Saturday, February 10, 2007
FR. ROBERT ALTIER'S HOMILY FOR FEB. 10, 2005
Lent came earlier in 2005, but Feb. 21 is not all that far away, and we will soon be in the Season of Lent as well. Here is the beginning of Fr. Altier's homily for the Thursday after Ash Wednesday, 2005:
Thursday February 10, 2005?? Thursday After Ash Wednesday
Reading (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)?? Gospel (St. Luke 9:22-25)
In the first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses tells us that he places before us life and death, the blessing and the curse. And he talks all about what will happen as we make our choices. He says that if we choose life it is going to be because we have chosen to serve the Lord, to be obedient to His commandments, to do all the things that Our Lord is asking us to do, and to walk in His way. If we choose death, it is because we have chosen not to serve the Lord but to serve other gods and to do things our own way.
Our Lord in the Gospel reading, then, follows up on the point and He tells us the same thing. He places before us life and death. He places before us the blessing and the curse, as well. He tells us exactly what it is going to require. So if we are going to be obedient to the commandment of our God, what is it? You must take up your cross daily and follow Me. And He tells us that anyone who would lose his life will save it. If we want life, it is only by losing our life in order to serve Christ.
Now that sounds like it is completely foolish, and on Our Lord?s part it sounds like it is completely selfish. He says, Whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. Imagine if we ran around saying something like that ? ?The only way that you?re going to live is if you do something for me?! Well, the difference is that He is God, and so He is telling us that if we serve God (which is exactly what Moses told us) then we will have life. But He tells us how we are to serve Him: It is to lose our life, it is to take up our cross, and it is to follow in His way. That is exactly what Moses said, except Moses did not say, ?Take up your cross,? but he told us to follow in the way of the Lord, to be obedient to His commands. Jesus is just specifying what the commandment is: We have to be willing to lose ourselves. If we lose ourselves for His sake then what happens is that we gain Him, we are transformed into Christ, and then it is Christ Who lives in us.
Continue reading the rest of the homily...
Fountains in front of a hotel. Stick around for the finale which is especially nice. Can anyone put a name to the music or the hotel?
Friday, February 09, 2007
CHECK OUT CATHOLIC E-CARDS
They have cards for the sacraments and Marian shrines as well as the usual list of holidays.
OPRAH TO REVEAL "THE SECRET"
The Aspen Times Weekly reports:
On Thursday, Feb. 8, Oprah viewers will be introduced to Australian filmmaker Rhonda Byrne, whose voice is heard at the start of the DVD: "A year ago, my life had collapsed around me. I'd worked myself into exhaustion, my father died suddenly and my relationships were in turmoil. Little did I know at the time, out of my greatest despair was to come the greatest gift."
"The gift" is a centuries-old secret to life, purported to be coveted and suppressed throughout the ages. "Why doesn't everyone know this?" Byrne's voice whispers. "All I wanted to do was share the secret with the world."
Now she has. The Secret is one of the divine laws of the universe. The "Mastery of Life" is not difficult to grasp, but the secret of the Rosicrucian tradition has been protected and preserved for thousands of years, shown only to those who have proven a true desire to know.
"The Secret" it turns out is the power of positive thinking...we create our own reality...and so, of course, we are solely responsible for our own misfortunes. Those who believe in reincarnation would find this secret very familiar. Now it seems that Oprah's audience will as well.
CATHARISM IN THE CAVES
The Antonin Gadal website gives a lengthy description of Catharism as it was conducted in the Ariege Valley in France--conducted mostly in caves, claimed by Gadal to have been the home of Druidic practice in the past.
Exploration in the caves brought forth various paintings representative of religions that had been conducted there:
The Solar myth, the myth of the great Mother Goddess, the myth of Ram and the Aum, original Christianity, Gnosticism, Pyrenean Catharism, the Empire of Love and the Knights of the Grail have left more or fewer signs of their passage through the centuries:
red circled sun, lunar crescent, white snakes, red or carved animals, magical inscriptions, carved goddesses, sacred objects of the Egyptian Mysteries, Aegeans’ siren-tortoise, theology of the Pure Ones engraved in the stone.
Gadal saw in the caves a "Bible for mankind."
Three large caves became three Cathar churches: "they are called the ‘three churches’ of Ussat, of Ornolac-Bethlehem and of Bouan."
Initiation took place in the caves:
After a year probation on the Sacred Mountain, the young Cathar neophyte celebrated his initiation in the cave of Bethlehem, in Ornolac, and thus could access the state of living Soul, the state of ‘Pure One’ or ‘Perfect One’.
Then going through the ‘Mystical door’, he would come back to the world to devote himself to suffering mankind, in service to Christ.
The Cathar cathedral was the cave of Lombrives:
In 1244, after Monségur’s fall, the cavern of Lombrives became the dwelling of a Cathar bishop, Amiel Aicard. This Perfect One had indeed received the order of leaving the besieged fortress during the night of its surrender in 1244 and bringing to Lombrives the ‘sacred treasure of the Cathars’.
