Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Catholic Defender: Alcoholism, From a Christian Perspective

The Catholic Church has been a target for some who oppose the drinking of alcohol.

Some of my Protestant friends primarily from the fundamentalist background really do not have the understanding in culture nor customs going back to the time of Jesus.

Most of these denominations were founded in the United States within the past 100 years.

They were largely influenced with the rugged individualism of the American culture.

Unfortunately, Americans are not known for our ability to drink without getting rowdy, raunchy, lewd, crude, and socially unacceptable.

It is also an established fact that alcohol is usually involved with domestic violence. Drinking has lead to the lowering of inhibitions and the result is more lewd behavior. Drinking and driving is always a problem as thousands die each year on our highways. Many more are crippled for life, scared beyond recognition not only in body but also spirit.

Is there a "Christian" approach to drinking? I personally have never been drunk in my life and I thank God for His protection in my life. I've had people close to me who have been alcoholics, had to struggle with this problem. During the time of Jesus, in that part of the world in particular, the water was not healthy to drink.

The people grew accustomed to the desert. Much of this land is desert even to this day. I've been deployed in the Middle East from Saudi Arabia to Iraq to Kuwait. It is one large sandbox. Traveling by foot, or by camel was the way of life. Not a lot has changed there, but there are signs of civilization when you get to the cities.

Matthew 9:17 states, "people do not put new wine into old wineskins, otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved". Just thinking about this scripture reminds me that we must change our entire being, to be made whole, in our conversion to the Faith, that way the Holy Spirit (New Wine Acts 2:13) work in this new "wineskin".

Jesus was able to speak to the crowds with such parables getting their understanding. This made sense to the crowd because the desert was their environment. Unfermented wine would not nor could not be utilized without refrigeration. Grape juice would spoil in a short period of time. Wine however, could last months without spoiling. It would eventually turn to vinegar to be used in everyday cooking. So wine was used in everyday normal life.

The people of God survived on it. To my friends who will claim alcohol is a sin, I will have to ask them; "is Jesus a sinner because he tasted wine"? I do not believe so, not at all. There are over 230 verses about wine in the Bible. Wine was used as a medication (1 Timothy 5:23), as well as for joyous occasions (John 2:10). Wine was used at the Last Supper (1 Cor 10:16). The ritual of Passover itself goes all the way back to Israel's freedom from Egypt, "Delivered by God's own hand".

I can find many verses in the bible favorable to the use of wine. I can also find scripture that warn against it, especially the over use of it (1 Peter 4:3 and Ephesians 5:18). There were those chosen known as "Nazarite", who were never to touch wine or strong drink such as Sampson (Judges 13:5).

Then you also had the joyous ceremonies like the wedding feasts where wine symbolized the life of the party.

It was the wedding feast of Cana where Jesus changed the water into wine, His first public miracle at the request of His Mother (John 2:1-12).

The Catholic Church has always utilized wine in the Eucharistic Celebration.

The fruit of the vine made by human hands, made for the joy of man, made for the cup of Christ, His blood offered once and for all reenacted (Matthew 26:26-29).

Unfermented wine (grape juice) has been authorized in special cases if the priest is an alcoholic. This is granted to the particular priest as a special dispensation and not the norm. I have personally seen this only once.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endangers their own and others safety on the road, at sea, or in the air".

In our day and time, in our culture, the Pope has recognized alcoholism as a serious problem. Each year annually there are 25,000 deaths due to drunk drivers in the United States alone.

Alcoholism has destroyed many lives causing spiritual and physical health problems. Many people under the influence of alcohol will be violent.

Domestic violence such as child abuse is up 500% since 1973. With the deterioration of the family and the rise of incidence of alcoholism, it's no wonder why some of the fundamentalists Protestant churches have looked attractive to war torn lives living on the edge.

Catholics are seen as sinners compromising with evil, seen during the week drinking and carrying all the ills with it, only "going to Mass on Sunday's to get forgiveness".

For the most part our Protestant friends are greatly exaggerated and uncharitable in grouping a whole group of people as one with those with drinking problems.

Many alcoholics come from religious backgrounds which condemn alcohol altogether. In 1978 I interviewed the head of the local AA chapter in Branson Missouri, and he told me strait up that 75% of people involved with AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) come from religious backgrounds that condemns the use of alcohol period.

