Protecting Life

“If you need something to worship, then worship life – all life, every last crawling bit of it! We’re all in this beauty together!”
― Frank HerbertDune Messiah

“Thou shall not kill” – Exodus 20:13.

One of the mortal sins, which can prevent you from getting into Heaven if it is not absolved by a priest, and the person makes the proper repentance as God is merciful.  The mortal sins are those that violate the 10 commandments.  “Thou shall not kill (specifically, murder)” is one of those.  I have not murdered anyone or encouraged anyone to abort a baby, but both are murder.

No one should murder anyone, regardless of reason, and that includes embryos, which are unborn babies.  If a woman has an abortion, I am sure she has her reasons, but it is still murder.  She should consult the male boyfriend, husband, or perhaps it was from an affair; regardless it is not the innocent baby’s fault that the mother did not feel ready to have a baby.  Other options are available that protect life, such as adoption and putting the baby in an orphanage.  Protect life!

I am not just pro-life in this way.  I believe it is wrong to kill in an unjust war or if it violate a person’s conscience to be in a conflict that involves murder. Personally, for me, I could not murder a person under any reason.  It is a commandment that is very serious and one should not violate it.  Obviously, the Catholic person needs to contact his or her priest if he or she is involved in a war or conflict, and seek absolution or if the war is considered just, then no absolution may be necessary.

I believe all life is sacred and no one should murder another person, be in an embryo or an adult person.  The death penalty, personally, for me, I feel is wrong.  Taking a life for a wronged murder(s) does not equate justice.  It is better for that person to have life in prison rather than being killed.   Two wrongs (murder) do not equal a right or justice.

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Mary, Mother of God

Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, is venerated in the holy Roman Catholic Church.  She is not worshiped, but she is revered and above the saints.  We pray to her for intercession to our Lord Jesus Christ.  Protestants do not understand our reverence of Mary and confuse it with worship.  In the Early Church, at the beginning of its formation, she was given the title “Mother of God” and she is the Mother of God for she gave birth to God Incarnate in the form of Jesus Christ or God the Son (the second person in the Trinity).

When Jesus was dying on the cross, he told his beloved disciple, John, “Behold your mother.”  In this instance, Mary became all of our Mothers (for John was human, but became a saint upon his death after a long life of service to Jesus Christ) and Mother of the Roman Catholic Church, which is one of many reasons she is revered so highly in the Church.  Church Tradition (note the capital T) teaches us that Mary was assumed into Heaven, which is to say as she lay on her death bed, her dormition took place: God glorified her body, which is without sin as she was born sinless from her mother, St. Anne (known as the Immaculate Conception), and she was assumed into Heaven as Queen Mother of Heaven.

This is not the end of her story.  Whereas Jesus is the “Second Adam,” allowing for Redeemed humanity to be glorified and go to Heaven after taking in all the Sacraments and being free of mortal sin.  Mary is the “Second Eve,” the holy mother of Redeemed, glorified humanity.  She is glorified in Heaven and in the book of Revelation (also known as the Apocalypse of St. John), we see the description of her coronation in Heaven.  Twelve stars are her crown symbolizing the 12 disciples and 12 tribes of Israel with the “moon under her feet.”

Roman Catholics, as I soon will be, refer to Mary as Our Lady.  She has appeared to people over time in apparitions and miracles have taken place at these locations.  She visited children and people in Lourdes, France; Fatima, Portugal; and other locations around the world, such as Guadalupe, Mexico, in which she is known as Our Lady of the Americas and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Devotions to Our Lady are common, especially the rosary, which she instituted by instruction to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche.  Refer to my previous article about praying the rosary if you want to know more about it.

Praying the Rosary

The rosary is a simple prayer for Christians to pray, which is common practice among Roman Catholics (as I soon will be), and some Protestants pray it as well.  Actually, anyone can pray it, but if you want absolution from your sins, you have to go through a priest.  Anyway, the rosary is a devotional prayer presented to St. Dominic (founder of the Dominican Order) through a vision from Our Lady (the Blessed Virgin Mary) in the early 13th century.

