Sunday, December 23, 2012

Trusting in God Completely

There are many lessons to be learned from reading Holy Scripture, but in my opinion, one of the most important lessons to be learned is that we humans should learn to totally trust in God to do what's best for us, at all times, no matter how bleak the situation is. Of course, the caveat that goes with that is that we should be obeying His Holy Word as well.

Let's take a look at a few examples from the Old Testament. 

God told Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and yet here he was approaching 100 years old, with a wife Sarah who was 90 years old.  So what did Abraham and Sarah decide to do on their own?  Well, Sarah told Abraham to have sexual relations with her slave girl Hagar. Abraham agreed, and Ishmael was born. But Ishmael was not to be the heir that God promised. Hagar started to make fun of her boss Sarah when Ishmael was seen with Abraham, so Sarah told Abraham to get rid of them both. They were sent out into the desert, but God took care of them there.  The descendants of Ishmael eventually became the followers of Mohammed.  God eventually appeared to Abraham and Sarah, and told them that in the next year Sarah would conceive a natural son of Abraham, even at their advanced age. Because Abraham didn't truly trust in God, as evidenced by his relations with Hagar, God put him to the test once Isaac got older. God told Abraham to go up Mount Moriah and sacrifice Isaac in a holocaust.  Abraham agreed to do this, even though he knew that he would be killing of his only male heir, which would seemingly negate God's promise to make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.  As Abraham was about to plunge the dagger into his son, an angel of the Lord stopped him, because God now could see that Abraham TOTALLY trusted in God, even though he couldn't understand God's plan.

After the golden calf incident, the Israelites were told by God to go invade the land of the Canaanites and kick them out (Numbers 13-14). The Israelites had already seen the power of God, who divided the Red Sea for them to escape from Pharaoh's army.   They knew that God was on their side, and that He would protect them. Moses sent spies into the land of the Canaanites to get the lay of the land.  When they came back after 40 days with a large supply of the fruit of the promised land, a majority of the spies said that the Canaanites were too big and strong, and it would be best if they DIDN'T go to war with them.  Only two spies,  Caleb and Joshua, said that they could take down the Canaanites, because of God's protection.  All of the other Israelites who heard the report agreed with it, and started to rebel against Moses for bringing them out of Egypt. As a result of their disobedience and lack of trust in Him, God swore that only the children of the current generation would ever see the promised land, along with Moses, Caleb, and Joshua. They would now have to wander in the desert for 40 years, one year for each day that the spies were in the land of Canaan. And so the penalty for not trusting in God to defeat the Canaanites was a slow painful trek in the desert for 40 years, and none of the grumblers ever got to see the land flowing with milk and honey, as they died in the desert as a penalty for NOT trusting in God to protect them from the Canaanites.

So how can we apply these lessons to our lives today?  We should always know that God is our loving Father, and that if we TOTALLY trust in Him to take care of us no matter what the situation, are obeying the Commandments, AND are trying our best to live out the Christian message with our thoughts, words, and deeds, then we have a spiritual hedge of protection around us. This hedge can only be taken down by our sinful actions, which say that we prefer the ways of the devil to the ways of God. This was true in the Old Testament, and it is certainly true today for us, who now wander through the very dry and hazardous desert known as secular America.

Another lesson learned is that God will always allow satan to test us throughout our lives, to see if we REALLY love God and obey his Holy Word, or if we are just giving him lip service.  Like the Israelites in the desert and like Abraham, our DEEDS speak a lot louder than our words!

"I tell you that you have less to suffer in following the cross than in serving the world and its pleasures." -- St. John Vianney

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Occult is Real

In today's modern society, a lot of people regularly check their horoscopes. Some think that it is just harmless fun, but that is not true.  Horoscopes, tarot cards, fortune tellers, palm readers, etc., are all part of what the bible calls divination, and divination/sorcery is condemned by the Bible in both the New and the Old Testament.  And it's pretty clear that the Bible does not condemn things which are not real and harmful.

Deuteronomy 18:10:  "There shall not be found anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer" 

Revelation 21:8:  But as for the cowardly, those with no faith, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

The whole "New Age" movement, where man achieves a new consciousness through the mind, is also part of the occult. The new age says that we are all "gods" if we just meditate on being a god and "finding our inner self."   Astral projection, where the soul leaves the body and goes to other places invisibly, is part of all of that.  There are numerous covens (groups of witches) which meet regularly in the US. A simple internet search of "wicca and coven" will show you where they are in your area. And don't kid yourself - Satan acts through these people whether they know it or not. Their sacraments are worship of mother earth, fornication, and child sacrifice, and they have convinced most Americans through the Green movement, free love, and abortion to adopt these three unholy things.

