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Archive for December 18th, 2007

Now I should likely have a poll taken of how many thought I was going to speak about Latin vs. Greek, Catholic vs. Orthodoxy-you’d be wrong.

Growing up in a western first world culture, I’ve never experienced any true persecution of any kind. I’ve been confronted with the message of salvation by numerous individuals who claim I’m going to hell because I’m Catholic, but that’s not persecution.

Ther term Greek- μάρτυς translates as witness. This is IMO a grossly misused term. In many circles it means proclaiming the Gospel to non-believers and giving testimony for your belief in Christ. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not witnessing.

This is witnessing or here if you want to look there’s hundreds of other examples Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic.

First world Occidentials need to know that when they stand up an recite the Creed in a monotone drone that there are literally thousands this year in Oriental (in this case it means- Muslim, Hindu, Chinese) cultures who will go to their death (read witness) simply because they profess the Triune God and refuse to acknowledge other gods.

On the one hand its great that we all live where we don’t have to fear police coming into our church to arrest us for that profession, that we don’t have to fear lossing our job, or our family members or friends. Perhaps we could take the of handed snide remark from someone who dislikes Christians. 

We take for granted that which we claim to believe.  So during this season of peace and thanksgiving perhaps we should all pray for those that do have to witness for their faith and perhaps they will pray for us because we don’t have to witness for it – just live it.

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Heavenly Brew

There are many reasons I love being Catholic. This is one my Baptist wife would not agree with me.

Some Trappists monks have determined that making beer is very good business. However, not at the expense of heavenly duties.

“No question, it is the holy grail of beers,” says Remi Johnson, manager of the Publick House, a Boston bar that has Westvleteren on its menu but rarely in stock…In the 1980s, the monks even debated whether they should continue making something from which people can get drunk. “There is no dishonor in brewing beer for a living. We are monks of the West: moderation is a key word in our asceticism,” says Brother Joris in a separate, email interview. “We decided to stick to our traditional skills instead of breeding rabbits.”Last year, St. Sixtus filed a complaint with the government against two companies that refused — BelgianFood.com, a Web site that sells beer, cheese, chocolate and other niche products, and Beermania, a Brussels beer shop that also sells online. Both offer Westvleteren at around $18 a bottle. “I’m not making a lot of money and I pay my taxes,” says BelgianFood.com owner Bruno Dourcy. “You can only buy two cases at once, you know.” Mr. Dourcy makes monthly two-hour car trips from his home in eastern Belgium. “Seek the Kingdom of God first, and all these things will be given to you,” counters Brother Joris, quoting from the Bible, adding that it refers only to things you really need. “So if you can’t have it, possibly you do not really need it.”

Have to love a monk with a acerbic sense of righteous humor.

Here’s the web page to order here (if you can get ever get through).

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a-return-of-tradition.jpgPerhaps all those interfaith prayer groups are starting to have an effect. WHen U.S. News & World Report picks up on a religious trend you know its been ongoing for a while.

Soon, St. Mary may be less well known for that distinctive liturgical offering than for the number of big-name government and media types that occupy its pews. Now that Pope Benedict XVI has loosened the restrictions on churches that want to observe the pre-Vatican II rite, more parishes are availing themselves of the option. Call it part of a larger conservative shift within the church—one that includes a renewed emphasis on such practices as personal confession and reciting the rosary as well as a resurgent interest in traditional monastic and religious orders.

But this shift extends beyond the Roman Catholic Church. In Richardson, Texas, the congregation of Trinity Fellowship Church participates in something that would have been considered almost heretical in most evangelical Protestant churches five or 10 years ago: a weekly Communion service. An independent, nondenominational church of some 600 members, Trinity Fellowship is not the only evangelical congregation that is offering a weekly Eucharist, saying the Nicene or Apostles’ creeds, reading the early Church Fathers, or doing other things that seem downright Roman Catholic or at least high Episcopalian. Daniel Wallace, a professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, which trains pastors for interdenominational or nondenominational churches, says there is a growing appetite for something more than “worship that is a glorified Bible class in some ways.”

A new interest in old ways takes root in Catholicism and many other faiths

Perhaps it will only take us 500 years to heal the reformation. The one strength of the Novus Ordo mass is the amount of scripture readings which far exceeds not just the traditional Latin mass, but every other Protestant service I’ve ever attended as well. If nothing else I’m always more hopeful this time of year.

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