Saturday, May 30, 2009

The 5 Scientific Questions Every Catholic Should Ask


Question 1:
How does science fit in with going to Mass every Sunday?


Answer:
Sunday mass provides your soul with weekly sustenance! In two parts, human and spirit, the tradition of the holy mass feeds the brain and soul.

On the human level, the more we know about the meta-cognitive processes that explain the way we learn and think, the more likely we are to be successful at problem-solving. The human experience is comparable to the scientific method. We see an issue in any instance and usually seek to take an action. Several forces may interact with the collection of data, but the exercise of conscience, helps people to choose right and wrong. The human learning experience is at its height as we try to understand through scripture what the Perfect man chose to do.

On the spiritual level, the mass is digestive. People need spiritual food. The scientific viewpoint for feeding of the soul is like the way in which chemical reactions take place. For example, the breaking down of physical food in the stomach is unseen, but often directly felt. The soul is directly affected by the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ. If you do not feed your soul, you will die. If you do not feed your body you will die. The exercise of following traditions that God the Father has established through Jesus Christ brings people that much closer to fullness.

Jesus says to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe, if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12)

Read more at:
Sunday’s Reading

Question 2:
Where does Ida the dinosaur fit in with Christian teaching?

Answer:

“Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator.” (CCC 338) This quote comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church which acknowledges Scripture as divinely inspired by God. Ida is one of the many creatures that God has created. The more scientists study past creatures, the more they see the interdependence of creatures. (CCC 340) The fact that man was made as authority over all creatures is visible and exercisable. Also, man is dependent upon creatures under his authority. These types of scientists iron out the details and hopefully recognize that the beauty of creation found in evolutionary species is the foresight of God the Father.

Read more at:
The Big Bad Biology Lesson

Question 3:
Why is it wrong to use Embryonic Stem-cells?


Answer:

Embryo is the base word for embryonic, which means the ‘beginning before birth’. This biological field of science reveals the very physical limits and abilities of human cells. In the same way that “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) the beginning of man is part of the plan of salvation instituted by Christ. When someone interrupts the beginning, they interrupt the plan of God. Embryonic stem-cells are the beginning of all parts of a human life, which is very different from adult stem-cells which are singular in nature.

See more at:
Fun with Stem-cells: A .GIF Animation

Question 4:
Did God create life in another universe?

Answer:

Scientists have established that the same chemicals that make up the Earth’s atmosphere are present in the ice shelves of Mars. There are many undiscovered galaxies and some nearby enough to view through a telescope. The limitless possibilities of life in various forms located on other planets boggles the mind. But does this limit a God who created a universe so varied as our own? The answer is God is infinite. Remember an elementary teaching, ‘God cannot stop loving you.’ “And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way” (Isaiah 35:8) We can presume that any being presented before Jesus Christ will be judged righteous or not. Therefore, God has infinite mercy for all beings, and all beings have the ability to receive God’s infinite mercy. As scientists continue to find diversity of creation in this universe, they continue to build our knowledge of the power of God the Father. (Rev. Benedict Ashley, O.P.)

Understand more at:
Man, Mars, and Methane

Question 5:
What impact do I really have on my Environment?

Answer:

“The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man’s intellect and will.” (CCC 341) The scientific and political debate on global warming has heated up as we see more drastic natural events. On a planet scale, it is hard to see major long term effects given the changing climate in the history of the world. On the local scale, the long term effects are very easily seen because the dependence of man on the local species, landscape and weather. The fact is that God created this Earth for man to be authority; it is then the duty of man to take care of it.
Small and large living things are affected by human choice. When sins of greed, avarice and sloth become the choice, the Earth suffers and so does man.

See the beauty of God's Earth at:
Galactic Catholic Photo Stream

These questions form a very basic background of some topics relevant to today. There is always room for more scientific discovery in faith!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Star named for Cardinal John Newman



The poll winner to name a star after an up and coming Saint, Cardinal John Newman. I should have realized, I was so hoping for de Veuster!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Science of Speech

Pope Pius called him the second Paul. Saint Bernardine of Siena's words read like fire of the Holy Spirit. If only I could get my hands in the Fransican library and find a book of his writings.