The final confrontation between the Catholic crusaders and the Cathar adherents in the caves is described here. Naturally the Catholics come off badly. Ultimately the Cathars died after the Catholics walled up the entrance. The cave that became a grave is described here.
Two and a half centuries later the cave was opened by a descendent of the Cathars who would later become Henry IV, King of France.
CLEVELAND DIOCESAN PARISH CLUSTERS
A reader sent in a link to the new parish clusters that can be seen on the Diocesan website. Some are as expected but some are...interesting. I found at least one combination of ultra-conservative parish linked with liberal parish. Wonder how that is going to work out.
Ohio.com has covered the story. There are a few comments. One commenter was positive. One commenter referred to Bishop Lennon as the "Boston Strangler." Another commenter noted:
I live in Lorain County, in Avon, and I'm not very optimistic with the pairing of the two churches St. Mary's and Holy Trinity. There has been so much animosity grown between the two current principals at the schools, I just don't see how this partnership will benefit either parish with all the backbiting and badmouthing that has gone on. I wonder if the diocese will address the schools
Strangely enough there is not even a hint of clustering at St. Bernards over the last many weeks. Considering the size of the church, perhaps this is a cluster all by itself. I spoke with someone who is a regular at St. Bernards who didn't even know about the plans to cluster parishes until speaking with me.
Merrily we roll along...
Thursday, February 08, 2007
JEAN HOUSTON'S MYSTERY SCHOOL
A reader sent in Jean Houston's Mystery School YouTube advertisement featuring lots of women trying to convince you that they are doing something really important for themselves by attending, and you should too. Very few men involved.
THE WASHINGTON POST IS COVERING THE ARIEL TOAFF STORY
as well. You can read the article here, including this passage which I'm in full agreement with:
What seems to have been forgotten in the shuffle though is that Toaff is describing a "deviant sect" of fanatics some 500 years ago -- a time when all types of brutal behavior (NAFW) took place. And even if there is some truth to his claims, to consider them indicative of an entire religion would be like believing the Branch Davidians are representative of all Christians. Admitting that these events may have taken place and examining the evidence empirically is not anti-Semitic; however, believing they provide justification for centuries of genocide is.
It is just as illogical to claim that all Jews are good just because they are Jews as it is illogical to claim that all Catholics are good just because they are Catholic. We've been given adequate demonstration of the evil that some Catholics are capable of over the last few years. It is not unreasonable to think that some Jews may have done something equally evil. Nothing can be accomplished by refusing to look at the truth, no matter where it leads. Some of it is not going to be pretty. Not on either side of this long-standing divide.
PROFESSOR OUTRAGES JEWS WITH BOOK CLAIM
The Telegraph reports:
A Jewish academic has shocked Italy by stating that Jews murdered Christians during the Middle Ages so that their blood could be used in ritualistic ceremonies.
The details were revealed in yesterday's Corriere Della Sera newspaper which published extracts of the book by Professor Ariel Toaff, Easter of Blood. European Jews and ritual homicides.
Last night his claims were denied by leading Jewish figures including his father Elio, once chief rabbi of Rome.
In the book, Prof Toaff describes the multilation and crucification of a two-year-old boy to recreate Christ's execution at Pesach, the Jewish Easter. The festival marks the fleeing of the Jews from Egypt and Prof Toaff says Christian blood was used for "magic and therapeutic practices."
Blogger credit to NOR.
OTTO RAHN AND THE HOLY GRAIL
If you can get past the fact that it appears in a UFO E-zine, the story of Otto Rahn is told briefly in Volume 8, Number 24 of UFO Roundup, July 2, 2003, by Joseph Trainor. It reads in part:
Ussat-les-Bains became a kind of "Roswell of the Cathars." Among the occultists who made the pilgrimage there was a young German named Otto Rahn.
Rahn arrived in 1931 and made friends with Gadal. While working part-time at a local hotel, Rahn frequented Gadal's museum and took voluminous notes on the Holy Grail. But when the worldwide Depression worsened in 1932, Rahn lost his job and drifted back home to Germany.
During a fruitless search for work in the Fatherland, Rahn wrote a book of his own, Kreuzzug gegen den Graal (German for Crusade Against the Grail --J.T.) It was as big a hit as the Peladan book a quarter-century earlier. Gadal's friend, Rene Nelli, translated Rahn's book into French, and Croisade contre le Graal soon found a global audience.
Unfortunately for Rahn, his book caught the eye of a fellow German with a pronounced interest in the occult. This was Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsfuhrer-SS and Adolf Hitler's confidant and secret police chief. Himmler "personally invited the author (Rahn) to meet him at his Prinz Albrechtstrasse headquarters in Berlin. There he offered Rahn a commission in the SS and virtually unlimited resources for which Himmler expected Rahn to continue his research into the Grail legends, the Cathars and related subjects of Aryan interest."
Weeks later, a liberal friend was horrified when he saw Rahn in the black garb of an SS Sturmbannfuhrer. "Otto! What are you doing in that uniform!?"
"My dear fellow," Rahn replied, a bit sheepish, "A man has to eat. Himmler himself offered me this job. What was I supposed to do--turn him down?"
