The Catholic Defender: Typical Day On Facebook

Posted by Donald Hartley - April 30th, 2014

Iraq 1The following is a discussion I became involved in with a young man from Africa concerning the Catholic Church. He has already stated that he was a former Catholic which drew me into the discussion. Jal is the person who I am communicating with primarily. One of the challenges you have in this kind of forum, it can get difficult to follow along reading this because posts can get buried especially when you have several participants. This is not so bad because there were not that much interference from the peanut gallery. Here is the discussion:

Jal      Jesus not sitting on throne when He was here on earth. The pope sitting on a Golden Throne.

Jal      Jesus has a messy dress. THe Pope has those so nice dress.

Jal      Jesus loved the Poor.
covenant-contract-aDonald Hartley      That “Anyone who does work on the sabbath day shall be put to death. So shall the Israelites observe the Sabbath, keeping it throughout their generations as a perpetual COVENANT!”

Donald Hartley      What does that mean Jal?

Jal       Yeah. THe 7th day is the Sabbath.

Jal      That’s what it means.

Donald Hartley      For whom?

Jal      Jesus is our perfect example. Yours is the Pope. Oh dear.

Jal      Jesus wanted us to be brothers and no one should act like he is king. He wanted us to ” act medium ” .

vatican 3Donald Hartley      The Pope is the Lord’s royal steward, your separating them when Jesus does not.

Jal      No one should act big, no one should act small, everybody act medium.

Jal      Who told you? Heresy again?

Donald Hartley      Jal, for whom is Exodus 31:14-16 given? (Exodus 31:14-16 states, “Therefore, you must keep the Sabbath as something sacred.  Whoever desecrates it shall be put to death.  If anyone does work on that day, he must be rooted out of his people.  Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord; of whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death. Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant.”

Jal      Yes, you are right with the Sabbath. Go on, you win with that. Happy brother?

Donald Hartley      Jal, your making it difficult for anyone trying to follow along…

Jal      You’re denying what I am saying.

Jal      Holy Father ? Why ?

Jal      It hurts to here that.

moses red seaDonald Hartley      The Sabbath is only partial in this verse, this was to the Old Testament Israelites in an Old Covenant.

Jal      Yes, Your sabbath is the best sabbath. Can we go out of it now?

Donald Hartley      I’ll get to the Pope in a few minutes, but now go to Jeremiah 31:31-34 (Jeremiah 31:31-34 states, “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

(Editors note: It is clear from Jeremiah, that a new Covenant would be made that God will make with his people.  So the question of what day the Sabbath will be maintained will be built within the Covenant that God will make.)

Jal      You win with the Sabbath. Even though your church changed it, you still is the right one. Ok friend, I give up on the Sabbath.

Donald Hartley      Read Jeremiah 31:31-34

prophet-jeremiah-in-dungeonDonald Hartley      Well, now I am on the Covenant! Which was what the Sabbath was centered on in the Old Testament. But there is much more that answers all your issues.

Donald Hartley      Jeremiah 31:31-34 says what?

Jal      Yes you win about the Sabbath. Our sabbath is the Heresy, yours is correct.

Jal      The New Covenant: Jeremiah 31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to br…See More

Jal      Can we talk about the Holy Father thing now?

Donald Hartley      Well, then, Jeremiah 31:31-34 God is telling us that because the Israelites broke the Covenant, that the Lord would establish a NEW Covenant

Jal      Ok. The Sabbath is the topic on that covenant, maybe you are right. Ok. Thanks.

Donald Hartley      I’m getting to Jesus first because He is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and He ushers in the New Covenant (Matthew 26:28).  (Matthew 26:28 states, “This is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting Covenant, it will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven, do this in memory of me”.

(Editors note: Clearly, Jesus is establishing the Covenant that was promised to Jeremiah.  Jesus clearly is making this Covenant through the Lord’s Supper that replaces the Old Testament Passover.)

Jal      Ok ok. Go on brother.

Lincoln      Donald, from the God’s ten commandments should we keep, some of them or all of them?

keysDonald Hartley      Lets look at Matthew 16:13-19, this is key to the Pope.  (Matthew 16:13:19 states, “When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’   He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter said in reply, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’  Jesus said to him in reply, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Bar-Jona.  For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.  And so I say to you, you are Peter (Kapos), and upon this rock (Kapos) I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.  Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Jal       Ok. Popes today are voted and not chosen by God Himself.

Donald Hartley      We keep all of them, but your version of the 10 Commandments is not the historic following of them, Martin Luther divided the first Commandment into two and closed up the last two to keep his ten. That means your Commandment to honor your Father and Mother is not the 4th commandment but the firth.

Jal      I do not think Jesus would choose a rich man.

