History of Christianity II – Final Research Paper

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Counter-Reformation for 500 Years

Jason M. Roebuck

Northwest Christian University

The Church of the Jesuits in Rome – Mother Church expelling Martin Luther and other heretics…

According to my research, the Council of Trent issued decrees between 1545 and 1563 that does attempt to make major reforms to the way the church ministers to the faithful, proving that the church was answering the questions posed by the Reformation. So, the question is can we prove that the church was and is attempting to bring Protestants back to the church. I will start out listing some of the grievances of the Protestant Reformation, and then list the decrees from the Council that answers each one of them. Finally, I will end with a discussion of later reformers, and how the church has the answer to even some of the later reformer’s questions as well. I will attempt to keep the Council of Trent and its’ decrees as the guiding force behind all of my arguments.

While researching my topic, I noticed a book that was referenced as a great resource to better understand the period leading up to the Council of Trent. In her book review, Elisabeth Hirsch says, “Jedin himself leaves the careful reader of the book with the impression that a “holier” Pope and less scheming rulers would have done a better job in the interest of the unity of the Church.” (Hirsch, 1958) She was talking about a book called, “A History of the Council of Trent Volume I: The Struggle for the Council”, by Hubert Jedin, and after reading her review completely, I felt I just had to have it. Unfortunately, when I read the book, it was a great historical account of the factors that called for a council before the first reformers came on the scene, as well as the logistical issues that were involved with calling all of the leaders of the church together into one location in Northern Italy. However, the only real insight that I received from his book would be a quote I found at the end of the book, that I could easily use for my own treatment of this topic for this final essay. He said, “Our exposition did not presume to summon to judgment those who bear responsibility-either to condemn them or to absolve them. Our first step was to explain, to understand. This done, it was necessary to appraise, that is, to assess the conduct of men in the light of the historical mission allotted to them. For the appreciations thus arrived at we claim no absolute validity; no such claim can be made, for though based on a firm Catholic view of events all such estimates are not the less conditioned by the writer’s personal conception of history.” (Jedin, 1949) After reading the full history of the events leading up to the Council of Trent, I was left with the impression that the understanding of the Council would be colored by my understanding of my faith, and this celebrated author was making sure I understood that. However, he continued to explain that in another 100 years, we could have a different understanding of these events, as well as the direction the Holy Spirit was leading the church by not providing the answers to the reformers questions in a more timely fashion.

On to the questions of the reformers, and how the Council of Trent was answering these questions. First, the reformers, especially Luther were concerned with how the indulgences were being sold or used to raise money for the church. It wasn’t until the 25th session of the council, after the selling of indulgences was formally condemned by the pope, which the indulgences were explained as to be used for the purposes of all the faithful, and not just those who could afford them. Second, the reformers seemed to question the implications of all of the sacraments, and the 7th session of the council made it very clear that all seven sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ. Finally, as far as Baptism is concerned, the same session of the council defined the sacrament of Baptism to be as prescribed in the Catholic Church in the name of Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. It was also explained that it is not necessary to be at any certain age in order to receive the sacrament.

There were many more complaints that were brought up by the reformers, but it would be impossible to discuss them all without recreating a good portion of the documents of the Council of Trent in this final essay. Since it was not for another 350 years that another council was convened in the church, it is clear that the church and the world was pretty comfortable with the explanation that the church gave for the way that they wanted to live out their faith. In a research article about the counter-reformation, I read, “In turn, Catholic lay people have begun to emerge not merely as either passive recipients or fierce opponents of Tridentine reforms but as active participants in a dynamic process of cultural negotiation and interaction.” (Walsham, 2005) It is also clear from my research that no amount of clarification of these issues would have ever brought the reformers back from the path that they were already on toward the many different denominations of faith based on the particular movements away from the Catholic Church and the central authority of the papacy.

