I was re-reading my post tonight and wanted to make a clarification about Scripture that I think was lacking in my post. The Catholic Church venerates Scripture just as much as sincere Protestants do. The Gospels are carried in the Entrance Procession very devoutly, high above the head each week at Mass... The Priest also leans over and kisses it after the Gospel reading... They regard it as holy and inspired and are the ones who have carefully preserved it and protected it throughout the ages. Like I said in my last post, they are the ones who actually met in councils and decided ultimately what books were truly inspired and which ones did not belong in the New Testament, although there is some disagreement regarding some of the Old Testament books. The Catholic Church just holds that Scripture is not the ONLY rule of faith- That is that Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition work together to form the rule of faith. Scripture has to interpreted historically through Tradition, or the chaos that I was speaking about will ensue. Everyone on their own interpreting scripture for themselves inevitably created all the severing and splits that still continue today among Protestants. If anyone wants to read more about this, here is a link... http://www.catholic.com/library/Scripture_and_Tradition.asp
I am probably only talking to my mama anyway, since the rest of you were falling asleep along time ago! lol Hi mama! I love you!
A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon a blog that was linked to one of the few I follow. The topic was whether or not Christmas should be celebrated as a holiday of Christian origin. My reaction was... "WHAAAT?!?"
See, for a few minutes I thought I was reading a blog written by a Catholic. My initial thought was, "What type of weird Catholic Fundamentalism is this?" Haha. Come to find out, much to my relief, it was just plain, old Fundamentalism. I immediately thanked God I am Catholic. Let me explain.
Probably most of my few friends that read my blog will be completely bored by this conversation, but this stuff gets me going and thinking... Which I throughly enjoy! Please know too, that all my family is Protestant, so I'm really not trying to be offensive in any way. This conversation just fits very well into the whole process of why I converted to Catholicism.
Fundamentalist Christians are those that take the bible completely at face value. They are literalists to the core. When God said He created the world in 6 days, it took 6 days. Literally. There is no room for allegory here. Like most evangelical Christians, they believe if it ain't in the bible it ain't true. There is also no room for the Sacred Tradition of the Church. This is that stuff that was not written down but passed on orally by those who actually knew Christ Himself... Or later by the people who knew the people who knew Christ Himself, and still a little while later, those who knew the people, who knew the people, who knew Christ himself. That's kind of the picture.
The Early Church Fathers are the people we speak of who existed in the early Church... The ones who the apostles passed on the Tradition to, which was either written down or passed on by word of mouth as it says in various places such as St Paul's Letter to the Thessalonians- "So then brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter." (2 Thessalonians 2:15) There was no New Testament at this time because the Gospels were not yet written, and the Letters which form most of the New Testament were still under construction. When the apostles spoke of scripture, they were referring to the Old Testament Scriptures.
The New Testament was never written as a complete encyclopedia of all truth and teaching of the early Church. There is not an appendix of every doctrine or article of faith located in the back of the NT because it was never written to be a sole rule of faith. This is really obvious when you think about it. The New Testament consists of 4 Gospel accounts which tell the story of the Incarnation and the Resurrection, and the teachings of Jesus inbetween. With the exception of The Acts of the Apostles and The Book of Revelation, the rest are letters written by the apostles essentially to address certain problems that were arising within some of the early communities.
The reason it was never intended to be a sole rule of faith is that Christ really did establish a living, breathing Church who He sent His Spirit to guide and lead into all truth. As far as we know, Jesus never even told anyone to write anything down. Jesus did not. He preached orally. He preached orally, but even his preaching wasn't a complete resource... "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."- John 16:12-14
Another thing to consider is most people did not read back then. The printing press was not invented until the time of Martin Luther. It is actually kind of like the fuel that spread the Reformation at the rate that it did. All books had to be hand copied, so most people could not afford even a bible, which would have been Old Testament scriptures anyway. Scripture was read aloud in Jewish Temples at the time of Christ.
Catholics believe Christ did in fact establish a specific Church, and He made St. Peter the head, who was the first Pope. Jesus was asking his disciples who they thought He was and... "Simon Peter replied, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter,[Peter means rock in Greek] and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." All of the Popes in history can be traced back to Peter through apostolic succession.
Catholics believe in a visible Church. Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house." -Matt.5:14-16 Why wouldn't his Church be visible in a visible world?
