Sunday, September 30, 2012

Grace before meals, Zuchinne Frittata

Dr. Peter Kreeft, the existence of God

October 1, 2012

Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church

St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, read more.

Lectionary: 455

A reading from the holy book of Job
Jb 1:6-22

One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD,
Satan also came among them.
And the LORD said to Satan, "Whence do you come?"

Satan was kicked out of heaven by St. Michael:

Revelation 12:7-9
King James Version (KJV)
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

But apparently God still permits Satan to come before Him on occasion.   Pope Leo XIII had a vision of such an appearance when he formulated the St. Michael prayer.

Then Satan answered the LORD and said,
"From roaming the earth and patrolling it."
And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job,
and that there is no one on earth like him,
blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?"
But Satan answered the LORD and said,
"Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing?
Have you not surrounded him and his family
and all that he has with your protection?
You have blessed the work of his hands,
and his livestock are spread over the land.
But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has,
and surely he will blaspheme you to your face."

It is not for nothing that Satan is known as the Accuser and the Adversary.  His sole purpose is to bring the entire human race to hell with him.  Just as he did a third of his own brethren.

Revelation 12:4
King James Version (KJV)
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

A "third part of the stars in heaven" means a third part of the angels.  Angels are frequently known as "lights" of heaven and "stars" is frequently used as a euphemism for angels.  Therefore, here, third part of the stars of heaven means third part of the angels.

And the LORD said to Satan,
"Behold, all that he has is in your power;
only do not lay a hand upon his person."
So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

God gave Satan the authority to test Job.  Many people think this is a unique situation.  But it is not.  All the trials we go through are tests and temptations which Satan besets upon us:

1 Peter 5:8
King James Version (KJV)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

And this doesn't end in this life.  It is Satan who is in charge of castigating all the souls in Purgatory:

Revelation 2:10
King James Version (KJV)
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

And so one day, while his sons and his daughters
were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
a messenger came to Job and said,
"The oxen were ploughing and the asses grazing beside them,
and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid.
They put the herdsmen to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you."

Many have said and will say, "how horrible that God permitted all these people to be killed!"  But I follow the Scripture:

Hebrews 11:17-19
King James Version (KJV)
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

We know or have a lively hope that God did not permit those children to die and be condemned.  But because of the faith of His devout son, Job, they were all saved to eternal life.  They were RAISED and will be raised on the Last Day.

Brothers and sisters, faith is the key!

While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
"Lightning has fallen from heaven
and struck the sheep and their shepherds and consumed them;
and I alone have escaped to tell you."
While he was yet speaking, another messenger came and said,
"The Chaldeans formed three columns,
seized the camels, carried them off,
and put those tending them to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you."
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
"Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
when suddenly a great wind came across the desert
and smote the four corners of the house.
It fell upon the young people and they are dead;
and I alone have escaped to tell you."
Then Job began to tear his cloak and cut off his hair.
He cast himself prostrate upon the ground, and said,
"Naked I came forth from my mother's womb,
and naked shall I go back again.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD!"
In all this Job did not sin,
nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.

Oh my!  Can you imagine receiving all this horrible news all at once?  Job must have been  extraordinarily faithful and strong.  Because Scripture says:

1 Corinthians 10:13
King James Version (KJV)
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

For those of you who are suffering the trials of Job.  Keep in mind a faithful saying:

1 Peter 4:1

King James Version (KJV)
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

Suffering in the flesh rids us of sin. 

Responsorial Psalm Ps 17:1Bcd, 2-3, 6-7

Response. (6) Incline your ear to me and hear my word.

Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.

R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.

From you let my judgment come;
your eyes behold what is right.
Though you test my heart, searching it in the night,
though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me.

R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
Show your wondrous mercies,
O savior of those who flee
from their foes to refuge at your right hand.

R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.

