Thursday, February 17, 2005
St. Paul, of course, raised Eutychus from death after he fell, thus my blog-name. I hesitated linking to the article on the two ways of the first century church, but decided to go ahead. I don't want to lead people astray with thoughts I don't believe are true, but perhaps it's a good lesson. I also read a lot about the possibility that John's Gospel might have really by written by Mary Magdalene. In both instances, some discrepancies in the wordings of the New Testament here and there lead people off into the woods. As the Clueless Christian wrote the other day, Jesus didn't write us a Bible, he left that to the Church He founded -- and if you start doubting the truth of the Word, then there is no bottom to your faith. Those doubts are behind me and I hope others who are distracted by the Magdalene or by invented in-fighting among the Apostles realize eventually how groundless such doubts are in the face of the teachings of the Magisterium.
A second excavation, under the main altar of the basilica, brought the Vatican team to the sarcophagus, which was located on what would have been ground level for the original 4th-century building. Under the altar a marble plaque was still visible, dating back to the 4th century, and bearing the inscription: "Apostle Paul, martyr." Filippi remarks that surprisingly, "Nobody ever thought to look behind that plaque." When the Vatican team looked, they found the sarcophagus. As an archeologist, Giorgio Filippi says that he has no special curiosity to learn whether the remains of St. Paul are still inside that sarcophagus. The tomb should not be opened merely to satisfy curiosity, he insists. There is no doubt, he says, that St. Paul was buried on the site, "because this basilica was the object of pilgrimages by emperors; people from all around the world came to venerate him, having faith that he was present in this basilica."
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Since my fifteenth year, the year of my baptism, I have been a communicant member of the Church of Sweden. I have gone to communion regularly for forty-five years in what I thought was the real church. During these years I have at the inside lived with and through all the changes that have taken place, I have seen them being prepared, I have heard the arguments, listened to the debates, seen the campaigns, encountered the propaganda, the threats, the intimidations, the promises, the deceits, the lies, the marginalization and the elimination. I have seen how the church has changed, how is has been occupied and been taken over from the outside and the inside. I have seen all the small steps leading to where the Church Sweden is now. And I have not been able to stop it. Together with many others I have been in the burning oven. And I have had enough.Folke Olofsson, a pastor or priest in the Swedish church, goes on to talk about not considering himself a martyr because nobody's getting killed, but the woman bishop says, of the Christian traditionalists:
“My opinion is crystal clear: those who do not approve of the ordination of women must leave the Church of Sweden. Those who do not want to share worship communion with women priests have excluded themselves. The problem with these priests is that they want a severance payment at the same time as they want to be martyrs. There is no rule in the Church of Sweden which states that martyrs should have a golden parachute”.and after a trip to the US and Canada:
Thirteen years, ago when I returned after a one month's trip to Canada and the U.S., I met with the Archbishop, Dr. Bertil Werkström, at his office to report to him what I had observed and experienced. I told him about the progress in Ecumenism, about practical cooperation between Lutherans and Catholics, something which really interested him as he soon was going to meet the Pope when he was visiting Uppsala during his Scandinavian trip. I also told him about the Gay and Lesbian agenda, about Feminism and about Inclusive Language being in my view the verbal and conceptual crowbar with the help of which the traditional Christian faith could be broken up. After my report, the Archbishop looked at me seriously and said: “Its it really that serious”, and I responded: “It is much worse, and in ten years we´ll have it here”. It was true. Now it is here for everyone to see.It's long read, but well worth the time.
The seven works of corporal mercy: 1) feed the hungry, 2) give drink to the thirsty, 3) clothe the naked, 4) shelter the homeless, 5) visit the sick, 6) visit those in prison, 7) bury the dead.
The seven virtues: 1) humility, 2) liberality, 3) chastity, 4) meekness, 5) temperance, 6) brotherly love, 7) diligence.
The seven vices: 1) pride, 2) covetousness, 3) lust, 4) anger, 5) gluttony, 6) envy, 7) sloth.
