Over Population Myth

This last year I was a religious education teacher for 6th graders at my parish. Our topic for the year was the Holy Bible. Near the beginning of the year we were looking at the book of Genesis and God’s first commandment to Adam and Eve. Genesis 1:22 “and God blessed them, saying, “Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth.” One of the kids asked “What about overpopulation, there won’t be enough to eat, there won’t be enough room to live or food to eat. I told the kids that we must trust God at all times and I would get back with them the next week with facts to discuss the topic of “over-population”.

Fact 1. There is an estimated 57,500,000 sq miles of Land Surface on planet earth. There are an estimated 7 Billion people on earth rounding up about 300 million of the current estimate to the nearest Billion. This means that there is 0.008214 sq miles/person on planet earth and if 1 sq mile = 27,878,400 sq feet then even with inflated population numbers there is still 229,001 sq ft per person on planet earth. To put this in physical terms that we can possibly relate to you could fit everyone in the world in the state of Texas and gave them equal room to live, even if all the rooms were connected everyone would still have 1070 sq ft per person. The world is far from over populated from a land perspective.

But what about food?

Fact 2. The following is from the Handbook on Population, Sassone, 1998 par. 203 “There appear to be no insurmountable resource and technology constraints at the global level that would stand in the way of increasing world food supplies by as much as required by the growth of effective demand.” And, “…global food production has evolved to a stage where sufficient food is produced to meet the needs of every person on the planet.”

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, world food supplies exceed requirements in all world areas, amounting to a surplus approaching 50% in 1990 in the developed countries, and 17% in the developing regions. “Globally, food supplies have more than doubled in the last 40 years … between 1962 and 1991, average daily per caput food supplies increased more than 15% … at a global level, there is probably no obstacle to food production rising to meet demand,” according to FAO documents prepared for the 1996 World Food Summit. The FAO also reported that less than a third as many people had less than 2100 calories per person per day in 1990-92 as had been the case in 1969-71.

At present, farmers use less than half of the world’s arable land. The conversion of land to urban and built-up uses to accommodate a larger population will absorb less than 2% of the world’s land, and “is not likely to seriously diminish the supply of land for agricultural production,” according to Paul Waggoner, writing for the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology in 1994.

In Conclusion: Do we trust God and His commandments to us? Or do we do believe alarmists who raise false arguments to help support the supposed need for abortion and contraception. God has given us the Catholic Church, which has spoken with authority on these issues yet our world, and even some Catholic laity, prefers to chart their own course in life.

Dear Lord Jesus help us trust in You. Helps to live our lives in accordance with Your will and direction. Increase our trust in Your Catholic Church and its teaching. Amen

I Have The Matter In Hand - 2

Last Monday I put up a post with a quote about the reception of communion in the hand. It received the most comments of any post I have put up to date. Let me state once again before I go any further that I do not judge anyone who receives communion in the hand. It is interesting that this quote drew so many comments considering the man who said it is none other than Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X. Yes he was my “Mystery Catholic”. Currently Fellay is excommunicated but the SSPX has been in the news lately, but I prefer not to make this post about Fellay or the SSPX. (This means I don’t want comments praising or bashing Fellay and the SSPX, keep your comments about the reception of communion) The reason I called Fellay a “Mystery Catholic” is because even though he is excommunicated from the Catholic Church he is in discussions with Rome and it is quite possible that his excommunication could be lifted. So in the end it is a mystery if Fellay is Catholic or not.

