Definitions, and, Why They Matter

Context: the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed

Tolerance: the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with

Love: an intense feeling of deep affection

Judgement: the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions

Pope: the bishop of Rome and the earthly head of the One Holy and Apostolic Church

Now, on the front these may not seem like they are related and that I have no clear purpose, but in the last week I’ve been told that:

  • I dislike someone for the sole fact that they are gay and I’m judgemental
  • I am more tolerant, liberal and loving than my friend. A friend that I happen to agree with on everything
  • That I/we shouldn’t judge because both Jesus and the Pope didn’t judge.

It frustrates me beyond belief. 

I love people but loving isn’t about making sure they are happy it is about wanting what’s best for them. Loving an alcoholic doesn’t mean you love them drinking alcohol. Loving my homosexual friends doesn’t mean I love their actions or support their marriages.

Separating the action from the person is something that is possible, but so many people are not able to disengage the person from the action.

Fact: I don’t like Kathleen Wynne and think she will be a terrible premier of Ontario. For the following reasons:

  • The Ontario Liberals have already turned Ontario from a have province to a have-not province
  • She has tried to pass extremely explicit sex ed programs for schools (including Ontario Catholic Schools)
  • She has cost Ontario 1 billion dollars due to some failed gas plants
  • She believes that government should be involved in the minutiae of everybody’s life
  • One of her former advisors has been arrested for exploitation of a child

She also happens to be a lesbian. But her sexual orientation had nothing to do with my decision to dislike her as a politician.

I have a friend who is loving, caring and wonderful and who also happens to be gay. I don’t love him any less, however, he is under the impression that I am accepting of his engagement and pending “marriage”. I don’t. He and I aren’t close and homosexuality and the Catholic teaching on it are so often misunderstood that I don’t like getting into it on my Facebook page. I keep it to easy topics like life issues and Jesus. 

The common threat with both accusations is Pope Francis. In both of the Facbook threads Pope Francis’ “who am I to judge” quote reared its ugly head (seriously, that quote is like a hydra. The heads just keep growing) and how Jesus asks us not to judge but love. Because Jesus never judges.

…..

The problem with these phrases and misconception is that people miss the context. Context is important because it tells us the intentions of the speaker.

“Then you spoke of the gay lobby. Goodness knows! So much is written of the gay lobby. I still have not met one who will give me the identity card with “gay”. They say that they exist. I think that when one meets a person like this, one must distinguish the fact of being a gay person from the fact of doing a lobby, because not all lobbies are good. That’s bad. If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in such a beautiful way, it says, Wait a bit, as is said and says: “these persons must not be marginalized because of this; they must be integrated in society.” — Pope Francis

And what about Jesus?

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. – John 7:24

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. – Matthew 18: 15-18

 3 For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; 10 not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber–not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.” – 1 Corinthians 5: 3-13

Jesus asks us to judge in order to lead others to Him. Pope Francis doesn’t judge those of “good will” who are “seeking the Lord”. Honestly and intentionally seeking the Lord means chastity. Chastity is contrary to premarital sex, support of same sex “marriage” and support of homosexual acts. We are asked to lead these people to Christ. This requires judgement and admonishment.

I, personally, would rather that someone tell me that I’m being sinful (especially if it is a mortal sin) and let me know rather than be non-judgemental and letting me risk my own salvation. 

Mortal sin separates us from God and his graces. This is why the sacrament of Reconciliation is so important.

The final judgement, the final word, is always God. He sees our souls and upon our death he will purify us in purgatory (provided we are willing). But, and this is big, we are still responsible for getting each other into heaven. We can’t rely on being non-judgemental and hoping they will find Jesus on their own. Jesus commands:

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. — Matthew 28:19-20

So, in summation:

Tolerance: Not restricting or discriminating against people that you disagree with or dislike

Love: Accepting a person, and loving them for their inherent dignity, without enabling or accepting their sinful actions. Wanting what is best for a person.

Context: the most important thing to consider when you are quoting a person

Judgement: separating the sin from the person. Admonishing the sin because you love them and want what is best for them

Pope: a son of the Church

But, and this is a big, huge, important but, we must remember that all of what we do must, first and foremost, come from a place of charity.

