Volume I/ Issue 8/ November 2016
From the Editorial Desk:
Recently I found out about the history of Where’s Wally, (known in the US and Canada as Where's Waldo).
The iconic, elusive man in the red-and-white striped shirt was first hidden away in 1987 by British illustrator Martin Handford.
Handford had been drawing since he was a boy, and was particularly fond of viewing and drawing crowd scenes. He felt crowds contained a certain kind of excitement, and he liked to capture it on paper.
After three years of art school, Handford started working as a freelance illustrator, drawing crowd scenes for a variety of magazines and advertising companies. He got the idea for a whole book made up of crowd scenes and approached a publishing company about it in 1986. The art director suggested that he make a character to act as a focal point in his pictures of crowds to encourage people to look at the picture more closely.
In Handford’s own words,
"I gave him that look because when I originally thought of the character who was lost in all those scenes, I just imagined the reason he was lost was because he was slightly idiotic and didn’t know where he was going.”
Handford soon started designing the two-page spreads that would make up the first Where’s Wally? book. It took him as many as eight weeks to finish each picture, which were filled with various other characters doing a myriad of entertaining things. Some of the spreads contain upwards of 3,000 to 4,000 tiny figures, which understandably take some time to create—not to mention the crazy backgrounds, which include everything from a cake factory to a band competition.
The first Where’s Wally? book was published in the UK in 1987 by Walker Books, followed by publication in the US by first Little, Brown and Company, then Candlewick Press. It featured Wally visiting a bunch of familiar places like the beach and train station.
The books have since been widely published throughout the world in nineteen different languages to date. Wally’s name is often changed for these different editions. For instance, he’s “Waldo” in the US and Canada, “Charlie” in France, “Walter” in Germany, “Ali” in Turkey, “Efi” in Israel, and “Willy” in Norway. All total, the books have sold well over 50 million copies and are still going strong. Not bad for what essentially are just books of drawings of a bunch of crowds in various settings. 1
Now you may be saying, "This is interesting, (or you may not be saying that), but what does this have to do with being a Catholic?
Glad you asked! This month we celebrated the Feast of all Saints and the Feast of all Souls. the Feast days focus on the Saints in Heaven-The Church Triumphant, and the Souls who are in Purgatory- The Church Suffering. We also will be focusing on these to Feast days, but I am adding one other focus. Its one that we do not like talking about but need to be reminded of and that is Hell.
Now when our loved one has died, (we will come him Uncle Waldo) there is always the question in our mind "Where did Uncle Waldo go? Is he in Heaven or Purgatory? Or is he possibly in Hell? Nothing wrong with asking ourselves those questions. The problem is that to many Catholics have automatically where Uncle Waldo has gone. We say things like "Oh, He is in a better place" Really? If Uncle Waldo is in Hell is that suppose to be considered a better place? "I believe Uncle Waldo is up in heaven looking down on us" How do you know that heaven is where Uncle Waldo is? He might be looking up at us from Purgatory!
"Scripture teaches that one’s final salvation depends on the state of the soul at death. As Jesus himself tells us, 'But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.' (Matthew. 24:13; cf. 25:31–46). One who dies in the state of friendship with God (the state of grace) will go to heaven. The one who dies in a state of enmity and rebellion against God (the state of mortal sin) will go to hell." "From the Radio Bible Class listeners can obtain a booklet called Can Anyone Really Know for Sure? The anonymous author says the 'Lord Jesus wanted his followers to be so sure of their salvation that they would rejoice more in the expectation of heaven than in victories on earth.' ‘These things I write to you, that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13).’
"Places where Scripture speaks of our ability to know that we are abiding in grace are important and must be taken seriously. But they do not promise that we will be protected from self-deception on this matter. Even the author of Can Anyone Really Know for Sure? admits that there is a false assurance: "The New Testament teaches us that genuine assurance is possible and desirable, but it also warns us that we can be deceived through a false assurance. Jesus declared: ‘Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven:’ (Matthew 7:21)."
"Catholics do not live lives of mortal terror concerning salvation. True, salvation can be lost through mortal sin, but such sins are by nature grave ones, and not the kind that a person living the Christian life is going to slip into committing on the spur of the moment, without deliberate thought and consent. Neither does the Catholic Church teach that one cannot have an assurance of salvation. This is true both of present and future salvation.
One can be confident of one’s present salvation. This is one of the chief reasons why God gave us the sacraments—to provide visible assurances that he is invisibly providing us with his grace. And one can be confident that one has not thrown away that grace by simply examining one’s life and seeing whether one has committed mortal sin. Indeed, the tests that John sets forth in his first epistle to help us know whether we are abiding in grace are, in essence, tests of whether we are dwelling in grave sin. For example, 'In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. Whosoever is not just, is not of God, nor he that loveth not his brother.' (1 John 3:10), 'If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother; he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, whom he seeth not?' (1 John 4:20), 'For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy.' (1 John 5:3)."2
In conclusion, we can know at any given time where we are at in our relationship to the question, "If you were to die this moment where would you go?" But when it comes to Uncle Waldo after he died? Only God knows where he is. That's why it is so important that we pray for those who have gone before us.
When our times comes and we have died and spent our time in purgatory, God willing when we arrive in heaven, maybe then, we will find Waldo!
All Saints Day
“All Saints Day” is a feast traditionally celebrated on November 1st of every year in our Western Church. Keep in mind that the development of the actual universal Solemnity of All Saints may be somewhat confusing and hard to trace. Why do we suggest this? Because, keep in mind that various local churches celebrated their own “local” versions of All Saints Day from the earliest centuries.
