Book Review: FOR GOD AND PROFIT

FOR GOD AND PROFIT is a small book, written by Samuel Gregg, and subtitled, HOW BANKING AND FINANCE CAN SERVE THE COMMON GOOD. The forward is written by George Cardinal Pell.

I am simply loving this book. Quotes of Popes and Church Fathers, a clear understanding of our economic system, and written in a way that our High School age students will be able to benefit in their understanding of our economy and how their decisions can influence it so it serves the common good.

FINALLY a Catholic book on Finance that actually uses all the documents of the Church and DOES NOT twist Church teaching into the greed that is Marxism(and its children communism and socialism). And yes, Marxism IS about greed, the greed to have that which you did not build, to use the power of the government to take their just due from those who do build and create and give it to you.

I’m off to buy 5 more copies to give to my adult children and all the family members old enough to read it!

Dear Lord, thank You for this book. We have needed one like this for some time and thank You that it is written in such a way that our High School age students can read it and benefit from it. +Amen.

Statement of Where I Stand

Guess what people? I consider ABORTION=MURDER.

There, I have said it. I am against the murder of a baby for any reason. No argument has ever been made that will sway me. No argument has ever been made that would make keeping it legal OK with me. Those, like the Democratic candidate for president, who are in favor of abortion through all 9 months gestation, are in favor of murdering viable full-term babies. If you vote for such a person you are helping to promote that agenda. Turn your back on me–I do not care. If you can stomach voting for anyone who is not just neutral but IN FAVOR of the murder of viable, full-term babies, I am sorry for you and pray for the salvation of your soul.

Furthermore, ABORTION=MISOGYNIST ATROCITY AGAINST WOMEN.

Any culture that forces women to think that murdering the child in their womb is their only option is EVIL. Such a culture has bought into the culture of death and certainly deserves to die out completely. I pray our people wake and fight back against this creeping evil that has infiltrated our culture. Christians are meant by God to be partisans of the Culture of Life; time to pray and act like it. Vote Life.

Dear Lord, have mercy on our country and give us the president who will most shift the government in the direction of Your will and have mercy on the souls of those who elect politicians who vote in favor murdering babies and on those politicians themselves. Please wake up Christians and help them see what they must do to save the Christian culture that was ours. +Amen.

The CHURCH is ONE

I have heard it said that the Catholic and the Orthodox are two different churches but I don’t buy that. There may be a fissure in the full unity, but they are not two different Churches. I believe this because after all these hundreds of years the Holy Spirit has preserved orthodoxy in the whole. Oh there is a fissure, made by man, maintained by man, but the guardianship of the Holy Spirit is evidence to me that both are part of God’s one Church.

God has one Church (visit the Bible to read up on this). You can recognize a particular church as being part of the one Church by the degree to which they have the marks of that ONE Church. The one Church is apostolic and universal, has 7 Sacraments, and a true Eucharist. Does that particular church have an ordained priesthood that traces back to the Apostles? Are there Bishops/Patriarchs, also ordained and tracing themselves back to the Apostles themselves? Does that particular church have all seven of the sacraments instituted by Christ for the spiritual health of His Church? Do they have a valid Eucharist?

Orthodox or Catholic, all seven Sacraments have been preserved, a true priesthood has been preserved, leadership by Bishops/Patriarchs has been preserved, the deposit of the Faith has been preserved, and each has a true Eucharist. The disputes that create the fissure suggest to me that neither side has them correct, and an ecumenical council on those points is in order, but they do not separate from the oneness of the one Church.

I also note that the Catholic-Orthodox fissure is very different from the splinter groups that came about during the “reformation” period with their wholesale abandonment of the fullness of the Faith, and whittling down the sacraments to only one or two, and rejection of many elements of the fullness of the Christian Faith.

The “reformation” period was a rebellion against the one Church, not a dispute between groups within the one Church. The evidence for this is that they have continued to splinter and multiply theologies. The Holy Spirit did not protect them from wholesale error and heresy. So while they are united with the one Church in little bits and pieces (like all religions that have bits of the Truth), unlike the Orthodox and the Catholic, they lack the signs of being fully united to the One Church.

I am sure there will be some who disagree.

Dear Lord, please heal the fissure in the Church and bring those separated from the one Church back to orthodox belief. +Amen.