As much as I disagree with Fellay on a number of things I do see his point about communion in the hand, which I will quote here again:

…At first, many may have been shocked by communion in the hand; but “everybody does it.” Then little by little, as you receive Our Lord in your hands standing, you end up thinking that He is not your Lord. Because if He were really God, you would fall on your knees to adore Him and you would not take Him in your hand. For when you take something in your hand, you are the one in control. “I have the matter in hand” means that you have something under control…

One comment from Bill from the previous post said “Yes kneeling may be “tolerated” but the USCCB discourages it”. It is not my desire to draw attention to myself by kneeling to receive communion, and I don’t encourage anyone else to kneel either unless a kneeler is present, but I find it a bit odd that the USCCB, our own Shepards, would discourage us from kneeling to receive communion. I know this is more of a logistics and flow issue more than anything else but it is a logistics and flow issue that was created by our Shepards. I for one love the Novus Ordo Mass, I grew up with it, but it would be even better if the norm was for us to receive our Lord kneeling. This logistics and flow issue can be resolved considering that for hundreds of years the laity received communion kneeling.

Another comment from JohnR said “But as I read and reflect on Matthew 26:26, While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

It appears to me communion in the hand is a personal invitation “He…gave it to his disciples, and said Take”. It doesn’t get more personal than to have it handed directly to you and personally invited to take it (His body). Throughout the gospels we hear of the personal, physical interaction of our Lord with His sheep, and hear how those present want to be near and touch Him. I have a longing to be touch by Jesus Christ spiritually and physically. Communion in the hand seems like a perfect opportunity.”

I think this is an excellent point but I would offer two additional thoughts.

  1. You are touching him when he is placed on your tongue.
  2. Christ said take and eat to the Apostles who are our modern day Bishops.

The Catholic Church teaches that we receive communion do not take it. Only those above a certain ordained level are allowed to serve themselves communion. I’m not sure about the rule on Deacons but we the laity do not take communion we receive it.

Which leads me to the conclusion of my longest post to date. (Thanks for taking the time to read it.) Recently in the L’Osservatore Romano (the Vatican newspaper) Msgr. Guido Marini was asked, “In the recent visit to Santa Maria di Leuca and Brindisi the Pope distributed Communion to the faithful on the tongue and kneeling. Is this a practice destined to become habitual in papal ceremonies?

Msgr. Marini: I really think so. In this regard it is necessary not to forget that the distribution of Communion in the hand remains, even now, from the juridical standpoint, an indult from the universal law, conceded by the Holy See to those bishops conferences which requested it. The method adopted by Benedict XVI tends to underscore the force of the norm valid for the whole Church. In addition, one could perhaps also note a preference for using this method of distribution which, without taking anything from the other, better sheds light on the truth of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, it helps the devotion of the faithful, introduces them more easily to a sense of mystery. Aspects which, in our time, speaking pastorally, it is urgent to highlight and recover.”

Reception of communion in the hand is an indult, i.e. a concession or privilege that is not allowed by the Church’s common law. It can be removed, just like the removal of the ability for the laity to purify the sacred vessels of communion, that indult was removed not to long ago. Note, that ever since the Feast of Corpus Christi the Pope is giving communion kneeling and on the tongue. (see below) One can only wonder if this is sign of things to come for the entire Church.


More Mystery Catholic

Another GTM Summer Mystery Catholic Quote

The whole of Christian morality, with all its demands of self-denial, sacrifice, and detachment from the world, flows from it. God is holy, and whoever desires to approach Him must live a life of purity, for His holiness requires that the faithful soul put on the spotless garment of grace. The Mass not only opens the eyes of the faithful to this reality, the sublimity of the Christian vocation, but above all it gives them the means to live it. What an abundance of grace is poured out upon the faithful of “good will” at Mass, and even more upon the priest who celebrates it!

“Lord Jesus may I approach you with purity and live my life for you.”

World Youth Day

World Youth Day appears to be causing the Devil some real fits. I mean after all a few million youth gathering together with the Vicar of Christ to praise God doesn’t sit well with him. It appears the evil one has called upon some of his minions to hand out condoms to the youth at World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia and ask them to take up the “campaign” for the Catholic church to “promote” condoms. Rachel Evans a spokeswoman for the group referred to the Pope as a “bigot” and said that the Pope condemned millions of people worldwide to getting AIDS through his anti-condom policy.

