Saturday, December 08, 2007
FROM THE EMAILBOX
Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 95 | Friday, December 07, 2007
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Church Militant
The apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe which occurred in Mexico in 1531 were an evangelization experience unsurpassed in all of Church history with the possible exception of the Day of Pentecost. December 12th marks the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who I believe can be titled, Patroness of the Church Militant. I say this because, in that experience, She brought together all of the elements of a spiritual army that conquered what was then a total culture of death; if She could overcome the evil forces that directed the massacre of thousands of innocent human beings in 16th Century Mexico, we can be assured that She can repeat that victory for our modern day culture of death and dethrone the abortion demon from his altar of sacrifice.
Despite the glowing accounts of revisionist historians about the Aztec Indians (16th Century Mexico), the Aztecs practiced human sacrifice in a systematic and brutal manner. Their "religion" was based upon obeisance to bloodthirsty false gods who demanded a regular glut of killing to provide them with fresh hearts and blood of sacrificial victims. They had their own priests, rituals and a theology/cosmology tied to the idea that only blood sacrifice would appease their gods and so keep the world in order. It is estimated that as many as 50,000 victims a year were offered on the pyramidic temples of these gods dotting the landscape of Mexico.
After Hernando Cortes conquered the kingdom of Montezuma in 1521 he wiped out all the temples and put a legal end to the abomination of human sacrifice; yet, the murderous practice continued under the cover of darkness because the people were not converted from their killing instincts and practices which were deeply-rooted in culture and history. Enter Our Lady of Guadalupe with Her maternal love a decade later when the crisis of culture in the newly-conquered land had reached an apex.
The Virgin Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego, one of the early Christian converts from the pagan religion, and decreed by Her magnificent authority that the killing would stop in the hearts of the people as well as in their law. The story of the apparitions is well-known (see sidebar) but the effects of the apparitions are not, and these effects are equally important to understand in order to grasp what I call "The Guadalupe Event." That is, the conversion of the people of that time from their idols and the dissipation of the Aztec culture of death. It was done precisely by marshaling an army of faith, and in this, She gave us a formula for the Church Militant that only needs to be repeated to conquer our own culture of abortion.
The first and critical element of the "Event" was the wholehearted cooperation of a holy and discerning bishop, Juan Zumárraga. To him Our Lady sent St. Juan Diego for the building of a church. It was not the project of the layman to build the church. St. Juan Diego proved his sanctity by being a faithful messenger of Our Lady's plan, but She did not ask him or want him to build a church lest the pagan people think that She was setting up another religion other than the one Her Son founded. The bishop was the recipient of the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary impressed on the Indian's cloak (tilma) and afterwards gladly built the church that Our Lady requested for the people. Following that, he sent out his cohort of missionary priests to baptize and sacramentally cleanse the people of their idols of polygamy, human sacrifice and demonic religion. The combination of the churchmen working hand-in-hand with the lay faithful in a full-scale assault on the idol-worship of the time is how the culture was purified. There are various estimates of just how many Indians came into the Catholic Church in the decade following the apparitions (1530s), but all accounts admit that there were 8-10 million conversions. That amounted to three-fifths of the entire Aztec population at the time!
Our Lady did not use a political process or a Supreme Court to accomplish this mass conversion. She engaged the Church in a battle of spirit with the demonic culture and thus purified the lives of the people from all their idols. Do not all the prophets foretell that God will purify His people from their idols if only they will turn to Him? Well, Our Lady shows us that the cleansing of body, soul, spirit - and culture - is indeed possible; if only the Church will become once again a Church Militant marching under the standard of Our Lady's leadership.
On December 12th, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, please join me in praying for the Church Militant to rise up again and defeat the culture of death!
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International
Friday, December 07, 2007
FORMER PRIEST CHARGED FOR CHILD PORN POSSESSION
Radio talk show host Bernie Ward, a former priest, now married and father of four, has been indicted on federal child pornography charges. He claims he was doing research for a book.
From the little information available, it looks like the police are fishing.
THE GOLDEN COMPASS
LifeSite has a story up about the Waterloo, Ontario Catholic School Board that has given its approval of "Compass". Once again there appears to be a link with homosexuality in that the same board has "winked" at it.