It was the fact that Jedin explains, where he gives so many reasons that the church was moving toward reform before the issues that were raised by the reformers early in the 16th century, as well the fact that the church was still reaching out to the reformers during the Council of Trent and the councils that followed throughout the past 500 years, that tells me the church will never stop trying to answer the issues that were brought up by the reformers as reasons to break from it. You might assume, as I did, that I would end with a treatment of how we have come so far in our understanding of conciliar movements in the church, that we need only look at the Second Vatican Council to see the many attempts that the church made there at bringing many great minds together to help move the church into the next phase of operations. However, it was a conference that was recently held at the Vatican that I would point to as a better illustration of the fact that the church is reaching out to leaders of all faiths to help explain the issues of our day. Specifically, it was the Humanum Conference in November of 2014 that shows the length that the modern church is willing to go to, in order to make sure the world hears the voices of many different faith leaders, in order to express the solidarity of the church. It was convened for the purpose of upholding the sanctity of marriage. They invited Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback Church to speak, as well as Princeton Professor, Robert George. They included in the discussion, participants from the Pentecostal church, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and the Church of Latter-Day Saints. One of the fruits of this effort was a video presentation that was a beautiful explanation of the beauty of marriage that was shown to the participants and is now available on YouTube for anyone to view or use for the purposes of instruction. Finally, it is this example that gives me hope that many of the leaders of the Reformed churches will continue looking for ways that all Christians can come together to bring about the salvation of the world, or at least anyone who, by the grace of God, will listen to the Good News.

References

Hirsch, E. F. (1958). A History of the Council of Trent. Church History, p 378-379.

Jedin, H. (1949). A History of the Council of Trent Volume I: The Struggle for the Council. Freiburg: Herder & Co.

Walsham, A. (2005). Translating Trent? English Catholicism and the Counter Reformation. Historical Research, p288-310.

Saint James, pray for us!

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As we celebrate the feast day of James the Great, we remember that he, like us, had to drop his net in order to follow Jesus. We hear in the gospel today that his mother implored Jesus to let him sit at His right hand in the Kingdom. His mother, if she is anything like our mothers, would probably asked Jesus this, even if James had not dropped his net to follow Him. But he did, and because he did, the answer Jesus gives is even more important to those of us that have dropped our nets. He says that we have only the promise of drinking from the chalice that he drank from. The chalice of suffering and persecution at the hands of our own people. It is not an easy message to hear, but we must know that when we look for glory we are asking for  something that is not ours to have. All glory and honor be to God for giving us His Son to teach us this valuable lesson today and every day for the rest of our time on earth.

He replied, “My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left [, this] is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” (Matthew 20:23)

Our Father, who art in Heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…Amen!

An appeal to the savior…(Not Jesus, all people!)

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So, it hit me like a ton of bricks just a minute ago.  I was wondering why I have not been able to write this post that has been heavy on my heart for some time now.  (Probably about six months…)  The reason I can never write it, is because when I feel worthy to write it, I am too busy being “holy” that I don’t take the time necessary to write it.  However, today is one of those days where I know that I have failed to live out my calling as a father and husband, and I am in need of a good confession, but instead of running to confession like I would normally do, I am taking the time to write this post before I am back in communion with Jesus and his church and start back on my path to Sainthood.  I am not recommending this as a method of writing, but for this purpose I think God is using this moment of clarity to inspire me to write this without my need to fix anyone with my temporary holiness.  (I can’t fix anyone, if I can’t stop breaking myself…)

Anyway, here goes…I have been thinking about the fact that we are all in communion with each other, when we are in communion with God, even when we are not in communion with God, we are still in the same Spirit, and therefore we are connected.  “But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.”  (1 Corinthians 6:17  NABRE)  So, what does this mean for when we use each other, instead of loving each other?  For instance, when a man looks lustfully at a woman, we would all agree that the effect of that look is harmful to the man who looks at the woman.  “But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  (Matthew 5:28 NABRE)  Therefore, the man or woman is out of communion with God until they repent of this sin, confess it and receive absolution.  However, what effect does this have on the woman who is the object of the lust?  I submit, in my opinion by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that the woman is somehow effected negatively as the object of this lustful desire that stems from the flesh of the man.

