Should Catholics Obsess About Food?

Comment: 

Although the above short video talk refers to the USA, things are almost identical here in the UK, with just about everyone following some kind of dietary advice from the “experts”.    Is this a kind of obsession which we, as Catholics, should avoid?  After all, Our Lord Himself taught us not to worry about such things:  “… do not worry about about what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on… Behold, the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are not you of much more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26)

So, at the risk of incurring the wrath of the animal rights fanatics who won’t agree that humans are of much more value than the birds of the air,  I am wondering if we should take the advice at the end of the video and take responsibility for our own diet – and not obsess over what the Governments thinks is best for us.  What do you think? 

I must confess, I already do that, by and large.  At one time I was the proud purchaser of only diet drinks and semi-skimmed milk; I even hid the chip pan (although never the chocolate)… No more.  I became a liberated woman eater a number of years ago and haven’t looked back since (nor put on any notable weight, if at all – I also ditched the bathroom scales 😀 ) 

Share your thoughts – while I take a break to enjoy some coffee and cream cake…   

Climate Cult & Conforming Kids…

In the above short discussion, the speakers acknowledge that the Climate Change movement is, in fact, “religion replacement”.

Julia Hartley-Brewer tries to pin down one of the leaders of the Green Party to “facts not fearmongering” – doesn’t work! 

Comment: 

What is MOST shocking about the entire climate change baloney is that Pope Francis has given the movement his full backing. Earlier this week, one of our Irish readers sent me  a leaflet circulating in the Diocese of Kerry (and no doubt the rest of Ireland) which opens with an unequivocal  statement that we have only “11 years to save Our Common Home” and then the following quote from this worst-ever pontiff: 

“Time is runnning out!  Deliberations must go beyond mere exploration of what can be done, and concentrate on what needs to be done.   The climate crisis requires our decisive action, here and now and the Church is fully committed to playing her part.”  [Pope Francis].

If he were to exhort young people to work hard to build virtuous lives and so avoid the truly terrifying prospect of eternity in Hell, Pope Francis would, of course, lose his star appeal and the airwaves would be full of shocked “liberals” demanding that children be allowed to enjoy their lives without being filled with fear about Hell.  Fear about the end of the world in a mere 11 years, however, that’s fine.  No problem.  Anyway, it’s a moot point.  Papa Francis is never going to terrify youngsters with talk of Hell … Why? 

Answer:  because somewhere along the line, he has lost his Faith. Agreed?   

Climate Change: Pupils Protest – Are They Not Taught Critical Thinking?

Tomorrow, pupils across the UK are walking out of school, on strike in protest against the climate change caused by Joe Bloggs, which is allegedly destroying the planet.  Click here to read this news, widely report in the print and broadcasting media across the UK.  Then take five minutes to listen to the short video clip below, to recall what happened to one climate scientist when she began to ask for, er… data…
In October 2018, we discussed her persecution here

Comment: 

Share your poll responses below – are these pupils conscientious, or do they simply lack the critical ability to recognise fake news when they come across it, whether in the print or broadcasting media – or in a biased science lesson? 

Red Alert! Scotland’s Snowpocalypse?

Comment: 

I’ve been obeying the Government for once, and stayed indoors today. The snow just keeps coming… and I just keep asking what on earth is causing this? 

Or is nothing on earth causing this?  I’ve no idea, but I hear what our Transport Minister has been saying on this evening’s news, which has mostly been about the weather:  this level of snow is unprecedented.  This is the first ever “red” alert warning in Scotland, which means life is in danger.  

Personally, I’ve no idea what’s causing this, and the scientists seem to have gone to ground.  In any event, I’m not convinced by the Climate Change industry’s theories about population control and plastic bags.  What about you? 