Of more interest in the article is the following:
Pete Vere, who has a written book on the author of The Golden Compass, disagrees with that analysis. Speaking with LifeSiteNews.com, Vere said "The context of this trilogy is about overthrowing, not just any authority, but the Authority." Vere added: "Pullman identifies the Authority in his third book by using most of God's names from the Old Testament."
The third volume, called the Amber Spy Glass, says: "The authority, God, the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, Lel, Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty - those were all names he gave himself."
La Crosse Catholic Bishop Jerome Listecki agrees. This week the bishop issued a letter to his priests instructing them to warn the faithful against the books. Speaking of Pullman works, he said "Instead of using fantasy to lead people to truth and to God, this trilogy tries to lead them away from God."
Bishop Listecki concluded: "I urge you to caution the faithful, especially parents, against this pernicious attack on the foundations of our Christian Faith and on the innocence of our children."
MORE FROM TRACHTENBERG - THE PSYCHOMANTEUM
Wikipedia explains the term: "The Psychomanteum dates back to ancient Greece, where a person would gaze into a still pool of water. This silent and steady gazing into a reflective pool would produce apparitions or visions that were probably answers to the questions one was looking for. It is said that in the Victorian era, mirrored rooms were specially built to summon or contact spirits from the spirit world."
Trachtenberg does not use the term, but he describes a technique that makes the term applicable:
This technique was known to Jews in Talmudic times: "It is permitted to enquire of the 'princes of oil' and the 'princes of eggs,' but [one does not do so because] they lie." It may even be that Joseph's divining cup (Gen. 44:5) was similarly employed. During the Middle Ages the Talmudic terminology was retained, and we read of "princes" of glass, the thumb-nail, etc. The "princes" were the figures that appeared upon the polished surfaces, and though "they lie" medieval Jews were nothing loath to take their chances on what they might reveal. ...memunim of a thief, summoned to show himself in a polished surface, thus gave away the identity of the malefactor, and re-enacted his actions at the time of the robbery. (JEWISH MAGIC AND SUPERSTITION, pp. 220-222)
While this means of divination seems to have been most often used in cases of theft, it was also employed to disclose events that were yet to occur. The "princes" whom the diviner conjured were bound to reply to any question put to them, provided, of course, that the sorcerer had the power to make them respond.
What was the nature of the "princes," and in what degree were the visions that the boys reported real? In the fourteenth century a French writer contemptuously dismissed these phenomena with a skepticism that rings quite modern: "Magicians are especially prone to employ as their mediums children who are credulous and impressible, and who, influenced by tales heard from old wives, are ready to see a demon in every shadow." There were others who accepted the occult significance, if not the objective reality of such visions, adopting Plato's explanation that "the soul of the gazer is thrown back upon itself by the luminosity of the object seen and then exercises its latent powers of natural divination," thus arguing that one may behold the future while in a hypnotic trance. But by far most of the medieval and ancient writers and the masses too, did not for a moment doubt that these images were real enough, honest-to-goodness demons...
The same questions agitated Jewish minds. In general the "princes" were held to be evil spirits, minions of the "power of uncleanness," and the technique was usually denominated "divining by the invocation of demons." This was the sole field in which the demons were privileged to function in behalf of the Jewish magician. Eleazar of Worms, however, insisted that they were angels, the
Trachtenberg also recounts a case in which the plaintiff claimed that the defendant had not paid the full fee due a "professional diviner", but had paid only an hourly rate, which was a lesser sum of money. R. Isaac b. Samuel "decided for the diviner on the ground that 'in such matters it is customary to pay more than merely enough to cover the labor involved'," indicating that divination was a recognized profession.
THE STORY OF CREATION
On the first day, God created the dog and said:
"Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said: "That's a lot of barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"
So God agreed.
On the second day, God created the monkey and said:
"Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."
The monkey said: "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's an awful lot of monkey tricks. How about I give you back ten like the Dog did?"
And God agreed.
On the third day, God created the cow and said:
"You will spend your days in the field with the farmer and suffer under the sun, and you will have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."
