Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Church Loves Women, But We Can't Be Priests

Recently in my town, a married, ex-Catholic nun, was said to be "ordained" a Roman Catholic Priest.  This incident was first reported by WTHR-TV, and then also reported in our local newspaper, The Indianapolis Star.  Normally I would provide links to such reports, but in this case I'm not going to because I'm upset that the media would report such fallacy... saying that this woman was "ordained a Roman Catholic Priest".  I'm upset because I feel the Church is seriously under attack this day and age because the world, even many Catholics themselves, don't understand the faith, and we're ridiculed and thought to have "outdated" beliefs in regards to what today's society deems "acceptable, contemporary, or normal".  These so-called news reports do nothing more than confuse people even more, and/or stir up more controversy about our faith, in an effort to try to prove "just how outdated" our Church teachings are.  To read and see clips of these articles, you can find them by doing an internet search. 

The Catholic Church loves women, but we can't be priests.  I put the word -ordained- in quotations earlier because in the Catholic Church, women can't be ordained into the priesthood, and so she is NOT considered by the Catholic Church to be an actual priest.  I realize that many people don't understand why or accept that the Church has a papal authority and doctrine we're to follow, but that's a subject for future posts.  Please know there are truly faith-based, Godly reasons for this authority, and not just for purposes of control or to marginalize ANY groups of people.  (I try to keep my blog posts short, so I won't go into all that right now.) 

Not only is this woman NOT truly a Roman Catholic Priest, but she, and anyone who takes part in this false ordination, is deemed excommunicated from the Church.  I know that may sound harsh, but again, there are very valid reasons for this, which would take this conversation in a different direction.

You might ask, "Well if the ordination is not valid, then how did it come to be that she could even pursue it and have anyone 'ordain' her?"  Good question.  Just like with any organization, even other religions, unfortunately there are wayward descendants.  Some wayward ex-priests who have left the Church, and who believe it's ok for women to be priests, simulated ordinations of some women "bishops", and then those women "bishops" have gone on to "ordain" other women as "priests".  None of these women are seen by the Church as truly Roman Catholic Bishops or Priests.  In fact, they have no privileges to conduct any Catholic ceremonies in any Catholic Church.  Therefore they must carry out their intentions elsewhere, outside of a Catholic Church.  The number of these wayward ex-priests, and women being "ordained" is very small.  That being said, it still mars the Church because of what these people stand for, and in essence are saying it's ok to just do whatever you want.  The Church's teachings are passed down from GOD, not a bunch of men making up rules, and that is sacred to us and our faith.

Basically, only MEN can be priest because Jesus himself was a man, and he passed on the Church to only MALE apostles.  Jesus, God in the flesh, had reasons for this.  We respect the actions and words of Christ so much, that for 2000 years we have stuck to this call to pass down the priesthood to only men.  Priest are to be "in persona Christi Capitis", which is Latin for "in the person of Christ".  We respect this to mean, in every since of the phrase.  Christ was male, and he did not marry.

Some feminists have said that the Church is against women being priests because the Church devalues women.  That is so untrue!  The Church highly reveres women.  A perfect example is Mary.  Most everyone knows that Catholics revere Mary (revere NOT worship... another blog topic someday) because she is the Mother of God.  If the Church didn't respect woman, do you think we'd value Mary so much?  And besides, wouldn't a true feminist wonder WHY a women feels she HAS to be given the opportunity to have the same role in an organization to be seen as equal?   To me, that's devaluing women... saying a women HAS to be the same as a man to be viewed or considered as valuable.  There's a lot more I could say about all this, delving deeper into these issues, but the intentions of my blog are to be brief, concise, and to the point, so the truth can be easily explained, understood, and spread more readily.  It's also important because of the nature of this medium and our society wanting everything FAST in order to move on to the next thing catching our attention. 

It bothers me also that this woman in Indiana says she wants to be a priest in order to make those marginalized by the Church (she referred to homosexuals, and those divorced or remarried) feel "there's a place for them".  She intends to seek to promote her "service" and "calling" to minister to homosexuals and those divorced or remarried.  I have a problem with her insinuating that the Church marginalizes ANY group of people!  I know some people may feel this has happened to them, or know someone it may have happened to, and I'm so sorry to hear that, and my heart breaks for them. (And by the way it's not just Catholics, other so-called Christians have done this to people too.)  My only consolation for it is that it happened out of ignorance, and people are human and make grave mistakes.  I personally don't know any priest who would not show love toward ANY kind of person, regardless of their sexual orientation, or marital status.  God loves ALL people, and we're called to do the same.

