Friday, July 31, 2015

Founder of the Redemptorists; Bishop, Doctor of the Church, Saint

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
Image of St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori


Feastday: August 1
Death: 1787

Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the Redemptorist Congregation. He was born Alphonsus Marie Antony John Cosmos Damien Michael Gaspard de Liguori on September 27,1696, at Marianella, near Naples, Italy. Raised in a pious home, Alphonsus went on retreats with his father, Don Joseph, who was a naval officer and a captain of the Royal Galleys. Alphonsus was the oldest of seven children, raised by a devout mother of Spanish descent. Educated at the University of Naples, Alphonsus received his doctorate at the age of sixteen. By age nineteen he was practicing law, but he saw the transitory nature of the secular world, and after a brief time, retreated from the law courts and his fame. Visiting the local Hospital for Incurables on August 28, 1723, he had a vision and was told to consecrate his life solely to God. In response, Alphonsus dedicated himself to the religious life, even while suffering persecution from his family. He finally agreed to become a priest but to live at home as a member of a group of secular missionaries. He was ordained on December 21, 1726, and he spent six years giving missions throughout Naples. In April 1729, Alphonsus went to live at the "Chiflese College," founded in Naples by Father Matthew Ripa, the Apostle of China. There he met Bishop Thomas Falcoia, founder of the Congregation of Pious Workers. This lifelong friendship aided Alphonsus, as did his association with a mystic, Sister Mary Celeste. With their aid, Aiphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer on November 9, 1732. The foundation faced immediate problems, and after just one year, Alphonsus found himself with only one lay brother, his other companions having left to form their own religious group. He started again, recruited new members, and in 1743 became the prior of two new congregations, one for men and one for women. Pope Benedict XIV gave his approval for the men's congregation in 1749 and for the women's in 1750. Alphonsus was preaching missions in the rural areas and writing. He refused to become the bishop of Palermo but in 1762 had to accept the papal command to accept the see of St. Agatha of the Goths near Naples. Here he discovered more than thirty thousand uninstructed men and women and four hundred indifferent priests. For thirteen years Alphonsus fed the poor, instructed families, reorganized the seminary and religious houses, taught theology, and wrote. His austerities were rigorous, and he suffered daily the pain from rheumatism that was beginning to deform his body. He spent several years having to drink from tubes because his head was so bent forward. An attack of rheumatic fever, from May 1768 to June 1769, left him paralyzed. He was not allowed to resign his see, however, until 1775. In 1780, Alphonsus was tricked into signing a submission for royal approval of his congregation. This submission altered the original rule, and as a result Alphonsus was denied any authority among the Redemptorists. Deposed and excluded from his own congregation, Alphonsus suffered great anguish. But he overcame his depression, and he experienced visions, performed miracles, and gave prophecies. He died peacefully on August 1,1787, at Nocera di Pagani, near Naples as the Angelus was ringing. He was beatified in 1816 and canonized in 1839. In 1871, Alphonsus was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX. His writings on moral, theological, and ascetic matters had great impact and have survived through the years, especially his Moral Theology and his Glories of Mary. He was buried at the monastery of the Pagani near Naples. Shrines were built there and at St. Agatha of the Goths. He is the patron of confessors, moral theologians, and the lay apostolate. In liturgical art he is depicted as bent over with rheumatism or as a young priest.

Pope Francis prayer intentions for August




That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy.

 Outreach to the marginalized

That setting aside our very selves we may learn to be neighbors to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society.

Last full day in North Carolina

Our last full day with Calvin as we strolled the grounds of the NC Living Sciences Museum in Durham, NC:

'Pops and Calvin found a dinosaur!!'

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The founder of the Jesuits and the Spiritual Exercises

St. Ignatius Loyola

Image of St. Ignatius Loyola


Feastday: July 31

St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guipúzcoa, Spain, the youngest of 13 children, and was called Ińigo. When he was old enough, he became a page, and then a soldier of Spain to fight against the French. A cannon ball and a series of bad operations ended his military career in 1521. While St. Ignatius recovered, he read the lives of the saints, and decided to dedicate himself to becoming a soldier of the Catholic Faith. Soon after he experienced visions, but a year later suffered a trial of fears and scruples, driving him almost to despair. Out of this experience he wrote his famous "Spiritual Exercises". After traveling and studying in different schools, he finished in Paris, where he received his degree at the age of 43. Many first hated St. Ignatius because of his humble Lifestyle. Despite this, he attracted several followers at the university, including St. Francis Xavier, and soon started his order called The Society of Jesus, or Jesuits. There are 38 members of the Society of Jesus who have been declared Blessed, and 38 who have been canonized as saints. He died at the age of 65.

Quick family update

Wendy and I are nearing the end of another epic visit with our North Carolina family and for the first time this includes #1 granddaughter Katelyn.  We got to meet her as she was celebrating her 3 week old birthday!  Most of our time on this trip has been about taking Calvin on big adventures and clearing out the house for mommy and Katelyn to eat and sleep and do whatever 3 week old babies do.  Calvin and his Nona & Pops has been to several museums and tomorrow going on a big field trip.

Come Saturday, sometime in the late afternoon we will sadly depart, getting about 4 hours behind us so Sunday won't be so grueling travel wise.

And as soon as possible, postings and ministries will get back to normal next week.

For now, just enjoying the grandkids; that's Calvin in the middle with his cousins:

'Calvin had a great time swimming with his cousins'

And here is baby Katelyn:

Fighting back against Planned Parenthood

Cardinal O'Malley denounces work of Planned Parenthood

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap., archbishop of Boston and chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). - RV

(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap., archbishop of Boston and chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), responded on Wednesday to recent videos showing leaders from Planned Parenthood discussing the provision of fetal organs, tissues, and body parts from their abortion clinics.
Pope Francis, he said, "has called abortion the product of a 'widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many'.” Cardinal O'Malley went on to describe abortion as “a direct attack on human life in its most vulnerable condition.” The videos, he said, also reveal “the now standard practice of obtaining fetal organs and tissues through abortion.” Both actions, he continued, “fail to respect the humanity and dignity of human life.”
Cardinal O’Malley also drew attention to the Church’s post-abortion healing ministry Project Rachel, which welcomes “all persons… with compassion and assistance.” Project Rachel offers confidential and non-judgmental help to persons who are traumatized by their involvement with abortion.
Below, please find the full text of Cardinal O’Malley’s statement:
Pope Francis has called abortion the product of a “widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many.” The recent news stories concerning Planned Parenthood direct our attention to two larger issues involving many institutions in our society. The first is abortion itself: a direct attack on human life in its most vulnerable condition. The second is the now standard practice of obtaining fetal organs and tissues through abortion. Both actions fail to respect the humanity and dignity of human life. This fact should be the center of attention in the present public controversy.
If the Planned Parenthood news coverage has caused anyone to experience revived trauma from their own involvement in abortion, be assured that any and all persons will be welcomed with compassion and assistance through the Church’s post-abortion healing ministry, Project Rachel. If you or someone you know would like confidential, nonjudgmental help, please visit

