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1  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Giving up Television to Save your Soul on: May 28, 2014, 07:53:44 PM
It's refreshing to hear from another Catholic who is against TV. I don't know that it's a mortal sin, but I would certainly say it's a near occasion of sin, like keeping bad company.

Immodesty in theater is nothing new, if you read the early Fathers, like Tertullian and St. Augustine, you'll find the same complaints. I think the medium of theater itself is the problem, along with novels, because they show us what is not real for no purpose other than to excite the passions.

I, too, find that the writings of nearly all modern Catholics, not just EWTN, teach error, and the writings of the saints have shown me this. Indeed I find that nothing in modern culture is holy or acceptable to God, just as St. Justin Martyr found with pagan Greek culture.

If you find a nice country to go to, please let me know. I hear Europe is even worse than America, so I'm glad my ancestors came here. And I've met people from Latin America, and Catholicism is dying there too.
2  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Catholic hermits on: April 25, 2014, 10:56:23 AM
Thanks, I looked at the books on vocations. I was surprised to learn that we should require more evidence for a call to a secular life than for a call to a consecrated life of some kind.

Yet another thing modern Catholics get wrong. Why am I not surprised about that?
3  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Quote for the Day on: April 25, 2014, 09:59:56 AM
"Do not suppose, ye Greeks, that my separation from your customs is unreasonable and unthinking; for I found in them nothing that is holy or acceptable to God. For the very compositions of your poets are monuments of madness and intemperance."

St. Justin Martyr

He summed up how I have come to feel about modern culture since my conversion!
4  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Catholic hermits on: April 20, 2014, 05:30:15 PM
I've been reading about Catholic hermits, some of whom are officially consecrated under a bishop (Canon 603). Does anyone here know anything about them, or at least any good resources on the topic?

Also, I think I may have a vocation to this state of life, but how do I discern such a thing?

Sorry to be so vague, but I don't know enough at this point to formulate more detailed questions.
5  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: What to do for Lent on: February 27, 2014, 09:31:45 PM
What I'm doing this Lent is giving up staying up late. I've been going through awful sleep deprivation to help my mother take care of our puppy, and now that he's sleeping through the night, I can start going to bed early.

This will force me to cut out all unnecessary activities, as taking care of the puppy has done, but this will continue the process. No more mindless Internet surfing, for example.
6  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Quote for the Day on: February 24, 2014, 09:53:12 PM
This is one I keep trying to work on:

"Be hostile to admitting into your soul things that of themselves have no spiritual substance, lest they make you lose your liking for devotion and recollection."

St. John of the Cross
7  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Quote for the Night on: February 24, 2014, 09:48:42 PM
Here is one that has been speaking to me a lot lately:

"Nothing is more dangerous for beginners in the spiritual life, than to wish to play the master, and to guide and convert others.

Beginners should look after their own conversion and be humble, lest they should fancy they had done some great thing, and so should fall into pride."

St. Philip Neri

I am a convert of only three years (from atheism), and I have found this to be right on!
8  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Memorizing Scripture on: January 18, 2014, 09:28:28 AM
The verse that keeps coming to my mind on this subject is John 9:4: "I must work the works of him that sent me, whilst it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."

Also, "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
9  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Memorizing Scripture on: January 17, 2014, 11:29:18 PM
The book Memorize the Faith by Kevin Vost has been very helpful for me. It describes a method of mental pictures, used by St. Thomas Aquinas.

Another method is simple repetition, or setting the words to music. Both of these help a lot.

Or first letter mnemonics ("every good boy does fine" for the E G B D F of sheet music); this is how I memorized 2 Peter 1:5-7. "And you, employing all care, minister in your faith, virtue; and in virtue, knowledge; And in knowledge, abstinence; and in abstinence, patience; and in patience, godliness; And in godliness, love of brotherhood; and in love of brotherhood, charity." F, V, K, A, P, G, L, C. If you forget the order, you can think, "Four very kingly anteaters played golf last Christmas."

A lot of people say they can't memorize, but most of us know thousands of trivial things from popular culture. We know the names of hundreds of celebrities, we know many movie quotes, we know all kinds of nursery rhymes from childhood... It's amazing how much we learn without thinking about it.
10  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Memorizing Scripture on: January 16, 2014, 07:46:22 PM
Lately, I've been thinking about Scripture memorization. It's popular among Bible-believing Protestants, I haven't heard it talked about much by Catholics.

