DOMINUS PARS HÆREDITATIS MEÆ

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Hi Father, What did Jesus mean when He said "the first will be last and the last will be first?" Thank you and good day Father.

Hello,

I don’t know if my answer is correct. The verse you refer to is:

But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” (Matthew 19:30).

I think that what Jesus is saying is that the Israelites, who were the first to hear God’s Word and make the Old Covenant with God through the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob), will be the last to benefit from the graces of Jesus because they will not accept Jesus until His coming (Romans 11:25-26).

On the other hand, the Gentile nations, who were the last to hear God’s Word, will place faith in Jesus’ atonement and will be the first ones to receive the blessings of the New Testament covenant by being baptized and entering the Catholic Church. 

I also take Jesus’ words as a warning for Christians who are too proud or haughty. They believe that their knowledge of the Bible and of Church doctrine means that they have more favor with God than sinners who convert and enter the Church later on. It sometimes turns out that in the church community, some of the “righteous ones” who think they are first end up becoming bitter and falling away in their faith.

It also happens that some people who were terrible sinners or considered unworthy of having faith end up humbling themselves and receive great graces of holiness. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

 

hi, father, i was hoping you could explain to me why we aren't supposed to receive Communion if we have a mortal sin on our souls. this seems counter-intuitive to me, as if we're further estranging ourselves from God when we're already in a state of sin. i've really been struggling to accept this--could you help me understand? thank you!

Hello,

What is estrangement? It means no longer being on friendly terms because some rupture has occurred in the relationship. And how do you heal that? The person who did something wrong needs to say sorry; and not only that, they need to do something which shows they are going to make a change in their life.

What happens if you do something terrible to a friend, and then you show up to their house, walk in, and start chatting as if everything is fine and dandy? Well, even if they do not throw you out, they will take your niceness as being fake and will feel something is missing—until you finally say you are sorry and show that you mean it.

So it is when we walk into God’s House for worship and holy Communion. It is not estranging yourself from God to avoid holy Communion. You are simply acknowledging that God deserves no less than an earthly friend. That means, first, going to confession and saying that you are sorry. God knows that you are sorry, but He still needs you to come out and say it in front of the priest.

Also, God expects you to make amends with His family the Church. Don’t walk up the aisle and pretend all is fine and dandy, when you have not made some kind of reconciliation with the Church, and the way to do that is by going to the Church’s representative, the priest, and making that reconciliation. Yes, this means humbling yourself. Yes, it is painful, for all of us, to humble ourselves. This also means accepting the penance that the priest gives us and carrying it out.

When we have finished the labor of reconciliation, we have finished a labor of the heart. Then, we are finally able to walk up to the altar for holy Communion and it is not fake or lacking authenticity. You know you’ve made peace with God. You know you’ve made peace with the Church. Because you know this, you are showing a public act of “co-union” which has integrity and authenticity, and avoids scandal to your brethren in the faith community. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

greluc:

St. Joseph provider and protector of the Church, pray for us.

greluc:

St. Joseph provider and protector of the Church, pray for us.

(Source: consagrada-para-amar-blog)

closertothelost:

A few more thoughts.

One. Why have people insisted that Matt Walsh blames people for their depression? He said nothing like that.

Two. Why are folks insisting that Matt Walsh thinks the solution to depression is to “pray away the depression?” He said nothing like that.

Three. As a CHRISTIAN, I seek to believe that God can be bigger than the shit we have to deal with, whether it be mental or otherwise. We can’t limit God by reducing depression to pure materialism. Nor can we use God as a crutch—to “get us through the hard times”—and nothing else. God is God. He wants to be Lord of our depression and suicidal tendencies as much as he wants to be Lord of Mass on Sundays. And I feel God gets left behind as soon as we start talking about depression and triggers and personal experience and ignorance and suicide—because obviously we have all the answers and we don’t need God, we just need the rationality we received from Him. Yeah, right.

"We needed God loving us in our weakness, and not in the glory of beatitude." Czesław Miłosz

The bizarre – and costly – cult of Richard Dawkins » The Spectator

Father, I am a confirmed Catholic, but my boyfriend is not and has not even been baptized. If we were married, would it be valid in the church?

Hello,

As long as you are married in the Catholic Church, yes, it would be valid.

But it is VERY, VERY IMPORTANT not to skirt around having preparation at your Catholic parish. They will work with your boyfriend in order for you both to have Catholic wedding preparation.

Don’t worry about anything else. Get in spiritual shape, with prayer and a lot of conversation of the values that are important for you in marriage and, later, in a faith filled household. If your boyfriend will work with you as a partner and completely respect your faith, you have found a keeper. 

