Saturday, March 1, 2014

Definitions of terms

Note: this is an incomplete work in progress. In addition to defining certain terms, I need to list sources referenced in my definitions.

These are terms I regularly use in discussions on Facebook and other online forums. I'm placing it here so that I can refer people to it when necessary.

Apostolic succession: the line of succession leading from the Apostles down to every catholic (note the lower case "c") bishop. To begin at the beginning, God the Father gave authority to Jesus, Jesus gave His authority to the Apostles, and the Apostles appointed bishops as their successors, passing to these bishops their Apostolic authority in matters of faith, morals, and the valid administration of sacraments. Those bishops then ordained other bishops, passing along their Apostolic authority. This line has continued through the ages so that every bishop in every catholic Church has been ordained in this line. Sadly, the same is not true of Protestant communities, many of which don't even claim to have bishops.

bishop: a bishop is a man who was ordained in the line of Apostolic succession and who possesses the fullness of the priesthood to rule a diocese as its chief pastor. The office of bishop is of Divine institution. In the ministerial hierarchy they possess powers superior to those of priests and deacons; in the hierarchy of jurisdiction, by Christ's will, they are appointed for the government of one portion of the faithful of the Church. They are the successors of the Apostles, though they do not possess all the prerogatives of the latter.

catholic (with a lower case "c"): the points of doctrine, theology, and sacramental life on which the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Oriental Orthodox Church agree. If I use this word at the beginning of a sentence, it will be spelled "c"atholic.

Catholic (with an upper case "C"): refers to the teachings and/or sacramental life of the Catholic Church.

Catholic Church: sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Roman Catholic Church. It is the largest Christian Church in the world, and is headed by the Pope, the bishop of Rome. It is made up of 23 different Churches. Each of the Churches is headed by a bishop (various titles such as Patriarch or Metropolitan may be used instead of bishop, but Patriarchs, etc. are all bishops). The Catholic Churches are:

Albanian Byzantine Catholic Church
Armenian Catholic Church
Belarusian Greek Catholic Church
Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church
Byzantine Church of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro
Chaldean Catholic Church
Coptic Catholic Church
Ethiopic Catholic Church
Greek Byzantine Catholic Church
Hungarian Greek Catholic Church
Italo-Albanian Catholic Church
Macedonian Greek Catholic Church
Maronite Church
Melkite Greek Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic
Russian Byzantine Catholic Church
Ruthenian Catholic Church
Slovak Greek Catholic Church
Syrian Catholic Church
Syro-Malabar Church
Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

celibacy: the state of being unmarried.

celibate: unmarried. If a married couple refrains from sex for a period of time, they are not celibate, they are continent.

chaste: sexually pure.

chastity: sexual purity. All persons, whether single or married, are called by God to be chaste. For single people, chastity involves refraining from lust, pornography, and sexual activity with oneself or other persons, and active service to meet the needs of other people (e.g. encouraging the discouraged, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, mentoring the young). For married people, chastity involves all the above with the exception that they can focus their sexual desires on and have sexual relations with their spouse.

church (with a lower case "c"): a local body of non-catholic Christians who meet together under self-elected officials (usually called a pastor). Non-catholic churches are not Churches in the proper sense, as they lack Apostolic succession and valid sacraments.

Church (with an upper case "C"): a local body of catholic Christians who are lead by a bishop. Each local body is referred to as a Church, but each one is considered to be the local expression of the True Church established by Christ.

continence: refraining from sexual activity with oneself or other persons.

continent: the state of being sexually inactive.

Roman Catholic Church: the largest of the 23 Catholic Churches. It is headed by the bishop of Rome, who is also the ultimate head of the 22 other Catholic Churches.

True Church

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Scriptural Rosary continued: The Second Joyful Mystery.

Review here and here. Another review here, along with the first Joyful mystery. Also, this picture will help us learn how to pray the rosary.

Let us pray the second Joyful Mystery: Mary visits Elizabeth.

If you were praying the second Joyful Mystery immediately after the first, you would move your fingers from position "21,22,23" to the bead marked "24", and you would say,

"The second Joyful Mystery."

Now, pray one Our Father on bead 24, and pray one Hail Mary with its Bible verse(s) on each of the beads marked 25-34.