Jal      He even chose Peter ( Fisherman) and Matthew ( Tax Collector).

Jal       Jesus is a humble man.

Donald Hartley      Actually, it is God who works though his Ministers! Consider Acts 1:15-26.  (Acts 1:15-26 states, “During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons in the one place).  He said, ‘My brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand through the mouth of David, concerning Judas, who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.  He was numbered among us and was allotted a share in this ministry.  He bought a parcel of land with the wages of his iniquity, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle, and all his insides spilled out.  This became known to everyone who lived in Jerusalem, so that the parcel of land was called in their language ‘Akeldama,’ that is, Field of Blood.  For it is written in the Book of Psalms: ‘Let his encampment become desolate, and may no one dwell in it.’  And: ‘May another take his office.’  Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection.  So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justin, and Matthias.  Then they prayed, ‘You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.’  Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Mattias, and was counted with the eleven apostles.”)

Jal      He even hates the Pharisees who are working at the tabernacle.

Jesus 2Donald Hartley      Yes, and Jesus is truly God!

Donald Hartley      Jesus does not hate them, he loves them

Donald Hartley      He hates their sin.

Jal       Ok. I was wrong, He hates their sin.

Jal       Prove to me, that God chose the Popes.

Donald Hartley      Consider Jesus speaking of the Chair of Moses! Where does the Old Testament speak of the “Chair of Moses”?

Jal      If God will come here, I do not think He will chose the more likely to be chose.

Donald Hartley      This is Matthew 23:2 (Matthew 23:2 states, “saying, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.“)

Donald Hartley      When Jesus returns, every eye shall see him.

Jesus risenDonald Hartley      All the dead will be raised, everyone and then there is judgment. It will be hard for Fallen Catholics because of their rebellion.

Donald Hartley      Read Gal 1:6-9, Titus 3:10, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 1 John 2:18-20…

Jal      Ok. Brother, sorry to what I have said about your church. Yes, many believed that that church is the church of God. Ok. You win. Maybe we protestants are the evil here. We chose the Bible-only guide so it means we are the heretic. Ok. You win. Let’s go…See More

Obed       Read John 20:30 it reads ”Jesus worked many other miracles for his diciples and not all of them are written in this book”. You will come to realise that u dont have to narrow everything to what was written in the bible. Your church started a few years back and have no idea what happened but the catholic know them which when they tell you, you quickly ask whether it is written in the bible

Donald Hartley      God bless you Jal, I think your heart is to do good…

clip_image002_0000Donald Hartley      Unfortunately, those who believe in Sola Scriptura are divided into 42,000 denominations because they can’t agree on that word. The Holy Spirit is not confused.

Jal       Yes, He worked many miracles, but He did not teach another teaching out of the Scripture.

Jal      Ok. We will perish, you Catholics will be the only one who will be saved.

Jal       That’s what your church taught you, but that’s not what Jesus taught us.

Donald Hartley      Yes, he did, he went by the oral law as well as what is written. Jal, you should learn the history of the bible for both Old and New Testaments. Did you know that it took 500 years after King David that the Old Testament was finally put together?

Jal      Yes, I know.

Donald Hartley      Jal, Jesus warns of the coming of false prophets in Matthew 24:11, your accepting of the SDA who was formed in 1863 is just another one.

Jal      I must tell other protestants, to stop this nonsense, since you yourself already claimed that only Catholics have the Holy Spirit, and protestants don’t. What a teaching. Ok, We must stop this.

SDADonald Hartley      Did you know that your new gospel believes that Jesus in the incarnation of St. Michael the archangel?

Jal      EGW is not what we follow. We follow the Bible and trust on Jesus and not on the Pope.

Jal      Yes, I know.

Donald Hartley      The Mormons take this false doctrine and make Jesus a brother to Satan.

Jal      I must tell other protestants, to stop this nonsense, since you yourself already claimed that only Catholics have the Holy Spirit, and protestants don’t. What a teaching. Ok, We must stop this.

Jal       EGW started it, but it is not her teachings that we follow. We have the Bibles.

IMG_1464Donald Hartley      If I left the Catholic Faith and start my own Church, let’s call it the church of the Hartleyites, would Hartleyism be valid?

Donald Hartley      This is why because of your misreading of the bible, your broken into over 42,000 denominations. That is not from Jesus.

Jal       Tell Jesus that I thanked Him so much for this life. You said, since you have the Holy Spirit, that only Catholics will be saved and we protestants shall perish, so you may be right. Please tell Him.

Jal      Ok Brother.

Donald Hartley      Actually, what saves a Protestant is their ignorance. If a person is sinning through no fault of their own, God’s mercy abounds. It will be harsher on fallen Catholics who betray Jesus as did Judas.