The cow said: "Sixty years of hot sun, and unruly offspring? How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"
And God agreed again.
On the fourth day, God created man and said: "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I will give you twenty years."
But man said: "Only twenty years? Could I have my twenty, plus the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; for a total of eighty? Okay?"
"Okay," said God, "You asked for it."
So that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.
Life has now been explained to you.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
HOW HIGH THE MOSQUE
Does it matter if Mosques are higher than Christian churches? German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes that it does.
Included in this Catholic World News story are statistics on German mosques--currently numbering 159, and scheduled to more than double.
THE DARK SIDE OF GYPSY CULTURE
An AP story recounts the clan feuding between two Gypsy families in Southern California over who will reap the profits from a fortune-telling enterprise. It sounds like stories of the Mafia:
Things were calm for months until the Stevens patriarch died of a heart attack at age 53 last May. Edward "Davie" Merino showed up at the funeral, pulling up at the cemetery in a limo with what was described as a menacingly burly chauffeur.
Merino says members of the Stevens clan attacked him and screamed, "We will make your life a living hell!" But the Stevenses claim that Merino flashed a gun and threatened to "come back and kill all of you." Both sides agree that before speeding off, Merino shouted that he wanted to make sure "the mother-(expletive) was dead."
According to Boston.com:
A Navy chaplain who is HIV-positive is expected to plead guilty this morning to charges that he used his positions at the US Naval Academy and Marine Corps Base Quantico to lure midshipmen and Marines into sex acts, according to military officials. Lieutenant Commander John Thomas Matthew Lee, 42, who is a Catholic priest, is scheduled to face a court-martial at Quantico, Va., on charges that stem from several incidents from 2003 to 2007. The charges include forcible sodomy. (Washington Post)
NIGHT PRAYERS - COMMENTS FROM TRACTENBERG
When a man believes himself to be threatened by demons, or by magic of one sort or another, an appeal to God should win him safety. In an extremity he can resort to extemporaneous prayer. The most direct method is recommended in dealing with a demon who unexpectedly confronts one: "Don't run, but drop to the ground before him; so long as you are prostrate he will not harm you; and pray in the name of God that he do you no hurt." However, the provident man fortified himself with one or another of the many petitions especially composed for such needs--prayers which besought protection against demons, illness, magic, the evil eye, the whole catalogue of perils that beset the superstititious--prayers that concentrated on only one of these dangers, or, more often, lashed out against all of them together, in long-winded, iterative supplication. The Kabbalists, toward the close of the period, were especially prolific of such prayers. Already in the pages of the Talmud we read that "the demons keep away from everyone who recites theShema' before retiring." There grew up an increasingly elaborate scheme of prayer around this nocturnal recitation of the Shema', to reinforce its protective powers, and coupled with straightforward pleas for deliverance from "the terrors that threaten by night" were potent Biblical verses and Psalms, magic names, appeals to the angels, three- and sevenfold repetitions, prayers with obscure mystical connotations, etc. There was no attempt to disguise the purpose of this prayer-service; it was frankly admitted time and again that "it exists only because of the demons."
This night-prayer offers an interesting illustration of the tenacity of magical and superstitious forms. One of its constituents invokes the protection of the angels: "at my right Michael, at my left Gabriel, before me Uriel, behind me Raphael." This is nothing more than a Jewish version of the ancient Babylo9nian incantation, "Shamash before me, behind me Sin, Mergal at my right, Ninib at my left," or, "May the good Shedu go at my right, the good Lamassu at my left," etc. And across millennia and continents Ireland provides us with a doggerel Catholic version:
O! Holy Mary, mother mild,(JEWISH MAGIC AND SUPERSTITION, p. 155-156)
Look down on me, a little child,
And when I sleep put near my bed
The good Saint Joseph at my head,
My guardian angel at my right
To keepo me good through all the night;
Saint Brigid give me blessings sweet;
Saint Patrick watch beside my feet.
Be good to me O! mother mild,
Because I am a little child.
Isn't this a category into which St. Patrick's Breastplate fits like a hand in a glove? It's not, of course, necessarily a night prayer, but still...