Justification of the righteous is here illustrated.  Note that the righteous man does not consider himself saved because of his works.  But the righteous man who has done the works of God pleads for God's tender mercy.  As the Scripture says:

Exodus 20:6
King James Version (KJV)
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
God does not show mercy and save those who do not keep His Commandments.  God shows mercy and saves those who do.

Romans 2:13
King James Version (KJV)
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke
Lk 9:46-50

An argument arose among the disciples
about which of them was the greatest.

The Apostles were again arguing over who was the leader.

Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child
and placed it by his side and said to them,
"Whoever receives this child in my name receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
For the one who is least among all of you
is the one who is the greatest."

Jesus heard them and placed a child before them as an example of humility and innocence.  And said to them, that one must be like a little child in order to be great in heaven.

Then John said in reply,
"Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name
and we tried to prevent him
because he does not follow in our company."
Jesus said to him,
"Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you."

St. John remembered at that point, that they had seen an outsider casting out demons in the name of Christ.  The Apostles had seen this and tried to stop him.

But Christ said it was wrong to do so. For this person was not against them and therefore was working in their favor.


De Maria

God a whacko?

Originally Posted by Lutero

Why does the Catholic Church have to explain Scripture?  Is God some whacko who keeps contradicting Himself? Uh, NO.

Scripture is clear:
2 Peter 3:16
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hardto be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

You don't like what the word of God says, so you want to "go behind" the word and twist the meaning in order to fit your man made doctrine.  But Scripture itself says that some parts of Scripture are hard to understand.


De Maria

Good morning!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

September 30, 2012

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary TimeLectionary: 137

A reading from the holy book of Numbers

Nm 11:25-29

The LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses.
Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses,
the LORD bestowed it on the seventy elders;
and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied.

Moses must have been tremendously Holy.  Because God took some of Moses spirit and bestowed it upon seventy men?!!!  Wow!

Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad,
were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp.
They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent;
yet the spirit came to rest on them also,
and they prophesied in the camp.

God's spirit went out and searched for these men which were on the list and accomplished what God had sent it to do.  This reminds me of a verse:
Isaiah 55:11
King James Version (KJV)
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
So, when a young man quickly told Moses,
"Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, "
Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses?aide, said,
"Moses, my lord, stop them."
But Moses answered him,
"Are you jealous for my sake?
Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!
Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!"

With Holiness comes wisdom.  Moses was exceedingly wise.

This verse reminds me of another:
Acts 2:16-18
King James Version (KJV)
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
I believe we are living in those days.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14

Response. (9a) The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.

R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.

R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

Though your servant is careful of them,
very diligent in keeping them,
Yet who can detect failings?
Cleanse me from my unknown faults!

R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

From wanton sin especially, restrain your servant;
let it not rule over me.
Then shall I be blameless and innocent
of serious sin.

R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

This reminds me of another verse:
Romans 7:23-25
King James Version (KJV)
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Second Reading from the Epistle of St. James Jas 5:1-6

This is a warning against the rich who have gained their wealth by taking advantage of their fellow man.

Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.
Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded,
and that corrosion will be a testimony against you;

God will repay all men according to their deeds in the body.  Those who  commit evil deeds will be repaid in kind:
Romans 2:5-6
King James Version (KJV)
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Who will render to every man according to his deeds
it will devour your flesh like a fire.
You have stored up treasure for the last days.
Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers
who harvested your fields are crying aloud;
and the cries of the harvesters
have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

We will be punished by the very things which we treasured on earth.

You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure;
you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.
You have condemned;
you have murdered the righteous one;
he offers you no resistance.

As Abraham said to Dives, the Rich man:
Luke 16:23-25
King James Version (KJV)
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
You might want to read that entire story about Lazarus a poor man whom Dives, a rich man, ignored and neglected.  This is exactly why faith alone is dead.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark.Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

At that time, John said to Jesus,
"Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us."

Much like Joshua, the beloved helper of Moses.  The beloved Disciple was concerned that another man, a stranger, was doing good in the name of Christ.

Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.

And Jesus said to St. John, "You have no monopoly on goodness nor the Holy Spirit.  No one who calls me Lord can be against us."

