An Old Feature Polished Up and Given It’s Own Page

I’m talking about the YIMCatholic Pandora Radio stations. Frankly, I had forgotten about the possibilites of Pandora Radio. But then a reader jogged my memory after they stumbled across an old post penned by Webster Bull.

Written waaay back on New Years Eve in December of 2009, the post is about a station he had created called Bingen Radio. He built it around the seed of St. Hildegard of Bingen’s music. But his conclusion points to the blog’s Facebook page and a link that you will never find there. One (not exactly) frantic e-mail later, I promised to look into the matter.

So I logged into Pandora Radio and faster than you can say “presto,change-o” I unearthed that old station. And then I decided that, since others may enjoy it, I ‘ll go ahead and put the link for it in a more accessible location, you know, like the right-hand sidebar of the blog.=========>

You can find it now, right under Our Lord’s portrait and the YIMCatholic Bookshelf. It’s “chant city” over at Hildegarde of Bingen Radio. Need a recharge, or need to cool your jets surrounded by prayerful music? Bingen Radio is where you’ll want to go. I re-seeded it with Webster’s original selections, but have added a few more.

And then I had another brilliant idea, or three. Since I was already standing atop the shoulders of the geniuses on Mount Pandora Radio, I came up with another station showcasing artists from the wildly popular Music for Mondays posts. Ok, “wildly popular” may be an overstating things a bit, but say you can’t wait for Monday, or you don’t want to work your way through seven YouTube videos at a time. What to do?

Head to the station I built called Rare Earth Radio.Well, I didn’t build it, really, but I started it from the seed of one great band (Rare Earth),and then proceeded to fill the little garden there with seeds from artists that have been featured on the MfM rock n’ roll music posts. With everthing from Matt Maher to the Foo Fighters, Elvis Presley to Arcade Fire, it’s a pretty eclectic mix. I reckon that little garden is more like a 40 acre farm. Give it a whirl!

And there is a third channel called Antonio Vivaldi Radio started with the seed of the Red Priest himself, and surrounded with other classical composers from the Jesus Went Mainstream -Classical music posts. His brothers in the priesthood, Manuel de Zumaya and Tomás Luis de Victoria, hang their berettas there too.

And the fourth and final channel is called Jesus Just Left Chicago Radio and is packed with songs that include Our Lord’s name in their titles or in their lyrics. Everthing from showtunes (Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell) to Carrie Underwood’s Jesus Take the Wheel is planted there. Who knows what the Music Geneome project will unearth around this theme?

So there you have it folks. Something old, something new, everything borrowed, and some of it blue. The YIMCatholic Pandora stations, available 24/7 on your personal electronic devices.

Because it is Only Rational That One Should Submit to Guidance

I’ve shared in this space thoughts on private interpretation of the scriptures before. Stuff from the Treasure Chest, like the article written by Father Bampfield for the Catholic Truth Society. I’ve even shared my own thoughts on this subject by way of my experience with land navigation and map reading skills.

I’ve been flipping through my new favorite classic, The Catholic’s Ready Answer, which I introduced to you this morning. Here again are Jesuit Fathers Michael P. Hill, and F. X. Brors (how is that surname pronounced?!), using their god-given ability to reason, along with God’s grace-filled gift of faith, to explain clearly, succinctly, and definitively, the Catholic approach to interpreting the Bible.

Think, “The Church interprets the Bible, as the Supreme Court of the United States interprets the Constitution”, and you’ll understand the Catholic position in a New York minute. First up? How I was taught as a child, followed by what I learned as a man (and by faith and reason knew what must be true). Common sense, and clear teaching, is coming your way.

BIBLE INTERPRETATIONS

Protestant Position:

—The Bible teaches all necessary truth to all who approach the study of it in the right spirit. In the Scriptures God speaks to the human soul, and no interpreter of His words is needed but the soul itself, enlightened by the Holy Spirit.

Catholic Position:

—The above, if we mistake not, is a fair statement of the Protestant view of private interpretation. It differs essentially from the Catholic principle, according to which private interpretation is controlled by the authority of a divinely established Church.