The Catholic Church is the only Christian Church that has existed since the time of the Apostles and for about 1500 years before the Protestant Reformation. When I read writings from the Early Church Fathers who some wrote early on, maybe less than 100 yrs after Christ died- I will have to look up the exact dates because I have forgotton- I found every doctrine was full on Catholic in it's teaching. I know, it's shocking! This is what led John Henry Newman, a Catholic convert from Anglicanism to say, "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." There is no other way around it.
I don't want this to be too lengthy, so I will just make one last point about this belief that Protestants have that Scripture is the only authority that can be relied upon. The statement is self-refuting. Nowhere in scripture does it say that scripture is the sole rule of faith to be relied upon. Besides that, Protestants rely on scripture themselves that CATHOLICS proclaimed to be inspired scripture... They have to first accept the AUTHORITY of the Catholic Church to accept the authority of the New Testament Books they are relying upon as their sole authority! Contradiction there. There weren't any Protestants at the Councils that met to decide which books of the New Testament were going to be included in the Canon because Martin Luther wasn't born until more than a 1000 yrs later! There is so much to say about these topics, but I am trying to be as brief as possible. My focus is Christmas, but it wouldn't make sense without at least a bare background.
So back to this blog. Basically this woman discovered that a lot of the customs associated with Christmas might be of pagan origin. There is some debate about the authenticity of these claims, but some of them could possibly be true. Things such as Christmas trees being similar to the trees that pagans cut down and brought into their homes. Like I said, there is debate about this because they site Jeremiah 10:1-5. These were trees that were cut down, carved into idols, and decorated with silver and gold. They were no longer trees but idols. Wikipedia explains some of the controversy here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_tree
Much of the controversy is derived from the Roman pagan holiday of Saturnalia which honored their god Saturn. It was celebrated close to the time of Christmas in ancient Rome starting a few hundred years before the birth of Christ. From what I read they brought evergreen branches into their homes (not whole trees) and used holly to decorate weaths and their homes. The Early Christians in Rome decorated their homes as well to avoid persecution. As the Church grew everyone continued the custom but began to associate these things with Christmas and new life. I have also heard that it may have been that the Church allowed these thing to continue in order to convert pagans to Christianity because they so loved their customs... So the Church changed the meaning of some of these practices into new things that they represent. "Behold I make all things new." Revelation 21:5
So anyway this was the topic of debate on this blog. There was even some discussion that the Catholic Church chose December 25th as the birthday of Christ to coincide with this ancient pagan holiday of Saturnalia. Like I said, there can be much debate about the actual date of Christ's birth, but the important thing is that this is when we commemorate it. The Church pronounced this would be the day it was celebrated in the early 4th century. I have read it had nothing to do with this holiday of Saturnalia, but was based somewhat on determining when Mary conceived and when John the Baptist was born and the summer and winter solstice. The Catholic Church proclaimed that this day, December 25th would be celebrated as The Mass of the Nativity of the Lord. Christmas means "Christ's Mass."
Everything started to make sense to me when I put myself in their fundalmentalist's shoes. Of course they would question Christmas or even altogether reject it because they reject the Catholic Church. I was reading the comments on the blog, and one person even went so far as to say that her family didn't celebrate Christmas because there is no mention of it in the bible.
These weren't people who were merely tired of all the commercialism that Christmas creates or rejecting Santa and his flying reindeer. They were rejecting the celebration of the Nativity flat out. They were rejecting it because they have no other authority outside their own interpretation of scripture. They were rejecting the Early Churches proclamation of the celebration. Made me sad. I commented briefly, and someone reminded me that they don't celebrate ChristMAS or any Mass. Yeah that's right.
Christmas is a feeling of hope and longing that is universally recognized. Everyone knows this feeling because God has placed something like it on every heart even if they don't know it. Most people aren't merely excited about what type of plastic, cloth, metal, or other substance they are gonna receive on Christmas... But they know, even if only subconsciously that something special and holy happened on this night.
I went to Mass on Christmas Eve, and I sat there looking at the 4 beautifully lit Christmas trees surrounding the little manger scene complete with Mary and Joseph and the shepherds... Thinking about these things amongst the singing of "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" and "O Holy Night." I was so thankful that I belong to a Church that celebrates Christmas! I was also very thankful that I belong to a Church that I can look to for guidance on all doctrinal issues as well!