It consists of 4 divine Mysteries that cover the life of Christ (with 5 events in each Mystery) and that of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The first is the Joyful Mysteries, which cover five events of the birth and infancy in the early life of Christ.  It begins with the Annunciation, in which the angel Gabriel tells the Blessed Virgin Mary (who was immaculately conceived from St. Anne and born without sin; also an eternal virgin) she is to be with child that Jesus is to be born from her womb due to the Holy Spirit coming over her to make her pregnant with God the Son.

The next Mystery is the Luminous, covering the events of Christ’s ministry, and then the Sorrowful (the suffering and death of Jesus), and finally the Glorious, which include the ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, and concluding with her coronation in Heaven as the Holy Queen of Heaven (Queen Mother; not God’s ‘bride’; described in the Book of Revelation).

Now, to the important part; how to pray the rosary?  Well, first you make the sign of the cross and say the Apostles’ Creed.  Second, you say an Our Father; third, three Hail Mary’s, fourth, say a Glory Be; fifth, announce the First Mystery (the first event in whatever Mystery you are praying as described above); sixth, say an Our Father; seventh, say 10 Hail Mary’s; eighth, a Glory Be and the Fatima prayer; ninth, repeat 6-8; tenth, say a Hail Holy Queen prayer, and end with the Concluding Prayer.

If you unaware of any of these terms or prayers, the Our Father is the Lord’s Prayer; the Hail Mary is from Scripture in which the angel Gabriel visits Mary; the Glory Be is “Glory be the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit”; the Fatima prayer was given to the children and later declared saints from the children who had a vision of Our Lady (the Blessed Virgin Mary) and she told the children to tell the people to add this to the rosary prayer – “Lord, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, and leads all souls to Heaven especially those in need of Thy mercy.  Amen.”  I could list the Hail Holy Queen and the Concluding Prayer, but if you want to learn to pray the rosary, it is easy to find via a Google search or by visiting any Catholic parish.

Those that pray the rosary are also given special protection, graces, build virtue, allow good works to flourish, and obtain divine mercy.  Those that pray it devoutly and focus on the Mysteries will not meet misfortune; sinners shall be converted, and receive all the Sacraments; at death, will discover the light of God and find great glory in Heaven.  Whatever you ask for while praying the rosary will be obtained; those who propogate the rosary will aided in all in the necessities; those who recite it will have the entire Celestial Court at their disposal; those who recite it will be the beloved children of Our Lady; it is a sign of predestination.  These are all the promises of those who pray the rosary from Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.

The 4 Mysteries of the Rosary:
1. Joyful
– The Annunciation (Luke 1:28)
– The Visitation (Luke 1:41-42)
– The Nativity (Luke 2:7)
– The Presentation (Luke 2:22-23)
– Finding Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:46).
2. Luminous
– Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16-17).
– Wedding at Cana (John 2:5-7).
– Proclaiming the Kingdom (Matthew 10:7-8).
– The Transfiguration (Luke 9:29, 35).
– Institution of the Eucharist (Luke 22:19-20).
3. Sorrowful
– The Agony in the Garden (Luke 22:44-45)
– The Scourging at the Pillar (John 19:1).
– Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:28-29).
– Carrying of the Cross (John 19:17).
– The Crucifixion (Luke 23:46).
4. Glorious
– The Resurrection (Mark 16:6).
– The Ascension (Mark 16:19).
– Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4).
– The Assumption (Judith 15:9-10).
– The Coronation (Revelation 12:1).