Now, I will make my appeal to the men and women who are reading this; in a way that I think should speak to us in the depths of our soul.  We are called to be the protector of the people in our life.  “Then the LORD asked Cain, Where is your brother Abel? He answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”  (Genesis 4:9)  We can’t be a protector of our brothers and sisters, if we are giving in to the baser instincts of lust that well up from our flesh.  So, we need to guard our minds from falling prey to the temptation that comes from looking too long at images of people that would be so much more, if we did not see them as objects of desire but rather children of the same God that created us.

I have heard the question asked before, “Why would a woman or man who talks about wanting to be more respected for the beautiful creation of God that he or she is wear revealing clothing that leaves little to the imagination .  Is he or she a casualty of a culture that objectifies women’s or men’s bodies?  I submit to you that he or she may just be reacting to the change that has been happening to them since they were very young.  If they have been told from an early age that their body is a temple and therefore should be protected as such, they may not be reacting to the same change.  “Do you not know that your body is a temple* of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”  (1 Corinthian 6:19)  If, however, they have been told from an early age that she needs to wear sexy outfits and dance close to the line of modesty in order to be attractive, they may very well be reacting to the metamorphosis that is a result of these many lustful looks that have somehow made them broken.  “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take Christ’s members and make them the members of a prostitute?* Of course not! [Or] do you not know that anyone who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For “the two,” it says, “will become one flesh.”  (1 Corinthians 6:15-16)

I know that I will have lost any progressive or liberal readers at this point, so I think I might as well go all in and follow this logic to its ultimate conclusion.  Is it any wonder why people feel it is necessary to show so much skin in order to be “liked” on social media.  Actually, I would say that it is about more than just being “liked”, they are convinced that real love in the real world can only be found by appealing to that lust.  The Word of God teaches us otherwise. “Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body.*” (1 Corinthians 6:18)
I woke up this morning to an episode of “Toddlers and Tiaras” and on the episode one of the mother’s said that her church had excommunicated her because she allowed her daughter to be in these pageants.  It seems a little excessive to me to excommunicate someone for such a seemingly benign action of letting her daughter compete in these pageants, but her statement about it was quite revealing.  She said, “It is not like I am put her up on a “stripper” pole or something.”  It is not like she is putting her on a “stripper” pole, it is exactly that.  She is teaching her child that she is defined by the way other people see her beauty.  Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder; sounds like a great maxim to live by.  However, the only beholder I want to be judged by, or more importantly, to have my children judged by,  is the creator of the universe.  The Psalmist says, “I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.”  (Psalms 139:14  NABRE)

Question…How do we kill the lust that wells up in our hearts when we are led astray by the evil one?  Do we tell people that the answer is just to go live in a cave with their eyes closed for a couple of days until the feeling passes, or do we raise our children to guard the hearts of their brothers and sisters in Christ, and their own self worth by not revealing too much of the flesh.  By the way isn’t it meant to be shared with our husbands and wives alone?   The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this,  2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.

OK, I guess either answer is correct for the situation that you find yourself in, but I would hope if you are a parent that you share the words from scripture that I have quoted here with your kids.  I would hope that we could create a new generation of young people that are more concerned with the way their God sees them, than how members of the opposite sex sees them.

Peace of Christ,

Jason

Final Paper for Communication Theory class…

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Pointless Relational Dialectics without Faith

Jason M. Roebuck

Northwest Christian University

07/05/15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract

    The idea of reviewing three articles and keeping a central theme to my review seemed very difficult before I read the three articles. After reading them, I realized that the idea that we can analyze any relationship or communication between people without somehow using the faith that leads people to the driving force behind their communication is ridiculous. Here is the heading and articles that I used for my literature review:

 

Relational Dialectics

 

    
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    As I read the first article, I started to regret picking this topic, because I quickly realized that the discussion about relational dialectics was going to center around the scientific research with a lack of concern for the faith background of the people surveyed in the study. When analyzing the first article’s data, I did not see any reference to if the couples were married in the church, or even if they were monogamous. It was concerning to me because the answers that the respondents gave to the questions about their long-distance relationships with their spouses that were deployed during wartime could have been analyzed differently if we knew the religious affiliation and/or their feelings toward maintaining a monogamous relationship with their spouse. Conclusions were drawn in the first article that were unrelated to the foundation of the relationships.