Saint Bernardine of Siena, words were very important to you. You spent most of your life speaking the golden words of Jesus' mercy and his Holy Name. And you abhorred words that were shameful. Pray for us that we may always choose to speak Jesus' name with reverence and choose words of love over words of shame. Amen

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cognitive rational for tolerance

Last fall, I conducted some fun action research in a third grade classroom. It had to do with the cognitive thought patterns that appear through concept mapping. The linking words are the key components which show the cognitive pattern of the map designer.

I have related the idea to methods of assessing theological studies in a secondary classroom. Let's say we break down the idea of tolerance to college bound seniors. Here is a schema they may come up with.



If students were to write a reflection on the given concept map, would they determine that 'to be tolerant, is to allow anything as defined by one person's own learned principles'?

(It already seems like tolerance is a child's game where the kid in charge makes the rules, but let's continue.)

It's possible that top percentage and low percentage students would come to that conclusion. But what if we throw in an application question?

1. Using the concept map of tolerance, determine the answer to the following. Mr. X has decided he does not want legs anymore and tells the amputating surgeon his reasons. According to tolerance, what should the surgeon say and do?

2. Using the concept map of tolerance, determine the answer to the following. Miss So-in-so has been pregnant for 6 months and has decided that she doesn't like the idea of a baby and wants to get rid of it. She 'dialogues' with the local doctor who does not believe in abortion. According to tolerance, what should the doctor say and do?

3. Using the concept map of tolerance, determine the answer to the following. You have decided to talk about your faith priciples and act on what you believe are right choices that are rational and reasonable. The neighborhood home owners association has decided that there is a 'tolerance' policy in the neighborhood you live in and you are violating it because you have spoken out about your reasonable faith principles to a neighbor who does not care for faith solicitation. Explain how the HOA came to their decision.
________________________________________________________

If we are rational Americans, then we cannot TOLERATE all things. Toleration is the twisted term for temperance. One definition I looked up for tolerance included the words 'undogmatic viewpoint.' That should give a very large red flag for anyone spouting tolerance as a replacement for truth.

All I can say is, What a load of crap the country is being fed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Graduation

I graduated today. So exciting to finally get a Master's degree in Teaching. I have few fancy dreams, but one was always to get a PhD. So on to being piled higher and deeper, HERE I COME!!


Right after I get a Master's in Theology!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Haiku

The children were writing haikus today, so I thought I'd give it a try for Our Lady.

Midnight Moon
Star of the night sky
Theotokos for all time
New covenant arc

Tower of Ivory
Crowned high in glory
Ascended queen of heaven
For eternity

Arabian Virgin
Desert by the shore
Dry and barren she was not
Ever catalyst

Most Beautiful Morals


What type of criteria do you think Catholic Americans would use to choose a winner of the lady with the 'Most Beautiful Morals'?

Possibly: Integrity, Compassion, Charity, Temperence, Piety, Patience, Chastity

Today I heard someone describe piety as meaning= people who act like they pray but just want to look good

It's kind of sad they never met a pious person in their church before.

Check out this article: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,519193,00.html

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May Crowning

Our crowned Mary from last year. Don't mind the green moss, it's Louisiana, it never goes away.



Oh Sweet Lady, make speed to befriend me, from the wiles of my enemies, readily defend me. Amen.

Unrequited Love

“The story assumes God’s determination to reward the just. When they suffer, there is a limit to that suffering. Once the limit occurs, God will intervene, sometimes miraculously.” The Catholic Bible: Personal Study Edition

The Book of Tobit draws my interest every time I read it. Every time I read it, I read it in its entirety. The most compelling part for me is not the love story between Tobias and Sarah, though that part is good too, but the man Tobit. Particularly I contemplate him burying the dead as his duty.

Duty, I believe, is foundational in drawing man together as one church. Tobit represents the faithful church of his time in his actions and character. Tobit is a Jewish servant of God who is persecuted by Gentiles and afflicted by blindness. His duty to God the Father is instinctive. He has built within his conscience the will to serve in the way he knows will serve his community. “I used to take their bodies by stealth and bury them” 1:18 He does not exhibit pride in these instances, rather he shows an internal desire to be part of the ongoing fulfillment of God’s covenant. I believe this is not a false humility either on his part, but a fire within to act justly for Israel.