An interesting and eerie story concerns the downfall of John Lennon, who married Yoko Ono, a self-proclaimed witch.  The last days of John Lennon were not pretty.  He had written a song, "The Ballad of John and Yoko," which included the line - "The way things are going, they're gonna crucify me."  And he had earlier made the statement that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. His song "Imagine" extols atheism as a wonderful thing.  He had gotten involved with Hinduism with all of its false gods and transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. On the Mike Douglas Show, before he died, he came across as incoherent and looking very strange.  He wrote the song "Helter Skelter," which Charles Manson used as his theme song to start a revolution in America. Charles Manson's followers murdered Sharon Tate and her unborn baby (a preview of things to come when the Supreme Court later made abortion legal). Sharon Tate was the wife of the child molester Roman Polanski, who directed the satanic movie "Rosemary's Baby," which was filmed in the Dakotas apartment complex in New York City.  Later on, John Lennon lived in the Dakotas apartment complex, and was murdered by Mark Chapman in front of it, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. 

Fooling around with the occult may seem interesting and fun for a while, but in the end, there is nothing but pain and sorrow, because the entity behind it all is not God, but satan.  If you know of any kids messing around with a Ouija board, it's best to take it away from them and burn it. The movie "The Exorcist" was based on a true story, and it all began when an Aunt taught her nephew how to divine spirits using a Ouija Board. Parker Brothers sells these things as a board game, but don't be fooled - This thing is a demonic gateway, and the things moving the planchette are demons, who are hiding behind their invisibility, and who pretend to be murdered children or other sympathetic dead humans/spirits.  It's all part of the wicked deception Paul talks about in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12:

"The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

Monday, December 17, 2012

America's Future

America has been blessed by God like no other country ever has been. We have been given so many good things by God, including freedom, material wealth, and a beautiful land in which to live. But thanks to our court system and a majority of Americans who prefer government handouts to hard work and rugged individualism, we are squandering God's blessings.  And just like that law in physics that says "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction," there will be a huge blowback by invisible forces of evil for what we are doing.

Several states have now fully endorsed so-called "homosexual marriage," the false and demonic philosophy which says that sodomy is good, and is equal to the conjugal act in a loving marriage between a MAN and a WOMAN.  God's very first covenant with us in the bible was marriage:

Genesis 2:24: "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and the two become one flesh."

God's second covenant with man was that he would never flood the world again, and its sign is a rainbow:

Genesis 9:12-17: And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I set my bow in the cloud, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds,  I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.  When the bow is in the clouds, I will look upon it and remember the everlasting covenant between Me and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth." God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth." 

But what do we have in 21st century America?  Man has now told God that we don't agree with his marriage covenant between a man and woman ONLY, and our sign of THAT will be man's rainbow, the flag of homosexual activism.  One wonders if all of this is a sign of the last days- man overturning God's first Covenant at the dawn of mankind with official government sanction in Washington State and New York, and using the sign of his second covenant as a battle flag, waving it in His face.  Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of rampant homosexuality. Should America expect anything less?

Several states have now also endorsed marijuana smoking, and the Obama Administration has now stated that the Feds will NOT go after pot smokers in those states.  Marijuana is a gateway drug, and it affects long term thinking and fertility.  But voters in those states have said, "NO PROBLEM!"  So now we will have car wrecks occurring from smoking and driving, and middle age people acting like 80 year olds.  It is amazing to me how certain political parties can vilify tobacco and its harmful effects at the very same time they endorse marijuana.

America is also home to a huge pornography business - creating it, producing it, marketing it, and consuming it.  The Blessed Virgin Mary said at Fatima that more souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason, and that was in 1917! Imagine how many souls fall into hell daily now, with the availability of free internet porn.  This is something that everyone should pray against DAILY, as it is a very seductive and easy hook to trap a LOT of people.

May God have mercy on us all.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Overcoming Depression

There seems to be quite a few people these days suffering from depression, a demonic state of mind if there ever was one.  I thought today we'd discuss this disease and see if there are ways to overcome it. The big lie concerning depression is that when it hits, we really believe that this condition will last forever. But that is NOT true.  It hits most us sooner or later, and because we've never experienced "the blues" before, it tricks our mind into thinking that it will never ever go away. 

For sure, seeing a doctor and getting medication to get you over the hump is the first step.  There are many good prescriptions out there which will do wonders in the short term.  But what about long term solutions?

First, the root cause of depression has to be found, and then annihilated.  For some, depression is caused by an event in one's life that he/she can't handle.  Maybe it's the prolonged illness of a loved one, that results in death. Maybe it's a sudden event, like the unexpected death of a loved one out of the blue. For these things, relying on friends and family for social interaction is the key.  Death is final, and we all tend to blame ourselves in some way for not being able to prevent it in our loved ones. "If only I'd done this or that," we whisper to ourselves, as if hindsight could bring them back. But that is futile, and by talking things out with our closest friends we can overcome that.