Please share this truth with others so they will know, #1) to be careful of what you read and hear from mainstream media, and most importantly #2) to know the truth about who truly can and can't be ordained into the priesthood and why.  I wrote about this topic a bit out of order from what I originally intended, before explaining more back-story of the history and traditions of our faith, because this topic was just in the media and I wanted to address it right away.  There's so much more to understand about WHY Catholics do what we do, and believe what we believe.  I'll eat that elephant one bite at a time!  Thank you for joining me here.  I hope you'll consider sharing this information with others.

Peace be with you!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

It's Divine Mercy Sunday - What does that mean?

For Catholics...  go to confession* and receive the Holy Communion today for special indulgences from sin.  For non-Catholics reading this, it will probably seem strange to you if you don't understand how Catholics view and believe in Tradition, and how we heed what the Pope, Saints and the Church tell us (we believed it all comes from Christ Himself because there are other figures and resources, along with the Bible, that we can divinely learn from).  I will discuss those things for better understanding in the future, but since it's Divine Mercy Sunday today, I wanted to go ahead and share this now.

Divine Mercy Sunday is a Roman Catholic solemnity celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave of Easter. It is originally based on the Catholic devotion to the Divine Mercy that Saint Faustina Kowalska reported as part of her encounter with Jesus, and is associated with special promises from Jesus.  -From Wikipedia

The attached is a great consolation in our troubled world, by Fr. Marvin Deutsch, M.M.

About Divine Mercy Sunday

Today, the first Sunday after Easter, is Divine Mercy Sunday. This is something rather new in the Church. Where did it come from and why did it spring up? For many years, in fact about 300, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was very popular. This devotion was introduced by Jesus himself through revelations to Margaret Mary Alocoque who died in the year 1690. It was faithfully promoted by the Jesuits. I remember as a boy, my mother used to listen to a 15 minute broadcast every morning at 7 AM speaking about devotion to the Sacred Heard and its many merits bringing peace to the soul. The program was beautifully done by the Jesuits and seemed to be in such a stark contrast to the news of the day which was usually alarming and distressing. However, unfortunately, this devotion fell away along with many others at the close of the Vatican Council. It was obvious to me that something new was needed to replace it.

In God's plan, we see that's what happened. Something new came about through revelations to Sr. Faustina Kowalska, a nun who lived in Krakow, Poland. Jesus dictated many things to her which she wrote down and today can be found in a large book, The Diary of Sr. Faustina. Sr. Faustina died in the year 1938 at the age of 33. The 6 notebooks she had filled with her conversations with Christ, were stored away in the convent archives, and remained there many years just gathering dust. But Karol Vojtyla, the Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow, found out about these writings, rescued them from the archives and appointed his best Theologian to pour over them. The results were amazing. The accuracy and depth of these writings from a theological point of view were astounding. It was not possible that a simple uneducated nun could write something like this without divine help.

Well, Cardinal Archbishop Vojtyla was elected Pope in 1978. Two years later in 1980 he wrote his second encyclical entitled, Dives in Misericorida (Rich in Mercy). He said the reason why he wrote this encyclical was because he believed that because of the major anxieties of our times, what was needed was God's mercy, for God's mercy constituted the fundamental content of the messianic message.

This devotion was celebrated unofficially in many places for many years, especially through the recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet on the rosary beads. However, on April 30th, 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina and designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday in the General Roman Calendar. At this time, the Pope said that he felt a closeness to Sr. Faustina when he was writing his encyclical, Dives in Miserecordia. It is interesting to note that the Pope died during the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005. For good reason he is known even today as the Mercy Pope. It is no coincidence that Pope John Paul is being beatified tomorrow, May 1. When canonized in the not too distant future, as one of his attributes, he will be St. John Paul of the Divine Mercy.