This feast of All Saints was celebrated on May 13th, though. But even prior to this, we can see Church Fathers such as St. John Chystostom, for example, who assigned a date to commemorate a day in honor of All Saints. His date was not set as November 1st as we know it, though. It was celebrated on the First Sunday after Pentecost, where it is still celebrated in Eastern Churches to this day.
It was about the time of Pope Gregory III where the celebration of All Saints was commemorated on November 1st. Prior to this, as mentioned earlier, various churches in various countries around the world celebrated their own All Saints day at various dates throughout the year. The point that we need to focus on in pointing out this brief history of sorts for All Saints Day is that Christians throughout the world were interested in celebrating and commemorating those Christians who had gone before them. Again, this is not a new feast, in other words. It is an ancient practice dating back to the earliest centuries of the church. Many need to bear in mind that not only Roman Catholics and Orthodox but also Anglicans as well as even Lutherans and Methodists also celebrate All Saints Day. Which now leads us into the importance and the underlying meaning of the Feast of All Saints to the Church in general and us as individuals.
Perhaps, first, we can make an analogy which may help to explain the underlying meaning behind the feast.
In America, for example, we will soon be commemorating “Veterans Day.” In a similar vein, the idea is closely aligned with the general purpose and meaning of All Saints Day, when you think about it. Veterans Day simply sets aside a day where we as a nation remember, honor, and commemorate those who have served our country to help insure the freedoms that we enjoy. Again, to point out another secular example, we also commemorate “Presidents Day” to remember all the presidents who have helped to guide our country. “All Saints Day,” then for the Church, is a day where we remember all those (both known and unknown) who are members of the “Communion of Saints,” in other words, the thousands who are recognized as canonized saints.
Why is the Solemnity of All Saints important?
The Church commemorates various feast days or Saint days throughout the year (e.g., the feast of St. Andrew, St. Francis, St. Patrick, etc.) But on All Saints Day, the Church makes a point to remember all those saints who have gone before us and are now enjoying their reward in Heaven. This includes those “known” and even “unknown” saints. Again, why should we even care about remembering . . . let alone set aside a day in honor of . . . . canonized saints? The bottom line is that the Church honors those holy men and women as saints who have proven to be worthy of imitation. In other words, they have each done their part, and in their own way, to lead others to God. Were the saints perfect during their lifetime? Is this what we are celebrating when we celebrate All Saints Day?!? Certainly not! If we look at the Calendar of Saints, we will find all sorts of people from all walks of life . . . priests, religious . . . . . husbands, wives . . . . teachers . . . . soldiers . . .. farmers . . . . . kings and queens . . . you name it! No matter what their station in life, these wonderful men and women provide for each one of us an example of leading a holy life dedicated to God. This is something we should all strive for: to follow God and to live for God each and every day of our life.
The Solemnity of All Saints Day then should inspire each one of us to be a saint.
The Baltimore Catechism says: “The faithful on earth, through the communion of saints, should honor the blessed in heaven and pray to them, because they are worthy of honor and as friends of God will help the faithful on earth.” (Lesson 13 from the Baltimore Catechism) Yes, they are friends of God and they should be our friends as well. They each have shown what it means to love God and to be faithful to God. As such, they are valuable reminders of dedicating one’s life to God. On the Solemnity of All Saints, the Church remembers those good and faithful servants who have gone before us as such good role models. “Let us now praise men of renown, and our fathers in their generation. (Ecclesiasticus 44:1)”
The Funny Fharmacy
A joyful mind maketh age flourishing: a sorrowful spirit drieth up the bones.
Questions and Answers
What would you say proves your papal claimant as Pope of the Universal Church Valid?
The Catholic Church teaches that a heretic cannot become Pope any more than an unbaptized person or a woman. This is stated in the Papal Bull, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio of Pope Paul IV in paragraph 6.
Diocesan Bishops as the Ecclesia Docens (Teaching Church) are held to a higher level in regard to doctrine. It is their duty to see to it that everything taught in their diocese is true Catholic doctrine. Canon Law gives them the right and duty to judge matters of heresy in their own diocese and to absolve from the excommunication for heresy. Therefore they are required to know Catholic teaching. If they commit the crime of heresy, they are presumed to have done so willingly. Therefore they are presumed to incur all of the penalties attached to heresy.
Heretics resign all offices they may hold in the Church and Canon Law accepts their resignation without need of any declaration on the part of a superior.
The Second Vatican Council taught heresy in several documents, including but not limited to the Decree on the Liturgy, the Decree on Ecumenism and the Decree on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.
All but four bishops present voted for the Decree on the Liturgy. Also, unless they state otherwise, all of the bishops present are presumed to have signed all of the decrees of Vatican II. Such is an act of notorious public heresy. Therefore by the end of Vatican II, every bishop present had resigned his office by the commission of public heresy, including the Bishop of Rome, John the Baptist Montini, who had taken the name of Paul VI.
And thus, by the end of Vatican II there was only one Cardinal left, Cardinal Mindszenty, and no Pope. With the Papacy vacant, the Church needed a Pope. Mindszenty died in 1975, therefore the Church had no Cardinals to elect a Pope.
When the Church is without Cardinals, theologians and canonists teach that she must supply herself with a Pope in an extraordinary manner. This they teach is a matter of the Natural Law, since a perfect society always has the ability to supply itself with a ruler. The Church is a perfect society, so it is always possible to elect a Pope, here and now.