Our Father…

And Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah, and entered into the house of Zechariah and saluted Elisabeth. (Luke 1:39, 40 TMB)
Hail Mary…

And it came to pass, when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. (Luke 1:41 TMB)
Hail Mary…

And she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb. And why is it granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (Luke 1:42, 43 TMB)
Hail Mary…

"For lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. (Luke 1:44 TMB)
Hail Mary…

"And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord." (Luke 1:45 TMB)
Hail Mary…

And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, (Luke 1:46, 47 ESV)
Hail Mary…

"for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name. And His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation. (Luke 1:48, 49, 50 ESV)
Hail Mary…

"He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. (Luke 1:51 ESV)
Hail Mary…

"He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;  He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away. (Luke 1:52, 53 ESV)
Hail Mary…

"He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring for ever." (Luke 1:54, 55 ESV)
Hail Mary…

After you've said the above, either keep your fingers on the last bead, or move them to the space between this and the next bead (#'s 35-37 in the picture), and pray the Glory Be:

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen.

To close, make the sign of the cross. (In the future, I'll have the closing prayers of the rosary listed.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Scriptural Rosary continued: the First Joyful Mystery.

Review here and here.

The mysteries of the rosary are different events in the lives of Jesus and Mary. They're divided into four different groups. Each group contains five mysteries.

The Joyful mysteries. These are about Jesus's birth and early life. We reflect on His First Advent while praying them. They are:

1) the angel Gabriel announces Jesus's birth.
2) Mary visits Elizabeth.
3) Jesus is born in Bethlehem.
4) Jesus is presented to the Lord at the Temple.
5) Jesus is found at 12 years old discussing God and His Law at the Temple.

The Luminous mysteries. These are about Jesus's earthly ministry. We reflect on some of His teachings and miracles while praying them. They are:

1) Jesus is baptized.
2) Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding in Cana.
3) Jesus preaches a message of repentance.
4) Jesus is transfigured on the mountain.
5) Jesus gives us His flesh and blood in the Eucharist.

The Sorrowful mysteries. We accompany Him from the Garden of Gethsemane to Golgotha in these mysteries.

1) Jesus prays in the garden.
2) Jesus is scourged.
3) Jesus is given a crown of thorns.
4) Jesus carries His cross to Calvary.
5) Jesus is crucified.

The Glorious mysteries. Jesus is our risen Lord, and His ministry is now in Heaven. We contemplate this in our prayers on these mysteries.

1) Jesus dies, but doesn't stay dead!
2) Jesus goes back to Heaven.
3) Jesus sends the Holy Spirit on the Church to empower and sanctify Her.
4) Jesus takes Mary to Heaven with Him (a picture of our own resurrection).
5) Jesus crowns Mary as the Queen-Mother (in the Middle East, the king's mother was the queen, not his wife. This is why Solomon gives his mother Bathsheba a throne. She was the queen. The Davidic kingdom is a picture of the Messianic kingdom, so Mary, being the Mother of King Jesus, is queen).

Here we begin praying the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary. This post will contain only the first decade, that is, the Annunciation.

Start with the Introductory prayers. (Here's the picture I linked to in that post. It may prove useful).

The Introductory prayers leave off at the space between the fourth bead (a.k.a. the third small bead, #6 in the picture) and the next bead. Now put your finger on that bead (#10) and say:

"The first Joyful mystery: the Annunciation."

Keeping your hand on that bead, pray the Lord's Prayer (Our Father...).

Move your fingers to the next bead (#11) and recite the following verse.

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, (Luke 1:26 TMB)

Then pray a Hail Mary while mediating on that verse:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death.

And continue until you get to the tenth bead.

to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. (Luke 1:27 TMB)
Hail Mary

And the angel came in unto her and said, "Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women." (Luke 1:28 TMB)
Hail Mary

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying and cast about in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. (Luke 1:29 TMB)
Hail Mary…

And the angel said unto her, "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God. (Luke 1:30 TMB)
Hail Mary

"And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son; and shalt call His Name Jesus. (Luke 1:31 TMB)
Hail Mary

"He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:32, 33 TMB)
Hail Mary

Then said Mary unto the angel, "How shall this be, seeing I know not man?" And the angel answered and said unto her, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that Holy Being who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:34, 35 TMB)
Hail Mary

"And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth: she hath also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible." (Luke 1:36, 37 TMB)
Hail Mary

And Mary said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38 TMB)
Hail Mary

After you've said the above, either keep your fingers on the last bead, or move them to the space between this and the next bead (#'s 21-23 in the picture), and pray the Glory Be:

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen.

