Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

The Year of Faith

Our Catholic Identity is extremely important. In an age where modern relativism is running rampant, it is incredibly important that we as Catholics remain close to the Church in identifying ourselves with her. However, many Catholics have forgotten (or never were taught) what it means to be Catholic. It is quite possibly one of the greatest tragedies to fall upon the Church when it comes to the matter of our faith.

Fortunately for us, this year in the Church marks the Year of Faith. It is a time for us as Catholics to reconcile ourselves with our faith and to find out more about it. It is time for Catholics to stop hiding from themselves, and to KNOW their faith. It is time to get properly catechized, as many Catholics don’t know the who, what, where, when, why and how of their faith.

This is an important part of being Catholic. As Catholics, we should be spending more time learning about our faith. Most Catholics are under the impression that “hey, I went through Catholic School/Religious Education, etc… when I was a kid, why do I need to keep going?” Frankly, you need to keep up on your faith because you forget things. When you aren’t thinking or using a particular skill set of yours, over time, the skill degenerates. Unlike riding a bike, when you don’t practice your faith, similarly to taking calculus, when you stop doing it, you forget it. (Yes, I did just draw a comparison of the faith to calculus, and yes, I think the faith is DEEPER than calculus, if you don’t believe me, try reading some St. Thomas-Aquinas, Pope John Paul II, or Pope Benedict XVI).

The other reason its important to know about your faith is simple. Our faith tells us that we are to put God first in our lives. The logic is simple, whoever, or whomever is first on your priority list, always gets your attention, regardless of how tired you are or how late it is. If you have a new girlfriend or boyfriend, and they are #1 on your priority list, you make sure that you give them a phone call, text or IM before you go to bed. But God deserves to be in that #1 spot, and spending time in prayer, with Scripture, with a book on the faith, is spending time with God, getting to know Him. And this is what the Year of Faith is all about.

Really, its rather simple on what needs to be done. God needs to be put number 1 in our lives, and then we need to spend time with Him. Being a Catholic is more than just throwing a label on yourselves and going about your merry way. Being Catholic is about living our your Catholic faith the way that Jesus is calling you to.

Each and every one of us is called to follow Jesus, and yet how often do we fall from that path? Often enough. Yet, we can get back on that path every time we stray to get back in line with Christ and His teachings. This does not mean that we can do whatever we want and say “I’m following Jesus, its okay! We’re homeboys!” but to actually follow Him. The best way to know if you are following Him or not, is to read the Gospels. Here you will find out about Him, by reading His own words.

You also need to know your faith. Why? Partly, so that you know why you believe, what you believe. But, secondly, and possibly more importantly, so that you can explain your faith to others. When someone asks you, “why are you a Catholic, when you can be anything else?” you’ll have a reason. On top of that, if someone ever does come up to you and asks you what Catholics believe, you can tell them. It is time that we as Catholics both know and live our Catholic faith and identity.

The Year of Faith has been underway now for a couple of weeks. So, what have you been doing to better understand the Catholic Church?

Read scripture. Read the Catechism. Read Papal Encyclicals. Read the Second Vatican Council Documents. Read good Catholic books. READ. As Catholics, we need to read more. Our Protestant brothers and sisters read on average of 6 books on the faith in a year. What is our excuse now? Its time to stop with the excuses, sit down, and know our faith. Once you know your faith, live it.

Jeff October 29, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink

My Wedding Day Part Two: The Reception

Part 1. Again, as I remember stuff I will update.

After the Mass, Kathy and I exited the Church, followed by her bridesmaids and my groomsmen. We had a receiving line and of course, received everyone as they exited the Church. This was a lot of fun to be able to get to see everyone 1 on 1 even if for a brief moment. I originally did not want to have a receiving line as it creates clutter, but, I’m glad that we did as there were many people that I did not get a chance to talk to at the reception. This was a great way to see everybody, even if brief.

When the receiving line was finished, we walked down the steps of the Church and walked on down to the entrance on the ground level. There everyone was huddled around. As a special treat, Kathy’s dad had some doves that he was going to let out of a basket and they would fly off. It was kind of funny, when her dad first opened the basket, they just sat there, not sure what they were supposed to do, but after a few seconds they eventually took off in flight. It was pretty cool.

From here, most people left to go to the reception, meanwhile the bridal party and family stayed behind for more formals. My brother the best man and Kathy’s sister the maid of honor signed the marriage license as witnesses. We had a lot of fun getting the last of the formals done. After we got the family and bridal party pictures done, we dismissed them and let them head over to the reception. Kathy and I stayed behind with our photographer and videographer to get some last shots in of the church.

We took some good shots of us “leaving” the church (just going to the reception, not abandoning Catholicism) and headed on over to the reception hall.