The first principle is that the first elected has the Papacy. This is known as first in time, first in right. Also nothing invalidates the election of a Pope, except the election of someone not qualified by Divine Law. Divine Law holds that the unbaptized, women and heretics cannot be elected as Pope. Ecclesiastical Law cannot regulate who may be elected Pope. Every attempt to issue such a law has been set aside by the election of someone not qualified. One such attempt was to limit election to the Cardinals. The electors set this aside by electing someone who was not a Cardinal. Fraud and even simony do not render an election of a Pope invalid.
A reasonable attempt must be made to summon the electors after an office becomes vacant. Those who appear on the day appointed are the electors. Even the absence of a majority of qualified electors does not render an election invalid as history proves.
Beginning in the early 1970's both the fact of the vacancy of the papacy and the necessity of electing a Pope was discussed by Catholics. On July 16, 1990 a group of Catholics assembled and elected David Bawden as Pope, who took the name of Pope Michael. This group made every effort possible to notify all those who might be qualified, including contacting each and every chapel listed as sedevacantist, meaning that they believed the papacy was vacant.
All Souls Day
The road to Heaven goes through Purgatory.
Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of penance. (Matthew 3:8)
In the book Charity for the Suffering Souls we read: “Had those souls, during their mortal life, been more fervent in prayer, in self-denial by fasting, laboring and suffering, they would have entered heaven immediately after death; now others do in their place what they neglected, thus giving security for them.”
Those who have not done sufficient penance here on earth for their sins, must complete it in Purgatory.
Let us consider Saint Therese of Lisieux, who never committed a mortal sin. How much did she pray? How much penance did she do? How much did she search the Scriptures and meditate on them to find her elevator to Heaven? How much worse are we than she was? And we expect to go straight to Heaven?
Let us consider our deliberate venial sins, which we happily commit rather than combat and try to eliminate from our lives.
For a just man shall fall seven times and shall rise again: but the wicked shall fall down into evil. (Proverbs 24:16)
We are told that the just man falls into venial sins that are not deliberate. And these we cannot avoid, but must do penance for them as did Saint Therese.
Saint Francis de Sales says: “Ah, my Theotimus, beyond doubt souls in Purgatory are there because of their sins, sins that they have detested and that they supremely detest.”
But we must look at our mortal sins. How much penance does it take to remove the temporal punishment that is due for watching one single immoral TV program? And yet, how many of us have watched tens of thousands of such programs, committing tens of thousands of such sins.
Yes the road to Heaven goes through Purgatory.
And now we come to a consideration of the day we remember the poor forgotten souls in Purgatory. Prayers were offered for the dead even before Jesus came to earth.
And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead. (II Maccabees 12:43-4)
Towards the end of the tenth century Saint Odo at Cluny directed this commemoration to be made on November 2nd. Pope John XVI extended this to the universal Church. Today it is observed on November 2nd, unless that is the Lord's Day (Sunday), when it is transferred to November 3rd. The Eastern Rites observe several Saturdays in the year to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.
Basically what we do is we do the penance others have not done for them. In Purgatory they are unable to bring forth fruits worthy of penance or to pray for themselves. All they can do is their time, as a prisoner does on earth. We can do penance and pray for them, asking God to commute their sentence and bring them home to Heaven sooner.
And let us consider our duty to bring forth fruits worthy of penance for others. We have a duty to our parents, grandparents and ancestors from whom we have derived life. Consider we may have an ancestor that has been in Purgatory for a thousand years. We do not know their name, but we have a duty to pray for them.
We have a duty to our other relatives, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and cousins. And some of us may have a duty to a child or a grandchild who has gone forth from this life before us.
And let us consider those we had led into sin by word, deed or bad example. We have a duty to pray for them who had followed our bad example. We had a duty of being a good example for them. Because we were not, we have a duty to do penance for the sins that began ultimately with us.
Indeed one day is insufficient to discharge such solemn duties, but let us begin every year on All Souls Day praying for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.
The Pope Speaks
Heroic Act of Charity
This heroic act of charity in behalf of the Souls in Purgatory consists in the voluntary offering made for their relief, of all our works of satisfaction during life, as well as of all suffrages which may be offered for us after death. This offering we place in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that she may distribute its merits to those holy Souls whom it is her good pleasure to deliver from the pains of Purgatory.
Let it be understood, however, that we offer hereby only the special and personal portion of the satisfactory merit of our good works, so that we are not prevented from offering our good works, prayers, the Holy Sacrifice of Mass, etc., for other intentions. It is also to be remembered that, though this act is sometimes called a vow, yet it induces no obligation binding under sin.
Since this is an act of the will, any words which express our intention will suffice.
Now that we have gotten the technical issues out of the way, let us consider why we should do this.
Most of us ask: “What is in it for me?” Instead let us ask ourselves why should I do this? It is time to stop being self-centered, which all of us tend toward.
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the word of the Lord Jesus, how he said: It is a more blessed thing to give, rather than to receive. (Acts Of Apostles 20:35)
By giving away of the works of satisfaction to the poor forgotten souls in Purgatory, we are being selfless, rather than selfish. We are placing someone else's interests before our own. And this is what we are called to do as Christians. Let us look at what Jesus did for us. Can we look up at the Crucifix and remain selfish? Unfortunately we can, and unfortunately do. Let us look at the Crucifix and see how much Jesus did for us. Can't we do a little something for others, following His holy example? This is something we should think about every year on All Souls Day and during the seven days that follow when visiting a cemetery every day to gain the plenary indulgence for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.
By the way, although there is no plenary indulgence during other times of the year, going to a cemetery to pray throughout the year for the Poor Souls in Purgatory is still a benefit to the Souls.
How To Get The Greatest Benefit From Your Problems
Most of us want quick solutions to our problems, but God wants to make sure that all His disciplines for character development in us and those around us are accomplished before He removes the problems.