St. Paul states, "you cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of Demons" (1 Corinthians 10:21). Alcoholism has thus become demons to those who have experienced these social problems. As Catholic, St. Paul reminds us, "It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble "(Romans 14:21).

Catholics who are having problems with alcohol should take Romans 14:21 to heart and Alcoholic's Anonymous has been a great help to many who have sought help to get their lives in order. I have seen people die premature as a result to their drinking problems. It is an ugly picture. Many will deny having drinking problems which I've heard boasting such as: "I can handle my booze, I can drive without any problems, I've done it for years".

I am reminded of the commercials of kids on video talking and laughing, then a caption showing the kids were killed by a drunk driver. This hits home hard. With our Protestant friends, the Catholic Church agree, this must be stopped. The Pope has strongly condemned this himself. We agree on all the ills of society.

The question comes back, "is it a sin to drink alcohol"? Based from the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church and scripture, no, it is not. But it carries the weight of personal responsibility.

In our society it has become difficult to see anything Christian in our social habits. The music and movies we entertain ourselves with, the lifestyle we uphold has thrown our Judeo-Christian ethics out the window enhancing the result of these social ills.

The question remains, "How do we clean it up"? One, it must begin in the home, fathers must take the leadership with his children.

Secondly, we must clean house, "evil company corrupts good morals". We must make our homes a good family environment to worship God in freedom. As families coming together as a community, this would strengthen us, to liberate us from bondage.

Thirdly, to follow the Shepherds of the Church, the teaching Magisterium of the Church, not to be confused with all this liberal line as to be deceived by wicked individuals. We can change society only as we can change ourselves. Are we "new" or "used" wine-skins?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #212* The Catholic Defender: A Message from the USCCB

The following is taken from the USCCB (Summer 2012). It is important to see the Bishops teaching the gospel truth of the Catholic Faith as it has been handed down for nearly 2,000 years. The Catholic Faith was built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets and todays's Bishops are the successors of the Apostles.

"The desire to love and be loved is the deepest need of our being. We long to be known, accepted, and cherished by another. Yet, the ability to fully give or receive this love is unattainable on our own. As Catholics we believe Jesus Christ has entered our broken world to conquer sin and restore us to new life. Throughout every age he continues to invite all women and men to follow him through his Church, to whom he has entrusted his teaching authority, so that all can know and follow him.

Only God can give us the unconditional love and acceptance that we desire. Yet, he has created marriage, a holy union, to mirror this supreme love on earth. At the heart of their married love is the total gift of self that husband and wife freely offer to each other. Because of their sexual difference, husband and wife can truly become “one flesh.” Through the language of their bodies, their sexual union recalls their vows: giving themselves to one another in love that is total, faithful, and life-giving.

This call to love is to follow Christ himself, who handed himself totally over for his bride, the Church. Spouses imitate him by giving the entirety of themselves to one another, including the gift of their fertility and their openness to new life. Contraception and sterilization, which deliberately suppress fertility, reduce the sexual act so that husband and wife withhold the completeness of their total gift to each other. This changes the meaning of their sexual union so that it no longer expresses the fullness of their love.

God our Father loves us and wants our lives to be full and rich! He has given his Church the task of bringing women and men to the fullness of truth which leads to our happiness in this life and in the life to come. Jesus gives us the power and strength of the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of Love—so that we, particularly husbands and wives, can truly love one another.

The teaching on the use of contraception and sterilization may seem challenging, but it is to preserve the true, complete self-gift between husband and wife, the kind of love that brings real, lasting joy and peace. If we have failed to live this in the past, we need not be discouraged. Our loving Father is always calling us back through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and wanting to strengthen us in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

When we embrace the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and marriage and follow Jesus, we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives in a powerful way. When we trust in the Lord’s desire for our happiness, he can transform our love in a way that can transform the world.

There has been much news lately about the Church’s teaching on contraception and sterilization.
As Catholics, we may be asking thoughtful questions or struggling to understand this teaching.
To learn more, or to see questions others have asked, visit
www.usccb.org/love-and-sexuality.