    The second article, which was more interesting to me because it was concerning one of the social media outlets that is a large part of my current ministry as a youth ministry coordinator and director of religious education. Facebook and the impact that it has on the formation of young adults in their early years is something that interests me in a way that could have been transformative to my work in young adult and youth ministry, had the article done a little more research to start the study. However, as I read this article, I came to the same conclusion that I drew from the first article. The fact that the young adults were not consulted about their religious affiliation as part of their study should color the results that were given. If not, they at least would lend some credibility to the results that were stated in the article. The respondents mentioned their need to contact old friends, as well as the need for sharing media with new friends, without even a word about the real purpose of their attempts at connecting with them. It would be interesting to know the results of the same questions that were posed, if they were posed with the idea that disclosure of their religious affiliation could be helpful. For instance, a guy who spends a lot of time connecting with girlfriends online, might very well be perfectly normal if he is doing it with the purpose of sharing his faith with them. However, it would be creepy, if he was connecting with them because he was looking to hook up.

    Now, after reading the first two articles and coming to the conclusions that I have stated above, I was really concerned about the third article because of the concerns that I had about my father and his affiliation with AA in the past. I was worried because my father had always touted the great work of AA, and related it to the idea that he did not have to name his higher power in order to work through the 12 step program that led him to sobriety. However, he did mention how he had to fake it to make it, through most of his recovery. Meaning, he had to pretend to believe, in order for the program to work for him. The third article restored my faith in researchers that study the theory of relational dialectics, because it showed that many of the people involved in the program were happy to talk about their difficulty with religion and therefore struggled with the overall effectiveness of the program. It discusses accurately the fact that surrender to an unknown God is problematic for people that espouse themselves as belonging or not belonging to certain religion. I mean, at least they were honest about it, but it showed me that finally the conclusions that I had drawn from the first two articles were clearly spelled out after reading the final article. In my final analysis of the third article, an issue that was brought to my mind during the discussion of non-Catholic AA respondents in the article that used their disdain for the church for their embracing the pluralistic understanding of spirituality.

 

    The title of my paper, “Pointless Relational Dialectics without Faith” was justified in this last article, because it clearly spelled out the need for respondents to accept the faith of the program in which they were involved. Granted, a deployed spouse, young adults entering college, and AA patient are completely different demographic categories. The truth is that all of their lives, are directly linked to the decisions they make in following their faith. Possibly more important is the fact that anyone who believes themselves to be superior to another because of their affiliation or lack of affiliation with a certain group of believers/unbelievers is problematic because we believe that all humanity has fallen short of the glory of God. “For there is no distinction; all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:22-23 NABRE) Therefore, when we leave out the discussion of religion when we discuss issues that are closely related to the human experience, it becomes difficult to relate to the people who respond in the survey. I have often drawn the parallel of an alcoholic who attends AA meetings, to a sinner who attends daily Mass in the Catholic Church. I am comfortable with the parallel that I have drawn, because I have accepted the fact that my struggle with sinful tendencies in my human nature are not different than someone who struggles with drinking too much. Therefore, I attend daily Mass as often as possible to display to God my willingness to lean of His grace to save me from myself. As Saint Paul says, “For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.” (Romans 7:18-19) The truth is everything that we do is related to how we relate to our Creator, so it would make more sense to relate the studies we do about humanity to the way the humans we are studying relate to their Creator. My name is Jason, and I am a sinner in need of a savior. Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

    

 

        
 

    
 

100th anniversary may bring chastisement…

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Fatima, Noah and Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

Flood 1

Today we start the novena to Our Lady of Fatima, counting down the nine days to the 98thanniversary of Her first appearance to three children. As many contemplate the messages of Fatima, while referring to the miracle as an affirmation of the messages, what may be lost is that the miracle is a message in and of itself. Let us consider three basic elements of the miracle at Fatima, Portugal on October 13, 1917.

