Pope Benedict Proven Protestant!

Well, no.

Not likely.

But Brent Stubbs has an article on his blog (highly recommended BTW) that shows once again how a person bent on proving that grey is green will have no real trouble with it, as long as we ignore how silly the arguments are. Once you have your conclusion firmly in mind, it’s just a matter of aligning enough improbables so that your audience’s belief is confirmed. It’s a good read.

 

via The Journey: Almost Not Catholic: Is Pope Benedict A Protestant? And Other Silly Things One Could Try to Prove.

I’m not laughing.

In a day or two it will be November. The beginning of November is the cue for retailers across the USA to turn on Christmas. Many store employees will spend a few extra hours putting up decorations cleverly styled to be non-offensive yet mildly attractive. These decorations, far from being part of a joyous celebration of the birth of Our Lord, are simply used to allow the retailer to trade on what good feelings we (many of us) have around this time of year.

When I was involved in retail management, I approached the end of the year with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was entering the busiest time of the sales year; the fourth quarter makes or breaks many retailers. There was an increased sense of excitement as the stores filled to bursting with essentially useless interesting, new, just-released stuff few could afford but everyone wanted. My job as a retailer was not to be the conscience of my customer, but the sales oriented team leader dutifully helping my company create a profit. Profit is a good thing,  mind you; occasionally I had trouble remembering that I was there to recommend products, not life choices.

So, as we once again embark on the run-up to Black Friday I urge you to remember God and the good He has done for you, does for you, and will do for you if you let Him. If it wasn’t for God, you wouldn’t be enjoying all that cool stuff on Christmas Day. If it wasn’t for God, you wouldn’t be enjoying Christmas Day. If it wasn’t for God, you wouldn’t be enjoying anything. If it wasn’t for God, you wouldn’t be.

This from an email I recently received. Probably been circulating forever, but someone always has to be the last guy to receive these things–if it’s me, fine. If not, here you go.

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish.  And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.  I don’t feel threatened.  I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a  bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me.  I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.  In fact, I kind of like it.  It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu.  If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.  I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.  I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.  I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God?  I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too.  But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different:  This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina)..   Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.  She  said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.  And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out.  How can we expect God to  give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

In light of recent  events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.  I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a  few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we  said OK.  Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.  The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.  And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem  (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he’s talking about.  And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.  I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.  Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.  Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.  Funny how  lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard  it…. no one will know you did.  But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards,
Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Happy holidays, and Thanks be to God.

Disabled or Differently-Abled?

 

 

 

 

Monsignor Charles Pope, of the Archdiocese of Washington has written a thoughtful article regarding our appreciation of one another.

Disabled or Differently Abled? Toward a Deeper Recogition of the Dignity of the Disabled. | Archdiocese of Washington.

He uses the analogy of a paperclip, many times bent out of its original shape to better serve a special purpose; who of us might be bent out of our supposed proper shape in one way or another, physically or mentally,  and, but for the grace of God, have no way to understand the circumstance. Yet each of us has a purpose for which no one else can substitute their own selves. We are what and who we are for a reason.

Why It’s Great to Be a Young Catholic | Crisis Magazine

Why It’s Great to Be a Young Catholic | Crisis Magazine.

Three reasons why it’s great to be a young Catholic, says this writer, are:

  1. Sex, sex and sexy sex.
    An outstanding explanation of the Church’s teaching about Holy Sex: “[It’s] not safe and sterile, but rather it is so dangerous, so very potent and powerful, that it should only occur between two individuals who have made dire oaths not to run away from it. She says — restating a truth humanity has forgotten — that sex creates life, and that it is mind-blowingly adventurous for this very reason: Two will become one flesh, and that flesh will learn to walk, love, burn with fire for God, die, and spend eternity with Him.”
  2. The lack of ‘youthiness’  “[I]f the youth are simply human beings in the state of being young, then all they want is exactly what all human beings want: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. Sure, they might want it with a more obnoxious passion, and with a painful lack of knowledge, maturity, and understanding — but the desire is the same.”
  3. The rebellion. “ Real, Catholic rebellion is having virtue next to the man who does not. It is to have love, drinking at a bar full of men who know only lust. It is to sow light in the darkness, to throw Hope into this fumbling, despairing world like a Molotov cocktail and to feed its flames with a reckless joy. It is living “in the world but not of the world,” yes — but it is also living in the absolute confidence that the Truth we hold can save the world.”

A quick read for those who read quickly. An enticing invitation to those seeking truth.

 

Thomas Merton’s Prayer

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

– Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”
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