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What was the strangest event in Jesus’ life? (10 things you need to know)

 

Sunday, August 04, 2013 1:58 PM
National Catholic Register

Jesus appeared to three of his disciples in the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration. What was happening here? What did it mean? Here are 10 things you need to know!

A good candidate for the strangest event of Jesus life is one recorded in three of the four gospels.
On this occasion, which is found in Tuesday’s gospel reading, Jesus took three of the disciples up on a high mountain.
While they were there, his clothes became dazzlingly white, Moses and Elijah appeared, and they were engulfed in a cloud and heard a heavenly Voice.
This event, known as the Transfiguration, is mysterious and hard to understand. Why did it happen? What did it mean?
Here are 10 things you need to know.

1. What does the word “transfiguration” mean?

The word “transfiguration” comes from the Latin roots trans- (“across”) and figura (“form, shape”). It thus signifies a change of form or appearance.
This is what happened to Jesus in the event known as the Transfiguration: His appearance changed and became glorious.
Before looking at the Transfiguration itself, it’s important that we look at what happened immediately before it in all three fo the gospels that recored it.

2. What happened right before the Transfiguration?

In Luke 9:27, at the end of a speech to the twelve apostles, Jesus adds, enigmatically:

“There are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

This has often been taken as a prophecy that the end of the world would occur before the first generation of Christians died out.
But the phrase “kingdom of God” can also refer to other things, though, including the Church–the outward expression of God’s invisible kingdom.
The kingdom is embodied in Christ himself and thus might be “seen” if Christ were to manifest it in an unusual way, even in his own earthly life.

3. Did such a manifestation occur?

Yes, and it is the very next thing that Luke relates: the Transfiguration.
Pope Benedict states that it has been . . .

. . . convincingly argued that the placing of this saying immediately before the Transfiguration clearly relates it to this event.
Some—that is to say, the three disciples who accompany Jesus up the mountain—are promised that they will personally witness the coming of the Kingdom of God ‘in power.’
On the mountain the three of them see the glory of God’s Kingdom shining out of Jesus. . . . On the mountain they see the ‘power’ (dynamis) of the Kingdom that is coming in Christ” (Jesus of Nazareth, vol. 1, p. 317).

We thus may have the key to understanding Jesus’ mysterious statement just before the Transfiguration. He wasn’t talking about the end of the world. He was talking about this.
In fact, Luke notes that the Transfiguration took place “about eight days after these sayings,” thus stressing its proximity to them and suggesting that it was the fulfillment of this saying, concerning the fact that some of them would see the kingdom of God. Mark gives a different number of days, saying it was “after six days” (Mk. 9:2), but these both approximate a week.

4. Who witnessed the Transfiguration?

The three who are privileged to witness the event are Peter, James, and John, the three core disciples. (Andrew was not there or not included.)
The fact that Jesus only allowed three of his disciples to witness the event may have sparked the discussion which occurred later in the same chapter about which of the disciples was the greatest (Luke 9:46).
Click here to watch a video about how Jesus answered this question.

5. Where did the Transfiguration take place?

Luke states that Jesus took the three “on the mountain to pray.”
None of the three gospels that record the Transfiguration tell us which mountain this was.
However, it is often thought to be Mt. Tabor, in Israel, and today two monasteries has been built there to commemorate the event.
Click here to learn more about Mt. Tabor.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-mystery-of-the-transfiguration/#ixzz2b9lRTASW

What interest does the media have in trying to debunk classical Christianity?

New Advent

 

August 3, 2013


New Advent

You can say that it’s mostly to stir up controversy, because that makes money in the long run. The media know that there are a lot of Christians in this country, so when you take the anti-religion perspective it’s going to stir up controversy. I might venture to say that there are people in the mainstream media culture who don’t like Christianity, so they really are using the tools they hav e to undermine it.

Three Exorcists Weigh In: Should You Watch "The Conjuring"?

Catholic News and Inspiration
Saturday, August 3, 2013

The scariest thing about the horror film, The Conjuring is that it’s based on a true story. It is about an evil presence doing hair-raising things. The story happened in 1971 and centers around the Perron family, a couple and their five daughters who were terrorized by a dark presence in their secluded Rhode Island farmhouse.