If charity is lost our message is lost.

And if our message is lost we have failed at Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations. 

Advertisements

Frivolous Lunacy

I am tired of writing about things that matter. I feel like this blog has taken a slightly depressing turn of late.

 

And I am SUPER unimpressed with OECTA’s decision to be involved with the Pride Parade in Toronto. It only reaffirms my belief that public schools shouldn’t be allowed to label themselves as Catholic.

 

Anywho, my work handed out pedometers and issued a challenge to us employees to see who can accomplish the most distance between June 23 and September 23rd. The goal is to see if, site wide, we can accumulate the distance to say that we’ve “walked to Jupiter”. Which is 36000 km.

Which is 395 km a day for the 91 days of this challenge. I did the math. 3600 would be like 39km.

 

So my goal is the nice round number of: 680km. Which is about 7.5km a day (my daily goal).

 

Here is how it is going to work:

-I’m going to walk home from work (about 4.5km)

-I am going to go for runs 3 mornings a week (about 1km, still working up my run tolerance again. I’m woefully out of shape compared to last summer)

-The random walking around you do during the day

-the stairs in my apartment building.

 

So, ultimately, I’m thinking it won’t be hard to accumulate the 7km/day goal.

 

I’m also going to be tracking cals, weight, and pace. So we will see how it goes. I plan on posting updates and maybe even divulge the weight situation (*15 pounds heavier than last July!)

 

Walking music?! Don’t mind if I do:

 

 

Also I got to make some spreadsheets! My favourite. I’ll share those once some super OCD data in them. I’m concerned I have some sort of spreadsheet, list making OCD but I’m not sure if that’s a thing. My momma says our family is inclined towards degrees of OCD. lol

 

 

ALSO,

I saw Jersey Boys. Walk, don’t run, and see that stuff! It’s so good. I’ve been wanting to see the stage show for ages, but this is as close as I’m getting for now.

 

Public “Catholic” Education

Hello, my name is Rebecca.

I am graduate of 7 years of public catholic education in Ontario, Canada.

And I don’t think that Catholic schools should be publicly funded.

  • I mused a little bit about the Devil in a previous post. I didn’t learn about him while I was in Catholic school. I learned feel good religion.
  • I learned that volunteering is important because it makes us feel good. Look how blessed we are that we can help others because we have so much!
  • I learned that Jesus wants us to happy and as long as we aren’t hurting anyone, we’re okay.
  • I learned that if you are going to have sex (it was more of a “when” than an “if”) to do it safely. And by safely they meant with contraception.
  • In science I learned that faith and science weren’t incompatible, but we didn’t learn about any of the number of Catholic contributions to science.
  • I learned that religious education had everything to do with “feel-good” movies and the Beatitudes.

In short, I learned nothing of Catholicism.

I am not saying that public schooling is bad. All I am saying is that schools can be Catholic or they can be public. It is impossible for them to be both.
Catholics, and every offshoot of Catholic education has a requirement to be faithful to the Pope, and the Magisterium. Public education is accountable to the government and the public. Whose whims are fickle and whose cries of tolerance are inherently intolerant to most things Catholic.
If you want your children to be raised Catholic, you can’t rely on the school system. In fact, you mustn’t.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) dictates:

2224 The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies.

2225 Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the “first heralds” for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church.34 A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one’s life.

2226 Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.35 The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents. – Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church

Even if homeschooling isn’t an option it is still the parents duty to educate children in matters of faith.
But you have to do so with joy and sound knowledge. From experience I can tell you that if you sound bland or say “we do this because it is what Catholics do”, you will lose the audience. I spend the better part of 7 years try to answer the whys of the world and of myself not knowing the answers with in the Catholic Church already. I was just never taught where to find them.
Once I learned that relativism and just being a good person doesn’t bear good fruits (as my Catholic education had taught me). I realized how profoundly my Catholic education had failed me.

Things I believe all Catholics should be taught:

The importance of the Holy Spirit and the Sacraments. How to have the Church at the centre of your life and why it is important in regards to social issues like abortion, contraception, euthanasia and gay marriage.

Catholics need to learn why the Eucharist is considered the Source and Summit of the Catholic Faith. They need to learn why the Sacrament of Reconciliation is so important. They need to learn that the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit* can, in fact, make the world a better place.