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My apologies to the Deeper Truth crew

Been working like a dog. Worked 14 hours yesterday (Saturday). I'll be back in it soon.






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The Catholic Defender: Spiritual Health Tips

This morning I had to report for CPR training for my job working for a local security organization. I am currently working part time at a Catholic Hospital which has been a real blessing.

One of the requirements is having CPR/AED training and certification. In the Army, it was always the American Heart Association, but today was the Red Cross.

There are some small changes in the standards from what it was a couple of years ago. Today, there is less importance on giving breaths and more on doing chest compressions.

A lot has changed over the past 27 years when I first became a Combat Medic.

The training today reminded me of the times I had actually needed to use this training to save a life. I have done this a number of times and some of them were members of my own family.

My youngest son, Jason, when he was about a year and a half, maybe two years old, was sitting in front of the television. We were watching one of those old Hercules movies when my wife had made hotdogs for the kids.

Jason had made from the hotdog bun a ball he tried to swallow when it got lodged into his throat. At first, I had not noticed the situation, but my wife sure did.

I quickly took action picking him up and holding him in my arms head down, I began to give him 5 back blows when the lodged ball popped right out and Jason was fine.

That could have been a bad situation, but I was able to use my training and it worked.

My second Son, Joshua, was swimming in Lake Stockton near Stocton Missouri as we were all enjoying a day at the lake.

It was getting near dark when I noticed Joshua was in water that was too deep for him. He was not a strong swimmer and he was struggling.

I quickly was able to get him back to shallow water and he was able to regain his composure. What might have been a terrible tragic situation, I was able to intervene and get Joshua in a safe place.

This is a dangerous situation as we are always hearing of a tragic drowing accident involving children.

All it takes sometimes is for mom or dad turn their attention for just a moment, that's how fast it can happen. Prevention is the best defense.

I was home visiting my Mother before I was to go to Iraq for the first time with the 2-5 CAV out of Fort Hood Texas. I wanted to see my Mother and family before our deployment.

On the very last day, Mother was showing signs of fatigue and was tired. She had spent a good week with us and so before we left the house, we made sure Mom had everything she needed.

She quickly fell asleep when my wife and I looked at her and it was very difficult for me. We both were in tears knowing this could be the last I see my Mother alive.

Before we left, I went inside where my Mother lay sleping offering a prayer for her. On this particular day, my Brother, Randy, came home early and found that something was happening with Mom.

We had not left town yet, and we responded quickly getting back home finding Mom was not breathing. I began giving Mom rescue breathing as she still had a pulse. I continued with the rescue breathing until the EMS arrived.

My wife, Gigi was listening for the breath sounds as I watched for the rise and fall of the chest. This worked well and my Mother would hang on for another day.

As I reflected on this, it was good to reflect on what I have known for a long time, that health is something we should never take for granted. As important as the body, how much more so for the soul. If the soul becomes sick, it is hard to find healing. It is always best to keep spiritually fit as well as physically fit. God grace found in the Sacraments are important, spiritual food that comes to us from the Catholic Faith will not fail. The more we embrace the truth of Christ, the closer we are to spiritual fulfillment.

The following is an example of caring for a choking victim, this is a great scene!


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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #211* The Catholic Defender: Ministers Of Grace

According to the Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, grace has several meanings and interpretations.

I love the first example: "1. an unmerited divine assistance given man for his regeneration or sanctification."

 Of this grace, St. Paul writes, "Of this I became a minister by the gift of God's grace that was granted me in accord with the excercise of his power" (Ehpesians 3:7).

St. Paul is clearly indicating his role being called to preach to the Gentiles. This is a grace given him to fulfill the Lord's will in St. Paul's Ministry.

Grace is understood to be a "state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace".

I like what St. Paul writes to the Corinthians, "I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discource and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:4).

This is important because we see the believer is "bestowed" grace which was "confirmed" through the Church. Through the Ministry of the Church, which was established by Jesus Christ.

Grace is a "virtue coming from God" that can be seen on just about every page of the bible.

St. Paul writes, "Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God's grace" (Acts 20:24).

The idea of grace has been used for many different things.

Have you ever heard someone speak of how graceful a professional skater might be as they perform on ice before a large crowd?

