Friday, November 22, 2013

Solemnity Of Christ The King: Consider Yourself Very Blessed, Or Admit To Yourself That You Are Cowardly And Ashamed

From the Holy Gospel According To Saint  Luke  [Lk. 23:35-43]
The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God." Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."  Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews."
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us."
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal."  Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

A story goes: Once, the top Brass from the Army, Navy and Marines were in the Pentagon, arguing about which of them had the bravest Troops.  They decided to settle the argument with a bet, involving an Enlisted Man from each Branch of the Service, to see which one had the most guts.
The Army General went first.  He called an Army Private in and ordered him to climb to the top of the Pentagon flagpole while singing "The National Anthem."  Then, at the top of the flagpole, salute and jump off.  The Private responded with a simple "Yes, Sir!" and he immediately followed his orders, climbed the flagpole singing, and jumped from the top of the flagpole.  An ambulance came and took the Army Private away.
The Navy Admiral and the Marine Commander were not impressed.  The Navy Admiral ordered a Sailor to climb the flagpole while singing "Anchors Aweigh," to polish the brass knob at the top, to salute, and then to jump off.  The Sailor said, "Aye-Aye, Sir," and followed the Admiral's orders to the letter.  An ambulance came and took the Sailor away. 
The Marine Commander just smiled and called a Marine Private over, and started screaming orders at him.  The young Marine was ordered to climb to the top of the flagpole while singing “Semper Fidelis” – wearing full battle gear, with his pack filled with 300 pounds of bricks, with one arm tied behind his back, barefoot, blindfolded – and then, at the top of the pole, salute and jump off.  The Marine Private remained standing there in front of his Commanding Officer. The Commander screamed into his face: ‟You got a problem with that, Marine?”  The Marine Private looked the Commander right in the eyes, and said, "Sir:  Yes, Sir! You must be out of your mind, Sir!"
The Marine Commander turned to the Army General and the Navy Admiral and said proudly,  "Now, gentlemen, that is guts!"  No ambulance was required.

To speak the truth, and to accept and to live what we know in our hearts is right and morally justified, is to follow Christ.  To follow Him even when He is walking on His Way to the Cross.  It requires guts.
In your life as a Roman Catholic so far:

If you have never been criticized because you are a practicing Catholic;
If you have never been humiliated or cursed at for standing up for the truth or 
   speaking out against immorality, sin or evil;
If you have never experienced prejudice and bigotry, never been hated because of 
   your loyalty to Christ and His Church and His Church's Teachings;

Then, consider yourself very blessed to have been spared those ordeals. 
Or admit to yourself that you are cowardly and ashamed to be publicly known as a follower of Christ.

Courage, humility, selflessness, and trust are demanded of those who would pledge their allegiance to and follow the example of Christ, our Crucified King!

Annually, on the 34th and final Sunday of the Church's Liturgical Year -- The Solemnity Of Our Lord Jesus Christ The King -- Our Crucified and Risen King issues challenges to us.  

He challenges us to prove to Him that we fully accept, and proclaim
   and live the Truths He has taught us in His Gospel.
He challenges us to continue proclaiming or to start proclaiming the Truth about 
   God’s unwavering Love for all men and women.  
He challenges us to prove that we trust and live the Truth about the 
   never-failing Promise that good will triumph over evil, that light will 
   destroy the darkness. 
He challenges us to fully accept and proclaim the Truth by living the 
   moral teachings of our Catholic Faith – teachings which have remained 
   and will forever remain rock-solid, relevant, and true – long after trendy fads 
   and self-indulgences prove to be nothing but evil and empty lies. 


And, yes, it is demanding and it is difficult.  

But it is not impossible, as the thousands of Saints have proven over 2000 years!

Following our Crucified and Risen King is the only path that leads us beyond our  times and our  world ... to live forever in the timeless, infinite vision of the glory of God in Heaven!

We all say that we want that: That we want to enter Heaven and eternal joy.  

We all request from Christ Our Crucified King what Saint Dismas, the Repentant Thief, requested from Him as they were dying on crosses:
"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

We all make that request.

But, while you are requesting that from Him, 

do you have the guts to follow Him?  
The guts to prove how much you desire to be with Him in Heaven?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Frightening Stats Regarding Internet Pornography - and - How To Overcome Pornography Addiction

Academicians, I ran across these brief but very informative videos from our friends at Catholic Answers.

More and more men - including Catholic men - are succumbing to the incredibly subtle yet extremely destructive sin of viewing pornographic images or watching pornographic videos which are pandemic on the internet.

-  Every second:   $3,075.64 is spent on pornography;
                            28,258 people are viewing pornography;
                            372 people are typing adult search terms.
-  Every 39 minutes:  A new pornographic video is created in the United States.
-  $13.33 billion was spent in the porn industry in 2006.
-  U.S. porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS and NBC.
-  There are 4.2 Million pornographic websites (12% of total websites).
-  42.7% of internet users view pornography.
-  72 Million worldwide internet users visit adult sites per month.