He is also more concerned that the right procedures be followed in solving the problems than that the problems are actually resolved. It is the process of solving our problems that constitutes the most meaningful chapters of our life message and becomes the greatest help to other people.
We want to get out from under the pressure of our problems, but God wants to use that pressure to motivate us to a greater level of spiritual maturity than we would otherwise have achieved.
Often our present problems are the results of past purposeful disobedience to Church teaching, to scripture we have understood and ignored, and to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Now God is using these problems to apply the pressures we need for complete surrender and obedience. If we fail to gain these benefits from our present problems He will only have to raise up new problems.
The Benefit of Getting More “Actual Graces From God”
The success of our lives is entirely related to how much actual grace God gives us. Actual Grace is the desire and the power to do God's will.
(Philippians 2:13) For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will.
The Baltimore Catechism defines actual Grace as this: “actual grace comes to us only when we need its help in doing or avoiding an action, and it remains with us only while we are doing or avoiding the action.”
How do we receive this actual grace to help us with our problems? Two things are needed to receive this Grace.
- Ask God in prayer for Grace.
(Hebrews 4:16) Let us go therefore with confidence to the throne of grace: that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid.
You may say, “I can't go confidently before the throne. I am to messed up.” but that is one of the reasons why verse 15 of Hebrews 4 says, “For we have not a high priest, who can not have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin.”
- Along with prayer we must have humility
(James 4:6) But he giveth greater (more) grace. Wherefore he saith: God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
St. James goes on to say, “Be subject therefore to God, but resist the devil, and he will fly from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into sorrow. Be humbled in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
Nothing is more humbling than experiencing conflicts we can not solve....
especially when others know about our problems. But it is this very experience that God uses to break our pride and give us grace. That grace, actual grace, will be the prompting of God's Spirit to accomplish the next four benefits God intends for our problems. We will talk about these four benefits in the next few weeks.
Catechism Catch Up!
The Theology of Creation, Creation is a theological issue, not a scientific issue. Theology is the only source from which we have any information about creation. Any study of creation must come in the framework of theology because it is a word from God.
If we want to understand creation, if we want to understand origins, if we want to understand how the universe came into existence and everything that is in it, we have to look at theology, not science.
And the source of theology is the Word of God, in which God speaks, and the Church, which by the direction of the Holy Spirit gave us the Bible, and was given by God the authority to interpret the Bible. The Bible is not theory, the Bible is fact. The Bible is reality. The Bible is truth no matter what subject it addresses, but particularly with regard to origins since no one was here when God created, we have only His eyewitness account.
And when the Bible speaks with regard to creation, or when it speaks with regard to origins, it speaks truly, it speaks factually. And Scripture begins in Genesis 1 and 2 with a very straightforward account of the origin of the universe and the earth and everything on the earth. Scripture opens with one very clear unmistakable statement, it is this, (Genesis 1:1) “In the beginning God created heaven, and earth.” an ambiguous statement. That is not an unclear statement. That is frankly not a statement that needs any explanation. Pre-Darwin, no one was confused by it. “In the beginning God created heaven and the earth.” From there the first chapter of Genesis proceeds to tell us that in six twenty-four hour days God created everything that exists. It is so simple and so clear and so unmistakable that even a small child can understand Genesis 1.
But as simple as even the first statement, “In the beginning God created heaven and the earth,” is, it is at the same time an illustration of the great depth with which God speaks in simple language. In the beginning God created heaven and the earth, a child can understand it. And yet in those simple, clear, unmistakable words there is massive, massive, profound data.
Herbert Spencer, a non-Christian scientist, hailed as one worthy of many prizes in science, died in 1903. The greatest achievement of Herbert Spencer, was that he discovered the categories of the knowable. That is to say he determined that everything that exists fits into one of five categories. This was hailed as a massive, massive cataloging of realities. Spencer said, “Everything fits into one of these categories, time, force, action, space, matter,” and was hailed by the scientific community.
- “In the beginning,” that’s time,
- “God,” that’s force.
- “created,” that’s action.
- “heaven,” that’s space.
- “and earth,” that’s matter.
Everything that Herbert Spencer discovered in 1903, or before that, was in the first verse of Scripture. The Bible says that God created everything, and in saying that, the Bible gives us all the categories that exist. And He did this out of and from nothing, that is with no preexisting material, and He did it in six days.
Now, because the Bible is so clear about this in Genesis 1, and then giving us an even further and more detailed look at this creation, rehearsing its elements in a broader way in chapter 2, you face a test at the very outset of the Bible. You’re not going to get past the first verses of the Bible, you’re not going to get past the first verse in the Bible, the first chapter in the Bible, the first two chapters in the Bible without facing a test. And the test is this, do you believe the Scripture? That is the test. No one gets past the opening verses of the Bible without having to face the test of whether or not that person believes the Bible to be the written Word of God, and to except the Church as the authority to interpret the Word of God. Do you submit to what the Church, the Fathers of the Church and The Scriptures of the Church say? Genesis 1 is your first test.
Either you believe what the Church teaches or you don't. Either you believe what the Bible says or you don’t.
That’s the test. You can accept what Genesis says, or you can reject it. You can’t change it, you don’t have that privilege. There’s no need for you to edit God. There is nothing lacking anywhere in Scripture. God had men of old write exactly what he wanted to be written, and how he wanted it to be written and that’s true of Genesis 1 and 2 which some think we need to embellish it. You either accept it or you reject it, you have those two options.