Andrea Perron was eleven–years old then. “We were just moving into a charming, lovely old house as far as all of us where concerned,” she said in a YouTube interview. There were former owners of the house who had troubled lives, one is said to have hung herself while another was accused of murdering her baby but the charges were dropped for lack of evidence. As an adult, Andrea wrote about the experience of living in that house in her book, House of Darkness, House of Light. After the evil presence began terrifying the Perrons, they contacted world-renown investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens were Catholic and always answered pleas for help without charging. They felt it was a calling to help people.
Lorraine at age 86 now, still helps people but only over the phone. Her husband, Ed, died in 2006. He grew up in a haunted house and on his resume has listed: “The only non-clerical demonologists recognized by the Vatican.”
It is important to note, however, that the movie is a Hollywood version and not a documentary. As such there was great license taken, but according to Lorraine, there was indeed an evil presence that was harassing the family. She said that she and Ed were greatly concerned that the Perron children were unbaptized. “They had no protection and were in great danger because they were not baptized,” Lorraine said. “They told us they were not a church-going family.”
The Warrens relied on prayer and their Catholic faith in their work. Although Ed and Lorraine’s website comes across as sensationalized and uses many secular terms rather than Catholic ones, Lorraine said that they always consulted priests when evil seemed to be involved. In such cases a priest would often take over.
Exorcist Perceptions
I consulted three exorcists for their impressions about the movie and the work that the Warren’s did.
Fr. Patrick (not his real name) is a parish priest and therefore, keeps his work as an exorcist secret so as to function in his parish without undue attention. Cases come to him through his bishop after a person seeks help. Fr. Patrick, like many modern exorcists, uses a team of experts as well as a prayer team to assist him. His professional team includes a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist, and medical doctor.
I asked him if he thought people should see this movie. He himself had not seen it but said he probably will. “For some people, it’s emotionally dangerous because of their imaginations,” he said. “People should know themselves and be careful.”He stated that after the movie The Exorcist, many people feared that they were possessed.
“People should not feel bad if they are sensitive or worry that they will be made fun of if they don’t want to watch a movie,” he said. “I did not like horror movies when I was a kid and I think it was because I was sensitive to the existence of evil.”
In his work, Fr. Patrick said he sometimes comes across people with imaginations that have convinced them they are being harassed by the devil when in fact, that turns out not to be the case. “I find people who read too much of this stuff. That might build up their faith in some ways, but it can also build up their imagination.”
 

Vatican Diary / The first saint of North Korea

He was the bishop of Pyongyang. For more than sixty years he was considered “missing.” But now the Holy See has made his death official, at the age of 106. To permit the opening of his cause of beatification

by ***
Chiesa



VATICAN CITY, August 5, 2013 – Twice a month the Vatican secretariat of state publishes modifications to the Annuario Pontificio for the current year. The booklet of last July 1 contains a curious piece of news on one of the most impenetrable countries of the globe, North Korea, which periodically makes international headlines with the threat of using nuclear weapons.

The news is that the Holy See is finally recognizing as vacant the diocesan see of Pyongyang, following the death of its bishop, Francis Borgia Hong Yong-ho, born on October 12, 1906, ordained a priest on May 25, 1933, appointed apostolic vicar by Pius XII on March 24, 1944, and consecrated the following June 29.

But the news is not that a prelate has died at the venerable age of more than 106, which would be a record, but the fact that the Annuario no longer includes the name of Hong, who for decades appeared as the ordinary of Pyongyang but with the specification that he was to be considered “missing.”

Bishop Hong was, in fact, one of the 166 clerics who were killed or abducted in the course of the terrible persecutions that took place in North Korea at the end of the 1940′s with the advent of the communist regime of Kim Il-sung.

Therefore, for more than sixty years nothing more was known about him, but the Holy See never forgot him. And it always kept his name in the official who’s who.

Not only that. On March 10, 1962 John XXIII decided to elevate to the rank of diocese the apostolic vicariate of Pyongyang, and appointed as the first bishop precisely the “missing” Monsignor Hong.

The perseverance of the Holy See in keeping alive for decades the name of the “missing” bishop was – as explained years ago by the cardinal, now emeritus, of Seoul Nicholas Cheong Jinsuk – “a gesture of the Holy See to mark the drama that was and still is lived by the Church in Korea.”

But the decision made this year to recognize the death of Hong does not mean that this “drama” of the Korean Church is considered closed. Its motivation is another. It is connected to the fact that the Korean bishops have asked the Vatican congregation for the causes of saints for the “nihil obstat” to open the cause of beatification of Hong and 80 of his martyr companions. And of course no one can be a candidate for the glory of the altars if he is not dead, officially as well.

While in South Korea the Catholic Church has seen in recent decades a substantial increase in baptisms and vocations, in the impenetrable communist North it is not known how many Catholics there are, priests cannot be present there on an ongoing basis, and there exists only one religious edifice controlled by the regime.

So nothing has changed with the death in 1994 of Kim Il-sung, whose unmissable “opera omnia” was published in Italy by Jaca Book – a publishing arm of Communion and Liberation – in the early 1970′s. Nor with the death of his son, Kim Jong-il, in 2011. Nor with the arrival as leader of the country of the latter’s son, Kim Jong-un.

As Cardinal Cheong recalls, “before 1949 in North Korea there were 55,000 Catholics. When the persecution was unleashed many of them fled, but many were killed. Today there are some who say that there are still a thousand Catholics, others say that there could be three thousand. But there is no way of knowing for sure.”

All of the churches were destroyed as well. Except for when in 1988 “the Olympics were celebrated in South Korea, all of a sudden one was built in Pyongyang, from nothing. But this was not a miraculous event: it is easy to intuit that this was a move by the regime to try to demonstrate that also in the North there were Catholics free to profess their faith. Which obviously does not correspond to the reality.”

This was, in fact, a “church” run by a self-proclaimed Catholic association led by a layman, Jang Jae-on, who until a short time ago was also the president of the North Korean Red Cross.

In recent decades the Holy See, although formally considering the see of Pyongyang as not vacant, has always appointed the archbishop of Seoul as its apostolic administrator. But he has never been able to visit it.

READ THE REST AT http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350571?eng=y

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – August 5, 2013

Talking about the “things that matter most” on August 5

4:00 – Kresta Comments – Intolerant Muslim Writer Attempts to Intimidate University, Media, Activists to Get Ave Maria Radio’s Islam Debate / Symposium Cancelled – He Failed

4:20 – Public Witness, Public Faith: Deprivatizing Religion
Guest: Kathryn Jean Lopez

5:00 – Kresta Comments – Intolerant Muslim Writer Attempts to Intimidate University, Media, Activists to Get Ave Maria Radio’s Islam Debate / Symposium Cancelled – He Failed

5:20 – The Future of American Catholicism
Guest: Mark Brumley

Tackle a To-Do List That’s Simply Divine!






Gods Bucket List Sm


So what’s on your “to-do” list today? Thinking about all the lists we make during our life-time was the thought process that led to “God’s Bucket List.”  It is good to be organized.  It is certainly not a bad idea to even establish a long term list of goals.  What I have found however, in my own life and …

Next week: Robert Spencer debating Muslim scholars on "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?" at Michigan conference

By Robert Spencer, www.jihadwatch.org

The editor of Reza Aslan’s Aslan Media, desperate as ever to silence the truth about Islam and jihad, has mounted the usual campaign of smears and defamation to get me canceled from this, but this time he has failed. This represents two defeats in a row for him, since I spoke at the conference in Sacramento, California from which he tried to get me canceled last weekend. And the Roman Catholic diocese of Sacramento, even after its bishop caved to this libelous campaign, had a booth at the conference — obviously they were fine with my being there after all. That is, of course, as it should be: the idea that fighting for the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience and equality of rights for all people should be controversial at all shows how far the public discourse has degenerated.

Details on our conference appear below….

Conference Debates: "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?"

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life recently showed that 19% of U.S. Muslims said that “suicide bombing or other forms of violence against civilians in the name of Islam” could be justified. That number in Egypt is 29% and 40% in the Palestinian territories. Do these findings mock the claim that Islam is a religion of peace?

On Saturday, August 10, renowned experts on Islam from around the world come to MI discuss and debate the question, “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?” The one-day symposium will be held in the Student Center at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI

Featured debaters will be Robert Spencer, director of JihadWatch.org facing off against Shadid Lewis, regional director of the Muslim Debate Initiative in the US, on the question “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?”

Muslim columnist for the Turkish News Mustafa Akyol will debate Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center on “Can Islam Support Religious Liberty?”

The Eastern Michigan University Student Center is located at 900 Oakwood Street, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197. Registration for the symposium is $40, and includes a box lunch and free parking. Clergy and student rates are available.

Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m., and the conference will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with Mass following.

To register for the conference, click here or call 734.930.5201.

How can I Avoid False Teachings on Prayer? (Part III of III)

…A faithful follower of the Lord asks: Dear Dan, I enjoy reading more modern writers about prayer and the spiritual life but I am always worried about false teachings that could lead me away from the heart of the Church. How can I know when an author is not orthodox or teaches something that could lead me to deception instead of to God?

428px-Visage_d'Elisabeth_de_la_TrinitéIn this third post we will explore the dangers of reducing God to a cosmic force along with ways we can better gain a healthy perspective on prayer and enhance rather than diminish our progress in prayer (you can read the first post here and the second post here). It is fitting that I have completed my edits and made this final post ready on the eve of a very special day for me. It is the day on which I was received into the Church and a day that draws our hearts to the most holy disciple of Christ, our Blessed Mother, along with the most sublime instructors of prayer that God has given to the Church, the great Carmelite Doctors. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us and show us the way to Christ amidst the stormy seas of heresy and unbelief to our only true haven of rest in Christ.

Depersonalization

The final and most dangerous aspect of modern popular teaching on prayer is depersonalization. The danger here lies in an essential denial of two central doctrines of Christianity: first, the Incarnation (Christ really did come in the flesh) and second, the distinction between Creator and creature (I am not God and he is not me).

The historical reality of the incarnation of Christ leads us to the critical understanding that God is person and we can commune with him as such. This is similar to saying, “My wife is a person, and I am a person, and therefore we can commune most fully as persons.” Now, if I were to treat my wife not as a person but as an ethereal cosmic being, communication would break down in short order.

We can envision two contrasting scenarios that illustrate this point.

1. In the non-person prayer orientation, the husband claims to love his wife and yet stares past her in a self-entranced muttering while she stands ignored. It doesn’t matter that he intends or wants to love her, or is open to loving her; his approach is self-centered rather than other-centered.

2. In a person-oriented understanding of prayer, the adoring husband kneels before his spouse and recites poetry rooted in an exalted language of love and adoration. As he offers his love, all his attention is focused on her. She receives his love, as it is clearly for her alone. This is true intimacy, even if only the beginning of a more complete intimacy of the marital embrace.

God is not a distant idea or cosmic force to be communed with in some dazed stupor or blank mind created by the misuse of a mantra-centered method. These distant, ephemeral and spiritual sounding descriptions of God and their related ideas are acid to the soul. They radically misrepresent who God is, how he has chosen to reveal himself to us, and what it means to be in a personal relationship with him.

If God is in any way depersonalized, then his incarnational essence and personhood can easily be morphed into some kind of cosmic force to be harnessed or absorbed into. Even worse, this can and does lead unsuspecting Catholics into the pseudo-faith of pantheism: “He is everything, and thus I am he.” In the end, the gurus of this false gospel seek to lead the naive practitioner to the center of their being where they then discover who they really are. The great triumph of this false prayer is the “realization” that we are God because there is no substantive distinction between us (they call this “non-dual thinking). Clearly, this idolatry will in no way lead us to heaven and is most definitely leading many down the broad path to spiritual destruction.

How Can I Protect Myself?

The key to avoiding these errors is to be aware of them but not to focus on them. Instead, we need to immerse ourselves in the truth. How? Begin with spiritual reading and meditation on the Catechism, and the Compendium of the Catechism, on the topic of prayer. These treatments are far from dry and, word for word, are the most valuable teachings on the topic in all of the Church aside from the words of Christ Himself. Second, we should immerse ourselves in the writings of the doctors of the Church, particularly those who have come to bear significant influence on how the Church understands what it means to commune with God (like Sts Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and Thérèse of Lisieux). Modern writers like Fr. Thomas Dubay and Fr. Jacques Philippe provide fantastic resources on prayer that are faithful to this profound and rich Catholic tradition.

Read more: http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog/2013/08/02/how-can-i-avoid-false-teachings-on-prayer-part-iii-of-iii#ixzz2aqQOvPi4

The True Face of “Happy Divorce” is Quite Ugly

the-way-way-back-banner
 
 
A feature film now in theaters tells the story of children devastated by divorce and the story of middle-aged adolescents living almost exclusively for themselves.
 

The Way Way Back is the story of teen-age Duncan, who spends part of a summer at a beach house with his mother Pam, her boyfriend Trent and her boyfriend’s snotty and obviously wounded teenage daughter.

