Call No Man “Father”? | Catholic Answers

Many Protestants claim that when Catholics address priests as “father,” they are engaging in an unbiblical practice that Jesus forbade: “Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven” (Matt. 23:9).

To understand why the charge does not work, one must first understand the use of the word “father” in reference to our earthly fathers. No one would deny a little girl the opportunity to tell someone that she loves her father. Common sense tells us that Jesus wasn’t forbidding this type of use of the word “father.”

Full article can be found at: Call No Man “Father”? | Catholic Answers

Review: A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century

A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth CenturyA Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century by Robert Royal

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book could be the single (or primary) textbook for a course on modern Catholic intellectuals. It covers theology, scriptural studies, philosophy, poetry, prose, and historiography of the great Catholic minds of the 20th Century.

It’s a very large book, both in page number and content. It took a long time to read but it is worth it. It provided me with at least a dozen more “Want to Read” books on GoodReads.

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Review: Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

About 10 years ago I saw the 80’s mini-series of Brideshead Revisited, starring Jeremy Irons, and really fell in love with the story. Since then I have read other Evelyn Waugh novels, but finally got around to reading this one. At first it was hard not to picture what I had seen on the television, but as I read I got wrapped up in the beautiful prose, the choices of the characters, and the elegance of the formality and manners of the time period (1920’s and 30’s England).

This is a religious novel, not because it delineates theology, but because it tells the story of a Catholic family, their weaknesses, and their adherence to the beauty of their faith, even though they may not understand it fully or be particularly good at it. Life is so filled with mystery, and this is a story about imperfect people embracing the beauty of that mystery. As St. Augustine wrote, “If you do understand, then it is not God.”

A lot of times when reading a bad novel, I hear the gears of the author’s mind in the background. Waugh, especially in this novel, is invisible and is completely out of the way of the story and the characters.

I recommend this novel to anyone wanting to read a master of the English language and those who enjoy the spiritual journey.

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Do you think that the iTunes store should move Gregorian chant from the Classical genre to the Christian & Gospel genre?

What do you think?

Pope John Paul II: That They May Be One

Jesus himself, at the hour of his Passion, prayed that they may all be one (Jn 17:21). This unity, which the Lord has bestowed on his Church and in which he wishes to embrace all people, is not something added on, but stands at the very heart of Christ’s mission. Nor is it some secondary attribute of the community of his disciples. Rather, it belongs to the very essence of this community. God wills the Church, because he wills unity, and unity is an expression of the whole depth of his agape.

Read Full Document: Pope John Paul II 25 May 1995 That They May Be One

Review: The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints

The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints
The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints by Ralph Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was given to me as a gift by a friend. It is a large book of about 420 pages, and it took quite a long time to read, mostly because it is a book on prayer, and each small section requires time on which to meditate.

I can’t imagine any better book to read during Lent. Taking the wisdom of several of the spiritual giants of the Western tradition – Augustine, Bernard, Teresa, John of the Cross, and Thérèse of Lisieux – Ralph Martin groups together common threads of all of these authors’ writings.

If you are interested in growing deeper in your Christian faith or just understanding how it all works, then this might be a good book to commit some time to.

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Resource for Catholic Songwriters

There is a good online resource for songwriters who are also Catholic.  It is called http://catholicsongwriting.com. It is a site that I built and maintain.

It is free to use this site and free to sign up to use the PDF worksheet.

It is not meant just for songwriters who write religious music.  Instead it is for Catholic songwriters who write any genre of music and who want their faith to inform their creative choices. If you write folk songs, jazz, classical, hip-hop, or rock songs – it doesn’t matter.

The homepage gives a step-by-step method for:

  1. Praying on the Mass readings of the day, the Saint of the day or liturgical feast day
  2. Using the worksheet to organize the words that arise out of prayer
  3. Choosing the song structure and coming up with a melody

A lot of this was subconsciously based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, whereby one uses the imagination to place oneself into a scriptural reading.

And ultimately, anyone can use this resource.  No one checks your religion card at the front door.  It is meant to help all people make the world more beautiful.

Please visit http://catholicsongwriting.com.

The Bible is Not Enough

Imagine two classrooms where math is being taught.

In the first classroom, the school has provided the students with a teacher in addition to a textbook for each student.  The teacher gives the students assignments out of the textbook, and the students go through the lessons.  When they get stuck, they ask the teacher for extra help, and the teacher provides guidance and clarity.

In the second classroom, the students find a textbook on each desk but no teacher.  They are left to themselves to go through the lessons of the book at an appropriate pace.  When they don’t understand something they ask themselves.  Often they argue about things like, “Is that symbol ‘X’ meant to be a variable, or perhaps the multiplication sign, or maybe even the Roman numeral X?”  There is much disagreement, and so they split into three separate factions that come to three different conclusions about the truths of math.

This is analogous to Christianity.  There are many Christians who believe that the Bible alone is the sole authority when it comes to Divine revelation and truth.  However, since this very limited approach was introduced 500 years ago, there are now tens of thousands of different opinions on how to interpret the Bible, much like the math class that can’t agree on what the “X” symbol represents.

As I Catholic I believe that there are two sources of Divine revelation, the written tradition and the oral tradition.  In fact, the first book of the New Testament, Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, was written around 51 AD, about 17 years after the resurrection of Christ.  What this means is that the early Christians didn’t have the Bible.  They only had the oral tradition.  None of them quoted Paul because Paul hadn’t written anything yet.

For the next few hundred years there were a lot of writings about Jesus. In the 300’s, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, led by the Bishop of Rome, deemed that some of the writings about Jesus were true and some were not.  That is why today at basketball games you might see a sign that says John 3:16, but you won’t see one that says Thomas 3:16, even thought there was a Gospel of Thomas at one time.

There is only one truth in math, and there is only one truth in God.  My advice to anyone seeking to learn more about Christ is this: Enroll yourself in the school that provides you with a teacher, possibly even the editor who compiled the textbook, and not the school that only gives you the textbook.