It is just so obvious to me that Jesus would establish a CHURCH that everyone can look to for all types of guidance. If He established only a book, no matter how holy and sacred, it is obviously a flawed plan. A book cannot settle disputes when it was never intended to do so. The thousands upon thousands of Protestant Christian denominations proves this beyond all doubt.. And Protestantism not only leads to chaos, but taken to the extreme, the rejection of even Christmas.
I read this article in our diocesan newspaper last week, written by Theresa Montminy. I thought it was good. It made me remember that God is not only the "owner of all", but also the author of all things as well... gifts, talents, abilities, imaginations, even all ideas. Nothing is ever "original" that originates in us. This is what is meant when it is often said that we, "think God's thoughts after him." Nothing is really "ours" except our own free will... God gives us perfect freedom to choose what we do with the things He gives:
"We’re often not conscious of the statements we make, but they are more numerous than we think. We aren’t aware of them because most are not verbal. They are revelations of the heart, spoken by our choices.
Consider, for example, what we are saying when we have no money for God’s ministry but enough to pay the cable bill. Or when we see the starving and wish we could help . . . and then waste money on soft drinks with no nutritional value. Why does $30 a month to save a child seem like so much, and thirty dollars for a steak dinner for two seem like such a bargain? What do our choices say to God? Not much?!? They say more about our values. They reveal what’s in our heart. God is no enemy of entertainment and taste buds. But He is an enemy of idols, and our choices reveal what they are. It’s amazing how much we can’t afford to do for God’s Kingdom (the budget is always tight, right?); meanwhile, the vacations we really want to take are usually taken; the meals we really want to eat are usually eaten; the make and model of the vehicle we want to drive is usually in our driveway. We more comfortably delay God’s gratification than our own. Do we truly find joy in satisfying ourselves with the material goods of our world? Or, do we deceive ourselves in the process and become depressed and angry for the choices we have made. Making peace in our world requires us to make choices that demonstrate our love for God. We need to snap out of our unconsciousness. Many of our idols have become automatic to us. We don’t see them as intentional choices that reveal the treasures of our heart. But deep down we know: If we love God with all of our being, if we treasure His Kingdom above all else, He would see more of our treasure given for His use. Why is this so important? Does God have insufficient funds? Probably not. The Owner of all isn’t short of cash when He really wants to accomplish something. He wants more than cash. He wants us to value faith, the currency of His Kingdom, over the currency of the world. More than that, He wants us. He wants our choices to reflect an intense, unbridled love. He wants our choices to honor Him. As we journey together let us remember that we are placed here to help one another as we move toward our eternal reward."- Inland Catholic Byte
I saw a great movie yesterday! I'm not really a big sci-fi fan, but I thought this movie was really imaginative. I thought about what would make such people think of such things... I thought of Inception!
"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." - Winston Churchill
I just finished reading this book last week. I think I used to know that Fraulein Maria was a real person, and that the movie "The Sound of Music" was based on a true story, but I had forgotton... Then several months ago I discovered that she actually had written books about her family's life, one of which is where they got the idea for a movie from. I have always loved the movie, and still whenever it is on tv, I have to stop and watch some of it. It makes me happy. The book made me laugh because to me, Julie Andrews is most certainly telling the story. Julie Andrews must have researched the real Maria von Trapp because it seems she played the part flawlessly. They sound exactly the same! So anyway, I ordered this book to see what it was about, paid 4 bucks on Amazon used, got it within 2 days, and discovered it was signed. This made me happy. I put it on my mantle below my tv to remind me to read it soon. Over a month went by, and one day I was really bored and was realizing once again that I am a big waster of time. I have been given the gift of time for sure, and I am the worst at using it wisely! I was feeling sad about this, sitting on my couch, starring into space, and wondering what I should be doing... I prayed, " God, please show me what to do with all my time." I immediately looked up and saw my book and thought, "At least, I could start that book." I grabbed it and flipped through the Table of Contents. A chaper at the end caught my eye- Chapter # 21- "blessed are the dead". I laughed and thought I had to check out this chaper first because the title was funny! She was talking about a near death experience she had when she was younger. On the very FIRST page of the chapter I read this...