But now a question: What are the grounds of the Protestant position? As the Bible is the Protestant’s final rule of faith, he should be able to quote chapter and verse for this as well as for any other article of his faith. Where in the whole compass of the sacred writings is there a passage enunciating the principle of private and independent interpretation? There are passages in abundance setting forth the benefits resulting from a reading of the Word of God, but none which declare that the individual reader is independent of all control in his interpretation of it.

In opposing such independence we do not mean to imply that the Bible is simply an unintelligible book. Quite the contrary, many parts of Scripture are plain narratives of matters of fact, and the more obvious sense of the text is the true one, or at least one true one. But other parts of the Bible abound in mysteries, or in other obscurities of one kind or another. This was doubtless the case even in the original version of the several books; but what shall we say of the modern translations—the imperfect medium through which all but a few readers get a glimpse of the revealed truth?

Now, is it likely that every chance reader, however good his disposition, possesses a “key to the Scriptures” and sees his way through all their obscurity of thought and expression? Is it not to be feared that the assumption of such power of interpretation will have injurious, and in some cases even disastrous, effects upon the reader? St. Peter the apostle, speaking of the epistles of St. Paul, says of them that they “contain certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter iii. 16). If this declaration, made by no less an authority than St. Peter, and to the very people to whom the epistles of St. Paul were addressed, was justified at the time, is it not to be feared that now, after twenty centuries, the same causes are producing even worse effects?

The Apostle here mentions two effects which he traces to three causes. The two effects are: 1. The wresting— that is to say, the twisting or distorting—of the meaning of Scripture; 2. The spiritual self-destruction of the reader. The causes are: 1. The intrinsic difficulties of the text; 2. Ignorance; 3. Instability (unsteadfastness, as it reads in the Revised Version). The same three causes are in operation to-day, and doubtless tend, in varying degrees, to produce the same effects. The text, with its intrinsic difficulties, remains. Ignorance remains; for the three R’s are the highest reach of knowledge for millions; and what special insight into Scripture is furnished by the three R’s?

But have not some gone much farther than the three R’s? Surely; they have learned their chemistry, or their physics, or their mathematics. But none of these sciences furnish a key to the obscurities of St. Paul. But have we no theologians or exegetes? Certainly we have; and they have helped us not a little to understand the sacred volume; but if we may believe Dr. Littledale it was just from this class that most of the ancient heresies took their rise; and all the theology in the world can not, of itself, secure a man from that instability of which St. Paul speaks—that is to say, from that intellectual and moral giddiness which often accompanies the greatest learning.

But, our opponents will tell us, at least let a man approach the reading of the Scriptures in a prayerful spirit, and he may expect to receive interior illumination. Doubtless a prayerful reading of Scripture has produced much insight into the meaning of the sacred text. But let us not mistake the issue in the present discussion. We do not deny the possibility of personal illumination. God, from the beginning, has deigned to speak to the individual soul. But—and this is the most important thing we have to say in the present article—there is nothing more illusory than the impression of having been enlightened from on high; and in the whole course of religious history nothing has proved more pernicious than the seeing in supposed illumination a practical rule of faith or of conduct.

Where God does really enlighten, no one can enlighten so well; but it is one thing to be enlightened, another to think one is enlightened. Many of our Catholic saints have received what they have described as marvelous illumination, but none were more distrustful of such illumination than the very recipients of it. And yet just the contrary has been the case with those leaders of men from Luther to Mrs. Eddy who have confidently proclaimed a special illumination in their interpretation of Scripture. And when we see the number of such claimants to inspirationand compare their clashing creeds—all based on the same Word of God—and listen to the war of words in which each denounces all the others, we begin to see the utter hollowness of the theory of private interpretation.

Religious chaos was never intended to be the result of the preaching of the Christian revelation. And yet chaos is the necessary result of Christian preaching when it is based on private interpretation. But worse than chaos are the ultimate logical consequences of the theory, for amidst the chaos at least some fragments of the truth remain; but even these are destined to disappear under the powerful solvent of independent judgment. The principle of private judgment is to-day working itself out most consistently in the land of its origin. In Germany individual judgment, even amongst the ministers of religion, who are supposed to have committed themselves to a fixed creed, is rapidly dissolving the fabric of Christianity itself.

