April 11, 2015 § Leave a comment
As an aspiring screenwriter, I am also a film buff. I am not, however, a huge comic book fan, nor do I ever go out of my way to see movies based on comic books. So, despite the fact that Hollywood has been focusing so much on the very profitable superhero market for several years, I never knew that there was a Catholic comic book hero. (Well, that’s not quite true; I did read a comic called Warrior Nun Areala when I was young, but that’s not exactly Catholic, despite the name). I was quite surprised, therefore, to read this article on The Hollywood Reporter website today.
According to Charlie Cox, who plays Matt Murdock, the blind lawyer who becomes the hero Daredevil to clean up a post-apocalyptic New York City, the eponymous character of Netflix’s T.V. adaptation, Murdock’s “faith is quite strong and he has come to rely on it — although at times it puts him in a difficult position because of who he is and what he does and what he’s capable of. Part of his journey as a Catholic is to find harmony around his religion and faith, as well as who he is as Daredevil.”
I have a Netflix account, but I’ve not seen Daredevil yet, because, again, I’m not that into superhero films. Also, as a Catholic, I certainly don’t condone vigilante “justice,” but believe that, despite its many problems, our justice system is much more fair and just than vigilantism. But I think I will give Daredevil a watch, just to see if the writers, director, and actor Cox portray Matt Murdock as an actual Catholic Christian, something heathen Hollywood rarely does. I recommend that other film-loving Catholics do the same, and please do share your thoughts. God bless us all on this vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, by the way!
October 27, 2011 § 3 Comments
I just recently got a Nook Color e-reader as a gift to myself. One of the books I’ve read so far is A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, by the excellent apologist Dave Armstrong. Dave already has quite an in-depth website with many blog-style posts defending Catholicism, with the intent of providing Biblical evidence for the veracity of Catholic doctrine; one can safely assume that this is for those Protestant brethren who refuse to believe any doctrine that they are not aware is found in the Scriptures. This e-book conveniently brings together many of the Biblical proofs for Catholic doctrines, including Mary and her role as Mediatrix and Co-redemptrix, the Real Presence of the Eucharist, Tradition, the Priesthood and role of the Papacy, Purgatory, the Communion of Saints, Penance, and all the things that have traditionally been misunderstood, misinterpreted, and distrusted by Protestants. Those unfamiliar with Dave Armstrong and his apologetics should definitely read this book. He is one of the best, but little-known, apologists today, especially in the area of Scripture. He is right up there with Dr. Scott Hahn, with an in-depth knowledge of both Scripture and Doctrine.
You can purchase this e-book here.
I wrote this review of A Biblical Defense of Catholicism for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and delicious Opłatki Christmas Wafers.
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May 30, 2011 § 2 Comments
One of the main things that drew me, at an early age, toward the Catholic Church, was the incredible solemnity, beauty, and reverence of the Mass. Not just any Mass, but the one that they still celebrated in my grandfather’s parish- the Latin Mass. Eventually, the ‘reforms’ brought about due to confusion about the meaning of the Second Vatican Council, took away the high stone altar, the communion rail, the beautiful Latin prayers, and the reverence of the Mass. My grandfather hated the changes and, though he remained a faithful Catholic to his death and assisted at Mass every Sunday, he never again felt the pure joy that he used to feel at Mass. I didn’t even know about any council or changes- I was not Catholic. My mother was a lapsed Catholic, and my father a Southern Baptist. It was my father’s church that I was raised in and taught about. The only experience I had at a Catholic church was when I would visit grampaw in the summers. He would take me to Mass every Sunday, and these times were my favorite part of my visits. I stopped visiting every year for financial reasons (we lived several hundred miles from El Paso, where my grandparents lived), but I never forgot the beautiful liturgy of the Catholic Church.
During my teenage years I gave up on religion. I had no use for it. I was a teenager, after all- I knew everything, and I knew religion was a sham. However, I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of my Bible, or to outright condemn religion. And I, thinking myself learning of all the fallacies of religion, began an in-depth study of the Scriptures. Later, in my mid-twenties, I joined a very fundamentalist, evangelical church. I couldn’t find peace there with their doctrines. Though they held the Bible up as almost a Eucharist, Christ in the form of a book, their doctrines were based on a few cherry-picked verses and were negated by the very book which they seemed to hold in such regard. So, after much reading about Christian history, and especially the Catholic Church, and, helped along by God’s word, I had a renewal of faith, and decided that Christ lived, and that He resided in the Holy Catholic Church. So I decided to convert. That was the beginning of my struggle. Upon going to Mass for the first time since my youth, I didn’t recognize the Church. It was not the same Mass that I remembered with such fond affection. There was no Latin. There was little reverence. Guitars and drums distracted me from the state of worship I tried to maintain. I honestly didn’t like it.