If he starts to use excuses for backing out of a Catholic wedding even though he knows how special that is to you, then please see the red flags flying up. Take note of those red flags, and proceed with caution. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

Father I read somewhere, "blasphemy is a victimless crime". So how are we to respond to blasphemy, for example a friend of a friend made obscene gestures towards a church and laughed at me, I didn't know what to do I was just so angry. And this keeps happening, friends and family say things about religion that enrage me and I never know how to reply without being awful.

Hello, 

Do you really hang around with people who act like that?

Seriously? Really? If people know you are a believer, and they still mock what is sacred and show contempt with obscene gestures, just give them this look, exactly like Ryan Gosling does, with the sunglasses and everything LOL.

And then, turn away and do something fun, like pull out your phone and text someone or start reading your favorite novel.  If people cry and have a hissy fit because you are ignoring their blasphemy, just say to them that you WILL NOT dignify their behavior with a response. It’s like giving attention to rape culture jokes. It just encourages the behavior.

We can’t help it when family members start showing trashy manners. But as for the “friends,” you need to lose them, pronto, and do an EXTREME makeover of your social standards for selecting future friends. Okay? Do yourself that favor.

God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

Father how do you consecrate yourself to Mary? Yesterday at Mass our priest suggested we do so. I looked it up, is it just a prayer? What are we to do after? Thanks Father!

Hello,

I hope these links help to answer those questions:

http://fatherangel.tumblr.com/search/consecration+to+Mary

Whatever prayer or method a person chooses to use in order to consecrate themselves to Mary, we should be clear that we are already Mary’s beloved spiritual children, right now, at this very moment.

Why? Because Jesus said so, when He was dying, and said, “Womhan, behold your son.” At that moment, all those who were covered by the Precious Blood of Jesus and saved were also covered by Jesus with Mary’s mantle of spiritual motherhood.

A consecration to Mary is NOT so that Mary will claim us. She already does, and always has!

Rather, a consecration is merely to acknowledge the reality that is there—to say, “Yes, I know that you are my holy mother, and I wish to imitate your path to Jesus and so everything I say or do will be to imitate you, Oh clement, Oh loving, Oh sweet Virgin Mary.” God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

Hello Father, just a quick question- if someone wished to become Catholic but was already baptised, would they need to be baptised again? Thanks!

Hello,

As long as the baptism ceremony in their previous faith was validly conferred through the pouring of water and invoking of the blessed Trinity than the person is not rebaptized in order to become Catholic.

Instead, the priest will ask the person to pray a profession of faith using the Creed and adding that they believe what is believed and taught by the Catholic Church. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

I was born into the church, and I've been around the older school rules for my whole life. I was wondering how you felt about people wearing rosaries for fashion. Personally I really hate it, unless you use it as a prayer tool or a way to remember, you ought to not wear it in vain. But how do you feel about it?

Hello,

I simply do not believe in wearing the rosary around the neck, for any reason, even if it is a good reason. There are priests and nuns who disagree with me because I see them walking around with a rosary on their neck. 

That is fine. But I still disagree with it. I have carried my rosary around in a small rosary pouch and although it might get a little tangled once in a while, that has worked fine for me for the past 35 years. There are too many mixed signals that clergy, religious, or lay people put out with the rosary around the neck that don’t need to be sent out. 

If even one person is scandalized to think the rosary is being used as jewelry, all the good has been undone or reversed of saying the rosary. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

Hey Father! I have a question about today's Gospel Matthew 15:21. Our priest was saying that Jesus called this Canaanite woman a dog because he grew up being taught these people were basically no good. And when she accepted the title of 'dog' he had a revelation from his Father that this woman was not the person he thought she was. So if Jesus had to be taught this, does that mean when he was born in the flesh, he had to temporarily give up not knowing all like he knows all now? Thanks :)

Hello,

I have a completely different take on today’s Scripture, and this is what I think:  Our Lord was trying to call the people of Israel into a more inclusive and compassionate attitude toward the Gentiles. We see this also in the teaching about the Prodigal Son (the Gentile nations) and how the eldest Son (Israel) was angry that the Father was being so good to the younger son who was far from his Father and didn’t deserve forgiveness.

Yes, disdain for the Gentiles among Jesus’ people was very strong. Those outside of the Chosen People of Israel were ignored. They were called dogs, and people even called the Gentiles pigs.

Jesus uses the suffering of the Canaanite woman’s daughter as a teachable moment. He “acts the part” of a typical Israelite. When a Canaanite, a foreigner, a Gentile woman, walks up to Him, what does He do? He ignores her.