You say, “What about science? Don’t we have to apply science to the Genesis account to be intellectually honest? Don’t we have to bring the vast scientific knowledge that we’ve accumulated in the modern world to bear upon the text of Genesis in order that we may have a true understanding of it?”
Well there are a lot of people who believe that. There are a mass of people who call themselves Catholic who believe that Genesis is an inadequate presentation of what happened and we have to marry it with scientific discovery in order to get to the truth. Get past the idea that science, makes any contribution to an understanding of creation. It makes none.
Now this may shock you. There is no such thing as the science of creation. It does not exist. Why? Because there is no scientific way to explain creation. It was not a natural event or a series of natural events. It was a brief series of monumental super-natural events that cannot be explained by science. And so again I say, there is no such thing as the science of creation. All science is based on observation and no one observed creation. All science necessitates verification by repetition and creation cannot be repeated, and thus it cannot be verified.
Creation had no observers and cannot be repeated. It is not observable. It is not repeatable. It did not happen by any uniform, predictable, observable, repeatable, fixed, natural, laws. None of it happened according to any of those things. It is just the opposite of that. Creation was a series of supernatural instantaneous, inexplicable miracles...supernatural. That is why there is nowhere in the Genesis account any place where evolution is mentioned or even hinted at. There are no natural processes in creation. There’s only one record of creation, Genesis 1 and 2. You can believe it or you can reject it, but that’s all there is.
You can observe the way things are now but that doesn’t tell you anything about how they became what they are. Creation cannot be understood any other way than by believing the revelation of the creator. And that’s your first test when you open your Bible.
What I’m saying is, Creation is not a scientific event, cannot be explained scientifically as if natural law played any part.
Creation was a massive supernatural miracle to be equaled by the future uncreation when in a lot less than six days God destroys everything He created. Neither event, creation or uncreation, can be explained by any natural fixed laws.
So, all that is left to the reader is the opportunity to believe...fidelity, faithful trust in the Word of the Creator. That’s all we’ve got. You weren’t there and nobody else was there, only God was there and told us how He did it. You can either believe it or you can reject it. If it’s true, the Bible is true. If it’s not true, the Bible is suspect, and the Church that gave us the Bible can't be trusted.
The issue, is fidelity to the truth. This is theological.
Furthermore, look at Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 3. “By faith....(fidelity, faith, trust)...by faith we understand that the world was framed by the word of God;” we have to do this by faith. We were not there. No one was there. It is by faith. “ So that from invisible things visible things (material creation) might be made.” In other words, God made everything that we now see from what is invisible. That is to say He made everything out of nothing, ex nihilo. Hebrews 11:3 is telling us what Genesis records said. That God created everything that exists in the universe out of nothing, from no preexisting material, obviously, that obviates evolution.
Purgatory Surveyed: a Particular Account of the happy, yet thrice unhappy state of the souls there
THIS quaint, but forcible and edifying book, was partly translated, partly, as the translator acknowledges, "disposed, abridged, or enlarged," from a treatise by Father Stephen Binet, a French Jesuit, which is entitled" De Festat heureux et malheureux des ames souffrantes du Purgatoire, ct des moyens souverains pour n'y aller pas, ou y demeurer fort peu; ou sont traictees toutes les plus belles questions du Purgatoire." Paris, 1625, in 12. Douay, 1627, in 24. Father Binet was born at Dijon in 1569, entered the Society in 1590, and, having been successively Rector of its principal houses in France, died at Paris, 1639. This treatise is numbered 20, out of 36 ascetical works composed by him, and given in De Backer's Bibliotheque des Ecrivains de la Compagnie de Jesus. Their titles make one wish that some competent pen may be found, to reproduce them for us in our own tongue. The translator, who simply signs himself by the initials, R.T., was Father Richard Thimelby, also of the Society of Jesus. In those evil days, when it was death to be known to say Mass, or to reconcile anyone to the true Faith, almost every priest was furnished with an alias and Father Thimelby accordingly went sometimes by the name of Ashby. He is described in Dr. Oliver's "Collections" t as being "of a genteel and ancient family in Lincolnshire." This is abundantly justified by notices occurring of the family, at two different periods of English history. Thus: (I.) In Sir S. Meyrick's Heraldic Visitations of Wales, and part of the Marches, Mention is made of Richard Thumbleby (Thimbleby), knight, who was one of the bailiffs of Harddlech, or Harlech, in the county of Lincoln, and son to John Thumbleby, armiger to King Henry V. "It is recorded," says this writer, "I think in Camden's Britannia, that in the chapel of the town of Harlech (now standing, though converted into a dwelling) lies buried Sir Richard Thimbleby, who settled in that county for the purpose of enjoying the sports of hunting and hawking." (2.) Dod's Church History exhibits this knightly Lincolnshire family as maintaining their hereditary spirit of loyalty, like so many other Catholic houses, during the struggles between Charles 1. and his Parliament. We read there of "Charles Thimelby, a captain in the King's army, who lost his life at Worcester;" of " Robert Thimelby, a captain in the royal army, killed near Newark," and of "Nicholas Thimelby, a gentleman volunteer in the King's service, who lost his life at Bristol.”
The Fraters Kitchen
Roasted Corn on the Grill for these cool months
WRAPPED IN FOIL
How to do it: Shuck corn and discard silk and husk. Wrap the corn in heavy duty aluminum foil, with or without a flavored butter or oil inside. Grill directly on hot coals, or on top of a grate set over the coals, turning occasionally until fully cooked, about 15 minutes
Advantages: Very easy to serve—just pull the corn off, let it rest, and serve. The foil will also keep the corn hot for a long time, making this a good method to use for large gatherings or buffet-style service. As with in-the-husk corn, flavored butter inside the package is a neat trick, but doesn't produce markedly superior results to simply coating the corn in flavored butter after cooking.