"I am most grateful now for a personal experience of my own of some years ago: I almost died. I had been sick, and now the end-as the doctor thought-had come. One understands that time is running short, and only in time can we do anything for Him, so every moment is precious to express one's love and complete resignation to the Will of the Father."
This made me happy too. I have to remember this on a day to day basis! That is why I am doing this post... to help me remember.
The post today made me laugh. I think it could also be titled "Until We Meet Again..." HA HA. I really am inspired by this person whenever I read her blog, so I wanted to share it because inspired things seem to be rare these days.
Another blog that I discovered through Conversion Diary is this one. Also really inspiring! This post drew me in... Made me want to ride the bus with all the immigrants!
Someone was walking around the office singing this morning...
"A long, long time ago... I can still remember How that music used to make me smile. And I knew if I had my chance That I could make those people dance And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while..."
Made me remember another song that I love...
It's so sad that he never knew how good he was... Only 1 of his paintings sold during his lifetime.
On another note, Don McLean is going to be at the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside (yes, we now have our own theater!) this summer. I've heard he now sounds terrible. It's also sad when people get old, and their voices don't work good anymore.
Just felt like spreading some cheer today... Ta-Ta
45 years ago tomorrow, my mom and dad met at these apartments on School Circle Drive in Riverside, California...
My dad was living in this apartment, (below) and my mom was spending the weekend with her friend, Ginger. My mom was laying out by the pool in a lounge chair. My dad walked next door to visit Ginger, his neighbor. Her apartment overlooked the pool. They were standing by the window, when pops looked out and said, "Who's that?" 5 minutes later, my dad was standing on the diving board with his swim trunks on! HA HA!
My dad walked to the Dairy Queen that day and bought 2 banana splits to go. This is literally around the corner, but they must have been kind of melty!
They dated 1 full month before they got engaged.
About 3 months after that, they got married. When you know, you know. It was so fun to go to this place today to see where it all got started. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to the best parents!!! I'm so blessed that you are mine!
This week I prayed, "Please God, help me to be thankful for my job." Today I watched "The Grapes of Wrath." Last Friday I watched "The Bicycle thief." Both take place around the time of the Great Depression. Both are about desperation. If you want to become thankful for such things as bread and bedsheets, (the latter being hocked to get the bicycle out of the pawn shop!) rent these movies! The two clicked, and tomorrow I am going to be happier to get up and go to work.
Batman! HA HA! Feeling funny today. Jerome found this holy card of St. Martin probably about a year ago and used it as a spoke card for his bike. I've been kind of jealous about it all this time because I wanted one for mine. Yes, sometimes I still want to be 10. So I ordered some off the internet and laminated them this morning. I think I should start a business for all the Catholic kids out there! I actually found a St. Jerome for Jerome, his namesake, (Jerome was a Catholic kid) since I stole his idea. And for me... St. Raphael the Archangel because he's an Archangel, and I like what it said on the back of the card!
"Raphael... said to them: 'Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory. Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song. Before all men, honor and proclaim God's deeds, and do not be slack in praising him.
A kings's secret it is prudent to keep but the works of God are to be declared and made known. Praise them with due honor. Do good, and evil will not find its way to you.' " -Tobit 12:6-7
I just read an article about Antony Flew on another blog I follow. He died a couple of weeks ago at the age of 87. He was a well known atheist who came to a belief in God after studying research on genetics only 6 years ago. If anyone wants to read an article about him click here. It's really interesting.
They made a country song that goes something like this story!
That's me! I planted a garden this year that I am really happy about. It's like Farmville on Facebook, but better 'cause it's the real thing! My crop of tomatos is especially huge this year. 7 plants! I also planted bell peppers and Jalapenos. So I am officially growing these plants for Mary's Mercy Center in San Bernardino. They serve lunch to the needy everyday of the week except for Fri, I believe. I like the idea of me being a farmer with a purpose! This is my motivation to care for all 19 plants and to keep everything looking clean and nice in my backyard... I am loving my backyard lately. This is making me feel pretty happy tonight. I am also happy about making some salsa very soon!
I know this isn't too late since the Easter Season in the Catholic Church lasts until Pentecost Sunday (May 23rd.) I found this on someone else's page last week, and thought it was so beautiful, that I wanted to steal it for mine... Well, they stole it from Pope John Paul II, so I guess it is allowed!
"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song."
