Wormwood and Loyalty

 

From the archives: written on February 22nd, 2013…. 

 

A LETTER from a reader:

I totally agree with you — we each need a personal relationship with Jesus. I was born and raised Roman Catholic but find myself now attending the Episcopal (High Episcopal) church on Sunday and becoming involved with the life of this community. I was a member of my church council, a choir member, a CCD teacher and a full-time teacher in a Catholic school. I personally knew four of the priests credibly accused and who confessed of sexually abusing minor children… Our cardinal and bishops and other priests covered up for these men. It strains belief that Rome didn’t know what was going on and, if it truly didn’t, shame on Rome and the Pope and the curia. They are simply horrid representatives of Our Lord…. So, I should remain a loyal member of the RC church? Why? I found Jesus many years ago and our relationship has not changed — in fact it is even stronger now. The RC church is not the beginning and the end of all truth. If anything, the Orthodox church has just as much if not more credibility than Rome. The word “catholic” in the Creed is spelled with a small “c” – meaning “universal” not meaning only and forever the Church of Rome. There is only one true path to the Trinity and that is following Jesus and coming into relationship with the Trinity by first coming into friendship with Him. None of that is dependent upon the Roman church. All of that can be nourished outside of Rome. None of this is your fault and I admire your ministry but I just needed to tell you my story.

Dear reader, thank you for sharing your story with me. I rejoice that, despite the scandals you have encountered, your faith in Jesus has remained. And this doesn’t surprise me. There have been times in history when Catholics in the midst of persecution no longer had access to their parishes, the priesthood, or the Sacraments. They survived within the walls of their inner temple where the Holy Trinity resides. The lived out of faith and trust in a relationship with God because, at its core, Christianity is about the love of a Father for his children, and the children loving Him in return.

Thus, it begs the question, which you have tried to answer: if one can remain a Christian as such: “Should I remain a loyal member of the Roman Catholic Church? Why?”

The answer is a resounding, unhesitating “yes.” And here is why: it’s a matter of staying loyal to Jesus.

 

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What If…?

What’s around the bend?

 

IN an open letter to the Pope, [1]cf. Dear Holy Father… He is Coming! I outlined to His Holiness the theological foundations for an “era of peace” as opposed to the heresy of millenarianism. [2]cf. Millenarianism: What it is and is Not and the Catechism [CCC} n.675-676 Indeed, Padre Martino Penasa posed the question on the scriptural foundation of an historic and universal era of peace versus millenarianism to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “È imminente una nuova era di vita cristiana?” (“Is a new era of Christian life imminent?”). The Prefect at that time, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger replied, “La questione è ancora aperta alla libera discussione, giacchè la Santa Sede non si è ancora pronunciata in modo definitivo”:

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1. cf. Dear Holy Father… He is Coming!
2. cf. Millenarianism: What it is and is Not and the Catechism [CCC} n.675-676

St. John Paul II

Giovanni Paolo II

ST. JOHN PAUL II — PRAY FOR US

 

 

I traveled to Rome to sing in a concert tribute to St. John Paul II, October 22nd, 2006, to honor the 25th anniversary of the John Paul II Foundation, as well as the 28th anniversary of the late pontiff’s installation as pope. I had no idea what was about to happen…

A story from the archives, first published October 24th, 2006….

 

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Dear Holy Father… He is Coming!

Sunrisefromspacepic_Fotor2

 

 

TO His Holiness, Pope Francis:

 

Dear Holy Father,

Throughout the pontificate of your predecessor, St. John Paul II, he continually invoked us, the youth of the Church, to become “morning watchmen at the dawn of the new millennium.” [1]POPE JOHN PAUL II, Novo Millennio Inuente, n.9; (cf. Is 21:11-12)

…watchmen who proclaim to the world a new dawn of hope, brotherhood and peace. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Address to the Guanelli Youth Movement, April 20th, 2002, www.vatican.va

From Ukraine to Madrid, Peru to Canada, he beckoned us to become “protagonists of the new times” [2]POPE JOHN PAUL II, Welcome Ceremony, International Airport of Madrid-Baraja, May 3rd, 2003; www.fjp2.com that lay directly ahead of the Church and the world:

Dear young people, it is up to you to be the watchmen of the morning who announce the coming of the sun who is the Risen Christ! —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Message of the Holy Father to the Youth of the World, XVII World Youth Day, n. 3; (cf. Is 21:11-12)

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1. POPE JOHN PAUL II, Novo Millennio Inuente, n.9; (cf. Is 21:11-12)
2. POPE JOHN PAUL II, Welcome Ceremony, International Airport of Madrid-Baraja, May 3rd, 2003; www.fjp2.com

TruNews Interview

 

MARK MALLETT was the guest on TruNews.com, an evangelical radio podcast, on February 28th, 2013. With host, Rick Wiles, they discussed the resignation of the Pope, apostasy in the Church, and the theology of the “end times” from a Catholic perspective.