He tells the disciples that He has come for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then Jesus even tells the woman that He cannot throw the food of the children (Israelites) to the dogs (meaning foreigners, like her). But I do not believe that Jesus was seriously showing disdain. 

Instead, I think Jesus was acting the part of the proud Israelite who rejects foreigners and Gentiles, so that He could show His people how wrong this attitude was. After all, if God was capable of forgiving the sins of Israel time and again in the Old Testament, why could Israel not accept the Gentile into the New Testament of God’s covenant?

Jesus had already preached against the self-righteousness of the Pharisees and had reached out to publicans and harlots. Now He prefigures the Catholic Church’s outreach to the Gentiles through His favor toward the Canaanite woman.

Yes, He did speak harshly to her, but that was because He was testing her faith, so that she could set example and even rebuke the stubborn hearts of unbelieving Israelites, who (unlike her) refused to confess that Jesus was the “son of David”. Jesus marveled at the faith of the Roman centurion and rewarded that faith. Now, in the face of the Canaanite woman’s perseverance in prayer, Jesus also rewards her and tells her that she has “great faith.”

You know yow you sometimes show people that they are wrong by imitating their words or imitating their behavior in front of them? I think that is what Jesus was doing in this passage of Scripture. He was playing the part of the proud and disdainful attitude of Israel so that He could correct it by showing favor to a faith-filled Gentile.

To conclude, I cannot comment on Jesus’ human knowledge, for that is a mystery. I know that contemporary Christology wants to paint Jesus as if He is ordinary in every way and even ignorant and biased like any other man of His time. I do not agree with that school of thought, and do not believe that Scripture has to be read in that way. Perhaps the Apostles at times were willing to paint Jesus as not knowing what He was doing. 

But I think Jesus struggled with the tendency to paint Him into that image of ignorance and was far wiser than any other person who walked this earth. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

Catholicism: A Trashy Religion | The American Conservative

Hi Father, first off I can't thank you enough for doing this blog. As for my question, on Assumption Friday I ended up unexpectedly attending a Mass at a parish I had never visited on my way back from the book store. During the Mass I noticed that many (especially alot of older people) stayed standing during consecration, which I had never seen before and I wondered if you had seen this before. and do you have any advise for not letting things during Mass that I think are unusual distract me?

Hello,

They were probably trained to stand during the consecration or Eucharistic Prayer, by a priest who is more into liturgical experimentation. 

Some priests ask people to stand more and more because they consider that more attentive and participatory during worship. I think it is better to let them kneel during the consecration out of respect for the Body and Blood of the Lord that comes down onto the altar.

Yes, I saw this when I was visiting a parish right after my heart surgery. The priest allowed us to kneel for the consecration, but right after, in the second part of the Eucharistic Prayer, he had us stand, and stay standing through the Our Father and the entire Communion time.

I was wiped out, physically, and this was very hard. At times, I even felt dizzy from standing  so much, so soon after a heart operation.

What helps me when I see liturgical inventions and changes during Mass is to pull out a prayer book and start reading. I might even pray part of the rosary. It is not ideal. But I have visited other parishes where the Mass was such a circus I didn’t know what to expect from one minute to the next.

It causes me suffering. I see nothing wrong with distracting myself with other activities that are pious and in keeping with Eucharistic love and respect for Jesus on the altar. At times, during an atrocious homily that drags on and no and on, I have picked up a Catholic newspaper and discreetly read its articles in order to get some spiritual nugget during the Liturgy of the Word. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

Help! I'm reaching out one last time. I don't think I'm religious. I like the idea of God, but I can't devote my life to a book that contradicts itself, has talking snakes and bashes love. That is hate and I don't approve. Please, I want to believe.

Hello, 

Well, I hope this isn’t “one last time” because, you know, there are other people on Tumblr who could perhaps take a shot at your question and write better and make more sense. But here goes my try at this.

When you say the “book” I think you are speaking of the Bible. And when you say that it “bashes love” I suggest you are leading with a provocative bias. Are you perhaps already setting the Bible up as a “boogeyman?”

When I hear about the Bible “bashing love,” that is usually a not so subtle way of saying “The Bible has dared to disagree with my outlook of human sexuality. It condemns fornication, adultery, bestiality, gay sex, pornographic exploitation of people, polygamy and child molestation. Therefore, since these are all forms of love, the Bible is “bashing love?”

Not so quick. If the Bible were “bashing love” then why are there so many people in the Bible running around, falling in love, talking about courtship and romance, getting married, making babies, and laying down their lives for the ones they love? The truth is that the Bible does not bash love but puts boundaries around the love that is natural, healthy, and procreative, and excludes other types of fondness that are better described as “lust” and not “love.”

