Tomorrow is the Feast of the Annunciation. Now check this out:
The sky will be spectacular in the west after sunset on March 25, 2012, with the waxing crescent moon and the planet Jupiter very close to each other in the evening twilight sky. Plus Venus is nearby – the sky’s brightest planet. You’ll see Jupiter and the moon below Venus in the west after sunset. The famous Pleiades star cluster is above Venus.
And the significance:
For centuries Mary has been referred to as the “Morning Star”, the popular name of the Planet Venus. In this configuration, the Morning Star appears with the moon at her feet. The Pleiades (from “peleiades” the Greek word for doves) overshadows the Morning Star. Jupiter, the “King Planet” approaches the configuration. The symbolism is striking. This is a interesting arrangement for the mystery of the Annunciation which heralds Christ’s coming through Mary.
And the reason it’s significant:
“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman- clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1)
And for anyone having a hard time picturing what the sky will look like:
I think this all is amazingly cool. I’m glad I’ll get to experience it.
It’s time to quit the Roman Catholic Church. Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages? Do you choose women and their rights, or Bishops and their wrongs? Whose side are you on? In light of the u.s. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ war against women’s right to contraception…
Why are you aiding and abetting a church that has repeatedly engaged in a crusade to ban contraception, abortion and sterilization/ to deny the right of all women everywhere, Catholic or non-Catholic, to decide whether and when to become mothers?
Please point out to me where the Church has ever tried to ban contraception or sterilization. Abortion is not merely a Church issue. Go check out the group Pro-life Atheists. If you’re going to leave the Catholic Church for that, good luck finding a group that doesn’t have some pro-life members. If you thought there was a law that was allowing lives to be taken, I’d hope that you’d fight against it, too.
The Catholic Church does not deny the right of women to decide when to become mothers. We have a couple of option that we promote. Check ‘em out: adoption, Natural Family Planning (which, when used properly, has a higher success rate than the condom and pill combined and doesn’t have the health risks or discomfort of any other birth control tool), and abstinence. Sorry if they’re not the options you like, but giving options doesn’t sound like we’re shoving anyone into a corner to me.
Think of the acute misery, poverty, needless suffering, unwanted pregnancies, overpopulation, social evils and deaths that can be laid directly at the door of your church’s pernicious doctrine that birth control is a sin and must be outlawed.
Uh. I’m sorry, what? Please point out the, “Acute misery”, “needless suffering”, and “social evils.”
Poverty? The Catholic Church is the world’s largest charity. Don’t believe me? Do your research.
Unwanted pregnancies? No, I’m pretty sure that sex and failed birth control causes that.
Overpopulation is a myth. I already made a post on that.
Please tell me at what point we have tried to outlaw birth control. I’d love to see that.
If you think you can change the church from within- get it to lighten up on birth control, gay rights, marriage equality, embryonic stem-cell research- you’re deluding yourself. By remaining a “good Catholic,” you are doing.”bad” to women’s rights. You are an enabler. And it’s got to stop.
I have no desire to change the Church from within. I have no desire to change any of those stances. I’m not deluding myself, thank you. I think that the Church that has survived 2000 years and every empire (including the Romans) is a little bit wiser than I am.
It’s a disgrace that U.S. health care reform is being held hostage to your church’s irrational opposition to medically prescribed contraception. No political candidate should have to genuflect before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. President Obama has compromised, but the Church never budges. Instead it is launching a ruthless political Inquisition in your name.
I’m sorry, I was unaware that using a middle man was a compromise. The Church should not have to genuflect before the U.S. Healthcare Reform! And we are not expecting anyone to give up this concept of birth control covered by insurance - we are simply saying you have no right to force us to provide it. Why is this so hard to grasp?
Your Church hysterically claims that secular medical policy is "an assault against religious liberty.” The louder the Church cries "offense against religious liberty" the harder it works to take away women’s liberty. Now your church has introduced into Congress a double-speak bill, the "Respect for Rights of Conscience Act,” to allow dogma to trump the civil rights and private consciences of employees.