So Rahn continued his Holy Grail research and in 1935 became one of the founders of the SS-Ahnenerbe (German acronym for Ancestral Heritage and Research Teaching Society--J.T.).
The SS-Ahnenerbe turned up persistent rumors that the Holy Grail had been hidden by the Cathars after the fall of Montsegur. Trouble was, it was rumored to be in a number of different locations throughout Europe--including the Crimea.
More details of the Otto Rahn/Nazi connection with the Holy Grail and Cathars are given at the greyfalcon.us website. There you can read:
Otto Rahn, historian and philologer, became inextricably involved with the hierarchy of the Nazi party, meeting with Himmler, Alfred Rosenberg and Wolfram Sievers. He possibly did not realise that Adolf Hitler had been an avid student of the occult since his young days, and that the Fuhrer's obsession would engulf his quest.
After joining the SS, Rahn's rise through the ranks was swift and spectacular. He was made Sargent without ever having been a corporal. His second book, LUCIFER'S COURTIERS, became the bible of the National Socialist Party according to the website. Ultimately he fell out of favor and was offered the options of death by suicide or death by execution, after which he simply disappeared according to one source. Another source claims his suicide was faked, his features altered by plastic surgery, his name changed to Rudolf Rahn. In his disguise he was sent to Iraq as ambassador, and later served as ambassador to Italy.
Hitler's New Order was to be based on Cathar principles. What are they? Prominent among them was a rejection of clergy and hierarchy. The following principles were embraced by the Cathars according to Antonin Gadal:
1. God is the infinite light, the one and the whole, worshipped as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2. God has a Son, consubstantial, co-eternal and necessarily unique but subordinated, because He is the Son. ‘He was not born of a woman. He came through the Golden Door of Heaven.’
In the Eastern Church before the Council of Nicea, the mother of Christ was not human but celestial! She was not called Mary, but ‘Mani’, ‘Mens’, ‘Manas’, which means ‘Thought’, Spirit.
3. The birth in Bethlehem was a magnificent terrestrial symbol, not a historic and scientific reality. The Cathar church is the "real" Virgin Mary, the personification of the divine Wisdom.
4. The star of Bethlehem is Christ, Mary and the Three Wise Men. Five branches: it is the pentagram of transformation, the image of man made perfect.
5. Lucibel is the most famous and glorious of all angels. The highest of God’s creatures. He fell through arbitrary will and rebellion; disproportionate ambition; immoderate desires. He is less guilty than unfortunate; the chief of the exiled souls who willingly accompanied him in his ruin. He built our world over which he serves as monarch.
6. All spirits will be saved and return to Heaven after a journey through the six planets.
7. Evil is independent from God. It is non-being established in time, outside of the divine creation. (Here is an argument that has turned up in Catholic discussions, promoted by a poster to a Catholic message board who called herself a hermit. - ct)
The Earth is purgatory. Man has an inner eye to contemplate truth. The Paraclete is the Consoler promised by Christ, founder of the Church of the Spirit.
8. John is the Patriarch in the Church of the Paraclete.
9. Cathar pioneers include Druids, the mystery schools of Egypt and Greece, Moses, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Plato, Origen, Lysis, Hermes Trismegistus, the Seven Churches of Asia, Gregory of Nazianzus, Synesius, Origen, Tertullianus, the Magi of the Euphrates and the Brahmans of India.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
POWERS OF EU COURT GROWING
From a story linked at Spirit Daily:
For eurosceptics, the European Court of Justice ruling in September 2005 was like giving a child a loaded gun. It opened the way for the European Union to designate a new class of pan-European crimes, and how they should be punished.
In Britain there was an outcry. In future decisions taken in Brussels could be applied to the British courts, denying parliament the right to determine what constituted a crime and levels of sentencing.
Concerns grew when the European Commission interpreted the ruling as being far wider than the case at issue: environmental crime. It produced a list of offences it believed should also be covered by the new rules, including counterfeiting, money laundering and computer hacking.
The Commission's decision this week to create common criminal rules for environmental crimes is seen by some as a sign that Brussels will take full advantage of the court ruling to stealthily advance EU powers.
A look at modern Rosicrucianism and Neo-Catharism is incomplete without a look at Antonin Gadal. He is the keystone that holds up the arch of this modern philosophy, so to speak.
According to the History page in the website of the Rosicrucian group Lectorium Rosicrucianum (or International School of the Golden Rosycross) the organization was founded in 1924 by Z. W. Leene (1892-1938) and his brother J. Leene (1896-1968). It was the Dutch division of the Rosicrucian Fellowship founded in California in 1909 by Max Heindel. Mrs. H. Stok-Huizer (1902-1990) joined the Leen brothers in 1930. In 1935 they broke with the Rosicrucian Fellowship.
Leen and Stok-Huizer have co-authored books under the pseydonymns of Jan van Rijckenborgh and Catharose de Petri. It was the meeting with Antonin Gadal that grounded the modern movement.