The seven sacraments: 1) baptism, 2) confirmation, 3) The Eucharist, 4) penance, 5) anointing the sick, 6) ordination, 7) matrimony.
In the statement, Specter said: "I have beaten a brain tumor, bypass heart surgery and many tough political opponents; and I'm going to beat this, too. I have a lot more work to do for Pennsylvania and America."
Specter has kept his post as the head of the Judiciary Committee despite criticism by conservatives of some of his social positions, including Specter's pro-choice stance on abortion.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
We Protestants, especially those of us who call ourselves “Orthodox” are big on authority. Isn’t that what this whole Anglican schism is about? We believe we are fighting to preserve the authority of Scripture. We all agree that Scripture is an authoritative, and infallible guide, yet Christ did not write Scripture, Christ founded a Church who wrote and compiled Scripture instead. These writings included two “infallible” Epistles from St. Peter, making it clear that St. Peter could teach “with infallibility”Update: A discussion about the above over at Pontifications.
I think it's a mistake, generally, to see the devil in every flat tire and God in every penny found. But get thee behind me, Satan, I'd rather not dream like that again.
Monday, February 14, 2005
After the Rite of Sending (which we're having on the 2nd Sunday of Lent instead of the 1st Sunday because of our Bishop's scheduling conflicts) our teacher said many in our congregation will be praying for us, some by name and some for us as a group. She said we need to focus and quiet ourselves and seek the Spirit over these next few weeks. We need to spend time in prayer and realize we're representing all those people out there in the pews.
The Scrutinies are prayers our priest will say over us in front of the congregation on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent. The prayers will be read out of one of Father's prayer books. Our sponsors will stand behind us, or with their hand on our shoulder, and the priest will read the prayers and perhaps make signs of the cross on our bodies at different points. The readings for the week will match (somewhat) the scrutiny prayers: 1st Scrutiny, the Woman at the Well; 2nd Scrutiny, the Blind man is healed; and 3rd Scrutiny, Lazarus is raised from the dead.
We received a seating chart and name tags to wear to meet the Bishop at the Rite of Election next Sunday. Catechumens (not yet baptised) will sit on the left and Candidates (baptised) will sit on the right and will have their names called and meet the Bishop separately.
O Lord and Master of my lifeAnd if you click on the link to the prayer above, there is a nice discussion of Lent.
take from me the spirit of sloth
lust of power
and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity,
and love to thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King
grant me to see my own errors
and not to judge my brother;
for Thou art blessed unto the ages of ages.
I don't think we'll be covering the last chapter of Michael Pennock's "This is Our Faith," which is a chapter on prayer. The book covers the Catechsim pretty well, but overall, I liked Alan Schrek's "The Essential Catholic Catechism" better. Both books say that humility is the foundation of prayer. We (humanity) don't know how to pray as we ought and God comes to aid us in our weakness with the Holy Spirit. We should pray simply, be precise and persistent. The "Our Father" is the perfect prayer, containing blessings and adoration for God, petitions for ourselves, intercession for others, thanksgiving for God's blessings and praise for God just because "He Is." We should follow the acronym A.C.T.S. in prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Lucia and two of her cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco, said in 1917 that the Virgin Mary had been appearing to them once a month and predicting events, such as a world war, the fall of Russian communism, and the eventual persecution of Catholics and the Pope. The appearances took place on the 13th day of each month in Fatima, a town about 70 miles north of Lisbon.
Pope John Paul II has visited [Fatima] three times since becoming pontiff, spending a few minutes with Lucia during a 1991 trip to the site. He has claimed the Virgin of Fatima saved his life after he was shot by a Turkish gunman in St Peter’s square in 1981. The May 13, 1981, attack coincided with the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, and John Paul credit’s the Virgin’s intercession for his survival.Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
In 2000, he visited Fatima to beatify Jacinta and Francisco.
Fatima, in Lucia's own words.
The Third Secret.