Or you might compliment someone on how graceful they might look at a particular function.

Christians routinely offer grace before meals for thanksgiving for their benefits, for the gift of plenty.

For family get togethers, we can see the grace of God extended to just about every facit of life.

What makes the Catholic Priesthood so important is that God uses the ordinary to offer the extraordinary.

 St. Paul writes, "For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said, 'This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.' For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

This is a very important scripture indicating grace received through the participation of both the bread and the cup. Through this grace, the Lord is clear with their reception of the Eucharist, "I will raise him on the last day"!

Jesus commands his Ministers of Grace a very important instruction saying, "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 'And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained" (John 20:21-23).

When you go to Confession, the Lord takes those sins you confess and throws them into the sea of forgetfulness and he remembers them no more. This is another grace from God that is administered by his Church.

St. Paul would refer to this grace as the "Ministry of Reconcilation" entrusting to the Church the message of reconcilation.

The grace a believer receives through the Confessional is the forgiveness of sins. St. James writes, "My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" (James 5:19-20).

I was raised with baseball striving to play Professional ball, I have adopted some of my thoughts of baseball and applied them to faith. I like to see the Priest as like a third base coach, I have seen myself as like a first base coach. We strive to coach people to get them on base, to help them maneuver around the bases until they get to home plate. The challenge many times is to get them into the batters box!

Jesus gives his Ministers of Grace another important instruction: "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20).

St. Peter said, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:38-39).

This is important for the believer to understand, we definitely receive grace through baptism. St. Peter understands that Noah's Ark was a prefiguring of the Church, that the flood waters was a prefiguing of Baptism which saves us now. God imputes Sanctifying grace into the soul cleansing it from Original sin as well as all actual sin.

We see the Apostles going out as Ministers of Grace laying hands on those who received the Holy Spirit through their authority.

The Lord works through the Ministry of His Church. St. Luke writes, "Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the Apostles... Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them. A large number of people from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered, bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits, and they were all cured" (Acts 5:12-16).

St. James writes, "Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven" (James 5:13-15).

 It is clear that the Lord is working his grace through his Church.

Jesus instructs his Apostles, "I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultry. His disciples said to him, 'if that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.' He answered, 'Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it" (Matthew 19:9-12).

 There are a couple of points to make from this text:

1. Notice what Jesus says, "Not all can accept this word, but ONLY those to whom it is granted". The priesthood is a special calling. What it takes to be a true Minister of Grace is to be a true child of God who can accept the grace of the Lord. It is true that a Priest is a human being like all of us who can sin and fall, but there is a difference from someone who sins and falls from one who is a counterfiet. Someone who is a wolf in sheeps clothing. An imposter who has infiltrated the Church with the intent of hurting the Church from within. We know that the enemy is at work who has planted weeds inside the kingdom to cause dissension and scandal. To scatter the flock. We need to pray for all our priests that they remain loyal to their calling and to be true leaders of the Church (1 Peter 5:1-5).

2. Notice Jesus said "unless the marriage is unlawful" a divorced man or woman commits adultry. How is a marriage annulled? Can a husband simply annull his marriage by simply willing it? Who decides? The Ministers of Grace decides this question, not the individual party. Jesus said, "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that evey fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 18:15-18).

This is the basis for the tribunal system where cases are viewed and decided upon. It is Christ speaking through his Church.


St. Paul writes, "Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have abundance for every good work. As it is written: He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever".

God's grace cannot be contained in the walls of men, but he works though His Ministers of Grace, the offices of His Church. Deepertruth wants to encourage you to frequent the Sacraments to obtain the great graces God provides through his Church.


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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Notre Dame chronicles part 2

The video to the left is a highlight reel from Notre Dame's November 12th, 2011 victory over the Maryland Terrapins at Fed Ex field (home of the Washington Redskins).

I was at the game. It was my second Notre Dame game and first win. My first game was on September 10th at Michigan.

The first highlight of this game is Lo Wood (#23) taking a Danny O'Brien interception to the house (towards the endzone we were seated in). O'Brien is now the QB for Wisconsin and I found out this morning that Lo Wood is out for the season with an Achilles injury.

One month from today, I will be in South Bend. This is not a good start. I wish Lo a full recovery.