To close, make the sign of the cross. (In the future, I'll have the closing prayers of the rosary listed.)

*I use the Third Millennium Bible and several other versions. Use your preferred version. And you needn't say the scripture reference, just the verse.

A Scriptural Rosary for my Catholic and Evangelical friends, the Introductory prayers.

How to pray the rosary at New Advent [pdf] and at YouTube.

So how is this rosary for my Evangelical friends? This is a scriptural rosary. If you're not comfortable praying the Hail Mary, skip it! Just recite the Bible verse and pause to think about it. Indeed, even if one does pray the Hail Mary's, one should concentrate on the Scripture passage while one prays.

This post will have only the introductory prayers of the rosary. I'll add the rest in following posts.

First, some instruction not covered above. The point of the rosary is not to recite the prayers. The rosary is to help one meditate on certain events in the lives of Jesus and His Mother Mary. As one meditates on these events, one should determine how they apply to one's own life and become a better disciple of Jesus. If the rosary does not help you do so, stop doing it. The Church does not require anyone to pray the rosary. She encourages it only if it helps you "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

The rosary is made up of a crucifix, a string of beads, and usually a medal. See this picture. It is divided into "sections". The first section consists of the crucifix and the first four beads. The remaining five sections consist of one large bead, on which one prays the Our Father, and ten small beads, on each of which is prayed a Hail Mary.

Some people pray the entire rosary for a specific prayer intention. Others have a prayer intention for each decade. Still others mention a specific prayer request on each bead of the rosary. You can do whatever you want to do as there is no official way to do this.

The rosary begins with the sign of the cross. Here's how our Eastern rite and Orthodox brethren make that sign: How to make the sign of the cross (note how the hand is held. Most Western rite Catholics don't hold their hands that way when making the sign of the cross, although I do). In the video, the guy is speaking the following in Arabic:

"In the Name of the Father" (fingers to forehead)
"and of the Son" (fingers to abdomen)
"and of the Holy" (fingers to one shoulder) "Spirit" (fingers to opposite shoulder).

(I've got to learn how to say this in Arabic!)

While saying the above, some people cross themselves with the crucifix. Others hold it in one hand while signing themselves with the other.

One then recites and meditates on the Apostle's Creed (numbers 1 and 2 in the picture):

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell;
the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic Church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.

Then one places one's fingers onto the first large bead* and prays the Our Father... (#3)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
for Thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory for ever.

A Hail Mary is said on each of the next three small beads. In the traditional rosary, one prays a Hail Mary on each of these beads. Some people offer prayers for the bishops of the church on the first of these beads, for priests on the next bead, and for deacons on the third. Some ask for an increase of faith, hope, and charity. This last is what we'll do, with a Bible verse and a phrase added to each Hail Mary.

Holding the first small bead (#4), ask God to increase your faith in Him. You can do so by simply saying "For an increase of faith", or you can make an Act of Faith, or make up your own prayer.

Then recite "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1 TMB^), and pray the following (by the way, we are asking Mary to pray to God with us):

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death.

On the next small bead (#5), ask for an increase of hope (e.g. Act of Hope or etc.).

Recite "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (I Peter 1:3 TMB).

And pray:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death.

On the third small bead (#6), ask for an increase of charity (e.g. Act of Charity or etc.).

Recite "And above all things, have fervent charity among yourselves, for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." (I Peter 4:8 TMB).

And pray:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death.

Keep your hand on that bead, or move it to the space between it and the next large bead (#'s 7-9) and pray the following:

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

This ends the Introductory prayers of the Rosary. I'll post more later.

*Many rosaries use a combination of large and small beads. The one in the picture doesn't.

^Use whatever Bible version you prefer.

The Rosary.

The rosary: I have a difficult time praying it because I know one is supposed to concentrate on the mysteries, which is difficult for me, unless I use a guide of some sort. So, for those who face the same problem, I recommend two things. One is the book The Complete Rosary: A Guide to Praying the Mysteries and the other is a scriptural rosary.

The book The Complete Rosary has been quite a help to me in that the author, William George Storey, gives a brief history of the rosary, and instructs one on the meaning and purpose of it. The most helpful aspect aiding my meditation has been using the phrases he suggests as inserts into the Hail Mary's, between "Jesus" and "Holy Mary". For example, if one is praying the Joyful Mystery of the Annunciation, one might say the following:

"Hail Mary, Full of Grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus,
Who was conceived at the message of an angel.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour of our death."