How does this trump the private consciences of employees? If the employee wants to use birth control, they can. Last I knew, under the current system, not all employee insurance is the same. Some people get more coverage than others based purely on the job they get. I have really good insurance because my dad is in the military. Does that mean that those who have jobs that provide insurance that doesn’t have the same benefits as my dad’s are trumping the private consciences of employees?
How is this taking away women’s liberty? Up until this mandate came out, women’s liberty was just fine. Now all of a sudden women’s liberty relies on someone else paying for their birth control? Wow. That’s a really sad definition of liberty.
The Church that hasn’t persuaded you to shun contraception now wants to use the force of secular law to deny birth control to non-Catholics.
Hasn’t persuaded me? Oops.
Anyway, how is it denying birth control to non-Catholics? As I said before, non-Catholics that are employees of Catholic groups are free to use all the birth control they want, just like they have always been. Please tell me how they are denying birth control simply by not paying for it. If job insurance doesn’t cover dental care (which most doesn’t), does that mean it’s shunning their employees from having a cavity removed? Or getting braces? Or getting a root canal? Think before you make a claim.
You’re better than your church, so why stay? Why put up with an institution that discriminates against half of humanity? Why send your children to parochial schools to be indoctrinated into the next generation of obedient donors and voters? Can’t you see how misplaced your loyalty is after two decades of sex scandals involving preying priests, church complicity, collusion and coverup going all the way to the top? Apparently, you’re like the battered woman who, after being beaten down every Sunday, feels she has no place else to go.
I am not better than my Church any more than I am better than anyone else.
The Church discriminates against women? As a woman in the Catholic Church, I find this to be incredibly offensive. I suppose you want to convince me that I’m so brain-washed that I can’t even see it. Last I knew, we were the only Christian church that actually has a Queen. Most other Christian sects don’t even think twice about Mary - are they against women? We also have doctrine that teaches that women are to be protected and loved. The Church itself teaches husbands to love their wives as they love the Church. According to our teaching, the Church is the highest point of authority after the Trinity, and we’re supposed to devote our lives to it, yet we’re saying to love our wives as we love the Church. That’s a pretty big deal. I am currently going to a Catholic university that pushes me to work hard, teaches me what I am capable of, and that I can do anything I want to do. The teacher I see every day, who is the sole person responsible for the classes I take, is a woman.
Two decades of sex scandals? So… what’s that, 1% of how long we’ve been around? And statistically, more protestant ministers commit a sexual crime as the Catholic Church. Teachers are even higher. So if you’re afraid supporting an institution of sex abuse, you definitely shouldn’t send your kids to school. Anywhere. Ever.
…and the Catholic Church has battered women’s shelters. Just saying.
Thanks NYT. Talk about discrimination. You just ran an ad that was against 23% of America.
I posted this before, but no one seemed to pay attention. I thought clicking on the link would be enough of an explanation but here goes one instead: this page is for college students who oppose the HHS mandate because Obama is primarily concerned with our age range. Every like on the page is counted as one vote against the mandate. It literally takes two clicks to like this page - about the same number it takes to reblog a post on Tumblr - and for all we know it could become something that makes a difference.
Jesus of Nazareth, Joseph Ratzinger, talking about Jesus’ three temptations in the desert:
The tempter is not so crude as to suggest to us directly that we should worship the devil. He merely suggests that we opt for the reasonable decision, that we chose to give priority to a planned and thoroughly organized world, where God may have his place as a private concern but must not interfere in our essential purposes.
Um. Does that not sound accurate to America today?
Here you go. These are alternatives. However, having friends involved in Invisible Children and having seen many of their projects, I’m not sure the accusations against them are justified. I’d like to do more research before choosing where to donate.