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
The circle is another ancient and universal magical symbol. The invocation of demons is a dangerous business, and the magician must take steps to protect himself in the event that his spirit adjutants get out of hand. What simpler or more obvious device than to exclude them from his immediate environment? "Those who invoke demons draw circles around themselves because the spirits have not the power to trespass from the public to a private area," explained Menahem Ziyuni. By this magic act the ground and atmosphere surrounding the magician becomes a private, forbidden precinct. One of the most picturesque of ancient Jewish miracle-workers was HoniHaMe'agel (first century B.C.E.), whose penchant for standing within a circle while he called down rain from heaven won him his title, "the circle-drawer." During the Middle Ages diviners who operated through the demons began their rites by inscribing the protective circle upon the ground. People who were believed to be peculiarly susceptible to demonic attack were defended by a similar invisible rampart; a widespread custom among German Jews was to draw a circle around the bed of a woman who had just been delivered of a child. In speaking of the dangers that beset a dying man several writers pointed out that his bed serves the same purpose as the magic circle, and that if a limb should project beyond it the demons will immediately seize him. In this connection it is interesting that in the Orient the general practice at a funeral is for the mourners actually to encircle the coffin seven times, reciting the "anti-demonic psalm." Similarly the late custom among East-European Jews (which also prevails in the Orient) for the bride to walk around her groom under the wedding canopy three, or seven times, was probably originally intended to keep off the demons who were waiting to pounce upon them. The magician's circle was usually inscribed with a sword or knife, and sometimes the directions require three, or seven concentric circles, the metal and the number adding to the protective virtues of this device. (Trachtenberg, JEWISH MAGIC AND SUPERSTITION, p. 121)
THIS SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED !
A JEWISH family claims their teenage son was subjected to acts of anti-Semitic bullying while attending one of Sydney's leading Catholic high schools.
The Year7 student and his younger brother were sent to Waverley College in Sydney's east for a "broader" education but the older boy became the butt of racial taunts as students questioned his right to be there.
His humiliation at the hands of other students hit rock bottom during an episode called "The Jew Game", in which a $5 note was thrown on the ground to see if the Jewish boy would pick it up.
The boy's father's Saul Ellison said: "Unfortunately he picked up the money."
The Jewish boy was then tormented further by students calling out: "What are you doing here? (at Waverley)".
Since the bullying earlier this year the boy has been forced to see a psychologist "to try to deal with it".
This violates the very meaning of being Catholic. The operative word is not "tolerance". The operative word is "love". A Catholic does not treat people in this manner.
The school may be contributing to this bullying:
The Ellisons' relations with the college further deteriorated when they unsuccessfully tried to get their son exempted from attending a compulsory sports carnival - because he was required for bar mitzvah lessons.
It is inevitable that there will be conflicts when a religious school accepts students from another religion. The operative guideline should be that God comes first. Placing the priority on a sporting event to the detriment of allowing the student to follow his religion is hardly placing God first. If the non-Catholic student is going to be accepted in spite of the conflict, concessions must be made. How could a sporting event be deemed this important?
SCHOOL BOARD DUMPS GOLDEN COMPASS
CALGARY — The Catholic school board in Calgary has followed the lead of a Catholic school board in Burlington, Ont., in pulling the children's fantasy book The Golden Compass off school shelves.
Board officials said their decision followed concern voiced by parents and recent publicity surrounding the release of a movie version of the book, starring Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman.
“Our children are exposed to a wide range of information,” said board spokeswoman Judy Mackay. “One of our responsibilities is to help them understand how that fits with their belief system and to equip them with the skills so that they understand how they can fit that into their own belief system.”
Investor's Business Daily, Inc. wades in on GC, painting an even more dismal picture of the author's thinking that lies behind his books:
Pullman is a fire-breathing British atheist who has told the Washington Post that "I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief" and remarked that "My books are about killing God."
He has also noted that "I am of the Devil's party and I know it."
Daily Mail writer Peter Hitchens has called Pullman "the most dangerous author in Britain," a storyteller determined to "dethrone" "Chronicles of Narnia" author C.S. Lewis "and supplant his books with others which proclaim the death of God to the young."