Catholic presence no longer in Antarctica

The last Catholic priest in the Antarctic

  • 29 July 2015
  • From the section Asia
Father Dan Doyle
Father Dan Doyle said he was "just an ordinary fellow" when he took up the job to serve the Chapel of the Snows
Every southern summer for the past 57 years, Catholic priests from New Zealand have packed their warmest clothes and travelled some 4,000km (2,500 miles) south, to the frozen wastelands of the Antarctic.
New Zealand's Catholic Church has had an annual invitation from the US National Science Foundation to spend their summer months at the Chapel of the Snows at the remote US McMurdo Station on Ross Island, serving the spiritual needs of the scientists and researchers based there.
But a combination of cost-cutting and a fall in demand means that, this year, the Americans have decided the last Kiwi priest has said Mass on the ice.
"We're really sad," says one of those priests, Father Dan Doyle, from his home in Christchurch.
"After 60 years of ministry at the end of the Earth - a great challenge in an amazing place - to be told that we're not needed anymore... it's a bit sad."
Chapel of the Snows in McMurdo Base
The chapel is the southernmost place of worship in the world
Father Doyle has been the leader of New Zealand's Antarctic Ministry for the past 15 years, spending 14 summers at the base as priest to a maximum summertime population of 2,000.
In the winter, when the Antarctic falls dark, the population drops to about 150 essential staff.
He was "just an ordinary fellow" when he took up the challenge, he says, but it was "a joy to be involved".
Each day there was varied, he says, as he worked alongside his Protestant counterparts.
"When I'm on the ice, we have a church service every day. On Sundays we get big numbers, on weekdays a small number."
Aerial view of the US Amundsen-Scott base at the South Pole (31 October 2002)
Even the Amundsen-Scott base at the South Pole had a regular visit from the priests
The priests also went out to the work places, office and labs, offering support and encouragement, and checking on people's wellbeing.
They would often receive calls from people worried about their workmates, so "we'll occasion on them and ask how things are going".
Life so far from home can be hard, especially for those involved in stressful work in tough living conditions.
"People get very isolated," he says. "Thirty years ago, when I was first there, we didn't have all the wonderful digital communications we do now.
"We could get a two-minute ham radio call once a month. Nowadays there's Skype and email, and great internet and telephone communications, so it's much less stressful."
Once every couple of weeks, they would even travel to the South Pole - a 1,360km (845 miles) journey - to conduct religious services or Mass at the Amundsen-Scott Base, the southernmost inhabited place on Earth.
Warren A. Jackman of the United States Navy's Operation Deepfreeze, filming at the naval Air Facility at McMurdo Sound in Antarctica.
Making contact with home was much harder in the early days of Antarctic residences
As for the "hatches, matches and despatches" which are the bread and butter of a more routine priestly life, while it's not possible to get legally married in the Antarctic - as it's not claimed by any one country - people have held symbolic ceremonies, he says.
Equally, while no-one can legally be buried in the Antarctic, he has performed last rites and conducted memorials for those who've died far from home.
And there are no children in Antarctica - under 16s are not allowed to be there. But Father Doyle has performed baptisms of adults, who perhaps found that their time in the snowy south stirred some sense of the divine.
Kiwi priests on the Antarctic tundra
The first New Zealand priest to travel to Antarctic was Father Ronald O'Gorman from Christchurch, who went out on a US Navy icebreaker in November 1957 to assist the Navy chaplain, says the Christchurch Antarctic Mission.
Two subsequent priests made a permanent impression on the region, having geological features named after them.
Coleman Peak, a 1,600m mountain on Ross Island, was named in 2000 after New Zealand priest Father John Coleman, who served 20 years at McMurdo, and died in 2003.
The four-mile-long Creagh Glacier in Victoria Land was named after Father Gerry Creagh in 1995. He was the unofficial US Navy chaplain at McMurdo base for more than 25 summers, earning himself the title "Chaplain of Antarctica".

'A wonderful adventure'

The National Science Foundation said the New Zealand priests were a valued part of the community, but a decline in churchgoing numbers meant this particular programme was no longer viable.
"There are Catholic chaplains available through the US military, so it's not as if practising Catholics will not be able to avail themselves of services and a Catholic priest," spokesman Peter West told the BBC.
Father Dan Doyle leads a service in the Chapel of the Snows
As priest, Father Doyle not only celebrated Mass but also supported people struggling with being so far from home
"But this particular programme we cannot accommodate any longer," he said, adding that Father Doyle and the New Zealand Catholic Church were consulted throughout.
A protestant priest will still take a stint each summer at McMurdo, providing interdenominational services - so the base won't be left a godless wasteland. Russia also has a priest installed in a church at its base on King George Islands, on the other side of the continent, and there are a handful of churches dotted around.
But Father Doyle says he accepts that he and his New Zealand colleagues were guests of the US, and that, with the ease of communicating with home and a general fall in numbers at the base, "there's just not the demand that there was 30 years ago".
Map of Antarctica
But for him, it marks the end of a "wonderful adventure".
"Going onto the ice and listening to the wind whistling around the icebergs, seeing the beautiful wind-sculpted ice," he says of his favourite memories.
"Going in to the face of glaciers and crawling around the tunnels, seeing all the beautiful colours. The glaciers sing when you tap them you know, because the ice is under stress, so it rings like a bell.
"You think white is one colour, but white is a thousand colours when you get inside a glacier and it's all around you."

>>I think the bigger story here is that the Catholic Church is/has been everywhere and is the fullness of truth.  Most of your churches and denominations are regional; the Church is universal.  I bet Catholics will be back!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The golden throated Saint & Doctor of the Church

St. Peter Chrysologus

Image of St. Peter Chrysologus


Feastday: July 30
Birth: 380
Death: 450

St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Feast-July 30) Born at Imola, Italy in 406, St. Peter was baptized, educated, and ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. St. Peter merited being called "Chrysologus" (golden-worded) from his exceptional oratorical eloquence. In 433, Pope Sixtus III consecrated him bishop of Ravenna. He practiced many corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and ruled his flock with utmost diligence and care. He extirpated the last vestiges of paganism and other abuses that had sprouted among his people, cautioning them especially against indecent dancing. "Anyone who wishes to frolic with the devil," he remarked, "cannot rejoice with Christ." He also counseled the heretic Eutyches (who had asked for his support) to avoid causing division but to learn from the other heretics who were crushed when they hurled themselves against the Rock of Peter. He died at Imola, Italy in 450 and in 1729 was made a Doctor of the Church, largely as a result of his simple, practical, and clear sermons which have come down to us, nearly all dealing with Gospel subjects.