Jal      “Actually, what saves a Protestant is their ignorance. If a person is sinning through no fault of their own, God’s mercy abounds. It will be harsher on fallen Catholics who betray Jesus as did Judas.” — WOW!

Jal      Ok. We are ignorant. You are the intelligent.

sadr CityObed      Jal what i want to educate you about is that, knowing God goes beyond what is written, your church should not be narrow minded and condenm what is not written because it is not all that was written.

Jal      Ok. Narrow minded indeed. Ok.

Donald Hartley      Well, Jal, God is a God of Justice, there are two forms of heresy, Formal is a Catholic who betrays Christ by falling away. Material Heresy is when a person was raised outside of the Faith through no fault of their own. St. Paul writes that where there is no law, there is no judgment

Ja     l I accept it.

Jal      Yes, we betray Christ.

Donald Hartley      As a Catholic, from charity, we do not condemn anyone to hell, that is God’s judgment alone, however, like St. John the Baptist, we are responsible to warn those who are now prodigals.

Donald Hartley      Consider Ezekiel 3:20-21 (Ezekiel 3:20-21 states, “If a virtuous man turns away from virtue and does wrong when I place a stumbling block before him, he shall die.  He shall die for his sin, and his virtous deeds shall not be remembered; but I will hold you responsible for his death if you did not warn him.  When, on the other hand, you have warned a virtuous man not to sin, and he has in fact not sinned, he shall surely live because of the warning, and you shall save your own life.”

(Editors note: Notice how James 5:19-20 fits right in with Ezekiel’s warning?)

Jal       Ok. So we are the Prodigals since we left that Church.

Donald Hartley      That Church was founded by Christ…

Francis 2Donald Hartley      Francis is the 266th successor of Peter.

Jal      Ok. So, that is just like a monarchy, if I’m not wrong, passing the throne to someone.

Jal      Can I ask something ? On what place was the Catholic Church founded? It’s first date of foundation?

Donald Hartley      Consider the keys in Isaiah 22:22, those were not the keys of the King of Israel, the throne of David, the household of David. The keys were those given to the royal steward. The Keys that Jesus gives to Peter is of the royal steward. Jesus is the Son of David! (Luke 1:26-28)

Donald Hartley      Jerusalem originally, but Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem you can find in Matthew 24. By that time, the Church went to Rome (Romans 1:8)

Donald Hartley      Jesus was crucified on April 3, 33 A.D. He rose again on 5 April,33 A.D.

Donald Hartley      Jesus ascends to Heaven 40 days later and then 9 days after that is Pentecost.

keysrevelationDonald Hartley      The keys that were promised to Peter in Matthew 16:18 were given when Jesus enters into the heavenly glory (Daniel 7:13-15).

Donald Hartley       From that time, you can see the establishment of the Catholic Church from the apostles all over the world. I was actually in a second century catacomb that is in Australia where they held mass in secret hiding from the Romans.

Donald Hartley      Jal, thank you so much for your participation. This was refreshing because usually when an anti-Catholic here challenges you, they do not do so from a position of love, but of hate. Thank you Jal.

Jal      Ok. There are lots of Church aside from Rome.

Donald Hartley      And they all have human founders 99% coming after the 19th century.

Donald Hartley      The Church that Jesus founded upon the Apostles was given the Glory of Jesus (John 17:22), that Glory was to show our unity, not any disunity!  (John 17:22 states, “And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.”)

Jal      Thank you too Donald Hartley.

mercyDonald Hartley      Jal, I can tell you of the miracles of God taking place right now, it is a great gift!

Jal Yeah.      Maybe you really have God and we do not.

Donald Hartley      Jal, that is where allowing God to work comes in. We are all a work in progress. I believe the Holy Spirit is working this all out in you right now. God is at work here. I left the Catholic Church myself when I went on my professional baseball kick, it was not the Lord’s fault, it was my fault. His mercy is why I am back in the saddle again!

Ladies and Gentleman, today, fallen away Catholics represents the second largest religious group in the United States, second to the Catholic Church itself.  In the past, I have worked with many people who had not been to confession from 40 years to several months. It is a joy to have helped many return back to the Catholic Faith.  St. James writes, “My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).

According to St. James, apostasy is a damnable sin (1 John 5:13-17) and it takes the Prodigal’s returning to the Faith to have those sins forgiven (Luke 15:32, John 20:23, 2 Corinthians 5:11-21).  If you are sitting on the fence teetering back and forth, I want to encourage you to come home and dedicate yourself to the Lord.  It is only in the Lord that real life can be found.  This is through the Catholic Church, the Church that Christ built.

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*Best of DTB #303* The Guardian Angel: Miracle of All Miracles in Calanda Spain 1640

Posted by Donald Hartley - April 30th, 2014

MiguelJuanPellicerYoung Miguel-Juan Pellicer had his leg amputated due to an accident.