The book version of "The Golden Compass" and its two sequels feature a hybrid of Catholic and Protestant authority that includes a "Pope John Calvin." Two children, a pseudo-Adam and Eve named Will and Lyra, have Narnia-like adventures with talking bears and witches as they are pitted against a "church" or "magisterium" that kidnaps children through its "general oblation board," "oblate" being a Catholic term for monks and nuns.
"Gobblers," as members of the general oblation board are known, kidnap children and perform experiments on them, such as ripping out their souls or "daemons," which then live in animal form. It renders the children zombies.
At the epic's finale, a wrinkled, demented God is tracked down and destroyed, and Will and Lyra are liberated by their discovery of sexuality.
Indeed, Pullman has stated that one of his goals is to destroy the naivete of childhood.
Read the rest of the article, including fellow atheist Richard Dawkins' claim that religious labels (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim) are "always a form of child abuse" and atheist Christopher Hichens' question "Is religion child abuse?" Militant atheism is a danger to any parent who believes in God.
THE NEW PREDATOR COMIC BOOK
Just what kids under ten should be reading so that they can lose their innocence as early as possible.
The New York Archdiocese thinks this is a good way to protect kids. David Clohassy thinks it doesn't go far enough. He says:
"There continues to be a bit of an overemphasis on stranger danger," Clohessy said. "I think it would be most effective if it would say, 'Not only strangers molest kids. Even adults you like and your parents respect — teachers, doctors, priests — can hurt kids.'"
But Zwilling said the vast majority of priests are "good and holy men," and he said it would have been inappropriate for the coloring book to single out priests as potential abusers. "You don't want to frighten children," he said. "You also don't want to stigmatize any group."
Why not throw parents into the mix as well? That way we can make sure there is absolutely no one a kid can trust! Except his peers, I suppose.
It's a short step from here to the kind of spying on parents that kids took part in under the communist governments. Diabolical.
What a world!! It sickens me to realize that the Roman Catholic Church is leading the charge.
Read the entire article here.
The comic book is online. You can read it here if there isn't too much traffic. It took me quite a while to access it.
In fairness to the Archdiocese of New York, it's not too terrible and does convey some good messages along with the warnings. It relies heavily upon trusting parents, so if the kid's parent happens to be the abuser, the message may backfire.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
"SAVED BY HOPE"
The full text of this latest encyclical is posted on the Inside the Vatican website in case you want to read it. I confess I tried, and liked some of the things Benedict said in the part I got through, but then my eyes glassed over, my brain went numb, and the thoughts of sleep started to invade. It was late. I would probably need to attempt this early in the morning some time after the Christmas Season has become a memory.
On November 14, 2007 the USCCB issued the guidlines "Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship" which is provided on the USCCB website. A reader sent in the link and asked what I thought of it. Given that I'm musically challenged, a lot of it doesn't apply to me, and my opinion is colored by that challenge. Nevertheless, I've just scrolled through it, reading at random.
Paragraphs No. 61-66 discuss Latin in the liturgy. No. 62 tells us "At international and multicultural gatherings of different language groups, it is most appropriate to celebrate the Liturgy in Latin." "In addition, 'selections of Gregorian chant should be sung' at such gatherings, whenever possible."
Here in America all of our gatherings are multicultural. Can anyone honestly tell me that at their church there are not a variety of cultures represented? Using No. 62 as the guideline, there would never be anything but Latin and Gregorian chant in our Masses. However, we all know the reality. The practice doesn't follow the document.
As I read that, I couldn't help but reflect on the situation at the church I most regularly attend where the yearly celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be held at the Mass I was planning to attend this coming Saturday, or so I've been told. This celebration includes a mariachi band hired from out of state for the occasion--one that tends to get so caught up in the festivities that they become disoriented and play the wrong part at the wrong time. It seems this has been going on for years. There is no warning in the bulletin Mass schedule that this will take place at a particular Mass this weekend, consequently the congregation will consist of not only culturally Mexican people, but also people from other nationalities. I understand it is quite an extravaganza with a packed house. One wonders why a particular liturgy would pack the church. Could it be that people come for the entertainment value? Looks like it violates the norms of the USCCB. The polka Mass would do the same. So would the jazz Mass.