Conversion Experience

I have mentioned in past articles for my love of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the rosary, and the beauty of Roman Catholic churches.  My life has taken a new turn.  In the past, I was lost in lust and in the temporal world.  Turning my life over to chastity (celibacy) seems to be my destiny as I no longer have sexual desire.  I can’t explain it – it just went away one day, and I believe God did it.  The Roman Catholic Church places special emphasis on those who live celibate lives, for that is what Jesus originally taught – that people should only have sex and marry (and not divorce) if they couldn’t live a celibate life.  Feel free to look it up; it is in chapter 19 of the Book of Matthew.

For this reason and my feeling a particular desire to become Catholic is the reason I am becoming Roman Catholic.  I pray the rosary every day (I am quite fond of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her son Jesus Christ), watch Daily Mass (about 6 months now), and been attending a regular Catholic Church for about 3 months now and presently enrolled in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), which will conclude a few weeks after Easter, when I will be officially a member of the Church after being baptized correctly, confirmed, and taking the Eucharist (formal wording for communion).

I know the Roman Catholic Church has its own issues, but it is the original Church of Christ established by St. Peter, the disciple of Christ and founder of the first Christian church, in Rome where he was martyred by means of upside down crucifixion.  I have three icons now (one of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Archangel Michael defeating Satan statue).  Anyway, while I am taking classes already, I must take steps of initiation to be fully accepted into the body of the Roman Catholic Church.  My first one is the Rite of Acceptance on Jan. 21, 2018.  There will be many more to follow before I am officially initiated and I have a sponsor as required by Church rules.

I plan to resign my membership at North United Church of Christ.  It is a good church and a good denomination, but the Roman Catholic Church is beckoning me to its call, and so I must listen to the Lord and follow that call.  Please understand and accept my decision.  You will find this blog to become more Catholic centered.  If you want to go to Heaven and be part of the Kingdom of God, you must be a Roman Catholic and take all the required Sacraments.  Once a Roman Catholic, you must go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession for absolution of your sins.  We do not judge who goes to Heaven, Purgatory or Hell. God decides that fate after death and during the Final Judgment after the Second Coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

One day, after much discerning and introspection, I hope to become a Catholic priest or monk of a holy order within the Church.  I believe, especially due to my celibacy and deep devotion, I am a good candidate for becoming a priest or monk within the Church.  Time will tell.

God bless you all and I wish everyone well onto their journey.

Advent of Light

*This was posted on beliefnet.com & shares some similarities w/ my Child of God Online article, but much shorter as it is a prayer for the season. Since it is uplifting, I am displaying it here (note: my Advent article is available here & on CoG Online).

Link: http://blog.beliefnet.com/prayerplainandsimple/2009/12/advent-prayer-day-13-coming-out-of-darkness.html
By: Claudia Mair Burney

“Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” John 3:1-2 NRSV

Why do you think Nicodemus came to Jesus at night? He already believed in him. Maybe the quiet nights, free from unruly crowds were the best time for Nicodemus to ask his most penetrating questions. Or maybe, he didn’t want the spiritual leaders he served with to know of his interest in Jesus. Jesus must have startled Nicodemus when he used the cloak of darkness surrounding them as a metaphor. He said, “For all who love evil hate the light, and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed.” Be it fear, depression, ignorance, or the darkness of sin in our lives, many, many people come to Jesus in their night.

Light of the world,

I’m not wise or self-aware enough to truly know your motivations. God’s Word says, “the heart is devious above all else; it’s perverse–who can understand it.” I’m asking for you to illuminate me. Nicodemus, in coming to you, came to the light. Help me, beloved Jesus, to come out of any form of darkness that may be surrounding me. You are good to make yourself available to me in the night, but I want to know you in the warmth of your blazing sun.

“Come, Lord Jesus.”

The holiday season is upon us. It is the season of light. Light comes from the darkness. For Jews, the celebration of Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the candle that stayed lit for eight days. This miracle is recorded in the Roman Catholic Bible books of Maccabees and Jewish tradition.
For Christians, like myself, it celebrates the light of life that has come to Earth to save us from our sin. This would be the Nativity, the birth of Jesus Christ. For with his birth, the saving light to take away the darkness is here and now. There was a TV series called Miracles that was briefly on the air. In the series, the same message came across: “God is Now Here.”
Thus, with Christmas, the Advent, the coming of the Light, the Living Word, is here upon this Earth. May you all be blessed this season with love, life, and light. Amen.