Thanks to his great devotion, the young man nurtured himself through the most Holy Sacrament and the Virgin of Pilar.

A great miracle came upon him, which was immediately recognized and approved by the Archbishop of Zaragoza who presided over the canonical process.

In his clear judgment he wrote that “Miguel-Juan Pellicer of Calanda was miraculously given back his right leg, which was amputated years prior and it was not a natural occurrence but a miraculous one”.
Miguel-Juan Pellicer was born in 1617 to a poor family of farmers in Calanda, a village about 100 kilometers from Zaragoza.

At 19 years of age, he decided to go to work for an uncle near Castellon de la Plata.

calandaOne day, while working in the fields, he fell under a wagon full of grain and the wheels fractured his right leg.

Miguel-Juan was immediately taken to the local hospital in Valencia.

Realizing that it would be impossible for the doctors to cure him, he decided to discharge himself and begin a 13-kilometer trip towards Zaragoza to ask the Madonna of Pilar for help.

He walked with crutches, leaning the knee of the fractured and now infected leg on a piece of wood.

He reached Zaragoza in October 1637, waning and feverish. He dragged himself to the Sanctuary of Pilar where he made his confession and received the Holy Eucharist.

He was immediately sent to recover at Royal Hospital of Grace.

Given the status of his gangrene, the doctors established that the only way to save his life was to amputate his leg, so the limb was cut off with a saw and scalpel slightly below the knee and cauterized with red hot metal.

zaragoza_frameA young practitioner, Juan Lorenzo Garcia, took the amputated limb and buried it in the cemetery next to the hospital.

From that moment, Miguel-Juan was forced to beg for his livelihood near the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Pilar.

Every morning he went to Mass and prayed with fervor before the Holy Sacrament.

It was customary for him to rub his mutilated leg with oil from the tabernacle lamp.

After three years away from home, he decided to return to his family, who lovingly welcomed him back.

In March of 1640, after a vigil in honor of the Virgin, Miguel-Juan, feeling very tired, went to rest in his customary spot and as usual rubbed his leg with oil from the tabernacle lamp in the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Pilar.

When his mother went to check to see if her son was okay, she saw him sleeping, and discovered that from beneath the blanket stuck out not one, but two feet.

miracleMiguel-Juan had miraculously recovered his lost limb, which was buried three years prior by the practitioner Mr. Garcia.

According to the eyewitnesses present and the canonic process, “the leg was pale, smaller in size and muscular mass, but perfectly vital and allowed him to walk.”

According to the legend, the first chapel of the sanctuary was to have been built by St. James the Great around the year 40, in memory of the miraculous “coming” of the Virgin from Jerusalem to Zaragoza in order to confront the apostle who was completely disillusioned by the negative results of his preaching. The “Pilar” is in fact the Virgin who would have replaced his lower leg and foot.

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Tonight on the Deeper Truth show

Posted by John Benko - April 29th, 2014

Donald and I will be discussing the crazy, paradoxical religion that is our Catholic faith. We know it’s true because no man could possibly have a wild enough imagination to have made it up.

*Best of DTB #301* Show me a Saint, I’ll show you a Catholic.

Posted by John Benko - April 27th, 2014

JP2J23web-255x227 I am often amused at how I, as a Catholic, am not merely assaulted with voluminous false accusations but, as often as not, contradictory ones. One of the more glaring examples is that some falsely accuse us of being Universalists (believing salvation is normative for anyone, atheists and Muslims included) while others accuse us of being Feenyites (believing that salvation is absolutely impossible for anyone but a practicing Catholic). Some ignorant people have accused me of tap-dancing between the two.

Although it goes without saying that both views are heresy, the accusation that a Catholic could hold to both is simply Cognitive Dissonance on the part of the accuser. Sadly, anyone who has paid attention to our debates knows that many of our opponents suffer chronically from that condition.

Accusations, at the end of the day, is really all they have and the reason is simple. No Protestant, anti-Catholic, or non-Catholic of any stripe can hold a candle to any of the 4 men who were on display today- Popes John XXIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. The former two being canonized as Saints, the latter two present at the ceremony and following in those hallowed steps.

True, all residents of heaven are saints (often derided as ‘dead saints’ by the misguided) but that begs the question of just who is or is not in heaven. Most of our debate adversaries hold to the position that only members of their particular denomination or cult are in heaven and- under no circumstance- do we dare entertain the notion that a Catholic is there. Days like today are not kind to their ideology because the truth is the exact opposite. Although we can conclude that it is possible that a non-Catholic may be in heaven or, one day will be, we have zero evidence to confirm this. This presents a real problem for Protestants/non-denominationals/Messianic Jews. Though they all claim the authentic faith, and to speak for God, God does not appear to be speaking for them.