Check out the preview on Amazon. It's a great book, and I highly recommend it!

A scriptural rosary is a rosary prayed with both the traditional prayers of the rosary and Scripture verses. I have developed my own, and offer it to you, my reading public (assuming I still have one) beginning with my next blog post.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Father Corapi...

...let us pray for him.

Kresta in the Afternoon blog on this situation: The Walls Come Tumbling Down on Corapi.

Jen Fulwiler's blog entry about the Father Corapi situation (probably the best one I've read). Read her blog. It's much better than mine. I work way too many hours to keep this thing updated like I should.

And to close: some comments I made on Kresta's blog...

"I have been praying for Fr. Corapi, and will continue to do so. In one of his recorded talks he asked that we pray for him constantly because, as he said, any of us can fall deeply into sin and lose our souls. But, to quote him, "It ain't over till it's over." He can still repent and be renewed! Let us pray for him, for all who are hurt by his fall, and that God will help each of us to guard our hearts and lives that we may attain eternal life!"

UPDATE: Wise words from Father Z.

Hat tip to Mark Shea (another blog that is much better than mine!).

Thursday, June 9, 2011


It's a shameful act for people to engage in. I found this anti-bullying video on YouTube, and want to post it. In elementary school I was rejected, made fun of, and called names, even though I went to a Christian school. It hurt. The most egregious example happened at a very bad time in my life. I don't remember how old I was; elementary age is the closest I can get. My great-grandmother, whom, according to my parents, I loved more than I loved them, was very sick. I was worried that she was going to die. At that time, I didn't quite know how my she was related to me, so I asked prayer "for my granny who is sick and might die." As soon as I'd said that, one of my classmates responded with "She's your great-grandmother, stupid!" I'm almost 37 years old, and I still feel a pang when I think about that. Sticks and stones can cause a lot of physical damage, but they can't accomplish the level of destruction words can bring about. I'm proud of this girl for admitting her hurt and reaching out for help, and I rejoice in the encouragement she's gotten from YouTubers and other sources!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


He is risen indeed!

The Easter Sermon of Saint John Chrysostom

Whosoever is a devout lover of God, let him enjoy this beautiful bright Festival. And whosoever is a grateful servant, let him rejoice and enter into the joy of his Lord. And if any be weary with fasting, let him now receive his penny.

If any have toiled from the first hour, let him receive his due reward.

If any have come after the third hour, let him with gratitude join in the Feast.

And he that arrived after the sixth hour, let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.

And if any have delayed to the ninth hour, let him not hesitate, but let him come too.

And he that hath arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not be afraid by reason of his delay; for the Lord is gracious and receiveth the last even as the first.

He giveth rest to him that cometh at the eleventh hour as well as to him that hath toiled from the first.

Yea, to this one, he giveth and upon that one, he bestoweth. He accepteth works, as he greeteth the endeavour. The dead he honoureth and the intention he commendeth.

Let all then enter into the joy of our Lord. Ye first and last receiving alike your reward; ye rich and poor, rejoice together. Ye sober and ye slothful, celebrate the day. Ye that have kept the fast, and ye that have not, rejoice today; for the Table is richly laden. Fare ye royally on it. The calf is a fatted one. Let no one go away hungry. Partake ye all of the cup of faith. Enjoy ye all the richness of His goodness. Let no one grieve at his poverty; for the universal kingdom hath been revealed.

Let no one mourn that he hath fallen again and again; for forgiveness hath risen from the grave. Let no one fear death; for the Death of our Savior hath set us free. He hath destroyed it by enduring it. He spoiled Hades when he descended thereto. He vexed it even as it tasted of his flesh. Isaiah foretold this when he cired, "Thou, O Hades, hast been vexed by encountering Him below."

It is vexed; for it is even done away with.

It is vexed; for it is made a mockery.

It is vexed; for it is destroyed.

It is vexed; for it is annihilated.

It is vexed; for it is now made captive.

It took a body, and, lo! it discovered God.

It took earth, and, behold! it encountered Heaven.

It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.

O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?

Christ is risen, and thou art annihilated.

Christ is risen, and the evil ones are cast down.

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.

Christ is risen, and life is liberated.

Christ is risen, and the tomb is emptied of the dead; for Christ, having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those that have fallen asleep.

To Him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Catholic & Homosexual

A great video from Michael Voris and RealCatholicTV!