Paragraph 72 talks about the pride of place of Gregorian chant. I can't remember the last time I heard it in church. Does this mean that we can expect that to change?
Then there are the "Three Judgments" of the qualities of the music: Liturgical, Pastoral, and Musical--paragraphs 126 through 136.
Under Liturgical Judgment we are told that "structural considerations" must take into account the "principle of progressive solemnity". Here again I wonder about the mariachi, the polka, the jazz Masses, and other constructions of entertainment value imposed on the Roman liturgy.
These same themed Masses appear to violate the Pastoral judgment which requires that the "musical composition promote the sanctification of the members of the liturgical assembly by drawing them closer to the holy mysteries being celebrated". The focus of themed Masses is not Christ and the Eucharist. The focus is the celebration of human culture.
Under Musical Judgment paragraph 136 appears to violate the section on Gregorian chant when it says "the Church has not adopted any particular style of art as her own." Paragraph 72 says "Gregorian chant is uniquely the Church's own music. Chant is a living connection with our forebears in the faith, the traditional music of the Roman rite, a sign of communion with the universal Church, a bond of unity across cultures...". This is precisely what the themed Masses are not. While it can be argued that various rites use different musical expressions, we are not talking about various rites here in America. We are talking about the Latin Rite, and these themed celebrations taking place within the Latin Rite. Not the same thing at all as the differing expressions in the differing rites.
Themed Masses subtract from our unity, breaking us up into cultural diversity, and emphasizing our differences. They appear irreverent to many of those who come from a different culture, and they divide. If kneeling during communion is so divisive that we must constantly insist that everyone follow one prescribed liturgical norm, how can it be that we also have such divisive themed Masses? You can't have it both ways, and it appears that the USCCB has decreed that we shall have unity over diversity. Will the parishes conform? Or will we continue to walk into an unorthodox Mass unknowingly?
We used to state that the Mass is the Church's most important formal prayer. Priests "said" Mass just as any of us "said" a prayer like the Our Father. With the change to "celebrating" Mass all manner of diversity arrived in sometimes raucous celebration that does not promote the sacred. The cultural festival that belongs in the street has moved inside the church to the detriment of the liturgical celebration both within the culture and even more so for any who do not belong to that culture. This needs to change if we are to become a unified Church.
The story of Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem spitting on Armenian or Greek Orthodox clergy keeps reappearing with the same or similar details and different dates. The Assyrian International News Agency has the story posted on its website on December 1, 2007. The Telegraph ran it December 10, 2004. The Guardian ran it October 17, 2004. Haaretz ran it December 10, 2004.
The date discrepancy has me wondering, but in any case the story came to mind when I read the following mystical or magical reasons for spitting recounted by Trachtenberg:
...incantations were frequently accompanied by incidental actions whose significance lay in their symbolic or connotative values, some of which, in the course of millennia [sic], have come to be recognized as of distinctively magical import.(p. 120-121)
Expectorating before or after the recital of the spell is one such universally known act, the mere performance of which was taken to indicate the intent of the recital, even though the words may have been altogether innocent of magical significance. Human saliva, especially that of a fasting man, was believed to possess anti-demonic and anti-magical, that is, generally protective, powers. Galen tells of a man who undertook to kill a scorpion by means of an incantation which he repeated thrice. But at each repetition he spat on the scorpion. Galen claimed afterwards to have killed one by the same procedure without any incantation, and more quickly with the spittle of a fasting than of a full man. Maimonides wrote, in his capacity of physician, that the spittle of a fasting person is hostile to poisons. In consequence of this belief charms to heal an ailment or to drive off demons or to counteract magic were usually prefaced by a threefold expectoration.