Nowhere in this new church could I see the signs of those things I had read about in classic works by the Saints and other Catholics, nor even the Catechism. Reverence for Christ in the Eucharist was gone, almost as if nobody knew the doctrine of the Real Presence. In fact, there was little reverence at all. People came in dressed as if they were ready to go and enjoy their weekend- as soon as church was over. Jeans, football jerseys, short skirts- all the clothing we wore to our evangelical church, because, hey, God doesn’t care what you look like, man! Maybe not, but I do, and I want to look my best for Him. But whatever, I kept it up, and entered RCIA. It was in RCIA that I discovered the instructors didn’t even understand the Church! I continually found myself having to correct the teachers! Our class was told that baptism was just a symbolic thing, for instance. They did still understand the Real Presence, but in a kind of watered down form. They knew nothing of traditional prayers and beliefs. I wanted to quit. This wasn’t the Church I had learned about and been drawn to!
But I didn’t quit, because, like it or not, the Church is, and will always be. Just like in the days of Luther, the church was in turmoil, with Satan trying his hardest to divide it. That same Satan that my RCIA instructors laughingly said was more of a “symbol of evil” than an actual entity bent on the destruction of Christ’s church. But, just as in the days of the misguided monk, were I to leave the Church, to give up on her, I’d only be doing the Devil’s work for him. You see, the Church in Luther’s time had problems, just as she has had since day one. But she was already in the process of reforming herself. Luther, had he taken an example from St. Catherine of Siena, could have worked for change while still being loyal to Christ and His Church. Instead, he gave the Devil a hand and left, taking millions of misguided souls with him, their itching ears wanting to find an easier way to Christ. So I realize that being a “traditional” Catholic means remaining loyal to the magisterium, the pope, and the Church. After all, Christ promised that Satan would never destroy His Church. Don’t I trust Christ? Of course I do. That’s why I patiently wait for the Church to reform herself again, ridding herself of the taint of the Satan-inspired few who, misunderstanding the documents of Vatican II, proceeded to Protestantize the Church. And it’s going along nicely, I think. Our Holy Father, Benedict, is bringing back the traditional Mass for those who want it, just as his predecessor had begun. The dogmas of the Church are still set in stone, just many Catholics are no longer educated about what it is the Church actually believes, and this is in part due to the influence Satan has exerted over many Bishops and priests. Child molestation is a fruit of the spirit of Vatican II, for example. As is an ecumenism that doesn’t attempt conversion, and a modernism which leaves sound doctrine on the bookshelves. But if I want to be truly Catholic, I must be like St. Catherine, not Martin Luther. There is a reason that Luther is called a heretic and Catherine a Saint and Doctor. St. Catherine worked for change from within, guided by the Holy Spirit and trusting in Christ, while Luther did the Devil’s work and caused a schism that the world still reels from. I do want the Church to return to the right path. But I want to guide her and help work for change from within, rather than be another source of division. That, in my opinion, is true traditional Catholicism.
April 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
According to Archbishop Javier del Rio of Arequipa, Peru, Catholics cannot vote for candidates who are openly pro-abortion or support abortion. We already knew that, so it’s not as though the Archbishop is telling us anything new. But what most Catholics do not know, is that, despite their rhetoric and campaign promises, many so-called conservatives in this country are not, in fact, “anti-abortion” or “pro-life”. They will say they are, but when it comes down to it, if they have the chance to end legalized abortion for good, they won’t do it. Why? They need it. I give as an example the Bush administration. For several years Republicans, most if not all of whom claimed a pro-life stance, had complete control of the country. They had the ability to pass any law they wanted without fear of it being stricken down by the incredibly weak Democratic wing. And they did pass many laws that otherwise would have faced serious challenges. Bush’s White House could have ended abortion. You know it, and I know it. But they didn’t even try. Because, my friends, the abortion issue is the biggest vote-getter for the Republican party. If abortion were made illegal, then all of a sudden the only hot-button issue Repubs would have is gay marriage, and who really cares as much about that as abortion? No, Republicans will NEVER end abortion because without it, they will ALWAYS lose elections. Republicans deliberately keep abortion legal so they have it as an emotional issue to influence your votes.
I don’t know about you, but this disgusts me. Along with that, their incredibly draconian military and prison/industrial complex, with their ant-health, anti-education, anti-children, anti-Christian charity stance, means that good, faithful Catholics like us, cannot really vote for anyone. Well, we can certainly vote for a Catholic candidate who promises to be faithful to the Church. And we can vote for third party members who are actually serious about government and not just power and money, or serving some corporation (another very non-Catholic idea. A company is not a person. It is a creation of man, not of God). But I, as a truly faithful Catholic, cannot vote for a Republican any more than for a pro-abortion Democrat. I have known too many of them, and have seen right through them. In fact, I will vote for a pro-life Democrat, if one exists, rather than a so-called pro-life Republican. Republicans are pro-death. They want everyone to die or rot in prison, preferably making them some money in the process. No, good, faithful Catholics cannot vote for anyone that represents the two-party scam that has been perpetrated on the American people.