Here is my little Navy boy who needs the boot camp! Ask me how it took 1 and 1/2 hours this morning to get him to jump in my truck! If someone would have been video taping, I surely would have been accepted for an episode of the Dog Whisperer! They would have said this dog AND this girl both have obvious mental problems... Makes for some good TV!
Got my 2010 United States Census form in the mail yesterday! I am a firm believer in unification rather than division. I don't think people should be catagorized in this way for any reason, as I believe you don't combat racism by being racist. Sooooo... as a protest to this line of thinking, I am going to check, "Other," and then write in "AMERICAN"!
"When the first moon rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, two U.S. scientists stood watching it, side by side. One was a believer, the other an unbeliever. The believer said, 'Isn't it wonderful that our rocket is going to hit the moon by chance?' The unbeliever objected, 'what do you mean, chance? We put millions of manhours of design into that rocket.' 'Oh' said the believer, you don't think chance is a good explanation for the rocket? Then why do you think it's a good explanation for the universe? There's much more design in a universe than in a rocket. We can design a rocket, but we couldn't design a whole universe. I wonder who can?' Later that day the two were stolling down a street and passed an antique store. The atheist admired a picture in the window and asked, 'I wonder who painted that picture?' 'No one joked the believer; it just happened by chance.'
"Is it possible that design happens by chance without a designer? There is perhaps one chance in a trillion that 'S.O.S.' could be written in the sand by the wind. But who would use a one-in-a-trillion explanation? Someone once said that if you sat a million monkeys at a million typewriters for a million years, one of them would eventually type out all of Hamlet by chance. But when we find the text of Hamlet, we don't wonder whether it came from chance and monkeys. Why then does the atheist use that incredibly improbable explanation for the universe? Clearly, because it is his only chance of remaining an atheist."- Peter Kreeft, Fundamentals of the Faith
Peter Kreeft has been my philosophy guru the last several weeks or so. The only logical reason to ever believe anything is because it's true! Truth really does trump all! His words, not mine. Actually God's words, not his, because God is the source of all truth and natural law. Ignorance is always in the darkness as truth is always in the light! I've experienced this in infantile ways, but they are no less real...I really love learning true things, especially when I SEE and FEEL them clearly down in my bones! Truth begets joy. I am not a philosopher by any degree, but I love philosophy... I love quoting people who utter profound things that are full of truth! Here was a question that was posed to Peter Kreeft:
"Will we be free in Heaven? If so, will we be free to sin? If so, won't anyone ever exercise that freedom?"
Here was his answer which made me realize that heaven will be the revealing of all truth... the kind that we FEEL, SEE, and GRASP with our ENTIRE soul instead of just reading or hearing excerpts of it from time to time like we do here on earth:
"Freedom to sin is a contradiction in terms, like 'freedom to be enslaved.' Free choice is only the means to true freedom, 'the freedom of the sons of God,' liberty.
"In heaven we will not sin because we will not want to. We will freely choose never to sin, just as now great mathematicians do not make elementary mistakes, though they have the power to do so. In Heaven we will see the attractiveness of goodness and of God so clearly, and the ugliness and stupidity of sin so clearly, that there will be no possible motive to sin.
"Now, we are enslaved by ignorance. Every sin comes from ignorance, for we sin only because we see sin as somehow attractive, which it is not, and goodness as somehow lacking in attraction. This is an ignorance that we are responsible for, but it is ignorance, and without that ignorance we would not sin. In Heaven, in the 'beatific vision' of God, overwhelmed and filled with the total joy of goodness, baptized with goodness as a sunken ship is filled with water, no one could possibly ever want to turn from this perceived glory. Now, 'we walk by faith, not by sight'(2 Cor. 5:7). Heavenly sight will not remove our freedom. Ask the blind whether sight would remove their freedom."