The Pope condemns no one, he is a beacon of light and truth in a mixed up and sometimes pathetic world. The Pope embraces our dignity as human beings. Contraception and artificial birth control is for animals not for people who are made in the image of God. Humanity was created with the gift of self-control even though we many times choose to ignore or develop it.

Protesters to hand Catholics condoms as pope visits Australia

SYDNEY (AFP) — Catholics attending a mass by Pope Benedict XVI in Australia will be handed condoms by protesters angered by his opposition to contraception, homosexuality and abortion, organisers said Tuesday.

The protest will be staged by the NoToPope Coalition of Christians, atheists and gay groups during Catholic World Youth Day celebrations expected to draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to Sydney next month.

“We will march to be with the pilgrims to hand out condoms to the pilgrims, the Catholic youth,” spokeswoman Rachel Evans told a news conference.

“(We will) say to them, ‘Take up the campaign within the Catholic church to allow the Catholic church to promote condoms’,” she said.

The pope condemned millions of people worldwide to getting AIDS through his anti-condom policy, Evans said.

Apart from condom use, the peaceful demonstration would also protest the pope’s stance against homosexuality and abortion, she said, describing the pontiff as “a bigot” over same-sex relationships.

A pastor from Sydney’s Metropolitan Community Church, Karl Hand, said the pope was misrepresenting Christian views.

“I’m compassionate towards people who need condoms, who need abortions, who need all sorts of recognition of their relationship and it’s just not being provided by this massive worldwide church,” he said.

“A lot of the views being taken up by the pope are anti-humanity in general, so that’s upsetting.”

The coalition includes the Metropolitan Community Church, Atheists Sydney, Community Action Against Homophobia and the Socialist Alliance, among other groups, the statement said.

The coalition plans to hold a public rally in the city on July 19 and then march toward Randwick Racecourse, where pilgrims will be gathering for a papal mass the next day which is expected to draw 500,000 people.

The five-day celebration of Catholic youth has been billed as a major boost to the economy of Australia’s largest city, attracting up to 125,000 international visitors.

But there has been a stream of grumbles over the event’s cost, its impact on businesses as well as the inconvenience it will cause the city’s residents.

The coalition said it would also protest state funding of almost 110 million dollars (104 million US) for an event staged by the Catholic Church, saying it should be spent on community services instead.

About 26 percent of Australia’s 21 million people described themselves as Catholics in the most recent census, while 19 percent said they had no religion.

Pope Benedict XVI is due to arrive in Australia on July 13 and will take a four day holiday before joining the World Youth Day celebrations culminating in the papal mass on July 20.

Church & State

The following is another excerpt from what I am calling the GTM Summer Mystery Catholic.

…When we deal with the relationship between the Church and the State, we are dealing with truths very close to the Faith. Why do we say that there must be relationships between Church and State? Because every member of the Church also belongs to a State, and as citizen of one State or another, he must work out his salvation in this world. If the State recognizes the laws of God, it will legislate in harmony with the commandments of God, and thus help its citizens to lead a life in harmony with God’s commandments, thus making it easier for them to save their souls.

But if the State treats every religion in the same way, the State does not feel bound by any of God’s commandments and makes its own laws. Such a State does not help its citizens to save their souls. We know that the civil society in which we live puts pressure on its members because it is a laicized society. For those who go along with the flow, there is no pressure. But pressure is made to bear upon those who swim against the tide. Now if this pressure is for the good, it’s fine. But if this pressure is for evil, it is very serious. And in the modern State, with all the new laws against the natural law, they are turning earthly society into hell. This life on earth is becoming ever more like hell because States do not care about God’s law.