This reminds me of a verse:
1 Corinthians 12:3
King James Version (KJV)
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

We should always recognize the goodness in men because any good that they do is by the Spirit of God.

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.

Always give good example and let your light shine upon men that they may imitate you in doing good.  Don't let them imitate you in doing evil, for that is not good for you or for therm.

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"

This reminds me of another verse:
Matthew 16:26
King James Version (KJV)
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?


De Maria

For all things there is a season

I intended to post this yesterday. But, oh well. Better late than never.
This song is based upon the first reading of Sept. 28. Sincerely, De Maria

Thank you!

Thank you for your patronage. According to the Blogger statcounter, the past two months (Aug and Sept) I've been averaging about 1000 clicks per month.  And the numbers have been steadily improving starting this past April when the number of clicks was 172.  May more than doubled with 463.  July almost doubled with 918.  And we broke 1000 in Aug.  Sept has already broken 1000 again and hopefully will continue to go up.
Graph of Blogger page views

Pageviews today
Pageviews yesterday
Pageviews last month
Pageviews all time history
Don't track your own pageviews

These numbers are far more optomistic than the other statcounter I recently began using.  But even that one is growing.

Thank you and Thank God.  I pray that I will be able to continue preaching His Word for many years to come.

Anyway, let me know if there's anything that I can do to improve the blog even further.


De Maria

Journey Home, Dr. Scott Hahn 3 of 6 parts

Catholics have been deprived of the Gospel?

Luteor said,
Sad sad sad.
That is a description of Protestant doctrine.

Catholics have been deprived of the gospel of Christ
No, it is Protestants who have discarded the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me show you.

and are trying to earn salvation
You belittle the Gospel of Christ by calling it "earning" salvation. Although you are aware that Christ said:
Matthew 19:17

King James Version (KJV)

17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

by being good
You deny that one should do that which is good in the eyes of God:
2 Chronicles 14:2

King James Version (KJV)

And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God:

and keeping commandments.
By keeping the Commandments, which is the duty of all who love God:
John 14:21

King James Version (KJV)
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

All your righteousns is as filthy rags in His sight.

It is God who works through those who love Him:
Philippians 2:11-13

King James Version (KJV)

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Your works are filthy rags unto Him because you deny His will and do that which pleases you.

This applies to you as well as Israel:

Romans 10:1-4 (KJV) 1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
On the contrary, that is what the Protestants have done. Claiming to save themselves by faith alone. Thus kicking God out of their lives and crowning themselves with their own power.

Whereas we hope in God.

Catholics probably don't even know what this means. Approach God with your own "righteousness" (good works, religiosity, etc.) and He sees filthy rags. Approach with the imputed righteousness of Christ that is received by faith alone and only then will He accept you.
Show me that from Scripture. Otherwise, read the Word of God:
Revelation 20:12

King James Version (KJV)

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 2:1-3

King James Version (KJV)

Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

Romans 2:1-13

King James Version (KJV)

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Unless you keep the Commandments, you will not enter the City of God:
Revelation 22:12-15

King James Version (KJV)

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.


De Maria

Friday, September 28, 2012

Should we pray to saints?

Lutero asks: 
Does the Bible teach that we should pray to the saints?
Yes.  When understood correctly.  The main difference between Protestant and Catholic understanding of Scripture is the idea of "Sola Scriptura" or "Scripture alone".  The teaching that Scripture is the only source of doctrinal truth and that doctrine must be "explicit" in Scripture in order for it to be true.

The first problem with that teaching is that IT isn't in Scripture.
The next is that it actually contradicts Scripture.  Since Scripture tells us that the Church teaches the Wisdom of God (Eph 3:10) and that we must also hold to Traditions (2 Thess 2:15).

As for Catholics, we are taught to understand the Spirit of the Word of God.  Because Scripture says that the letter kills:

2 Corinthians 3:6
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Therefore, a literal understanding of the Word of God is unsuitable for understanding the spiritual teachings therein contained.