Cecil the Lion; and this has your panties in a wad?

Let me be clear here at the outset.  An American dentist dude tracks down and kills this majestic old lion, perhaps in conjunction with some shady for-profit guides in Africa, and the world mourns.  I am outraged at the situation  keeping it in perspective.  So hang on tight, for here I go:

My Facebook page is all blown up over Cecil.  They tell me it's like the worlds #1 trending topic on Twitter or Yahoo or anything else that measures such things.  Among the most outraged of course is the Hollywood elite and the absolute loon tunes that make up the far, far left.  Of course, as I've already said, this is not a good thing and of course is outrageous.  But guess what world?  So are other things outrageous that just don't draw the same reaction, both in volume and passion.  Here is but a few:

58 million babies have been murdered in the USA alone since 1973.  That indeed is a million with a M!  Across the globe, the number is in the 6-digit millions.  OUTRAGEOUS!

Across the world today, yes, even in this country, for all you "homers" out there, millions of families are decimated by poverty, unjust legal action, a complete and total disregard for natural law, and children are now normal if they come from a broken home, are abused or go to sleep tonight in pain from hunger and malnutrition.  OUTRAGEOUS!

Christians, and of course other innocents as well, are being slaughtered everyday still, across the middle east from the atrocities visited upon them from ISIS or ISIL or whatever the hell they are and the Taliban and other thugs like crazy and we watch and yawn.  OUTRAGEOUS!

Crime devastates our nation and in some cities, Chicago to name but one, more young people, mostly black, are gunned down in a weekend at rates that reach or exceed the ISIS crap.  Even in my home town of New Orleans, not a day goes by that some young person is not murdered.  We know it, we just don't care.  OUTRAGEOUS!

Small business owners and people of real sincere faith are being labeled as bigots and haters because they love God first and oh by the way, thought they could love God first in a nation because of constitutionally protected freedoms.  Uh oh, those freedoms are only protected if you pick the right side or are aligned with the cause du jour of the high handed left.  OUTRAGEOUS!

And before I forget and get accused of going after just the left, let me add this too.  Just because you may be on the right and you agree and scream and holler about this stuff, if you even do that much, where's the beef?  Where are the actions of the right, particularly those empowered either financially or politically, where is the causes and legislation to stop all this outrageousness?  This too, to me, is OUTRAGEOUS!

You know sadly, most of those who are flummoxed over the loss of Cecil really don't give a rats end tail about those other things I've listed above.  Notice I sad most not all, so if you missed the "most" train, don't come after me.

We are human beings, people made in the image and likeness of God.  We can and must do better than all these atrocities, all these affronts to the God who made us and sustains us and loves us and cares for us.  And yes, can we quit hunting down the Cecil's too, but can we get our priorities in right order as well?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Martha Martha you are worried and troubled about many things; still, Martha served!

Image of St. Martha


Feastday: July 29
Patron of cooks

"Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique statement in John's gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother.
Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha's home in Bethany, a small village two miles from Jerusalem. We read of three visits in Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-53, and John 12:1-9.
Many of us find it easy to identify with Martha in the story Luke tells. Martha welcomes Jesus and his disciples into her home and immediately goes to work to serve them. Hospitality is paramount in the Middle East and Martha believed in its importance. Imagine her frustration when her sister Mary ignores the rule of hospitality and Martha's work in order to sit and listen to Jesus. Instead of speaking to her sister, she asks Jesus to intervene. Jesus' response is not unkind, which gives us an idea of his affection for her. He observes that Martha is worried about many things that distract her from really being present to him. He reminds her that there is only one thing that is truly important -- listening to him. And that is what Mary has done. In Martha we see ourselves -- worried and distracted by all we have to do in the world and forgetting to spend time with Jesus. It is, however, comforting to note that Jesus loved her just the same.
The next visit shows how well Martha learned this lesson. She is grieving the death of her brother with a house full of mourners when she hears that Jesus has just come to the area. She gets up immediately and leaves the guests, leaves her mourning, and goes to meet him.
Her conversation with Jesus shows her faith and courage. In this dialogue she states clearly without doubt that she believes in Jesus' power, in the resurrection, and most of all that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus tells her that he is the resurrection and the life and then goes on to raise her brother from the dead. Our final picture of Martha in Scripture is the one that sums up who she was. Jesus has returned to Bethany some time later to share a meal with his good friends. In this home were three extraordinary people. We hear how brother Lazarus caused a stir when was brought back to life. We hear how Mary causes a commotion at dinner by annointing Jesus with expensive perfume. But all we hear about Martha is the simple statement: "Martha served." She isn't in the spotlight, she doesn't do showy things, she doesn't receive spectacular miracles. She simply serves Jesus.
We know nothing more about Martha and what happened to her later. According to a totally untrustworthy legend Martha accompanied Mary to evangelize France after Pentecost.
But wouldn't it be wonderful if the most important thing that could be said about us is "They served"?
Martha is the patron saint of servants and cooks.