The Bible bashes human lust, and the Bible bashes forms of coitus that are not part of the biological structure of male-female complementarity and subsequent marriage, procreation, and raising of children that were the result of a natural act of sexual intercourse.

Yes, I understand that modern psychologists, sexologists, doctors, and politicians play all the time with the definition of human love and redefine the boundaries that were put in place thousands of years ago. Based on new lifestyles, newer experimentation, and different sexual curiosities, there is a push to establish new and fluid structures of marriage, of families, and of legally permitted sexual experimentation. 

And yet, the Bible served the Hebrew and Christian communities over a historical span of 5,000 years. Entire nations and battles were fought for the successful survival of both Jews and Christians using the wisdom of that Book. Civilizations were built. The Catholic Church created the modern university with faculties of science, medicine, art, poetry, law, aesthetics, and communities were solidly built on the worldview of that book that “bashes love.”

Our nation does not even have 300 years experience and survival, and yet we have decided that the Tradition of 5,000 years of Judaeo-Christian moral framework are antiquated and need to be thrown out. “Out with the old, in with the new.” The results? Well, when I tune into the six or eleven o’clock news, I don’t think modern society has such a great record.

We have more money and live more comfortably that people in the last century, but we haven’t ceased being divided, greedy, violent, and murderous. And it’s not just religious wars.

Many more violent crimes take place in homes and towns based on conflicts that have nothing to do with religion. Are we in an age where we feel safer to walk the streets at night? Do women feel more valued, less exploited and preyed upon? Are there less struggles and hungers for the poor and uneducated? Do children have less abuse and crimes committed against them, including slavery and trafficking?

Western civilization has succeeded in convincing people that faith and religion must be completely separated from the public square so that a secular society can truly be secular without the interference of religion. With less faith in God and less faith in the Bible, I wonder if we are going toward a brighter future, or a more precarious one?

Yes, the Bible has talking snakes and contradictory stories. So do the Native Americans. So do the ancient Egyptians. So do the religious writings of the Greeks and Romans. And China and the Near East are awash in contradictory religions and differing religious writings and traditions. 

But there are certain common themes which God has woven through the stories and experiences of the ancient Hebrews and the nascent Christian Church which Jesus left behind on earth. There are the concepts of an objective truth, with universal morals and boundaries that equally apply to all races and languages. There are the themes of justice, concern for the downtrodden, and fighting the desire for vengeance in our conflicts.

There are consistent themes through the Bible of the nature of who God is, how He reaches out to us, how He establishes covenants and friendships, and how He raised up what we had caused to fall down in sin.

The basic reason people place faith in the Old and New Testaments, is because it does not pander to popular opinion and it has no concern with whether you or I give this message of God our approval. The Bible’s challenges stand above and beyond what we want and what is convenient for us. The God of both Testaments calls first the Jews and then the Christians to rise and go beyond in building fellowship, mercy and service in their midst.

And in spite of Biblical misinterpretations and the resultant violence, and oppression, that this caused, there have been plenty of deeds of holiness and righteousness in the good guys. And that is what judges the Bible the most—NOT the bad example of those who failed to consistently apply the message of God’s Word.

Rather, the credibility of the Bible is based on the lives and testimony of the life of Jesus, and of those holy men and women in the Bible who provided examples of holiness and good conduct. I believe—because my Church has endured since the time of Christ, seeking truth in that Scripture and then handing that truth on to its adherents.

In the exemplary lives of saints and prophets, of holy virgins, martyrs, and confessors, in the patient long suffering of the members of the Church who endured rejection and trials, in all this goodness, I see a valid message in Scripture which deserves my attention and respect.

I could go on and on and on but I’ll consider this a basic response to your question of why we should respect the stories, the writings, the Law, and the prophets, and most of all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ as contained in the “Good Book.” It is because when those teachings are not misinterpreted, but lived and put into practice, they produce the good fruit of holiness that we all long to see here on earth. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

Hi Father, why is missing Mass or holy days of obligation a mortal sin? Someone I know that is a faithful and practicing Catholic that I really look up to has missed a few days and when I told her this she responded that people can go to church every Sunday and even to daily mass but fail at truly loving and serving others and that's a greater sin than her not attending Mass for a few Sundays so she's not going to feel ashamed for it...I was a bit shocked lol

nasanerd09:

stillwaitingforaliens:

fatherangel:

Hello,

Here is a link to some other links that speak of the importance of worship on Sunday:

http://fatherangel.tumblr.com/post/80673331614/what-are-your-views-on-the-sabbath

In addition, let me add these comments:

—In the Old Testament, God ordered His people to come together on the Sabbath and hold “sacred assembly” or worship (Leviticus 23:3).