Gadal, a Frenchman born in 1877 near Montsegur in the heart of what had been Albigensian territory, lived near an old historian, Adolphe Garrigou, and learned from him what there was to know about Catharism. When Garrigou died, Gadal carried his torch.
Wikipedia describes Gadal as "a French mystic and historian who dedicated his life to study of the Cathars in the south of France, their spirituality, beliefs and ideology." He worked as a school teacher, and subsequently for the Tourist Board of Ussat Ornolac. His free time found him exploring the numerous caves in the region looking for information about the Cathars. His books include THE INHERITANCE OF THE CATHARS and ON THE TRAIL OF THE HOLY GRAIL, both of which are published by Rosycross Press. He died in 1962.
According to the Antonin Gadal website, Gadal was "obsessed by the Cathar 'preremberance', a Gnostic term that evokes the idea of a subconscious link with the reality of an inner spiritual world, beyond appearances. A lost and forgotten kingdom of light."
The website claims that Gadal was "Helped by a priest who had a passion for research" and "was able to have access to the Inquisition archives..." The name of the priest is not given.
Gadal's view of the Church as expressed in this webpage:
He had to recognize how much the original concepts of Christianity, founded on purity, love, the rebirth of the soul, sanctification and the Spirit, had been slowly perverted, adapted to the desire for power of the Church and conformed to the world.
How often, since Vatican II, have we heard about RCIA, the Christian "Initiation", a term that was not used prior to the Council. Gadal pursued the history and meaning of Cathar initiation as he found evidence of it in the caves:
He wanted to reveal the hidden, pure side of a Christianity that was lived as a path of initiation by men and women who were seized in their soul by 'the Christ Spirit'.
Gadal believed that all peoples have searched for the same source of wisdom, a source he called the "Paraclete"
A circle of friends gathered around him included:
colorful people: an occultist; inspired writers such as Maurice Magre; intellectuals such as Déodat Roché who was also looking for the secret of the Cathars; Countess Pujol-Murat, descendant of the famous Esclarmonde de Foix; the poet and philosopher René Nelli, a friend of André Breton - for whom 'Monségur was still aflame' (still consumed by the spirit of intolerance); and, of course, Antonin Gadal.
His circle of friends also included Catholic priests and bishops:
Isabelle Sandy, a local writer, with Countess Pujol-Murat, with P.A. Ladame, a Swiss writer who had a great veneration for the Cathars, with Christian Bernadac, a writer, and his family, with Fauré-Lacaussade, a local historian. He was also helped in his historical work by Catholic priests such as Father Glory, whom the persecutions inflicted on the Cathars by the religious authorities of the Middle Ages made deeply indignant.
Thanks to these priests, and even to bishops who were willing to help him, Gadal had the records of the Inquisition in the Sabarthes wide open to him.
It would certainly be interesting to learn who these priests and bishops were. Unfortunately the composers of this website have chosen not to tell us.
Gadal wanted to "reconstitute part of the history of the Cathar priesthood" and to discover the "links that bound them to the ancient Gnostic source of Christianity". Among those interested in Gadal's work were Anglo-German occultists such as Walter N. Birks.
Gadal had another member of his circle of friends...Otto Rahn.
THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD
translated into English is online here and here
There is an interesting introduction to one of the books of the Talmud, Abodah Zarah, here. I find it interesting because the matter of the Jewish ghetto under the reign of various popes has been an object of contention. Yet here in this introduction is a clear indication that the Jewish people were to separate themselves from the people of other religions as a necessity of preserving the Jewish faith.
I believe that the Early Christian communities, too, chose to separate themselves to avoid contamination. That seems entirely logical given that the founder of Christianity was a Jew, and He chose other Jews as the Apostles. Jewish thinking was at the heart of the foundation of Christianity, and thus a continuation of the separatist mentality would be logical. That policy trickled down through the centuries as the Christian Church grew in Europe, and was still being reflected in the refusal to allow intermingling of Jews and Christians that, when looked at today, is branded anti-Semitic.
Recent popes have completely reversed this thinking, asking Catholics instead to practice interreligious dialogue in an effort to promote greater understanding of the beliefs of other people.
Yet it is still necessary to keep the various faiths free of syncretism given that a mix-and-match approach to faith ends up with a jumble that is every faith and no faith at all. We must find ways to circumvent the long history of religious conflict without diluting Catholicism into something unrecognizable, as evidence of the result of interreligious dialogue is providing at present. Importing Buddhism into Christianity, for example, confuses the cosmology of both religions. And while it might be possible for a Catholic to embrace the Judaism of the Old Testament, it is apparently not possible for the reverse to take place given the rejections of Christian beliefs that I have seen in the Jewish material I've read over the last 24 hours. Jewish cosmology and Christian cosmology are a thing apart.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
It seems that a major dust-up has developed in the comments box of a thread below. I have been accused of slander because of a weblog I linked that discussed the Noahide Laws and consequences of breaking them. Slander is an accusation of untruth.
Does the Jewish community promote the Noahide Laws?