From the 2nd Secret of Fatima in 1917:
"This war is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, not much time will elapse and during the Pontificate of Pius XI another and more terrible war will begin. When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know this is the great sign from God that the chastisement of the world for its many transgressions is at hand through war, famine, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father."And from history:
- While Our Lady was saying these words, the First World War was still raging and Pope Benedict XV was reigning. Ambrogio DAmiano Achille Ratti was elected as Pope Pius XI on February 6, 1922. He died on February 10, 1939.
- On the night of January 25, 1938, Sister Lucia stood at her convent window in Tuy, Portugal, and saw an ominous red glow that lit the entire sky. This light was seen throughout Europe and parts of Africa and Asia. Scientists tried to explain it as a most unusual Aurora Borealis. It covered an area of 500,000 square km with a vertical extent of 400 km. The rays reached an altitude of 700 km and are accompanied by a strange noise "similar to the sound of burning grass or brush". Millions of people in many countries saw it and feared the world was on fire and about to end.
- The New York Times for January 26, 1938, carried the following :
- "London, Jmuary 25th, 1938. The Aurora Borealis rarely seen in Southern or Western Europe spread fear in parts of Portugal and lower Austria tonight while thousands of Britons were brought running into the streets in wonderment. The ruddy glow led many to think half the city was ablaze. The Windsor Fire Department was called out thinking that Windsor Castle was afire. The lights were clearly seen in Italy, Spain, and even Gibraltar. The glow bathing snow-clad mountain tops in Austria and Switzerland was a beautiful sight but firemen turned out to chase non-existent fires. Portuguese villagers rushed in fright from their homes fearing the end of the world."
- "Grenoble, France, January 25th, 1938. A huge hlood-red beam of light which scientists said was an Aurora Borealis of exceptional amplitude tied up telephone systems in parts of France tonight and spread anxiety in numerous Swiss Alpine villages. Emblazoned in the Northern sky the light brought thousands of telephone calls to Swiss and French authorities asking whether it was a Fire? War? or the End of the World?"
- The Literary Digest Account:
- "Thousands of frightened Portuguese peasants rushed from their homes one night recently and pointed to huge shafts of blood, red, greenish, blue and purple light shimmering on the northern horizon. 'It's the end of the world!' they cried.
- "In London the luminous heavens also caused alarm. Half the city appeared to be ablaze Frantic citizens telephoned newspaper offices. 'Where's the fire?' they asked. Out in Windsor fire engines clanged through the streets. 'Windsor Castle is afire,' everyone said.
- "In southwestern France, in the Alpine villages of Switzerland and along the Danube in Austria, the heavenly blaze brought thousands into city streets and country roads. 'Fire?' they asked one another. 'War?' 'Doomsday?'
- "In Holland crowds awaiting the birth of Crown Princess Juliana's baby hailed the celestial spectacle. 'A good omen,' they said. But in the lowlands of Scotland, men and women shook their heads. 'Northern lights,' they declared, 'always spell misfortune for Scotland.'
- "The excitement spread across the Atlantic. Bermudians stared at the distant glow. In Canada, much closer to the phenomenon, the Canadian Press reported that 'wire services throughout northern Ontario were disrupted,' while radio transmission went dead."
- In America, the sighting of this light was testified by J.C. of Lincoln, Nebraska: "January 26th, 1938, I was walking across campus with 2 or 3 other faculty members of St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana. We saw that Aurora Borealis, and stopped to watch. I don't recall the colors, the night was very dark, but it was the first 'Northern Lights' I'd seen. I remarked about the Fatima prophecy, and wondered if this could be the Sign . . . Frightening!...World War II started not long after that."(Letter to Divine Love, Vol. 24, No. 2-3, 1981, Fresno, California).
- Looking at the 'Northen Lights,' Sister Lucia knew that it was the great sign foretold by Our Lady on July 13, 1917, that the punishment of the world was at hand. In March 1938, Hitler invaded Austria, striking the match that was to set the world aflame. The lights referred to above appeared on the night of January 24-25, 1938. Hitler's move upon Austria took place 45 to 48 days later.