Disadvantages: It's heavy on prep, requiring shucking, cleaning, and re-wrapping.
How to do it: Shuck and clean corn. Don't worry about getting every last stray piece of silk—they'll burn away on the grill anyway. Do not be tempted to brine your corn. Place the corn directly over a very hot fire and grill, turning occasionally, until charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Serve immediately with flavored or plain butter and salt.
Advantages: It's quick, easy, let's you keep an eye on the corn as it grills, and produces plenty of smoky, charred, grilled flavor.
Disadvantages: The corn won't be quite as juicy as corn steamed in the foil.
Hell exists, and we might go there, but only if we willingly join it in its defeat.
Dear soul, rejoice and take heart. Today we are going to make a consideration of one of the four last things. You will remember that the four last things are death, judgment, heaven, and hell. These should forever be before our eyes in our meditations and remembrances, and most especially in our examinations of conscience. That which we are going to consider today is hell.
It has become almost a cliché to mention that preaching or teaching about hell has fallen out of fashion in our day. There is a truth to that, of course, but the student of history will quickly realize that it has always been thus. The human heart is quite understandably reluctant to spend much time in contemplating the pains of hell. But, dear soul, it is a necessary exercise to us. It is a truth that hell exists, and that we might go there. We must give hell a proper consideration.
But do not fear! For God is with us as we make our consideration. While we yet have breath in our bodies, we still have genuine and founded hope; we have the power of God with us by grace! Our consideration today of hell is not to be regarded as a threat, nor as a source of despair, but rather as a salutary caution and a challenge to greater resolution.
Aided by the light of divine grace, we will be able to make a fruitful consideration of hell, avoiding at the same time another great error of our time: fascination with the infernal.
While it is certainly true that the existence hell is mostly treated with silence or even outright denial in our day, this error gives birth to its own contrarian daughter error. The daughter error is the obsession with hell and the things which pertain to hell. For those caught in this error, scarcely a single meditation can be made without wild imaginings of the pains of hell, of the myriad devils, of the likelihood of condemnation. Before long, the soul is either weighed down in crippling fear or, what is worse, is inflated with a pride to rival that of the devils. Under the influence of demonic inspiration, the soul begins to imagine Almighty God as one who sets pitfalls, seeking to trap all that He may, in order to condemn them unto eternal perdition. The unfortunate soul begins either to see himself as the victim of these strange divine tricks, or on the other hand rejoices when he sees others fall into condemnation.
But remember the words of our Lord: "And there were present, at that very time, some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answering, said to them: Think you that these Galileans were sinners above all the men of Galilee, because they suffered such things? I say to you, No: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower fell in Siloe, and slew them: think you that they also were debtors above all the men that dwell in Jerusalem?I tell you: No: but unless you do penance, you shall all likewise perish," from the Gospel according to Saint Luke 13:1-5.
It is by the grace of God that you will avoid errors, and ultimately avoid hell itself, in doing penance. Let us hear the words of the Scriptures and the Fathers as they lead us in our consideration. We will begin with a brief definition of the term "hell." After that we will hear testimonies not only concerning the existence of hell, but also of what one must do to merit condemnation. Finally, we will hear the good news of the triumph over hell.
Let us begin our brief consideration by defining exactly what it is that is meant by "hell." Let us hear the words of the Roman Catechism (Apostles' Creed, Article V):
Different Abodes Called Hell
These abodes are not all of the same nature, for among them is that most loathsome and dark prison in which the souls of the damned are tormented with the unclean spirits in eternal and inextinguishable fire. This place is called gehenna, the bottomless pit, and is hell strictly so called.
Among them is also the fire of purgatory, in which the souls of just men are cleansed by a temporary punishment, in order to be admitted into their eternal country, into which nothing defiled entereth. The truth of this doctrine, founded, as holy Councils declare, on Scripture, and confirmed by Apostolic tradition, demands exposition from the pastor, all the more diligent and frequent, because we live in times when men endure not sound doctrine.
Lastly, the third kind of abode is that into which the souls of the just before the coming of Christ the Lord, were received, and where, without experiencing any sort of pain, but supported by the blessed hope of redemption, they enjoyed peaceful repose. To liberate these holy souls, who, in the bosom of Abraham were expecting the Saviour, Christ the Lord descended into hell.
Here, we are to make consideration of that first abode here called "hell," of which the Catechism states, "This place is called gehenna, the bottomless pit, and is hell strictly so called."
That hell exists, its nature, and that one may be condemned to it.