It was totally awesome seeing everyone there. We did some looking around and mingling before our grand entrance. We walked in to “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith and did a little dance and spin on the dance floor for everyone.

There were many chimes on the glasses for Kathy and I to kiss, and so we made sure everyone got a show each time.

Father gave a prayer before we ate dinner, which was a very solemn prayer. Afterwards we ate (I’ll have to rethink what we had, I believe it was Chicken Parmesan, Honey Ham, Ceasar Salad, Green Beans with Shaved Almonds and Butter, Dinner Rolls and thats all I can remember).

After most people had finished eating we commenced with the speeches. Kathy’s parents were up first and they had some witty comments at my expense, along with some nice ones. It was very touching and since we had a “long-distance” themed wedding, they pointed out all the states that our guests came from as well as many statistics regarding our guests (Kathy is a Statistics major).

When Kathy’s parents had finished, they passed the microphone over to my friend Brad, who filled in for my brother for the speech. Brad’s speech was witty, clever and short, as he joked (Kathy’s parents had a bit of a long speech, but it was still good). Brad commented a bit on how of all the couples he knew that had gotten married, Kathy and I were the most perfect for each other and that we really practiced our faith. I didn’t realize that Kathy and I had demonstrated this, so, we were humbled.

After Brad finished, Kathy’s sister Mary came up and gave possibly the most touching wedding speech that I have ever heard. She spent the first half roasting me (there seems to be a pattern here) and the second half she talked about how generous Kathy has been with her in both her time and helping Mary with her physical disability. Mary’s speech was definitely one of the top three things people liked about our wedding.

Next, I was up to give my speech as the groom. I commented that after hearing those three speeches, that people would more or less have to suffer through mine, as I didn’t think mine would be that good (I still think it was my worst public speech yet, but others disagreed, go figure). I explained our wedding theme and thanked everyone for coming, thanked Kathy’s parents as well as mine. I was applauded and no one booed me off, so I guess I didn’t do too bad.

We cut the cake, had desserts, and began with our first dance “Making Memories of Us” by Keith Urban. We really enjoyed that, and then had the father/daughter and mother/son dances. We did them both at the same time just to be a little different.

People took awhile to get out on the dance floor, but once people got out, it was quite hopping. Kathy and I made sure to spend some time to talk with our guests, but sadly, didn’t get to talk to everyone. We were thankful to have the receiving line as we at least got to spend a couple of seconds saying hi and thank you to our guests.

The reception was a huge hit and a lot of fun. I really miss just being able to go carefree at my wedding. Kathy and I actually celebrated 3 months yesterday (October 14) and we watched the video. It was excellent. I do miss being able to just be a goof ball and to have fun. I think I need to cut back a bit more from time to time and not be so “serious”.

Finally, at the end of the night, when Kathy and I were ready to call it, the DJ put one final song on “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers. It was so touching and since Kathy and I knew it would be our final dance for the wedding, we decided that we would remember this moment for the rest of our lives, and that when we are struggling or in an argument, that we would come back to this moment at how happy we were and remember why we love each other so much. If we have to, grab the song and play it for the other. This way, the music itself would bring us back. I will admit that it has already worked on an occasion when Kathy and I were arguing. It helped calm us down and then we were able to resolve it. I’m thankful that I was inspired by the Holy Spirit to think of this. We now consider this our “second song”.

Again, I will be editing this as I remember other things.

Jeff October 15, 2012 5 Comments Permalink

Conversion Prayer

Once in awhile I like to write up prayers. I don’t do it too often, usually when I want to come up with a personal prayer that I would like to repeat is when I write one. This one I have used a lot more than others, and thought that maybe I could share it with you.

I wrote it with the idea of praying it similar to a novena, with the exception of more often. I wrote this one with my wife last year. We were engaged at the time, but you get the idea.

This prayer is specifically for the conversion of non-Catholics to Catholicism.

Heavenly Father,
Today we ask for your intercession to reach out and open the hearts of (insert name(s) here). We ask you to allow them to realize Your love and mercy. Help them to grow closer to You, and seek You in all things. Allow them to feel the desire to come home to Your Holy Catholic Church. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Nice and simple.

Jeff October 10, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink

Society Should Conform to the Church

“The Church needs to get with the times, they are totally way back in the Middle Ages!”

This is quite often thrown around by those who oppose the Catholic Church and believe they have the authority to dictate their own personal beliefs, otherwise known as liberals.

Yep, I said it, the “l” word. Liberals aren’t big fans of Catholic Orthodoxy, tradition and authority. In fact, they secretly hate the Catholic Church. They are jealous of the Church in how successful it is, even when it is severely limited by government, as it is in China or was in Russia.