Personal illumination is, therefore, in no absolute sense a safe guide. In one’s meditation on Scripture one may, of course, feel that reflection throws some light upon words or sentences heretofore obscure; many sound conclusions may be drawn; spiritual insight may increase; but still, considering that there are many things in Scripture “hard to be understood,” and that so many readers of Scripture have been mistaken in their interpretations, it is only rational that one should submit to guidance, if a guide can be found. And that a guide has been provided by a kind Providence can not be matter of doubt when one reflects on the unspeakable wisdom displayed in all God’s works and, on the other hand, on the sad consequences which are seen to follow the rejection of authority in so important a matter as the interpretation of the word of God.

Evidently, then, there is an infallible interpreter appointed by God Himself; and that infallible interpreter can be no other than the Church of Christ, which St. Paul tells us is “the pillar and ground of truth.” (1 Tim. iii. 15.)

If that sounds sort of like “We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident: no one person can interpret Scriptures,” then so be it. Because the Holy Father wants you to read the Bible.

For Books By Dead Jesuits, Like The Catholic’s Ready Answer

Yesterday I published the Music for Mondays post early. Therein, I commented that Catholicism is so deep and so wide, that ideas for writing about it will never be exhausted. But the fact of the matter is, folks like the shiny new stuff better than the old, moldy stuff already sitting in the libraries of the world.

Not me. I’m the weirdo contrarian, remember? And you know what else? Lately I’ve been bumping into fantastic stuff written by long dead Jesuit priests whom I’ve never heard of. My buddy Blaise Pascal hated the Jesuits with a passion. He’s not alone with that opinion either. But I like them. Guys like Wu Li, SJ for example. And François Nepveu, SJ. Remember Wilhem Wilmers, SJ, torpedoing Ayn Rand’s “originality?” And who could forget Henry Morse, SJ?

Oh, folks love John Hardon SJ, for example, and I picked up a copy of his The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism at a used book sale. I haven’t cracked it open yet though. At the same sale, I also picked up Mission and Grace, Volume 1 written by Karl Rahner, SJ, and We Hold These Truths: Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition, by John Courtney Murray, SJ. I’m reading that selection currently and frankly, it is top notch. I promise to post on it soon.

Aside for Fr. Hardon though, I have never heard of any of these guys. It turns out they are modern giants of the Society of Jesus. See? I’ve got a lot to learn. I hadn’t heard of the Jesuit who wrote this neat little book I just added to the YIMCatholic Bookshelf either.

It’s called, The Catholic’s Ready Answer: Popular Vindication of Christian Beliefs and Practices Against the Attacks of Modern Criticism , and looking over it I can say that it will be very useful even to Catholic of today. It was written by Michael P. Hill, SJ and started off as an English translation of a German book written by Franz X. Brors, SJ. Sure, it was published in 1914, but seriously, the modernist tenor of that time was very similar to modernist thoughts encountered nowadays. Don’t believe me? Just check the contents:


AGNOSTICISM > An Agnostic Query—”Why trouble ourselves about matters such as Gods existence, of which, however important they may be, we do know nothing?” (Huxley)

THE BIBLE AND MODERN THOUGHT Objection—The Bible is for many reasons deserving of veneration, but it is quite out of harmony with modern thought. The science, the aspirations, and the general point of view of the modern world are at the opposite pole from the contents of the Bible.

EUGENICS An Accusation—Every human being should love his kind, and a love of his kind should awaken in his breast an interest in the future of his race. The improvement of the race is the object of eugenics, and a want of sympathy with the present eugenic movement betrays either selfishness or an unenlightened conservatism.

HELL Objection—God is good and merciful; but a good and merciful God would not condemn a soul to eternal torments; therefore the eternity of hell is a contradiction of our belief in His goodness and mercy.