From the Scriptures we have the following testimonies. These are but a few passages taken from the Gospels and the other Sacred Writ which point to the unhappy end of those who persevere in rejecting the grace of God. Dear soul, read them attently, and hasten to hear these and all the scriptures when read publicly in the name of the Church during the Sacred Liturgies. Allow the Author of all to lead you and instruct you, as there are far more lessons here than can be catalogued! Here there is wisdom. Let us attend:
But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be liable to the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be liable to the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. - S. Matthew 5:22
And if thy right eye cause thee to offend, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is better for thee that one of thy members should perish, than that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand cause thee to offend, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is better for thee that one of thy members should perish, than that thy whole body should go into hell. - S. Matthew 5:29-30
And I say unto you, that many shall come from the East, and the West, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. - S. Matthew 8:11-12
And fear not them that kill the body, and cannot kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. - S. Matthew 10:28
Let both grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but gather the wheat into my barn. - S. Matthew 13:30
But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless wo to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee with one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. - S. Matthew 18:6-9
Ye serpents, generation of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of hell? - S. Matthew 23:33
Then shall he say to them also, that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink: I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me. Then shall they also answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen, I say to you: as long as you did it not to one of these least ones, neither did you do it to me. And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting. - S. Matthew 25:41-46
And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than, having two hands, to go into hell, into unquenchable fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished. And if thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter lame into life everlasting, than, having two feet, to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee, with one eye, to enter into the kingdom of God; than, having two eyes, to be cast into the hell of fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished. For every one shall be salted with fire: and every victim shall be salted with salt. - S. Mark 9:42-48
And it came to pass that the beggar died, and he was carried by the Angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: And he cried, and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy life-time, and likewise Lazareth evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot, nor from thence come hither. - S. Luke 16:22-26
For an example of the just judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which also you suffer. Seeing it is a just thing with God to repay tribulation to them that trouble you: And to you who are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with the Angels of his power, In a flame of fire, inflicting vengeance to them, who know not God, and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall suffer eternal pains in destruction, from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.- II Thessalonians 1:5-9
But a certain dreadful expectation of judgment and the rage of a fire, which shall consume the adversaries. A man making void the law of Moses, dieth without any mercy under two or three witnesses: How much more, do you think he deserveth worse punishments, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath esteemed the blood of the testament unclean, with which he was sanctified, and hath offered an outrage to the Spirit of grace? For we know him who hath said: Vengeance is mine, and I will repay. And again: The Lord shall judge his people. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. - Hebrews 10:27-31
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be lying teachers among you, who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their luxuries, through whom the way of truth shall be blasphemed: And through covetousness with feigned words they shall make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time ceaseth not, and their destruction slumbereth not. For if God spared not the Angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn down with infernal ropes into hell to be tormented, to be reserved unto judgment. - II S. Peter 2:1-4
As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner having given themselves over to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire. - S. Jude 1:7
Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto life everlasting. And some indeed reprove, being judged. But others save, snatching them out of the fire. - S. Jude 1:21-23
And the third Angel followed them, saying with a loud voice: If any man shall adore the beast, and his image, and receive his mark on his forehead, or in his hand: He also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mingled with pure wine, in the cup of his wrath, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the sight of the holy Angels, and in the sight of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torments shall ascend up for ever and ever: neither have they rest day or night, who have adored the beast, and his image, and whosoever received the mark of his name. - Apocalypse 14:9-11
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in presence of the throne, and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it: and death and hell gave up their dead that were in them: and they were judged every one according to their works. And hell and death were cast into the pool of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the pool of fire. -Apocalypse 20:12-15
Dear soul, here we see from these few brief testimonies of Scripture that hell exists............
that it exists according to the judgment of God, that those who reject the grace given by God of a living faith thereby deprive themselves of eternal life, and choose eternal torment and separation from God. Let us resolve to keep this truth before us, most especially ever time we make our examination of conscience. Such a resolution will provide a sobering influence of inestimable worth as we undertake the spiritual struggle within our own selves.
Having made such a resolution, we will do well to set our sights on living the Christian life with the mindset of the Fathers. They have received and transmitted down to us in our day that Faith once delivered to the Apostles, and they remain a sure measure by which we can have a lively Faith, fruitful in good works, free from that spiritual deception which would destroy the very life of grace itself. Recall our Lord's warning to those who believed they had worked in His name, but whom He had never known!
Give reverential attention to the prophetic Scriptures, and they will make your way plainer for escaping the eternal punishments, and obtaining the eternal prizes of God. For He who gave the mouth for speech, and formed the ear to hear, and made the eye to see, will examine all things, and will judge righteous judgment, rendering merited awards to each. To those who by patient continuance in well-doing seek immortality, He will give life everlasting, joy, peace, rest, and abundance of good things, which neither hath eye seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive. But to the unbelieving and despisers, who obey not the truth, but are obedient to unrighteousness, when they shall have been filled with adulteries and fornications, and filthiness, and covetousness, and unlawful idolatries, there shall be anger and wrath, tribulation and anguish, and at the last everlasting fire shall possess such men. Since you said, “Show me thy God,” this is my God, and I counsel you to fear Him and to trust Him. - S. Theophilus of Antioch
If we do the will of Christ, we shall obtain rest; but if not, if we neglect his commandments, nothing will rescue us from eternal punishment. - S. Clement of Rome