Root & Branch, a Jewish community, promotes them. Read there the law concerning Idolatry and the system of justice to be applied for breaking these laws:
Idolatry(bolding mine - ct)
If the worship of entities other than the Creator had not been forbidden by His express command, then people would be free to choose what to worship, just as they choose their own personal friends. However the whole area of relations between humanity and its Creator has been placed under specific requirements, namely that only His truth and unity should be the subject of belief, worship and philosophy. His revelation has two levels, the one in nature for ordinary reckoning, and the other
through prophecy on Mount Sinai for the moral law. All non-Jews derive their true religious fulfillment from this latter source, and any reference to an intermediary causes error and loss of morality. There is no need for non-Jews to form associations for Noachide observance and prayer, but they may do so if
System of justice
The non-Jewish nations of the world are commanded to avoid the state of anarchy by assuming and exercising the sovereign jurisdiction, to maintain courts that punish offenders by due process of law, and that provide civil redress in society. The Noachide Laws themselves form the basis of the criminal code, but each nation may make civil laws as it sees fit within the general guidelines. This provision
does not apply within the Land of Israel, where the sovereign power is in the hands of the Jewish people, and they judge non-Jews of any nationality living or visiting there under these same Noachide Laws.
Corporations are held in being by the sovereign power through the enactment of corporate law, which is empowered by this commandment. The sovereign power is responsible for regulating these corporations in the public interest, and ensuring their conformity with all aspects of the law. Thus Communism and Fascism are in breach of the spiritual law because of their lack of this regulation.
Non-Jews are obligated to seek reconciliation rather than take their disputes straight to court, and this in turn obligates them to give charitable donations to the needy so as to foster reconciliation in general.
The Rabbis of the Talmud say, 'War comes to the world through the delay of justice, the perversion of justice, and the teaching of Torah out of accordance with its legal meaning.' When all processes of law are rectified in this way, with good government applied to sustain them, functioning in Divine integrity, then grievances are properly handled and true peace emerges into the light of day. This is among the
recognitions of the United States Congress in its Declaration endorsing the Noachide Laws (H.J. Res. 104, Public Law 102-14, March 1990 and subsequently), based on long historic understanding of the Jewish people and the Torah.
It is hardly slander to say that the Jewish community promotes the Noachide Laws when they make it this obvious.
Or is it the negativity expressed about Jesus Christ that appears in the website that is objected to?
The website that is causing the objections quotes Maimonides, and I have included the quote in my blog. The passage accuses Jesus of Nazareth and his students of causing difficulty to the Jews and swaying the people away from God. Was Maimonides opposed to Jesus Christ? A passage from Wikipedia attributed to Maimonides and taken from the Epistle to Yemen indicates he was:
After that there arose a new sect which combined the two methods, namely, conquest and controversy, into one, because it believed that this procedure would be more effective in wiping out every trace of the Jewish nation and religion. It, therefore, resolved to lay claim to prophecy and to found a new faith, contrary to our Divine religion, and to contend that it was equally God-given. Thereby it hoped to raise doubts and to create confusion, since one is opposed to the other and both supposedly emanate from a Divine source, which would lead to the destruction of both religions. For such is the remarkable plan contrived by a man who is envious and querulous. He will strive to kill his enemy and to save his own life, but when he finds it impossible to attain his objective, he will devise a scheme whereby they both will be slain.
The first one to have adopted this plan was Jesus the Nazarene, may his bones be ground to dust. He was a Jew because his mother was a Jewess although his father was a Gentile. For in accordance with the principles of our law, a child born of a Jewess and a Gentile, or of a Jewess and a slave, is legitimate. (Yebamot 45a). Jesus is only figuratively termed an illegitimate child. He impelled people to believe that he was a prophet sent by God to clarify perplexities in the Torah, and that he was the Messiah that was predicted by each and every seer. He interpreted the Torah and its precepts in such a fashion as to lead to their total annulment, to the abolition of all its commandments and to the violation of its prohibitions. The sages, of blessed memory, having become aware of his plans before his reputation spread among our people, meted out fitting punishment to him.
We don't desire that those we approve of have their bones ground to dust.
Wikipedia's entry for "Idolatry in Judaism" includes the following statement:
Among the three cardinal sins for which the penalty was death, idolatry stood first (Talmud Pes. 25a and parallels).
Has this passage from the Talmud been rescinded? Superseded? Reinterpreted?
According to the Wiki article:
Maimonides, however, goes further in defining idolatry than other Jewish thinkers before or since; he states that it is idolatry to hold that God is subject to any affections at all. Not only believing that God has a body, but merely believing "that one of the states of the body belong to Him, you provoke His jealousy and anger, kindle the fire of his wrath, and are a hater, an enemy and an adversary of God, much more so than an idolator."
If the penalty for idolatry is death, what is the penalty for something worse than idolatry?
Next turn to the Jewish Encyclopedia for the entry on "Beheading" and this passage:
According to rabbinical opinion, Beheading was one of the accepted modes of execution in the Bible (Mishnah Sanh. vii. 1). Murder and idolatry (when committed by a whole city, Deut. xiii. 14) were the crimes punishable with Beheading (Mishnah Sanh. ix. 1; Mek., Mishpa?im, 4; Sifre, Deut. 94). Punishing a slave so severely that death followed within twenty-fourhours, was accounted murder; and the guilty master was punished capitally (Mek., Mishpa?im, 7).