One of the requests of Jesus to Sr. Faustina was that there should not only be a feast day of Divine Mercy but also a novena to precede it. Thus the novena would begin on Good Friday and end on the Saturday before Divine Mercy Sunday. I would like to briefly mention the novena intention for each day which Jesus asked Sr. Faustina to include:

Day one - "Today bring to me all mankind, especially all sinners." Day two - "Today bring me the Souls of Priests and Religious." Day three - "Today bring me all devout and faithful souls." Day 4 - "Today bring to me those who do not believe in God and those who do not know me." Day 5 - "Today bring me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from my Church." Day 6 - "Today bring me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children." Day 7 - "Today bring me the souls who especially venerate and glorify my Mercy." Day 8 - "Today bring me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory." Day 9 - Today bring to me the souls of those who have become lukewarm."

There is more to each intention - the words of Jesus expressing his sorrow. But I will just include here for brevity and gravity sake, his words regarding intention number 7, which is especially relevant for all of you who are here today:

Today bring to me the souls who especially venerate and glorify my Mercy: Most merciful Jesus, whose heart is love itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your Mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities, they go forward, confident of Your Mercy; and united to you, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

Some concluding thoughts: The Divine Mercy promoted by St. Faustina is based upon entries in St. Faustina's dairy stating that anyone who participates in the Mass and receives the sacraments of confession and Eucharist on this day is assured by Jesus of full remission of sins. According to the notebooks of St. Faustina, Jesus made the following statements about this day.

On that day the very depths of my tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of my mercy. The soul that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My Mercy is so great that no mind be that of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity."
(Diary of St. Faustina, 699) 

  - Fr. Marvin Deutsch, M.M.

Singing of the Divine Mercy prayer.

*The Church says about Confession regarding Divine Mercy Sunday: "It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope's intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act."  In other words, if you receive Holy Communion today, and have been to, or plan to go to Confession within 20 days of today, then you'll receive a plenary indulgence.  Click HERE for "General Remarks on Indulgence" from the Vatican.

May His abundant Mercy be upon you!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Kudos On This One Ashley Judd!

Kudos Ashley Judd for speaking out!  Recently, actress Ashley Judd has been scrutinized by the media over her "puffy face" appearance, as they speculate whether she's had plastic surgery.  Ashley took great offense to this because of the degrading assaults women are constantly under by our society, which I believe media and Hollywood is a lot to blame (spurred on by the evil-one himself).  Mrs. Judd speaks out about this hideous social "norm", and that both men AND women play into it.

"I think it's the objectification of girls and women in the hypersexualization of our society that invites the criticism." When I heard Ashley Judd say these words the other night on NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams, it definitely caught my attention, as it's an issue that really strikes a nerve with me. 

Mrs. Judd explains: "I choose to address it because the conversation was pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle. The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about."  I totally agree Ashley!

She goes on to say: "We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted."

Click HERE for Mrs. Judd's entire essay on

I'll be blogging a lot more about similar topics as I'm immensely passionate about this, and the moral downfall of our society and where it's headed.  In my young, stupid and naive years, I myself feed this disgusting monster.  Both women and men need to speak out against how our society devalues, degrades, and objectifies women and girls!  If you don't have children yourself, think about a niece, or cousin, Godchild or friend.  Consider viewing the garbage on TV and radio, in movies and magazines, and today's "fashions" from a different angle.   Media and Hollywood has worked hard for years to desensitize us to, and deface the true nature and beauty of sexuality as it was meant by our Creator.  It's been working for them because WE sadly feed into it! 

I'm on a crusade about this.  It's time for more of us to take a stand against this problem, to speak out about it, stop being complacent, and demand BETTER for our society, children and future generations.  I use to be complacent about this issue myself because I thought, "What does it hurt?  I can't do anything to change things anyway.  People can choose to not look at it, or change the channel."  We'll I'm not being complacent anymore, I'm speaking out and I'd like to encourage others to do the same.  My hope is by having conversations about this, it will get others to become more sensitive to the degradation of women (and men) and sexuality.  Our society is so numb to it because we see and hear it everywhere, and it's sickening.  And if, or when, you see things truly for what they are and what it's doing to our culture, then talk to your kids about it too, because believe me, if you don't think this insidious worm isn't burrowing its way into your children's brains by what they see and hear all over the place, it is!  So please, take a stand too.  Don't be complacent.  Start talking about it with young people and other parents, and discuss and share things on social media too, about how the hypersexualization of our culture is destructive.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!