Bishop-elect Barron on the ongoing evil that is Planned Parenthood

The Death of God and the Loss of Human DignityBishop-elect Robert Barron 
I am sure by now that many of you have seen the appalling hidden-camera videos of two Planned Parenthood physicians bantering cheerfully with interlocutors posing as prospective buyers of the body parts of aborted infants. While they slurp wine in elegant restaurants, the good doctors – both women – blandly talk about what price they would expect for providing valuable inner organs, and how the skillful abortionists of Planned Parenthood know just how to murder babies so as not to damage the goods. One of the doctors specified that the abortion providers employ “less crunchy” methods when they know that the organs of a baby are going to be harvested for sale. Mind you, the “crunchiness” she’s talking about is a reference to the skull-crushing and dismemberment by knife and suction typically employed in abortions. For me, the most bone-chilling moment was when one of the kindly physicians, informed that the price she was asking was too low, leered and said, “Oh good, because I’d like a Lamborghini.”
Now it is easy enough to remark and lament the moral coarseness of these women, the particularly repulsive way that they combine violence and greed. But I would like to explore a deeper issue that these videos bring to light, namely, the forgetfulness of the dignity of the human being that is on ever clearer display in our Western culture. One has only to consider the over 58,000,000 abortions that have taken place, under full protection of the law, in our country since Roe v. Wade in 1973, or the ever more insistent push toward permitting euthanasia, even of children in some European countries, or the wanton killing going on nightly in the streets of our major cities. The figures in my home town of Chicago typically surpass those recorded in the battle grounds of the Middle East.
What makes this sort of startling violence against human beings possible, I would submit, is the attenuation of our sense of God’s existence. In the classical Western perspective, the dignity of the human person is a consequence and function of his or her status as a creature of God. Precisely because the human being is made in the image and likeness of the Creator and destined, finally, for eternal life on high with God, he is a subject of inalienable rights. I use Jefferson’s language from the Declaration of Independence on purpose here, for the great founding father knew that the absolute nature of the rights he was describing follows from their derivation from God: “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” When God is removed from the picture, human rights rather rapidly evanesce, which can be seen with clarity in both ancient times and modern. For Cicero, Aristotle, and Plato, a cultural elite enjoyed rights, privileges, and dignity, while the vast majority of people were legitimately relegated to inferior status, some even to the condition of slavery. In the totalitarianisms of the last century – marked in every case by an aggressive dismissal of God – untold millions of human beings were treated as little more than vermin.
I realize that many philosophers and social theorists have tried to ground a sense of human dignity in something other than God, but these attempts have all proven fruitless. For instance, if human worth is a function of a person’s intelligence or creativity or imagination, or her capacity to enter into friendship, then why not say that this worth disappears the moment those powers are underdeveloped, weakened, or eliminated altogether? Or if respect for human dignity is related to the strength of one’s feeling for another person, then who is to say that that dignity vanishes once one’s sentiments change or dry up? My suspicion is that if we interrogated people on the street and asked them why human beings should be respected, some version of this argument from sentimentality would emerge. But again, the problem is that feelings are so ephemeral, shifting and changing like the wind. If you doubt me, read some of the accounts of the officers and soldiers in the Nazi death camps, who, after years of killing, lost all feeling for those they were murdering, seeing them as little more than rats or insects.
For the past two hundred years, atheists have been loudly asserting that the dismissal of God will lead to human liberation. I would strenuously argue precisely the contrary. Once the human being is untethered from God, he becomes, in very short order, an object among objects, and hence susceptible to the grossest manipulation by the powerful and self-interested. In the measure that people still speak of the irreducible dignity of the individual, they are, whether they know it or not, standing upon Biblical foundations. When those foundations are shaken – as they increasingly are today – a culture of death will follow just as surely as night follows day. If there is no God, then human beings are dispensable – so why not trade the organs of infants for a nice Lamborghini?

Bishop-elect Robert Barron is an auxiliary bishop-elect of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.

Like Father and Mother, like Son

Since both mom and dad are real life veterinarians I was thrilled that Calvin spent most of his visit at the Children's Museum in the vet clinic; here administering a shot to a sick lion.....Deacon Mike Talbot's photo.

Monday, July 27, 2015

And the feast day of a Pope too

Image of St. Innocent I


Feastday: July 28

Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became Pope, succeeding Pope St. Anastasius I, on December 22, 401. During Innocent's pontificate, he emphasized papal supremacy, commending the bishops of Africa for referring the decrees of their councils at Carthage and Millevis in 416, condemning Pelagianism, to the Pope for confirmation. It was his confirmation of these decrees that caused Augustine to make a remark that was to echo through the centuries: "Roma locuta, causa finitas" (Rome has spoken, the matter is ended). Earlier Innocent had stressed to Bishop St. Victrius and the Spanish bishops that matters of great importance were to be referred to Rome for settlement. Innocent strongly favored clerical celibacy and fought the unjust removal of St. John Chrysostom. He vainly sought help from Emperor Honorius at Revenna when the Goths under Alaric captured and sacked Rome. Innocent died in Rome on March 12. His feast day is July 28th.

First Saint native of India; beatified by St. PJPII and canonized by Pope Benedict 16th

Image of St. Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception


Feastday: July 28
Patron against illness
Birth: 1910
Death: 1946
Beatified By: 8 February 1986, Kottayam by Pope John Paul II
Canonized By: 12 October 2008, Vatican City by Pope Benedict XVI

Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception was a Catholic Franciscan Religious Sister who is now honored as a saint, the first person of Indian origin to be canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church and the first canonized saint of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church of the Saint Thomas Christian community.
My 1st chance to hold my granddaughter, Katelyn Taylor; just Pops and his girl:

Wendy Talbot's photo.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Murdered at the hands of the Nazi's in Dachau, beatified by Saint Pope JPII

Bl. Titus Brandsma

Image of Bl. Titus Brandsma


Feastday: July 27
Patron of Catholic journalists, tobacconists, Friesland
Birth: 1881
Death: 1942
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

Carmelite martyr who died at the hands of the Nazis. He was born in Bolsward in the Netherlands. Becoming a Carmelite as a young man, he displayed a dazzling intellect and scholarship, receiving ordination as a priest in 1905 and earning a doctorate in philosophy at Rome. Titus then taught in Dutch universities and lectured in many countries on Carmelite spirituality and mysticism. lie also served as rector magnificus at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. In 1935 he became an ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic journalists. His academic and spiritual studies were also printed and widely read. When the Nazis occupied the Netherlands,Titus was singled out as an enemy because he fought against the spread of Nazism in Europe. Arrested, Titus was sent to various concentration camps where he demonstrated charity and concern. In 1942, he was martyred in Dachau. Titus was beatified by Pope John Paul II on November 3, 1985.

Pope Francis teaches on the feeding of the five thousand; and remembers the parents of the BVM

Angelus: On the Multiplication of the Loaves

“God is capable of multiplying our little gestures of solidarity and make us participants of His gift.”