MARRIAGE A SACRAMENT, Ultra-Protestant View— “Marriage is an outward, material thing, like any other secular business. Marriage, with all that appertains to it, is a temporal thing and does not concern the Church at all, except in so far as it affects the conscience.”—Luther

See what I mean? The whole book is full of great, modern, controversial, questions and answered briefly from the viewpoint of Catholic tradition. If nothing else, it will get you jump started on learning more about the faith. Here are several examples for you to try out: Thoughts on Tolerance and Tradition.

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TOLERANCE

An Accusation. —Tolerance is the first duty of the citizen as regards religious matters; but “the Roman Catholic Church, if it would be consistent, must be intolerant.”—Tschackert.

The Answer. —According to Christ’s teaching, the first duty of a man living in a community is not tolerance, but love of his neighbor. A pharisaical doctor of the law once “asked Him, tempting Him: Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets” (Matt. xxii. 35-40).

Justice and love are the two first duties of a man to his fellow-men. Tolerance is nowhere mentioned in the law. Mere tolerance does not go far enough. The Catholic Church does not merely tolerate her erring brethren She loves them with a divine charity—and that is more than tolerance. “Tolerance” is the catchword of genuine liberalism, which manages to put up with an obnoxious fellow-citizen, but knows nothing of charity.

But a distinction must be made in the matter of tolerance. Catholics are not intolerant of the erring, but toward their error there can be no such thing as tolerance. We can not compromise with error. What is false we can not call true, any more than we can call black white. When, therefore, the Catholic Church combats error and champions truth, she only follows the example of Christ and does what every right-thinking man will acknowledge to be just.

Dogmatic tolerance is self-contradiction. How can a Church that professes to be a teacher of truth say to the thinking world: “If you believe in the Trinity, in the divinity of Christ, and in the sacrament of Penance, well and good. If you don’t believe in them—again well and good—for I can’t be intolerant”? A Church which is the custodian of revealed truth can not compound with error; and any church—no matter what elements of truth it may retain, or what good it may do to men—any church which is seen to throw the mantle of a false charity over all vagaries of opinion within its pale is proved thereby not to have the hall-mark of Christian orthodoxy. In this connection the Catholic Church stands quite alone—and is thereby proved to be the one faithful eustodian of the doctrine revealed by Christ.

TRADITION AS A RULE OF FAITH

Objection. —Tradition can not be a source of true knowledge. There is nothing so unreliable as an old story that has passed from mouth to mouth and is subject to change at every telling. Even written documents are not safe from alteration. Every new copy made is likely to contain fresh errors.

The Answer. —Many who urge this objection are believers in Christianity; and yet what guarantee can be had for the truth of Christianity except in reliable tradition? Perhaps such guarantee is furnished by the Bible; but how can we know that the Bible is the word of God save by tradition?

Doubtless there are matters of secular interest about which neither writing nor tradition can afford any security from error; but there are also matters regarding which all fear of error is reasonably absent. No sensible man doubts about the existence of such historical characters as Csesar, Napoleon, or Luther. So, too, in the religious domain, there is a body of truth which is sealed as such by the continuous and unfailing witness of God’s Church; and what is this but tradition?

The Gospels can be proved to be genuine and reliable historical documents. And it may be proved from the Gospels that Christ, who was sent from on high, established an infallible Church—a fact which is plain from His having commissioned the apostles to preach the Faith to all nations and from His having declared that whosoever would not believe them would be condemned (Matt. xxviii. 19, 20; Mark xvi. 15, 16). The Church as represented by the apostles must be infallible, for otherwise no one would be condemned for not accepting the apostolic teaching. Now the Pope and the other bishops are the successors of the apostles; and they must be supposed to teach with the same infallible authority as the apostles, for otherwise we are forced to the very unchristian conclusion that Christ must have meant that all authoritative teaching should cease with the apostles! It follows that once the Pope and the bishops proclaim anything to be a truth of the Faith, it must infallibly be such.

Now tradition is nothing else but the continuous and uninterrupted teaching of God’s Church. God has it in His power to provide for the continued infallibility of His Church—just as of old He provided for the preservation of the writings of the evangelists and the other sacred writers from errors of fact and of doctrine.