Finally turn to the Liberal Judaism Mailing List where this entry can be found:
From: Mark Solomon
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 15:18:36 +0100
Subject: Noachide Laws
The chief source in rabbinic literature for the Noachide Laws is the
Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 56a (bottom)-60a. This lengthy discussion is
based on a baraita (a teaching from the mishnaic period but not in the
Mishnah) which is also found, in a somewhat different form, at the end of
Tosefta Avodah Zarah, ch. 9. The main post-talmudic authority to deal with the
Noachide Laws is Maimonides, who codifies them in great detail in Mishneh
Torah, Hilkhot Melakhim 8:10-10:6.
Even a superficial study of these sources reveals a law code of such
incredibly draconian strictness that it is quite inconceivable that it could
ever be put into practice, as even the Rabbis who framed it must have been
One example of this strictness will have to suffice. The Rabbis rule that, in
Noachide law, unlike Jewish law, there is only one judicial penalty
avaiable--death by beheading (although there was a dissenting opinion that
strangling was the method to be used). Every single infraction of a Noachide
commandment is punishable by death, and again unlike Jewish law, no prior
warning is needed and one witness is sufficient (Maimonides, ibid., 9:14).
Today we do not hear of anyone being beheaded. We do not hear of the Noahide Laws being the law of the land despite the congressional action. But what of tomorrow? What if the Noahide Laws become the standard of law for a world court or a world government? How will Christians fare under such a system? How will those who cling to Christ be treated if idolatry becomes punishable by death by beheading as the Noachide Laws dictate?
To ask these questions is hardly slander when the information is available from the sources I've linked here. It is a legitimate right of a Christian to question discussions of Noahide Laws, particularly given that the U.S. Congress has already adopted a resolution citing them. If these laws are to become a standard governing moral behavior, it must be made very clear that Christianity does not fall under the penalty for idolatry. I have seen no indication anywhere that such a provision is being incorporated in the discussions.
the title of a new novel by Kate Mosse, tells the story of the good and holy Cathars battling the Big Bad Evil Roman Catholic Church. It has topped the best-seller list in Britain according to The Seattle Times.
OLD CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP ARRESTED FOR CHILD PORN
According to LifeSiteNews.com, Rev. Frederick Patrick Dunleavy was arrested Jan. 31 for having pornographic images of boys and girls between the ages of five and 17.
ROSICRUCIANISM OR CATHARISM - THE LUV GOSPEL
These two organizations profess beliefs so similar as to be almost the same philosophy, and it is a philosophy increasingly appearing in the Roman Catholic Church.
"Deus Caritas Est" - God Is Love.
That is the title of Benedict XVI's encyclical. It is the motto of Catharism. To quote a passage from the Gadal Catharisme website:
God is Love. These words often resounded in the mouths of the Perfect Ones, the "Bonshommes, the "Good Men".
The question of whether Hell is empty and whether even Lucifer will ultimately be saved in another of the questions that has surfaced in Roman Catholicism.
By their repentance, the souls participate in the blessing of the universal Redemption, whose Goodness does not even exclude Lucibel, "the fallen archangel". (Origen).
Within the religion of love
- no eternal damnation: all will come back one day to the original Kingdom, even Lucibel, the fallen archangel.
Catharism also claims there is no vengeful God.
The Cathar doctrine of Christ freeing all souls from hell is delivered in iconographic form here.
Another page in the Antonin Gadal website tells us:
Doctrine, Gnosis, Pyrenean Grail, Druidism, the Sabarthes, a little history, the Inquisition tribunal of Pamiers, all presented that beautiful Kingdom of Love, which provoked the bloody hatred of the corrupted clergy of the Middle Ages and which Rome annihilated with a pitiless hand.
It is not a call for hatred or revenge, as I have often written or repeated. We cannot be a Cathar if we are not able to forgive: “God is Love!”… It is the summary of that “path of the Holy Grail”, so beautiful, so long and so difficult, which leads to the sanctification in Christ, goal of any initiation, supreme way to Goodness, Beauty and Love.
What does matter are the sources, not the numerous councils held by Rome to fight ideas or men who would not submit to “dogma and to a faith without insight”.’
Of course if there is no eternal damnation and no vengeful God, it is a short step into sin because there is no motivation to avoid it.
Seattle Catholic took note of this universal salvation that is creeping into Roman Catholicism in the April 2004 issue:
One of the most pernicious errors that plagues the Catholic Church today is creeping universalism. While few will come out and baldly state that no one is damned to Hell, the door is left open to that conclusion by writers such as Hans Urs von Balthasar in his book Dare We Hope "That All Men Be Saved"? We have seen this played out in the pages of the NEW OXFORD REVIEW (Jan. 2001, Jul.-Aug. 2001, Oct. 2001), as the universalist tendencies of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus have come under scrutiny. And I have encountered any number of relatively prominent Catholic apologists who argue vociferously (although privately) in favor of the view that we cannot know for certain, based on Scripture and Tradition, that there are any human souls in Hell.