Vatican City, ( Staff Reporter              

Here is the translation of the Holy Father's address today before and after the recitation of the Angelus to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.
* * *  
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning.
This Sunday’s Gospel (Jn. 6, 1-15) presents the great sign of the multiplication of the loaves, in the narration of John the evangelist.
Jesus finds himself on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and is surrounded by a “large crowd”. drawn by the “signs he was performing on the sick” (v. 2). In Him, the merciful power of God acts, that heals every ill of the body and spirit. But Jesus is not only a healer, He is also a teacher: in fact he goes up on the mountain and he sits, the typical behavior of teacher when He teaches: He goes up on that natural “cathedra” created by His Heavenly Father. At this point, Jesus, who knows well what He is about to do, He put His disciples to the test. What should be done to feed all those people? Philip, one of the Twelve, makes a quick calculation: organizing a collection, a maximum of 200 denari can be gathered to buy bread, that still would not be enough to feed 5,000 people.
The disciples reason in “market” terms, but Jesus substitutes the logic of buying with another logic: the logic of giving. There are two types of logic: that of buying and that of giving. And it is there that Andrew, another one of the Apostles, brother of Simon Peter, presents a boy who is willing to give all that he has: 5 loaves and 2 fishes; but surely - Andrew says - they are nothing for so many. (cfr v. 9) But Jesus waited precisely for this. He orders His disciples to have the people sit, then takes those loaves and those fishes, he gives thanks to the Father and distributes them (cfr v. 11). These gestures anticipate those of the Last Supper, that give Jesus’ bread its most profound and truest meaning. The bread of God is Jesus Himself. Making Communion with Him, we receive His life in us and we become children of the Heavenly Father and brothers among us. To participate in the Eucharist means to enter inro Jesus’ logic, the logic of gratefulness, of sharing. And as much as we are poor, we can all give something. “To Make Communion” means also to draw from Christ the grace that enables us to share with others that which we are and what we have.
The crowd is struck by the wonder of the multiplication of the loaves; but the gift that Jesus offers is the fullness of life for the hungry man. Jesus not only satisfies material hunger, but the most profound one, the hunger of the meaning of life, the hunger of God. In front of suffering, loneliness, poverty and the difficulties of so many people, what can we do? Complaining does not resolve anything, but we can offer that little that we have like that boy. We surely have some time, some kind of talent, some kind of expertise. Who among us does not have their “five loaves and two fishes”? We all have it! If we are willing to place it in the Lord’s hands, it would be enough so that in the world there would be a bit more love, of peace, of justice and above all, of joy. How much we are in need of joy in the world! God is capable of multiplying our little gestures of solidarity and make us participants of His gift.
Our prayer supports the common commitment so that the Bread of Heaven lacks for no one, that gives eternal life and what is necessary for a dignified life, and it confirms the logic of sharing and love. May the Virgin Mary accompany us with Her maternal intercession.
After the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father said the following:
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today the registration for the 31st World Youth Day opens, which will take place next year in Poland. I myself wanted to open the registrations. And for this reason, I have a young man and a young woman here near me so that they can be with me in the moment of opening the registration here in front of you. There, I am registered! Through this electronic device I have registered as a pilgrim to this day. Celebrated during the Year of Mercy, this Day will be, in a certain sense, a jubilee of the youth, called to reflect on the theme: “Blessed on the merciful, for they will find mercy” (Mt. 5,7). I invite the youth of the whole world to lives this pilgrimage be it by going to Krakow, or participating in this moment of grace in their own communities.
In a few days, we will mark the second anniversary since, in Syria, Father Paolo Dall’Oglio was kidnapped. I make a heartfelt and urgent appeal for the freedom of this esteemed religious man. I can’t also forget the Orthodox bishops kidnapped in Syria and all the other people who, in areas of conflict, have been seized. I hope for a renewed commitment by the competent local and international authorities, so that these our brothers will soon be restored to freedom. With affection and participation in their suffering, we wish to remember them in prayer. And let us pray all together the prayer: Hail Mary…
I greet all of you, pilgrims from Italy and other countries. I greet the participants of the International Pilgrimage of the Sisters of Saint Felice, the faithful of Salamanca, the youth of Brescia (Italy) who are serving at the soup kitchen of Caritas in Rome, and the youth of Ponte San Giovanni (Perugia).
Today, the Church remembers Saint Joachim and Saint Ann, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and thus, the grandparents of Jesus! On this occasion I would like to greet all the grandmothers and grandfathers, thanking them for their presence in the families and for the new generations. For all the grandparents who are living, but also for those who are looking at us from heaven, let us greet them and give them a good applause.
To all I wish a good Sunday. And do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch. Goodbye!

Why we are in N. Carolina; Calvin scales his own private rock-climbing wall

What did I hear?

Given that I have preached at least 1 Mass, and sometimes many more, over the past 5 weekends, it was a joy today to not only preach(although I love to preach and take it seriously) but to sit in a church, next to my wife, and take it all in from the pews.

As part of the homily I heard today, the Priest, who made it clear that the feeding of the multitudes was a miracle performed by Jesus, we all can be as generous as we can with everyone we meet.

He offered a quote from the then dying Archbishop John McNamara, who served with distinction in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.  He thought about his moment of death, as he laid dying and was heard sharing this:

"Everything I have here I am to lose, but everything I ever gave, in love, I am now to have forever"

That's what I heard today; thanks be to God!

Why we are in North Carolina!!!

Wendy and Katelyn getting to know each other; although Katelyn slept thru most of the "meeting".  Looking forward to a week with Katelyn and big brother Calvin.

For now, Sunday morning, 7 AM east coast time, we are off to Mass at St. Pius X Catholic Church in downtown Greensboro!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mary's parents; the grandparents of Jesus!

Sts. Joachim and Anne

Image of Sts. Joachim and Anne


Feastday: July 26

By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend and tradition.
We get the oldest story from a document called the Gospel of James, though in no way should this document be trusted to be factual, historical, or the Word of God. The legend told in this document says that after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was dedicated by his mother Hannah -- Anne -- in 1 Kings).
For those who wonder what we can learn from people we know nothing about and how we can honor them, we must focus on why they are honored by the church. Whatever their names or the facts of their lives, the truth is that it was the parents of Mary who nurtured Mary, taught her, brought her up to be a worthy Mother of God. It was their teaching that led her to respond to God's request with faith, "Let it be done to me as you will." It was their example of parenting that Mary must have followed as she brought up her own son, Jesus. It was their faith that laid the foundation of courage and strength that allowed her to stand by the cross as her son was crucified and still believe.
Such parents can be examples and models for all parents.
Anne (or Ann) is the patron saint of Christian mothers and of women in labor.

On the road Saturday

Waking up somewhere in northern Alabama, east of Birmingham and about 2 hours shy of Atlanta,  About a 7 hour drive awaits me and the Mrs. and then grandbaby time.

See y'all later!