The most powerful liquid, as we have seen, was supposed to be spittle, especially the sputum of a fasting man. Therefore it was suggested that one may protect himself in unclean places, which the spirits haunt, by spitting three times, and even evil thoughts, which are the work of demons, may be dispelled in the same way. (Trachtenberg, JEWISH MAGIC AND SUPERSTITION, p. 159)
Monday, December 03, 2007
WHAT LURKS IN THE HEART OF A PRIEST
Check out Matt Abbott's column today. He has posted an excerpt from the book SIN, SHAME, AND SECRETS: THE MURDER OF A NUN, THE CONVICTION OF A PRIEST, AND COVER-UP IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, a book by David Yonke which will be available in paperback on February 15, 2008. The passage speaks of the occult evidence that is associated with the killing of Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl:
Sergeant Forrester called Father Michael Billian at the Catholic Center in Toledo and said he had a few questions about the occult. He offered no further explanation, but the chancellor assumed it had something to do with the Father Robinson case.
Father Billian suggested he call Father Jeffrey Grob, a Roman Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago who was researching his doctoral dissertation on the ritual of exorcism. Father Grob was the associate vicar for canonical services for the archdiocese and also served as assistant to the exorcist.
Sergeant Forrester called Father Grob and ended up talking with him for nearly two hours. Two weeks later, he drove to Chicago to meet with the priest, and after that Father Grob made several trips to Toledo to examine the crime scene and evidence, and to consult with the cold-case team. From the start, Father Grob told detectives that there were strong indications that Sister Margaret Ann Pahl's murder had been an occult killing.
"People who prefer to worship beings other than God will seek a reversal of all things sacred," Father Grob said. "They take something that's sacred and turn it upside down, literally. They defile the very thing that is sacred."
Sort of sounds like the principle behind an Ambigram, which is the subject of my blog immediately below this one.
Father Grob goes on to detail the circumstances in which Sr. Margaret's body was found, outlining the ritual satanic significance of each of the symbols.
The priest who has been convicted of this murder was championed by his parishioners. For many years after the nun's murder he had been saying Mass and distributing the sacraments while this satanic worship festered in his heart. Did he commit other acts of ritual worship of the enemy while he posed as a priest in good standing? Did the Bishop know about him? Are there more like him in the priesthood here in Ohio?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Dan Brown has devoted several pages in his website to the subject.
A Wikipedia review of Brown's novel ANGELS AND DEMONS indicates the ambigram plays a centrol role.
As the link in Brown's ambigram webpages indicates, "Langdon" is the name of the creator of the ambigram used in ANGELS AND DEMONS. Coincidentally "Langdon" is also the name of the main character in the novel and in Brown's subsequent novel, TDVC.
In JEWISH MAGIC AND SUPERSTITION, Joshua Trachtenberg describes them, though he doesn't apply the word:
A familiar characteristic of magic is the injunction to do things in reverse, to walk backward, to put one's clothing on backward, to throw things behind one's back. The same principle applies in incantations, and Talmudic and medieval Jewish charms amply illustrate its operation. Biblical quotations were often recited both forward and backward, mystical names were reversed; sometimes the words were actually written backward as they were to be uttered, so that it requires considerable mental agility not to be taken in by the unnatural rendering. Phrases that are capable of being read alike in either direction were especially highly prized. The purpose was to capitalize the mystery of the bizarre and unfamiliar, and the power that is associated with the ability to reverse the natural order of things.(p. 116)
The moral compass at the USCCB seems to be off magnetic north. For some unfathomable reason the organization has put out a favorable review of "The Golden Compass".
LifeSite offers what might give us a clue as to the reason:
WASHINGTON, DC, November 30, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Harry Forbes has for many years been the Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office for Film and Broadcasting. In 2005, LifeSiteNews.com pointed out that Forbes issued a glowingly positive review of the homosexual propaganda film "Brokeback Mountain". Yesterday, Forbes issued another positive review, this time for the film adaptation of the specifically anti-Catholic novel "The Golden Compass."...
In what the League calls "mind-boggling", the USCCB review actually congratulates the screenwriter for portraying the characters as demonstrating "free will" for their opposition to the Magisterium and then suggests that this is a reflection "entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching".
Read all of it...
The USCCB website may have taken the review down. When I went to the "G" list and clicked the down arrow, the movie should have been listed between "Golden Child" and "Golden Eye", but it's not there.
Like so many other things the Bishops have done, it simply boggles the mind!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
TWO CLEVELAND PRIESTS LAICIZED
The Vatican has stripped two former priests in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland of their clergy status.