This is why it is so important to insist that the State must also recognize God as Creator, Provider, and Lawgiver. This is obvious and has always been the Church’s teaching. Yet now that the Pope tells us that by going against this traditional teaching, the Church is in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is terrible…

Abortion International

In July of 1961 Peter Benenson founded Amnesty International. Peter had converted to Catholicism in 1958 which had helped his belief in the power of individuals to improve the world. Amnesty’s purpose was to fight for human rights for all people. Peter Benenson died in February of 2005 and within two years of his death the group he founded changed their position on abortion and subsequently lost favor with the Catholic Church.

I think this is a prime example of how a good organization can go bad. If the devil can’t beat you he’ll try and make you compromise the good that you do, do. Sure AI still does some great work in the campaign for human rights but now it chooses to ignore the rights of the most innocent. Any organization can lose its course when it follows the will of men verses the will of God.

Its Time To Wake Up People

Its time to wake up people. Be prepared to be persecuted for your faith. The culture clash is no longer around the corner its here. Civil Rights are quickly be replaced by Gay Rights and you will soon be considered by the majority a “bigot” for your beliefs.


Gay Rights, Religious Liberties: A Three-Act Story

The collision that will play out over the next few years will be filled with pathos on both sides.

Act One: A Love Story

Harriet Bernstein, mother of two and grandmother of six, realized a few years ago that she was drawn to women. She lives in Ocean Grove, N.J., a quiet beach town known as “God’s Square Mile,” because the land is owned by a Methodist retreat center, formally known as Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association.

Eight years ago, she went on a retreat with Jewish gay men and lesbians in the Poconos Mountains and met her future wife.

“I took a chance and went up for a weekend of cross-country skiing and ice skating,” Bernstein recalls. “And I saw this lovely lady across a crowded room, as they say in South Pacific, and immediately decided she was somebody I wanted to get to know. And I did.”

“We came together like magnets,” Luisa Paster adds. “We had all our meals together. We went cross-country skiing. And we exchanged phone numbers at the end of the weekend.”

Bernstein and Paster formalized their union last year, a few months after New Jersey legalized civil unions.

Bernstein fetches the wedding album and flips past photos of the rabbi, the cake (adorned with two brides), and various shots of the two outdoorsy, gray-haired women smiling as they stood on the boardwalk in their white tunics and pants.

Paster then reads the invitation to their civil union, emphasizing the ambiguous wording.

“Location to be announced,” she reads. “That’s because we had to send out the invitations before we had final word on whether we could use the pavilion.”

Act Two: The Conflict

The pavilion in question is an open-air building with long benches looking out to the Atlantic Ocean. It is owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association.

“A building very similar to this has been on this site since the late 1800s,” says the Rev. Scott Hoffman, the group’s administrator.

During the summers, Hoffman says, the pavilion is used for Bible studies, church services, gospel choir performances and, in the past at least, weddings. Heterosexual weddings.

When Bernstein and Paster asked to celebrate their civil union in the pavilion, the Methodist organization said they could marry on the boardwalk — anywhere but buildings used for religious purposes. In other words, not the pavilion. Hoffman says there was a theological principle at stake.

“The principle was a strongly held religious belief that a marriage is between a man and a woman,” Hoffman says. “We’re not casting any aspersions or making any judgments. It’s just, that’s where we stand, and we’ve always stood that way, and that’s why we said no.”

The refusal came as a shock to Bernstein, who says Ocean Grove has been revived by the gay community.

“We were crushed,” she says. “I lived my whole live, fortunately, without having any overt prejudices or discrimination waged against me. So while I knew it was wrong, I never knew how it felt. And after this, I did know how that felt. It was extremely painful.”

Luisa says that initially, they walked away from the situation. “We were so stunned, we didn’t know what to do. But as we came out of our initial shocked stage, we began to get a little angry. We felt an injustice had been done,” she says.

So the couple filed a complaint with New Jersey’s Division of Civil Rights, alleging the Methodists unlawfully discriminated against them based on sexual orientation. Attorney Lawrence Lustberg represents them.

“Our law against discrimination does not allow [the group] to use those personal preferences, no matter how deeply held, and no matter — even if they’re religiously based — as a grounds to discriminate,” Lustberg says. “Religion shouldn’t be about violating the law.”