Fatima 1Most Catholics know the story well. Throughout the night of October 12 and all during the morning of October 13, a cold, heavy rain fell, saturating the ground and the 70,000 pilgrims who had come to see the foretold miracle. Once the sun had reached its zenith, and after Our Lady appeared to the children, the rain suddenly stopped, and the clouds parted without even a breeze. At that moment, many witnesses described seeing a world of colors around them, as if they were inside a rainbow. Then, the sun appeared to fall to earth as if it was going to destroy the world, only to return to its own position, leaving everyone, including the ground and their clothes, perfectly dry. Eyewitness accounts of this give us an idea of what they saw:

“[T]he sun turned everything to different colors—yellow, blue and white. Then it shook and trembled. It looked like a wheel of fire that was going to fall on the people. They began to cry out, ‘We shall all be killed!’ Others called to Our Lady to save them. They recited acts of contrition. One woman began to confess her sins aloud, advertising that she had done this and that… When at last the sun stopped leaping and moving, we all breathed our relief.” – Maria Carreira

“During those long moments of the solar prodigy, objects around us turned all the colors of the rainbow. We saw ourselves blue, yellow, red, etc. All the strange phenomena increased the fears of the people.” – Father Ignacio Lorenco

“Suddenly the rain ceased, the clouds separated and I saw a large sun, brighter than the sun, yet I could look at it without hurting my eyes, as if it were only the moon.”

“This sun began to get larger and larger, brighter and brighter until the whole heavens seemed more brilliantly lighted than I have ever seen it. Then the sun started spinning and shooting streams of light, which changed it to all colors of the rainbow… At the same time, it started getting bigger and bigger in the sky as though it were headed directly for us, as though it were falling on the earth. Everyone was frightened. We all thought it was the end of the world.” – Mary Allen

In a more succinct way, the Miracle of Fatima can be described like this: Intense rain, followed by a rainbow of sorts, the sun falling to the earth as if to burn it up, only to have the sun return to its proper place, leaving the witnesses and the ground perfectly dry. This sequence should sound familiar. In the book of Genesis, we read that God sent a flood to wipe out all mankind save for Noah and his family. Then came a rainbow, as a covenant that He would never again destroy the world by a flood. But what of the sun descending upon the earth as if to destroy it? In the 17th chapter of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus explains to His disciples:

“In the days when the Son of Man comes, all will be as it was in the days of Noe; they ate, they drank, they married and were given in marriage, until the day when Noe went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. So it was, too, in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought and sold, they planted and built; but on the day when Lot went out of Sodom, a rain of fire and brimstone came from heaven and destroyed them all. And so it will be, in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” Luke 17:26-30

It’s rather curious that Jesus would tie in the flood of Noah with the destruction of Sodom. Even more curious is that He would mention marriage. St. Matthew gives a similar account, and while some of the details are different, he also mentions what Jesus said about marriage in relation to the flood of Noah and the return of the Son of Man:

“When the Son of Man comes, all will be as it was in the days of Noe; in those days before the flood, they went on eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the time when Noe entered the ark, and they were taken unawares, when the flood came and drowned them all; so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:37-39

Deluge 1On the face of it, it seems that Jesus is simply saying that people will just be carrying on about their business as usual when disaster strikes. But the connection of the destruction of the world by flood to the destruction of Sodom by fire is a theme repeated by the Miracle at Fatima, and again (as you will see) at Akita, Japan. Because of this theme, Our Blessed Lord’s mention of “marrying and giving in marriage” seems to be more euphemistic, and the understanding of the ancient Jews with regard to the Flood of Noah may provide a clue.

The Jewish commentary on Genesis known as the Midrash says that God sent the flood to destroy the world because perverse marriages (male to male and man to beast) had been legalized.