—Jesus said at the Last Supper, “Do this in memory of Me” and so He desired that Christians should offer the sacrificial Supper of the Lord.

—The New Testament clearly records that Christians gathered together for the Mass, the “breaking of the bread” (Acts 2:42).

—Christians “broke bread” on the “first day of the week” (Sunday) to commemorate the Day of the Lord, the day of his resurrection (Acts 20:7).

—St. Paul preached that we must not “despise the Church of God” but should gather and share the Supper of the Lord (1 Cor. 11:22).

—Worshiping God at home is fine, but the holy Mass is the actual commemoration of Christ’s death, “until he comes” (1 Cor. 11:26).

—People are selfish and think of themselves. A Christian should set the example of sacrificing time and effort to gather with fellow Christians.

—If you honor Jesus “in the poor” by doing good works of social justice, but ignore Him at Church, you are no different than good atheists and pagans.

—The Mass is thanksgiving for the blessings of the week. Do you really want to say on certain Sundays that you don’t need to be grateful?

—It is not “old-fashioned” and “out of date” to say that missing Mass is a sin. The modern Catechism teaches:

2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.”117 ”The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.”118

2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

—If one teaches that it is a personal choice whether or not to feel shame for missing Mass, they arrogantly put themselves above the Church.

—By condemning others who go to Mass and fail to love and serve others, she is making comparisons. Who is she to judge?

—Pointing to others and accusing them of being lazy in charity still does not excuse her being lazy in the duties of worship and thanksgiving.

—Being a catechist means teaching with the universal Catechism. If she breaks with this doctrine, she is simply unfit for the ministry of catechist.

I suggest you exercise some sisterly correction of this friend of yours. If she is not humble enough to take a little correction in regards to this error, then I suggest you find other people to look up to for Catholic example.

It could be that she is either ignorant of her own Tradition or still a bit young and immature. It would be one thing to miss Mass for a good reason and just tell you it’s private, but she comes across as if she is above the rules that the rest of us, “the little people” still have to follow. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

This.

But on this same thread, what if you can’t make Mass? My sister had work this morning when the rest of the family went to Mass, and she can’t drive herself to a later Mass at the Cathedral.

Or what about when I was old enough to walk to a nearby parish, but my family really likes going to Mass as a family, but then we never went? FYI, I lived three blocks from a church that I didn’t, and still don’t, really like, but my family has always preferred a church that was much father (but now we live much closer).

Or what about the time the water heater broke, and we were cleaning up all day and forgot Mass?

What should one do in situations like this?

Obviously I’m not a catechist, so I won’t assert that what I think on the situation is the correct answer. That being said, I’ve always thought that in those situations where you literally CANNOT get to Mass on Saturday or Sunday, such as when I was on a geology field trip and didn’t get back until late Sunday or 5 minutes before the beginning of mass, or when my mom had to work weekends, then you wouldn’t be in a state of grave sin.

But when you CAN get to Mass and the reason you don’t go is for a personal reason, like “I don’t like this preacher/choir/church but I can’t make another Mass elsewhere so I’m not going to go” then it’s not a valid excuse. The Mass is the Mass, and that’s what matters.

But I do think that when the personal reason is due to a mental or emotional disorder then it’s more of a gray area because yes, you can go to Mass, but how the Mass would affect you in that state might nullify your actual experience of the Mass. I had a friend who will not be named who went through a period where she could not attend Mass because she perceived everyone as silently judging her as a horrible person and she would break down into tears every time she tried to go, despite the fact that this was most definitely not the case. Personally, I think that constituted a valid reason to not join in the Mass and I stopped pushing her after she explained to me (although I did encourage her to talk to our priest because she really needed something at the time).

That’s just my two cents, but I’d encourage anyone wondering about this issue to ask their pastor. 

There are good reasons to miss Sunday Mass. However, the original poster had a concern that her friend was choosing not to go at times simply because she didn’t feel like it, which was not a good reason.

As far as mental health, when people are in a dire state of anxiety and panic, it would excuse guilt and so there would be no sin, because the person has no control over they fact that they are in mental breakdown or having a meltdown with horrible physical symptoms—breathing difficulty, needing to go to the bathroom often, heavy perspiration and dizzying feelings, etc.

However, there is an obligation to get help. The fact of the matter is that isolation is the normal way of expressing mental sickness, and the way toward healing is by healthy and supportive interaction with a community and with things that are spiritual and peaceful. So, nothing is better than a beautiful Mass to start working on recovery. Refusal to work on one’s health and recovery can not only be dangerous to mental health, but can also strain our relationship with God, who can only help us when we open our heart to His help.