Monday, February 05, 2007
THE PROBLEMS ON THE RIGHT
Catholics who refuse to obey.
The bishops have the final say where apparitions are concerned. Down through history, visionaries who have been silenced by their bishop have remained silent in obedience. God has always worked through this humble submission to the bishop.
Yet despite the conclusion of the bishop that her visions are not supernatural, that the investigation is over, that the Church has spoken, Talone-Sullivan said "There needs to be open dialogue. People can believe or not believe." That attitude of defiance of the local bishop is a sign of a false visionary.
She has supporters who are promoting her events and apparently helping to pay for them since they are no longer permitted to take place in a church. Crowds are increasing. One assumes that the crowds consist of Catholics who wish to get a glimpse of the Blessed Virgin, yet why would they hope to do so through a visionary who has been declared by the Church to be witnessing nothing supernatural?
This is flagrant disobedience on the right in an area of spirituality where the man in the pew is not equipped to make a judgment call.
You can read the Spirit Daily-linked story here.
NOAHIDE LAWS AND HATRED OF CHRISTIANITY
Some of you may know about the Maurice Pinay blog. Today is the first I have seen of it, and I don't know anything about the author.
He has written a blog titled "JPII's 5/22 Rabinnic Jest at Expense of Noahides". In it he quotes what he says are Jewish texts and which demonstrate Jewish hatred of Christ. One of the quotes is the following:
"The Christians are idolaters, and Sunday is their holiday..." (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Chapter 9)
"It is a mitzvah [religious duty], however, to eradicate Jewish traitors, minim, and apikorsim, and to cause them to descend to the pit of destruction, since they cause difficulty to the Jews and sway the people away from God, as did Jesus of Nazareth and his students, and Tzadok, Baithos, and their students. May the name of the wicked rot." (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Chapter 10)
He also takes a quote from Maimonides which John Paul II used in an address to the Chief Rabbi of Rome, and attempts to demonstrate that the pope took the passage out of context by giving the larger passage from which it was taken.
He also mentions the penalty for idolatry which is beheading.
A lot of disconnected pieces of research composed themselves into one picture recently when I discovered the website of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, a group out of the Netherlands whose information until recently has been available only in foreign languages as far as I could tell.
I'm not really sure where to begin, so I'll just plunge in, making the connections at random. It's going to take a few days to draw it all together.
First the symbols...
There was the birdbath symbol that I've linked previously, and which appears in both the Rosicrucian website and in the John Main Seminars website.
Notice at the John Main Seminar website that Laurence Freeman OSB, who took over when John Main died, has written a book titled JESUS THE TEACHER WITHIN. Consider for a moment yesterday's blog on the chasuble that included a triangle within a triangle and rays radiating out of the triangle. Was that a symbol of the teacher within?
Whether it was or was not, the triangle is an important part of Rosicrucian symbology along with the square and the circle. You can see their symbol here and read a description of what they are about--"a synthesis between faith and reason."
"A synthesis between faith and reason"? Where else have we heard that? Yes, from John Paul II, September 15, 1998, "Fides et Ratio". Whether or not they pursue the same goals, they are using the same words. Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVIuses those words too.
The Rosicrucian website uses the square symbol. A prominent Masonic symbol is the square and compass, though in this case the square is a tool of the craftsman. The Rosicrucian website speaks of harkening back to Jacob Boehme. Boehme was a German seer--a channeler possibly--and is the early source of Pentecostalism, and subsequently Catholic charismatic renewal. His ideas captivated William Law, whose ideas captivated John Wesley. Now we see that his ideas are incorporated into the Golden Rosycross.
The Rosicrucian symbol of square, or cross which makes four squares, triangle and circle appears in Martinist literature that I've blogged in the past. Here is one Martinist group that displays it prominently. Notice that this Martinist group includes The Immaculate Heart Sisters of Mary, a group formed by Father Paul Blighton, founder of the Holy Order of Mans. This group is affiliated with Lewis Keizer through the Teachers of The Way of Master Ken David Keach, R.O., B.A., Keach is a Mason, a member of the Board of various Waldorf Schools, and has taken the name Father David Rahman Wadud Rashid as his spiritual name. He has training in Sufi, Buddhist, Christian and Anthroposophical traditions.
Keep in mind as you consider the implications of this symbolism that we are looking at a network, not an organization. Lots of little groups make one large movement with sufficient impact to bring about change in the culture.
While Europe gets on the global warming bandwagon behind the Pied Piper Jacques Chirac as I blogged last Saturday, a reader sent in a link to the Newsweek, April 28, 1975 story "The Cooling World" which raises an alarm over the cooling temperatures of the earth, and the potential disastrous return of a new ice age.
Further evidence that the scientific community is not all that clear about these trends can be found here, which means that the United States, China, India and Russia are countries that may have been wise to steer clear of this latest global warming multi-national conglomerate, since it may just be tilting at windmills.