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Monday, August 20, 2012

The Notre Dame chronicles part 1



On September 20th, I will be leaving the confines of Northern Virginia and heading west to South Bend, Indiana and home of the University of Notre Dame. It is a pilgrimage to the shrine of our blessed lady and to that storied football team that once so proudly represented her and, dare I dream, may one day again.

Since it is August 20th, a month before I leave (and seeing as I cannot sleep once again), I thought this a fitting place to begin.

To put this journey in it's proper context in my life will be no easy thing. There are so many metaphors to apply.

Let's start with the football team. An endless succession of disappointing seasons. Notre Dame last beat a #1 team on November 13th, 1993. That's right, it has been 19 years since the Irish beat a #1 ranked team. When the Irish beat Florida State in 1993, they ascended to the #1 spot and held it just one week. The Irish finished that season 11-1. They have not lost fewer than 3 games in any of the 18 seasons since then.

During that span, Notre Dame is 2-10 in bowl games. They have lost 9 of the last 10 to USC and 5 of the last 6 to Michigan. They have also lost 3 of the last 5 to Navy- something unthinkable when they were winning 43 straight against the middies.

There is an entire generation of kids that have no idea what Notre Dame football is supposed to be about. Each year, us older fans hope this will be the year they finally turn it around. 

Yet, there is more than just the disappointment with wins and losses. Notre Dame football just isn't what it used to be because Notre Dame just isn't who they used to be. Something inside me says Don't give up the dream. Fight for Our Lady's team and her university.

In doing so, I hope to put to flight my own demons.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Catholic Defender presents Russell Ford

Russell Ford appeared on deepertruth this past Friday, and he is coming back this next coming Friday (24 August 2012) for a part II show.

I want to invite you all to listen to the testimony of his conversion to the Catholic Faith.

This is a most inspirational story as He tells of being in prison beginning in 1987, serving a prison sentance for a crime he did not commit.

He tells of his conversion to the Catholic Faith through the witness of a fellow prisoner using the old Baltimore Catachism.

Being in the Alabama penitentiary Russell Ford speaks of some of the trials he endured and the pain he suffered and to the ultimate victory of finding the fullness of truth in the Catholic Church.

His testimony of discovering the Eucharist is most inspirational.

During the 25 years he served in the prison system, he has helped many come to the Catholic Faith.

He is the spiritual Father of nearly 100 prisoners who would follow him into the Catholic Faith.

Now, he is reaching many through organizing and teaching the ministry of evangelizing.

He is currently developing and providing catechetical materials to inmates of other prisons across the country.

Russell Ford has authored the book, "The Missionary’s Catechism", which I fully expect to get an autographed copy when we meet for the October 13 Marian conference in Springfield Missouri.

You can get the book through Amazon.com.

I encourage you to back track and listen to last weeks show, it is like a regular conversation, you will have the chance to hear much of his testimony.

Please listen in on this coming friday as this promises to be an excellent show and if you would have any questions you would like to ask.

In discovering the Russell Ford story, I am reminded of another inspiration story of another Prisoner, Harold Morris. As you watch this video, know that many of the circumstances are simular. Please join us this Friday!


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Saturday, August 18, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #210* The Catholic Defender: The Sign

"Jesus answered them and said, 'Amen. amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw SIGNS but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." So they said to him, 'What can we do to accomplish the works of God?' Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." So they said to him, 'WHAT SIGN CAN YOU DO, THAT WE MAY SEE AND BELIEVE IN YOU?"

It is interesting that the crowd was asking for a sign that they might believe in Jesus and follow him. At this point they were ready to make Jesus King. Jesus is King, but not over the temporal realm of Israel, but over the hearts and minds of those seeking the fullness of truth. At the elevation of the Eucharist in Mass, I exclaim in exultation in my heart and soul, "The Sign, the sign, my Lord and my God"! I love the prayer we say, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” The Jews continued:

"What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' So Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the TRUE BREAD from heaven." For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

The bread that God gave the people in the desert was temporal, it sustained life for their earthly needs. The Bread that we receive at Mass is heavenly food that nurtures our souls. It is far more than satisfying the flesh, the bread of life we receive brings us close to the one the Father sent. Jesus promises, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will ENTER HIS HOUSE and dine with him, and he with me. I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches."  At the Mass, we are called to participate with the worship of heaven, we receive the Lord of hosts at the Altar of the Lord.