The clip below is from the April 11, 2012, NBC Rock Center interview with Ashley Judd as she stands up to the media assaults on our society.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Yay! Easter Isn't Over!

As Catholics, I love that we continue to celebrate Easter for seven more weeks.  Isn't that great?!  The Easter Season (aka Eastertide) is a continued journey and celebration for 50 days after Easter Day, until Pentecost Sunday.

I found a really good article on written by Randy Sly (former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church turned Catholic convert, and Associate Editor of Catholic Online) about the significance of the Easter Season.  I'd like to share experts from that article here, with a link to the entire article posted at the end.

"For many Protestants, Easter is over after the Sunday service. On Monday, it is back to regular routine; one could say they have entered back into ordinary time.

As Catholics, however, we're not finished. We have the eight days - the Octave Easter. For example, in the Office of Morning Prayer the psalms for Easter Sunday are recited each day. We have eight Easters, ending with Divine Mercy Sunday.

While Easter is a Solemnity and an Octave Feast, it is also a 50-day journey until Pentecost. We continue to remember his resurrection with special devotion. But why focus on Easter as a season? Isn't every Sunday a "little Easter?" Don't we commemorate his passion, death and resurrection every day of the year?

Saint Augustine shares this perspective: "The season before Easter signifies the troubles in which we live here and now, while the time after Easter which we are celebrating at present signifies the happiness that will be ours in the future.

"What we commemorate before Easter is what we experience in this life; what we celebrate after Easter points to something we do not yet possess."

The Season of Easter is not just about His resurrection but ours. St. Maximus of Turin wrote in the 5th Century, "Christ is risen! He has burst open the gates of hell and let the dead go free; he has renewed the earth through the members of his Church now born again in baptism, and has made it blossom afresh with men brought back to life.

"His Holy Spirit has unlocked the doors of heaven, which stand wide open to receive those who rise up from the earth."...

...During the season of Easter our particular focus is on a hope beyond this world - a hope that is a great equalizer for those who are infirm or healthy, rich or poor. It is a hope that transcends our current situation with the hope of something better and eternal!

Anthony DeStefano, in his book "Travel Guide to Heaven" says that any discussion of heaven needs to include fun. "It's a place of unlimited pleasure, unlimited happiness and unlimited joy!"

Now, that's worth thinking about, worth celebrating and worth telling others. ...

...In the year's Easter Vigil, Pope Benedict declared, "At Easter, on the morning of the first day of the week, God said once again: 'Let there be light.'

"The night on the Mount of Olives, the solar eclipse of Jesus' passion and death, the night of the grave had all passed. Now it is the first day once again - creation is beginning anew. 'Let there be light,' says God, 'and there was light:' Jesus rises from the grave. Life is stronger than death. Good is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Truth is stronger than lies.

"The darkness of the previous days is driven away the moment Jesus rises from the grave and himself becomes God's pure light. But this applies not only to him, not only to the darkness of those days. With the resurrection of Jesus, light itself is created anew. He draws all of us after him into the new light of the resurrection and he conquers all darkness. He is God's new day, new for all of us."

As we now journey the 50 days to Pentecost, we are walking in the new light - the light of new creation which we each experience through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We don't have to live out as those who have no hope. Our hope is fixed, our pathway is lit and our voyage is refreshed by resurrection's sun and again underway." 

Click --> HERE <-- for the full article.

Happy Easter Season!

Monday, April 9, 2012

"The Catholic Priesthood" - 3 Minute Video

Starlight Media Productions has produced a short but powerful video on the Catholic priesthood.  It's fantastic!  Do you know someone thinking about the priesthood? Pass this on and TELL THEM you think they'd make a good priest.

Not only is this a wonderful video for young men considering the priesthood, I also love how it captures the beauty and history of this sacred vocation and the Catholic Church.

Please include in your daily prayers, prayers for an increase to religious vocations, and for the intentions of the Pope, all bishops and priests, and clergy everywhere.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Tonight is the 10th anniversary of my homecoming into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  My life is so much more enriched because of it.  The funny thing is, I hardly had a clue 10 years ago, but by the grace of God, He guided me.  Thank you, Lord!