But I think the main cause of depression in the world today may be related to the culture we live in, and how isolated we all are becoming.  We all seem to be hooked up to an electronic device A LOT these days, instead of with people, and instead of with God through prayer. There is nothing wrong with electronic devices, for sure, but if we become addicted to them, we run the risk of becoming social pariahs.  Paul said to pray constantly, and that is a great way to stay attached to God. It's very hard to do when we are staring at a small screen texting or playing games.

Another cause of depression is giving in to temptation and the things of this world all of the time.  If we are always eating too much because it either tastes good or it calms down our nerves, we will eventually get fat, and therefore ostracized by society. If we put career and money first in our life, that house of cards will always collapse on our heads, when we least expect it.  The bible warns us many times about the love of money and riches being a false idol. If we give in to sexual temptation "just one more time," then we are giving satan permission to take us down, and he does that through mental confusion.  Frequent confession with a firm purpose of amendment to STOP giving in to our fleshly desires is a great way to overcome this.  Praying the rosary every day, along with eating "our daily bread" in daily Mass will also give us grace and strength to overcome our tendency to continually give in to our secret sin.

It's a toxic world we live in these days, where even the holy season of Christmas is under attack in our culture.  Fasten your Catholic seatbelt, ladies and gentlemen, because the last days are upon us, and only the strong Catholics will survive.  The go-along-to-get-along Catholics will not.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Connecticut Nightmare

 Pharaoh kills the male Hebrew children
Yesterday, a crazed gunman shot and killed a lot of children in their school.  This nightmare seems to be repeated over and over in America, whether it's in Columbine, Ft. Hood, Virginia Tech, or in a movie theater in Colorado.  The overwhelming sadness of these events will never go away for the families of those murdered without cause, and without mercy, all caused by one nut with a gun. All the rest of us can do is to pray for the souls of the victims, pray for the shattered lives of the families to recover, and pray that these horrible events will never happen again.

So what is the root cause of these shootings?  Most liberals will tell you that it's the availability of guns in America.  Are they right?  Well, we've had guns in American homes ever since the Pilgrims first settled America. So obviously, that can't be it, since there aren't  a lot of stories about Pilgrims and other colonists randomly shooting children.  No, the cause is much more complicated than that, but it is as plain as the nose on your face. The fact of the matter is that America, just like Israel in the Old Testament, has abandoned God for the most part.  Let's take a quick look at what happens when a nation abandons God in the Old Testament.

During the Golden Calf incident in the desert, 11 out of the 12 tribes of Israel lost their royal priesthood status with God, because they worshiped the Egyptian god Apis, otherwise known as the Golden Calf.  Egyptians worshiped a lot of idols, and their ceremonial rite was not a Mass; rather it involved sex, a lot of sex.  This is why time and time again, God called Israel a harlot in the Old Testament, because they kept adopting the gods of the foreign cultures in which they lived. And when sex is the ceremonial rite, it makes it easy to do if you don't have the grace of God to prevent you from falling into that trap. After living in Egypt for 400 years, the Jews preferred sex and golden calves to God. Only the tribe of Levi refused to go along with the other 11 tribes, and they remained the only priests in all of Israel for the remainder of the Old Testament, until Jesus, from the tribe of Judah, established the New Covenant prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31, at the Last Supper.

As a result of this incident, even the good tribe of Levi had to suffer along with the other bad tribes.  America is a lot like ancient Israel, in that we seem to worship a lot of things besides Almighty God. There are the images of pornography that a lot of men worship regularly; there is money, money, money; there is pleasure and entertainment;  and there is power. These evils, or the things of this world, all draw us away from the worship of Jesus Christ, who said that in order to be perfect, we should sell everything, give it to the poor, and go and follow him.  The world says that "he who dies with the most toys, wins."  Jesus says to abandon the things of this world, pick up our cross daily, and follow him.  Big difference.

And while the families in Connecticut who's lives were changed forever yesterday may not have been guilty of any of the above, it doesn't matter. We all live in this toxic environment, with its anti-Christian bias. And when you live in a toxic environment, it affects us all. For instance, if you swim in a pool that one persons pollutes, everyone is danger.  If you live in a town that has a toxic waste dump, but you yourself are Mr. or Mrs. Environmentalist, you are just as much at risk as the owner of the toxic waste dump. And the exact same thing goes for moral pollution.  Rampant pornography, obsession with vampires and the occult, excessive love of money and other things like sports, etc., all draw us away from our true purpose of being here on planet earth - To know God, to love God, and to serve God in this life, in order for us to be happy with Him in the next life.

May God have mercy on the poor families in Connecticut, and on the souls of the murdered.

Jeremiah 31:15: Thus says the LORD: "A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are not."