The plain truth is that a Catholic is bound, under penalty of sin, to acknowledge that it is possible, due to the immeasurable mercy of God, that a non-Catholic could be saved, by extraordinary means, due to a theoretical combination of heroism/martyrdom, holiness and invincible ignorance. Yes, we are bound to believe it is possible but we are not obliged to believe it is likely. Though we have no way of quantifying it but I fall in the camp of believing that the overwhelming majority of non-catholics are going to be lost. Not all, mind you, but far more than not, especially today.

The reason for me holding to this position is that the saving of a non-Catholic would be- as I said before- extraordinary. There is but one means that has been shown to us by which we may be saved and that is by the person of Jesus Christ, through the obedience to, and exercise of the Sacraments of, the Catholic church.

Salvation was handed to the Apostles. The Apostles formed the Catholic church. The Catholic Church gave us the Bible and has been upheld by God’s Grace and proclaimed by miracles ever since. Miracles have never ceased with God’s true people. From Abraham until today, God has never ceased to confirm His true Shepherds by Divine action. That is why all the other denominations can claim to have saints but only Catholics can prove it.

John XXIII and John Paul II were not canonized because we hope they are in heaven or that we think they are in heaven. No, God, through His glorious communion of Saints has left no doubt. Miracles confirmed the heavenly residence of both John Paul II and John XXIII. Catholics have history on their side, the Bible on their side and miracles on their side. It is the true church founded by Jesus. Why on earth would you want to be anything else?

 

 

 

 

 

*Best of DTB #300* The Catholic Defender: Saints Pope John XXIII And Pope John Paul II

Posted by Donald Hartley - April 27th, 2014

IMG_1556Today is the eighth and final of the Easter Octive. In the Old Testament, Saturday was the Sabbath day, the seventh day, however, eight symbolizes the new beginning that Easter promises.

We are a resurrected people. Sunday became the “Lord’s Day”, the eight day in which Christians continue the Worship of God.

This is the New Testament Covenant given by Jesus Christ Our Lord. Today is very special also because we have two new Saints that were canonized, Saints Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

The following was written and the homily given by my good friend, Deacon John Consentino:

“This Sunday after Easter always presents the event that took place in the upper room one week after Jesus rose from the dead. Saint Pope John Paul II also designated this Sunday as Divine Mercy Sunday. And today we also celebrate the canonization of this Pope whom so many people refer to as John Paul the Great. I believe I can tie all three of these great things together.

doubt 1There are many times we have doubts in our faith. The Gospel tells the story of someone who doubted Jesus, the story of doubting Thomas.

To me it is understandable that Thomas had his doubts. I am sure he doubted Peter and the others who said they had seen the Lord. These are the same guys who a few months earlier were squabbling with each other over who would be the most powerful in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus had told them they would be tested, but with the exception of John, they had all deserted the Lord, including Thomas, who in his own bravado had said earlier, “Let’s go with him to Jerusalem and die with him”.

doubt 2The fact that Thomas was nowhere to be found at the crucifixion must have left him with some pretty negative feelings about himself. And what was probably most devastating to Thomas was that for the first time, he questioned his belief in Jesus. So Thomas was vocal about his doubts. He doubted the other disciples. He doubted himself, and he doubted the Lord.

This obviously changed when he saw the Lord. Pictures will often show Thomas putting his hands in the marks of the nails on Jesus’ hands, and touching the Lord’s side, but Jesus only invites Thomas to do this.

Thomas’s response to Jesus was “My Lord and My God”. Jesus next comment was meant for us, “You believe because you have seen. Blessed are those who have not seen yet believe.”

doubt 3We have doubts in our faith. That is part of being a human being. Faith asks us to take a step, a leap actually, away from all we can see, hear and sense, a step away from the limits of our rational capabilities and step into mystery.

This is a difficult step for all of us, but particularly difficult for us as our minds develop their intellectual prowess. When we become teens, if not a bit before, we can do things with our minds that we could not do as children. We can think in the abstract. We can conceive concepts that do not exist in the real world but do exist in the world of mathematics, in the world of literature, psychology, and so forth.

When we were eight, we could not fathom something that could not exist in the real world. We can now. When was the last time you came across the square root of two?It only exists in our minds. We have studied how a poet or author can create a totally imaginative world and apply human emotions to this world to such an extent that the reader can easily confuse the world with reality. And we have studied how certain psychological realities determine peoples actions, even though those realities are not physical but purely mental.

doubt 4But now faith asks us to take a step into a deeper reality, into that which is beyond our intellectual capabilities, a step into a knowledge our minds can never come to on their own. So, it is normal for humans to doubt, particularly as a teen, but actually throughout our lives. Add that to the fact that many in our society transfer their own questions and doubts onto others, attacking the faith of those who believe, particularly the faith of Catholics.