Eucharistic Miracles Past & Present…

The following article is published in The Truth: Les Femmes, The Women of Truth, Vol 21, No. 2 Summer 2016, entitled: The Answer to All Our Problems? Jesus and Mary by Mary Ann Kreitzer.  Reprinted here with kind permission.

eucharisticmiraclequotelancianoThe world faces problems these days on an apocalyptic scale. Wars and terrorist attacks, devastating natural disasters, increasing plagues like AIDS, Zika, Lyme, and antibiotic resistant super-bugs, not to mention the anxiety, stress, and depression that accompany modern living. And, of course, we all have relationship challenges among our families, friends, and acquaintances. I’d like to suggest in this article that the answer to all our challenges is simple – increasing devotion to the Real Presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist (and, of course, the rosary) and devotion to Our Lady. But I’m going to focus here on the Eucharist, the bread of angels.

An interviewer once asked Bishop Fulton Sheen who was the greatest influence in his life. Was it a bishop or seminary professor, a cardinal or a nun? What, in fact, inspired him to make the challenging decision to pray a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament every day of his priestly life? The bishop responded with a story about a little 11-year-old girl in China after the virulently anti-Christian Communists took over the country.

One day, the authorities invaded a local parish and locked the pastor in the church’s coal storage room. They ransacked the church, broke open the tabernacle, and emptied the ciborium on the floor trampling the hosts underfoot. Then they left. A small opening between the coal bin and the church allowed the priest to see what happened next. Every night, a little girl, one of priest’s parishioners, slipped past the guards and stole into the church. She knelt and prayed for a few minutes, then bending over she took a desecrated host on her tongue and made a holy hour of thanksgiving. Afterwards, she stole out of the church again.

This went on for 32 nights, corresponding to the number of hosts in the tabernacle. On the day the child consumed the last host, the soldiers saw her and brutally beat her to death. Sheen said if that little martyr could sacrifice her life to make a holy hour with our Eucharistic Lord every day, he too ought to make a daily holy hour in thanks for so great a gift. And from that moment, Bishop Sheen preached unceasingly urging both priests and laity to make holy hours before the Lord.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta often said the answer to all the world’s problems was perpetual adoration of the Eucharist with every Catholic making a holy hour every week. Such a small sacrifice with such a great return! Jesus, present in the Eucharist, is the remedy for all our ills. If we would only believe and act on our belief we can change the world.

“But why should we believe Jesus is really present?” some may ask. “It’s only a piece of bread, a symbol. What nonsense to think the host can literally be the body and blood of Christ present here on earth. Who can believe such a thing?” Sound familiar? It should. In John’s gospel, chapter six, Christ Himself responded to His disciples’ disbelief saying, “My flesh is real food; my blood is real drink….Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you.” But God never asks us for “blind” faith. Our belief is reasonable and God gives us numerous proofs that what we believe about the Eucharist is true. In addition to the words of our Savior we have many Eucharistic miracles including several modern ones. Let’s examine the recent Eucharistic miracles confirmed by scientists. The witness of scientific evidence proves the truth of our Eucharistic belief, enough to convince the greatest skeptic if he is, in fact, a truth seeker.

My first example occurred in 1996 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fr. Alejandro Pezet took a consecrated host discarded in the back of the church and placed it in a container of water to allow it to dissolve. About a week later he examined it and found that the “host had become a bloody object.”[i]

Upon informing the local bishop, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio our current pope, he was told to have the host professionally photographed. The photos taken on September 6th, “clearly show that the host had become a piece of bloody flesh, and had significantly grown in size.”[ii] Three years later in October 1999 the host was examined by Dr. Frederic Zugiba, “an expert in cardiology and forensic pathology.”[iii] The doctor did not know the source of the specimen but described it saying:

The analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle, close to the valves. This muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart. The left cardiac ventricle pumps blood to all parts of the body. The heart muscle is in an inflamed state and contains a large number of white blood cells. This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken…[W]hite blood cells had penetrated the tissue, which further indicates that the heart had been under severe stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest.[iv]

Later, when Dr. Zugiba learned the specimen was three years old he remarked, “If this sample came from a dead person, how could it be that while I was examining it, the cells of the sample were moving and pulsating? If the heart came from someone who died in 1996, how could it still be alive?”