Since this coming Wed is the 1st day of Lent, I just signed on to see if I could order a good book or 2 to read during this time. Like I've mentioned before, it seems like I waste so much time doing worthless things like staring at the television or my computer screen. Sometimes I sign on to check my e-mail and then before I know it, an hour has gone by, and I really have accomplished nothing! I want to devote a lot of the next several weeks to really trying to use my time more wisely! So I want to make sure I have some books laying around. There is a book by Peter Kreeft that I've been wanting to get called "Fundamentals of the Faith." I went to his website to look for it and saw that he had written something on Pascal's Wager, which I had read online some months ago. Blaise Pascal was a French Philosopher back in the 1600's. His "Wager" is an argument that is for the atheist, and is based on the truth that a choice has to be made before death either for God or against Him... It's like placing a wager for some, because reason has not yet carried them over to faith. Ultimately it comes down to stepping out in faith because the risk is too great to stay where you are. It is the only logical choice for happiness here and in eternity. Pascal said, "Let us assess the two cases: if you win, you win everything: if you lose, you lose nothing. Do not hesitate then: wager that he does exist." I really enjoyed reading what I have read so far of him, so I clicked to see what Peter Kreeft had to say about this, and it was REALLY good! If anyone wants to read this please click here. Peter Kreeft is a professor of Philosophy at Boston College, and is really brilliant. I want to get some more of his books in the future. Anyway, I thought it was funny that out of over 50 books on his site, this writing that I was drawn to on Pascal's Wager was taken from the exact book, "Fundamentals of the Faith," that I was looking to buy! I didn't know until I got to the end, and I saw the excerpt was taken from that very book. I think I will buy this book. HA HA!
Now I know that the organization NOW is not only crazy but entirely insane. Now I know that these groups are not merely PRO-CHOICE, but they really are PRO-ABORTION...It's not a good thing to them that Tim Tebow is alive, you know? In their eyes, he should have been killed in the womb.
"REASON CANNOT, BY ITSELF, explain why there is reason. Science cannot, by itself, explain why there is science. Man's discovery and application of science are products of reason.
"Reason and science can explain the existence of matter, but they cannot explain why there is matter. They can explain the existence of the universe, but they cannot explain why there is a universe. They can explain the existence of nature and the law of physics, but they cannot explain why there is nature and the law of physics. They can explain the existence of life, but they cannot explain why there is life. They can explain the existence of consciousness, but they cannot explain why there is consciousness.
"Science is a critical aspect of human existence, but it cannot address the spiritual nature of man. In this respect, science is a dead end around which the Athiest refuses to reason. Reason itself informs man of its own limitations and, in doing so, directs him to the discovery of a force greater than himself- a supernatural force responsible for the origins of not only human existence but all existence, and which itself has always existed and will always exist..."
"Man is more than a physical creature. As Edmund Burke argued, each individual is created as a unique, spiritual being with a soul and a conscience and is bound to a transcendent moral order established by Divine Providence and uncovered through observation and experience over the ages. 'There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity- the law of nature and of nations'. This is the Natural Law that penetrates man's being and which the Founding Fathers adopted as the principle around which civilized American society would be organized.
"The Declaration of Independence appeals to 'the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God.' It provides further, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.'
"The Founders were enlightened men, but not men purely of the Age of Enlightenment. They were highly educated, well-informed men who excelled at reason and subscribed to science but worshipped neither. They comprehended them- their strengths as well as weaknesses. The Declaration's signers were congregationalist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Unitarian, and Roman Catholic. At least two Founders, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, are widely believed to have been Diests. They were men of varying denominations but united and emphatic in the belief that the Creator was the origin of their existence and the source of their reason.
"Is it possible that there is no Natural Law and man can know moral order and unalienable rights from his own reasoning, unaided by the supernatural or God? There are, of course, those who argue this case- including the Atheist and others who attempt to distinguish Natural Law from Divine Providence. It is not the view adopted by the Founders. This position would, it seems, lead man to arbitrarily create his own morality and rights, or create his own arbitrary morality and rights- right and wrong, just and unjust, good and bad, would be relative concepts susceptible to circumstantial applications. Moreover, by what justification would 'Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness' be 'unalienable Rights' if there is no Natural Law, since reason alone cannot make them inviolable? What then is Natural Law if its origin is unknown or rejected? It is nothing more than a human construct."
I wanted to practice my typing skills with some good reading! I liked how he incorporated some good old fashioned apologetics into the politics! He goes on to say that even if a person rejects this belief in Divine Providence, he still benefits from the Law that society has set up in this way... In the same way, even if a person rejects the idea of a Natural Law altogether, he can still benefit from it if it is practiced around him because it STILL exists! But civililized society cannot be set up and organized without believing in a Natural Law that was given to us from a Divine Being because inevitably it would lead to anarchy and tyranny. Either a Survival of the Fittest, or a take charge, " I will do what I think is best for you" type of mentality.