Duncan is morose, deeply depressed by the situation he finds himself in. Trent bullies him. He demands that Duncan rate himself between one and ten. Humiliated, Duncan finally mumbles “six.” “No, you’re a three,” says Trent. And that’s the remarkable opening scene as they drive to the beach….

In one of the revealing moments in the movie Duncan finds the dinner table festooned with dirty plates after the adults have stumbled to the beach, this after Trent had ordered the boy to remove his own plate since “that is what we do in this house.” Trent is not only a bully, he is a hypocrite, too. But this becomes painfully clear when Duncan sees Trent making out with one of the married neighbors and that tees up one of the more dramatic and confrontational moments in the movie.

One of the film’s writers says the movie came from his own experience growing up in a divorced family and that the opening humiliating scene was almost verbatim from his own experience. Clearly the makers want us to see the children as victims of their parents’ sad “happiness” and the easy divorce culture that remains so much a part of our fraying social fabric. All the fathers are gone away to some mystical place where fathers get younger wives, spoken of only sotto voce. The only men left are the philandering boy friend who is no kind of father, and the feckless husband who knows his wife is canoodling with the boy friend but who cannot muster himself to do anything about it. The women are weak or drunk or both. There is a man-child at a local water park who befriends the boy and even cares for him but even he is a nearly hopeless case.

How could these kids not be disgusted and damaged almost beyond repair?

We were told at the dawn of easy divorce that it would be good for families, children and society. We were told children would be better off bouncing between happily divorced parents rather than living with unhappy ones. The important thing for children was the happiness of their parents.

Almost immediately after the divorce culture set in, we discovered something quite different. Entire generations have been harmed.

One of the best books on this topic remains Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce (Crown, 2005) by Elizabeth Marquardt, which reported “the first national study in the United States of grown children of divorce.” Marquardt and her colleague Norval Glenn performed 1500 telephone interviews of young adults, half from divorced families, half from intact families, in addition to 70 face-to-face interviews.

The first thing to understand is that of the one in two marriages that now end in divorce, overwhelmingly most were from low-conflict marriages. These are not couples that spent their days fighting and throwing things. These are couples that have simply grown bored, feel they now lack communication, having mid-life crises.

It is likely they never knew what marriage was in the first place.

A trick was played on kids from these low-conflict divorces and that is the myth of the happy divorce, a notion that Marquardt easily dispels with her research.

Divorce in a low-conflict marriage comes as a total surprise to the children. Out of nowhere a child’s world is ripped apart. The child may spend years or even his whole life trying to figure this out. Trying to figure this out is a huge and profoundly unfair burden to place on small shoulders. It traumatizes for life….

Marquardt writes, “Most startling, two-thirds said their divorced parents seemed like polar opposites, compared to one-third of those with married parents, even though few said their divorced parents conflicted a lot.” Consider that these types of interior conflicts begin when children are 4 or 8 or 12.

Marquardt’s cites a book called The Good Divorce by Constance Ahrons who tells the story of two little girls—4 and 7—who spend half the week with mom and half with dad but when the switch is made the four-year-old “regresses” and begins sucking her thumb, clings to her mother and whines, while the seven-year-old starts “to let go even before she left.” She becomes more independent and “ornery.” And these poor troubled girls are presented as a success story.

It is likely these poor girls are suffering and will suffer their whole lives because their parents went through a bored patch in their marriage, maybe had a wandering eye, decided they would be happier without their spouse and because of no-fault divorce there was nothing to stop them or even to slow them down.

The result of all this mess is that children of divorce, including children of “happy divorce,” have much higher incidents of deeply harmful pathologies including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, an inability to form relationships, and much more.

This is the true face of happy divorce in America.

The odious homosexual agitator Dan Savage makes an excellent point, one we should pay attention to. We marriage proponents wag our fingers at the homosexual penchant for multiple sexual partners even within “committed relationships.” Savage admits homosexuals do this and is unrepentant. And he wonders how we can criticize homosexuals for not being Ozzie and Harriet when we are so far from it ourselves.

In the coming months and years if we lose the marriage debate, if marriage is redefined to include homosexual couples, we should know we lost it a long time ago. We lost it when we devalued marriage to such an extent that it became easily disposable and we irreparably harmed our children for our own convenience and “happiness.”

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