“The generation of the Flood were not blotted out from the world until they composed nuptial songs (until they wrote marriage deeds for males and beasts — i.e. they fully legalized such practices) in honor of pederasty and bestiality.” – Midrash, GENESIS (BERESHITH) [XXVI. 4-5] p. 213

Enoch 1In addition to the Midrash is the apocryphal Book of Enoch. The Book of Enoch is believed to have been composed sometime between the second and first century BC, and was regarded as authentic by Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, and St. Augustine. While the text is not considered to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is worth noting that the Book of Enoch also affirmsthe idea that the reason God sent a flood to wipe out the earth for wide-spread practice of sodomy:

“For I know the wickedness of mankind, how [they have rejected my commandments and] they will not carry the yoke which I have placed on them. But they will cast off my yoke, and they will accept a different yoke. And they will sow worthless seed, not fearing God and not worshiping me, but they began to worship vain gods, and they renounced my uniqueness. And all the world will be reduced to confusion by iniquities and wicked- nesses and [abominable] fornications that is, friend with friend in the anus, and every other kind of wicked uncleanness which it is disgusting to report, and the worship of (the) evil (one). And that is why I shall bring down the flood onto the earth, and I shall destroy everything, and the earth itself will collapse in great darkness.”

It should also be noted that Emperor Nero, largely regarded by the Church Fathers as aprefigurement of the Anti-Christ, is the first ruler of the Western World to have legitimized same-sex ‘marriages,’ participating in at least two himself.

In light of this, it would appear that the cause of the Flood may have been the legalization of perverse marriages. So when Our Lord recalls “the days of Noah,” mentions “marriage and giving in marriage”, and then also recalls the destruction of Sodom, it would appear that the punishments for such crimes against nature are quite severe. It is also interesting that the miracle of Fatima appears to recall the deluge with heavy rains dissipated by a brilliant display of the colors of the rainbow, followed by the sun threatening to burn up the world. But it doesn’t end there.

Akita 1In 1973, Our Lady spoke to a deaf nun in Akita Japan. On the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, October 13, 1973, Our Lady said:

“My dear daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform your superior. As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.”

The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

“The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them”

“With courage, speak to your superior. He will know how to encourage each one of you to pray and to accomplish works of reparation.”

Sodom 1These are incredibly sobering words if we take them in the context presented above. Again, our Lady recalls the deluge, and then speaks of fire falling from the sky, which harkens to the destruction of Sodom. If homosexual acts were the spiritual cause of both cataclysms, then the recollection of them in regard to our time bears a striking significance. Even more disturbing is what Our Lady said at Akita about bishops opposing bishops and cardinals opposing cardinals. Can it be a coincidence that the upcoming Synod on the Family, which has already opened the door to discussion on “irregular” relationships and homosexuality, will be held in October, during the 98thanniversary of the Miracle of the Sun? Can it be a coincidence that the symbol that self-professed homosexuals have claimed for themselves, recalling the great deluge, is the rainbow?

The book of Genesis tells us that 100 years transpired from the time that God told Noah to build an Ark to the day of the Deluge. As the 100th anniversary of Fatima rapidly approaches, let us not be found outside the Ark, but remain safely aboard the Ark of the Church. So, as we begin the Fatima novena, let us commit to pray the Rosary daily for the salvation of souls, reparation for sins, and for the restoration of All things in Christ.

2015-05-05 BY

Re-posted by authority of author:  http://www.lepantoinstitute.org/faith-and-life/fatima-noah-and-same-sex-marriage/  (See comments section)

My addition to this powerful story.  I was told about a miracle that happened in a little town of Barra de Navidad on September 1, 1971.  There was a hurricane bearing town on this little town.  Her name was Hurricane Lily, but the townspeople went into the San Antonio church and began to pray.  The statue of Jesus on the crucifix dropped his arms and the storm abated.  I know a family that goes to our parish who is from this area, and he says they would be willing to let me stay in their house down there, if I ever get a chance to visit.  I pray that God shows me a way to make this pilgrimage soon.  I believe that Jesus was trying to deliver me a message four days before I was born, and he knew that I would be able to see this message that is related to the story above, and I will try to expound on tomorrow in my blog.