And government is swayed by popular opinion. The Catholic Church isn’t and it mustn’t be treated as such. Catholics need to learn that first and foremost their duty is to their faith in the Church.  This is why public Catholic education will never succeed, public schools teach us that self comes first.

 


*The gifts of the  Holy Spirit are: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity.  Think of how much better the world would be if these things were emphasized in public school.

Also, I will say not all my teachers were bad. I did have one teacher who taught briefly the Aquinas Proofs for God’s existence, on his own throwing out that year’s textbook. My understanding of the these proofs isn’t the best, but his teaching them kept me searching for God when I was away from the Church.

The Devil Doesn’t Exist

Satan doesn’t exist. It’s true. I don’t believe in him. Sure, I believe in Jesus. But that is because I’m a good person. Jesus doesn’t judge. As long as you’re a good person, you’ll be on his good side. Jesus is great. But religion, especially the Catholic Church, gets it wrong. Jesus just wants us to love and be happy.

My boyfriend and I love each other, we aren’t married and children would be inconvenient. Jesus was all about the love, and because my boyfriend and I love each other, He won’t care that we are participating in the one (and only!) act that creates a new person even though we have no intention of having children yet. That is why we use contraception, we are being safe. We don’t want to be punished with a child. But how else can we show love?

Sure there is a chance I might get pregnant, but you know what? I have options. I’ll have an abortion. I know people say it is murder but it isn’t. Murder is killing a contributing member of society, a fetus isn’t a real person yet so it isn’t contributing to society. It isn’t murder.

Everyone knows that murder is wrong, but abortion doesn’t count! Even though science says you are killing a life with unique DNA and a heartbeat, it would be an inconvenience right now. So Jesus doesn’t mind if I kill the fetus. Jesus understands, I have to finish school before I can have a baby. Plus, I love my boyfriend and he doesn’t want children. I’m sure Jesus will forgive me. He understands I’m in love. He wouldn’t have made sex fun otherwise.

People ask why my boyfriend and I don’t get married. I mean, we live together, sleep together and a pretty much married but we don’t think it’s important. It is just a piece of paper. And I don’t think it is right to get married until marriage is equal for everyone. Homosexuals love each other, they need to be married before my boyfriend and I will. Love and sex aren’t something that the government should be able to legislate.

I know some people say that homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to get married, but that isn’t fair. Like I said before, marriage is just a piece of paper. It is an outward sign people love each other and are going to commit to each other. Maybe have kids, but only if the time is right. Jesus wanted everyone to be loving and happy. Gays want to be married, so they should be happy. Jesus would want this. Because you don’t HAVE to have babies when you have sex. And besides, gays can always adopt or hire a surrogate. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. In fact, it is better. Because there are no surprises, you can wait and plan for the time to be right.

See, the Devil can’t exist. There is no reason for it. Jesus said to love one another and not to judge. There is no reason to be unhappy. I mean, sure, the Devil might exist when people murder someone or rape someone. But that is really the only thing. Jesus is love. And when you love someone you want them to be happy. No matter what. As long as no one is getting hurt, Jesus is happy.

 

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. — The Usual Suspect


The Devil works in seemingly small inconvenient ways. He convinces you that your happiness matters above all. He convinces you that is what Jesus wants.

 

What he doesn’t tell you is that when you sin you distance yourself from God. That little twinge of guilt? That little niggle of discomfort? That feeling in your stomach that something isn’t quite right? That is Jesus, trying to tell you that you aren’t making Him happy.

Jesus’ love is completely selfless. He wants us to be happy, but not in the same way the Devil does. Jesus wants us to be happy eternally. The Devil wants us to be happy now. The Devil is about instant gratification and a culture of justification.

The Devil was that little wiggle of doubt in Martin Luther’s brain when he decided marriage was no longer a sacrament and shouldn’t be governed by religion. In the 1500s marriage became nothing more than a piece of civil legislation. “Marriage is a civic matter.  It is really not, together with all its circumstances, the business of the church.”  It is so only when a matter of conscience is involved.” (“What Luther Says” CPH 1959, Vol. II, page 885)

 

The Devil was that little voice inside the head of Margaret Sanger as she championed the fight for birth control and eugenics. It was the devil that championed the call for no more babies! and that “birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race”. No gods, no masters, indeed.


