust (Week 1)

    12/12/2014 7:35:20 PM PST · by Salvation · 10 replies
    Catholic.net ^ | 2004 | Fr. Michael Sliney, LC
    The Seven Capital Sins: Lust (Week 1)Fr. Michael gives advice on how to overcome the sin of lust in our lives. This is the first of a seven-part series on the Capital Sins. by Fr. Michael Sliney, LC | Source: Catholic.net My weekly message for the next seven weeks will be focused on the 7 Capital sins with some practical tips on how to conquer them in your daily lives. The first one is more of an issue for men and teenage boys, so the focus will be in that direction. I sincerely hope that this will be helpful....
  • Catholic "Women Priests": Can There Be a Discussion? (No - here's why)

    12/12/2014 1:05:14 PM PST · by NYer · 64 replies
    Catholic World Report ^ | December 10, 2014 | Fr. Dwight Longenecker
    Those Catholics who are seeking and hoping to "ordain" women are working within a hermeneutic of revolution. Rose Marie Dunn Hudson and Elsie Hainz McGrath kneel before Patricia Fresen, center, during a ceremony in November 2007 "ordaining" them into a group called the Roman Catholic Womenpriests at a St. Louis synagogue called Central Reform Congregation. (CNS photo/Karen Elshout) Eleven years ago Christine Mayr Lumetzberger was excommunicated because she attempted to be ordained as a Catholic priest. A mischievous and misleading article by British journalist Peter Stanford entitled “Meet the Female Priest Defying Catholicism for her Faith" recounts her story.  Ms....