By My Own Free Will Catholic

I am, by my own free will, Catholic. Catholic among people who often see being Catholic as proof that I am enslaved.  I am Catholic everywhere and in every interest. It means that in areas of interest where the norm is secular, neo-pagan, or a hodgepodge of whatever the individual cobbled together for a personal religion, I stand rather alone in my adherence to Catholicism, with the deposit of faith given us by God, maintained by God through the Church, and properly interpreted for application by that Church and no other.

My husband asked me the other day why, when I so clearly enjoyed my time in a meeting of St. Vincent de Paul, why I spend time with the Society for Creative Anachronism? I found myself explaining that what I love about the group at the parish is our shared Catholicism and the work the group is doing to try and fulfill the commandments of Christ. We have that in common– and little else. Lovely people, but my passion for studying the history of the 10th century Eastern Romans eludes them. On the other side, those people in the SCA understand my passion for history, and a lot of other other geeky sorts of things, but they do not share my Faith.

So it is very nice to participate in a ministry at Church where being Catholic is understood properly and shared, but it hardly replaces having friends who share my interests.  If your interests are uncommon, you will find less over-lap between groups.  What is more, if you are a geek, many of the people who share those other interests will be uncomfortable the moment they find out you are Catholic.  Fear is the fastest response, fear that I am there to judge them or to try and force my religion down their throats, and leads to unpleasantness.

Usually the first unpleasantness will be a demand of one sort or another to deny some known aspect of my religion.  It would be unthinkable for any of them to demand that a neo-pagan give up any portion of their religious beliefs, but somehow it is essential that I be forced to give up mine.  My failure to deny any aspect of my religion generally leads to a anger, generally suppressed. I am not unaware of the undercurrent of negativity over who I am and I participate anyway.

This is the reality in the modern world.

Dear Lord, thank You for the many interesting groups out there and thank You for the joy of shared Catholicism. May I never take the later for granted. +Amen.

 

Snarky Comments

Snarky Comments need not apply. Our moderators won’t post them. Now, if you actually have something to say that might contribute to a discussion of such ideas as those attitudes of the Saints who treat all events in their lives as having the will of God in them, and thus leading to their really laid back acceptance of difficulties and utter trust in God, then your comment is likely to be posted.

Insulting comments won’t be posted either.

Comments coming from persons whose name link goes nowhere will not be posted–even if they are good ones.

Disagreement gets posted if it is civil and appears to come from a real person.  The moderators decide what is civil.

Dear Lord, please help readers to think before they comment. +Amen.

The Attitude of Saints

I’ve been baffled by the serene attitude of saints who, no matter how odd a turn their lives take, are all, “it is God’s will for me” and they are all happy about it. I mean, REALLY? Who can be all cheerful about your plans blowing up in your face? Or a week of setbacks followed by showing up for an appointment only to find the professional forgot to write you in? And yet, for some odd reason, I felt a glimmer this week of why the Saints are so zen about unexpected turns.

This past week has been one of setbacks. My days went badly and I didn’t get so much done. I felt fairly unhappy about it and in the past I would have been livid. Yet I found myself feeling bad without getting mad.

Then today I arrived at an appointment and the professional had actually forgotten to pencil me in when we made the appointment and I write it into my planner as we talked about how I liked using one. And I was OK with it, and took it as an opportunity to enjoy my book before my visit to the chiropractor.  I had my plan, it went awry, and the result was very nice.

Now, would I have been so calm if the result was NOT so nice? Probably not, it isn’t like I have developed that degree of virtue, but maybe if I can see a setback with a nice result as God’s will intervening in my plans, then I will eventually gain some sort of calm trust about it when it isn’t nice.

Dear Lord, thank you for the example of the Saints. Help us to lean on You and trust You when our plans get knocked off course. +Amen.

2016–so far

I read back over my blog posts from this year and think, “Wow, so much ambition, and so little accomplished.” This is only partly true. I haven’t lived up to my plan to blog more. Thought about it a lot but didn’t DO it.  I did a lot though, just nothing I’d planned.