Longest serving American Cardinal in America has died

Cardinal William Baum 1926-2015       

 Late yesterday evening, Cardinal William Wakefield Baum was summoned out of this world to the home of the Lord he loved so well and served with such fervent dedication. In this moment of sorrow, let our faith be our consolation and eternal life our hope. Looking back at the life of Cardinal Baum as we mourn his death, we do so with deep appreciation for his faithful response to God’s call to be his priest and bishop and for his living out of that call each day in his priestly and episcopal assignments. His Eminence served as the third Archbishop of Washington from 1973 to 1980, and he was created a cardinal 39 years ago in May 1976, making him the longest-serving American cardinal in our nation’s history. Throughout his ministry here, as elsewhere, he set a great example, modeling the love of Jesus as he worked for Catholic education, Christian unity and social harmony in building up the kingdom of God in our midst. As in the case of every priest, quietly the voice of the Holy Spirit echoed in his heart. We thank God that with generosity Cardinal Baum responded with a quiet but firm and enduring “yes” to God’s call. He began his priestly ministry at the age of 24 with his ordination for the Diocese of Kansas City in 1951. In 1962, he was named an advisor to the Second Vatican Council and assigned to work with the Secretariat for Christian Unity. In this capacity, he participated in drafting the Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio. Before coming to the Church of Washington, he was named Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in 1970, taking the episcopal motto of “Ministry of Reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). In 1980, Pope John Paul II appointed Cardinal Baum Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, where for ten years he oversaw seminaries and Catholic colleges and universities around the world. It was in this capacity that Cardinal Baum oversaw, at the request of Saint John Paul II, the apostolic visitation of all of the seminaries and houses of formation in the United States. From 1990 until his retirement in 2001, he served as Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary. He also served as a member of the Congregation of Bishops, Oriental Churches, Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and Evangelization of Peoples. Among his many accomplishments during his service in Rome, His Eminence helped prepare the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Saint John Paul II’s apostolic constitution on Catholic higher education, Ex Corde Ecclesiae. Underlying this diversity of assignments was Cardinal Baum’s total dedication to a single vision – the vision of the priesthood as Christ at work in his Church and his personal firm commitment to serve the Lord as his priest. For 64 years he responded faithfully to the call to become an image of Jesus, dedicated to manifesting Christ’s love and teaching, leading and sanctifying those entrusted to his care. We thank God that Cardinal Baum was in so many places, in so many ways, for so many of us, God’s good and faithful servant. Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “I am the resurrection, the life. Whoever believes in me shall live even in death and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). As we raise our voices in prayer for Cardinal Baum, may the God of mercy and love receive his faithful servant and priest and welcome his noble soul into the glory and peace of the heavenly kingdom, there to rejoice in the communion of God and all the saints.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

A feast day of one of the Apostles, right out of Scripture!



Feastday: July 25
Patron of Laborers

For James there was no indication that this was the day that his life would change. The dawn for him was not the bright beginning of a new day, but the end of long fruitless night of fishing. As James sat mending his nets in the boat with his brother John and his father Zebedee, he must have watched in wonder as his partner Simon brought in nets loaded with fish he had caught at the command of Jesus. Was he shocked when he saw Simon and his brother Andrew walk away from this incredible catch at a word from this same Jesus?
As he watched Jesus walk toward him followed by Simon and Andrew, did he feel curiosity, fear, hope, envy? Jesus didn't pass him by but, stopping by their boat, called James and his brother John to do just what Simon and Andrew had done. Without argument or discussion, James and John left their boat and even their father behind, and followed Jesus.
The first thing James saw after he followed Jesus was his teaching with authority in the synagogue and the cure of Simon's mother-in-law.
We all know that Jesus was the focus of James' life from then on, but it is also evident that James held a special place in Jesus' life.
He was chosen by Jesus to be one of the twelve apostles, given the mission to proclaim the good news, and authority to heal and cast out demons. To be named one of the twelve James must have had faith and commitment.
But even among the apostles he held a special place. When Jesus raised Jairus' daughter when all thought her dead, he only allowed James, John, and Peter to come with him. Even more important when he went up to the mountain to pray, he wanted James, John, and Peter to go with him. And it was there on the mountain they were privileged to witness what no one else had seen -- Jesus transfigured in his glory, speaking to Moses and Elijah, as the voice of God spoke from a cloud.
And with Simon Peter, James and John were the only ones of the apostles that Jesus gave a special name: Sons of Thunder.
To be singled out in these ways, James must have been a close and respected friend of Jesus.
It's no wonder then that James, along with John, felt that he had the right to go to Jesus and ask him to give them whatever they asked. As a mark of his love, Jesus didn't rebuke them but asked them what they wanted. They showed their lack of understanding of his mission when they asked that he let one of them sit on his right and the other on his left when he came into his glory. He replied that they didn't know what they were asking. They didn't see the cross in his future, but an earthly throne. Could they drink of the cup he would drink of? They replied that they could. He assured them they would indeed drink of that cup.
(Matthew has their mother asking for this favor for her sons. Despite the bad reputation their mother got for this, it should be remembered that she too had followed Jesus in his travels, providing for him, and was one of the women who stayed with Jesus as he was crucified when the apostles, including her son James, had fled.)
The other apostles were furious at this request. But Jesus used this opportunity to teach all of them that in order to be great one must be a servant.
James and John did show further lack of understanding of their friend and Lord when he was turned away by Samaritans. They wanted to use their newfound authority as apostles not to heal but to bring fire down on the town. (Perhaps Jesus gave them their Sons of Thunder nickname because of their passion, their own fire, or their temper.) Jesus did reprimand them for their unforgiving, vengeful view of their power.
But despite all these misunderstandings, it was still James, Peter, and John that Jesus chose to join him in prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane for his final prayer before his arrest. It must have hurt Jesus that the three of them fell asleep on this agonizing evening.
James did drink of the cup Jesus drank of, all too shortly after the Resurrection. Acts 12:1 tells us that James was one of the first martyrs of the Church. King Herod Agrippa I killed him with a sword in an early persecution of the Church. There is a story that the man who arrested James became a convert after hearing James speak at his trial and was executed with him.
James is called James the Greater because another younger apostle was named James. He should not be accused with this James, or the James who is a relative of Jesus, or the James who was an elder of the Church in Jerusalem and heard Peter's defense of baptizing Gentiles. James, son of Thunder, was dead by then.
Legends have sprung up that James evangelized Spain before he died but these stories have no basis in historical fact.
James is the patron saint of hatmakers, rheumatoid sufferers, and laborers.
In His Footsteps What name would Jesus give you if he would describe who you are and your gifts?
Prayer: Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen

Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans releases statement on Lafayette LA shootings

Our prayers are with the victims of the shootings in Lafayette, their families, and the entire community. As a people of God we must continue to pray and work for peace in our world.
Sadly, this tragedy is yet another reminder that we as a society must do more to take care of those who are mentally ill. As we pray Our Family Prayer against violence, murder, and racism this weekend, let us keep the victims of this tragedy and their families in our prayers and renew our commitment to be peacemakers of our time.

On the road again

Posting to be light today and tomorrow; the Deacon is also Pops and it's time to meet my grand-daughter and play with my grandson.  A week of pure joy awaits me and my wife.  Travel mercies please and will soon be posting from the road!

This is my beautiful grandchildren:

Sara Talbot's photo.

