What kind of Church do you know?

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Perhaps you have met a Catholic Church who isn’t pastoral, merciful, caring. Perhaps you know a Church that is petty, hypocritical, selfish, and oppressive. Perhaps the Catholic Church you know isn’t accepting, but is hateful, judgmental and negative.

Let me tell you, if that is the case then you have not met the Catholic Church. You have met her fallen members. These members are sinners, they lie, they cheat, they steal. They aren’t perfect, but the Church is. The Catholic Church often gets a bad name because of the way her supposed faithful show her face in the world. Pope Francis is calling all of the Church’s faithful to reexamine the way they live their lives, and dedicate themselves to following the footsteps of Christ.

The Catholic Church stands firm as a moral compass and a beacon of truth that can never be destroyed and can never be extinguished. However, her members will fall. Her members will be rude, but they are trying to be right. They may be misinformed, misled, or deceived. However, Holy Mother Church will continually call them back to herself and remind them of the truth.

Pope Francis is doing just that. He is reminding those ‘so-called Catholics’ to better represent the Church. So in the footsteps of Pope Francis, and the reason why he should be Person of the Year, I leave you with a evangelical purpose. Hopefully this will inspire you to better live a life in line with the truth of the faith the Catholic Church professes.

Please watch this video: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0BFJBFNU

Marriage: United Under The Same Yoke

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Mortification especially keeps a man and a woman united in marriage. in fact, it cuts egotism in half, that stubborn self-affirmation that is the chief enemy. In marriage, mortification preserves love. It teaches couples to hold back hurtful words that cause bitterness and coldness and to speak only words that are good and that lead to mutual charity and edification.

Spouses can be described as “conjoined” (in Latin, coniuges), which etymologically means “united under the same yoke.” If that yoke is the yoke of the flesh, of pleasure, or only of duty, it very soon become heavy and unbearable. Jesus offers Christian spouses who live in the Spirit the possibility of becoming “conjoined” in an altogether different sense: They are “conjoined” because they are under the same yoke, Christ’s yoke, which is the yoke of love. He says to them, in a special way, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

You will find rest! This is why St. Paul exhorts those who marry to do so “in the Lord.” To marry in the Lord means far more than simply being married in the Church; it means putting the marriage under the lordship of Christ, entrusting a decision made in time to something that really belongs to eternity. If you marry relying only on your own feelings or on the enthusiasm of a love in the budding stage, when the initial love diminishes you will find yourselves faced with the obligation of loving forever, and duty all by itself will not be enough to sustain love. But if, on the other hand, you place your marriage relationship under the shelter of grace, if you have built on the rock that does not change, then you can always return to it again to find grace, finding the foundation for unity there every time. The words of the Prophet Zechariah are also relevant for those who marry: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”

 

This is an excerpt from: Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap. Sober Intoxication of the Spirit; Part Two: Born Again of Water and the Spirit Pg 57-58

How Dare Pope Francis Speak About Politics!

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I recently read this article called Pope Francis and Basic Economics written by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano. It upset me a little, because it wasn’t the first time I have heard someone criticize the first Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis called Evangelii Gaudium. The section Napolitano is discussing is in articles 53-60. I encourage you to read both before reading my opinion.

First of all, The Catholic Church has all the right in the world to teach on economics and politics and give her teaching on social thought. She is wise, and her guide is God and the natural law which lends to a social teaching which aims at establishing conditions in which the human person can flourish.

Second of all, Pope Francis never once attacks capitalism, and he does not criticize the economic market of today because it takes too long ‘for poor to get rich’.
What he does criticize is the prevalent thought process in our world today that the fittest will survive and it is not their problem to defend and help the poor. He criticizes trickle-down theory because it contributes to the problem of thinking that it is someone else’s job to take care of the poor.
He also criticizes our cultures obsession with money, and how instead of the proper use for money to serve us, we are ruled by money.

This article criticizes Pope Francis for attacking capitalism, which he does not do, and not attacking capitalism for what it should be criticized for.
However, Pope Francis did not claim that he was going to offer a comprehensive exhortation on economics today. He is simply claiming “only to consider briefly, and from a pastoral perspective, certain factors which can restrain or weaken the impulse of missionary renewal in the Church” He even says “It is not the task of the Pope to offer a detailed and complete analysis of contemporary reality”

There is so much more to Catholic social teaching that an ‘imposition of moral obligation to act in charity’

Pope Francis isn’t telling people to give money to the poor and let them squander it, but he is telling people we need to care about the lowly and build them up.

The Catholic Church teaches that private ownership for man’s own sake is a natural and necessary right for man, but she teaches man not to become obsessed with possessions and money. In order to do this she teaches to give away your excess to help other people flourish and grow.

Overall, I think this article is very misinformed. It seems as if the author didn’t even read the actual apostolic exhortation that Pope Francis wrote. It is wrong about what the Church teaches, and it is presumptuous about Pope Francis’ comments on the problem economics has created in the culture. I mean right off the bat the author says “His encyclical is about economics” and it absolutely is not. The only reason Pope Francis brings up economics is to serve his greater goal of evangelizing the world and sharing the Joy of the Gospel.

If you would like to learn more about Catholic Social Teaching here are some resources:

Pope Leo XIII wrote Reurm Novarum in 1891 on the “Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor”
Pope Paul VI wrote Populorun Progressio in 1967 on The Development of People and the economy.
Pope Paul VI wrote Octogesima Adveniens in 1971 on securing democratic foundation in society
Pope John Paul II wrote Centesimus Annus in 1991 which examines contemporaneous political and economic issues.