Thanks for posting these links. I also just got sucked into the Kony 2012 ring, but I’d like to check out these groups before I decide what to do.
you're very strong in your faith and inspiring to others to post your true thoughts, what others usually fear. You've got courage and guts from my point of view. Be proud of who you are and the Love you have from God, because "only His opinion matters" Pray for those who persecute you. Please don't think about the persecution that has been going on for so long. It goes to show that we are strong believers if it's been this long. Thanks for your 2AM post, I sincerely appreciate your honesty
Oh and I wanted to add this by way of encouragement: St. Peter wrote, “Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12) “But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ.” (1 Peter 4:13). Speak proudly & passionately about the faith and enjoy the attention we're getting :)
Sweet child - please don't let people get to you. They're always ignorant, generally silly and the current cultural debates fire them up to hate, feeling smug in their numbers and with the media behind them to revel in it. Rise above it. Enjoy your faith and be proud of it. Noone and nothing on earth has the copyright on perfection, we strive for it and don't always attain it. We speak in passionate language. Love from London x
Hi, I read your post about being catholic because someone reblog it. I am moved by your text. and I am not Catholic. though it will never come to mind to make fun about Catholicism. I am French and even if France is a non-religious republic, we cannot deny our catholic heritage. I pass in front of "my" cathedral everyday. It's a magnificiant gothic building from the Middle ages, and this is the proof that faith is one of the most powerful strength in the world. Keep yours, it makes you stronger.
Thank you so much. I wish the whole world had this kind of respect and understanding. Your comments give me strength and hope that maybe someday everyone will think like you do.
I would love to see the Cathedral you walk by someday! It’s just a great reminder that the Church can withstand all time.
It's 2:00am. I probably shouldn't say this. I might regret it later. But here are my thoughts.
I am so sick of people bashing my religion and not caring twice about it.
No one even stops to think about how it feels. I just went through and deleted “friends” of mine on Facebook for making fun of my Church, because in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, we’re sort of in the spotlight.
Here’s what gets me. I have been brought to tears over the harsh words of people against my Church. I have literally been to the point of wanting to kill myself because I feel like I’ll never be in a world where I can say, “I’m Catholic,” without expecting someone to get on my case about it. I have struggled with depression for years, and you know how they say that you need to watch what you say to people because you never know when it will be just enough to put them over the edge. I don’t consider myself suicidal, but sometimes I’ve gotten pretty close in my mind.
And why should you care? I’m just a normal American girl who can’t handle the world. But look at it this way. What if I was gay? What if I was in my room, crying because someone posted a status where they mocked the gay lifestyle? Or what if I was Muslim, and I was upset because someone alluded to my religion being full of terrorists? What if I was anorexic, and someone just made a joke about eating disorders? Would you feel bad for me then?
I bet you would. There would be songs written for me and music videos made to give me strength. People would come out and say encouraging words to make sure I don’t ever feel alone. But I don’t get any of that. I’m just a Catholic girl who is head over heels in love with her religion, founded by the Man she loves more than anyone can fathom. I don’t get any pity or sympathy. I’m just watching my home be attacked from all sides and verbally destroyed by anyone who has access to a computer. And it makes me want to kill myself.
But I deserve that, right? I’m being too whiny, right? It’s the pedophile priests’ fault. It’s the corrupt popes of the early Church’s fault. It’s the crusade’s fault. It’s Galileo’s fault. My religion is bad, and therefore it deserves all of the ridicule it gets. I am just the majority and I deserve to have verbal rocks thrown at the institution that my life is based around.
That probably sounds sick to anyone who doesn’t do the same. But how is it any different than a morbidly skinny girl whose life actually does revolve around food? Or a gay man whose life revolves around their struggle with attraction - around how to deal with it with the rest of this homophobic society?
Words hurt. We’ve always been told that. But when we see something we don’t like or don’t understand, suddenly we can use all the hurtful words we want and it doesn’t matter. We don’t care who we hurt as long as we make a point. America has a problem with the Catholic Church, so we can make fun of it all we want. It doesn’t matter if we hurt the boys and girls whose lives revolve around it. It doesn’t matter if we bully them into depression. It doesn’t matter - just as long as we shut them up. Isn’t that how it is?