I LOVE listening to the Pope's homilies.  I always find them extremely beautiful, enlightening, poetic, and intelligent.  I hope you'll take the time to listen to Pope Benedict XVI's Easter Vigil Homily from April 7, 2012.  (This version is translated into English.)  I bet you'll find it beautiful too!

Wishing you love, warmth, and LIGHT, always!


What is Holy Saturday?

What is Holy Saturday? 
Click --> HERE <-- for a great video summing it up in 54 seconds.

Blessings to you this day!

Easter "Passing Over"

"You've Got Holy Week" - by Cardinal Dolan  <-- (Click text to view video.)
Cardinal Dolan has a great 1 minute video explaining that Easter's about "Passing Over". 
Great watch!

Blessed Holy Week!

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Good" Friday?

Today is Good Friday.  The day is a religious holiday for Christians because it's the day we commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of Jesus, our Savior.  Ever wonder why today is called "Good" Friday when it's one of reverence for Christ's death?  The day is called "good" because by Christ's death He showed His great love for man.  His death was Good for us because He died so that our sins will be forgiven, and we could then have a chance of eternal peace and happiness with Him in Heaven one day.

I highly recommend finding a Good Friday service, Stations of the Cross, or Passion re-enactment to attend today, or rent Mel Gibson's movie Passion of the Christ.  I pretty much guarantee it will move you and draw you nearer to Christ.  Many Christians mostly focus on celebrating Easter, Christ's resurrection, which is a HUGE deal, but many don't commemorate as much the suffering Christ did for us which, to me, is equally as huge.  By reflecting on His Passion and suffering, I don't think you can help but feel just how much He loves you.  To me, it's very emotional and beautiful.

Another act to consider doing today is to recognize the hour of Christ's death at three o'clock.  It says in the Bible that the hour Christ died was "three in the afternoon". 

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last.  -Luke 23:44-46

Today, at 3PM, our family will observe an hour of silence... free from TV, computers, video games, and talking (wish us luck with four kids ages 2-8! LOL), to help us remember what Christ did for us, and how he suffered.  You might consider it too, or at least say a prayer and pause for a moment of reflection.

Take a few minutes to listen to this beautiful song, Via Dolorosa (Latin for "Way of Grief" or "Way of Suffering", is a street within the Old City of Jerusalem, held to be the path that Jesus walked, carrying his cross on the way to his crucifixion) and watch the excerpt from the movie Passion of the Christ.

Many blessings to you this Good Friday and Easter Triduum*. May you feel His immense love for you today and everyday!

*(Definition: The Easter Triduum is the proper name for the three days that precede Easter Sunday. Starting with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on the evening of Holy Thursday, continuing through the Good Friday service, and concluding with the start of the Easter Vigil on the evening of Holy Saturday, the Easter Triduum marks the most significant events of Holy Week (also known as Passiontide).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vote for Cardinal Dolan

Click here to vote now

Help spread the word and please consider VOTING! 

Words of Fr. John Zuhlsdorf from his blog: 

Given what is going on in the USA right now, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, as President of the USCCB, engaged on our behalf in a battle with the White House over the religious liberty and civil rights of all Americans… and making headway… is nothing if not “influential”.
Cardinal Dolan should be on that list.   If he is on that list, he’ll get some “street kred”, though the newsies will ignore it.   Will it make huge difference?   Perhaps not. But when pundits and talking heads prattle about our battle in the news, they could say, “Hey! Keep in mind that Cardinal Dolan is considered in the top 100 by TIME…”, or, if you are an enemy, “Why should the White House listen to Cardinal Dolan?  Nancy Pelosi, Lady Gaga and Kathleen Sebelius are on the TIME list and Dolan isn’t!   Theeeyyyy support the PREZ-i-dent!”   Yes, newsies and talking heads can be that shallow.   But this is the world we live in. 
It would be so good for the Catholic Church (as a way of sharing our faith and credibility) if Cardinal Dolan ended up on this list in TIME Magazine!  Cast your vote HERE.