Another aspect of his character is that of his selflessness. Tobit readily seeks to do right by his kinsmen under a ruthless authority. This action strikes me as having the flavor of supernatural courage. Tobit is also mocked for his actions by his neighbors. But his testimony is greater than they see. Tobit fulfills the covenant made with Abraham by obeying the sense of duty within him. Obedience is hard to fulfill at first, as Abraham is a witness. I believe Tobit knows that you cannot fight a call within your heart from God, because he recognizes consciously that that would be the greatest injustice he could do to himself. Therefore, even with threat of death, “Will this man never learn!” 2:8, Tobit buries the dead.

The faithfulness of Tobit contrasts with the image of God’s unrequited love of Israel. Yet, God loves on for people like Tobit. But then, Tobit becomes blind and lashes out in his brokenness. His wife calls him on it. I can see Tobit questioning his anger at life at this moment. He probably was more worried about offending God than his wife. Thus he is brought to the purest poverty of spirit in his true blindness. He wills himself to die. “So now, deal with me as you please, and command my life breathe to be taken from me, that I may go from the face of the earth into dust.”

Who can fault Tobit for this prayer? He praises more than he asks. But I understand his call to die because his purpose, to serve God, has been taken from him. The great thing about this man though, is that he continues to fulfill his duty to others even after he has given up. His duty is to his God, family and tribe. I admire his perseverance and desire to do right by others in the best way he can. The story of Tobias afterwards is a side story. Tobit’s redemption from trial is made sweeter though, by his son’s joy.

Tobit’s praises to God in his sorrow remind me of Christ’s weariness as he approaches the passion. For me, Tobit is a real example of duty and of one with supernatural will to be faithful. Christ is the perfect example of course, but Tobit helps me take baby steps to that level of love.

Tobit does not just represent himself in this book. We could see him as one of the faithful waiting for various wars and battles that the prophets predicted, but as one nation always viewing the end goal. Tobit calls us to fulfill God’s will with action and response to duty. Our obedience will be rewarded in the very real kingdom that Christ has prepared. Tobit represents a strong heart and will to serve God and receive just rewards; therefore it is possible for someone like me to work around my ignorance with duty and obedience to respond to God’s love with supernatural courage.

Tobit, man of faith, man of action, man of duty. Not your average biblical hero.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Honor Our Lady in May

video

Fun round I made up last year to honor my mother, Our Lady of Medjugorje. Excuse the singing!

Sweet Mary

I loved reading about the month of May memories of the Mary and Me blogger. I went to public school so I was not so lucky to have those. But my very first memory of any knowledge of God or Our Lady, was when I was about 5 or 6 and I went into the kitchen at what seemed like midnight, to find my mom.

"Momma," I said, "I keep having nightmares and I don't know what to do."

She said, "Pray to Sweet Mary that they go away."

I did pray that small prayer from a small person and Our Lady certainly heard me, because I didn't have another nightmare type dream until I was 10. I remember because I was keeping track at the time, being so amazed that my prayer had worked.

So I was delighted tonight to go to adoration and see Our Lady! The last time I went to the chapel I sat on the right side in the afternoon. The monstrance is on a somewhat large wooden altar. I noticed for the first time when I just happened to look up, an image of Our Lady in the shadows of the wood grain. I kind of looked around at other people praying, as I do when these things happen. No one noticed, but I loved the image of Our Lady right beneath the monstrance. She seemed as if she was hugging a six year old Jesus who had just leapt into her arms.

Tonight I went late. I sat on the left side. I hadn't been since the last time and I forgot I had seen that image. I remembered after an hour and looked for it, but it wasn't really visible from where I was. I stayed for a while and eventually the room cleared out and the appointed parishinor for that hour turned down some of the lights, and there She was! So I sketched what I saw in the back of my bible. I love Sweet Mary, even in wood grains. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Understanding

"Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, don't seek to understand so that you may believe, but believe so that you may understand."

-- St. Augustine

Quote above, officially nabbed from EWTN.org. I prayed for the gift of understanding at my confirmation. You definitly don't always know what your getting into when you pray these things, because the fruit of understanding is the ability to forgive over and over again.