I’m Catholic. I’m gay. I’m PERFECTLY happy with being both of these things. I can’t stand seeing so many people bash the Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic Church does, in NO way, condemn gay people. The Church believes that gays can go to heaven; they have just as good a chance as His Holiness. The Church beliefs that gays are just as much God’s children as straights. Yes, the Church beliefs that marriage is between a man and a women. The Church is adamantly pro-life. I, personally, believe all of those things myself. I’m gay. You don’t have to like it. Sure, there are Catholic/Christian radicals, just as there are Muslim radicals, etc. Just because an individual, who says they’re Catholic, says that gay people are going to hell, that doesn’t mean that’s what the Church teaches. Not all Muslims are terrorists, we all understand THIS, right? Right.
Honestly, how are you a better, wiser individual when you condemn an entire institution — a religion of more than a billion faithful — when you’re too ignorant to understand and grasp what it truly teaches. Sure, there are bishops, priests, regular old schmucks, etc. who openly show distaste for homosexuals. They’re individuals. I hate all the hate. I HATE all the ignorance. I don’t hate ANYONE, however.
Father Christopher said in his homily a few Sundays ago that Jesus loves homosexuals just as much, if not more than the straightest, “holiest” people to ever live. I, personally, belief God made me this way. Who knows, maybe he added too many sparkles and unicorns to my batch. But, I guarantee you, when the time comes, one is judged by their heart and their ability to love, not for who they love.
I’m, most definitely, no theologian. I never spent seven plus years in a Catholic seminary. I’m not a “Bible-thumper.” I mean, look at my blog, it has a bunch of shirtless guys and boys kissing one another (in a classy, “Awww, that’s adorable” sense, of course.) I’m just a regular ol’e gay, faithful Catholic guy named David, who’s a bit fed-up with being indirectly attacked by so many ignorant people. However, as for the things I’ve said in this post, THAT’S what the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church teaches.
Thank you for listening to my rant, God bless, and remember:
It’s a two-way street. Don’t cross it only looking one way and expect to make it across alive.
“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”—J.R.R. Tolkien (via haereticum)
I don’t really understand the concept of overindulging in everything you’re not supposed to have during Lent.
As my priest always says, whatever you’re doing for Lent should not be something that you plan on going back to once Easter is here. You should do something that will affect your life forever after. As an adult, you shouldn’t give up candy because it’s difficult, but because you have a problem with enjoying candy so much that it’s somehow interfering with your relationship with the Lord.
I’m not sure if this is how I understand Lenten sacrifices. As my priest-professor explains, Christian asceticism is not giving up something bad, let alone giving up sin. It is giving up something good (marriage, other pleasures such as food, clothing, etc.) in order to glorify God.
Avoiding sin is a responsibility of all Christians (whether ascetics or not) during the whole year.
This smells of gnosticism. I think I probably used to think of Lent this way. I would use the season to kick a bad habit. That is not what Lent is about.
Historical asceticism involved fasting from sex/meat/other-things-that-are-not-in-themselves-bad. An ascetic (which all Christians were called to be) would give up these things for periods (like Lent, or other traditional fasting seasons). The monastic (which all Christians were not necessarily called to be), might give up one or more of these things for life.
In antiquity the Christian ideal would have been asceticism, and abstinence from sin would have been assumed. In fact, correct me if I’m wrong about this (it’s been a while since I’ve taken a class in early Christianity), but I think that historically, the Christian still somewhat beholden to sin wouldn’t have been considered ready for asceticism yet. This has shifted in modernity— the Christian ideal is now abstinence from sin, and asceticism is equated with monasticism (which it shouldn’t be). Asceticism is something extremists do.