Jesus Christ taught His followers to pray to "our Father in heaven"  and throughout Scripture prayer is communication with God and part of our worship of Him.
That is true.  But Jesus also taught by example.  And Jesus communicated with "dead" saints on Mount Tabor:

Mark 9:4
And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
What else does the Bible say? Paul instructed "prayers to God" (Romans 15:30). Moses was to "pray to the Lord" (Numbers 21:7), and David sang to God "to You I will pray" (Psalm 5:2). Christians can come directly to God's throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16), and the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ intercedes for us (Hebrews 7:25). We don't need saints to do that.
Whether we need them or not is really besides the point.  The fact is that God has given all saints a mandate to intercede for all mankind.  And they are under the same mandate.  Since, as you have seen, "dead" saints are alive in Christ.
1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
Romans 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Scripture shows saints refusing to accept the worship of people (Acts 10:26; 14:8-18). The Bible also tells us not to worship angels (Colossians 2:18), and it shows that angels refuse adoration and worship by humans (Revelation 19:10).
This is true.  But we don't worship people or angels.  You see...

...The Catholic Church is the ancient Church of Christianity.  The One which Jesus Christ established. Let me show you.

First, Jesus Christ appointed a Pastor as head of the entire Church:
John 21:17
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

I see only a few Churches with such a Pastor. Further, Jesus Christ said that the Pastor over His Church would be infallible:

Matthew 16:17-19 (King James Version)
17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The list of Churches accept this teaching gets smaller. Certainly, all Protestant denominations can now be eliminated.

Jesus Christ not only said that the Pastor was infallible but Scripture describes the Church as infallible:
Ephesians 3:10
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

The list remains the same, but now I can certainly eliminate all Protestant denominations.

Back to Matt 16:18, Scripture says that Jesus Christ established one Church. History shows that all the Churches sprang from the Church which is frequently described as the Mother Church. The Catholic Church.

By simple logic of elimination, that leaves only the Catholic Church.

SO?  Why did I go through that exercise?  Simply to be able to explain that the Catholic Church still uses the old definitions of words.  Definitions which are all but forgotten in today's society.

To us, "pray" does not necessarily mean "worship".  That certainly is one of the meanings of the word.  But evrery word has more than one meaning.  And "pray" originally meant "implore".  Therefore, we still occasionally hear someone say to another, "I pray, won't you pass the salt?"

Here's the Merriam Webster definition of pray:

Definition of PRAY
transitive verb
1: entreat, implore —often used as a function word in introducing a question, request, or plea <pray be careful>

2: to get or bring by praying

The same goes for the word "worship".  It includes the meaning of "respect".
transitive verb
1: to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power
2: to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion <a celebrity worshipped by her fans>
And we see in Scripture, both words used in address to creatures:
Genesis 12:13
Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
Joshua 5:14
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant.
Notice also Revelation 22:9, where the apostle John saw in vision the time after the resurrection and fell down in awe at the feet of the being talking to him. "Then he said to me, 'See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.'"
Obviously, St. John confused an angel for God.  But note how Joshua did reverence to an Angel described as the Captain of the host of the Lord.  According to Scripture, that is the Angel Michael:

Revelation 12:7
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Therefore, Joshua offered the right kind of worship or reverence to the Angel.  Whereas St. John confused the angel for the Divine Being.

Righteous created beings, whether human or angelic, refuse to be worshipped and they point us to worship the Creator. Only Satan and his followers seek others' adoration and worship (Matthew 4:9; Acts 8:9-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
They seek "adoration" as God.  But even the word "adoration" has other meanings.  Have you ever heard a husband or wife say to the significant other, "I adore you."  Do you think they consider the other person to be God?  I don't.  I think they simply love each other exceedingly.