The Devil was the influence on the Protestant religious leaders during the 1930s Lambeth conferences when the decision was made to allow married couples to use contraception. Marriage without the requirement for babies!


Yes, the Devil got busy in the 20th century. He is the voice inside the same-sex marriage advocates heads when they say, “why not us! We are in love, we aren’t having babies. What makes us different?”

 

The Devil has worked hard to have Christians devalue sex, Christianity and human life. And the churches have fallen. One by one. Which makes it easier for him to succeed. For us to listen to him and ignore the light of truth and love that Jesus provides.

 

Sex and marriage became selfish. Sex without responsibility. Loving after every part of the person except for the part that truly made you one flesh. The part that truly made you one. This is the reason marriages are failing. We have lost the true meaning of love, or sex, of marriage. Love became a feeling. Something you can lose as quickly as you’ve gained it. Love and lust became interchangeable. Lust is a feeling, love is a decision. Marriage was no longer a forever commitment but instead a decision to love a person until you don’t any more.

So, the where the Devil treads, selfishness follows.

The Devil was busy when gay couples started asking for children. Because it was fair. Because it will make them happy.  Christians, hell, humanity had devalued children so much that instead of remaining the outward sign of the shared love and responsibility of their parents they became accessories. Something you get when you are ready. When you’ve earned them.

 

Manufacturing children devalues humanity further. Creating children in a lab purposely depriving children of their heritage. Depriving children of one of their parents does nothing for society. It turns men into studs and women into breeders. Children are left wondering, not knowing their history is from.  The Devil made it so children were no longer an outward sign of total and self-giving long. Children were now a sign of status. Of selfishness.

The Devil does exist. That fact needs to be acknowledged. He exists in every act of selfish love, intolerance, bigotry and hatred. In the fleeting happiness of relativism.

Jesus doesn’t want us to be happy right now. Jesus wants us to be happy forever. The gratification isn’t immediate, but the rewards are eternal. It isn’t hard, it isn’t complicated. It’s following the commandments that his Church has always upheld. It is standing up every time you fall. It is about asking for forgiveness.  It gets easier the more you heed his call to sin no more.

“And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.” – John 8:11 RSV-CE

Source: CatholicSistas.com

7 Quick Takes: The Music That Makes Me Happy Edition

I don’t really like Christian music. But sometimes I need to listen to some happy music. Especially lately when everything has been a bit of a downer, all the shootings, the Boko Haram, the Euthanasia. So I drown out my crazy worries in song (and prayer). And here are my current favourites. [WARNING: I like Broadway, so there might be a lot of that, but I’m making this up on the fly. So who knows]. All these songs make me smile. Fact.

— 1 —

I Believe – The Book of Mormon Official Soundtrack

Yep, this is kind of a weird choice. But, full disclosure, I’ve always had this weird fascination with Mormons. Although they are a theologically wrong, I’ve always admired their committment to their beliefs. And even though this musical is a comedy, but I like this song because it reminds me that professing your faith, and living your faith is something you have to do in entirety. You have to share it. And you can’t just “believe partway, you have to believe in it all”

— 2 —

Fireflies – Faith Hill

I just like this song for its whimsy. The bible says we are supposed to have faith like child, and I think thisong is a perfect reminder of the easy whimsy and belief of childhood.

— 3 —

93 Million Miles – Jason Mraz

This one is just great. Listen to it, it is pretty self explanatory, to me anyway.

— 4 —

How I Go – Yellowcard ft. Natalie Maines

On the upfront, this may not seem like a feel good song. But I love it. It is beautiful. And it is from my favourite band. So that’s a win. I just love the score.

— 5 —

Lollipop – Mika

It is just impossible to listen to this song and not smile. It’s the truth.

— 6 —

Do You Hear The People Sing? (from the Epilogue) – Les Miserables

This whole musical is a bundle of depressing, but it ends on a really positive note. And I like that. Plus this clip has my favourite Enjorlas (Aaron Tveit). He’s been a favourite of mine since Next to Normal.