 King Herod slaughters the Hebrew male children

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Refuting Atheists

We now live in a world that is definitely NOT live and let live when it comes to religious beliefs in America.  Thanks to the media megaphone, atheists are coming out of the closet to not only proclaim their blindness, but to also ensure that stupid Christians are put in their place and/or enlightened to their false belief that "there is no God."  The atheist scientist Richard Dawkins, who is NOT a theologian but who pretends to be one in the hopes that gullible people will believe that a person with degrees in science can expound on things he is not qualified as a professional to speak on, says that Christians should be publicly ridiculed for their beliefs. So much for the theory that atheists are "nice people."  I'm pretty sure Dawkins would not want to read a book on science written by the Pope, because Dawkins would consider the Pope to be completely unqualified to talk about science. But yet Dawkins wants us to listen to him talk about theology, as if he is somehow qualified to do so because he is a scientist.  This just in...YOU CAN'T PUT GOD UNDER A MICROSCOPE, because God is a pure spirit, and science doesn't address spirits!

Psalm 14:1-3 states:

"The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."  They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is no one who does good.  The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, who seek after God.   They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one."

St. Paul quotes this scripture in Romans 3:10, again emphasizing that people who do not believe in God have gone astray and can do no good.  Why?  Because even though they may do some good things with their lives like giving blood, giving money to charity, etc., in the long run, if they do not seek after God, they become corrupt in the end.

The Wisdom of Solomon 13:1-9 states:

"For all men who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature; and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know him who exists, nor did they recognize the craftsman while paying heed to his works;  but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air, or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water, or the stars of heaven were the gods that rule the world.  If through delight in the beauty of these things men assumed that they were gods, let them know how much better than these is the Lord, for the author of beauty has created them.   And if men were amazed at their power and working, let them understand from them how much more powerful is he who formed them.  For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a resulting perception of their Creator.  Yet these men are little to be blamed, for perhaps they went astray while seeking God and desiring to find him.  For as they live among his works they keep searching, and they trust in what they see, because the things that they see are beautiful.   Yet again, not even they are excused;  for if they had the power to know so much that they could investigate the world, how could they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?"

The above quote from the Wisdom of Solomon explains exactly the problem with atheist scientists, and that is that they cannot see the forest for the trees.  For example, right now, planet earth is hurtling around the sun at a speed slightly in excess of 66,000 miles an hour, and it is spinning on its axis at the equator a little bit more than 1000 miles an hour.  And yet no one feels all of this speed!  I challenge anyone to get on an aircraft going 66,000 miles an hour and NOT fasten your seat belt!  God so designed the world that we would not feel this, and He did so with perfect timing and order, each year, every year. It took Pope Gregory to invent the calendar named after him, which takes into account that there are approximately 365 1/4 days in one year.  That would be the Catholic Pope Gregory, by the way, and we still use his calendar today!

Atheist scientists make the mistake of believing that the world can only be looked at in scientific ways, using the scientific method of discovery. These are the same scientists who claim that matter exploded (where exactly did this "matter" come from?) during the Big Bang, which created carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen (the building blocks of the universe), and which then morphed into the earth and the solar system with perfect timing and order (clockwork) and beauty, with living, procreating humans and animals and plants in an environment perfectly suited to protect them from the radiation and meteors falling from outer space.  Well, if that is all true, I really want to see that whole process recreated in a lab setting using the scientific method!  And what they don't tell you is that it was a Belgian Catholic priest, Fr. Georges Lemaitre, who came up with the theory of the Big Bang, and who explained it all to Einstein, and who eventually adopted the priest's theory!

But the scientific method does not address many questions, like "Why are we here?"  "What is the meaning of life?"  "How come men and women are attracted to each other, and are perfectly formed to unite with each other to procreate?"  The last question is one that simply cannot be an accident of the big bang, but one which screams intelligent design. Big bangs in the world we live in never create timing, order, and beauty. The big bangs of 9/11, Mount St. Helens, Krakatoa, etc., all created chaos, the opposite of intelligent design.

I will close with one great example of intelligent design, a deciduous tree. A deciduous tree starts out as a seed, or acorn. It falls to the ground and becomes food for the squirrels. The squirrels take the acorn and eat it in a different location, and then it is excreted with the squirrel's droppings, which is also fertilizer. The fertilized acorn starts to grow where the squirrel defecated it. It starts out so small you can't see it, but after 100 years it becomes 70 feet tall. The deciduous tree provides shade from the hot sun, and becomes a home for the squirrels and for the birds.  In the winter, it sheds its leaves, which turn into fertilizer for its roots. The bare tree then lets more sunlight through to warm up the cold ground. Then the cycle is repeated all over again.

The fool says in his heart that this is "mother nature," but the Christian cannot fathom how all of this can just be an accidental result of a big bang!

And I haven't even talked about the marvel of the design of the human eye transmitting images to the brain yet!  Now THAT is truly intelligent design!

Going over the MORAL Cliff

There's lots of talk these days about America going over the fiscal cliff. Politicians in Washington, whether big spending liberals or compassionate conservatives, have all taken our hard earned money and thrown it away on big government programs over and over and over again.   