So, on the contrary from what the OP says, I would say that during Lent, you can and should fast from something you plan to go back to. Don’t “fast” from sin. Rid it from your life entirely. Fast from something good to remind you of how good it is. Fast from something good that you have a disordered attachment to, so that when it is returned to you, you can have a more appropriate relationship with it.
This is not to say that Lent is not an opportunity to put off sin— it is. You can use Lent to kickstart your spiritual life, or as a motivation to cleanse yourself from something you are addicted to. But for the Christian who more or less has put off [grave] sin already, Lent is most certainly about fasting from something good. So in conclusion, I hope you did get that last indulgence in alcohol, or meat, or wheat, or Facebook, or tv, or what have you, before beginning your journey of reorienting yourself toward what is important.
"So, on the contrary from what the OP says, I would say that during Lent, you can and should fast from something you plan to go back to. Don’t “fast” from sin. Rid it from your life entirely. Fast from something good to remind you of how good it is. Fast from something good that you have a disordered attachment to, so that when it is returned to you, you can have a more appropriate relationship with it."
This is not contrary to what I said. In fact, it’s in agreement to what I said.
“For example, a few years ago, I gave up clothes shopping for Lent because I care too much about fashion. After Lent was over, I bought clothes again, but for a long time I was able to stop overdoing it like I had prior. I’ve had a little backsliding since I’ve wanted to redo my wardrobe for college, and one of my Lenten sacrifices will be giving up clothes shopping.”
"If you are giving up chocolate, of course you want to have some the day before. But if you don’t overdo it, then you can really savor every bite - you can appreciate it, and if you can appreciate something so simple, there’s no way that can hurt your relationship with God. If you eat until your pants don’t fit, all you’ve done is gotten sick over something that’s supposed to bring pleasure."
Though I can’t really blame awkwardbutaccurate for missing this because it looks like someone cut off all but the first two paragraphs of my post. So here’s the whole thing for anyone who missed it.
Essentially, all I was saying was if you have a problem with overeating a certain kind of food, give it up, but not with the idea of eating as much as you want again after Lent. Give it up so that once you go back to eating it after Lent, you have a new awareness and can better proportion how much of it you eat.
I don’t really understand the concept of overindulging in everything you’re not supposed to have during Lent.
As my priest always says, whatever you’re doing for Lent should not be something that you plan on going back to once Easter is here. You should do something that will affect your life forever after. As an adult, you shouldn’t give up candy because it’s difficult, but because you have a problem with enjoying candy so much that it’s somehow interfering with your relationship with the Lord. Regardless of the time of the liturgical year, overdoing anything is not good for our spiritual health. If you take in as much as you can up until midnight, it defeats the purpose of Lent entirely.
While we are called to sacrifice as Christ did for us, we are also called to use this time of year to invoke a permanent change that brings us closer to the Lord. I have health problems that prevent me from doing a strict fast during this time, but I began my version of fasting last weekend, and I tend to let it affect me even after the Easter season is over.
For example, a few years ago, I gave up clothes shopping for Lent because I care too much about fashion. After Lent was over, I bought clothes again, but for a long time I was able to stop overdoing it like I had prior. I’ve had a little backsliding since I’ve wanted to redo my wardrobe for college, and one of my Lenten sacrifices will be giving up clothes shopping.
Fat Tuesday is gluttony, and gluttony is always a blockage between us and the Lord. It’s like saying the day before you go to confession, you may as well sin all you can because hey, you’re about to be forgiven. If you are giving up chocolate, of course you want to have some the day before. But if you don’t overdo it, then you can really savor every bite - you can appreciate it, and if you can appreciate something so simple, there’s no way that can hurt your relationship with God. If you eat until your pants don’t fit, all you’ve done is gotten sick over something that’s supposed to bring pleasure.
I encourage everyone to take this idea to heart. Give up Fat Tuesday and eating the entire basket’s worth of candy on Easter Sunday. Pray for a real internal change that will make you a holier person, not just while you’re fasting, but for the rest of your life.