(Source: Top Ten Reviews

-  Porn sites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter

(Source: Huff Post Tech

Matt Fradd was addicted to pornography.  He is Australian by birth and Catholic by choice. After experiencing a profound conversion at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, Matt committed himself to inviting others to know Jesus Christ and the Church He founded. As a missionary in Canada and Ireland, Matt proclaimed the Gospel to over ten thousand teens and young adults. Matt has also served the Church through full-time lay ministry in Australia, Ireland, Canada and Texas.

Matt has been a guest on the BBC, EWTN, ABC and Catholic Answers Live, where he has shared his personal story of sin, redemption, and healing to people all over the world. Matt lives in Southern California with his wife and three children, where he works as an Apologist and Speaker with Catholic Answers.

and their DVD based parent workshop kit:
UNFILTERED: Equipping Parents for an Ongoing Conversation about Internet Pornography, which features Catholic experts who can help educate parents about the dangers of pornography,
The Biochemistry of Porn Addiction-How Your Brain Gets Hijacked.

If you are addicted, you can escape from porn's hold on you.
Our Lord wants to help you save yourself and to be holy and happy again.
Trust Him. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

GOD: Dead? Or Alive?,9171,835309,00.html
April 8, 1966

From the Holy Gospel According to Saint Luke  [20:27-38]
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless.   Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless.  Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her."
Jesus said to them, "The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out 'Lord,' the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

"God is not God of the dead, but of the living..." Our Lord Jesus said.   
For some people, unfortunately, God is dead. 

Is your God "dead" or "alive"?

Do you pray to a dead God?
To a lucky charm you rub with prayers when things go bad?  

Or are your prayers directed to  the Living God? 
To God who speaks to your heart and gives you direction, and purpose to every choice and challenge in your life?

Do you hear the ranting of a dead God? 
Who constantly condemns,  who seeks only the destruction of the wicked;  who demands, threatens and punishes human beings into submission and obedience?  

Or do you hear the Voice of  the Living God?
Who welcomes you and forgives you;  Who constantly raises you up when you fall;  Whose compassion and desire for reconciliation with His children knows no limits and has no conditions attached?

Do you believe in a dead God?  
Who requires that you have your "spiritual ticket punched" in church on Sunday mornings?  Who never ventures out of His "house", your Parish Church?  Who never ventures out of the compartment of your life where you have enshrined (that is, chained) Him?  
Or do you believe in the Living God?
Who is constantly present in your life,  with you at the family dinner table or at the office conference table?  

Do you believe in the Living God?  
Who is the object and center of your life, and not just an accessory?

Our God is not a God of death -- not a God of remoteness, or passivity, or separation.  
Our God is the God of life, of joy, hope, and re-creation.

Very often, we try to make God fit our image of Him.  And by forcing God to fit our yardstick of what is right and wrong --  by forcing God to fit our expectations of who is worthy of blessing and who is worthy of damnation --  we kill, within our souls, the image of the One, True God.

The hypothetical situation the Sadducees concocted to trap the Lord Jesus  reflects a very shallow image of God and His love for human beings.  The Sadducees' behavior mirrors to our tendency to see God as the end of life rather than the beginning of life.  

The Sadducees demonstrate how we try to squeeze and pry God into our image  rather than see ourselves as being made in God's image.   The Sadducees' behavior illustrates how we try to confine God to our rules and expectations,  to our legalistic, "tit-for-tat" reasoning of how we say things should be.

And so, for some people, God is dead.  Forcing God to fit our yardstick and our expectations,  kills, within our souls, the true image of the One, Life-giving  God.  

This can only happen if we allow our spiritual lives to die of neglect and hunger.  

Our spiritual life is the "yes" we give to God's Word made known to us in Jesus Christ; 
our spiritual life is a journey toward God;  it is a process of deepening our relationships 
with GOD and with one another, as the Lord Jesus taught us.

If we let our spiritual lives just hobble along, crippled, avoiding every opportunity God offers us to know Him better, avoiding every opportunity to feel His love for us, avoiding every opportunity to conquer our sinful habits, to do works of charity, to do penance to fast, to pray, and to meet Him in His Sacred Scriptures -- then, God will be dead to us.  

When we allow our spiritual life to wither and deteriorate, then our image of the living God will fade away -- because our spiritually deprived imaginations will eclipse the image of the living God with a distorted image of a dead, lifeless God.

Thanks be to God for His Son, our Lord Jesus.  Our Lord Jesus opens up our narrow vision of God beyond the limits of our imagination -- to allow us to see the possibilities for forgiveness, generosity, and humility that are the life and the love that the Living God has for us!

Our response to the Lord Jesus' call to be His disciples  begins with opening our minds and our spirits  to becoming what God intends us to become: God's very cherished children.  

To become "the children of God,”  “the ones who will rise," we must renew our spiritual lives through immersing ourselves in the Gospel's vision of love of God and of neighbor, 
and by prayer and selfless service, and by the Sacraments of Eucharist and of Reconciliation.

"God is not God of the dead, but of the living..." Our Lord Jesus said.  

So, is your God "dead" or "alive"?

May what Saint Paul prayed for, for all of us who follow Jesus Christ, be granted to us, God’s children:
"May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ." 
[2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5],9171,941816,00.html
December 26, 1969 - Cover Credit: PETER GEE

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.