Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Welcome To The Catholic X-Files! (The What?)

(The What?)

The Catholic Jedi Academy Blog is pleased to introduce you to it's "Library's" Special Files: The Catholic X-Files. 

The Catholic X-Files will present faithful Catholic teaching on Psychics, Mediums, Seances, Angels, Demons, Satan, ESP, Black Magic, Clairvoyance, Doomsday Prophecies and other topics -- in order to fight the lies of The "New Age" and The Occult. 

The Catholic X-Files are being collected and edited, and as new topic files are ready to publish, you will see them available on the Catholic Jedi Academy Blog. 

Just look for the link on the Academy's sidebar to access our expanding topic lists!

Friday, July 11, 2014

People Aren't Dirt: They're Soil!

     In the course of a lifetime, most of us will have had the experience of hearing someone completely strip another person of their human dignity and worthiness.  Perhaps you have done this yourself.
     For instance, you pronounce judgment upon someone you feel is a disgrace or lazy or incompetent.
     You tell them, “You are the lowest form of life.”  "You’re worthless." "You’re a waste of skin." "You’re nothing." “You’re dirt.”
     There’s an interesting reality about those we consider “dirt.”  It comes from Our Lord Jesus Christ.  To Him, people weren’t worthless “dirt.” Rather, people were like different types of soil.

(Image source unknown.)
[13:1-23]   On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.  Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
"A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.  It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots.  Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.  But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear."
 The disciples approached him and said, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"
He said to them in reply, "Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because  they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.
Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
“’You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted, and I heal them.’
 "But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.   Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.  
"Hear then the parable of the sower.   The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground  is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."

     As Catholics, you and I have the obligation of sewing “seeds” -- planting “seeds” in the soil of  people’s lives.  “Seeds” of kindness, hope,  faith,  forgiveness,  patience, compassion.

      Our Lord Jesus teaches us something critically important in His Parable of  The Sower And The Seeds. 
(Image source unknown.)
The Sower -- Our Lord  Jesus -- casts the seeds in every direction, into every kind of soil:  The soil of the footpath, the rocky soil, the soil with thorns growing, and the good soil. And while he is casting the seed, the Sower doesn't know which soil will produce a harvest and how much of a harvest will result.  It all depends upon the soil!  And regardless of whether the future results may be fruitful or not, the Sower sews the seeds into every kind of soil.
     That is what you and I must do. Give people -- who are considered the lowest form of life, worthless, a waste of skin, nothing, dirt -- the benefit of  doubt:  To believe something good about those persons,  rather than something bad, when you have the possibility of believing either.

(Image source unknown.)
     Once upon a time, a retired priest sat in the rectory garden enjoying the afternoon sun.  He looked up suddenly to see the newly ordained bishop of the diocese walking toward him.  
     The elderly priest, delighted, struggled to get up and welcome his visitor.
    “Father, may I sit with you a while?”  The elderly priest and his young bishop began to chat and to trade various stories of life as priests.
     The bishop said, "I must tell you a story: 
“Several years ago, a group of college students had spent an afternoon drinking.  They were walking past a little church.  An elderly priest was inside hearing Confessions.  One of them had an idea: Let's list the worst sins we can think of and flip a coin to see who goes in and confesses them!  It'll be a riot to see how the old priest reacts!  But one of them said, 'Well, seeing how it's your idea, put up or shut up.  I bet you $20.00 you haven't got the guts to do it!’  The first guy took up the challenge.  A list of sins was drawn up and he went inside.
     “He came out of the church a few minutes later brandishing a piece of paper.  ‘Pay me, he said. Here's proof that I went to confession.’ He showed them the paper. His friends asked what the paper was.  “It's my penance,’ he said.  'Didn't the priest say anything?' They asked. 'Nothing -- he just handed me the paper.'  ‘Well   have you done the penance?’  'Don't be silly -- I'm not going to do any penance!'  'Uh-huh, yes you are,' his buddies said, 'We won't pay until you do the penance!'
     "So, he went back into the church and read the paper. 'Kneel before the crucifix at the altar and repeat ten times: All this you did for me and I don't give a damn.'   'No problem,'  he thought, and he knelt before the crucifix. 
     “But, he couldn't do it.  He sawed the nailed hands and feet, and the infinite in the eyes of the Crucified Christ.  'A half-hour later, his buddies wondered what had happened to him and went inside.  They found him crying like a baby at the altar rail.
     "Well, Father," the bishop said, "That's the story -- except for two things:  I was that young college student.  You were the priest!"