Now, Satan and his followers seek to replace God.  And they do want us to worship them as God.
In addition to all this, praying to dead saints today assumes the doctrine of the immortal soul, which many people are surprised to find is not taught in the Bible. The Bible teaches that death is like sleep that lasts until the resurrection at Jesus Christ's second coming (1 Thessalonians 4:13-16).
I think Abraham, Elijah and Moses will be surprised to hear that news:

Luke 16:23-25
King James Version (KJV)
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

All these folks are dead and yet they are having a pretty lively conversation.

And we noted above that Jesus was conversing with those dead fellas, Moses and Elijah.


De Maria

September 29, 2012

Feast of Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael, archangels

Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are the three archangels who sit before the throne of God.  They are mentioned in Scripture.  Read more.

Lectionary: 647

A reading from the book of Daniel

Dn 7:9-10, 13-14

As I watched:

Daniel describes his vision.

Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.

I suspect this is a reference to the Holy Trinity.  Three thrones.  One God.

His clothing was bright as snow,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;

This takes me back to Moses speaking to God on the Mountain
Exodus 34:29
King James Version (KJV)
29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him
 and to Jesus at the the Transfiguration.
Matthew 17
King James Version (KJV)
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light
His throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.

I don't know to what this refers.  But Ezekiel saw something similar in his vision:
Ezekiel 1:21
King James Version (KJV)
21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.

I think these myriads are angels.

The court was convened, and the books were opened.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw

This brings me back to the book of Revelations:
Revelation 20:12
King James Version (KJV)
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
One like a son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;

Jesus is the Son of man and makes reference to this vision when He is being condemned by the Sanhedrin:
Matthew 26:64
King James Version (KJV)
64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
nations and peoples of every language serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

St. Paul says:
Hebrews 1
King James Version (KJV)
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Or the alternate reading from the book of RevelationsRv 12:7-12ab

War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.

Satan is the Dragon.
St. Michael is the Captain of the Angels and He sounded the war cry against the being who rebelled against God.

The dragon and its angels fought back,
but they did not prevail
and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.

St. Michael and the angels prevailed and cast the devil and his demons out of heaven.

The huge dragon, the ancient serpent,
who is called the Devil and Satan,
who deceived the whole world,
was thrown down to earth,
and its angels were thrown down with it.

The deception of the world had not yet occurred when the Devil was cast down to earth from heaven.  

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.

This is a reference to the birth of Jesus, who has now come in the flesh.

For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night.

This repeats the fact that Satan is cast out of heaven.  Satan means "accuser".

They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;

This is a reference to the Holy Eucharist and the Gospel.  The Church is defeating Satan by spreading the Gospel and celebrating the Sacraments.

love for life did not deter them from death.

This is a reference to the Apostles and the martyrs throughout Salvation history.

Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them."

This is a call for rejoicing to all who are in the Kingdom of God.  That means you and I as well.  For we hope in God and God is sure.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 4-5

Response. (1) In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.

R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.

R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD
when they hear the words of your mouth;
And they shall sing of the ways of the LORD
"Great is the glory of the LORD"

R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

We are always in the sight of the angels.  So we should always sing the praises of God.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John

Jn 1:47-51

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
"Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him."

Nathanael is also known as Bartholomew.  Jesus says that he is an extraordinarily honest man.

Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?"

Nathanael isn't surprised that he is called an honest man.  So he must be aware of such a reputation.  But wonders how Jesus knows him.

Jesus answered and said to him,
"Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree."
Nathanael answered him,
"Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."

I don't know what Nathanael was doing under the fig tree, but he seems really impressed.  

I wonder here, why Jesus did not appoint Nathanael the Rock, as He later did Simon (Matt 16:18)? Because Nathanael essentially made the same declaration as did Simon.

Jesus answered and said to him,
"Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this."
And he said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see heaven opened
and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

Here, Jesus makes reference to Daniel's vision again.  Essentially, He is saying to Nathanael, "If that is what you say because I told you about the fig tree, what will you say when you see the angels of God ascending and descending upon Me."  In other words, Jesus revealed to him that He is God.


De Maria