Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This outta make "mainline Protestants" happy...

DURHAM, N.C. — For decades, mainline Protestants have been beset by bad news: declining numbers, aging membership, waning cultural influence. A new study from Duke University Medical Center, however, gives these Protestants one reason for cheer: they seem to have larger brains than born-again Christians, Roman Catholics and the religiously unaffiliated.
As a Roman Catholic, you'll have to forgive this pea-brained question: what's a "Mainline Protestant?"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Celebrate the anniversary of my Baptism with me!

By the grace of God, I'm celebrating with gratitude my Baptism into the Catholic Church, and wish to renew the vows made by my parents and godparents when I was a baby. Join me if you'd like to!

I reject Satan, and all his works, and all his empty promises.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.

Amen and alleluia!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Osama bin Laden: must he have been murdered?

Like, I hope, many people, my sister was quietly appalled at the blatant rejoicing of a death of a human being. On her Facebook page she wrote:
I'm trying to figure out the morality of this Bin Laden assassination. Although I don't think it's wrong, but indeed right and just, I don't think the death of another human being should be celebrated. For sure not in a manner reminiscent of New Year's Eve or some team championship.
I gave her post the old FB "thumbs up" and commented that it was well put. And it is well put.

But I need to go further.

I need to ask: was it necessary to kill this man, in the manner which, according to reports, he was killed?

To understand my question, you need to understand my perspective on all human life, on all creation. All creation is, or once was, good, created by a God who doesn't deal in creating crap.

You also need to understand that, from a Christian perspective, it is the duty of all to insure that all souls -- indeed, ultimately all bodies united with their souls -- end up in Heaven with the God who loved them into being.

When the news broke of the assassination, I obeyed without questioning the impulse -- or was it the prompting of the Holy Spirit? -- to pray for the man's immortal soul...to beg for mercy on him.

What followed -- what assaulted all of my senses -- was an eerie chorus of media-covered celebration. Celebration of a man's death.

I can, I believe, understand the all-too-human instinct to celebrate the end, please God, of the activities of a man driven to terrorist, terrifying, unholy acts.

But what I can't understand? The usurpation of a right belonging only to God: condemnation to Hell.

"Rot in Hell" was the headline blazing the New York Post. "Hell has a new citizen" wrote at least one Catholic priest on Facebook. It didn't end...it hasn't ended, although I hope it does soon.

"I disapprove," said Agatha Christie's famous detective Hercule Poirot, "of murder." I do too, and not just because "the Church says so" but because it robs a beloved-by-God soul of any chance repent for past sins.

And while I know nothing about the waging of war, the tactics of the battalion, I still have to ask: wasn't it at all possible to capture Osama bin Laden, rather than destroy him? To give him every opportunity available to save his soul?

Of course, despite what the New York Post and others who have presumed -- without any right to do so -- it may well be that his soul was saved, hard as this may be for you to believe.

I hope so. And I plan to continue to pray so. And to pray that in the future, we give our fellow human beings the basic right to repentance, and everlasting life.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Pray for us, Blessed Papa!