Deacon Greg reminds Catholic preachers this wekend to get the story right; miracles are good!

Preachers, don’t make this mistake this weekend

This Sunday, we encounter once again the amazing story of how Jesus, using just a few loaves and fishes, fed thousands.
Among the many truths buried in this episode, we can conclude that: Christ feeds the hungry, that he gives us more than we could ever need, that he transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. The miracle also beautifully foreshadows the Eucharist, and the gift of finest wheat.
This gospel does all that.
What it does not do is tell us what a great thing it is to share.
Amy Welborn wrote about this a few years ago.  She described an acquaintance who heard that very message preached from the pulpit and who was, understandably, appalled. Amy tracked down the origin of that interpretation, which seems to be the Protestant biblical commentator William Barclay. He wrote:
Picture the scene. There is the crowd; it is late; and they are hungry. But was it really likely that the vast majority of that crowd would set out around the lake without any food at all? Would they not take something with them, however little? Now it was evening and they were hungry. But they were also selfish. And no one would produce what he had, lest he have to share it and leave himself without enough. Then Jesus took the lead. Such as he and his disciples had, he began to share with a blessing and an invitation and a smile. And thereupon all began to share, and before they knew what was happening, there was enough and more than enough for all. If this is what happened, it was not the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes; it was the miracle of the changing of selfish people into generous people at the touch of Christ.
Amy concluded:
So there you have it, neatly packaged for the lazy preacher who will use it to sound clever, no matter how many problems the explanation holds:
If everyone brought some food, who, exactly, was left to be hungry?
This interpretation suggests that first-century Jews were naturally averse to sharing, which is not only offensive, but historically and culturally inaccurate. It may be a miracle for 21st century Americans to share, but sharing and hospitality were sacred obligations for Jesus’ listeners.
Yes, there are layers of meaning to this event. It is of little use as a bare fact as it is as a fabrication. Miracles are offered as complex signs of God’s presence and activity among us, working through and even with us at times, open to rich interpretation in infinite application. But to presume that the Gospel writers couldn’t have meant what they wrote implies that they were either stupid or dishonest. The Scripture is a collection of diverse works, meant to be understood within the specific literary forms God used to communicate truth. But as the Gospel writers themselves make clear, they are not about anything but historical truth about an historical figure named Jesus. Anything less wouldn’t have been worth their time.
Or their lives.
Or ours, come to think of it, don’t you think?
Others have picked apart this interpretation, too. Here’s Jimmy Akin: 
It’s just annoying when preachers get so wrapped up in a sickly sweet, Hallmark card spirituality that they go off rhapsodizing about human sharing and generosity in a way that flies in the face of the text.
The point here is that God did a miracle through Jesus, not that a little boy was generous.
Sharing food was not a miracle in Jesus’ culture.  This is not only known, but much capitalized upon, when the text under discussion is not John 6, but Genesis 19.  Then we are often informed that the real sin of Sodom had nothing to do with sodomy but was, instead, lack of hospitality (Ezekiel 16:49).  Prescinding from the fact that the threat of homosexual rape implied in Genesis 19:5 is a particularly acute form of inhospitality, I agree heartily with Ezekiel—and so did most people in the ancient Near East.  Failure to show hospitality was a very big deal.
Indeed, it still is.  The father of a Palestinian Christian family I know of reacted to the quintessentially American provincialism of this interpretation with some warmth, “My family would starve before a guest under our roof went hungry!”
And that’s the little hitch with this staple of the AmChurch homily handbook.  It renders the sign in John 6 less than meaningless while insulting Near Eastern people to boot.
The miracle of the loaves and fishes is that Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fishes into food for five thousand people in an ex nihilo act of pure creation—just like he’s God or something.  Its deeper meaning is that this same Jesus now gives millions his Crucified, Risen, and Glorified Eucharistic Body and Blood to eat and drink so that we might live forever—just like he’s God or something.
There you have it. Sometimes a miracle is a just that: a miracle. The dead rise, the lame walk, the blind see, the hungry are fed. God becomes bread. When we attempt to reduce these incredible events into something credible, we turn the gospel into mush.
Maybe you can feed the hungry with mush, but it’s not healthy and may even make people sick.
Eventually everyone needs something that sticks to their ribs.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Faithful Priest that was martyrd in jolly old England for the crime of being Catholic

St. John Boste

Image of St. John Boste


Feastday: July 24
Birth: 1544
Death: 1594

One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born at Dufton, at Westmoreland, England, and studied at Oxford. Becoming a Catholic in 1576, he went to Reims and received ordination in 1581. John went back to England where he worked in the northern parts of the kingdom and became the object of a massive manhunt. He was betrayed, arrested, and taken to London. There he was crippled on the rack and returned to Dryburn near Durham. On July 24, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered. John was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as a martyr of Durham.

What a great article; does God want everyone to be Catholic?

Does God Want Everyone to Be Catholic?

The truth matters, and we need to respond accordingly. God is counting on us to spread the Word.