PICTURES FROM SATURN
from the NASA website. When you get to the website, click the "Cassini Photo Essay" link in the upper right corner.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
This time on today's chasuble.
White outline of a triangle on the green background of the vestment. On each of the three sides of the triangle are three gold slash marks that extend from the outside and cross over into the inside of the white triangle where they form yet another triangle in the negative by the position at which they stop. On each side one of the three slash marks is longer than the other two. There are no other marks to indicate what this symbol is supposed to mean. My first impression was that the slash marks represented power going out of the triangle.
The best online description of the triangle symbol I could find is this one at About: Alternative Religion which states:
The upward pointing triangle is the alchemical symbol for fire. One of the four classical elements, fire has the properties of heat and dryness, and symbolizes the "fiery" emotions- love, hate, passion, compassion, empathy, anger, etc., as well as spiritual aspiration- those actions of intent which bring us closer to the divine. Fire is represented in numerous cultures as the tringle, symbolising rising force.
The symbolism of the upward-pointing triangle symbolises rising energy. The element is sometimes represented by a sword or knife; when paired with the chalic of water, it is referred to as the blade.
In Paracelsian alchemical tradition, the elemental spirits of fire are salamanders.
The fire symbol is derived from the medieval magical Seal of Solomon.
Zodiac signs ruled by the element of fire are: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
Given that this symbol on the priest's chasuble had a triangle within a triangle, that would translate to the power within, or even perhaps the god within, radiating fire or energy.
One can twist this into a Catholic symbol by superimposing the concept of the Trinitarian God, and the indwelling Holy Spirit, radiating love, I suppose; but that is hardly the first thought that comes to mind when viewing this chasuble from the pew within the cultural context of a Christian nation rapidly converting to Paganism, and the triangle representing various elements of the new religions that are arising.
So what can one assume when the priest comes out to say Mass wearing such a vestment?
- The priest is ignorant of the symbolism of what he is wearing?
- The priest is knowledgable of the symbolism of what he is wearing and wears it for the purpose of deception?
- The priest has decided to adapt a pagan symbol to a Catholic meaning and doesn't care whether the laity in the pews get the true Catholic message or interpret the Pagan message?
What if this same priest
- Leaves out the Kyrie
- Elevates the host but does not elevate the chalice
- Says the Creed so quickly that it is impossible to say it along with him
- Combines the separate prayer over the bread and the prayer over the wine into a single prayer over the bread and wine in the prayer of preparation of the gifts
- Says Mass in 43 minutes?
What is the message of this combination of symbol and shortening of prayer? This is the same priest who turns the moment before the readings begin into his first homily of the day, and follows the readings with his second homily.
FR. ROBERT ALTIER'S HOMILY FOR FEBRUARY 4, 2005
and a source for his homilies online:
Friday February 4, 2005?? Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Hebrews 13:1-8)?? Gospel (St. Mark 6:14-29)
In the first reading today, Saint Paul speaks to us about charity. He tells us at first that we are not to neglect hospitality. In so doing, that means the whole disposition and attitude we have to have toward the way that we deal with other people; it needs to be kind, it needs to be humble, and it needs to be charitable. He goes on and tells us that in the normal course of things, for the vast majority of people, where we are going to see charity in its fullness being expressed is right within their marriage. And he tells us we have to make sure that marriage is honored by all.
This is something that 21st century Americans need to learn because marriage is being denigrated left and right. People do not recognize the dignity of marriage. There are some who scoff at it. There are others who violate it. We need to make sure that as Christian people we hold marriage in the highest esteem. Marriage is a vocation, it is a call from God, and it is something which is holy. This has all been forgotten.
The vast majority of people who think about getting married do not talk about it with God. They just assume that this is what they are supposed to do and then they are on a mission to find somebody who is willing to marry them. It is the wrong attitude. We first and foremost have to make sure it is the vocation that God is calling a person to. If God is calling a person to that vocation, then God Himself will provide the person to marry. We need to teach this to our young people because they have this unfortunate attitude that no one would ever want to marry them; consequently, they will settle for anybody who is willing. Or because they have feelings of being in love, which is usually infatuation, they think this must be it and they have never prayed about it.
But we see that even from the very beginning there is a selfish attitude. It is all about ?me?. That is not what marriage is about; marriage is about the other. It is two people seeking the good of one another. It is not two people seeking themselves. It is not about being selfish. So when Saint Paul tells us that we are to keep the marriage bed undefiled, that does not merely mean you have to be faithful to your spouse, but it means even the manner in which you would approach your spouse must be undefiled. It must not be selfish because even the marital act, which is a physical re-pronunciation of your marriage vows, cannot be selfish. It is not about ?How much pleasure am I going to get?? Rather, it is about two people seeking to give pleasure to one another. To take from the other is a violation of that person and it defiles the marriage bed. It violates what you have vowed in your marriage. On the other hand, to give yourself and to receive the gift of the other is in complete keeping with the dignity of the person, of the marriage, and of human sexuality. That is to be the way that it works in marriage. It is two people selflessly seeking one another?s good, not one?s own pleasure, or what one considers one?s own good, because it does not work.