In the Catholic Church there is every possible guarantee that the tradition on which Catholics rely is not of a loose, haphazard sort, containing a large admixture of hearsay and legend. The communion of all parts of the Church with the Apostolic See of Peter and Peter’s successors has been the one great source of unity and continuity of teaching in the Church. The decrees of the Popes, and of councils presided over by the Popes, are written in broad characters on the pages of history; but, even if there were no such record of them, the unfailing continuity of the Church’s life makes her a witness to apostolic truth in every succeeding age. It is to Catholic tradition as thus understood that Protestants owe such elements of pure Christianity as they retain in their several creeds.

Have a look at the rest of the book over on the YIMCatholic Bookshelf.

For All the Charities: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Guest post by Warren Jewell. Warren is a long time reader of YIMCatholic and I saw he posted this on his Facebook Page. Thinking that it might be something you would be interested in as well, I asked his permission to share it with you. Though not a Catholic hospital or charity, per se, the work they do, and the amount they charge their patients (see below), are in keeping with the finest traditions of Catholic agape for our neighbor.

Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital sent me another appeal for funds with a short sketch about What Cancer Cannot Do. But, first, a little history to try to appeal to your blessed, giving ways about Saint Jude’s.

Saint Jude’s is the ongoing act of gratitude to God by Danny Thomas, God love the man, for his success in entertainment in TV (remember ‘Make Room for Daddy’?) and stand-up comedy. He prayed that he would create Saint Jude’s if God permitted him to support his family through his career. For my part, Mr. Thomas personally recruited me, and my brother and other Chicago-area teens, at the time of his first public appeal for funds. He had us make radio ads to be aired on Chicago radio stations for his singular dedicated devotion to children dying of cancer, and their families. With a modest pride, I have observed and supported this mighty work ever since.

Of worthy note, you see, for all its powerful research, the hospital is last therapeutic resort for children approaching death due to their diseases. Saint Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay.

ALSAC (American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities) is the fund-raising arm of Saint Jude. For all these years Americans of Lebanese descent (as Mr. Thomas was) have donated to cover the basic infrastructure and facilities of the hospital. Our own donations go to pay for professional and technical workers and the basic care of each child patient and his family.

And, Saint Jude’s has been blessed with great success. How blessed, how successful? Praise be to God, for a few examples:

in 1962, the survival rate for dreaded acute lymphoblastic leukemia was 4%; today it is 94%;
in 1962, the rate for non-Hodgkin lymphoma was 7%; today, it is 85%;
in 1962, neuroblastoma (cancer of nerve tissues) was 10%; today, 55%;
in 1962, osteosarcoma (bone cancer) survival was 20%; today 65%;
in 1962, medulloblastoma (a type of brain tumor) was 10%; today, it is 85%;
overall, in 1962, 20% of child cancer victim survived; today, 80% survive.

Indeed, the hospital has been so successful that it has begun to branch out into research combating other serious childhood diseases. I am proud to have played my own miniscule part of that since those first appeals for help.

Of course, such statistics make me weep in gratitude to God, Danny Thomas, and his family and fellow Americans of Lebanese descent, and all who have been instrumental in such life-saving medicine. But, also, for how many children and their families have so awfully suffered the development of therapies to make these numbers what they are.

At Saint Jude’s, the most remarkable quality of this whole process has always been the heroic confidence and cheerful endurance of their little patients. Even in losing battles, the kids have been the very ‘bricks’ of the whole enterprise.

Now, that stanza of What Cancer Cannot Do?

Cancer is so limited –
It cannot cripple love
It cannot shatter hope
It cannot corrode faith
It cannot destroy peace
It cannot kill friendship
It cannot suppress memories
It cannot silence courage
It cannot invade the soul
It cannot conquer the spirit.
~ Anonymous

Saint Jude the Apostle is the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes. Serious childhood illness is surely still desperate; Saint Jude’s Hospital is working to lessen those ‘lost causes’. You can read more at stjude.org if you so desire.