We take courses in high school, college and grad school with other students of our faith. We even have to put up with some teachers and professors who treat us like naive children where our prayers appear to go unanswered.

We pray for our parents to stop fighting, but they don’t. We pray that our grandmother might get over her sickness, but she doesn’t. We hear about people who died in natural disasters like earthquakes and tornadoes, we are aware of the children who are starving in Africa, the suffering taking place in other places around the world and we begin to ask if anyone is hearing our prayers.

doubt 5Doubts in faith are normal. It takes courage and determination to say, in spite of what others say, and in spite of my own questions, “I still believe, Lord”. I believe in your word in the bible. I believe that your Son became one of us as the bible said he would. I believe that His sacrificial love on the cross earned for us the very life of God. I believe that no matter what my eyes see or don’t see, my ears hear or don’t hear, no matter what my mind can determine or what it’s limits are, you are still there for me, loving me, filling me with a joy that does not go away.

And God in His Mercy, sees us for whom we are, human beings with doubts, but His Mercy, His Divine Mercy, is so great that He sees us not as people with doubts, but as people who are searching for Him. That is why Divine Mercy Sunday fits so perfectly with the gospel of doubting Thomas, and ordinary people like you and I are called to have extraordinary faith.

doubt 6Saint Pope John Paul II was really, an ordinary man called to have extraordinary faith. He had an extremely difficult life as a child and as a teen. His Mother died when he was 9. His older brother, a young doctor whom little Karol adored, died while in his 20′s. Karol’s best friends, many of whom were Jewish, were hunted and killed by the Nazis. He was forced by the Nazis to work in the mines and given very little food for his large body. He was even hit by a German truck and left to die along side of the road. He survived and continued working to keep the faith alive in Poland.

Karol was part of two secret religious groups, the living Rosary and the Rhapsodic Theater. Karol not only acted but wrote plays. When he decided to become a priest, he had to study secretly. Everyday he and another clandestine seminarian, Jerry Zachuta, would jeopardize their lives to assist a priest at Mass.

doubt 7One day, his friend did not show up for Mass. The Nazis learned that Jerry was studying to be a priest and executed him. Still, Karol continued growing in his faith. He knew that the people needed more priests now more than ever. And he knew that some how God would work His wonders through him.

Karol was extremely intelligent, so intelligent that he understood there were limits to what his mind can come to, but no limits to the knowledge that faith could provide.

The war ended, but the Nazis were replaced by the Russians and their Polish Communist puppets. The new priest Father Wojtyla still continued in faith, fighting to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ. He continued this fight through the priesthood, as a Bishop and finally as Pope. In everything all that mattered for Saint John Paul was Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.

doubt 8So putting it together, Karol was a human being who suffered crises after crises, but held on to his faith. He was extremely intelligent, brilliant actually. But he knew that his mind would only go so far. Faith had infinitely more to offer than his rational skills. He was tested with a difficult life, but he knew that God was there through it all.

We need to pray to Saint John Paul II to intercede with the Lord for us. We need faith. We need forgiveness for the times that our humanity has led us to doubts. We need to trust in the Divine Mercy of the Lord.

We need spiritual strength to take a leap away from those who belittle us for our beliefs, a leap away from our own doubts, a leap that refuses to let the crises of our lives destroy our faith, and a leap into the arms of our Savior.”

Deacon John Consentino does a great job presenting St. Pope John Paul II and that is very important.

Pope John XXIII with OthersSt. Pope John XXIII was also canonized today, he was very important in convening the Second Vatican Council on 11 October 1962.
Angelo Giuseppe Roncoli was raised in a small village in Lombardy.

As a small child, Angelo would have a strong love for Jesus Christ and His holy Catholic Church.

He was ordained a Catholic Priest on 10 August 1904. Eventually, he was elected Pope on 28 October 1958 at age 76.

He would be the first Pope in more that 500 years who would take the name John!

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*Best of DTB #299* You really ought to go to Mass tomorrow.

Posted by Christie Martin - April 27th, 2014

This particular Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. You really want to go to Church this Sunday. Partly, you should go because this particular day Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII will be canonized. Another reason you want to go is because, c’mon, it’s Mass! There’s nothing better than being there where Heaven intersects earth. It’s awesome.

But in addition to all of that, there is a Plenary Indulgence attached to this day.

According to St. Faustina, the visionary to whom Jesus dictated these specific prayers of Mercy, Our Lord promises to those who go to confession and communion on this day the remission of the guilt and the punishment of sins. That’s starting fresh, folks. Just as if you were Baptised all over again. Surely that’s worth going for?

