Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Need for Exorcism

Image result for st michaelOn my Facebook page, I have periodically suggested that bishops appoint more priests as exorcists to go throughout New York State and, following the example of the Celtic Saints, claim this land for Christ, casting the demons out of the state. At one point, I suggested that the bishops themselves do the work, consecrating the land to Christ.

I see now that, while that would be a good thing, it's not necessary.

An exorcist appointed by bishop is needed for cases such as depicted in the movie The Exorcist - which was based on actual events.

But, reading the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Exorcist, I came across the following passage.


The practice of exorcism was not confined to clerics in the early ages, as is clear from Tertullian (Apology 23; cf. On Idolatry 11) and Origen (Against Celsus VII.4). The latter expressly states that even the simplest and rudest of the faithful sometimes cast out demons, by a mere prayer or adjuration (Mark 15:17), and urges the fact as a proof of the power of Christ's grace, and the inability of demons to resist it. In the Eastern Church, a specially ordained order of exorcists (or of acolytes, or door-keepers) has never been established ....

This accords with the account of Christ sending out the 72 (Luke 10:1-12).  They went out preaching and teaching - as laymen, not as clergy (the apostles weren't ordained until after the Resurrection - John 20) - and they returned and reported that even the demons obeyed them.

So, we need Christians in all places - not just Catholics, not just Orthodox, but faithful Christians - to preach the Gospel according to their place in life. A factory worker needn't get atop a machine and go all Billy Graham on his coworkers; of course not!  But, by being kind, letting his co-workers know that the kindness comes from being a Christian, he preaches. By refusing to compromise his faith, he preaches.  And, if the opportunity arises, explaining the faith is preaching.

In short,
By living according to 2 Chronicles 7:14

  • If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 

By practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy

  • Feed the hungry.
  • Give water to the thirsty.
  • Clothe the naked.
  • Shelter the homeless.
  • Visit the sick.
  • Visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive.
  • Bury the dead.
By practicing the Spiritual Works of Mercy

  • To instruct the ignorant.
  • To counsel the doubtful.
  • To admonish the sinners.
  • To bear patiently those who wrong us.
  • To forgive offenses.
  • To comfort the afflicted.
  • To pray for the living and the dead.
Obviously, nobody can do all the works of mercy at all times, but which of us can say that the opportunity to do at least one doesn't come on a daily basis.

If we do these things, and we pray for the defeat of evil, even specifying that demons are not welcome in a specific place - then we do the work of an exorcist.
Let the priests worry about individual exorcism.  That is not the calling of the laity.
But living a Christian life, which sometimes includes prayers against demonic influence?  That is the work of all Christians.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

On the Deuterocanonicals

I originally posted this as a Facebook Note in October 2011.


Posted by Jnorm on OrthodoxApologetics:
For those that don't know what the term "deuterocanon" mean. It's the historical ussage for what many puritan protestants and some secularists call "Apocrypha". These books weren't really called "Apocrypha" by most Christians in the past. It is true that some did call these books apocrypha, but this is mostly seen in the west from the 5th century on. Before the time of Jerome these books were never called "Apocrypha".

The word "deuterocanon" simply means "secondary". Or the secondary order of books. The historical title for the other set of books is "protocanon". Which means, "primary", or the Primary order of books. Some Orthodox Scholars prefer not to use the term "Deuterocanon" because that is a western Roman Catholic term. But whatever the case, in varying degrees, the Church has always embraced at least some of these books as scripture.

So when did the nonbelieving Jews officially reject the "Deuterocanon"?

Well, in 135 A.D., Akiba ben Joseph was made head of the Academy of Jamnia. It was under his influence that the Jews "officially" rejected the Deuto-canon.

He supported "Bar kochba" by calling him the Jewish Messiah. The christians refused to see him as the Messiah and thus the hatred for the Deuto-canon and New Testament books. According to Wiki....and no....I don't really like wicki, and I reject their cynicism in thinking Akiba didn't really support Bar Kocka in the rebellion.....but one thing they did include was his dislike for Christianity and the D.C.'s


As quoted from wicki:
"He has, however, no objection to the private reading of the Apocrypha, as is evident from the fact that he himself makes frequent use of Ecclesiasticus (W. Bacher, Ag. Tan. i. 277; H. Grätz, Gnosticismus, p. 120). Akiba stoutly defended, however, the canonicity of the Song of Songs, and Esther (Yad. iii.5, Meg. 7a). Grätz's statements (Shir ha-Shirim, p. 115, and Kohelet, p. 169) respecting Akiba's attitude toward the canonicity of the Song of Songs are misconceptions, as I.H. Weiss (Dor, ii. 97) has to some extent shown. To the same motive underlying his antagonism to the Apocrypha, namely, the desire to disarm Christians—especially Jewish Christians—who drew their "proofs" from the Apocrypha, must also be attributed his wish to emancipate the Jews of the Dispersion from the domination of the Septuagint, the errors and inaccuracies in which frequently distorted the true meaning of Scripture, and were even used as arguments against the Jews by the Christians."

And in Michuta's book he says:
"The first revolt(of 70 A.D.) was a national uprising; this second Revolt(around 135 A.D. or maybe 150 A.D.) would be a messianic movement. By means of Akiba's work, a large number of jews joined in the rebellion. Even Samaritans and pagans joined Bar Cochba in his revolt. However, there was one Jewish sect which refused to join: that obstinate tribe known as Christians. The Christians, a majority of whom were still ethnically Jewish, were pressed to join in this life and death struggle with Rome, but they refused. To accept bar Kochba as Messiah, as Akiba insisted, would have been nothing short of Apostasy; and because of their refusal to do so, Christians were treated by the Jews as heretics and traitors. It is this same Rabbi Akiba who is the very first writer to explicity and forthrightly reject the inspiration of both the christian New Testament and the books of the Deuterocanon. Akiba's declaration is found in Tosefta Yahayim 2:13 which reads;

"The Gospel and heretical books do not defile the hands. The books of Ben Sira and all other books written from then on, do not defile the hands."

Two outstanding points must be drawn from this impious declaration: first, it must have been common knowledge even at this early date that the christians accepted the Deutercanon and used it as Scripture (along with the Gospels), otherwise, there would have been no need to rule against them; secondly that at least some jews must also have shared that acceptance, otherwise Akiba's decree would have been superfluous."  Here we  have a hostile witness confirming through his actions that the earliest christians accepted both the Gospels and the Deuterocanon as inspired and sacred Scripture. It was in this watershed event- the naming of the false Messiah Bar Cochba and the Anathematizing of those who rejected him- which occasioned the very first unquestionable rejection of the Deuteros by a single, widely recognized Jewish authority. It was under Akiba's tenure that a single textual tradition of the Old Testament was first adopted; before this time (as we have shown) a variety of different texts were in use among the jews. It was here, sometime in the middle of the second Christian century, that Judaism first adopted an official normative text(i.e. the Masoretic Text or the MT). 

pages 68-70 from the book "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger: the untold Story of the lost books of the Protestant Bible" by Gary G. Michuta

A lot of Christians in America don't know this particular theory or interpretation of history. I know I didn't until a few years ago. Before then I was told that a Jewish rabbinical council of Jamnia of either 70 A.D. or 90 A.D. rejected these books. But it seems as if officially such a thing probably didn't happen until some decades later. The truth is, the Jews didn't have church councils in the way that Christians did. So there was never really a Jewish council of Jamnia. Jamnia was a Jewish school. A type of rabbinical Academy, so it would be more accurate to call it, the Academy of Jamnia. The first person to call it a "synod" was the Jewish historian H. Graetz(1817-1891). Some christians who read his work speculated it was a jewish version of a christian church council.

And this is where the whole "council of Jamnia of 90 A.D." comes from. It comes from speculation. The sources that we do have about that time never mentions anything about any books being taken out of a canon. Most of the debates was around the Book of Ecclesiastes and maybe the Song of Songs. This Jamnia assembly didn't lay down the limits of the Old Testament canon.

Therefore, in regards to Jamnia, it is more accurate to point to what happened around 135 A.D. for this is when the Jamnia rabbinical school officially rejected not only the deuteros, but also the Christian Gospels.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Extending de Montfort's Methods for Saying the Rosary to include the Luminous Mysteries

These were originally included in my old website

St. Louis de Montfort outlined five methods for praying the Rosary. Pope St. John Paul added 5 more mysteries, the Luminous, to the Rosary. The following are offered in the spirit of de Montfort to extend his methods in that direction.

First Method

We offer you, Lord Jesus, this first Luminous mystery in honor of your Baptism in the Jordan. Through this mystery and the intercession of your holy Mother we ask for Openness to the Holy Spirit. Our Father. Ten Hail Marys. May the grace of Mystery of Christ’s Baptism come into our hearts.

We offer you, Lord Jesus, this Second Luminous mystery in honor of the Miracle at Cana. Through this mystery and the intercession of your holy Mother we ask for the grace of coming to you through her. Our Father. Ten Hail Marys. May the grace of Mystery of the Miracle at Cana come into our hearts.

We offer you, Lord Jesus, this Third Luminous mystery in honor of your Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Through this mystery and the intercession of your holy Mother we ask for the grace of Repentance and Trust in God. Our Father. Ten Hail Marys. May the grace of Mystery of the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God come into our hearts.

We offer you, Lord Jesus, this Fourth Luminous mystery in honor of your Transfiguration. Through this mystery and the intercession of your holy Mother we ask for the grace of Desire for Holiness. Our Father. Ten Hail Marys. May the grace of Mystery of the Transfiguration come into our hearts.

We offer you, Lord Jesus, this Fifth Luminous mystery in honor of your Insitution of the Eucharist. Through this mystery and the intercession of your holy Mother we ask for the grace of Eucharistic Adoration and Active Participation at Mass. Our Father. Ten Hail Marys. May the grace of Mystery of the Eucharist come into our hearts.

Afterwords, recite the Sequence from Corpus Christi, Lauda Sion

Second Method

1.Baptism of ChristJesus Baptized.
2.Miracle at CanaJesus hearing your request.
3.Jesus Proclaims the Kingdom of God.Jesus proclaiming the Kingdom.
4.TransfigurationJesus transfigured.
5.Institution of the EucharistJesus, the Bread of Life.
At the end of the mysteries, "May the grace of the luminous mysteries come into our souls and make us truly holy".

Third Method

We offer you, Lord Jesus, this first Luminous mystery in honor of your Baptism in the Jordan. Through this mystery and the intercession of your holy Mother we ask for Openness to the Holy Spirit. Jesus Baptized. May the grace of Mystery of Christ’s Baptism come into our hearts.

We offer you, Lord Jesus, this Second Luminous mystery in honor of the Miracle at Cana. Through this mystery and the intercession of your holy Mother we ask for the grace of coming to you through her. Jesus hearing your request. May the grace of Mystery of the Miracle at Cana come into our hearts.

We offer you, Lord Jesus, this Third Luminous mystery in honor of your Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Through this mystery and the intercession of your holy Mother we ask for the grace of Repentance and Trust in God. Jesus proclaiming the Kingdom. May the grace of Mystery of the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God come into our hearts.

We offer you, Lord Jesus, this Fourth Luminous mystery in honor of your Transfiguration. Through this mystery and the intercession of your holy Mother we ask for the grace of Desire for Holiness. Jesus transfigured. May the grace of Mystery of the Transfiguration come into our hearts.

We offer you, Lord Jesus, this Fifth Luminous mystery in honor of your Insitution of the Eucharist. Through this mystery and the intercession of your holy Mother we ask for the grace of Eucharistic Adoration and Active Participation at Mass. Jesus the Bread of Life. May the grace of Mystery of the Eucharist come into our hearts.

Afterwords, recite the Sequence from Corpus Christi, Lauda Sion

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Greek Myth Pointing to Christian Truth?

I was reading "Elektra", by Euripides. The background is that upon returning home from the Trojan war,  Agamemnon, leader of the Greek forces,  was killed by his wife,  Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aigisthos. To protect her from Aigisthos, Elektra is married off to a poor, but very gilf and vitruous peasant.

It is Elektra's unnamed husband who begins the play,  giving the audience an introduction to the situatin.  At one point he reveals that she's still a virgin,  "for how could I touch the daughter of such a great king?"

Modern man, idolizing sex, cannot conceive of Mary's perpetual virginity,  because, well, sex.

But,  to the ancient Greek,  whose views on sex were,  from our perspective,  quite libertine, could understand it.

Even in mythology, God laid the groundwork for the full revelation of Truth.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Spiritual Battle? Just Do It! Today!


March 25 - The Feast of the Annunciation

On this date, all Christians of liturgical churches who celebrate Christmas on December 25 will celebrate the point in time when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. On this day, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary, greeting her as κεχαριτομένη - or, as St. Jerome translated it into Latin, gratia plena, full of grace - informing her that she would bear a child who would be the Son of God.

Today, our nation is fast becoming a beacon of Shining Darkness, heralding the Culture of Death of which Pope St. John Paul II warned. This culture is nothing more than a revival of the worship of Molech of which the Holy One of Israel warned His people to have no part. It is nothing more that the human sacrifice practiced by the Maya, the Aztec, and the Inca.

Make no mistake about this. Abortion is a human sacrifice.

What can we do?

In 1571, the Ottoman Turk was bent on conquering all of Europe, thereby subjugating all Christians to Islam, if not wiping it out entirely.

On October 7 of that year, a great naval battle, the Battle of Lepanto, occurred, pitting the Christian fleet (a coalition of Spanish and various Italian forces) against the Ottoman. It didn’t look good for the Christians, just as, in the minds of the world, it doesn’t look good today for the Christian battle against the Culture of Death. Pope St. Pius V called on all Christians to pray the Rosary that the Ottomans be defeated. They were, so decisively that Ottoman expansion into the Mediterranean was permanently turned back.

We can repeat that today - not with seagoing vessels, not with armed warfare, but in prayer.  We are, each of us Christians, called to be prayer warriors.
Join with me, this day, before midnight, in praying that the Culture of Death be turned back.  I’m not saying that all need pray the Rosary – I understand the reservation, even objection, that non-Catholics have against that.  But there are many ways that you can pray, and I urge each of you to pray in any manner which fits your understanding. 

Pray.

As the Epistle of James reminds us, the prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

We need to pray for America - NOW!

The United State is in bad shape right now.
The New York Legislature recently passed a bill legalizing abortion up to the moment of birth.
Democrats refused to allow to come to a vote a bill in the US Senate which would outlaw infanticide.

And now, New York is talking about decriminalizing prostitution!


Satan is laughing at us.
Satan is laughing at God.

There is one way, and one way only, to defeat this iniquity.  It's not in the voting booth; the vote is only a reflection of the heart and mind of the populous.

No, the only remedy is one of prayer.

Focusing on New York, which seems to be one of the two epicenters in Satan's earthquake against humanity, will you join me in praying for this once great state?
Will you, each day for the next week, pray . . .

The Litany of the Saints
The Litany of the Sacred Heart
The Litany of Loreto.

As a Lay Dominican, I would also ask you to join us in
The Litany of St. Dominic
The Litany of Dominican Saints and Blesseds

Remember, God told Solomon, "if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14.
It's up to us.

Will you join the fight?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Spiritual Warfare - some literature

Today, in America, as in the rest of the world, we are in the midst of spiritual warfare.

Besides the need to strive for a  sinless and holy life, we need to know our enemy, and we need to know the authority that we have as Christians.

Among the books I've read, and which have been recommended to me, are:






So, my brothers and sisters,
Repent, study, pray.
It's up to each of us to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in turning this nation around.




The Need for Exorcism

On my Facebook page, I have periodically suggested that bishops appoint more priests as exorcists to go throughout New York State and, follo...