We now have an American Heritage Girls Troop at our parish. This required a LOT of work by an amazing group of ladies who make up our ministry team. I’m honored to have spent this year working on this project with them. I have a lot of hope for the program. Although I am feeling quite over-whelmed by all of it. Our parish even added us to the page for Ministries with all the other youth scouting type programs.

Delegation has been a skill I have gotten to practice. I find I can be very happy delegating once I recognize that something will be better done by another person. I have my strengths, and weaknesses. Acting as the Troop Coordinator for TX1860 has been a good opportunity to grow for me.  I am seeing my efforts pay off in the girls beginning to work together better and better, the Unit leadership is settling into their roles, and the program gradually take shape.

My book languishes. I have the unfortunate super power of avoiding anxiety.  If I feel even a little twinge of anxiety I will avoid whatever is causing that emotion. Unfortunately this means I avoid many things I love because I have become anxious about them.  It hardly matters what caused the emotion, the result is avoidance and I am NOT happy about it. I am also at a loss as to how to face it down and win. I’m in a nasty cycle.

I’m also avoiding turning in an application for a substitute teaching position, and the same application marked for wishing to be considered for a full time teaching position–or part time if I get to teach theology! I feel anxiety and then I compulsively avoid even though getting paid to teach one of my favorite subjects in the entire universe is a dream job. Again, NOT productive, really stupid, and stuck.

Turning in applications and editing manuscripts are both acts of Hope, and I am meditating on and praying for an increase in the virtue of Hope, and here I find myself struggling.  The up side is I am aware of what is going on, which I used to not even SEE, but this isn’t correcting the condition!  I see that God is working on me. Forcing me to face where I do not live the virtue of Hope. I’m praying about it because I suspect I’m in need of supernatural help to overcome this difficulty.

I did get the bridge camera. Love it, and for some reason am so busy I am not finding time to use it. What is worse, I have not taken family pictures in ages! I need to do more photos and get some sent around to family. Perhaps I need to do a Christmas photo, in which case, I need to buy some red shirts and get someone else to hold the camera so we are all in one shot.

Goals: application in, book editing happening, and photos to share from my camera!

Dear Lord, Thank you for the new good things in our lives, and please help us all to grow in the virtue of hope and act on it. +Amen.

 

Works of Teresa of Avila 1515-1582

TERESA OF AVILA:(1515-1582) Institute for Carmelite Studies Publications
I recommend: THE COLLECTED WORKS OF ST. TERESA OF AVILA, Vol. 1: Book of Her Life & Interior Castle, Vol. 2: The Way of Perfection, Vol. 3: Foundations, and COLLECTED LETTERS OF ST. TERESA OF AVILA: Vol.1 and Vol. 2.  The Study Editions are good too but I prefer the basic collection for reading without a pre-conceived opinion.

I suggest beginning with the Book of Her Life, and then reading the Collected Letters 1 & 2 to focus on a woman religious’ view of her life and world. She was quite familiar with the visitations and the inquisition. And her books were not always available, some being surpressed at times. She had relatives who were conversos, and thus eyed suspiciously by the inquisition. She is now a Doctor of the Church.  Her letters and autobiography are, to me, of the most historical significance for understanding the time in which she lived.

To understand her advice to Abbesses, the Way of Perfection is the work she wrote for her nuns. She, who had mystical visions, was not one to be impressed by them. I love her practical advice to abbesses on how to manage a nun who was having visions.

Her book on prayer, Interior Castle, has been read and re-read by many, and I doubt anyone has plumbed the full depth of what she meant in it. It was one of her books most often supressed.

Foundations traces her work of founding Monasteries of both men and women religious, seeking to return to the ancient interpretation of the Carmelite order, thus founding the Discalced. I found it highly significant that she did not consider the Carmelite order she was in wrong, but that she wanted a stricter version than the softened version of her day.  During the time she was abbess over her original order, she did not impose her Discalced rule, but instead urged them and guided them to live their own rule better.  She was friends with Bishops who participated in the Council of Trent and I often wonder how much did she know of the documents created by that council.

I admire Teresa of Avila greatly. She shows how a woman of her time, with intelligence and ideas of her own, lived within the confines of her time and place.

Books! Catholic Fiction and Non-Fiction

After enjoying a lovely conversation on religion and history, I promised to send a write-up of the books I had mentioned. Maggie, this post is for you. 🙂

Catholic and fun and history.