"So they said to him, 'Sir, give us this bread always'. Jesus said to them, 'I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in will will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life and I shall raise him on the last day".

Jesus said, "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke, and giving it to his disciples said, take and eat; this is my body. Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins". This action Jesus uses to introduce the new and everlasting Covenant so that all of us would have the opportunity to receive Christ in the Mass. Regardless of time and space, Jesus is present in all the Catholic Churches around the world. He is being offered through His Church to all the nations, "For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, my name is great among the nations; And everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name, and a pure offering; For great is my name among the nations, says the Lord of hosts (Malachi 1:11).

"The Jews murmured about him because he said, 'I am the bread that came down from heaven,' and they said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his Father and Mother? Then how can he say, 'I have come down from heaven?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'Stop murmuring among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT BY GOD."

Just as people hearing Jesus murmured against what Jesus was telling them, today, many continue to show their lack of faith rejecting the teaching of Jesus for new gospels of symbolism. Man made denominations built on symbolism due to their own lack of faith putting faith in their own destructive doctrines. Jesus never spoke symbolically especially in this text where he was clear on what he is saying. When you walk up towards the Altar and you see the Minister elevate the host and say, "The body of Christ", what is your response? Yes, we say "Amen", but do we really believe? Does this Sign bring about conversion each time you receive? We are challenged by St. Paul as he writes, "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons, You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger? Are we stronger than he?" We cannot compromise the truth of the Lord for our own lack of faith. We are called to believe in this Sign.

"Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; HE HAS SEEN THE FATHER. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. Your ancesters ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

Jesus has given us many miracles and signs throughout the centuries of his real presence in the Eucharist. He has given us everything but a neon sign pointing to the truth of the Catholic Church. Enemies of Christ will call this a "Pagan" ritual, they will call it a symbol, their rejection is seen clearly in their denial of the Eucharist. To deny this SIGN is to deny the Father's will. Jesus said that if you believe in Him and receive this great SIGN, He will raise you up on that last day. St. Paul writes, "A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself" (1 Corinthians 11:28-29).

"The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?' Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, YOU DO NOT HAVE LIFE WITHIN YOU. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancesters who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever".

We need to stop quarreling and start believing.

Let us be like the grateful Father who cried, "I do believe, help my unbelief!"  Let us come to the Lord with our hearts full of joy and anticipation knowing that we are receiving the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Let our "Amen" please the Lord who is the summit and founder of our Faith!


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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #209* The Catholic Defender: Virgin Birth

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall be living on curds and honey by the time he learns to reject the bad and choose the good..." (Isaiah 7:14).

Isaiah wrote this sometime between 742-687 B.C. That was a long time before the actual arrival of Jesus Christ.

The Archangel Gabriel appears to Mary, "In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary.

And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you".

But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God".

"Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom there will be no end".


But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man"? And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God" (Luke 1:26-35).

Of this child, Isaiah had this to say, "For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, From David's throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever" (Isaiah 9:5-6).

Concerning this child, St.John writes, "A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth" (Revelation 12:1-2).

The virgin birth of Our Lord is so closely connected with the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother that one would not exist without the other.

Mary is the woman of Genesis 3:15, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel".

This is spiritual warfare being waged and the human race is caught right in the middle of it. Actually it is for the human race that the war is being waged. God's love for mankind was the reason why Jesus came and died on the cross. It was for our sake.

As the serpent strikes at the Lord's heel, he stands on the sand of the sea positioning himself to strike after the rest of Mary's offspring, "those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus" (Revelation 12:17).

One attack of the serpent that I am recognizing comes from those who are challenging the Catholic Faith and the virgin birth.

I have friends who were former atheists who tell us that they would use these kind of arguments against all Christianity, they were not interested in fighting the Catholic faith in particular, but any thing associated with Christianity.

Some of the Anti-Catholics have taken up this rhetoric and have their own formation they home in against the Catholic Church. Some of it coming straight out of Paganism.