Like the Sower and the soil, and the elderly priest and the bishop, you and I may never know what good will be realized from planting the smallest seeds of kindness, of hope, of faith we plant in others.

If we don't allow ourselves to become impatient, or discouraged or intimidated away from what is good and right because others might misinterpret, misunderstand or ridicule it,  you and I can bring forth a rich harvest in very unexpected soil -- in people whom we might not expect to accept and live the Gospel!
“Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

One Nation Under god: Which god?

The One, True God: The Blessed Trinity
On this weekend in which we celebrate Independence as a nation, I find myself reminded of the Jewish people, the Israelites, who were waiting for a Savior to free them. 

The Book Of The Prophet Zechariah [9:9-10] communicates the LORD’S promise to His People, the Israelites:
 “Thus says the LORD: Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.  He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; the warrior's bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations.  His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.”

The Israelites fought for their political and national independence for over 3,000 years.  They were slaves to the Egyptians, exiled to Babylon, subjected to Greek military takeover and then Roman military takeover.  They have been persecuted in our own times by the Nazis, the Soviet Communists, and Muslim Extremists.  The Jews’ national life has been precarious and difficult.

Our life as a nation has been easier.  We've been blessed in many ways.  

We are wealthy in natural resources.  
Until the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011, our soil had been free of war
   since 1865.  

We have the highest standards of living in the world.  
We are leaders in world affairs, technology, and the exploration of outer space.  
We are an in-dependent  nation.  However...

Five questions haunt me during our celebration of Independence Day.  

First:   Are we losing sight of the truth that God has created human beings to be
inter-dependent  --  are we losing sight of depending on God and each other
           for our personal and national growth and happiness?

Second: Are we, as individuals and as a nation, becoming independent of GOD, setting
              up our own gods? 

Third: Who -- or what -- are our national gods, our false idols in the United States?  
Is it the almighty dollar, celebrities, the gross national product, our movies
              and TV and entertainments, our possessions?  Psychics and Mediums?

              The Internet? Drugs? Sex? Pornography? Leisure time? Football? Shopping?

The god Moloch, to whom babies and
children were burned as sacrifices.

Fourth: Can we proudly say that our nation is still 
                built upon the unchallengeable,
inalienable liberties that protect the 

                rights of all,  as we allow more than a
                million abortions of pre-born children per 

                year? As with the ancient Canaanites and
                later, the Israelites, who betrayed God and
                their Covenant with Him, we as a nation
                are now offering human sacrifices to the
                demonic god, Moloch (see image on left).

Fifth: Does our national moral code reflect 
               Gospel values like justice, modesty,
               compassion, humility, prayerfulness,
               moderation, fidelity, altruism, and

As human beings living in the democratic republic known as the United States of America,  our spiritual lives are directly influenced by the cultural, political, and social prerogatives of our day.   

In the embrace of our nation's Independence Day celebration,  perhaps we might reflect upon whether we, personally as individuals, are IN-dependent of God and one another, or dependent on God and blessed by our INTER-dependence on one another.

The words of Christ in Saint Matthew’s Gospel [11:25-30] show us how to live a life of true freedom:  A life built upon trusting God and helping one another carry our personal burdens. 
At that time Jesus exclaimed:  "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these  things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.  Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.  All things have been handed over to me by my Father.  No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.  Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

What God the Father has hidden from the sophisticated, the proud, and the clever,  He has graciously revealed to those who depend upon Him like the smallest children -- while they serve others, and suffer for justice,  make peace, and hunger for holiness.

During this Independence Day weekend, may we offer the Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, praise for the blessings of our free and bountiful nation:  by recommitting ourselves to dependence upon God and Christ-like inter-dependence upon one another. 

So as the Prophet Zechariah told the Israelites, and tells us, "rejoice heartily!  Shout for joy" on this weekend of celebrating our nation's Independence Day!  

And may God continue to bless these United States of America, and make us one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all -- born and unborn!

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.