"St. Peter's in Rome", Gaspar van Wittel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
I have a question that I quite often ask Catholics, and judging by the responses I get when I ask, the vast majority of Catholics have never before thought about this question, or their answer to it.  That question is: Does God want everyone to be Catholic?  I am willing to bet, for many of you reading this, that question has never entered your mind. But it needs to, because it is such an important question. The answer to that question will determine a lot in regard to how you respond to the calls of the recent popes, including Pope Francis, for evangelization.
But, this is not just a question that is important for Catholics to pray and ponder over, it is a question for all Christians, regardless of their faith tradition, to think about and pray about.  So for any non-Catholic Christians reading this, I want you to think about that question in terms of your faith tradition. Does God want everyone to be Baptist, or Evangelical, or Methodist, or Episcopalian, or non-denominational or whatever your particular faith tradition is?
So, even though I am focusing that question on the Catholic Faith, I invite non-Catholics to focus that question on your particular faith tradition.
Why is this such an important question? Well, we can see why by examining the possible answers and seeing what ramifications each one of those answers holds. There are only two possible answers: “Yes,” God wants everyone to be Catholic; or, “No,” God does not want everyone to be Catholic.
First, let’s look at what it means to answer that question in the positive: Yes, God wants everyone to be Catholic. I believe, personally, the answer to that question is indeed, yes.  I believe that God does indeed want everyone to be Catholic. That’s why I do what I do! And I think it is imperative that every Catholic should believe that. And, again, not to leave anyone out, I think it imperative that every Baptist, Methodist, Evangelical, etc. should believe that God wants everyone to be a member of their faith tradition.
Why do I say that? I say that, because truth matters. If you believe you have the truth, then wouldn’t God want everyone else to have that same truth? The Bible tells us that Jesus established a church. And what does the Bible tell us about the Church founded by Jesus Christ? In 1 Timothy 3:15, the Bible tells us that this Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. In other words, it is the upholder and foundation of the truth. The Bible also tells us, in Ephesians 1:23, that this Church founded by Jesus Christ is the Body of Christ and is the “fullness of Him Who fills all in all.”  And Jesus Christ says in John 14:6 that He is the truth. So, if the Church is the fullness of Jesus Christ, as the Bible says, and Jesus Christ is the truth, as the Bible says, then the Church founded by Jesus Christ contains the fullness of the truth that has been given to us by Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the Bible tells us, in John 16:13, that Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to guide His Church into all truth.
So, this Church that the Bible tells us was founded by Jesus Christ; this Church that the Bible tells us is the pillar and ground – the upholder and foundation – of the truth; this Church that the Bible tells us is the fullness of Jesus Christ – the fullness of the truth; this Church that the Bible tells us is guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Truth; this Church must teach us what?  Error?  No!  This Church must teach us truth. It cannot teach us error. The Church founded by Jesus Christ must teach the truth he fullness of the truth. It cannot teach error!
Does God want everyone to be Catholic?  According to the Bible, the Church founded by Jesus Christ contains the fullness of the truth that He has made known to us about Himself. What does the Catholic Church claim about itself? Well, it claims that it contains the fullness of the truth given to us by Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that the Church founded by Jesus Christ contains the fullness of the truth, and here is the Catholic Church claiming to contain the fullness of the truth, and claiming to have been founded directly by Jesus Christ. If whatever church you are in doesn’t at least claim these things for itself, then you have some thinking and praying to do.
And, as a Catholic, I believe what my Church teaches about itself. If I didn’t, why would I be Catholic? But, even if the Catholic Church is right, and it is the Church founded by Jesus Christ, and it does contain the fullness of the truth as given to us by Jesus Christ, does that necessarily mean that God wants everyone to be Catholic? Well, in 1 Timothy 2:4, the Bible says this, “God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” God desires that all men come to the knowledge of the truth, the Bible tells us, and if the fullness of the truth resides in the Catholic Church, then it does indeed follow that God desires all men to come to the Catholic Church, where the fullness of truth resides.
Now, do you understand the ramifications of answering, “Yes,” to the question of whether or not God wants everyone to be Catholic? If God wants everyone to be Catholic, so that they can share in the fullness of the truth that is Jesus Christ, what does that mean for us, as Catholics? It means we’ve got to get into the game, folks! We can no longer be content with thinking something like, “Well, my son – or daughter, or brother or sister, etc. – is no longer Catholic, but it’s okay, because at least he’s still going to a Christian church.” No! Your son or daughter or whoever does not currently have the fullness of the truth. And Scripture says, in John 8:32, “And you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free!”
Your son no longer receives the Body of Christ in the Eucharist. And Scripture says, in John 6:54, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life.” God wants your son to be Catholic.  God wants your son to share in the fullness of the truth that is Jesus Christ.  God wants your son to receive Him in the Eucharist. What are you going to do about it?
And we can no longer be content with thinking about a friend or a co-worker, “You know, Jim’s a good guy, he loves the Lord, it doesn’t really matter if he’s not Catholic.” It doesn’t really matter if he doesn’t have the fullness of the truth? It doesn’t really matter if he doesn’t receive Christ in the Eucharist? It doesn’t really matter if he doesn’t receive the graces of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and of all the other Sacraments? If Jim is such a good guy without the fullness of the truth, imagine what kind of incredibly holy guy he could be with the fullness of truth! God wants Jim to be Catholic.  God wants Jim to share in the fullness of the truth that is Jesus Christ. What are you going to do about it?
The truth matters, and we need to respond accordingly. God is counting on us to spread the Word. God is counting on us to share the truths of the Catholic Faith with those around us.
This is why, if you are Baptist you should believe that God wants everyone to be Baptist. Or if you are Evangelical, you should believe that God wants everyone to be Evangelical. And the same is true no matter your particular faith tradition. Because the truth matters. Why are you Baptist? I assume you are Baptist because you believe the Baptist faith has the fullness of the truth. If it does, wouldn’t God want everyone to share in that truth? Why are you Evangelical? I assume it’s because you believe the Evangelical faith tradition has the fullness of the truth. If it does, wouldn’t God want everyone to share in that truth. The same is true whether you are Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian or whatever your particular faith tradition – if you believe it has the fullness of the truth, then you should believe that God wants everyone to share that same fullness of the truth.
Now, let’s look at the ramifications of answering in the negative: “No,” God does not want everyone to be Catholic. If you are a Catholic, and you answer, “No,” to that question, then you are, in essence, saying that truth doesn’t matter. Think about it. Your Church has the fullness of the truth given to us by Jesus Christ, but you don’t think it’s all that important that other people have that truth. As it says in John 8:32, “You will know the truth and nobody else really needs to.” No! “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” God wants everyone to know the truth and to be set free.
Or, maybe you believe the Catholic Church is wrong when it says that it contains the fullness of the truth. Maybe you believe your church could well be wrong here or there in some of its teachings. If that’s what you believe, then why are you Catholic? Why would you attend a church that you believe could be, and probably is, teaching error in one or more ways? If you believe the church you belong to – whether you’re Catholic, or Baptist, or Methodist, or Evangelical, or whatever – if you do not believe that your church has the fullness of the truth; or you believe that it could possibly be teaching error in one or more instances, then as I’ve just shown from the Bible, you do not belong to the Church founded by Jesus Christ, because the Church founded by Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit does not teach error, period! Jesus’ Church will not lead you astray…ever! Jesus’ Church is the pillar and ground of the truth! Jesus’ Church is the fullness of Jesus Christ Who is the Truth! Jesus’ Church is guided by the Spirit of Truth into all truth! Jesus’ Church does not teach error!
So, whether Catholic or not, if you believe the answer to the question, “Does God want everyone to be Catholic?” (or insert your particular faith tradition) is “No,” then you have a lot of soul searching to do and a lot of praying to do, because you are in the wrong place.  You need to go looking for that church that is guided by the Holy Spirit and that is the “fullness of Him Who fills all in all.”
This is why the question: “Does God want everyone to be Catholic?” is such an important question. Whether your answer is, “Yes,” or “No,” it requires something of you. It requires you to leave your comfort zone and do something. Either to reach out with the fullness of the truth to those around you if you answered “Yes,” or to go looking for that church that contains the fullness of the truth if you answer “No.” There has to be a church out there that contains the fullness of the truth. If your church isn’t it, then you need to start looking for the church that is.

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