Friday, September 27, 2013

Thinking Of Divorcing Your Spouse? Better Read This!

Day after Valentine's kicks off divorce season -

A friend of the "Academy", Peggy Clores, the Director of Adult Education at Our Lady Of Mercy Parish in Hicksville, New York, emailed me the post below. Peggy said,

"For an article in Huff Post, this was actually right on target for the limitations of secular wisdom.  I recommend that this article be made widely available. You don't know who needs to hear it this very hour. My prayers for all who have been hurt or mislead by this confusion. Our best hope in those circumstances is that God can work all things to the good and heal and minimize the damage. Nothing is impossible for those who stay close to Him and hang onto the hem of His garment.  That being said, let us do our part to turn the tide on this one."

Thanks, Peggy!

Should You Divorce Your Spouse For Your Lover? Consider This First
Posted: 09/19/2013 1:04 am EDT  |  Updated: 09/20/2013 11:33 am EDT

By Lesli Doares for

That's it. You've decided you're leaving today to be with your soulmate. Never again will you settle for the dreary, disconnected existence you've been living, when you can have the breath-stopping, romantic, intoxicating life you've been having in secret during your affair.

Sound familiar? If you're considering ending your current relationship for a new relationship, you may want to slow down and ask yourself these questions first.

Do you really know your lover? 

No one is perfect, but when we're in the throes of infatuation, we have a difficult time seeing any flaws in our partner. Everything they do seems wonderful, the relationship is perfect and nothing will ever change that. You convince yourself that no one has ever made you feel this way before. If you're still in this infatuation stage, you're not seeing the relationship realistically. Everything changes over time, and routine could settle in quickly. Don't forget that your lover knows you're married and is complicit in the lying that having an affair requires.

How real is this relationship? 

Most affairs are conducted in secret, where it's easy for both of you to be on your best behavior for the limited time you get to spend together. Nothing from the outside world has really touched your relationship. It's like being on a perpetual vacation. Once your affair sees the light of day, the fantasy relationship will become part of the real world — with all its boring and repetitive aspects. 

Are you being objective about your marriage? 

Your marriage and spouse will pale in comparison to your affair. It's easy to focus on what's not working in your marriage because the contrast is so stark. Admitting to yourself there might be positive aspects of your marriage and your partner may be inconvenient, but that doesn't mean it's not true. When you're looking for the negative, it's easy to find. The same is true about finding the positive, but you have to be willing to see it. Try working to see the positive in your current relationship.

Are you being honest about your contributions to your marriage? 

If you only see your spouse's failings, you will be likely to repeat your own mistakes in this new relationship as well. Having an affair as a way to address the problems in your marriage is a choice you made. Looking at what led you to pick this option will reveal a lot about you and the role you play in the success of your relationships.

Is your happiness more important than your children's? 

Whether you believe it or not, your spouse will likely be devastated by your decision and its cause. As an adult, they will hopefully find a way to cope. And when you leave a marriage, your children have to leave it, too. Yes, they want you to be happy; they just don't know how much unhappiness it will ultimately cause them. That's because they haven't experienced it yet.

Are you aware of the dismal statistics your new relationship faces?

You won't be coming to this relationship with a clean slate, and that will put stress on it from the start. If you're both leaving marriages to be together, the stress will be that much greater. Second marriages statistically fail at a higher rate than first ones. Those that start as affairs fare the worst of all. 

Are you prepared for the reaction of your friends and family? 

We like to believe that those closest to us want the best for us. This isn't always true when it comes to affairs. It may be a bumpier ride for your lover to be accepted into your existing world. Divorce, under the best of circumstances, divides those closest to us. When infidelity is present, these divisions can be both unexpected and harsh. This may draw you and your lover closer together at first, but can create resentment and distance in the long run.

Escaping the world you created with your partner for the new and exciting one you hope to have with your lover may seem like a good idea now. The unanswerable question is, "Will they look the same in the harsh light of day?" Only time, and the impact of unavoidable collateral damage, will tell.