An Australian journalist, Mike Willesee, who was covering the story and witnessed the tests, converted to Catholicism after researching a previous Eucharistic Miracle. He later wrote a book called Reason to Believe.[v] Willesee, in collaboration with lawyer Ron Tesoriero who also witnessed the tests produced a documentary on the miracle and screened it around Australia. In one city this remarkable event occurred:

The showing at Adelaide drew a crowd of two thousand viewers. During the commentary and question period that followed a visibly moved man stood up announcing that he was blind. Having learned that this was an exceptional film, he had very much wanted to see it. Just before the screening, he prayed fervently to Jesus for the grace to see the film. At once his sight was restored to him, but only for the thirty-minute duration of the film. Upon its conclusion, he again lost the ability to see. He confirmed this by describing in minute detail certain scenes of the film. It was an incredible event that moved those present to the core of their being.[vi]

But God isn’t finished emphasizing his Real Presence here on earth. In 2008 a similar miracle occurred in Poland at the Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Sokółka. During distribution of Communion Fr. Jacek Ingielewicz retrieved a dropped host and placed it in a silver container filled with water. This time the host was partially transformed into what appeared to be flesh and blood with the flesh still connected to the consecrated host. Again, the local bishop was contacted and took action:

On January 5, 2009, the bishop asked two professors of medicine at the University of Bialystok, Maria Elizabeth Sobaniec-Lotowska and Stanislaw Sulkowski, to conduct an analysis of a fragment of the host….After working separately, the two specialists arrived at the same conclusion – what they had been given came from human heart muscle tissue that was still alive, but in agony….Professor Sobianiec-Lotowska confirmed: “This is living heart muscle tissue.”…Also very intrigued by the way the heart tissue was connected to the consecrated host, she declared that “this extraordinary phenomenon of inter-absorption of the heart muscle tissue with the host, observed under the microscope and also by electron microscopy, proves that no human manipulation of the sample could have taken place.” In fact, the structure of the myocardial fibers and the structure of the bread were so tightly bound that no human intervention could have caused it.[vii]

A third recent Eucharistic event occurred in Poland on Christmas Day in 2013 at St. Hyacinth Church in Legnica. A consecrated host fell to the floor during distribution and, as the rubrics prescribe, was placed in water. A few days later, red stains appeared on the host. The bishop, Stefan Cichy, established a commission to investigate:

Samples were taken in order to conduct thorough tests by the Department of Forensic Medicine in Szczecin. The final medical statement reported that “in the histopathological image, the fragments were found containing the fragmented parts of the cross striated muscle. It is most similar to the heart muscle.” DNA tests also determined the tissue to be of human origin, and found that it bore signs of distress.

In January 2016, Bishop Kiernikowski presented the matter to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. On April 10, Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski of Legnica made public in a Communiqué that a Eucharistic miracle had happened in 2013. In accordance with the Holy See’s recommendations, he ordered parish priest Andrzej Ziombrze “to prepare a suitable place for the Relic so that the faithful could give it the proper adoration.”[viii]

 Mexico also experienced a miracle on October 21, 2006 in a slightly different way. During Communion at Tixtla in the Diocese of Chilpancingo-Chilapa, a nun serving as an extraordinary minister noticed a consecrated host with a red substance that looked like blood. She showed the priest who reserved the host and notified the bishop. The bishop opened an investigation which found that the host was indeed bleeding and that the blood was flowing from the interior of the host:

By analyzing the Host it was observed that it was human blood of type AB and that it corresponded to tissue. Then an analysis was done of phytochemical markers which confirmed that it was live cardiac muscle. No study exists that can maintain alive a cardiac tissue in this situation. Normally after 48 hours the tissue dies, here 3 months passed before the result could be obtained and this is truly unexplainable for science.[ix]

In all these Eucharistic miracles the blood was also found to be the same type as that from the Shroud of Turin and the Miracle of Lanciano, type AB.

Eucharistic miracles are not new. They have occurred throughout the centures, but as these recent examples illustrate, they seem to be increasing in frequency. In view of the fact that Eucharistic miracles are often associated with disbelief (The priest at Lanciano had doubts about the Real Presence as he celebrated Mass), is it really any surprise that our loving and merciful Lord would offer us these modern proofs of his existence to challenge this age of rampant disbelief?