The Methodist organization responded that it was their property, and the First Amendment protects their right to practice their faith without government intrusion. But Lustberg countered that the pavilion is open to everyone — and therefore the group could no more refuse to accommodate the lesbians than a restaurant owner could refuse to serve a black man. That argument carried the day. The state revoked the organization’s tax exemption for the pavilion area. Hoffman figures they will lose $20,000.

Now, with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a Christian legal firm, Hoffman is appealing the case to state court. He says religious freedom itself is in jeopardy.

“And that potentially affects every religious organization in America, not just Christian organizations, but every religious organization. And I get calls from Jewish rabbis who are equally concerned — people from across the spectrum who think it’s a battle worth fighting. And we agree,” Hoffman says.

Act Three: A Nationwide Story

As states have legalized same-sex partnerships, the rights of gay couples have consistently trumped the rights of religious groups. Marc Stern, general counsel for the American Jewish Congress, says that does not mean that a pastor can be sued for preaching against same-sex marriage. But, he says, that may be just about the only religious activity that will be protected.

“What if a church offers marriage counseling? Will they be able to say ‘No, we’re not going to help gay couples get along because it violates our religious principles to do so? What about summer camps? Will they be able to insist that gay couples not serve as staff because they’re a bad example?” Stern asks.

Stern says if the early cases are any guide, the outlook is grim for religious groups.

A few cases: Yeshiva University was ordered to allow same-sex couples in its married dormitory. A Christian school has been sued for expelling two allegedly lesbian students. Catholic Charities abandoned its adoption service in Massachusetts after it was told to place children with same-sex couples. The same happened with a private company operating in California.

A psychologist in Mississippi who refused to counsel a lesbian couple lost her case, and legal experts believe that a doctor who refused to provide IVF services to a lesbian woman is about to lose his pending case before the California Supreme Court.

And then there’s the case of a wedding photographer in Albuquerque, N.M.

On January 28, 2008, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission heard the case of Vanessa Willock v. Elane Photography.

Willock, in the midst of planning her wedding to her girlfriend, sent the photography company an e-mail request to shoot the commitment ceremony. Elaine Huguenin, who owns the company with her husband, replied: “We do not photograph same-sex weddings. But thanks for checking out our site! Have a great day!”

Willock filed a complaint, and at the hearing she explained how she felt.

“A variety of emotions,” she said, holding back tears. “There was a shock and anger and fear. … We were planning a very happy day for us, and we’re being met with hatred. That’s how it felt.”

Willock declined to be interviewed, as did the owners of Elane Photography. At the hearing, Jonathan Huguenin said that when he and his wife formed the company two years ago, they made it company policy not to shoot same-sex ceremonies, because the ceremonies conflicted with their Christian beliefs.

“We wanted to make sure that everything we photographed — everything we used our artistic ability for, everything we told a story for or conveyed a message of — would be in line with our values and our beliefs,” he said.

The defendants’ attorney, Jordan Lorence at ADF, says that of course a Christian widget-maker cannot fire an employee because he’s gay. But it’s different when the company or a religious charity is being forced to endorse something they don’t believe, he says.

“It’s a very different situation when we’re talking about promoting a message,” Lorence says. “When it’s ‘We want to punish you for not helping us promote our message that same-sex marriage is OK,’ that for me is a very different deal. It’s compelled speech. You’re using the arm of the government for punishing people for disagreeing with you.”

In April, the state human rights commission found that Elane Photography was guilty of discrimination and must pay the Willock’s more than $6,600 attorneys’ fee bill. The photographers are appealing to state court.

In the meantime, they wonder whether all the hassle is worth it and whether they should get out of the photography business altogether.