Angels

Angels exist in many religions, but particularly in Zoroastrianism, the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), and Mormonism.  They are considered the “messengers of God.”  In Judaism, they are considered countless and a part of the “heavenly hosts.”  This carries into Christianity, which inherited the belief, and provided a structure for the “choirs” of angels.  They consist of the lower order: virtues, powers, principalities, dominions, and thrones; angels, archangels, seraphim, and cheribum are among the higher order of angels.

Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions of Christianity have placed special devotion to a few particular archangels: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.  Michael is known as the archangel that will defeat Satan and place him in Hell where he many no longer harm humans in the final battle at the Last Days or Final Battle.  It is even to find Roman Catholic statues and statuettes of this prophetic battle.  Mormonism places emphasis on a particular set of angels that guide prophets, visionaries, and leaders in their faith, especially Joseph Smith who is believed to have been given the special revelation that Jesus appeared in the Americas after His resurrection.

In Islam, angels are a fundamental part of the faith.  Humans are also regarded as superior to angels in Islam.  In this faith, angels have particular duties:  at God’s throne, praising God, blessing the righteous in Paradise, and torturing the damned.

Angels also have a place in popular culture.  It is not uncommon to find pictures or statues of angels inside houses and churches.  They also have appeared in television (fictional accounts) in such series as Highway to Heaven and my personal favorite Touched by an Angel.  The latter has been very inspiring to me and uplifted my soul in times of distress or sadness, but also joy and inspiration.  In that series, the angels helped ordinary and extraordinary people in their daily lives and find God in the times of despair.

 

Taking away DACA is immoral

Exodus 12:49 and Leviticus 24:22 – “There shall be one law for the native and for the alien who resides among you.”

Deuteronomy 6:10-13 – The people of Israel are made aware that the land had come to them as a gift from God and they were to remember that they were once aliens.

Deuteronomy 10:18-19 – “For the Lord your God…loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing.  You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

I Chronicles 29:14-15 – David praises God:  “We are aliens and transients before you…”

Psalm 146:9 – “The Lord watches over the strangers…”

Ezekiel 47:21-22 – The aliens shall be to you as citizens, and shall also be allotted an inheritance.

Matthew 25:31-46 – “…I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

Hebrews 13:1-2 – “…show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels…”

As exemplified above, in the Old & New Testaments, God commands kindness and welcoming the stranger or alien (foreigner) among the native population.  The verses above are not the only verses in the Bible that state this message: there are many more.  Trump’s anti-immigration policies are not just immoral; they are anti-Christian.  I know evangelicals and fundamentalists view Trump as the Second Coming, but he is more like an Anti-Christ figure as he illustrates through all of his actions that he is the most unlike Christ.

If you consider a Jew, Christian, or Muslim; then you recognize the God of Abraham and know that She teaches compassion and to welcome and house the stranger or foreigner among you because once the Hebrews (Jews) were once aliens (foreigners) in Egypt before they gained their own land (Israel) and the prophets of God were taught to honor God by welcoming the foreigner among you.  In the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament (13:12), it says you may be “entertaining angels unaware” and there were many instances of this in the Old Testament.

However, that is not the main reason: the primary reason you are to welcome or house the foreigner (or migrant or immigrant) is because it is the right thing to do and the moral choice.  God is compassionate and merciful; loving and just; understanding and luminous (enlightening).  If you ever find yourself in a situation when an migrant, immigrant, or foreigner asks for your help, give it.  Read your Bible, Torah, or Qu’ran; welcome the foreigner among you as that is what God teaches us to do.  Amen.