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The Pharisees approached and asked, "Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?" They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?"
They replied, "Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her."
But Jesus told them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment.
"But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother (and be joined to his wife), and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh.
"Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate."
In the house the disciples again questioned him about this.
He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
The Gospel According To Saint Mark [10:2-12]
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Spiritual But Not Religious": A Comment And A Rebuttal

In a recent post I had published, Basic Training For Catholic Jedi: How To Pray!
I made the following assertions concerning what true spirituality is based upon:

These days, many people describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious"— as spiritual seekers who are ANTI--religion, who like Jesus but hate His Church.
These days, many people describe themselves as “spiritual.” So, what does THAT mean? For these folks, the word, “spiritual” has been deliberately emptied of anything to do with God. The word, “spiritual” has become highly subjective and political.“I am spiritual but not religious.”
Next time someone says to you, “I am spiritual but not religious,” let them know -- as the Catholic Jedi that you are -- that they are speaking an oxymoron, a statement that is self-contradictory:
* Like “Agree to disagree" or "A little pregnant" or "Boneless ribs” or "Sinfully good."
* Or “A Brief Homily”
* Or “I am spiritual but not religious.”
You cannot be “spiritual” without being religious. 
There is no spirituality without God. Your spiritual life, your spirituality, IS your basic, practical, habitual attitude toward God and toward your fellow human beings. Your spiritual life results from how you understand and live out your religious faith in Christ and His Catholic Church.

One of our visitors to the "Academy" read that post and published the following comment:
"I am spiritual and not religious and your saying I am not, does not change the fact. My kindness toward and compassion for my fellow man is my spirituality, and frankly exactly WJWD. You say in effect that if I don’t believe in YOUR religion (Jesus Christ, etc) that I have no spirituality, which is laughable. I am surprised a Jedi catholic priest would be so narrow minded, not to mention, holier than thou. I was enjoying stumbling upon your unique site until I read your ridiculous slap in the face statement. Neither your words, nor your religion apply to me, or anyone for that matter. My God, the higher power that I believe in, could not care less about petty and destructive, man-made religions. I am wonderful spiritual being and boastfully PROUD to not be religious. Blessings to you, and all, this day." Kathleen

Thanks, Kathleen, but your comment actually demonstrates what was posited in the original post. You write, "My God, the higher power that I believe in, could not care less about petty and destructive, man-made religions." How do you know?  Did your God tell you this? Are you sure it was God telling you this, or the Evil One? Because the One, True God made it quite clear, many thousands of years ago, that -- yes -- He does care about religion.  

Religion is a system of faith and worship (worship being the actions or rites that make up human beings' formal expression of reverence for God). True spirituality involves faith in the One, True God and worship of the One, True God.

Kathleen, I sincerely hope that you realize that what you wrote is not WJWD. 
You wrote, "My kindness toward and compassion for my fellow man is my spirituality."
However, the tone of your comment was quite angry and contained quite a few ad hominem attacks. This does not seem to demonstrate any good fruits from being a "wonderful spiritual being" and  "spiritual but not religious" and filled with "kindness toward and compassion for your fellow man."
Who are those "blessings" coming from?   You?   God?   Your God?   Or are you God?

One's spiritual life, one's spirituality, is one's basic, practical, habitual attitude toward God and toward one's fellow human beings. Follow a false god or a non-existent version of the True God, and your spirituality will be misleading and ultimately narcissistic -- because it will not be based on the truth.  One's spiritual life results from how one understands and live outs one's religious faith in the One, True God of Life.  

The Catholic Jedi Academy does not exist to be a cyber-battlefield for posting salvos of resentment, anger, ignorance, or venom. We teach. We propose. And as Catholics, our propositions and teachings are based in the Catholic Religion.  It may not be your thing, but please at least give it a chance and use your intellect to seriously ponder what we publish on this blog.  There is no need to be afraid of the truth. But, if upon serious consideration, you do not agree, we bid you adieu, but  please, don't toss an angry grenade as a farewell gesture. It is not WJWD.