The debate in America is where we should draw the line between capitalism and socialism.  Some think it should be a 90%/10% line in favor of capitalism, while others think it should be 90%/10% in favor of socialism.  For sure, the line is creeping toward the latter, and away from the former. The results of all of this "compassion," where the government takes care of everyone instead of the family taking care of themselves, will be disastrous. We only have to look at 80+ years of the Soviet Union to know that.  In the Soviet Union, the atheistic government became the god of the people at the same time the government was trying to eradicate Christianity.  Drunkenness, widespread corruption, and high abortion rates were the norm. And in 1962, they almost blew the world up during the Cuban Missile Crisis! The same mistakes that they made in Russia will happen here if we choose to go down the socialist path, and we are already seeing the beginning of it. Just look at how atheists shut down public manger scenes, because they are "offended" by the sight of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on public property. Just look at how union thugs, who rely on government for their very existence, riot and punch out innocent bystanders.  And this being in a country where our rights come from our Creator, not from the benevolence of the government, or by the good will of a political machine from Chicago.

And now the government is in charge of our health care. John Roberts of the Supreme Court said that this is indeed constitutional, in a real stretch of judicial overreach.  What does this mean? Well, it means that the IRS, those fun loving guys and gals who will throw you in jail if you don't pay your taxes, will now be the ENFORCER of this abominable program. Our health records will now be digitized, and will be available to any government bureaucrat who wants to see them. So much for the ballyhooed "right to privacy" that was the bedrock finding of the Supreme Court that allowed abortion to be legal in 1973. The head of the HHS in Washington DC will decide just what kind of care you should get, not your doctor, and certainly not you.  The days are coming when the government, which truly believes that we are overpopulated in America, will start making the cost of having a baby so high so that no one will be able to afford more than one. But abortions will be free, you see.......

The devil is making his final play for the soul of America, and at least one political party, which actually booed God at their convention, is his ally here on planet earth. These agents of his will stuff ballot boxes in key swing states to always ensure that their guy wins. Some precincts in 2012 had NOT ONE vote for Mitt Romney. What does that tell you?

So say your rosary every day. Plead with Mother Mary to intercede for America, before it's too late and we become like pagan Rome back in the first century. Mary told us all in 1917 in Fatima, in the days immediately preceding the Communists taking over Russia, that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world.  Who would have ever thought that the errors of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin, would one day be embedded in the  American way of life?  

In the words of G.K. Chesterton, "Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”

The times, they are a'changin'....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Power of Sin

Sin is such a horrible thing in our lives.  A lot of people don't see this, because their attitude is "Hey, I'm only human!"  But that kind of thinking didn't seem to work too well with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Their disobedience to God in the beautiful world they lived in locked up the gates of heaven for all of the human race until Jesus came along and sacrificed Himself on the cross.  I have no idea how long of a time that was, but for sure, there were a LOT of people who were born and died in between the Garden of Eden fall and the Garden of Gethsemane sacrifice!   Everyone who died during that time frame went either to the abode of the dead (Sheol or Hades), or to hell.  Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, which overcame the ONE sin of our first parents, unlocked Heaven for all of those people who were in prison (1 Peter 3:19).  Adam and Eve had TOTAL dominion in the Garden of Eden except for one and only one thing (the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil), and like most humans, the one thing you can't have is the one thing that you want the most, no matter how much other stuff you have

And of course the punishment for sin always depends on who you are sinning against. For instance, if I decide to punch out Joe Schmuckenheimer because I don't like what he said, I may be arrested and thrown in jail for a few days. But if I decide to punch out the president of the United States, I will probably go to jail forever, because of how important he is.  And we should therefore realize that all sin is against God Almighty, and that means that sin is indeed serious business.  By sinning, it means we reject God and obey satan, exactly like Adam and Eve did.  And that results in 2 things - One, we are guilty, and two, we must be punished accordingly.  Thanks be to Jesus Christ for instituting the sacrament of Confession in John 20:22-23.  It should be noted that this is the second instance in the Bible of God breathing on man, the first being when Adam was created. And while confession removes the guilt for our sins, there is still the punishment phase for the sins. Just like Nathan told David in 2 Samuel 12:13-14 that God had forgiven his sin of adultery with Bathsheeba, David still had to be punished for his sin by suffering the death of his son. However, today our punishment can either be reduced with a partial indulgence, or fully, with a plenary indulgence.  If we don't fully atone for our sins here in this life, thanks to God's mercy, there are the cleansing fires of purgatory in the next life. Purgatory is NOT a second chance to be saved, but is rather a place where the already saved are made ready to enter the perfect heaven (Matthew 5:48 and Revelation 21:27).