So, I will begin with the works of fiction I thought she would enjoy.

Declan Finn writes wild action adventures, in modern settings, but often with historical roots and themes.

The Pius Trilogy is my first suggestion. These are: A Pius Man, A Pius Legacy, and A Pius Stand.

In addition are books such as Pius Tales which are background short pieces on some characters, and Pius History which is the history behind the trilogy. Read them AFTER the stories or you might spoil some of the fun. Also, there are a lot of characters and you might want to take notes as mysterious figures show up in the story and who saw them, who knows whom, etc.

The same author put out the books IT WAS ONLY ON STUN, HONOR AT STAKE, and CODENAME:WINTERBORN.  The first was hysterically funny once you sorted out the characters. The second is about vampires in the modern day who “do not sparkle, they burn.” The Third is a thriller that I have not yet gotten to read, but I think I will enjoy it too.

I recommend Karian Fabian also.  Her Nuns are in religious service–in SPACE. She has a Catholic dragon private eye named Vern. And Neeta Lyffe is a zombie hunter. LOVED them.  I would start with GREATER TREASURES, a Dragoneye PI story. Then jump into NEETA LYFFE I LEFT MY BRAINS IN SAN FRANCISCO.  I am eagerly awaiting DISCOVERY, her newest book, which is about her space-faring Nuns.

On a more serious note: CHAMPIONS OF THE ROSARY is a new book out about the rosary, its history, significant historical figures, and a section on how to pray it effectively.  I particularly enjoyed the history section where the author traces the development of the elements that eventually became our modern Rosary. There is evidence for various prayers in particular forms in use earlier in period in certain circumstances and for certain populations. Cool book.

 

“Infinite Space, Infinite God II,” by Karina Fabian

Twelve science fiction stories featuring great adventure with a twist of faith.

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Summary: Twelve science fiction stories featuring great adventure with a twist of faith. Infinite Space, Infinite God II spans the gamut of science fiction, from near-future dystopias to time travel to space opera, puzzles of logic to laugh-out-loud humor and against-the-clock suspense. A great read for any science fiction fan; a must-read for those seeking something new in their fiction.

If you enjoy science fiction that recognizes faith, especially the Catholic faith, as an integral part of human society, you’ll love ISIG II. However, Karina has another surprise coming in September: Discovery, the first Rescue Sisters novel, starring the three sisters of the Order of Our Lady of the Rescue as they travel to the edge of the solar system to explore an alien spacecraft.

To get all the news, plus chances to win prized, writing tips and great articles and stories from all her worlds, join her newsletter, FabianSpace. http://eepurl.com/dc-8M

Website: http://fabianspace.com

Excerpt: In the glasses, Rita saw the screen before them—the ship, the ginger-root-shaped asteroid two hours away, the star field beyond that. Jupiter, she knew, was somewhere behind and below. Overlaid on the scene was a targeting reticule of double circle and cross-hairs, and to the lower right, a legend. She had enough time to notice the asteroid was called Guangzhou and had a small, automated mining station before she heard Ann call “Heads-up” to activate her own display. Ann muttered a couple of commands, and the tracking reticule began to move, widen and narrow to the movement of her eyes.

Annie spoke. “Interface systems green. I have control of the tow line. Ready when you are, Tommie.”

“Roger. Moving in slow and oblique. Lady of Loreto, pray for us.”

Bio: Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem), Karina Fabian has imagination that takes quirky twists that keep her–and her fans–amused. Nuns working in space, a down-and-out Faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, zombie exterminators—there’s always a surprise in Fabian’s worlds. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars, but mostly is concerned with supporting her husband, Rob Fabian, as he makes the exciting leap from military officer to civilian executive, getting her kids through high school and college, and surviving daily circuit torture…er, circuit training. Read about her adventures at http://fabianspace.com.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Infinite-Space-God-II/dp/1606192310

Tweet: Infinite Space, Infinite God II expands the role of faith thru the endless possibilities of the sci-fi genre https://www.amazon.com/Infinite-Space-God-II/dp/1606192310

 

Dear Lord, thank You for the Catholic Writer’s Guild and inspire the writers into great productivity and bless their efforts, and meet their financial needs through their writing. +Amen.