This movie was awesome, if anyone is looking for an awesome movie to rent! It's the sure thing! It won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007. Yes, it's subtitled, but if your eyes aren't perfect anymore, (like mine) the subtitles are big enough to actually read without straining! I also started reading a new book this morning that coincides with the theme of this movie. It's called, "Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark Levin. I stole this from the back cover...
"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name- liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names- liberty and tyranny."
After all the rain, I took Tahoe out this morning to run! The hills are green, and there was a lot of water for him to splash in! Way better than going to to the gym! I lost my cell phone somewhere out in this wilderness, so don't try to call or text. Does anyone have an old sprint phone I can use???
It has been a great week to read since I've been on vacation, and it's raining! I finished this one today. I have to say for the record, that I really love Sarah Palin! She is conservative and tough with solid Christian values that she is not afraid to talk about. I love the fact that she prays about every decision she makes, and really, truly has a public servant's attitude putting the people first over government. The stories along the campaign trail are very insightful and explain a lot of the media criticism that has plagued her, even to this day. And the Piper stories are very funny and cute! The whole book was really inspirational and heartwarming. Here's one of my favorite sections:
"I am a conservative because I deal with the world as it is- complicated and beautiful, tragic and hopeful. I am a conservative because I believe in the rights and the responsibilities and inherent dignity of the individual. In his book 'A Conflict of Visions', Thomas Sowell explains the underlying assumptions or 'visions' that shape our opinions and the way we approach social and political issues. He identifies two separate visions: the unconstrained and the constrained. People who adhere to the unconstrained vison (the label applied to them is 'liberal' or 'left-wing') believe that human nature is changeable (therefore perfectible) and that society's problems can all be solved if only the poor, ignorant, disorganized public is told what to do and rational plans are enacted. And who better to make those plans than an elite bureaucracy pulling the strings and organizing society according to their master blueprint? No one can doubt that our current leaders in Washington subscribe to this unconstrained vision. Conservatives believe in the 'constrained' political vision because we know human nature is flawed and that there are limitations to what can be done in Washington to 'fix' society's problems. Commonsense Conservatives deal with human nature as it is- with its unavoidable weaknesses and its potential for goodness. We see the world as it is- imperfect but filled with beauty. We hope for the best. We believe people can change for the better, but we do not ignore history's lessons and waste time chasing utopian pipe dreams. We don't trust utopian promises from politicians. The role of government in a civil society is to protect the individual and to establish a social contract so that we can live together in peace."
New Year's resolution #2... stop wasting so much time! It seems I do a lot of this! One way I can do this is to utilize the several hours I have each morning when I can do my job AND listen to my Ipod. I'm going to start taking advantage of this opportunity to fill my brain with some good things, and at least try and learn something while I'm getting paid! So tonight I loaded my Ipod with some free Podcasts from Catholic Answers Live and Patrick Madrid's Open Line Program. Talk radio makes the time go by so much faster and makes my work so much more enjoyable!
... Is going to be the Year of the Friars! New Year's resolution #1... Pay off all debt immediately! I've made a few resolutions, this one being the most important. I am REALLY determined to not have any credit card debt by Sept of this year. This means major cut backs. No... actually just many minor sacrifices... Like switching to cheap basic satellite tv for only 5 bucks a month instead of 24, ( I actually made this change last year) or instead of paying 20 bucks for someone to wash my truck, I am going to drudge and do it myself! I am going to really try and live a more thrifty and simple life over this entire year just like a fransican monk! I am really excited to put this lifestyle change into practice and think it will be fun, especially when my debt is getting paid down! I am determined to not spend any money that I don't have or buy anything that I don't absolutely need. Today I even shopped at Food 4 Less, right next to where I work. I learned that you can buy trash bags for 98 cents and a loaf of bread for 88! I also learned that you have to scope out the parking places that are REALLY CLOSE to the entrance to this store in the hood or your shopping cart will lock up and stall before you are able to reach your car to unload your groceries! The range is not the whole parking lot like you might think... And this is a permanent lockup until someone with a key comes over to free you up! So it's not a matter of being too lazy to walk, it's an issue of a shopping cart breakdown in the middle of traffic... Stuff you never have to think about when shopping at Ralphs. Still... small sacrifices!