Christian Unity – Vine and branch

+JMJ+ Welcome to Day 2 of a special series of posts for the Octave of Christian Unity.  I’m using one of my favorite meditation starters, In Conversation with God (ICWG hereafter), a seven-volume set published by Scepter, written by Fr. Francis Fernandez Carvajal. I’ve used it for years and it never gets old. As always, you’ll find notes and links at the end of this post.

The first image Fr. Carvajal mentions in this day’s meditation is the image of the Vine and the branches. He says that there was a sculpture of an immense golden vine in the vestibule of the Temple. So Jesus here is using an image familiar to His disciples. If the branches remain on the vine, they thrive. But if they are removed, they dry up and wither. (ICWG, vol. 6, p. 27.)

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Weekly Series on the Soul, Part 43 – Material, Immaterial or Both?

+JMJ+ Welcome to part 43 of our weekly series on the soul. I may stop this series at part 50 so I can focus on another series. So let’s dig into the book, Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting. We talked about the Hebrew words and concepts of nephesh and ruach last time. They make an appearance this week, too, as Dr. Cooper reminds us that ancient Hebrew anthropology is not exactly the same as our modern anthropology, or exactly like the ancient Christian one, either. And we have to watch out so that we are not guilty of reading notions into the text that simply are not there. I’m going to backtrack a little before going to the next chapter, and let Dr. Cooper talk more about holism, monism and the Old Testament.

Continue reading “Weekly Series on the Soul, Part 43 – Material, Immaterial or Both?”

Religious leaders leading others, but not to religion

This is one of the most disgusting things I’ve read lately.

Scripture neither condemns nor prohibits abortion. It does, however, call us to act compassionately and justly when facing difficult moral decisions. Scriptural commitment to the most marginalized means that pregnancy, childbearing, and abortion should be safe for all women. Continue reading “Religious leaders leading others, but not to religion”

Religiosity, who needs it?

I guess I’m going to have to start a new category for the blog. The “things I hear people say that blow me away” category. The other day the thing that blew me away was having a Christian tell me that, not only was the Bible just a book written by men, but it is also based on dreams. :O Today I was listening to Catholic radio and I heard a gentleman caller tell the hosts of the show that he doesn’t understand why his wife, who is not Catholic, cannot receive Holy Communion at Mass (which I will address in a separate post), and (it gets worse) now he doesn’t think he needs “religiosity” (or the Church or anything else) based upon the words of the Lord Himself in His conversation with the centurion. Continue reading “Religiosity, who needs it?”

Just a book written by men, huh?

Over the last few weeks I’ve had some interesting conversations with fellow believers. At least, I thought they were fellow believers…until we had these conversations. I have among my many friends two women who grew up in different states, coming from different backgrounds, one black, one white, both Baptist. The black friend has never shown any animosity toward me for my being Catholic. I can’t say the same for my white friend, who takes a sort of fiendish pleasure at making as many digs at me as she can about the Church every time we meet. Continue reading “Just a book written by men, huh?”

The Bible says nothing about abortion, oh really?

The other day someone actually tried to tell me that the Bible only mentions the killing of a child in the womb one time, so the Bible isn’t really against abortion. Good grief. Of course, this same person also tried to tell me that he knew all about Catholicism and the Catholic Church, even though he left that Church as a kid. Judging from our talk, he stopped believing in God and the Church at about the same time he stopped believing in Santa Claus. Continue reading “The Bible says nothing about abortion, oh really?”

Why do Catholics…

When people discover I’m Catholic, certain questions tend to come up time and time again. Below I’ve listed four that I hear most often, followed by a brief reflection. Continue reading “Why do Catholics…”