Brendan J. McNulty and Gary D. Berthiaume, who both served parishes in Cuyahoga County, had requested ''to be removed from the clerical state,'' according to information released Friday by the local diocese.
The Holy See granted the requests of both men, who had been removed from active ministry amid allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors.
The diocese said that the two men are ''no longer incardinated in the Diocese of Cleveland.''
"THE EVIL EYE"
Returning once again to Joshua Trachtenberg's book, JEWISH MAGIC AND SUPERSTITION, the following passage appears in a section of Chapter 4, "Man and the Demons" with a subheading that is the title of this blog.
Not a few unfortunate men are bornjettatori, shedding rays of destruction about them with every glance, frequently themselves unaware of their dread influence. Some jettatori may be recognized by the peculiar and striking cast of their eyes; others pass unnoticed until sad experience unmasks them. They are to be found in all stations of life. Pope Pius IX, for one, was reputed to be possessed of the evil eye, and the women, while kneeling for his blessing as he passed, would make a counteracting sign under their skirts. (p. 54)
Nice. Why did Pope Pius IX come in for such a condemnation? Could it be because of this?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
FROM THE EMAILBOX
Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 94 | Friday, November 30, 2007
We soon begin the great and holy season of Advent, a yearly time of renewal and focus of our faith. I will not bother you with another sermon about the dangers of materialism in the lead-up to Christmas, but if you really need to be reminded about the true spirit of Christmas, the following thoughts may help you to find that balance of living in the world but not of the world.
Advent is a season of preparation. It is not a season of penance per se; it is that only to the extent that penance may be an element of preparation for the coming of the Great King. It is, rather, a season of focus on something interior, something hidden, if you will, to get to know it better; it is much like a woman focusing on a pregnancy for nine months. At first she takes it on the faith of a pregnancy test that there is a new baby developing inside of her. She cannot feel the baby, but she knows by certain signs, i.e., changes in her own body and emotions, that he is there. As time goes on, she begins to feel him more distinctly and can have a more direct relationship with him who she cannot see - yet. As she waits to give birth, she focuses more on the baby and can be continually aware of his presence, consciously or subconsciously. At the end of nine months, she finally sees with her own eyes the one whose presence she previously had to discern by signs and feelings!
Advent is like that. It is a time to re-establish our focus on that hidden Presence within which we do not always see as a concrete reality. To paraphrase Pope Leo the Great many centuries ago, Christ's first coming was seen by the people of His day after long preparation. His second coming will be seen by all creation after long ages are finished. It is His third coming which Advent prepares us for; namely, His personal coming into the heart of every believer in every day and age. That is something that only the believer himself can prepare for, and that is why the Church gives us a whole season to prepare for it.
And how do we prepare best for His coming? Simply by praying more. That may sound trite, but it is meant as a true spiritual challenge. The type of prayer we seek in Advent is not just a pious thought of God every now and then or a petition to heaven in a moment of need. Those are fine, but they are not enough. Advent prayer is a deep reflection on the sacred mysteries of our salvation, something that needs time and repetition to bear fruit. We cannot appreciate such a mystery as God becoming man unless we have a serious commitment to prayer.
Prayer of this sort is a discipline of the will (i.e., the deepest core of the person). It is a conscious decision to stop what one is doing and put oneself outside of the regular day-to-day travail so to enter a realm of grace and pure light. With reason, Jesus told His disciples to go into their rooms, close the door and pray to their Father "in secret." He was telling them to make the conscious decision to free their souls of the workaday mindset and submit their consciousness to a radical, transforming encounter with the Lord - every day.
The real discipline of the Christian life, especially in a season of spiritual "preparation," is the discipline of prayer. It comes down to a decision - made every day - to let go of our passionate involvement in the things of the world, as necessary as these things are, and to go into the inner sanctum of the heart, one-on-one, alone with the Lord. That is where we become transformed, interiorly, by grace and see things as God sees them. That is where we really prepare to meet Christ in a new way at Christmas.
Here is my Advent challenge: pray every day during Advent, and you will be treated to a Christmas in which you "see" Christ like never before.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International