Georgetown University professor Chai Feldblum says it is a compelling case of what happens in a moment of culture clash. Feldblum, who is an active proponent of gay rights, says the culture and state laws are shifting irrevocably to recognize same-sex unions. And while she knows it’s hard for some to hear, she says companies and religious groups that serve the public need to recognize that their customers will be gay couples.

“They need to start thinking now, proactively, how they want to address that. Because I do think that if a gay couple ends up being told their wedding cannot be filmed, five couples will not sue, but the sixth couple will.”

And as one legal expert puts it, the gay couples “would win in a walk.”


When Gay Rights and Religious Liberties Clash

NPR.org, June 13, 2008 · In recent years, some states have passed laws giving residents the right to same-sex unions in various forms. Gay couples may marry in Massachusetts and California. There are civil unions and domestic partnerships in Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Oregon. Other states give more limited rights.

Armed with those legal protections, same-sex couples are beginning to challenge policies of religious organizations that exclude them, claiming that a religious group’s view that homosexual marriage is a sin cannot be used to violate their right to equal treatment. Now parochial schools, “parachurch” organizations such as Catholic Charities and businesses that refuse to serve gay couples are being sued — and so far, the religious groups are losing. Here are a few cases:

Adoption services: Catholic Charities in Massachusetts refused to place children with same-sex couples as required by Massachusetts law. After a legislative struggle — during which the Senate president said he could not support a bill “condoning discrimination” — Catholic Charities pulled out of the adoption business in 2006.

Housing: In New York City, Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a school under Orthodox Jewish auspices, banned same-sex couples from its married dormitory. New York does not recognize same-sex marriage, but in 2001, the state’s highest court ruled Yeshiva violated New York City’s ban on sexual orientation discrimination. Yeshiva now allows all couples in the dorm.

Parochial schools: California Lutheran High School, a Protestant school in Wildomar, holds that homosexuality is a sin. After the school suspended two girls who were allegedly in a lesbian relationship, the girls’ parents sued, saying the school was violating the state’s civil rights act protecting gay men and lesbians from discrimination. The case is before a state judge.

Medical services: A Christian gynecologist at North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group in Vista, Calif., refused to give his patient in vitro fertilization treatment because she is in a lesbian relationship, and he claimed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. (The doctor referred the patient to his partner, who agreed to do the treatment.) The woman sued under the state’s civil rights act. The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in May 2008, and legal experts believe that the woman’s right to medical treatment will trump the doctor’s religious beliefs. One justice suggested that the doctors take up a different line of business.

Psychological services: A mental health counselor at North Mississippi Health Services refused therapy for a woman who wanted help in improving her lesbian relationship. The counselor said doing so would violate her religious beliefs. The counselor was fired. In March 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit sided with the employer, ruling that the employee’s religious beliefs could not be accommodated without causing undue hardship to the company.

Civil servants: A clerk in Vermont refused to perform a civil union ceremony after the state legalized them. In 2001, in a decision that side-stepped the religious liberties issue, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that he did not need to perform the ceremony because there were other civil servants who would. However, the court did indicate that religious beliefs do not allow employees to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Adoption services: A same-sex couple in California applied to Adoption Profiles, an Internet service in Arizona that matches adoptive parents with newborns. The couple’s application was denied based on the religious beliefs of the company’s owners. The couple sued in federal district court in San Francisco. The two sides settled after the adoption company said it will no longer do business in California.

Wedding services: A same sex couple in Albuquerque asked a photographer, Elaine Huguenin, to shoot their commitment ceremony. The photographer declined, saying her Christian beliefs prevented her from sanctioning same-sex unions. The couple sued, and the New Mexico Human Rights Commission found the photographer guilty of discrimination. It ordered her to pay the lesbian couple’s legal fees ($6,600). The photographer is appealing.

Wedding facilities: Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association of New Jersey, a Methodist organization, refused to rent its boardwalk pavilion to a lesbian couple for their civil union ceremony. The couple filed a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. The division ruled that the boardwalk property was open for public use, therefore the Methodist group could not discriminate against gay couples using it. In the interim, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection revoked a portion of the association’s tax benefits. The case is ongoing.