I am not ignorant of the fact that many, in the consciousness of what they deserve, would rather hope than actually believe that there is nothing for them after death. They would prefer to be annihilated rather than be restored for punishment. Nor is there measure nor end to these torments. That clever fire burns the limbs and restores them, wears them away and yet sustains them, just as fiery thunderbolts strike bodies but do not consume them - Minucius Felix
"It is a sea of fire - not a sea of the kind or dimensions we know here, but much larger and fiercer, with waves made of fire, fire of a strange and fearsome kind. There is a great abyss there, in fact, of terrible flames, and one can see fire rushing about on all sides like some wild animal. There will be no one who can resist, no one who can escape: Christ’s gentle, peaceful face will be nowhere to be seen. But as those sentenced to work the mines are give over to rough men and see no more of their families, but only their taskmasters, so it will be there -or not simply so, but much worse. For here on can appeal to the Emperor for clemency, and have the prisoner released - but there, never. They will not be released, but will remain roasting and in such agony as cannot be expressed." - S. John Chrysostom, Homilies on S. Matthew
"All souls are immortal, even those of the wicked. Yet, it would be better for them if they were not deathless. For they are punished with the endless vengeance of the quenchless fire. Since they do not die, it is impossible for them to have an end put to their misery." - S. Clement of Alexandria
"Great, therefore, is the mystery of Christ, before which even angels stood amazed and bewildered. For this cause, then, it is thy duty to worship Him, and, being a servant, thou oughtest not to detract from thy Lord. Ignorance thou mayest not plead, for to this end He came down, that thou mayest believe; if thou believest not, He has not come down for thee, has not suffered for thee. “If I had not come,” saith the Scripture, “and spoken with them, they would have no sin: but now have they no excuse for their sin. He that hateth Me, hateth My Father also.” Who, then, hates Christ, if not he who speaks to His dishonor? — for as it is love’s part to render, so it is hate’s to withdraw honor. He who hates, calls in question; he who loves, pays reverence." - S. Ambrose
“Christ is sacrificed for the salvation of believers. Not all are redeemed, for not all shall be saved, but the remnant. All those who are redeemed and delivered by Thy blood return to Zion, which Thou hast prepared for Thyself by Thine own blood. Christ came to redeem Zion with His blood. But lest we should think that all are Zion or every one is Zion is truly redeemed of the Lord, who are redeemed by the blood of Christ form the Church. - S. Jerome
He is not crucified with Christ who is not a member of the body of Christ. When, therefore, our Saviour is said to be crucified for the redemption of the whole world, because of his true assumption of the human nature, yet may he be said to be crucified only for them unto whom his death was profitable. Diverse from these is their lot who are reckoned amongst them of whom is said, 'the world knew him not.' - S. Prosper of Aquitaine
Standing before [Christ's] judgment, all of them, men, angels, and demons, crying out in one voice, shall say: "Just is your judgment!" And the righteousness of that cry will be apparent in the recompense made to each. To those who have done well, everlasting enjoyment shall be given; while to the lovers of evil shall be given eternal punishment. The unquenchable and unending fire awaits these latter, and a certain fiery worm which does not die and which does not waste the body but continually bursts forth from the body with unceasing pain. No sleep will give them rest; no night will soothe them; no death will deliver them from punishment; no appeal of interceding friends will profit them. - S. Hippolytus
We shall be raised therefore, all with our bodies eternal, but not all with bodies alike; For if a man is righteous, he will receive a heavenly body, that he may be able worthily to hold converse with angels; but if a man is a sinner, he shall receive an eternal body, fitted to endure the penalties of sins, that he may burn eternally in fire, nor ever be consumed. And righteously will God assign this portion to either company; for we do nothing without the body. We blaspheme with the mouth, and with the mouth we pray. With the body we commit fornication, and with the body we keep chastity. With the hand we rob, and by the hand we bestow alms; and the rest in like manner. Since then the body has been our minister in all things, it shall also share with us in the future the fruits of the past. - S. Cyril of Jerusalem
An ever-burning Gehenna and the punishment of being devoured by living flames will consume the condemned; nor will there be any way in which the tormented can ever have respite or be at an end. Souls along with their bodies will be preserved for suffering in unlimited agonies. . . . The grief at punishment will then be without the fruit of repentance; weeping will be useless, and prayer ineffectual. Too late will they believe in eternal punishment, who would not believe in eternal life - S. Cyprian of Carthage
My very dear soul, I will leave you here with these testimonies of the Fathers to ponder.
They attest that the Church has held - from the Apostolic age down to our own - the absolute truth of the existence of hell and that we might condemn ourselves to it.
Let this reality inform us in an especial way the next time we pray in our act of contrition that we "dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
But though our direct consideration on this truth may end here for the moment, it would be imprudent to leave without touching upon one final point: hell is defeated. I hope to take up this truth with you very soon, as it will be of great consolation to the faithful soul. It is also a truth that is increasingly obscured within a world which simultaneously denies hell and celebrates it. Until then, let us have one final word from the Fathers, one which will summarize the attitude which we must cultivate if we are to save our souls.
"You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below." Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with. It was in an uproar because it is mocked. It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed. It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated. It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive. Hell took a body, and discovered God. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see. O death, where is thy sting? O Hell, where is thy victory? Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated! Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down! Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is Risen, and life is liberated! Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen! - S. John Chrysostom
Pray for me as I teach Catechism through the web site. We are also working on a plan to bring classes to the people in there homes around the United States. There is a link to our Catechism lessons. Some of the Lessons may need to be "tweaked" Catechism Lessons. Catechism Lessons
- We were planning on traveling to the South Carolina area a week in November to offer the Mass and to be available for confessions. But because of circumstance on that end it has been cancelled. Instead we will be visiting a Priest in the St. Louis area as well as visiting my Aunt in Springfield Illinois during Thanksgiving. Please pray for safe travels. If you are in the those areas and would like us to visit with you, whether it's over night, a meal, or just a cup of coffee email us. We would love to meet you! Also we would be available for Mass or Confession for you and or your family in those areas as well.
- We are looking to buy land for a Church and a House of Prayer. Please pray with us in finding the right place. and if you feel led, to donate money for this project you can donate by Paypal, or make check or money orders out to Vatican in Exile.
Don't forget to continue praying for our trip to Europe the Summer of 2017. We have one visit to Hungary for sure, a visit to Ireland, and a possibility in England. Here are the countries we will be available for: Poland, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Great Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro-Serbia.
Every month we are very close with our budget. It takes money to be available to people in other areas as well as having supplies like rosaries, bibles, pamphlets, Catechisms etc for sharing with Non Catholics. At this time to stay comfortably out of the red we need 300.00 a month. Please read the message Giving to Gods Work and then decide how you can give. Everyone should give something. It does not have to be much.
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