Remember Christ’s response to the father of a possessed boy who asked, “If out of kindness of your heart you can do anything to help, please do!” “If you can,” Jesus replies and admonishes him for his lack of trust upon which the man responds, “I do believe, help Thou my lack of trust,” and Jesus cures his son. Again, in admonishing the doubting apostle Thomas, Jesus says, “Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!” Finally to Jairus when the servants tell him not to bother the Master because his daughter died, Jesus encourages him saying, “Fear is useless; what’s needed is faith.” Faith is a catalyst of miracles. If you have the faith of a mustard seed you can move mountains. Unbelief, on the other hand, says St. Thomas Aquinas, “is a sin committed against God Himself, according as He is Himself the First Truth, on which faith is founded…the sin of unbelief is generically more grievous than the sin of schism.” [x]

Bishop Athanasius Schneider in a recent interview described the crisis in the Church saying it:

…consists in the ever-growing phenomenon that those who don’t fully believe and profess the integrity of the Catholic Faith frequently occupy strategic positions in the life of the Church, such as professors of theology, educators in seminaries, religious superiors, parish priests and even bishops and cardinals. And these people with their defective faith profess themselves as being submitted to the Pope.

The height of confusion and absurdity manifests itself when such semi-heretical clerics accuse those who defend the purity and integrity of the Catholic Faith as being against the Pope – as according to their opinion in some way, they are schismatics.

For simple Catholics in the pew, such a situation of confusion is a real challenge to their faith in the indestructibility of the Church. They have to keep strong the integrity of their faith according to the immutable Catholic truths which were handed down by our forefathers, and which we find in the traditional catechisms and in the works of the Fathers and of the Doctors of the Church. [xi]

When asked how faithful Catholics should prepare for living in a Church that “while ever spotless, is in complete disarray,” the bishop responded in part:

We have to believe firmly: The Church is neither ours nor the Pope’s The Church is Christ’s, and He alone holds and leads her indefectibly even through the darkest periods of crisis, as our current situation indeed is….

All good children of Mother Church, as courageous soldiers, have to try to free this mother – with spiritual weapons of defending and proclaiming the truth, promoting the traditional liturgy, Eucharistic adoration, the crusade of the Holy Rosary, the battle against sin in one’s private life and striving for holiness.[xii]

The prescription is always the same: personal holiness and devotion to the Eucharist and the rosary. We are, no doubt, living in the time prophesied by the dream of St. John Bosco showing the barque of Peter attacked by enemies and steering toward the two columns: one with the Holy Eucharist and the words, “Salvation of the Faithful,” the other smaller column holding a statue of the Blessed Mother with the words “Help of Christians.”

 In explaining his dream, Don Bosco said, “Only two means are left to save [the Church] amidst so much confusion: Devotion to Mary Most Holy and Frequent Communion, making use of every means and doing our best to practice them and having them practiced every-where and by everybody.” No sensible person can deny that Satan attacks the Church today with forces outside and even from enemies within, but we have the assurance that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church. It is our duty as Catholics first, to be the battering rams that shatter the gates of hell, freeing sinners enslaved by Satan and second, to be His legions zealous to establish the reign of Christ the King. Viva Cristo Rey!

[i] Newsletter of St. Joseph de Clairval Abbey, Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, France,  March 27, 2016.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] ks. Mieczysław Piotrowski TChr, Eucharistic Miracle in Buenos Aires, Love one Another Magazine, Jan. 7, 2010. Online at http://www.loamagazine.org/nr/the_main_topic/eucharistic_miracle_in_buenos.html

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] St. Joseph de Clairval Abbey.

[viii]SSPX News and Events, New Eucharistic Miracle in Poland, May 1, 2016. Online at
http://www.sspx.org/en/news-events/news/new-eucharistic-miracle-poland

[ix] The Real Presence, Eucharistic Miracle of Tixtla. Online at
http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/english_pdf/Tixtla2.pdf

[x] St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Whether schism is a graver sin than unbelief, Question 39, article 2, Answer to objection 3, http://dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/SS/SS039.html#SSQ39A2THEP1.