Youth groups: The city of Berkeley, Calif., requested that the Sea Scouts (affiliated with the Boy Scouts) formally agree to not discriminate against gay men in exchange for free use of berths in the city’s marina. The Sea Scouts sued, claiming this violated their beliefs and First Amendment right to the freedom to associate with other like-minded people. In 2006, the California Supreme Court ruled against the youth group. In San Diego, the Boy Scouts lost access to the city-owned aquatic center for the same reason. While these cases do not directly involve same-sex unions, they presage future conflicts about whether religiously oriented or parachurch organizations may prohibit, for example, gay couples from teaching at summer camp. In June 2008, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals asked the California Supreme Court to review the Boy Scouts’ leases. Meanwhile, the mayor’s office in Philadelphia revoked the Boy Scouts’ $1-a-year lease for a city building.

GTM Summer Mystery Catholic

It appears my “I Have the Matter in Hand” post on Monday the 23rd caused as much thought, discussion, and website traffic as any post I’ve put up to date. I think I might pull some more quotes from the individual who gave the “Matter In Hand” quote over the next few weeks and see what people think of his statements. I will continue to keep his name secret for now as I believe if I gave his name it would cause a potentially unhealthy bias towards his comments that don’t necessarily need to be there, but I want to make sure people are aware that the quote from Monday and future quotes, that I will attribute to the “GTM Summer Mystery Catholic”, are not mine. My next Mystery Catholic quote will be on Friday the 27th.

Something I’ve found most interesting is that most Catholic blog readers of my site and especially those who are willing to comment seem to be more on the conservative side of Catholicism or Christianity in general. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but it could just be an example of “birds of a feather, flock together”. I know we shouldn’t use words like liberal and conservative when it comes to Catholicism as “Truth” cannot be describe with such terms but I am a product of my environment and the world likes to label.

“Help me Lord discern Your truth in the world. Help me not to label but to love. Amen”

Know Your Translations

John 6:40 (New American Standard Bible)
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

John 6:40 (New American Bible)
“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”

In the translations above you can see two ways of translating the same verse in the Bible. The second verse translation is used by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The two differences between the translations are “beholds the Son” vs “sees the Son” and “will have” vs “may have”.

If you ask me there is a big difference between will & may, one is definite and one is not. Also behold and see can have the same meaning but see probably speaks better to our world today but an arguement can be made that behold is a better translation.

So how can someone who lives after the death of Christ actually see Christ? I think most people assume not to take a literal meaning in this instance but rather go with seeing Christ in nature or in those around us, but I think we need look at it literally.

A Protestant Christian might ask “How can someone in our day see Christ literally if you don’t mean seeing Christ in nature or those around us, after all Christ is risen.” He can be seen in the flesh at a Catholic Mass. He is made physically present at the consecration of the Eucharist. We actually see Christ in the flesh whether you believe it or not he is made physically present and if we believe in him we may have eternal life and he will raise us on the last day.

I Have The Matter In Hand

I have wanted to write about communion in the hand for sometime. I cast no judgment on anyone who receives communion in the hand but I found a little excerpt that spoke to me and I wanted to share it. I will not provide the name of the author as it may bias your opinion of the quote and I’d rather you just consider the comments. The author is speaking about the reintroduction of communion in the hand after the Vatican II council.

…At first, many may have been shocked by communion in the hand; but “everybody does it.” Then little by little, as you receive Our Lord in your hands standing, you end up thinking that He is not your Lord. Because if He were really God, you would fall on your knees to adore Him and you would not take Him in your hand. For when you take something in your hand, you are the one in control. “I have the matter in hand” means that you have something under control…

I was born after communion rails/kneelers were discarded but I have had the opportunity to receive communion kneeling a few times. All I can say is that it feels right and I wish this opportunity was made more readily available to the faithful.