Our God is the Way, Truth and Life.  May your journey to him not be filled with difficult obstacles.

I have excerpted below a few paragraphs from an article by Rabbi David Wolpe of The Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, and the author of seven books.  Rabbi Wolpe's insightful observations are applicable to the affiliation of "spiritual but not religious" and to the behaviors produced by embracing that mentality.
Excerpts from the Time Magazine Online website. ( Red emphases are mine):

Viewpoint: The Limitations of Being ‘Spiritual but Not Religious’
By Rabbi David Wolpe  --  March 21, 2013

     Spirituality is an emotion. Religion is an obligation. Spirituality soothes. Religion mobilizes. Spirituality is satisfied with itself. Religion is dissatisfied with the world. Religions create aid organizations; as Nicholas Kristof pointed out in a column in the New York Times two years ago: the largest U.S.-based international relief and development organization is not Save the Children or Care, it’s World Vision, a Seattle-based Christian group.

     Aid organizations involve institutions as well, and bureaucracies, and — yes — committee meetings. There is something profoundly, well, spiritual about a committee meeting. It involves individuals trying together to sort out priorities, to listen and learn from one another, to make a difference. I have found too often that when people say, “I stay away from the synagogue — too much politics,” what they mean is that they did not get their way. Institutions enable but they also frustrate, as do families and every other organized sector of human life. If you want frictionless, do it alone.

     To be spiritual but not religious confines your devotional life to feeling good. If we have learned one thing about human nature, however, it is that people’s internal sense of goodness does not always match their behavior. To know whether your actions are good, a window is a more effective tool than a mirror. Ask others. Be part of a community. In short, join.

From Kansas Bob: The Spiritual Not Religious Cop-Out
     Being religious ... [means] testing yourself in the arena of others.

     No one expects those without faith to obligate themselves to a religious community.

     But for one who has an intuition of something greater than ourselves     to hold that this is a purely personal truth, that it demands no communal searching and struggle, no organization to realize its potential in this world, straddles the line between narcissistic and solipsistic. 
[By way of explanation: to be solipsistic is to adhere to the mentality of Solipsism (from Latin solus, meaning "alone", and ipse, meaning "self"): the idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist, and that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure.]

     If the spirit moves you to goodness, that is wonderful. For too many, though, spirituality is a VIP card allowing them to breeze past all those wretched souls waiting in line or doing the work. Join in; together is harder, but together is better.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pray for Syria...Pray for Peace

As you may have heard on the news and throughout the internet, our holy father, Pope Francis, has called for a day of prayer and fasting tomorrow, September 7th, for Syrian and throughout the middle east.

Syria is the home of Christians who can trace their lineage all the way back to Christ, himself.  Our Lord walked the land of Syria, driving out demons, healing the people and preaching the Good News.  How sad, that the area is going through such a violent upheaval.

Dr. Taylor Marshall has a very enlightening blog post about the role of Syria in the Gospels and its connection with the establishment of the Church in Rome, called "When Jesus Went to Syria."  It's well worth reading, as is so much of his other writing, as well.

God help our brothers and sisters in these troubled places.

Keep Calm, We're Still Here! The Catholic Jedi Academy Returns! (Reports Of Our Demise, Etc., Etc.)

Greetings, Academicians!

The Devil had his opportunity and tried to toss us off the Internet through a series of "errors" on Google Apps' part concerning our Domain privileges.  

But we have been vindicated, the error acknowledged, our domain status updated:  
We are back in the business of teaching the Truth of Christ and His Holy Church. 

We even passed our latest physical with exemplary results!

Fluoroscopy X-Ray Of Catholic Jedi Academy's Moral and Ethical Engine. 
Diagnosis: Perfectly Healthy! Lots of Vim and Vigor!

By the way, don't think  for a  moment that we have forgotten all those homework assignments you had due.  We expect them on our desks by 9:00 a.m. Monday

The "Assistant Headmaster"

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.