Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bye Ash


On Monday, August 14, we said goodbye to Ash, our dog.  It was heartbreaking.  

12 years ago, on Ash Wednesday (thus the name), I took the kids to the Dog Pound to get a dog (what else, right).  Although I had promised my wife that we would never have another pet, yet I felt it necessary to get a puppy, because our youngest son was developing a n irrational fear of dogs.  So, I thought the remedy might be to get a pup that our children could raise.  And it worked!  

The moment that I told my kids that we were getting a puppy, they were so excited.  It’s all they could talk about.  So, we got to the pound and there he was.  A majestic, black pup showing a great deal of confidence and looking very strong.  I looked him in the eye and he looked right back at me.  He stood out all the more because his kennel was right next to a sickly looking puppy that couldn’t even hold his head without shaking.  So, I told the kids, “we’ll take the black one.”  

But they weren’t looking at the dogs with a critical eye, like I was.  They were looking at the dogs through the eyes of their hearts.  And they said, “can we have the other one?”  Of course, I objected.  I said, “He looks sick.  He’ll probably die and then what?”  But they looked at me with their Betsy Clark faces and said, “But he’s so cute.”  Well, what could I say?  When they look at me like that, I’m putty.

So, we went home with a sickly dog.  But, I was encouraged, because my youngest held him all the way home.

We named him on the way home.  They were all throwing out names.  But I suggested Ash.  He was white with a bunch of dirty spots.  Not like a dalmation.  More like someone had spilled an ash tray on a white dog.  I said, “Well, you guys like Ash Ketchum (of Pokeman fame) and today is Ash Wednesday, why don’t we name him Ash?”  And they loved it.  So, it stuck.

At first, he just laid around.  I was afraid that he wouldn’t make it.  But after a couple of days, the sickly pup was jumping around acting like any other pup.  The only fear I had left was that my kids would love him to death.  At the Pound, they told us that Ash was a “German Shepherd mix”.  But, as he grew up, he looked more and more like a Catahoula.  

It was a match made in heaven.  My kids slept on him and he slept on them.  If he was on the floor, they slept with him on the floor.  If they were on the bed, he got into the bed.  They slept on top of him.  He slept on top of them.  I’m surprised the little pup that fit into the palm of my hand when we got him, survived.  But he did.  And he thrived.  Ash grew to be 40 pounds of sleek muscle.  He was fast and he was gentle.  And he was quiet. He wasn’t a barky dog.  He would bark occasionally, to be let out.  And to be let back in.  And when strangers knocked at the door.  He played with the kids and slept with the kids and they grew up together.

There were the usual growing pains.  “Dad!  Ash is biting us!”  “Dad!  Ash is scratching us!”  They ran together, they wrestled.  It was awesome!

He never did get the hang of “fetch” though.  He’d go get that first one.  But then, it was like, “Look, if you insist on throwing that, you’ll have to get it yourself.  I’ll be here when you get back.”   

And, of course, if he wasn’t playing or eating, he was sleeping.  He loved to find a sunbeam and curl up under it, as he’s doing in the photo.





As for me, he was my eating companion.  On my midnight sojourns to the fridge, or whenever we were alone in the house together, he would sit with me as I ate and tossed him some of my food.  He always caught it in the air and swallowed it without chewing.  We used to go on walks and I loved to let him go when we got to an area where he had room to run.  He loved to run.  And, oh man!  Could he run.  When I went to work, he would chase my car to the end of the block.  Then the kids, who were trying to keep up, would call him back.   When I came home from work, he would run down the stairs to greet me as soon as I walked in the door.

But then came a day, about a year or so ago, when I tossed him some food and he missed it.   And then came a day when I took him for a walk and let him go, but he didn’t run.  Then came a day when he just watched me drive away.  And a day when he didn’t run down to greet me.

Sometimes we would jokingly say, “Ash is getting lazier and lazier.”  Sometimes we would realize that he was getting older.  

But we never thought this day would come.  

The day when he couldn’t get up.  When he couldn’t raise his head.  He could barely wag his tail.  The day when he would leave us.   

Today is Tuesday, August 15th.  Whether it was a dream or what, I don’t know.  But Ash woke me up this morning.  It was 5am and I heard him bark the way he would when he wanted someone to let him out .  I threw my blanket off,… then I remembered.  I smiled and I said, “Good morning, Ash.”


Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful blessing you bestowed upon us, in the form of a little sickly dog.  Ash enlarged all of our hearts and gave all of us a greater capacity to love.  I can never thank you enough for the grace of our lovely little dog, Ash. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Eternal life and the Blood of Christ

Anti-Catholic said:

de Maria -
Your polemic is so fatuous and blasphemous that I trust any reasonable fence-sitter who compares it with the scriptures will be repulsed. 

Big words. No meaning. Let us compare our respective arguments to the Scriptures. I guarantee, yours are found wanting.

If you think your soul got eternal life when you ate Christ's "blood" (i.e., sacramental wine according to the allegorical interpretation of your non-literal religious traditions) then don't be a hypocrite and claim you don't know if you are saved or not until the day of judgment - either Christ says you have eternal life, or Christ lied. So make up your mind what you believe, you fickle religious nut. 