The key to overcoming our propensity to sin is to always be thinking about how to please God. The bible says in Psalm 1:  

1:Blessed is the man who doesn't walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners,nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2: but his happiness is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3: He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf doesn't wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
4: The wicked are not like that, but are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5: Therefore the wicked won't stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6: for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Notice that Psalm 1 doesn't say "reads", but instead says "meditates."  So many people try to speed read the bible instead of contemplating what it all means in their lives.  And pleasing God of course means doing His will, which is to not only eliminate ALL sin in our lives, but to pray to Him a lot, in Adoration, Thanksgiving, Contrition, and Petition. And then of course we must do the good works of mercy toward our fellow man, which are the fruit of our faith, according to Paul in Colossians 1:10.  These good works are so important, not only because Jesus said to do them during his Sermon on the Mount, but also because James tells us that "faith without works is DEAD!"  


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Servant and Serpent, The End Begins

Here is an excerpt from my latest e-novel, "Servant and Serpent, The End Begins,” available for only $5 HERE.  It’s the early 23rd Century. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bomb has gone off which has fried all of the electronics on the planet as well as a communication satellite in geosynchronous orbit in space. Repairs are underway so that the last resistance to the officially atheistic United Socialist States of America (the USSA) can be eliminated. The antichrist President of the USSA is after the mysterious Spaniard named Pedro. The last remaining known Christians have been driven to the West Texas Chihuahuan Desert. Miracles, lunar missiles, strange visions, and biblical weather events all combine in this end-times fictional novel which sets the stage for satan’s final defeat.

Father Pansanto's Conversation with Lt. Solomon

“Hey there, hi there, ho there, Solomon, how’s the leg doing?” asked Charlie. 

“It still hurts like hell, but not as bad as before. I guess I owe you a huge debt of gratitude for saving my life.  Even though we’re enemies, I want you to know how grateful I am to you,” replied Jimmy.

“Hey, no problem,” said Charlie.  “I’m going to go catch some shuteye, but we will not leave you alone through the night, in case you need anything.  Let me introduce you to Agnes.  She is one of our best nurses, and she loves everyone, even members of the Atom Brigade who killed her father at Santa Fe.  Agnes, this is Lieutenant Solomon.  Lieutenant, this is Agnes Day.”

Agnes was a very quiet and beautiful looking woman. Her hair was long and starting to show streaks of gray in the brown.  Jimmy immediately took a shine to her, and her presence brought a calming feeling to him, in spite of his pain.  Her eyes were rather large in comparison to her face, and were about as blue as the Texas sky.  He somehow wondered if he could get to know her better in the future, even though he was supposed to either kill her or take her prisoner.  His mind raced with what to say for an opening line.

“Uh, thanks for volunteering to nurse me through the night,” he stammered.

“Well, is there anything you need or want?  How is the pain?” she replied.

 “Nothing I need, thank you,” he said. “The pain is intense, but isn’t as bad as it was an hour ago.” He was lost in her eyes, and he was beginning to wonder about how someone like him could come across someone so beautiful in the middle of an isolated West Texas desert. “So, tell me,” he said.  “What was your name again? I’m so bad with names, sorry.”

“You may call me Mrs. Day,” she said.  “You killed my father in Santa Fe, and my husband was killed by Matacruz three years ago in San Antonio.  Sonny loved life and was trying to stop Matacruz from taking over the city, but Matacruz gunned him down in cold blood in front of San Fernando Cathedral. So let’s not get too chummy tonight, shall we. I have to forgive you and Matacruz from the heart for your murdering ways, and I have, but that doesn’t mean we have to chit-chat through the night. If you need anything, I’ll be over there, next to the fire.  So good night, Lieutenant.”

Jimmy felt horrible that this wasn’t going well.  Everything out here in West Texas was either hot or full of thorns or poisonous, and yet here was a beautiful woman who made his heart skip a beat, and she wouldn’t talk to him about anything other than his snake bite.  He began to wonder what he could say or do to get her back over here to talk.  

“Lieutenant, how are you feeling,” asked Father Pansanto, who had come up to him from behind, startling him somewhat.  “Do you mind if we sit and talk a spell?” Father asked.

Jimmy was disappointed that he was having to talk to the hated priest instead of the beautiful woman, but decided that a little conversation with him was better than none. Besides, it might help him to get his mind off of Agnes.

“Sure, why not,” said Jimmy.  “What would you like to talk about?”

“How about life?” said Father.  “What do you think that the real meaning of life is?”

Jimmy looked at Pansanto with a blank stare. He had never even thought about such a question. “I don’t know. I guess to be successful and to acquire as much stuff as you can. You know the old saying, The One Who Dies With The Most Toys Wins!”

Father Pansanto smiled at Jimmy with a half-grin. “Well Sir, I would submit to you that you are off-base here.  The real meaning of life is to know God, to love God, and to serve God in this life, so that we can be happy with Him in the next life.”

Jimmy said, “Well, there ain’t no next life. When you’re dead, you’re dead.  No magical mystery man in the sky exists. It’s just a fairy tale to subjugate man and to keep him from enjoying life.  Everybody with a lick of sense knows that.”  

Father replied, “I’m sorry you still feel that way, Solomon. I have had too many mystical experiences in my life to believe like you do, mystical experiences that cannot be explained by science.  I didn’t ask for them, they just happened.”

“Like what?” asked Jimmy.

Father thought a minute and wondered if he should tell Jimmy what he had seen and heard over the years, and then decided that it was in his best interests to hear about some of his spiritual delights.  “I have seen a consecrated host bleed real blood. I have heard the Virgin Mary tell me “Thank You” after certain prayers.  I once had a vision of my guardian angel.”

“Balderdash,” said Jimmy.  “You were hallucinating. There ain’t no such things that ever happen like that.”

“Well, just because they don’t happen to you doesn’t mean they don’t happen to others,” said Father.  “In the Bible, true believers received spiritual signs, like St. Paul on his way to Damascus.”

“You really believe all of that stuff, don’t you?” said Jimmy.  “How can you believe all of that?  What proof do you have that all of those bible stories actually took place anyway?”

“Well,” said Father, “we Catholics walk by faith, not by sight. So we don’t have to see something to know it exists. You can’t see gravity, but you know it’s there. You can’t see love, but you know it’s there. You can’t see air, but you know it’s there.  If you were to actually pick up the New Testament and read it, you will find that all of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah were fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, many years after they were written. For example, Psalm 22 talks about the suffering Messiah and lots being cast for his clothes, and that was written a thousand years before those things actually happened to Jesus.”  

“Nice,” said Jimmy. “But what’s true for you ain’t necessarily true for me.”

“Ahhh, moral relativism,” sighed Father, “the bane of modern society.  The false belief that there are no moral absolutes was the slippery slope that led you atheists to tear up our Declaration of Independence and Constitution and draw up your Articles of Atheism.”

“And thank Seaver we did!” said Jimmy. “The Declaration of Independence that you mentioned falsely claimed that our rights come from “Our Creator,” whatever the hell that is. And it closed with a statement about “relying on divine providence”. President Seaver rightly changed the creator thing to “President Mandy Seaver,” and the divine providence baloney to “her rational enlightened judgment.”  And that silliness in the Constitution closing with “in the year of our Lord” was eliminated to read “Common Era” as well.”

“And you think that’s a good thing?” said Father.  “Don’t you know that she is the antichrist?”

“Well, whatever that is,” said Jimmy, “it’s a good thing. But how do you know that?”

“Because I knew her as a child,” said Father.  “She and I grew up together in San Antonio, the town of St. Anthony of Padua.  We both attended school together for 12 years.  She was the most rebellious “catholic” I ever knew.  She was continually leading the boys astray with her sexy ways.  And it was revealed to me one day in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament there that she was indeed the one foretold of in First and Second John.  The game plan is called the “Wicked Deception,” as Paul refers to it in 2 Thessalonians.  It’s clear to me that what once was seen as evil and horrible has now been normalized and is seen as good by most of society.”

“There just ain’t no evil or sin,” said Jimmy. “There just is what is, and that’s all there is.”

Father replied, “Well, you just can’t see it, I guess, but you should know that, just like that law of physics that states “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” there will be a huge reaction from heaven soon.  And that reaction from God is not going to be pleasant, I can assure you.”

“What do you mean by that?” said Jimmy.  “What reaction?”

“You should know that Jesus Christ Himself said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church,” said Father.  “And since we are the last remaining remnants of His Catholic Church, it only stands to reason that He will be intervening shortly to protect us.  Good news for you, bad news for the Atom Brigade, I guess.”

“Sounds like a lot of hocus pocus to me,” said Jimmy.

Father winced at that expression. The Freemasons had long ago made up that term as a pejorative against the Blessed Sacrament, which used the Latin phrase “Hoc EST corpus meum” during the transubstantiation (“This IS My Body).”

“Can I ask you another question, or are you too tired?” said Father.

“Go ahead,” said Jimmy.  

“What is your position on the sanctity of human life?” asked Father.

Jimmy had never ever been asked such a question before, and he wasn’t sure how to respond. “What do you mean?” asked Jimmy.  “I have never heard that terminology before.”

“It’s easy,” said Father.  “In the not too distant past, America had a Declaration of Independence that said one of the inalienable rights of man was the right to life.  In the Bible that we Catholics use, God tells us to “choose life,” in Deuteronomy 13.  America and God were on the same page, so to speak, on the subject of life.  But way back in the 20th Century, January 22, 1973, to be exact, the Supreme Court said that a baby human in his mother’s womb was not really a live human, and what should have been the safest place in the world for a baby now had become a slaughter house.  Millions of children who should have been born and who could have been great scientists, philosophers, nurses, engineers, doctors, inventors, and politicians, were never born, and thus never lived, which thwarted God’s plan for the world that those people were created to do.  They were all snuffed out in their own mother’s womb, by their own mother.  And therefore their children and grandchildren were never born either. During one of my hours before the Blessed Sacrament, God revealed to me that the great grandchild of a woman who aborted her daughter in 2012 would have saved the world from WW III had she been born. Satan has combined the mortal sin of fornication with murder in what is called “the freedom to choose.” This legal slaughter of the unborn led America down the road of self-indulgence, under the wonderful sounding name of “pro-choice.”  In reality, Jesus Christ lived in His mother’s womb for 9 months and sanctified the womb for all time as holy. Mary was a living tabernacle of God.  And that is why the devil hates the womb so much and desecrates it every chance he gets.  We are all made in the image and likeness of God, and satan so hates that image and likeness, that he destroys it even while it’s being created. Once America started loving recreational sex, money, big cars, big houses and fancy vacations over having children, the respect for human life overall rapidly deteriorated.  Now, the Army hunts down religious people and kills them like they are a pack of wolves. In reality, we are just sheep following the Good Shepherd, who are giving our lives up for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Jimmy pondered the priest’s words. He had never even thought about it before. He just assumed that abortion was a good thing, because the fewer people on the earth, the better it was for everyone else. The moral aspect of taking a human life had never even occurred to him.  “Well,” said Jimmy, “I don’t think that there’s a direct cause and effect there. As you know, the fewer people that there are on the planet, the easier it is on the planet to sustain the living.  Too many people cause too much pollution, and the resources on the earth are finite.  We know this to be true because of what we learned in science class while growing up.”

Father Pansanto shook his head in disbelief.  “How could anyone believe that,” he thought.  But he knew in his heart that Jimmy had been brainwashed, so he came back at him with the same question cleverly disguised as something else.  “Well, Sir,” said Father, “are you happy that you didn’t die today?”

Jimmy didn’t have to think long on that one.  “Yes Sir, I sure am. I guess fate had other things in store for me,” he replied.

“Fate has nothing to do with it,” said Father.  “The Good Lord in Heaven looked down on you in your misery, and took mercy on your soul.  He knew that if you died today, you would go to hell, where you would be tortured with flesh eating worms and fire forever, and he allowed us, his servants, to save you, so that you could have another shot at heaven.  And I’ll bet you all the gold in California that you believe in the sanctity of YOUR human life, now don’t you!”

“Sir, you know that I don’t believe in God.  And even if there is a God, why did he let that snake bite me in the first place?   If he really cares about me, then why did he allow me to suffer like this?” said Jimmy.

Father replied, “Son, it’s a mystery as to why God allows us to suffer, but some very smart people who have studied this phenomenon over the centuries have come to the conclusion that it’s for the greater good of us all.  How can this be?  Well, when people are comfortable and secure in their life, when their monetary needs, their shelter needs, their nutrition needs, and their retirement needs are all taken care of, most people kick back and think “Who needs God anyway?  I have everything I need, and my good looks, my cunning wits, my superior smarts, and my bank account will take care of me forever." But they don’t take into account the fact that they will die one day, and those things that they thought were their security blankets in this life do them absolutely no good in the next world.  In fact, they are most likely a hindrance to heaven, because people who put their faith in the things of this world very rarely put their faith in Jesus Christ and do his will on earth while they are alive.  And the only way to get into heaven later on is to do the will of the Father NOW, while we are still alive.  Jesus Himself told a similar parable in Luke 12, about the rich farmer who had a great harvest and was going to just kick back and enjoy life for a long time, not realizing that his very life was going to be required of him that evening.”

“But I don’t believe in an afterlife,” said Jimmy.  “What you are saying doesn’t apply to me!”

“Well,” said Father, “whether you believe in it or not doesn’t matter.  Reality is reality whether you think it to be true or not. Imagine how foolish I would be if I said that I don’t believe that there is such a thing as oxygen, because I can’t see it. Or how dumb would I be if I said I don’t believe in love, because it’s not something that I can see or touch.  Oxygen and love are real things, whether or not I believe in them.  And the same goes for heaven and hell and your final judgment.”

“I’m sorry,” said Jimmy, “but what you are saying makes no sense to me.  Nobody in their right mind would actually believe all of that. If there were a God, science would have discovered Him by now.”

“Lieutenant,” said Father, “you cannot put God under a microscope. You can’t use the scientific method to discover God, because God doesn’t exist in the same way that material things exist in our world. God is a pure spirit, and science doesn’t address spirits.  And speaking of making no sense, exactly how much sense does it make to you that your sworn enemy would rescue you from a rattlesnake bite, and then nurse you back to health?”

“Well,” said Jimmy, “not much.  I’m kinda tired now Sir, and I was wondering if I could get some shuteye now.”  Jimmy was stalling for time, because he couldn’t answer Father Pansanto’s rather pointed questions. He would have to think about it during the night…….