Here's what I've been thinking. We are soldiers for Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:3), commanded to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), in which the only weapon is the "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (v. 17); as such, we should have our swords with us at all times. This was Jesus's only defense when He was tempted (Matthew 4). Since it is impractical to carry our Bibles everywhere and search for the verse we need, what remains is to memorize the verses we know we will need. It's dangerous to go alone; why go unarmed?

Also, meditating on Scripture is a good practice, and the more we memorize, the more we can do this away from our Bibles (and the better our Rosaries will be). The more time we spend memorizing, the more time we can spend "in the Word."

Furthermore, as you've all probably noticed, the world is becoming more and more hostile toward Christians. There could easily come a time when anyone caught owning a Bible will have it confiscated, and anyone found to be a Christian will be arrested, which is the case in many countries today. If we have no access to our Bibles, what will we do? This could happen while some of us are still alive. Even if this doesn't happen, we may still have to spend a long time with no access to any kind of spiritual reading, for whatever reason; what then?

Some people have memorized large sections of the Bible. I read about a couple who spent a year memorizing Romans. Some people learn Greek or Hebrew, but this seems to be a better use of our time and mental space. The Internet has taught us to forget anything we can look up, and many of us have carried this mentality to our faith.

If somehow, you had no access to spiritual reading of any kind, what would you do? How well prepared are you?

What do you all think?
11  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Douay-Rheims only? on: January 16, 2014, 07:12:48 PM
Somehow I thought there would be more Douay-Rheims enthusiasts here...
12  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Douay-Rheims only? on: December 29, 2013, 11:17:59 AM
Wow, great quote! Maybe I should read that catechism.

Yes, I have heard of Nelson's book; in fact, I got a copy, and it was part of my research. The reason I investigated this issue is because I know only Douay-Rheims was written before modernism existed.

Do you know much about the differences between the original a Douay-Rheims and the Challoner revisions? The sales pitch at realdouayrheims.com didn't do much. That site claims:

Quote
In the 18th century, Bibles appeared in England Bibles - the work of a Bishop Challoner - which were erroneously titled The Douay- Rheims Bible. These counterfeit versions were allowed circulation in England and its colonies. The real Douay- Rheims --- the original and true version --- vanished --- to be found only in museums and literary collections.

However, one of the selling points of Douay-Rheims in general for me is that there was a time when it was the only Bible available for Catholics. If this guy's claim that the Challoner revisions are corrupt is true, then the English-speaking Catholic world was without a proper Bible for quite some time, which is no different from the claims of the anti-Douay-Rheims crowd.

I mean, didn't God promise to preserve His Word (Psalm 12:6-7 (11:7-8 DRB), Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33)? Didn't He promise that the gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church (Matthew 16:18-19; "Hell" is ONLY found in Douay-Rheims)?

I'm certainly not criticizing the original Douay-Rheims, I just don't understand the argument in favor of it.
13  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Douay-Rheims only? on: December 28, 2013, 11:58:42 AM
While reading about Catholic Bible study, I came across the claim that only the Douay-Rheims Bible should be read, and that all others are corrupt. (God has even provided me with a copy of Douay-Rheims through my local used bookstore.) Here are some good arguments I have found:

  • The Douay-Rheims Bible was the only Bible in use among English-speaking Catholics until 1940, and was used in the English part of the liturgy until 1960; people on all sides of the debate agree on this. If it is wrong, then we were without God's Word from 1610 to 1940, which is similar to what Protestants and Mormons believe.
  • By the same logic, the Vulgate, from which Douay-Rheims is translated, was the only Bible used in Latin from when it was translated around 400 to when the a Nova Vulgata was written in 1979. Either the Vulgate is right, or Catholics were without God's Word from 400 to when the first modern translator decided to use Greek and Hebrew texts, a claim suspiciously similar to Protestantism. Arguments against Douay-Rheims try to discredit the Vulgate, but none have even tried to get past this argument.
  • The Council of Trent declared the Vulgate free from errors in faith or morals (not necessarily errors in translation, but give me an error in translation over an error in faith or morals!), a declaration affirmed in Pope Pius XII's 1943 encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu. The Council also forbade rejecting the Vulgate for any reason (that is, even the "original languages" argument). Since other translations differ from Douay-Rheims in key areas (such a list of verses can easily be found through an online search; consider Genesis 3:15, Matthew 16:19, Matthew 16:26, Matthew 20:16, Matthew 24:28, Matthew 26:50, Luke 1:34, Luke 2:14, John 1:12, Romans 12:16, Revelation 3:16, and more), where they differ from Douay-Rheims in faith and morals, they are wrong. There's a lot in our tradition that is based on these key verses.
  • St. Jerome's first language was fourth-century Greek. He therefore knew the Greek of the Septuagint and the Greek of the New Testament better than any modern scholar possibly could. He spoke Latin nearly as well.
  • It's free from Protestantism except where Bishop Challoner based his updates on the King James Version--but these are few and do not affect doctrine, according to those who have read both the original and the Challoner version.
  • Using all kinds of Bible versions creates the same kind of doctrinal chaos as Protestantism (even worse, the New American Bible and New Revised Standard Version are full of modernism); even some Protestants complain about the abundance of versions and become "King James Only" for this reason. Modern versions have to keep getting revised as new manuscripts are discovered, creating the same kind of chaos as science. Similarly, the abundance of Greek and Hebrew texts that differ in major ways allows a translator to pick the one he personally likes best.
  • We Catholics value the writings of saints, and no other translation was done by a saint. Many saints used the Vulgate or Vulgate-based translations.
  • It was common knowledge among the Church Fathers that the Hebrew text was changed by Jews after the spread of Christianity to edit out anything implying that Jesus was the Messiah (I am told that in modern times, some Orthodox Jews in Israel have taken out Isaiah 53 for this reason). Therefore the Old Testament is better translated from the Septuagint, since that was hundreds of years before the Incarnation.
  • Popes have spoken out against translations done by "Bible societies," which most modern versions are.
  • What we read is very important, so we need to be very careful about what kind of Bible we read.
  • The most common argument against it is the archaic language, but the Challoner revisions make it far easier to read than King James or Shakespeare.
  • My number one reason: It's totally free from modernism, because it was translated into English before modernism even existed!

Now, I still use my RSV because some of my Bible study tools (Navarre Bible commentary, Ignatius Study Bible, Eerdman's concordance) use it; I even use a King James Bible for the same reason (Nave's Topical Bible, Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, and Vine's Expository Dictionary all use it). For devotional reading before bed, I sometimes use the Catholic Living Bible (a paraphrase, but a very readable one), but I treat it as a children's book of Bible stories--it has the gist of the stories, but doctrine cannot be based on it.

All this being said, it seems to me that Douay-Rheims should be the standard by which we measure all other versions. What do you all think?
14  Forums / Pro-Life News & Talk / Re: The New Morality on: December 28, 2013, 10:03:52 AM
"When a mother can kill her baby, what is left of civilization to save?" Mother Teresa

Mark my words, God will punish the West for this horror. I think He punished the Aztecs for human sacrifice by sending the Spanish, the way He punished the Israelites for the same crime (cf. Leviticus 20:1-5) by sending the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 32:31-35).
15  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Giving up Television to Save your Soul on: November 04, 2013, 09:28:32 PM
I was trying to quote the verse from memory because I couldn't find it. Apparently I mangled it  hospital trip

"Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing odor, the Lord said in his heart, 'I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.'" (Genesis 8:20-21)
16  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Giving up Television to Save your Soul on: November 04, 2013, 07:20:51 PM
Prayers for you and your family! (need prayer smiley)

On the topic of this thread, I had a thought. It sounds very pious to say, "I don't watch TV because it's so vile", but if we still daydream, we're not out of the woods yet. What is a daydream other than a TV show or movie in which the dreamer is the writer, director, and lead actor? I know I have trouble controlling this bad habit, and before my conversion, I lived in my daydreams most of the time.

We're supposed to take every thought captive to obey Christ. Just as we must "redeem the time, for the days are evil," we must redeem our thoughts, for every imagination of man is evil. We're also supposed to think about whatever is true, which daydreams are not.

What do you all think?
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