I'll let the reader decide who is the religious nut between you and I. As for having eternal life, learn the meaning of the these words:
Matthew 24:13
King James Version (KJV)
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


I stand by what I wrote,


And God is your judge just as He is ours. You will be judged by every word you speak and every deed you have done, just as we will. You claim to save yourself by your faith alone. You have your reward. We, rely upon God to save us.

Revelation 22:14
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.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Thursday, August 3, 2017

re: Can God wash away your sins by water? 2



Originally Posted by De Maria
Can we baptize without water? Here's what I say, correct me if I'm wrong:
It is not, "In Baptism, water is the sign of what the Spirit does". It is that "in Baptism, water is the effectual sign which signifies and produces what the spirit does."
To compare, if a man claims that he has been baptized by the Holy Spirit because he claims this happens by "faith alone", this may or may not be true. Scripture says the Spirit blows where it will.
But, if a man claims that he has been baptized by the Holy Spirit when he was baptized in the Sacrament of the Catholic Church, then this is true. Because Christ has tied the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, to the pouring of the water and proclamation of the word.
The Church says it this way:
1238 The baptismal water is consecrated by a prayer of epiclesis (either at this moment or at the Easter Vigil). The Church asks God that through his Son the power of the Holy Spirit may be sent upon the water, so that those who will be baptized in it may be "born of water and the Spirit."40
What do yo think?

Sincerely,



De Maria
response by fellow Catholic:

You bring up an interesting point here De Maria. I think the discussion can be broke down to (1) whether the sacraments are merely outward signs of an invisible reality i.e. the conferring of grace or (2) whether the sacraments are both outward signs of the conferring of grace and causes of grace.

Stated briefly, the Church teaches the second point. The sacraments worthily received confer the grace that they signify (CCC #1127). They are not just mere signs. The principle cause of grace is of course God or the Holy Spirit in the sacraments. According to St Thomas Aquinas, by divine power, the sacraments are an instrumental cause of grace such like the humanity of Jesus was an instrument of his divinity in bringing about the redemption of the human race. For example, the water used in baptism not only signifies a washing away of our sins and a cleansing of our soul, but there is in the water as well as in the words used in baptism, a divine spiritual power that actually causes the cleansing of the soul and the bestowal of grace. This seems to be the meaning of #1238 from the CCC De Maria quotes above.

St Augustine, which St Thomas Aquinas quotes in his Summa Theologica, says this:

"whence hath water so great a power , that it touches the body and cleanses the heart"

Again St Augustine:

"Nor should you marvel, if we say that water, a corporeal substance, achieves the cleansing of the soul. It does indeed, and penetrates every secret hiding place of the conscience. For subtle and clear as it is, the blessing of Christ makes it yet more subtle, so that it permeates into the very principles of life and searches the innermost recesses of the heart"

And St Bede:

"Our Lord conferred a power of regeneration on the waters by the contact of His most pure body."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Re: Can God wash away your sins by water?

Baptism now saves you


Quote:

More like a blowtorch.
Scripture says, more like a Tsunami:

1 Peter 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Can God wash away your sins by water?

saved through water

Can we baptize without water? Here's what I say, correct me if I'm wrong:

It is not, "In Baptism, water is the sign of what the Spirit does". It is that "in Baptism, water is the effectual sign which signifies and produces what the spirit does."

To compare, if a man claims that he has been baptized by the Holy Spirit because he claims this happens by "faith alone", this may or may not be true. Scripture says the Spirit blows where it will.

But, if a man claims that he has been baptized by the Holy Spirit when he was baptized in the Sacrament of the Catholic Church, then this is true. Because Christ has tied the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, to the pouring of the water and proclamation of the word.

The Church says it this way:
1238 The baptismal water is consecrated by a prayer of epiclesis (either at this moment or at the Easter Vigil). The Church asks God that through his Son the power of the Holy Spirit may be sent upon the water, so that those who will be baptized in it may be "born of water and the Spirit."40

What do yo think?

Sincerely,

De Maria

A Father is to be honored

    1. Confused Catholic said:

      I easily go along with calling a priest "father", I wouldn't address a priest without using a title. But how to justify calling a priest "My Lord" (Monsignor)? And what about the titles: excellence, eminence, right reverend, very reverend.. and so on. These titles from courtly times need to go; or just used as a private hierarchy within the clergy.


      You said they need to go, but why? Are these not consecrated people and, especially in the cases of bishops, direct successors of the Apostles

      These are all titles given a "father". A father is "Lord" of his house. A mother, the wife of the father, "Lady" of his house.

      Mister is simply a derivative of "master". And it means, "Lord". Likewise, Mistress, is a derivative of "master" as well. Although it now bears a bad connotation associated with adultery, the Mistress of the house is the Lady of the house
    2. This is one of the reasons why Protestants abhor the title in respect to priests. Because they deny that they must obey them. They claim they believe the Scriptures. I don't know what they do with Heb 13:17:

      Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria