Sunday, September 30, 2007

Free Handout to Download and Distribute

I added a new file to the "My Files" Box towards the bottom of my sidebar. It's a handout on Marian devotion, and I used it today during RCIA.

As the apologist on the RICA team, I'm responsible for answering people's questions about the Faith. Since this is just our second meeting, people are still a little scared to pipe up with any questions they have. So, I anticipated a question that most Protestants have and prepared a handout in response.

Do Catholics Worship Mary? Download the handout and find out :D

Next, week I'm responsible for the main catechesis of the evening. It will be on the "rule of authority" in Catholicism, or, put another way, the inter-relationship between Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium. I'm sure I'll make a handout for that presentation as well.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

ps: Feel free to make copies and distribute to the masses, as long as you provide a link to my blog at the bottom.

The Afflictions of Christ: Part 5

Here is Part 5 in my debate with "daveski" on the meaning of Col 1:24. If I could do it all over again, I would be more thorough in my response, but the part about me denying the sufficiency of Christ bugged me so bad that I fixated on it and I didn't respond to his other points. This is the last post in the debate so far, but I don't think it's over yet, so I could still bring some things up at a later time if I think it will be helpful.

Also see Parts 1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic
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in regard to your questions, i have answered the first two questions which also provides an answer for the third. considering the 4th & 5th questions, these are irrelevant as the situation we are talking about is justification.
in my past dealings with catholics, this has been and will always be a point of contention.
i've read your catechisms before, specifically in regard to justification, which is why i made reference to that in my first reply to u. u alluded to the thought that Christ's death on the cross somehow lacked actual salvation and something else needed to be added, namely our suffering. your misunderstanding of the sufficiency of Christ's death and resurrection and justification has caused u to err in your understanding of Col. 1:24. so that's why i made the suggestion to abandon the verse and instead discuss our understandings of justification.
once you understand what the Scriptures teach about justification, then u can properly understand verses like Col. 1:24.
however, since our doctrines are so different we are "talking past each other", as u said.
so if u would not care to discuss justification, there really is no point to continue this conversation. i'm not trying to write u off by any means, but if you're not willing to discuss the main issue, and i certainly won't force u, then we can dead it!

It is b/c you say things like this that I am convinced that you have not understood much of what I've been saying in this debate.

Why do you think that I deny the sufficiency of Christ's death? Because I say that something is lacking in Christ's afflictions? Those are Paul's words (cf. Col 1:24)!

Is it b/c I say that God rewards good works with grace? These too are Paul's words (cf. Rom 2:6-10,13; 2 Cor 5:10; 9:6; Gal 6:7-9; Eph 6:8; 1 Tim 6:18-19).

Is it b/c I say that we receive grace when we suffer? Paul is everywhere saying that we receive grace and glory (both in this life and in the next) when we suffer (cf. Rom 5:3-5; 8:18; 2 Cor 1:4-5; 4:17; 7:4; 12:9-10; Phil 3:8-11; 2 Tim 2:3,10-12; Heb 12:10-11).

Is it b/c I say that the grace from one man's work benefits the whole Body? The very image of the "Body" comes from Paul, and he tells us that b/c of the grace of the Cross, we are not only individually united to Christ but also to one another (cf. Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 12:13,26; Eph 1:9-10; 4:25; Col 2:18-19).

Is it b/c of my distinction between the objective redemption and the subjective redemption? Is there any other way to avoid universalism? Is faith the only way to receive the grace from the Cross?

Please answer these questions for me, so that I can understand why you would still say that I am denying the sufficiency of Christ's work. My whole goal here has always been to try and understand Col 1:24 while still upholding that sufficiency, and I have always stuck closely to Pauline theology.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

ps: It may also help you to know that I am not defending "salvation by works" in this thread, nor do I believe that every grace we receive is the kind that saves a person. There is also a grace that strengthens you to do God's Will and to avoid evil. All grace comes from the Cross, but it doesn't all serve the same purpose.

I also have another question: When Christ said, "It is finished," was he referring to the objective redemption or the subjective redemption?

Daily with De Sales: 9/30/07

It sometimes happens that, after we have won many victories over our old enemies, we think we have them completely conquered; instead, they suddenly attack us from another angle, just when we least expect it. Solomon, the wisest man in the world, who had done many outstanding things in his youth, thought he would persevere in virtue for a long time. He seemed to be safe from any danger, yet was surprised by an enemy he feared least. From this fact we learn two things: in the first place, distrust of ourselves, together with holy fear and constant prayer for heavenly assistance; secondly, we should realize that our enemies may be scattered, but not killed.
-- Letters 910; O. XVI, p. 63

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Afflictions of Christ: Part 4

What follows is a pretty long response from "daveski" in our ongoing debate on the meaning of Col 1:24 ("make up for what is lacing in the afflictions of Christ). I started to reply with a long post of my own, but I feel like these longs posts just aren't getting me anywhere. Perhaps it's too much information all at once.

I also know that when both participants are writing lengthy responses, after a while it's difficult to remember what has already been said and what has already been responded to. So, I took a different approach and just asked him some simple questions, in order to really nail down his position and try to figure out what to do next. I'm starting to get frustrated, but we'll see what happens.

In this blog post I have also put the words from my previous post in brackets so that you know exactly what he is responding to.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic
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after re-reading your summary, it is very obvious that we see the efficacy of Christ's death very differently and this is very serious.
in a nutshell, you are saying that we must incur suffering to induce an application of the grace won for us in Christ at Calvary. this is meritorious and not grace.
repeating your last 3 successive points, u said:

[Christ's work on the Cross is "lacking" in the sense that it won the grace, but it did not instantly apply that grace to us. The grace of the Cross must still be applied to us somehow.]

* that "somehow" is by faith, not by suffering. we are justified by faith alone in Chirst alone, not by works (suffering). Paul beautifully proclaims this in Romans 3 & 4 and Galatians 3 as well as numerous places.

[Jesus spilled His Blood, but we still need to be washed in it. This "application," this "washing" is called the "subjective redemption."
-- Paul makes up for this lack, or put another way, Paul insures that the grace of the Cross is applied to us, by suffering.]


* no, pc. Paul is very clear in Romans 5:1-2 that we have access to this grace by faith. He explicitly says, " 1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
to say that we must add something, namely suffering, to merit or access the 'grace' of God is self defeating. it's no longer grace and that thought minimizes the sufficiency of Christ's death. this is what i explained in my first reply to you.

[This says something about individual suffering, that when you take it up willingly and joyfully, when you "rejoice in it" for the sake of others, this good work of yours results in the grace of the Cross being applied to other members of the Body.]

* i underlined the last clause of your sentence because this is unbiblical. in following your train of thought in your successive points, you are saying that our suffering supplements the death of Christ to bring about acutal salvation.
considering your screen-namesake, i am assuming you're catholic, which essentially contradicts Christianity; specifically in this case - the doctrine of justification.
i hope you don't take my words as demeaning, but if i am understanding your summary correctly (and i believe i am), i suggest that you seriously consider what i've said. if you want to talk privately feel free to PM me or email me.
After reading your post I can see that we are definitely talking past each other. For some reason, you're just not gettin me. You're saying things that tell me that you do not understand my position.

I started to write another lengthy post, but I'm gonna scratch that. Just answer these questions for me:
  1. Does the grace Jesus won on the Cross need to be applied to us somehow? Yes or No?
  2. If Yes, how is this grace applied to us?
  3. Besides faith, are there any other ways?
  4. Does God reward good works with grace? Yes or No?
  5. If Yes, does the grace that results from good works only benefit the person who does the good work, or does it also benefit the other members of the Body?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
After I asked him my 5 questions, we had the following short exchange:
to keep us from going in further unnecessary circles, why don't each of u post your understanding of the doctrine of justification.
I think the best route would be for you to respond to the questions I asked you in my last post. I don't think we need to get into a lengthy debate on justification in order to figure out what Col 1:24 means. If you really must know, here is a short definition. You may also wish to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church on "Grace and Justification". But, I'd rather not get into that right now.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

For the Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

Before the day comes to a close, I must in some small way honor the patron saint of this blog, St. Michael the Archangel, and his fellow Archangels Gabriel and Raphael. They have aided me tremendously in the battle against falsehood, sin, and the devil.


Archangels


Praise be to God for his angels on this glorious feast day!

For more information, see the following links:
Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Daily with De Sales: 9/29/07

Do not change your confessor too readily. When you have chosen one, be faithful in keeping him informed of the state of your conscience on the day selected for your confession, telling him frankly and openly the sins you have committed. From time to time, say every month or two, let him know of any inclinations you may have, even if they are not sinful. For example, do you give way to moments of sadness or ill-humor? Do you frequently take time off from your duties? Do you have a tendency to want your own way? Ask yourself similar questions.
-- INT. Part II, Ch. 19; O. III, p. 115

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Afflictions of Christ: Part 3

Here is the third installment in my debate with "daveskia" on the meaning of Col 1:24. See also Parts 1 and 2.
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pc, u said, "Paul suffered as a minister of the gospel...."
below, i said Paul suffered for being a Christian, which includes all of his preaching, etc. which is in accordance to what Jesus told him in Acts 9:16, "...for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake." (NASB)
so i think we agree there.
Great!
obviously, the issue at hand is what does "lacking" mean?
Here's Matthew Henry's take on it.
"He was a suffering preacher: Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, v. 24. He suffered in the cause of Christ, and for the good of the church. He suffered for preaching the gospel to them. And, while he suffered in so good a cause, he could rejoice in his sufferings, rejoice that he was counted worthy to suffer, and esteem it an honour to him.
I tentatively agree. I'm sure that Paul is happy to be considered worthy to suffer for the spreading of the Gospel. But, in this passage, he is happy for a different reason.

"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake...." (Col 1:24). In other words, b/c of the needs of the people, he rejoices in his suffering. But why? Why is it necessary to rejoice in his suffering? Why not begrudgingly suffer, or half-heartedly suffer? Because suffering in that way will not build up the Body. God only rewards good works done willfully and in charity. So, Paul rejoices in his sufferings b/c it is only joyful suffering that will benefit the Body and he is intent on building it up.
And fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh. Not that the afflictions of Paul, or any other, were expiations for sin, as the sufferings of Christ were. There was nothing wanting in them, nothing which needed to be filled up. They were perfectly sufficient to answer the intention of them, the satisfaction of God’s justice, in order to the salvation of his people.
Again, I tentatively agree, but I don't want to derail this thread so we'll just leave it at that. What's important here is what Henry says next about the meaning of "making up for what is lacking":
But the sufferings of Paul and other good ministers made them conformable to Christ; and they followed him in his suffering state: so they are said to fill up what was behind of the sufferings of Christ, as the wax fills up the vacuities of the seal, when it receives the impression of it.
Or it may be meant not of Christ’s sufferings, but of his suffering for Christ. He filled that which was behind. He had a certain rate and measure of suffering for Christ assigned him; and, as his sufferings were agreeable to that appointment, so he was still filling up more and more what was behind, or remained of them to his share.
What Henry seems to be saying here is that, like the wax, which conforms or becomes more like the seal by filling up the spaces in it, Paul conforms or becomes more like Christ by suffering more. In other words, it is not Christ's suffering that is lacking but Paul's suffering.

I think the key to understanding Col 1:24 in that way is in the translation of the Greek as "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ" (KJV), instead of the more common translation, "complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions" (NAS, ASV, ESV, NIV, NRSV, RSV, etc.). The same Greek word, husterema, is used in both instances.

If you translate it the way the KJV does, then it takes on the meaning of something being behind Christ's afflictions, catching up to them or trying to be more like them. This allows Henry to then say that the "that" that is behind Christ's afflictions is Paul's afflictions and that Paul has not yet suffered as much as God wills him to suffer, so as to conform Paul more to the Crucified Christ.

I like that image, I really do, and I believe in it. But I don't think that is the intended meaning. It seems that the KJV translators have translated husterema in this peculiar way so as to avoid the hard truth that there is something truly lacking in the afflictions of Christ. In every other instance in the KJV of the word husterema, it is translated as "which is lacking" (1 Cor 16:17; 2 Cor 11:9; 1 Thes 3:10), "lack" (Phil 2:30), or "want" (2 Cor 8:14; 9:12; 11:9) and "penury" (Lk 21:4), which are states of lacking. So, to translate husterema in Col 1:24 as "which is behind of" is very peculiar to me.

In every other old and modern translation of the Bible that is available online--and I mean every single one--Col 1:24 is translated either as "fill up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ" or "complete what still remains in (or "of") the afflictions of Christ." I do not think that we should base our understanding of the passage on a single, idiosyncratic translation. In the more common translation, it is easier to see that the "lack" is in Christ's afflictions, not Paul's, and so we must figure out some way of acknowledging this lack while still upholding the complete sufficiency of Christ's work on the Cross.

The traditional Catholic interpertation--the one I have been presenting in this thread--solves this problem, and it is the only understanding I have seen that does not try to explain away Paul's words, and that is in harmony with the context of the passage and Paul's words in other places about the benefit of suffering for the entire Body.

In short, my argument is this:
  • Christ's work on the Cross is completely sufficient, insofar as the "objective redemption" is concerned. In other words, he won all the grace necessary to save mankind.
  • Christ's work on the Cross is "lacking" in the sense that it won the grace, but it did not instantly apply that grace to us. The grace of the Cross must still be applied to us somehow. Jesus spilled His Blood, but we still need to be washed in it. This "application," this "washing" is called the "subjective redemption."
  • Paul makes up for this lack, or put another way, Paul insures that the grace of the Cross is applied to us, by suffering.
  • This says something about individual suffering, that when you take it up willingly and joyfully, when you "rejoice in it" for the sake of others, this good work of yours results in the grace of the Cross being applied to other members of the Body.
That is my argument, and it follows directly from the Scriptures.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

The Wonderful Fruit of Apologetics

Here is the conclusion of my exchange with "kobe" on the meaning of Jn 20:21-23 (also see Parts 1 and 2). After this I would like to share a few thoughts on the debate as a whole:
that helps alot, thanks. You're the first "practicing Catholic" I've ever heard from that knew WHY they believe what they do. :-)
Well, even though that is very unfortunate, I am happy to be of service. If you have any more questions, just let me know. You can also check out my Q&A thread in the "General Theology" board.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic
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That is success people. A lot of Catholics get burnt out on apologetics b/c they think that if their dialogues with people don't result in actual conversions to Catholicism, then they aren't doing any good. This is just not true.

I don't know if kobe has any plans of converting after this dialogue. He may very well be far from crossing the Tiber. But, he understands now why Catholics confess their sins to a priest and why we use Jn 20:21-23 as one of our biblical supports for this practice. More importantly, he knows now that not all Catholics are ignorant of their faith. Some of them can actually quote Scripture!

We may never convince a person of the truth of our position. But, we can at least earn their respect. That's why it's important that our words are always charitable and reasoned. Answer with love, and answer well. Do justice to the Church and to what She believes. In that way we bust the stereotype that Catholics never read the Bible or that we are not interested in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Then the next time your opponent hears someone disparage Catholics, he can say, "No, that's not true, not all Catholics are that way. I met this one guy who loved Jesus and he loved the Scriptures. He could defend Catholic teaching too!" Then more eyes are opened to what it truly means to be Catholic. Then the Catholic Church finally becomes something that is endearing to our Protestant brethren. Once their hearts are opened to the idea of Catholicism, then the Holy Spirit can finally work in them to transform them by the renewal of their minds. Then they are finally able to see the truth in what we believe.

Don't ever give up on speaking the truth in love.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Daily with De Sales: 9/28/07

Ibelieve in the Holy Spirit; all that God has done He has done through the Holy Spirit. In the same way, He still performs supernatural acts that only faith can perceive. Do you ask me how bread can become the body of Jesus Christ? I answer: The Holy spirit casts His shadow (as He did upon the Virgin Mary) and performs works that are well beyond what our words and our intelligence can express. Besides, the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture; He is the Teacher of the whole Church!
-- Intercessions; O. XXIII, p. 23

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Phatcat for Your Inbox

[Yay! First use of the new nickname]

I added a new feature to the sidebar. Now you can subscribe to my blog via email, which means that every time I make a new post (usually 2-4 per day), you'll get that post in your email. Some of you all may like that better, especially if you have no idea what a "blog feed" is or how to subscribe to one with a "reader" or "aggregator." Nothing is more familiar than one's email inbox.

There is a form to subscribe towards the bottom of my sidebar.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Win a Scholarship for Blogging?

Yea, that's right. CollegeScholarships.org is providing a $10,000 Blogging Scholarship.

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  • Important Dates:
    • Submission Deadline: Midnight PST on Oct. 6th
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For more information and to apply, go here.

I'd be all over this, but I don't qualify since I'm only a part-time grad student this year. I don't really have control over that either, since only 2 of the 4 classes I need to graduate are offered this semester. I have to take the other 2 next semester. Of course, I could just take some extra classes for the fun of it and make myself full-time that way, but I don't have all kinds of money just laying around.

Ah well, I'm sure that whoever wins will be much more deserving than I. Good luck bloggers!

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Daily with De Sales: 9/27/07

Perseverance in virtue is more difficult in internal matters than in external. We feel hesitation in submitting when it concerns our intellect, this being the last part of ourselves that we give up. Still, it is necessary to submit our way of thinking to a higher authority. Small as they may be, virtuous acts that are assigned to us
-- O. XXVI, pp. 170-171

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

God and the Priest: Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my debate with "kobe" on the meaning of Jn 20:21-23. I seem to be making some progress here, so I feel good about the direction of this debate so far.

See Part 1 here.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic
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ah, alot to respond to. :-)
1. Sorry if I gave you the impression I was judging you. By no means my friend!! I said what I did about you probably looking forward to me responding with Scripture and such so you could because it seems like you LOVE your Scripture and know it well! And because you have long posts. ;-)
Oh, well good! I try to keep my posts short, but sometimes I just can't help it.
2. Yes, of course I believe in being God's instrument, when it comes to ministry. Forgiveness of sins is totally different, IMHO.
This is progress! Now that we have established that God can and does use men to accomplish his Will, we can move on to asking whether or not God uses man to accomplish this particular task of forgiving sin.

Jn 20:21-23 is a clear "Yes" to that question:

21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

When Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon them, he gave them the Power to forgive sin. This power to forgive that Jesus possessed in virtue of his relationship to the Father is now being passed on to the Apostles. "As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

Note also that the only other time the Greek word for this "breathing" (emphusao) is used is when the Septuagint translates the Hebrew of Gen 2:7, where God breathes life into Adam. Thus, the Apostles are being made a new creation and being sent out with the mission of the New Adam: to reconcile men to God. "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor 5:18).

Now, I have no doubt that, in a sense, this is done by preaching the Gospel. But it is also done, in a most profound way, by "forgiving the sins of any" as Jesus gives the Apostles the power to do.
3. as for the other Scriptures from your first post. I thought they were interesting how you interpreted them, but I don't see any of them having to do with Jn 20:23, except maybe the 2 Cor 2 Scripture, which I just looked up.
Mt 9:2-8 is relavent b/c it says that "Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (vs. 6) and that God has given the authority to forgive sins to men (vs. 8). Of course, the authority on earth was first that of Jesus himself. But, by passing this authority on the apostles (in Jn 20:21-23) the Son of man insures that he will always have authority on earth to forgive sins, and he validates the astonishment of the crowd, who could not believe that God gave such authority to men.

James 5:14-15 is relavent b/c it shows the elders of the Church doing exactly what Jesus did in Mt 9:2-8. They are healing a man of his infirmity and forgiving him of his sin.
Man, it's been a LONG time since I dived into the NT, I barely remember studying this chapter, but... I still that see that reference basically as Paul encouraging his church to be more forgiving and accepting of the sinner and not to worry about what he thinks. That they should forgive him and comfort him, so as not to give way to satan and unforgiveness in their hearts or hold the sinner in bondage.
My point in using that passage was to show that when a priest forgives someone of their sin, he does it in persona Christi, "in the person of Christ," just as Paul did when he forgave others. When the priest acts in the person of Christ, it is as if Christ is truly present, forgiving us of our sin. The priest makes God present in God's act of forgiveness. He, the priest, is able to do this b/c of the power first given to the Apostles.

I hope that helps

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Daily with De Sales: 9/26/07

Either God or nothing, because all that is not of God is worse than nothing! Remain united with God and love Him with all your heart, always remembering that we cannot love Him too much nor can we ever love Him enough. How wonderful it is to know that we can love without falling into excess; there is no danger of that when it is God Whom we are loving.
-- Letters 660; O. XV, p. 17

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

God and the Priest: Who's Doing the Forgiving?

Recently, "kobe" from the HCR forum asked a question about the meaning of Jn 20:23, where Jesus gives the apostles the power to forgive sins. Of course, Protestants are always confused by this verse b/c it has the potential to drastically change their ideas about the role of man in the work of God. They simply have no conception of anyone being responsible for forgiveness than God Himself. Calvinists in particular are often monergistic and so hesitate to attribute anything to man whatsoever.

Anyway, after I posted this information on Jn 20:23, I received a rebuttal from "kobe." What follows is his rebuttal and then my response to it.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic
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Thanks for the reply phat, but to take that Scripture literal at face value goes against LOADS of other Scripture, mostly all in the NT about only the blood of the innocent Lamb being able to wash away sins, as well as repenting to God. This is THE ONLY Scripture I've ever seen that implies people can forgive or withhold forgiveness of others' sins. I'm sure you'd love to know what "other Scripture" I'm referring to and would like to respond to it all, but I just don't have time for that now, nah mean? Thanks again, God bless you.
It seems that you have this impression of me that I'm someone who spends all day looking for debates to get into. I'm really not. I just defend my faith when it is called into question.

It also seems that you didn't read my post very carefully, b/c I said that it is God who does the forgiving, it is just that he does it through the priest. God is the first cause. The priest is the instrumental cause.

Do you deny that God uses us as his instruments? I hope not, b/c the Lord himself said about Paul, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel" (Acts 9:15). It's that type of thing that is going on when the forgiveness of sins is received through the Sacrament of Confession. In Acts, Paul is God's instrument for the carrying out of God's name. In Jn 20:23, the Apostles are God's instrument for the forgiveness of sins.

If you deny the possibility of being God's instrument, then you deny Acts 9:15. If you do not deny the possibility of being God's instrument, then there must be some way in which a human being can be involved, and yet the actions is still attributed to the Lord. Otherwise, God's words about Paul would make no sense, and neither would it make sense for Paul to say that Jesus is our Savior in one place (cf. Titus 2:13) and then say that he (Paul) himself saved people in another place (cf. Rom 11:13-14; 1 Cor 9:22). See what I mean?

It is b/c of the causality at work here that Catholics can affirm the role of the priest and still say that:
  • God is doing the forgiving,
  • We are turning to God for forgiveness,
  • The Blood of the Lamb is washing us clean (after all, it is the blood of the lamb that gives ALL the sacraments their efficacy).
As for your comment that Jn 20:23 is the only scripture that seems to say that God gave the apostles the power to forgive sin, what about the other Scripture passages that I provided in my last post?

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Steven Colbert Is Wagging His Finger at You!

I found out today that even with cookie and IP protection, it's still possible to vote more than once in the same poll.

Please don't cheat people!

It makes baby Jesus cry and it messes up the results, which makes me cry.

The Afflictions of Christ: Part 2

In an earlier post, I explained Paul's words in Col 1:24 as meaning that the objective redemption has been fully accomplished, but the subjective redemption is still required. It is in this way that he is able to say that there is something "lacking" in the afflictions of Christ.

Well, "daveski" from the HCR forum posted in disagreement with me. Here is my short response to him. He requested that we do this via email, so stay tuned for further developments.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic
- - - - - - - - - -
while i understand the contoversy of this verse, particularly because of the word "lacking", i must disagree with your analysis of this verse. your assertion that we must somehow suffer to merit the consumation of our salvation diminishes the sufficiency of Christ, the efficacy of the cross and Jesus' resurrection. it flies in the face of Jesus' words "It is finished!"
No it doesn't. If no application upon us of Christ's work is necessary, then every single person who has ever lived or who would live after the crucifixion would have been instantly saved as soon as Jesus said, "It is finished." Surely you don't believe that is the case, yet that is the logical conclusion of your statement. Do you understand what I'm saying, or do I need to explain that?

"It is finished" means, "I have now merited the grace for the salvation of mankind," not "Everyone is now instantly saved." All I'm saying is that when Paul says that something is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, he means that Jesus suffered to earn all the grace necessary to save mankind, and now he (Paul) suffers as a minister of the gospel in order to bring people the message that will allow for the grace of the Cross to be applied to them, for their salvation.

This all seems like common sense to me, which is why I can never understand why people see it as such a radical position or say that I'm denying the sufficiency of Christ's work.

Poll-Release Mon...err, Tuesday! (#29)

Yea, I know, the poll never happened yesterday like it was supposed to. I just got too frustrated with it. I wish I knew CSS and Photoshop better, or that I had a little web design genius that I could carry around in my pocket and then take out whenever I needed help with this stuff.

Basically, my blog is all color-coordinated now, except for the poll. I tried to find another poll, one that would give me more freedom with the style of the poll, but there really isn't a poll service with as many features as Polldaddy. It's the best one out there. So, I'm tryin to work with what I have, and there's even an option to create your own style, but cmon, I can't make something from scratch. I'm not that good. For people like me, you can also load a template from one of the preset styles and fiddle with that. That's what I was trying to do yesterday.

Come to find out, these polls are made of several different little images that all come together like a puzzle to make the poll look the way it does. So, CSS doesn't really control much. In order to change the color (from shades of blue to shades of black or gray), I have to open each image in an image editor and change the color that way. It's just a big pain, and until I can find the time and the know-how to do it, the poll will have to remain in it's little corner, bugging the hell out of me.

Now that I've vented, here is this week's poll question. Actually, we have two polls for this week (even more annoyance! I like to torture myself...):
  • What do you think of the new sidebar (with sections that expand and collapse and some of the content moved to the header of the most recent blog post)?
    • I like it
    • I don't like it
    • It's not that I don't like it, I just like the previous sidebar better
    • It's not that I don't like the concept of sections that open and close, I just don't like the colors that you chose.
I tried to give you more options this time around, to account for more nuanced opinions :D Since I changed the background I want to know what you think of that too:
  • What do you think of the background?
    • I like it
    • I don't like it
    • It's not that I don't like it, I just like the foggy forest better
    • Make up your mind already!!
Fortunately, I think I've finally settled on something. I hope you all like it.

Now, as for last week's poll ("What should the nickname be for my blog?"), here are the results:


As much as I attempted to sway the vote, you all decided you liked "phatcat" better. I think you did it just to spite me ;) But, it's all good. I think I can roll with that. "phatcat" it is ;) Maybe I'll call my readers "phatcats" :D And if you like the blog, you can join the "phatcat phan club"! I'll try not to get too carried away....

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Daily with De Sales: 9/25/07

The parents of Saint Catherine of Siena tried by every means they could to put obstacles in her way as regards prayer and meditation. Our Lord then inspired her to construct within her own heart a little interior "oratory" where she could mentally retire, even in the midst of exterior activity, and enjoy the solitude of her heart. Therefore, from that time on, she advised her spiritual sons and daughters to construct a small room in their own hearts and to dwell within it.
-- INT. Part II, Ch. 12; O. III, p. 93

Monday, September 24, 2007

Daily with De Sales: 9/24/07

It is necessary not only to combat hate and distaste of one's neighbor, but to abstain from a common but quite harmful defect; namely, to complain and to keep repeating these complaints. This is an evident sign of a stubborn heart that has not even a spark of charity in it. Strong and generous hearts sometimes are saddened when there is a very serious cause, but even then they do not fall into exaggerated anguish. Have courage. The few years that remain to us here below, please God, will be for us the best and most useful for eternity.
-- Letters 817; O. XV, pp. 288-289

About the Poll....

Ihave been trying all day to format the style of my poll so that it matches my blog better, and I simply don't know enough to do it. It is VERY FRUSTRATING, to say the least. Because I spent so much time trying to figure it out, this week's poll will have to come later in the day. Sorry about that.

I have other stuff I need to do now, but I'll try to get to the poll as soon as I can.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

ps: oh, while I'm at it, I need to test out what a blockquote looks like now:
as;ldfkjasl;dfjka;sldjkfa;lskdjf;alsdjkf;a
lsdjkf;alsdjkf;alsdjkf;alskdjf;alsdjkfl;asdjkf
Cool :D

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Makeup of the Eucharist in the Eastern Catholic Rites


A member of Phatmass recently asked the following question:
Is the physical makeup of the Eucharist in other rites the same as in the Latin rite? Same percentages of wheat, etc.?
I'm probably not the best person to answer this question, since I'm a Latin Rite Catholic. But, I will certainly try my best.

The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, nos. 706-707 read as follows:
  • 706 In the Divine Liturgy the sacred gifts which are offered are bread made of wheat alone and recently made so that there is no danger of corruption and natural wine of the grape and not corrupt.
  • 707 1. The preparation of the Eucharistic bread, the prayers performed by the priests before the Divine Liturgy, the observance of the Eucharistic fast, liturgical vestments, the time and place of the celebration and other like matters must be precisely established by the norms of each Church sui iuris.
    2. For a just cause and having removed any astonishment on the part of the Christian faithful, it is permissible to use the liturgical vestments and bread of another Church sui iuris.
Notice that 707:1 leaves the particulars regarding the preparation of the Eucharist to each Eastern Church. Thus, the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church in the USA has established (here) that, "Bread for the Eucharist is to be made of wheaten flour, water and yeast only. According to liturgical prescription the prosphora bears the seal (IC XC NI KA)." Other Eastern Churches probably have similar laws. If I find more on the particular law of these other Churches, I will let you know. You may also wish to post your question at the Byzantine Catholic Forum.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Is There Something "Lacking" in the Afflictions of Christ?

Simon and Jesus carry the CrossA member of the HCR forum recently asked the following question:
What does this passage mean?
Col 1:24-25 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,

At a glance, one might think this means Christ's afflictions are lacking. I don't believe that, but I don't know what it means.
What you have to ask yourself is this: What could still be lacking in the sufferings of Christ? He suffered to the fullest extent, and for all mankind. This work is called the objective redemption, and the degree, or quality, or completeness of it has no imperfection.

But, there is still something lacking. What is still required is the application of the grace of the Cross upon us. He won all the grace through his perfect suffering, but this grace must still be applied to us. This application is called the subjective redemption. We know that it is necessary b/c if it wasn't, then everyone would have been instantly saved as soon as Jesus said, "It is finished." But, we're not.

So, we have thus far established what is lacking. Now, Paul tells us in this passage that one way to make up for what is lacking is by suffering, by taking up our Cross just as Jesus Christ took up His. Suffering for the body is meritorious. It is a good deed, and all good deeds done in grace serve to build up the Body of Christ.

This explains why Paul would rejoice in his sufferings, and see this as something that he did for their sake (cf. Col 1:24). He knows that when he suffers for the Gospel, to fulfill the duties of the "divine office" given to him (cf. Col 1:25), he builds up the Body of Christ and becomes a minister of the grace that flows from the Cross. Elsewhere, Paul says, "Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory" (2 Tim 2:10). Everything that Paul says in his letters about the redeeming value of suffering affirms this understanding of Col 1:24-25.

I hope that helps.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Daily with De Sales: 9/23/07

So long as we are on this earth, we must realize that we cannot avoid imperfections, because we are all human. We must convince ourselves of this reality; we should not get all upset in seeing ourselves as imperfect beings. The Lord has asked us to say every day those words of the Our Father, "Forgive us our trespasses..." This is a directive that has no exceptions, because we all have need of it.
-- Spiritual Treatises XVI; O. VI, pp. 296-297

Daily with De Sales: 9/22/07

If you experience a great spiritual thrill in carrying out your practices of piety, do not change them. If you happen to omit anything that I have asked you to do, do not have scruples about it. Let this be the general rule of your obedience written in capital letters: DO EVERYTHING FOR LOVE, AND NOTHING THROUGH FORCE. LOVE OBEDIENCE MORE THAN YOU FEAR DISOBEDIENCE. I want you to have the spirit of liberty!
-- Letters 344; O. XII, pp. 358-359

My Quincentennial Surprise

I am happy to present, with my 500th blog post, a redesigned sidebar for phatcatholic apologetics. Notice the following changes:
  • I took my blog feed, my conversion story, my confrontation with the devil, and my blog pics and placed them in the header of the most recent blog post. That way I am able to shorten the sidebar without totally getting rid of these important elements.
  • The interactive elements that attract the most people -- the Bloggers' Choice Awards badge, the Daily Catholic Quotation, the Poll, and the Comment Box -- are together at the top of my sidebar so that their presence is more readily apparent.
  • The most radical change is the introduction of expandable and collapsable sections. Now, instead of having to look at all of those links at once (and getting lost in the process) you can just open the section that you want to view. When you open a new section it closes the previous section. If you leave the site with one section open, that section will be open when you return. I think this makes it a lot easier to find what you are looking for.
  • If you hover your mouse over each section, a description will appear that tells you more about what is inside each section. I tried to stick with the war theme when I was naming each section, which is cool, but it can also make it hard to know right away what is in each section. This should make that a lot easier and it should insure that you are only opening the section you need to open (instead of doing a lot of unnecessary opening and closing).
  • The other fun but less important stuff -- the Dog Tag, my TTLB Ecosystem rating, my badge collection, my Medals of Honor, my Files Box, my Radio Blog, and any ads I choose to display -- all appears at the bottom of the sidebar.
I hope you all like the changes I have made. I see a new poll in our future....

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

ps: It took me 1 year, 42 days to reach 500 posts, not counting the 23 days between my first post and when I actually started blogging. That's kinda crappy, but what can ya do? I'm a grad theology student....

Friday, September 21, 2007

Daily with De Sales: 9/21/07

It is well to reflect from time to time on the commandments of God, not only in general but also on the particular commandments proper to each person's vocation. If we find them distasteful, what makes them so? Only our will, which wants to have its own way in everything. It often happens that we desire to do something that we are not commanded to do, but if the same thing is commanded, we do not want to do it. From this it can be seen that we want to serve God in our own way and not in His.
-- Letters 233; O. XII, p. 345

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sidebar Under Construction

For the next couple of days I will be working on a new sidebar with sections that expand and contract so that the sidebar won't be as long and it will be easier to find what you're looking for. So, don't freak out if all the links are gone or if it looks like I broke my blog. I also probably won't have very much new content to post while I'm working on this. Please return often to check on my progress and to read the daily entries from the work of St. Francis de Sales.

Thank you for your patience.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Daily with De Sales: 9/20/07

We should never tire of making good resolutions, even when we know that we will not keep them. Even if we should feel absolutely certain that it will be impossible to put them into practice, we should not immediately give up. We should hold on until we have sufficient courage to say to the Lord: It is true, Lord, I haven't the strength to do it or suffer this, but I rejoice in this fact, that Your strength will work in me. With this support I will go ahead to face the battle, and I will win.
-- Spiritual Treatises IX; O. VI, p. 155

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Must Bishops Be Married?

I recently received the following question via email:
I wonder if I could ask a question about today's Mass reading, specifically, the First Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy (3:1-13). I was reading my Magnificat just now (it's late, I know...that's my funky retail schedule). Anyway, Saint Paul writes, "Beloved, this saying is trustworthy: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task. Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable, married only once... (insert sound of screeching brakes here!). Saint Paul makes the same comment for deacons.
The NAB translation of this passage is actually very good at showing the actual meaning of this passage. Were you to read it in the RSV I think you would be even more confused! I'll explain what I mean below.
At first, I thought, this must be something along the lines of the bridegroom analogy, where the bishop or deacon is married to the church. I am probably not explaining that correctly, so I hope you understand.
I understand what you mean. As he who stands in the person of Christ, the bishop or priest is the bridegroom and the church is the bride. We see this metaphor in Paul's letter to the Ephesians (cf. 5:21-33) and in other places.
Just a few sentences later, though, Saint Paul mentions how bishops/deacons must manage their children and their households well. Is "children" meant to represent the faithful, and "households" the various affiliated churches throughout the land?
While this metaphor is present in Paul's letters, I don't think the metaphor is intended here and I don't think that it is necessary to resort to metaphor in order to understand the passage or to resolve any apparent contradiction with Catholic teaching.
I'll be honest, I'm a bit confused. I realize that I have a lot still to learn. Maybe this is God's way of saying, "Well, Bill, if you just read the Bible more."
Don't worry bro, there's a very simple answer to this. First, here's the passage again, in context:

1 Tim 3:1-5 The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task. 2 Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, 3 no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; 5 for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God's church?

Now, this passage is not saying that a bishop must be married. Instead, it is saying that if he is married, he must be married only once. In other words, he can't have multiple wives, or divorce his current wife and marry someone else.

In the RSV this is harder to see right off b/c it translates vs. 2 as "Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher." That definitely does make it sound like he must be married. But, the NAB translates vs. 2 as "Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach," and that better captures the meaning of the verse.

We know that this is so b/c it simply would not make sense for Paul to say that all the bishops must be married. For one thing, Paul himself is a bishop and he was never married! He would be disqualifying himself if he said such a thing. Secondly, if "the husband of one wife" (vs. 2) means that he must be married, then by the same logic "keeping his children submissive and respectful" (vs. 4) would mean that he must have children. Are Protestants really willing to go so far as to exclude from the ministry men who don't have children yet or who had children that are now dead? What about men who only have one child (after all, Paul says "children")? The logic simply doesn't work.
Maybe so, but in addition to simply wanting to know more about this passage, I also work in a place where my Catholic faith regularly "takes it on the chin." I've lost track of how many different (Protestant) church services I've been asked to check out. There are several Jehovah's Witnesses at work too who politely remind me of my Scriptural ignorance. And while I'm not anticipating any one of my co-workers to pin me in a corner over this particular passage, I'd still like to be ready.
Yes, as St. Peter says, is it very good to be ready (cf. 1 Pet 3:15). All you can do is try your best, bro. Read and pray as much as you can. Actually, pray and then read. No, better still: pray, pray, pray and then read. The Holy Spirit can guide you to amazing heights of wisdom. You can't do it on your own.

Btw, don't forget that you can invite them to your church service too! Of course, that means you better know what's going on in the Mass b/c they're going to ask questions about it. If you don't have an answer, or at least a resource to direct them to (but preferrably an answer!), then you will miss out on an invaluable teaching opportunity.
I'll be honest, there are so many resources on your blog that I'm not sure I know where to start.
Yea, I'm sorry about that man. I realize that my sidebar is becoming too overwhelming and I'm considering different ways to fix that. Until then, if you go to the "Explanation of the Sidebar" then that might help you to get a better handle on what's in each section and how the sidebar as a whole can serve you.
If you could point me in the right direction, I'd be deeply grateful. Thanks again for your commitment to our beautiful Catholic faith. May God continue to richly bless you and your apostolate as you spread and defend the truth of God's Pilgrim Church on earth.
I hope that what I've said here is helpful. For more on the celibate priesthood, there are several articles you can read here. To beef up your understanding of the Mass, go here. Of course, this too may seem overwhelming at first, since there are a ton of articles in the Directory. Catholic Answers is usually a good place to start. You'll notice a list of categories on the left side of the page. Click on a category and you can read several medium-sized tracts that explain the faith in a comprehensible way. The "Sacraments" page has tracts both on the celibacy of the priesthood and on the Mass.

Good luck to you brother.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Daily with De Sales: 9/19/07

You will find no vocation, no state in life, where there are no bitter experiences, no annoyances, no hard times. Everyone, except those who are fully resigned to the will of God, would like to change places with someone else. This general uneasiness of souls proceeds from the distaste they find when things do not go their way, and a certain influence of the evil spirit who presents the state of others as better than their own. But that is not true; whoever does not resign himself completely to the will of God will turn here and turn there, but he will never find peace.
-- Letters 233; O. XII, pp. 348-349

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In Case You Missed It....

Here is the video of EWTN's momentous presentation of the Solemn High Mass, Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, from the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, AL. I watched the entire thing with fixed attention, and while I'm no expert on the extraordinary form, I was very impressed and very appreciative. Thank you EWTN.

For more resources on the motu proprio, click the banner at the top of this post.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

HTTP-ing All Over the Place

I added some great links to the sidebar. I think the thing is about to burst, but what can ya do? I thought about maybe switching to a 3-column format where I have a sidebar on the left and the right, and the body in the middle, but I'm not sure if I like that. It decreases the amount of space you have to type, and my posts are long enough as it is. I dunno, what do you think? Maybe I'll make that my next poll question :D Until then, check out these links:

Comrades:Ammunition:Reference Works:Battle Cries:The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword: Robert Bellarmine (Saint)Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Books Make Me Happy

Today was the first day of the campus library's book sale. I cherish days like this. Hardback books: $3. Softcover books: $1. You can't beat that with a stick!! I even skipped the first half hour of my second class so I could get down to the library before all the good books were taken (all the theology books get snatched up in like 3 milliseconds). Thankfully, my truancy paid off. Look at what I was able to get for a grand total of $19: SWEET!! I was so stoked, especially about the 2-volume Scripture commentary. TAN publishes it in one volume, but its about three times more expensive than what I paid for it ($6). Plus, I love collecting solid, Catholic Scripture commentaries. That and blogging are probably my two major hobbies.

The book on Pius XII is also really cool b/c the editor basically scoured the pope's writings and addresses and grouped different paragraphs and sections categorically. So, for example, if I want to know what Pius XII taught about birth control, I can just turn to page 117 and there's 5 pages from his Address to Obstetricians. If I want to know what he taught about sports, I can just turn to pg. 194 and there's several paragraphs from two different Addresses to Youth of Catholic Action. Pretty cool.

If you're wondering why I got the Sower's Seeds book, it was because in catechesis it's good when you can tell a story that illustrates a particular doctrine. It makes it easier for your audience to see how the doctrine relates to their every-day lives. This book is basically filled with stories like that and it was written with catechists and teachers in mind. So, I thought I could put it to good use.

There, I'm done making you feel jealous now ;) For some great books you can read online, see the "Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword" Section towards the bottom of my sidebar.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Daily with De Sales: 9/18/07

When something happens and we cannot understand the reason for it, we are inclined to think that there is no reason behind the events of this world. However, it is a matter of faith that since God is the Creator and Master of everything, He guides everything carefully by His Providence; He directs and embraces all creation. Especially as regards ourselves, God often allows our lives to be turned upside down by many setbacks. He desires us to walk by faith and not by sight, so that we might seek peace in Him alone! Truly we have to admit that heavenly Providence would be of very low quality if our poor intellect could fully understand it! In the same way, events would be far less marvelous in their grandeur if they corresponded to our human reasoning.
-- T.L.G. Book 4, Ch. 8; O. IV, p. 243

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Incorruptible Food

Check out today's "Daily Catholic Quotation" from St. Ignatius of Antioch's Letter to the Romans:
"I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible."
I have no doubt that he had his thoughts set on the incorruptible food that is Jesus Christ while he became corruptible food for the lions! For more information on the Real Presence in the Eucharist, go here.
For more information on St. Ignatius of Antioch, go here or here.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Poll-Release Monday #28

Here is this week's poll question: What should the nickname be for my blog? (note, this is not my nickname, it's the blog's nickname):


  • phatagetics
  • phatcat
  • phattyblog
  • phatcap
  • phat-so?
  • the armory
  • phatty
  • Now, I realize that what I am about to say is an attempt to sway your vote, but I don't care, haha. I like "phatcap" the best and I'm hoping that's the one that most of you all choose. It's short, it encompasses every part of my title (PHATCatholic APologetics), and it has a nice ring to it. Just imagine:
    • "Here's a new treat for my phatcap readers"
    • "All of you faithful phatcap readers may recall an earlier post where I...."
    • "I have another phatcap update"
    • "Did you read phatcap yesterday?"
    It just sounds good to me. But, I still want to get some idea of what you all think about it.

    Plug the other options into the 4 quotations I listed above and I think you'll find that most of them just don't sound right. I consider "phacat" and "phatty" to be more like nicknames for me than nicknames for my blog. "Phatagetics" just sounds too cheesy. "Phattyblog" is too long and "phat-so?" requires too much explanation. "The armory" is a cool idea, but it wouldn't be readily apparent that I was referring to my blog. It doesn't incorporate the title of my blog at all, which I think is important.

    So, that's how I see it. I hope you all will agree.

    Here are the results from the previous poll, which ran for two weeks:


    Yay! The magazine-style formatting won! I'm happy about that. I think it's a cool little feature.

    I know some people don't like the color that I chose but I can't really think of a better alternative. Unfortunately, with my color scheme, I don't have a lot of different colors to work with. I don't feel that I can go with another shade of brown b/c I have so much of that already. Gray seems to me to work the best b/c it brings out the gray in the header and footer of each post and in the titles for each section of my sidebar. Also, if you look at my banner image, the same gray color is in St. Michael's breastplate and wings. So, I'm rollin with that. I hope that those of you who don't like it will be able to overlook it and still enjoy the content.

    Thank you all for voting. These polls will be huge, one of these days....

    Pax Christi,
    phatcatholic

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    Daily with De Sales: 9/17/07

    It is not possible to gain control over your soul all at once and have it immediately in your power. Be satisfied, therefore, with gaining control of it little by little, and so learn how to conquer your dominant passion. If you have to put up with others, begin by putting up with yourself. Be patient at finding that you are not perfect. Do you want to enjoy interior peace without having to suffer the day-to-day contradictions and setbacks? Every morning prepare your soul to face the day without getting upset, and throughout the day be careful to return to this resolution.
    -- Letters 444; O. XIV, p. 2

    More on Arinze in Steubenville

    "Prayers, Music, and Blessing of the Cornerstone"
    via New Parish, New Church, the blog of the new Triumph of the Cross Parish and Cathedral in Steubenville, OH

    September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, is the feast day of Triumph of the Cross parish and cathedral. At 4:00 pm that day, Cardinal Francis Arinze presided at the Blessing of the Cathedral Foundation Stone – the cornerstone – at the site of the new cathedral. His Eminence, a member of the Roman Catholic Curia at the Vatican, is the Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Our Bishop, R. Daniel Conlon, three other bishops and several hundred people gathered from Steubenville and other parts of the Diocese of Steubenville, including people who travelled by bus from Marietta, Ohio. The Scripture readings were about building and the significance of the Cornerstone.

    In his homily, Cardinal Arinze’s spoke about the importance of a church, and especially the cathedral, in the life of Catholics, saying that “the church building is for the gathering of the people of God.”

    “There is particular significance of the cathedral of the diocese of the church. The cathedral church of the diocese is the mother of all other churches in a diocese.”

    He concluded by saying, “A cathedral is not built in a day. But we pray it won’t be too many days before another gathering when we celebrate the dedication of the new church.”

    Bishop Conlon then blessed the Foundation Stone, after which members of parishes that are coming together to form Triumph of the Cross Parish led the people in prayers of Intercession. The service concluded with a blessing by Cardinal Arinze.

    Music was provided by the Steubenville Catholic Central High School and the St. John Central High School Marching Bands, the Schola Contorum Franciscana of Franciscan University of Steubenville and Choral Members representing the parishes comprising Triumph of the Cross Parish.

    At the site, the outline of the cathedral was marked by stakes and colored tape, with a Cross standing where the main altar will be located.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    For more about the blessing of the cornerstone, see the article in the Herald Star.

    Pax Christi,
    phatcatholic
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