On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. (Diary of Sr. Faustina, 699)

This is a promise of grace from Christ and further granted by the Church. The conditions to receive the grace are these:

1. Go to Sacramental Confession within 20 days. If you went within the last 20 days, that counts.

2. Take Communion at Mass this Sunday in a state of grace.

3. Make an act of the will against sin, even your habitual “little sins.” Decide, here and now to let them go and resolve to be free of them. (Here’s a hint: ask God’s help on this!)

4. Make a prayer or a devotion today about Divine Mercy at a time other than Mass. The Divine Mercy Chaplet will do fine!

5. Make a prayer for the Pope’s intentions. Traditionally these prayers are an Our Father, a Hail, Mary, and a Glory Be, but any prayer asking God to fulfill our pontiff’s prayers will do.

Please consider availing yourself of this opportunity to relieve yourself of the burden of personal sin by participating in this great solemnity of the Church in this way. Remember, a good Confession is all it ever takes to set your heart right again with our most merciful Lord! Yet, with the fulness of the faith granted us in God’s one, true, holy, and apostolic church, we get even more!

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The Catholic Defender: Alabama Siege At St. Vincents

Posted by Donald Hartley - April 26th, 2014

IMG_1549There is a story that is developing taking place right now as I am writing this article.

This is about a man, a Viet Nam War Veteran.

He was a Major in the Air Force who served his Country with valor.

His Country promised to take care of him for his service.

The following is what has happened within the past year.

IMG_1552Last summer, my Wife (Gloria) and myself were in Alabama helping Gerald Ganus, my Brother-In-Law, move into a nice trailor in Gardendale Alabama.

At that time, he was in good health and had no issues that had been known to exist at that time.

Later last fall, Gerald had eye surgery to correct developing cataracts so he could renew his drivers license.

I was planning to visit him in December to help him look for a car but because of the bad weather, he basically wanted me to hold off until this past March.

During this time, he was paying a next door neighbor $200.00 a week to help him with groceries and to take him places he might need to go.

I spoke with this person and at the time was thankful that Gerald had someone nearby that could help him if he needed it.

IMG_1551I would call Gerald occasionally to keep in touch with him, but I found that after February, he was not answering his phone.

That is when I would call Janice, the next door neighbor to see what might be going on.

I was being told that Gerald was doing a lot of rest, getting caught up sleeping.

There was never an emergent problem ever communicated. I am learning that sometime in February or March, Gerald suffered a pneumothorax and was taken to St. Vincent East Hospital.

Janice told the Hospital that Gerald had no nest of kin. When Gerald was released to go home, he was doped up with pain killers and was never in his right frame of mind. Sometime during this episode, Janice was able to obtain from Gerald through her lawyer a Power of Attorney.

IMG_1550What we have found is that Gerald’s health has deteriorated to a life threatening condition.

My Wife, Gloria, Gerald’s Sister, has ran into a wall not being able to voice what she knows on behalf of her Brother.

They grew up close as children and I believe that it is really a sad state when Gloria is not given the chance to speak on Gerald’s behalf.

A total stranger who was originally being paid $200.00 a week to help out with groceries to now taking over Gerald’s bank account, positions, even his home.

Gerald is voicing that he want’s his sister to represent him and is not aware that he signed over a Power of Attorney to Janice. When my wife arrived there two weeks ago, she was literally assaulted trying to visit Gerald at his home. Janice has sold her home and is moved in taking everything of Gerald’s and selling them. She has cleaned out his bank accounts, his continued retirement, his home, and now a new car.

IMG_1555Because of this Power of Attorney, she has “legal” say on the family property that Gerald was going to turn over to his nephew, Matthew Sandlin.

Janice had taken Gerald’s guns and gave them to her son.

Gerald literally has become a hostage in his own home. When Matthew was with him he tried to reach him telling Gerald that he was a “prisoner of war” in his own home. I was trying to have the Hospital recall Gerald for a re-evaluation and since he returned to the Hospital, the hospital establishment has not communicated to Gerald’s family, but only to Janice who tried to place him on a non-resuscitation order.

I do not believe they want him to survive.

IMG_1553Something else we found out when Gloria first arrived, was that Janice wanted Gerald to be buried next to her.

Gerald had always wanted to be buried next to his Mother as he took care of her for 25 years after he left the Air Force.

This woman Janis, has taken over every aspect of Gerald’s life literally against his will.

Gloria has found out from the results of a CT Scan that Gerald had suffered a number of small strokes that were apparently undiagnosed.

Because of this Power of Attorney, nobody is willing to investigate or talk to us. The local police, the doctors, the hospital staff. We had a lawyer at the hospital yesterday with paperwork for Gerald to sign who was able to voice that he didn’t want Janice to take his care, but he wanted Gloria, his sister. But because he was too weak to sign his name properly, the lawyer said he could not work with this as is. They are going to try again.