Finally, if you will, I beg of you, mail your own donation to this grand effort:
Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital
P.O. Box 50
Memphis, TN 38101-9929

Their current campaign is called ‘Partners in Hope’, where if you would, you can pledge a regular monthly donation. Call 1-800-822-6344 to ask about this program.

I know that these are tough times for many of us. But, it can’t get much tougher than being an innocent child hurting and fighting for her life, huh? Hey! This time, about helping these kids, it’s personal :-)

God love and bless you, always and in all ways.

Quote of the Week

In recollection, news and vain gossip have no appeal, nor do we like to hear anything that does not advise us to withdraw further into our hearts…for their (the recollected) only wish is to see God with their hearts.

—Fray Francisco de Osuna (1492 – 1540 AD)

You’ve Been Corapi Rolled. What Now?

So the Corapi bombshell that went off a few weeks back? It turns out that Corapi fragged himself while committing mutiny. Yes, a self-inflicted grenade explosion. He hoped you wouldn’t notice, and that you would assume his wound was honorably received.

But now his order has issued a statement and there are plenty of folks jiving on it. Telling you all about it. “What it all means,” etc.

Just check the sidebar and you’ll find everything you want to know, but were afraid to ask. Deacon Greg Kandra broke the announcement; The Anchoress on SOLT and CorapiMark Shea on Mercy and Forgiveness; Deacon Scott Dodge on the unsurprising denouement; New Advent with all this and more. The human drama is all there, in more detail than you want to know.

What does John Corapi have in common with pop singer Rick Astley? Nothing, unless you count momentary fame. Because everything that Rick says he wouldn’t do, John Corapi did do. But let’s get down to earth and realize that Rick Astley can’t live up to his lyrics either. Nor can I.

Only one person can, and He happens to be God.

Only Jesus Christ is,

Never gonna give you up,
Never gonna let you down,
Never gonna run around and desert you.
Never gonna make you cry,
Never gonna say goodbye,
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.

You can take that to the bank. Sing it Rick,

I suggest you do what I recommended back when this story first broke. And I recommend you watch Sweetgrass, which is airing on PBS today, and learn a little about the nature of sheep, which Our Lord compares us to favorably.

Pray for all involved, pray for healing, and pray for a faith strong enough to stay true to Christ and His Church through thick and thin.

For Lines on Liberty Like These

Transfiguration
by Raïssa Maritain
When I have vanquished you,
Oh my life, oh my death,
When I am free of the hard pull of joy
And I have gained my heavenly liberty,
When I have chosen the hardest way,
My heart will rest in the balance of grace,
But I shall retain you, love,
Retain from you not death, but life,
And I shall discover you, happiness,
Having given the Lord the whole of myself.
Like a prosperous ship, her cargo intact,
Which safe into harbor comes again,
I shall sail to heaven with transfigured heart,
Bearing human gifts made free from stain.

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident…

Frank likes to Rock! And I’m not alone. I’m on-board with Deacon Scott Dodge, see, and his Friday series of mega rock classics. In fact, he’s taking requests. Go let him know what you would like to hear. Here is my suggestion for the day, and for this holiday weekend.

It’s also Canada Day, which is where these fellows hail from. Rock…It’s an American Tradition.

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Salute the flag, shoot the fireworks, remember the Declaration of Independence. But whatever you do, don’t forget to rock!

A Thought For This Holiday Weekend

As he was dying, Abba Benjamin said to his sons: If you observe the following, you can be saved, “Be joyful at all times, pray without ceasing, and give thanks for all things.”

Social Networks and the Church

Is social media here to stay? Probably. Others, like Brandon Vogt, discuss this phenomenon at length. Matthew Warner wants more Catholics to be on-line, and authentic, too. Because when you get right down to it, social networks are about community.

In the video below are a few factoids about the rise of social networks that you may find interesting. The Vatican has noticed, which is why the Church hosted a meeting of Bloggers a little while back.

Have you introduced your children to the YouCat on Facebook yet? Welcome to St. Blogs Parish.

Update: History has been made…the Pope’s first Tweet via his new i-Pad.