Saturday, March 30, 2013

Alleluia! Christ Is Risen!

The Lord is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!

Edith Schaeffer, Requiescat In Pace

Edith Schaeffer, along with her husband Reverend Francis Schaeffer, founded L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland and were giants of Evangelical Christianity.  Mrs. Schaeffer passed away today at age 98.
Thanks to the Petinacious Papist.

My Two Cents

On Holy Thursday the Holy Father went to a prison for juveniles in Rome and washed and kissed the feet of 12 inmates as part of a Mass.  The 12 included non-Christians and girls.  This has apparently started a firestorm among Catholic traditionalists because it violates the rubric for the Holy Thursday Mass which specifies that 12 MEN should have their feet washed by the priest.

(For whatever it's worth my heretical diocese has apparently disregarded this rule with the permission of the Bishop every Holy Thursday since I converted to Catholicism 8 years ago.  Unfortunately here in the rural Bible Belt there's no SSPX parish to defect to so I guess I'll have to go back to First Baptist Church. Of course, for years the owner of a local restaurant has diligently tried to convince me to join his Greek Orthodox Parish in a neighboring city 40 miles away so I guess that's always an option.)

I guess I'm a Bad Catholic for a reason: it seems to this old former Southern Baptist that Jesus violated a lot of religious rules himself for which he was greatly condemned by a lot of really religious people.   Despite the liturgical rules which may have been broken, this may have been the first time that anybody has told or shown these young people that God loves them and that they are entitled to some respect just by virtue of being a human being made in the image of God.  I seem to remember that another pastor who broke some rubrics about Sabbath observance said "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."  That's my two cents.  Read more here.

Holy Saturday

"Something strange is happening, there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness.  The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.  The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear."  (From an ancient sermon for Holy Saturday)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

"Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.  And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, and said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.  Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.  Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe.  And Pilate said unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying Crucify him, crucify him.  Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him."  John 19:1-6 (K.J.V.)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pope Francis & the Imitation of Christ

Pope Francis celebrated Mass at a Juvenile Detention Facility and Rome and washed the feet of inmates. Full story from USA Today.

Holy Thursday

"Mandatum novum do vobis: ut diligatis invicem, sicut dilexi vos, dicit Domini"
(A new commandment I have given you: Love one another as I love you.)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pope Francis Rejects Papal Apartments for Humbler Digs

Have you heard the news? Pope Francis has decided that the Papal Apartment in the Apostolic Palace is too fancy for his taste and has decided to live in the Vatican Guest Quarters.  Our new Holy Father apparently intends to live like his namesake Saint Francis of Assisi.  I am excited.  What new wonders await us?  Full story from Whispers in the Loggia.

Pope Francis: Taking Care of Business!

Pope Francis and the Devil

Our new Holy Father has said a lot about the Devil and Spiritual Warfare since taking office.  Great article from Catholic World Report.

Literature & the Spirit of the Age

Interesting article from Catholic World Report.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Pope's Red Shoes

The Red Shoes worn by the Popes until John Paul II stopped and which Benedict XVI was made fun of for wearing symbolize that the Papacy stands on the Blood of Martyrs and that the Pope may be called upon to give his life for the faith.  Read about it here.

Bishop Hartmayer on Pope Francis

The thoughts of my Bishop on the election of Pope Francis

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Going Clear

Going Clear: Sceintology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief (2013) is investigative reporter Lawrence Wright’s expose on the Church of Scientology.  From the thorough biography of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to the current crop of celebrity converts like John Travolta and Tom Cruise, the portrait which emerges from Going Clear is that of a dangerous oppressive cult.

According to Wright, Hubbard’s experimentation in spirituality began with his involvement in the early 1950s with Aleister Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis and participation in the Black Mass.  According to Wright “Nibs - Hubbard’s estranged eldest son and namesake, L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. (he later changed his name to Ronald DeWolf) - claimed that his father had read the book (The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley) when he was sixteen years old and developed a lifelong allegiance to black magic. “What a lot of people don’t realize is that Scientology is black magic just spread out over a long time period,” he continued.  “Black Magic is the inner core of Scientology - and it is probably the only part of Scientology that really works.”

Over the 430 pages of Wright’s book, the story he tells is shocking and bizarre.  In the 1960s Hubbard and his movement literally went to sea.  The Church of Scientology purchased several ships and the “Sea Org” is still the name of the full time Scientology clergy who have to sign “billion year contracts.”  When a Sea Org member “blows” or leaves the Church, they are often hunted down and tried to be made to come back.  Sometimes, according to Wright, force has been used.  Sea Org members who offend some higher up in the Church are sent to “Rehabilitation Project Force” or “RPF” camps where they eat rice and beans and perform menial tasks.   Sea Org members have been forced to divorce their spouses and “disconnect” from family and friends who have been declared by the Church hierarchy to be “Suppressive Persons” or “SP’s.” Wright’s book is full of footnotes that “The Church of Scientology refutes this.”  And the Church refutes almost all of the book.

The rank and file members purchase “auditing sessions” where they are hooked up to “E-Meters” to “clear” the memories of past lives.  At upper levels, auditing concentrates on removing Thetans, or disembodied spirits of aliens who have attached themselves to the person.  Hubbard developed an elaborate cosmology which involves space aliens, fleets of battling spaceships, and Galactic Empires.  When Hubbard died in 1986, Church leaders declared that the leader had “dropped his body” for a higher plane of existence.  Scientologists still await Hubbard’s return.