Cast your votes for the leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes that you think are the most influential people in the world. Official voting ends on Friday, April 6, and the poll winner will be included in the TIME 100 issue. The complete TIME 100 list will be chosen by TIME editors and revealed on on Tuesday, April 17.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Future Blog Topics

Thank you for visiting my blog.  I could really use prayers of discernment and courage for this cyber mission I've started. 

I've felt for some time now, the Lord tapping me on the shoulder, encouraging me to verbalize my thoughts regarding topics of faith, morality, social issues, and Catholicism.  It takes courage to do this.  I stand the risk of being shunned by friends and acquaintances, and criticised by those with opposing views.  If you don't know me, I'm a very sensitive, humble person but objective about it too.  God made me that way and I'm going to embrace it.

A vibrant, passionate, no-holds-barred priest, Fr. John Hollowell, whom I highly respect and follow, is on a mission too.  He's encouraging Catholics to embrace this digital world, social media, and the Web to spread the Gospel, share our views, stand up for our beliefs, and basically "evangelize" (I've never liked that word but what it means is crucial for Catholics in today's society).  I'm taking heed to his call with this blog, and I pray that I'll do God's will and maybe it will help at least one person to re-think some things and bring them closer to our Creator, our Heavenly Father.

I have TONS of stuff to share and say, and it will take me some time to put it all on this blog.  I'd like to encourage you to subscribe to my blog via email or my Facebook page (see buttons on the right side of page to do so) so you don't miss an entry that might be of interest to you to in future.  Most of what I'll address is from a Catholic perspective, but as a past Protestant, I really feel these perspectives can be enlightening to any Christian.  Here's a brief list of things I'll be discussing so you can look forward to future posts...

The 10 Commandments and Evaluation of Conscience
The "New Evangelization"
Parenting and Family
Attending church services/Mass
Life issues and abortion
Eucharist, "Communion"
Scripture and Tradition
The Pope and Priesthood
Prayer and Saints
The Crucifix
And a number of social issues regarding children, marriage and divorce, sex and indecency, and the overall moral anarchy of today.

I hope you'll consider following me on this journey.  (Don't forget to subscribe on the right.)
Really quickly, right now, please say this brief prayer with me... Lord, please guide Agena in this mission, to do your will and have the courage to do so, to protect her and all those who read this from evil, and to open hearts to a deeper relationship with God.  Amen.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Holy Week in 2 Minutes"

(Be sure to check out the brief, two-minute video at the end.  It sums it all up!)

As a Protestant, I always knew the significance of Easter.  However, until I became Catholic, I never fully appreciated it the way I do now.  I love Easter and I love Holy Week.  It's the most beautiful and profound time of year for me as a Christian.  As a Protestant, I never acknowledged Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, or Holy Saturday... all which are crucial days of reverence (along with Lent - the 40 days prior to Easter devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence) in preparation for Easter.  I feel like I missed-out all those years (without knowing it at the time), on truly soaking into my heart, all that the Easter message and Christ's Passion was meant for me.

There are many celebrations in Catholicism that are Traditions.  Other Christian faiths don't understand why we practice our Traditions, and I'm sure that includes Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Holy Week.  As Catholics, we're taught and believe that God's Word is not only given to us in Scripture alone, but also through Holy Tradition.  The early Christians did not have the New Testament.  It was the apostles that passed down Jesus' teachings through hearsay, example, and traditions.  (I plan to explain how this is true in more detail in the future.)  Here's what they teach about Tradition in the new Vatican Catechism of the Catholic Church* - (numbers are paragraph numbers)

#81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit." And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound, and spread it abroad by their preaching.
#82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the Holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence." 
#83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus' teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.
Holy Week begins today - Palm Sunday.  Check out the Busted Halo "Holy Week in 2 Minutes" video for a look at why Catholics wave palms on Palm Sunday, wash each other’s feet on Holy Thursday, kiss the cross on Good Friday, and celebrate the Easter Vigil.

I wish you a very blessed week.  I also wish that maybe someday, if you haven't already, you'll go and experience a Good Friday Stations of the Cross re-enactment at a Catholic church, or an Easter Vigil service on Holy Saturday.  I'd be very surprised if you aren't moved, or don't feel closer to Christ after attending. 

May the Lord be with you.

*The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church's Magisterium. It's used to help teach the faith.