See, most liberals don’t believe that God is omnipotent, all-knowing and all-powerful. Heck, I think there are a lot of non-Catholics that think this too, but I digress. For a lot of Protestant churches, the pastor can be fired if the congregation doesn’t like what he is preaching. Or, on the other hand, they get up, and leave their church and go around to various other churches until they find what makes them happy. No longer is the faith taken at what God said, but now the faith is taken more on what is comfortable for the individual. Which is exactly what Jesus preached:

Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” John 6:60

So, instead of actually accepting it, when Jesus asks us if it shocks us (John 6:61), they throw it away and simply keep walking (John 6:66).

Far too often though, this is not just Protestants, but all of those that would rather follow the path well trodden as opposed to the road less traveled. This is why we have Christians, and liberal Catholics who constantly support sex before marriage, pornography, masturbation, gay marriage, abortion, embryonic stem-cell research (which by the way has had absolutely no positive cures found after how many years, compared to adult stem cells (which is 100% approved by Church teaching)), euthanasia, contraception (which is both bad for women’s health and the environment), and the list goes on and on…

Unfortunately, people have no self-control and do not want to sacrifice. This is why there has been such a huge increase in the divorce rate. Love demands sacrifice, and when you can’t sacrifice for your Lord, there is no way in hell that you will sacrifice for some petty human being. Most people today can’t even sacrifice that extra sweet somewhere in the day to shed a few pounds and would be more content taking a pill in order to shove down a couple of more cupcakes.

Another common argument that liberals and progressives like to throw around when they encounter those who actually follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, is something like “you should really think for yourself…(insert crummy logic here)”. Right, because you came up with all of your beliefs on your own? Seriously? I’m not sure what is so difficult to understand about being a Catholic. If you say that you are something and go against that, then you really aren’t part of that group. Its kind of like saying that you are a Democrat and vote with the Republicans. The Democrats will basically try to kick you out and label you as a Republican. This happens on the Republican’s side as well.

An even better example would be a Vegan for Meat Eating. Because as we all know, Vegan’s love their meat. If I were to tell you that I am a Vegan who eats meat, you would look at me and say that I was out of my mind. Yet, someone can do the exact same thing within the context of Catholicism, yet we aren’t supposed to bat an eye. They are “thinking Catholics”. Well, call me a “thinking Vegan” then.

What’s interesting is that the Church has what they call “canons”. Before you ask, I know what you are thinking and no, they do not shoot cannon balls, nor are they performed in a pool. Canons are the body of laws and regulations that are made by or adopted by the ecclesiastical authority for the use of the Church. I know, the Church and its rules! But seriously, many complain when it comes to the Church and its rules, but what functioning society or group of people don’t have rules?

We as a country have federal laws that we must obey. Within our state we have state laws we must follow. We even have city and county laws that we have to follow. If you belong to a group you have your own rules or by laws that you must obey. But the Catholic Church, the one authority that Christ left here on Earth to watch over His Church (Matthew 16:18-19) can’t have rules? Frankly, if you don’t like the rules of the group that you are apart of, you are allowed to leave, or worse yet, you are given the boot. The Church has a canon for this, and it probably should be used. Unfortunately, it still does not shoot people out of it

There are far too many people today who say that the Catholic Church is closed minded and is not open to society’s views. If only they themselves were not closed minded to the Church’s beautiful teachings. Society preaches about being open minded, yet look at how closed minded they are. The Church IS open minded. She listens to what others have to say and corrects them when they are wrong. It is society who is closed minded and who hardens their hearts when they hear what they do not want to hear. Man may change, but the Church will not.

Jesus has always been the same person. He was there when life began, there with Moses on Mount Sinai, with Abraham, with His disciples and even to this day. He brings us strength when we are weak. He is food and drink for the soul. He will be through the end of time.

If you like the images, check out Catholic Memes.

Jeff October 9, 2012 1 Comment Permalink

Apologies and Topics

So, I just wanted to apologize to my readers. I’ve been pretty busy lately and well, more or less been neglecting the blog. I have a bunch of posts started, but of course, you can’t read stuff that isn’t posted.

I just went to Chicago this weekend for a wedding and am realizing that my 3 month anniversary is coming up. This to me is inexcusable as I have only put up a portion of the actual wedding. I will start cranking this out and will hopefully have both the 2nd part of the wedding and the honeymoon reflections up as well this week.

I also decided that I’m going to post some shorter entries here and there with just maybe a small nugget of info a bit more often. I think I try to go for the big ol’ long posts. Sometimes a little goes a long way.

Thanks for your patience. If you have suggestions for topics, feel free to leave a comment. I sometimes find it helpful when I have something to write about.

Maybe I will work on embedding a poll on the site and whenever I come up with topics or have them suggested, you can vote on what you want to read next. Highest topic gets precedence.


I have included a poll on the right hand side of the blog. It is under the list of other blog entries over here –> You can pick multiple entries as well. Have fun!

Jeff October 9, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink