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A Head spinning Catholic teaching


eucharistThe doctrine of the Real Presence asserts that in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists often attack this doctrine as “umbilical,” but the Bible is forthright in declaring it (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16–17, 11:23–29; and, most forcefully, John 6:32–71). (Read more here)

As a Catholic, a lifelong Catholic, this has to be one of the most difficult concepts of the faith. The Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Just the thought of it makes my head spin!

Last night I was watching a documentary on Parable TV, Apostle Peter and the Last Supper, and it made me think about the Eucharist, what it is and what it means. It made me ask myself why I believe that it is truly the Body and Blood of my Savior, why it is just a fact of my faith, and yet others find this so hard to grasp. Now please understand that I have questioned it, I have and still do struggle with it and am overwhelmed with the idea of it, but I do believe it, I do have faith in it. Not understanding is no reason not to believe…

But why do some Christians and Catholics find the truth so hard to see? Not picking on anyone here, but lets look at the Christians (by the way, yes I know Catholics are Christians), they take the bible literally, down to the last word, yet they fail to believe in the True Presence, they see it as symbolic. Jesus clearly states,

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 (The Bible)

jesus-break-breadAfter Jesus states this some of his followers walk away, leaving Jesus because they understood what Jesus was saying, that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Now, reason would stat that if Jesus was misunderstood, that if what He truly meant to say was that it was only a parable or a symbolic act, He would have called after them, He would have told them a new parable to clear it all up. But He did not, he let them go, and then asked his friends what they thought:

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[b] and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (The Bible)

To me, this is very clear, we are to eat His flesh and drink His blood… And Jesus provides that for us in the form of the Holy Eucharist. There are many other passages in the bible that back this up, but my post is not about proving out the Catholic understanding, but more about the mind boggleingness of it all.

The simple yet profound fact that Jesus, my Lord and Savior came down from Heaven, became man, lowered himself to be one of his creations, took upon himself the humiliation of humanity, suffered, died and was buried, raised up again in glory to defeat sin and the punishment of sin, death. this, in-and-of-it-self was more than enough for a fallen people, a creation that condemned its creator, yet He, the creator of all, the giver of life, leaves us more, oh, so much more. He leaves us HIMSELF! He gives us the gift of His body, blood, soul and divinity… He gives us salvation in the form of His sacrificed body. This is mind-blowing! Yet it is also humbling.

But once again Jesus tells us:

56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. (The Bible)

So each week I do as I am commanded, to eat His flesh and drink His blood, do I understand it, no, not really, but I also don’t understand how God would choose to make himself human, or how He could be dead for 3 days then rise up and walk among his friends, this is called faith. For me, the simple fact that I know in my soul, in my heart of hearts that it is true, that Jesus did do all that is claimed, the God does love me, that He did create all and send His son down to save me, that I know in a very basic way, deep within me. I know that the Good News is truly the word of God and meant for me and all of humanity. And I know that the bread and wine is Jesus in the flesh, that it is His to give, to offer, and mine to take or reject.

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I may not understand, but I do have faith… And in a very spiritual way, I do understand, because God has created me to.. And that, to me is A Head spinning Catholic teaching, one that is key to my salvation.

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

Vital 4 Health

 
 

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Object or Action… The Verb and the Noun


 

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The other day I attended an meeting at my Church, they have decided it was time to make some much needed changed to the religious education of the middle school youth program. It was time to re-evaluate how they approached the faith formation of youth, what books to use, if any, what grades will be changed and how do we change it… All questions that need answers, along with a million others.

The process of change is hard, as everyone knows, no one likes change, and God knows the Catholic Church does not come to change easily, this is true for the local parish as much as for the Vatican. Change with in the Church is a slow moving process, and for the most part I thing that is a good thing. The Church is not an institution that should change with every new fad in faith. Her traditions and teachings must remain constant, the stability of the Church is one of her strong points. But sometimes even the most simplest of changes take time. Lets face it, the Church moves slow.

Well, back the the meeting, my parish has decided that change is needed, that we must approach the youth is a format and fashion that appeals to them, and I’m sorry, most of what is currently offered as “religious formation” is nothing but memorization of religious facts. Really, facts = faith? Knowing the prayers of the faith is important, memorizing bible passages is important, but does that make one faithful?

Lets look at it in a different light…

Learning math, 2+2=4, does not make me a mathematician, it makes me able to add, subtract and do the simple math needed to navigate life. It also introduces me to math, allowing me to explore it more deeply, if I choose, and maybe I will become a mathematician latter in life. If not no harm, I now know how to add 2+2.

So, as a math teacher (I am not one) my job would not be to create mathematicians but rather to foster the desire to become one. I teach the basics and leave the rest up to the individual.

Much is the same with most things taught, The object of teaching is to pass on the knowledge, not to create new experts.

The exception to the rule…

Once a path has been chosen, such as Doctor, than the object become creating a new expert. So far I would assume that most would agree with me, education, in is simplest form is to pass on needed information, not to create new experts.

Object or Action

I look at it like this, The object of Faith Formation is not to create new Theologians or Priest, but rather to foster the desire to grow more deeply in the faith. Another way to look at it, Are we creating Theologians or Catholics?

Theologian is an object, a noun

Catholic is an action, a verb

The point of faith formation is not to create nouns but to foster verbs.

I would rather see the youth excited about the faith than to see them recite a prayer, yet have no attachment to the faith. With the basics of the faith instilled in them in a new and exciting way we will be creating a new generation of dynamic Catholics, Catholics that are on fire for knowledge, and some will become the new Theologians and Priest and others will be the new laity, the laity that is involved in parish life, that look at the parish as part of, not separated from, the family dynamics.

What will happen at my local parish, will we see the change that needs to come, or will continue to look at faith formation in the same old way? Only time will tell, but with the grace of God and the working of the Holy Sprit we just may…

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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These are my thoughts… (a post from my friend)


A fantastic post by a good friend…..

 

These are my thoughts…

…shared mostly so you can understand where I am coming from, even if you disagree with me.

It is 11:47 pm right now and I should be sleeping. I should be sleeping but I am unable to. One hour ago, it appeared that the current president was going to win his bid for re-election. One hour ago, I walked into our family room and asked my husband to come join me in our room and hold me until I fell asleep. He fell asleep firs…(typical) :) I asked him to come hold me because I am scared. Here is the thing, I know I have a lot of friends who voted for ‘the other guy’ and I know that tonight is a night of celebration for you. I know you will be happy and think that you have reached a level of success. I know you are certain that something better has happened for our country. I know you are confident that you can believe in the change that you are striving for. And finally, I know that you don’t quite know why people like me are so scared. I thought I would let you know why. Because here is the thing, understanding where the ‘other’ is coming from is a good thing. I want to help you understand…. (To Keep reading, select here)

_____________________

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Family, History, Life, Media, Politics, Religon

 

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Naked: A Lenten Reflection


Masaccio, Brancacci Chapel, Adam and Eve, detail.Image via Wikipedia

 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Genesis 3:8-13 (NIV)

The story of Adam and Eve, our first parents, is a story often told and one that we all know. God made Adam, than Eve, Eve ate of the fruit and gave it to Adam. God came for His walk in the garden, with Adam and Eve, and Adam and Eve hid… Why, because they were naked…

Naked, meaning nothing to cover them, yes, but no. Naked has a deeper meaning here, the nakedness they felt was manifested on the outside, but was truly on the inside. The shame they felt was not a shame of the body, but a shame of the soul, for they now understood good and evil, they now knew what it was like to sin, and the soul was shamed.

We all are naked before the Lord, for He sees everything, there is nothing He does not know, for He created us and loves us. We are all sinners and we all, at some point feel shame for our actions.

Adam and Eve fashioned fig leaves together to cover their shame, they hid themselves from the sight of God, but God could see them and He questioned them. The first reaction, blame others… Eve the snake, Adam the woman. But who truly sinned, who was truly to blame, Adam, the first man, the first priest. His Church, the garden, under his care, all that God has created. Adam was given guardianship over Gods creation. How do I know this, what makes me say this, God had Adam name all the creatures of earth. To name something is to care for it. We, as parents, name our children, and in doing so, take on the responsibility of caring for and nurturing and protecting that child. Adam was given the same responsibility. God created Eve from Adam, flesh of my flesh blood of my blood, as Adam put it. So Eve was of Adam and of God, but Adam was of God only. Adam was the first priest, his church, the garden, his flock, all of Gods creation. As the priest, he was charged with protection all with in his domain, all of Gods creations, and all within the garden. By allowing the devil to enter into the Garden, Adam had failed, he had fallen asleep at the gate and allowed Eve to be tempted. Adam had sinned.

The nakedness of humanity had started, sin has entered our world and all the lies to cover up our nakedness had become part of our humanity. We may not use fig leafs to cover our nakedness anymore, but we still cover up nerveless.

Stories of priest falling asleep on the job is not just a Adam story, we experience it today. The news stories if Priest abusing their powers, embezzling money and of course the sex scandal. But that is only the Priest we identify, in truth, we Catholics, all of us, are priest (lower case p), by our very Baptism we are priest, profit and  king. We are Adams of our own gardens, and we have dominion over all with in it, our children, pets, family’s and communities. Have we fallen asleep at our gates? Have we let the snake into our gardens? As a fallen race, I would venture to guess the answer is yes, we have allowed the snake in, but have we allowed the snake to tempt us? Once again I would have to say yes, we have, we all have because we all are human and being so means we all have failed, we all have sinned. But now comes the next question, what have you done about it? Have you just allowed the snake to take over or have you worked diligently to exterminate the snake?

The garden of Eden was paradise, but man, in his imperfections, allowed evil to enter within its gates. He allowed it because he allowed his ego to control him actions, his desire to be more than what he is became his downfall and we are still dealing with it today. Our ego is the snake and our lies are the fig leafs and our shame the nakedness.

The Cross of Redemption has opened of the gates of Heaven, but the gates of the Garden of Eden are still locked to us, someplace on earth paradise sits, but we are too vain to see it, our eyes are covered over with our own vanity, that we could not see it even if we were standing in the middle of it. Our inequities blind us to the perfection of Eden and keep us in  a state of nakedness.

Christ, the new Adam, has redeemed us and renewed our priesthood with His body and blood. His suffering was the down payment and His death the price, he purchased our salvation and guaranteed its delivery through His resurrection. Adam came into this world naked, than trough sin covered up his nakedness, Christ died upon the cross naked to defeat the sin that Adam introduced.

Lent offers us a time to expose ourselves before God, to remove the fig leafs and stand naked before our God. A time to ask for forgiveness and a time to receive it. Like Adam, we all have allowed sin to enter into our lives, we all have allowed our ego to control our actions,but unlike Adam we have the promise of salvation. Adam, by covering himself in sin, closed the gated of Heaven to us, but Christ, but uncovering the sin, exposing Himself to our sins, has open the gates of Heaven to us. We must work hard in our gardens to eradicate the snake, to remove it from our gardens to till the soil and plant the seeds of forgiveness and love. Use this Lenten session to do a bit of gardening, attend the Sacrament of Confession, make peace with your soul and tend to your garden.

God Bless & Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Catholic, church, Death, Ego, Faith, Lent, Life, Religon

 

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Overturned: A Lenten Reflection


 

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12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.”

Matthew 21:11-13 (NIV)

Jesus showed a side of Himself not often portrayed in the bible accounts of His life, a justified anger. Yes, there is such a thing, and yes even Jesus got angry, as we just read. Jesus cleansed the Temple, overturned the tables and set the birds free. Does not sound like a “Jesus loves you just as you are” sort of guy. YES, I know Jesus LOVES YOU! That is not in question, but the idea or theology that goes something like this: Jesus Loves you just as you are, he asks nothing of you, you are fine just as you are… You know what I’m talking about. Well, that just wrong, and not biblical.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NIV)

We are the Temple of the Lord, the new Temple instituted at that Last Supper when our Lord instituted the Eucharist. We partake His Body into out Temples, the new dwelling place of the Lord. Does the Holy Spirit reside in a den of robbers, or is it fit for the Holy Spirit? Have you overturned your life? Emptied it of the money changes or are you still allowing space with in your temple for them?

This is a hard question, one that causes us to stop and look within, and most of us would rather not look within, we find it much easer to look out and see the other people’s den of robbers.

 41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Luke 6:41-43 (NIV)

We are called to make our Temples fitting for the Lord, to provide a “New Wine Skin”

 

16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Matthew 9:16-18 (NIV)

Our souls will rebel and pull away from the Lord, sin leads to tears and rips in the wine skin of our souls. The money changes of our life, anger, pride, envy and such, rob of us our ability to commune with the Lord. We need to enter into our temples and overturn the tables of anger, pride and envy, we need to set free the birds of sacrifice and offer up ourselves to the Lord. We need to allow the Lord to dwell within His temple, we need to make room in our souls/life for Him, we need to cleanse our Temples, and Lent offers us the opportunity to do this.

Lent is a time of fasting, of giving up the bad in exchange for the good and Holy.

The Catholic Church observes the discipline of fasting or abstinence at various times each year, especially during Lent. For Catholics, fasting is the reduction of one’s intake of food, which may or may not include abstinence from meat (or another type of food). The Catholic Church teaches that all people are obliged by God to perform some penance for their sins, and that these acts of penance are both personal and corporate. The purpose of fasting is spiritual focus, self discipline, imitation of Christ, and performing penance. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Fasting a way for us to overturn the tables within our Temples, it offers us the opportunity to purge our body/souls of unwanted toxins, sins. Fasting helps us remember what is truly important in our lives, what we can live without and more importantly, what we cannot live without, God.  This Lent I offer up this idea, besides abstaining from meat on Fridays, offer up Wednesdays as a day of Fasting, eat only one small meal all day, no snacking, no grand 18 coarse meal at the end of the day to celebrate your fasting, just fast and tell no one, just offer it up.

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
Matthew 6:15-17 (NIV)

Cleans your temple this Lent, make room for the risen Lord within your soul and rejoice in knowing you His Temple.

God Bless & Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

 

Guided Insight Life Coach

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Are you the Fox: A Lenten Reflection


The Crown of Thorns by Matthias Stom.

Image via Wikipedia

31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

Luke 13:31-33 (NIV)

Are you the Fox; are you the one trying to kill Jesus? Harsh question, but one that must be asked. The answer, I would venture to guess would be the same for all of us, “Yes, at times, I am the fox, yes at times I do try to kill Jesus.” Our actions or even inactions are how; our sins and lost opportunities are what we use as our weapons. When we sin, we are piercing the side of Jesus, pounding the nail into his precious hands and applying the crown of thorns upon His head. No action goes unfelt by Him who gave everything no sin goes unnoticed.

It sounds a little harsh to say that we are trying to kill him, but in truth, we already have, Jesus died for our sins, our sins of yesterday, the day before and the sins of today and what lay ahead. His death upon the cross was not just a moment in time, it was time itself, and it shattered time and placed His suffering, death and resurrection outside of time. His passion is not repeated with each sin, because it is happening now, in the moment and all moments, because no moment exists outside of the passion.

As Catholics we celebrate the passion at each Holy Mass we attend, the last supper, were Jesus is seated with His friends, the agony of the Garden, were Jesus weeps tears of blood for our inequities and the scourging, were Jesus is beaten and bloodied for our sake. Moreover, the death upon the cross, the cross of humanity, the cross of humility the cross of forgiveness, we witness this at each and every Mass. The resurrection of our Lord and the promise of life everlasting is celebrated at the altar of Love, the altar of Sacrifice, all this is our privilege to witness and partake in. The Holy Eucharist is not a representation or a reenactment; it is the Passion, the one and only Passion of our Lord. Jesus is not re-crucified over and over again, He died for our sins once, and we celebrate it and take part in it at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

So no, I do not think saying we are like the Fox, out to kill Jesus, is too harsh. It is our sins that killed Him, and it is His love for us, in the here and now, that raised Him from the dead and offers us the promise of eternal life. Nevertheless, that eternal life comes with a price, His life and our cooperation.

We are called to cooperate with Jesus, to allow the Holy Spirit to work within us and through us. Our works and our faith are the price we pay for our sins. Yes, I know Jesus paid the price, His death, and yes, I know that our actions can never pay that price. Yes, I know that some do not agree with works as a part of salvation, that faith alone get you into heaven. All I can say to that is, good luck, for faith without works is dead. That is for another blog. This blog is asking you, are you the Fox?

Are not our sins the nails that pierced the Lords skin and held him tight to the cross of iniquity? Is it not our actions, murder, lies and deceits that bloodied His body? Are we not culpable for His persecution? Anyone who says no is either a liar or the devil, the Fox that pursued our Lord, persecuted and Tortured Him and put His innocent life to death. We are the solders that marched him to Pontius Pilate; we are the centurions that delivered Him to Herod for humiliation. We are Simeon, who reluctantly took up His cross, and yes, we are the ones who pounded the nails in to our Lord.

Lent offers us a time to reflect upon that, to look at our lives and see the moments in time when we pounded that hammer of sin upon the nail of humanity, piercing the skin of love. Lent offers us the opportunity to revisit the passion of our Lord is a special way, and look upon His face as he takes His last breath, and offers up His spirit for our sake, the sake of a fallen creation. Spend some time with our Lord as He walks His way through the passion narrative, read Bible stories and let yourself be seen in them, become one of the many that crowded the streets as Jesus walked to His death. Place yourself at Peter’s side when he denies our Lord and recall the times you denied Jesus for your own sake. Be upon that hill and fell the grief of Our Lady as she watches he son, Our Lord, put to death and hear the words of Jesus within your heart, when he says “Forgive them, they know not what they do” for those word were spoken to you. Experience the moment of death, when the sky turned black and the tears of God fell upon the earth. Feel the shame of the Centurion as he came to realize what he has done and feel the joy when his heart is converted.

Lent is a time of reflection, a time to look back over your life and see it through the eyes of Christ. The Church offers us this Holy Session as a time of preparation and purification before the Holy Session of Easter. Use it, allow the graces of Lent to work within you and face your past. See the times that you, like Herod, are the Fox chasing after Jesus to kill him. However, Lent is also the time that you allow Jesus to reach His goal, the goal of driving out demons and healing people. Allow Him to heal you this Lent, allow Him to drive out your demons. He can only do this, if you are open to Him, so open yourself to Jesus this Lent and let His sacred hands to heal your soul, let the blood of Christ wash away your sins and renew your soul.

God Bless & Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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Take Courage: A Lenten Meditation


25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14 25-33 (NIV)

“Take Courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Jesus’ words have as much meaning today as they did over two thousand years ago. Take Courage! Be strong! Life yourself up and carry one Christian Soldier!

Take Courage, hard words to hear when you are in despair or frightened, when life has you down and out for the count. But the words of Jesus ring true today, and they are words us Christians need to hear. In the light of the fresh attacks on the Catholic Faith and all Christians in the United States concerning so-called health care coverage of birth control, we need to hear the words, Take Courage! With our faith being tested in the public square, we need to stand strong, but in the face of big government, we often times feel very small, and courage seems very fleeting. But Jesus tells us, Be not Afraid and ask us Why do you doubt.

So take courage, and trust in the Lord, step on the waters and walk with faith onward to victory. We, as Christians must walk on the waters of the public square, we must stand up and be counted, we must have courage and speak the truth. Jesus is calling to us, calling us out into the sea, He is waiting for us to come to Him through the storm, and like Peter, he is waiting for us to call to Him Lord, same me!

You of little faith, is that what Jesus is saying to us now, is Jesus calling to us, and we are afraid to go to Him? Are the waves of humanity to big for us to withstand, or are we to timid to venture out into the waves, to call upon Jesus to calm them and let the sea of reasoning subdue the waves of insanity?

We all are being called, just like Peter, to walk upon the sea, to walk to Jesus and to trust in Him that calls. And yes, we all will, from time to time,will forget the one who calls and sink into the sea, but Jesus is there to stretch out His hand, from the cross of salvation, and pull us up from the depths, if only we call to Him.

The public square is our Sea of Galilee, and the public discourse is our storm that tosses us about. But whom among us is our Peter, brave enough to venture out on to the sea and humble enough to call to Jesus when he starts to sink. As a Catholic, I look to the new Peter, the current Pope, Pope Benedict XVI as my Peter, as my example. And Like the Holy Father, I to will walk upon the waters and state the truth, I will challenge others to reconsider there actions and voice my opinion at the polls this November, but I will also, like Peter, takes my eyes off of Christ and start to sink into the sea, and I pray, that like Peter, I too will be humble enough to call to our Lord for help.