Legally, the Hospital is standing as a middle man and trying to follow the law. However, the law in this situation is acting against the people it is sworn to protect.

When American justice is off the charts, one day there will be an accountability.

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Divine Mercy Novena Day #9

Posted by Christie Martin - April 26th, 2014

“Today bring to Me the Souls who have become Lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy.”

Prayer for the Ninth Day of the Divine Mercy Novena

Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy.

Amen.

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Divine Mercy Day #8

Posted by Christie Martin - April 25th, 2014

“Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.”

Prayer for the Eighth Day of the Divine Mercy Novena

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion.

Amen.

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*Best of DTB #298* The Guardian Angel: Eucharistic Miracle of Glotowo, Poland 1290

Posted by Donald Hartley - April 24th, 2014

mary-posterWe have been blessed to show the movie “Mary of Nazareth” to over 2750 people in three dioceses, and I want to thank the Marian Association for their help in making this happen.

In the four locations we have shown it so far there have been over 33 priests and deacons, and over 45 brothers and nuns.

I have been fortunate to see the movie 10 times just in March, and will have an opportunity to watch it again in Jefferson City on April 5th, as they were sold out on the 22 & 23 of March and are bringing it back for one more showing.

Wonderful blessings it has given so many people as it gives the most beautiful portrayal of Mary to date and her relationship to the Triune God, from the Incarnation through the Resurrection.

I hope all of you have a chance at some point to see this epic film. And hopefully I have gotten to you in time to warn you about Noah, don’t spend one dime to see it at any time, it is worse than terrible, and was directed by an atheist.

It has nothing, nothing to do with Scripture, and tries to even make fallen angels more compassionate than God*** Russell Crowe and the name Noah is the only thing that will get any unsuspecting person to watch it.

Eucharistic Miracle of Glotowo, Poland 1290

miracleeucharist 1Please remember that our faith is not founded on Eucharistic miracles, but on the proclamation of the Lord Jesus, received with faith through the action of the Holy Spirit.

We believe because we have believed in the preaching (see Gal. 3:5; also in Rom 10:17): “Faith depends on hearing and hearing by the word of Christ; and, in turn, preaching depends on the word of Christ.” “Believing is an act of the intellect, which under the influence of the will moved by God through grace, gives its consent to divine truth.” St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae.

Our faith in the Eucharist has as it center Christ. A Christian is not obliged to believe in Eucharistic miracles or any Private Revelations. In principle, however, the believer must not exclude the possibility that God may intervene in the extraordinary way in any given moment, place, event or person. The prudence of the Church is fully justified, since some may think God forgot to tell us something, attributing excessive importance to the miraculous and extraordinary, and easily and excessively believing suggestions or illusions.

ciboriumEucharistic Miracles can be useful and fruitful aids to our faith. For example: They help us go beyond the visible and the perceptible and admit the existence of something beyond. Also, they can give us an opportunity, to speak of public Revelation and of its importance to the Church and to Christians.

In 1290, due to the invasion of the Lithuanians, a priest from the village of Glotowo buried in a field a silver ciborium plated in gold, with a consecrated Host still in it which he missed by mistake. The Lithuanian’s troops destroyed the village and the church. None of the survivors knew about the hidden Host. Only a number of years later, while plowing the field in the spring, a farmer found it by chance, thanks to the strange behavior of his oxen. They had bowed to the ground in adoration of the Host which was emanating a very bright light.

oxenThe most ancient documents describe how the miracle happened. The oxen were pulling the plow, behind which the farmer was walking.

The sun was setting at the horizon, creating long shadows. The man lifted his eyes and prodded the animals which were going slowly up the hill. All of sudden, the plow got stuck, the oxen pulled harder and on the side they turned over a big clod of earth.

The animals stopped as if frozen. At first the farmer scolded the beasts, yet paused surprised at the sudden change around him.

The light on the field was as if it were noon and a very intense light was coming from the ground shining on the kneeling oxen.

The farmer began to dig and noticed that the bright light was coming from a little ciborium covered with dirt. It contained a perfect Host as white as snow.

ciborium from sloveniaThe news of the extraordinary event spread rapidly among the people, who rushed immediately to the site.

The local authorities organized a solemn procession to bring the Host to the church of Dobre Miasto, though according to an ancient chronicle, inexplicably, the Host disappeared and was found at the same spot as the first time.

The event was interpreted as a sign from above and a little church dedicated to the Corpus Christi was built on that location.

The popularity of Glotowo grew through the centuries and in the eighteenth century the old medieval church was enlarged and consecrated by the bishop Krzysztof Potocki, on July 24, 1726. Even today, every year, the shrine of Glotowo attracts numerous pilgrims who come to venerate the relic.
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