Here is an example of the information being given:

"Eurasian Land Mass"
1500.1200 BC Zoroaster-Born of a Virgin
1500-1100 BC Dionysis-Born of a Virgin in Greece, born in a stable, turned water into wine
1200 BC Krishna-Born of a Virgin
... 700 BC Indra-Born of a Virgin in Tibet
600 BC Gautama Buddha-Born of the Virgin Maya
600 BC Mithra-Born of a Virgin, in a stable on 25 December. His resurrection was celebrated at Easter.
600 BC Adonis-Born of the Virgin Ishtar in Babylon**
550 BC Quirness-Born of a Virgin in Rome
200 BC Attis-Born of the Virgin Nama in Phrygia
"South American Land Mass" Hun-Ytzamma-born of a Virgin, scourged, crowned with thorns, hung on a cross with rope,
died, was born 3 days later.

It would appear that the virgin birth of the Lord is not an isolated event? What is the difference from Jesus and what makes him stand out in this crowd of competing "gods"?

We know that Satan can appear as an "angel of light", "And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light. So it is not strange that his ministers also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds" (2 Corinthians 11:14).

This is why St. John instructs us to test the spirit. 1 John 4:1-6 warns, "Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ came in the flesh belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world".

Those so-called gods coming from Pagan roots are former counterfeits and not true spiritual manifestations from God. The woman of Genesis 3:15 was a true prophecy of God to mankind.

God prepared this woman from her very beginning known as the Immaculate Conception. She was visited by an Archangel bearing upon her a great title, "Hail, full of grace".

This was foretold be the prophets of old. How do you judge a true prophet from a false prophet?

God told Moses, "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen, and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him. If any man will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name, I myself will make him answer for it. But if a prophet presumes to speak in my name an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, he shall die. If you say to yourselves, how can we recognize an oracle which the Lord has spoken? Know that, even though a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if his oracle is not fulfilled or verified, it is an oracle which the Lord did not speak. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously, and you shall have no fear of him" (Deuteronomy 18:18-22).

For those who want to resurrect these Pagan gods who bore likeness or held to similar attributes or claims of the Lord, know this: "If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts" (Psalms 95:7-8).



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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Catholic Defender: Please Remember Steve's Father

The following is from Steve Ray's web page, he is a close friend of mine and of deepertruth, please remember his Father and family at this time. Also please remember to keep John's Father in prayer as well.

Dad is out of the hospital and back home. He is now officially in hospice with extreme efforts removed and all the family around him and my mom. My kids are with him 24-hours a day. As soon as my talks are done here in Anacortes Washington Janet and I are rushing home Sunday.
For those praying his name is Charles Robert Ray. My mom is Frances Ray.
The doctor said to give him food and water as he is able to receive them, but we are all aware he is slipping fast. Our job is now to keep him comfortable and loved until the angels take him home. Dad is ready to go. (It is far easier for me to write about this than to talk about it.)
Two of my daughters praying over grandpa. What great kids I have. They have dearly loved their grandpa.
I have no regrets. I’ve loved him and been a son who honors his father and dad has done nothing but loved us and been a fantastic example of a father, a provider and a Christian.
I remember that Ford Motor Company regularly offered my dad promotions. He always asked, “Will I need to work more hours?” They replied, “Of course.” My dad responded, “I am sorry to decline but I have three boys at home and they need me more than Ford Motor Company does.”
My son Jesse spending the night to care for my dad and his grandfather
He spent his evenings reading us stories. After we went to bed he recorded stories on a reel-to-reel tape recorder for us to listen to while he was at work. Weekends were for the boys, me and my brothers, to help us ride the pony, to work in the garden, to read us stories, to BE with us. I knew this day would arrive and I will grieve when he is gone. I believe in the resurrection and eternal life with every fiber of my being, but that won’t stop me from missing the man who was always my best friend, the man who brought me into existence and taught me to be a man.
My dad reading me stories in better times
The loving arms of the Catholic Church are so uniting and reassuring at the end of life. I wish my dad and family could be experiencing that right now but unhappily it isn’t the case. But my dad loved nothing more in his life than Jesus Christ and I am confident of his destination.

Steve, I dedicate this song to your Dad which is kind of a story of my Mother. The song by Petra is one of my all time favorites:







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