[xi] Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Interview with Rorate Caeli, originally posted February 1, 2016, http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/02/exclusive-bishop-athanasius-schneider.html.

[xii] Ibid.


Comments invited…

Pope Calls For Action To “Save The Planet”; Silent On Saving The Faith

PopeFrancisClimateChangeIn what I believe was probably a very rare exercise in sarcasm, blogger, Athanasius, emailed me the other day to say that he was greatly looking forward to the new encyclical, adding “Ireland has just officially apostatised from the Faith and the Pope’s  writing about the environment.  Things are truly bad!”

Quite.  The Church is falling apart before our very eyes, with apostasy writ large just about everywhere, and Pope Francis – instead of concerning himself with the question of how to end the diabolically-inspired crisis within the Church, which has resulted in worldwide apostasy – is worrying himself to death about how to improve the weather. Crackers

When can we expect an encyclical condemning the errors of our times  and exhorting obedience to the moral law, as revealed by God and entrusted to His Church to preach and promote?  When?

 Click here to read about the launch of the first ever papal “eco-encyclical” – Laudato Si – and to read the encyclical click here 

Comment

Well, the Pope has laid his cards on the table. He’s a “believer”.  Where does that leave Catholics like myself, who do NOT believe that the weather is caused or changed by human beings…  People like me who remember Our Lord’s exhortation not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself?  And where does it leave the papolatrists among us, who think the Pope’s every word is infallible? Could it be that the Holy Spirit is telling us that we ought to believe in man-made climate change? 

Tell us if the new encyclical has evangelised YOU into believing the doctrine of “man-made climate change” or, if –  like me – you agree with those commentators who suggest that the Pope should “leave science to the scientists” and further, that he should get down to ending the crisis in the Church, speaking out against the widespread loss of divine and Catholic Faith around us, apologise for his dereliction of duty in saying “who am I to judge?” (grave sin)  and admit that the Church has gone off the rails in the past 50 years thanks to that Council.  After all, he has to start somewhere if he wants to “save the Faith”.  And he must want to “save the Faith”… surely? 

Is Belief in Extra-Terrestrial Life Diabolical & Alien to Catholicism?

ImageOver the Christmas holidays, I was amazed to meet people who believed in “aliens/extra-terrestrial life”. I have been even more amazed to discover that the Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, an astronomer for the Vatican observatory, also believes in extra-terrestrial life, and even intelligent life, as discussed in a 2005 Catholic Truth Society pamphlet. See also the Vatican Conference on the subject (Click on the picture – which is the avatar of our blogger, Miles Immaculatae – to read more).

Thus, when  Miles Immaculatae  suggested the topic for discussion on our blog, I was only too pleased to agree.  Below, he shares his views.  Tell us what you think: is belief in extra-terrestrial life diabolical and therefore, per se, alien to Catholicism?

For several decades, stories of alien abduction and UFO sightings have fascinated many people. Fantastic tales of aliens and flying saucers have permeated the popular culture for good. Much like fairy lore did in centuries past. This appetite for strange and otherworldly things might reveal the loneliness and spiritual void people feel in modern society, one that has largely rejected the Gospel. Spacemen and UFOs have even inspired new religious movements. The most well-known example is the Heavens Gate cult, infamous for its ritual mass suicide in 1997.

It is unlikely we have been visited by intelligent beings from elsewhere in the universe. The theological implications of their existence are untenable and incompatible with Scripture. Natural science is also un-supportive. In-spite of the universe’s immense vastness and the existence of earth like planets, the likelihood of life evolving is improbable.  Even some secularist, evolutionist scientists believe the likelihood of extraterrestrial life is extremely rare. Even if intelligent beings did exist, it is unlikely they would be able to travel to huge distances that would be required. That kind of technology only exists in science-fiction.  