An evangelical Christian interviewing a Catholic in a rare interview! Listen in at:

TruNews.com

The Coming Counterfeit

The Mask, by Michael D. O’Brien

 

THE warning in my heart continues to grow about a coming deception, which may in fact be the one described in 2 Thess 2:11-13. What follows after the so-called “illumination” or “warning” is not only a brief but powerful period of evangelization, but a dark counter-evangelization that will, in many ways, be just as convincing. Part of the preparation for that deception is knowing beforehand that it is coming:

Indeed, the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets… I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. (Amos 3:7; John 16:1-4)

Satan not only knows what is coming, but has been planning for it for a long time. It is exposed in the language being used…Continue reading

Charismatic? Part III


Holy Spirit Window, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

 

FROM that letter in Part I:

I go out of my way to attend a church that is very traditional—where people dress properly, remain quiet in front of the Tabernacle, where we are catechized according to Tradition from the pulpit, etc.

I stay far away from charismatic churches. I just don’t see that as Catholicism. There is often a movie screen on the altar with parts of the Mass listed on it (“Liturgy,” etc.). Women are on the altar. Everyone is dressed very casually (jeans, sneakers, shorts, etc.) Everyone raises their hands, shouts, claps—no quiet. There is no kneeling or other reverent gestures. It seems to me that a lot of this was learned from the Pentecostal denomination. No one thinks the “details” of Tradition matter. I feel no peace there. What happened to Tradition? To silence (such as no clapping!) out of respect for the Tabernacle??? To modest dress?

 

I was seven years old when my parents attended a Charismatic prayer meeting in our parish. There, they had an encounter with Jesus that profoundly changed them. Our parish priest was a good shepherd of the movement who himself experienced the “baptism in the Spirit.” He permitted the prayer group to grow in its charisms, thereby bringing many more conversions and graces to the Catholic community. The group was ecumenical, and yet, faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church. My dad described it as a “truly beautiful experience.”

In hindsight, it was a model of sorts of what the popes, from the very beginning of the Renewal, wished to see: an integration of the movement with the whole Church, in fidelity to the Magisterium.

 

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Charismatic? Part II

 

 

THERE is perhaps no movement in the Church that has been so widely accepted—and readily rejected—as the “Charismatic Renewal.” Boundaries were broken, comfort zones moved, and the status quo shattered. Like Pentecost, it has been anything but a neat and tidy movement, fitting nicely into our preconceived boxes of just how the Spirit should move among us. Nothing has been perhaps as polarizing either… just as it was then. When the Jews heard and saw the Apostles burst from the upper room, speaking in tongues, and boldly proclaiming the Gospel…

They were all astounded and bewildered, and said to one another, “What does this mean?” But others said, scoffing, “They have had too much new wine. (Acts 2:12-13)

Such is the division in my letter bag as well…

The Charismatic movement is a load of gibberish, NONSENSE! The Bible speaks of the gift of tongues. This referred to the ability to communicate in the spoken languages of that time! It did not mean idiotic gibberish… I will have nothing to do with it. —T.S.

It saddens me to see this lady speak this way about the movement that brought me back to Church… —M.G.

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Charismatic? Part I

 

From a reader:

You mention the Charismatic Renewal (in your writing The Christmas Apocalypse) in a positive light. I don’t get it. I go out of my way to attend a church that is very traditional—where people dress properly, remain quiet in front of the Tabernacle, where we are catechized according to Tradition from the pulpit, etc.

I stay far away from charismatic churches. I just don’t see that as Catholicism. There is often a movie screen on the altar with parts of the Mass listed on it (“Liturgy,” etc.). Women are on the altar. Everyone is dressed very casually (jeans, sneakers, shorts, etc.) Everyone raises their hands, shouts, claps—no quiet. There is no kneeling or other reverent gestures. It seems to me that a lot of this was learned from the Pentecostal denomination. No one thinks the “details” of Tradition matter. I feel no peace there. What happened to Tradition? To silence (such as no clapping!) out of respect for the Tabernacle??? To modest dress?

And I have never seen anyone who had a REAL gift of tongues. They tell you to say nonsense with them…! I tried it years ago, and I was saying NOTHING! Can’t that type of thing call down ANY spirit? It seems like it should be called “charismania.” The “tongues” people speak in are just jibberish! After Pentecost, people understood the preaching. It just seems like any spirit can creep into this stuff. Why would anyone want hands laid on them that are not consecrated??? Sometimes I am aware of certain serious sins that people are in, and yet there they are on the altar in their jeans laying hands on others. Aren’t those spirits being passed on? I don’t get it!

I would much rather attend a Tridentine Mass where Jesus is at the center of everything. No entertainment—just worship.

 

Dear reader,

You raise some important points worth discussing. Is the Charismatic Renewal from God? Is it a Protestant invention, or even a diabolical one? Are these “gifts of the Spirit” or ungodly “graces”?

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Straight Talk

YES, it is coming, but for many Christians it is already here: the Passion of the Church. As the priest raised the Holy Eucharist this morning during Mass here in Nova Scotia where I just arrived to give a men’s retreat, his words took on new meaning: This is My Body which will be given up for you.

We are His Body. United to Him mystically, we too were “given up” that Holy Thursday to share in the sufferings of Our Lord, and thus, to share also in His Resurrection. “Only through suffering can one enter Heaven,” said the priest in his sermon. Indeed, this was Christ’s teaching and thus remains the constant teaching of the Church.

‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:20)

Another retired priest is living out this Passion just up the coast line from here in the next province…

 

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