— 7 —

 
One Thing – One Direction

 
I’m a fan. I’ve always had a silly weakness for boy bands, but this song is just so happy. And that is just great.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Faith, Hope and Trust in a Godless Society

Yesterday, the province of Quebec passed a law legalizing euthanasia for adults in their province. Even though it violates Canadian federal law. It was barely covered in the news because of a shooter on the loose in Moncton.

 

I’ve never felt so hopeless for humanity, especially in Canada where things like shooting sprees just don’t happen. Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The beginning of the end of the 2nd World War. I can’t help but think that all that those soldiers fought for was in vain. How much have things really changed?

Sure, Hitler is dead and the Nazis didn’t take over Europe. But Hitler’s politics, his belief what he was fighting for. That didn’t die with him. Hitler was about creating a master race. He was all about eugenics and getting rid of who he declared as undesirable. And 70 years on, as we celebrate the triumph at D-Day we still see strains of the eugenics in our world. I generally avoid bring up Hitler, or the Nazis in arguments because no one ever takes it seriously, but it this case it seems so appropriate.

Euthanasia is all about getting rid of undesirables, those that are damaged in some way. That we see as less than perfect who don’t deserve to live. Sure we package it up into pretty language by saying we are easing their pain and it will only been in extreme cases when palliative care just isn’t good enough. But this is an illusion, it is only a matter of time before we turn into Belgium, or into the Netherlands. In 2002, Belgium legalized euthanasia for terminal patients in extreme pain. Recently they legalized euthanasia at all ages. Including children.

And studies have shown that doctors often euthanize patients without patients explicit request. So the shiny package of euthanasia is a slope that can lead to worse things. According to the report I’ve linked to, 52% of men over 80 didn’t explicitly request it. So someone made the decision to end someone else’s life. Which is murder. But now it is legalized murder.

Murder is wrong. Everyone knows this. So what do we have to do to start to see change in our world. How can we keep fighting a battle when it seems like we are losing all the time. How can we get better when everything just keeps falling apart. 

Am I on the wrong side of things? Sometimes I feel like I am. Because it is hard being on this side of the debate. It is hard being on the side of truth, dignity and life when everything is pushing back. I always thought the culture of death was an overblown exaggeration but I’m not sure anymore. And as much as I’d love to give up the fight, I know that I can’t. Being on the side of truth is never easy. We have to have faith that things will change. And, as Arthur Weasley says in the 5th Harry Potter movie, “truth will out”. Trust in truth and right will win. But we have to have faith.

 We have to have faith, but we also have to change the things we can. We have to stand up and fight back. We need to hope and pray  that things we can’t control will change. We have to hope and pray for conversions of heart by being leading, loving examples. We can never compromise but lead with charity and love.

And we need to trust. We need to trust in Truth and trust in the natural law. That people will start to see that violating life at any stage is an offense to all of us. 

And when we have legalized murder in the form euthanasia and abortion, it is easier and easier for people to kill others. Murderers can start using arguments that abortionists and euthanasia doctors use. That person was an inconvenience so I killed them or that person was trampling on my right to freedom, so I killed them. They may not get away with killing their neighbour for that reason. But an unborn child or an elderly relative, it is legal.

And until this do change, I pray. I pray like crazy. And hope. And trust. And have faith. Because there is not thing else to hold on to. Everything else has failed. The Church has always remained as a beacon of life in a dark world.

And that is why the Church will never change, and always remain. Because no other organization holds up life and human dignity as much as the Catholic Church. And the Church offers hope. And with out life and hope, what else have we got?

Where I’ve Been…

I’ve been such a bad blogger lately. I’ve been in a weird funk and I don’t know how to get out. And I’ve been busy as hell. 

I like to live things slowly. I like planning and lists and I’m not really thrilled when thinks go other wise. I try to claim that I’m super flexible and laid back. But that is kind of a lie. 

Thinks are, thankfully, looking to calm down and I have about 85 half-written posts so once things calm back I want to get things on a roll again. 

I did start running again. So that is a positive. Running always helps me clear my mind and get things straightened out and I got a new app on my phone to help me keep track of all my craziness (shout out to Evernote and digital to-do lists!!) 

 

Anyways. I promise I will try to get back on my regular scheduled blogging next week.