After psychological causes and fabrication have been ruled out, purported UFO and extra-terrestrial encounters are best explained as preternatural phenomena. Upon scrutiny, much of the available evidence of such encounters have the character of the diabolical. Below are presented some reasons for these assertions, drawing on accounts of ‘close encounters’ examined critically through the lens of the Christian Tradition. 

UFO sightings are ubiquitous. However, they seem to cluster around centres of ancient pagan ritual and burial. Various abduction accounts have suspicious elements. Typically, the victims are taken against their will. Some have said they were able to smell the odour of sulphur, which is not uncommon in cases of demonic possession. Many of these abductees have a history of engaging in occultic or New Age practices, which leaves people in a state of spiritual vulnerability, and whom are also frequent in presentations of possession. Similarly, a drop in temperature in the abduction environment is also reported, along with involuntary levitation of the contactee. As with possessed persons, abduction victims often find unexplainable marks on their skin and suffer depressive disorders after the encounter(s).

Abductees have spoken of being jeered and scoffed at by the entities, which communicate through a kind of extra-sensory perception. They exhibit strong animosity towards humans, and even the animals we depend on, as highlighted below. Victims recall having been molested, and the beings are often intent on interfering with the human reproductive organs, often with the assistance of instruments. Among rational creatures, procreation is unique to humans, who have a body. It is unsurprising demons would hate every aspect of our nature. When abuctees have asked the entities why they are subjected to such invasive and humiliating procedures, they often express sentiments like “we have a right to do this”.

In cases of unexplained cattle mutilation, UFOs are frequently reported to have been seen in the vicinity around the time of the incident. The surgical dismembering of domestic creatures in these cases is very clearly a diabolical event. The following features are common: complete draining of the animal’s blood, loss of internal organs with no obvious point of entry, and the precise excision of reproductive organs, mammary glands and rectum. The animal is found discarded in an area where there are no marks or tracks leading to or from the carcass. The wounds tend to be cauterized by an intense heat and made by very sharp instruments, with no evident bleeding . This is a world-wide occurrence. No criminal or natural explanation has been identified. 

Abductees have reported numerous times that the ‘alien’ beings de-materialise when the Holy Name of Jesus is invoked. They have been reported to have walked through walls of buildings, and are evidently of an angelic nature rather than a material one. Likewise, their craft often defy the laws of physics.

Most encounters with ufonauts and their craft occur around 3 am. Crucially, demonologists and exorcists report that this time is a peak of diabolical activity – the ‘Devils hour’: an inversion of 3 pm, whereby the death of Our Blessed Lord on the Cross is blasphemously parodied. 

The archetypal ‘Grey’ extraterrestrial with its bug eyes and large head bears an uncanny resemblance to the unearthly gods and goddesses (see image) of the Sumerians, Akkadians and Babylonians for example, as depicted in ancient art.  In relation to the natural religions of these early cultures, Scripture teaches that all the gods of the Gentiles are devils (Ps 95:5). Angels are able to appear in different forms, and it is not unlikely demons would manifest themselves to humans in similar forms throughout history. Even the Mayans are known to have believed that they received knowledge from celestial beings who descended from the sky. Many ufologist insist this is evidence that humans encountered extraterrestrials in antiquity, the ‘ancient astronaut’ theory, although this explanation is not feasible.

Humans have an appetite for the spectacular, and so it is little wonder that the Devil entices us through the age-old trick of conjuring luminous phenomena in the atmosphere. They are an ugly imitation in order to deride the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. In Medjugorje for example, such phenomena appear to occur on a regular basis. Indeed, the British Journal of Ophthalmology (1988) reported that some Medjugorje enthusiasts have suffered irreversible retinal damage due to prolonged sun-gazing. 

Strikingly, there are parallels with historical accounts of human contact with fairies and succubuses, concurrent with abduction and nocturnal molestation: an almost identical narrative to alien abduction, except the form is altered to best deceive the modern imagination. Humans throughout history have always sought consolation in idols. The evil one uses signs and wonders and deceit. It is clear aliens and flying saucers are just another one of his tricks with the overall intention to lead souls away from their heavenly destiny.