By Jason Roebuck

 

 

If it’s really good, it’s worth waiting for!

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7 Purity Secrets for People…

People need a decided strategy to reduce the risk. Here are seven secrets to sexual purity that we need to know.

I said goodbye to my virginity when I was eighteen.

How old were you? If you had it to do over again, would you wait? I would. I found out some of the physical consequences of choosing to have sex early, and I was depressed about what I had done. I felt like I’d given something precious away and could never have it back. The people I gave it to have not been a significant part of my life since we slept together.  That’s why I’ve devoted my life to spreading the idea that sex is worthy of something more than a casual hookup. Is that a message you want to share with your daughter? Little sister? A friend you’re trying to mentor? Read on, because the news today is better…and worse…than when you were a teenager and there are seven biblical concepts that will cut the risk in the friend or child you love.

Recent news in the sex culture tells me that a lot of people feel waiting is worthwhile. They are more virgins than ever in college, which means fewer teenagers are having sex. But among college students who aren’t abstaining…well, they’re having a lot of sex. And I do mean a LOT! By the time they leave college men will have an average of 9.7 sexual partners and women will have 7.1. We need a decided strategy to reduce the risk. Here are seven secrets to sexual purity that we all need to know.

1.) Purity is a process.

So many of us mess up. If not by acting out, by the thoughts that we think. And my experience tells me that if we don’t get healing from our sins and victory in our temptations, we’ll give in all the more. We’ll reach out for the help we need if we know we’re not alone and that our battle has not ruined us. We need to remember that we were not born pure and we’re not alone in this process. Psalm 51:5 says, “Surely I was sinful from birth, sinful from the moment my mother conceived me.” While we may have been born innocent, we were not born pure. Purity is the process of facing down the temptations, healing from the sin, and making right choices. It’s where we’re headed. Not where we’ve begun.

2.) Purity dreams of its future. 

Getting caught on the hook-up culture will trap you into a life of neediness. And being in a dating relationship in high school that’s six months or longer increases sexual temptation, according to the Medical Institute for Sexual Health. Reduce the risk—not by saying “no” to relationships, but by beginning to dream of ONE! Dream of a future, because God is planning one full of hope.(Jeremiah 29:11) Write a list of qualities someone should be looking for in a husband or a wife. After all, abstinence is not about not having sex; it’s about waiting to have it right with the person God chose for us to spend the rest of our lives with!

3.) Purity is governed by its value.

A person who is confident in their value as a son/daughter of Christ will not have need to find it in a sexual partner or giving themselves over to the hookup culture. But with eating disorders, body image issues, photoshopped beauty lies, and internet porn on the rise, we need a lot of reminding that beauty is found in our hearts and not in the mirror. Take time to celebrate your creation story in Psalm 139 where the Bible records that God knit you together. You are a masterpiece created by God. Understanding that will govern your behavior.

4.) Purity speaks boldly.

Many people lack what social science calls “refusal skills,” that is the ability to say ‘no’ when temptation arises. The book of James says that the tongue is a powerful tool, compared to the rudder of a ship which has the ability to move a great vessel. Teach yourself to use your tongue to direct your life towards purity by practicing refusal skills. Simply take time to write a list of top ten comeback lines. For example, if a guy says “Let’s go somewhere to be alone.” A girl’s comeback line could be, “You DO know that my daddy dusts me for fingerprints, right?” If a girl/woman wears clothes that leave little to the imagination, a good boyfriend/husband would say, “I wonder if that is really the way Eve tempted Adam, it wasn’t an apple, it was an apple bottom.”

Have fun with it and giggle. While you may or may not use these exact statements, writing this list is a powerful internal marking point that gives you permission to say ‘no’ and confidence to do so.

5.) Purity loves its Creator at any cost.

While it’s great to dream about the future, it should never be in expectation that God has to or will provide a spouse. A person’s value does not lie in a partner when their fourteen or forty. Marriage is not the ultimate goal of your life. Being in a love relationship with Christ should be. Ephesians 5:31,32 teaches us that marriage is a picture of the love that Christ has for his bride, the Church. No one paints a picture well unless they have seen and studied the original. We need to see the beauty of a true love relationship with Jesus and be willing to protect that love at any cost. This will shield you from counterfeit loves that are unable to help you paint a picture of the love of Christ.

6.) Purity embraces wise guidance

Parent-child connectedness is considered the greatest risk reducer of teen sexual activity. Add a connected mom and dad to the power of God’s Spirit in them and you have a wonderful recipe for discipleship. Of course, this means you have to talk about sex, and temptation, and sin, and pleasure, and the beauty of the marriage bed. You can do it, mom and dad. And you and your kids need you to be talking about it.  If you struggle with chastity, frequent the Sacrament of Confession and get a spiritual advisor, if you can find a good one.  If you can’t find a good one, refer to the first suggestion.

7.) Purity watches burning flames

In one community where the middle school sexual activity rate was nearly 30%, the school system created a mentoring program pairing middle school students with high school and college students who were both sexually abstinent and sober. In just a few years, the sexual activity rate was reduced to 1%. The power of older and wiser friendships is tremendous. The Bible teaches that he who walks with the wise grows wise. Help your kids find and connect to a mentor.  It is such a big deal, that you and your kids need a model of purity. If you are not a model of purity, than you need to work on becoming it.  By the power of the Lord’s mercy and love, through the mentor ship of a good spiritual advisor, it is possible.  With God, all things are possible.

The backbone of these seven secrets are God’s word, but Dannah Gresh has given them muscle by depending on social science’s agreement with God’s word as she developed the list. They have helped nearly 300,000 young women walk in purity as they learned them and applied them while reading my first book, And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity. We’re celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the book’s debut and we’re celebrating by offering a FREE on-line video curriculum you can use with teens you’re discipling.

Sources not linked to in this article:

Donna Freitas published in a book entitled Sex & The Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America’s College Campuses (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008)

Sharon Jayson, “More college ‘hookups.’ But more virgins, too.”, USA Today, 3/30/2011. http://yourlife.usatoday.com/sex-relationships/dating/story/2011/03/More-hookups-on-campuses-but-more-virgins-too/45556388/1?csp=hf

This blog was originally titled, “7 Purity Secrets for Teen Girls” by Dannah Gresh…This was posted at the bottom of her article and it was inspiring for me, so I thought I should share it with you too!

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she prayed a prayer devoting her life to serving God with all her heart, all her mind and all her soul. But she forgot to love him well during her teen years. The plan to devote herself to the Lord was derailed by sexual pain. Healing seemed elusive, but when it did come it overflowed from her heart and into the lives around her. First one teen girl. Then a cabin-full. And it was only the beginning of what God would do with a broken heart. Today Dannah is a best-selling author and sought-after speaker.

Revisions done by Jason M. Roebuck:  This part is about the reviser!

I was not raised in a Catholic home, but I am thankful to God for bringing me to the church that is helping me work through the issues I have.  Healing and wholeness are possible through the power of the Divine Mercy of Jesus and the consecration to him through his Blessed Mother, the Most Holy Virgin Mary!

The Origins of Mandatory Private Confession in the Catholic Church

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Jason:

I just love this…Thank you for posting it and let me repost it!

Originally posted on Quartermaster of the Barque:

In the “Stats” for this blog, I can review the search strings typed into engines like Google or Bing that bring visitors here. One such search string recently caught my eye, which surprised me because I’ve never written about the topic before:

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“when did mandatory private confession start in the catholic church?”

When I repeated the search myself, the question was left somewhat unanswered. So, to the person who was looking for an answer to this question, this is for you:

Private Penance is quite old in the Catholic Church; It is an Ancient Practice

Get a copy! Primary documents are cited from this excellent compendium; click the picture of the cover for more information

In 1551, the Council of Trent, in its Doctrine on the Sacrament of Penance, stated that “…Peter, prince of the apostles, recommended penance to sinners who were about to receive baptism with the words: “Repent, and be baptized every…

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