We all are called to serve, we all are called to proclaim the good news. As Catholics we are Baptized as Priest, Prophet and King, how are you fulfilling your Baptism? Use this Lenten session as a time to reflect upon your calling, your mission. Are you being called into the storm, are you being asked to walk upon the waters of the public square? Were is Jesus calling you to? And are you responding or are you lacking the courage to respond. Pray and meditate about this, ask Jesus to help you and respond boldly to His call. Jesus will calm the storms and He will stretch out His hand to you, if you only ask.

God Bless & Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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An Open Letter to all Catholics, to all Americans


Dear Catholics:

clip_image002This Open letter it to all Catholics, be they liberal or conservative, laps or practicing, fallen away or on their way back home to Rome. In-fact this open letter should be shared with non-Catholics, non-Christians and anyone who is concerned about their personal liberty and freedom. This letter is intended to excite you, motivate you and call you to action. This letter is a letter of protest and a letter of compassion; it is written from my heart and shared with the world. It will, undoubtably contain miss-spellings, bad punctuation and grammatical errors. However, what it will not contain is false emotions and lack of integrity. It will be heartfelt and passionate, it will be my personal views and my faith presented for you and for all.

Revelation 3:16
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

The above quote is the foundation upon I build my letter. The words of St. John in the book of Revelation needs to be in our hearts and on our minds as we read this letter and internalized. It is the basis of all that I have to say concerning the current state of anti-Catholic, anti-liberty rhetoric coming from Washington DC.

The Obama administration continues their attack on Liberty and Freedom; they continue to erode our rights to religious freedom. The latest being their insistence that Catholic Institutions abandon their core beliefs and offer healthcare benefits that cover birth control, sterilization and abortion causing drugs. This is a direct act against our religious freedom and anti-American. (Source)

We, as Americans, as Catholics as a freedom loving people must stand up, speak out and protest this act of religious bigotry. We, as Catholics, are called to do so, by our very baptism, we have been given the responsibility to stand up for and defend our faith and our Church. Yet, all too often, we fail to do so. If we remain still and quiet the Obama Administration will win, not just the healthcare debate, but even more importantly they clip_image003will the war he and his administration has waged against religious freedoms.

Our right as Americans and our obligations as Catholics are being challenged and we must respond, and we must respond loudly and boldly. This administration is forcing Catholic Charities, Hospitals and Schools to support and pay for treatments that are counter to our faith, counter to our faith structure. This should shock all Americans, not just Catholics. This is an attack on all Freedoms, not just Religious Freedoms. The Founding Fathers would be shocked to their core and the call for Revolution would once again be heard over this great land. The Founding Fathers fought for Freedom and Liberty, the ability for people to choose their Faith and practices it as seen fit by the faith. They fought for less government and more personal responsibility, not for Big Brother and Government intervention into our daily lives. Healthcare is a personal responsibility and one that the government should not be involved in, but that will be saved for another time. Back to this open letter and the attack on our religious freedoms.

From Bishop Boyea of the Lansing Diocese

Diocese of Lansing Responds to HHS Mandate

These past days have seen a grave error on the part of the federal government, as well as a blessed response from Catholics all across this great state and nation.
By now, all men and women of faith know that the United States Department of Health and Human Services has declared that health benefit plans must include coverage for sterilization, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs. This unconstitutional and unconscionable mandate is to take effect in stages during 2012 and 2013.
The Catholic Church in the United States will never comply with this mandate. Told that the federal government has allowed a one-year grace period during which the Church can adjust itself to this mandate, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York responded that the Church does not need a year to determine whether it would comply. He is right. In offering this supposed mandate, the federal government misreads the Constitution of the United States. It equally misreads the determination of Catholics.
This nation is built upon the three-legged stool of the First Amendment. Our precious freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly underlie everything this nation is, and everything this nation has ever accomplished. Religious liberty gives the freedom to preach the Truth. And the truth is that pregnancy is not a disease. Nor is the natural fertility of a woman a disease.
Through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Michigan Catholic Conference, we are exploring a number of options, including litigation and Congressional reform. As these efforts move forward, Catholics should make clear to their elected officials the crucial importance of religious liberty, and they should pray daily for those who have the responsibility for making these decisions.(Source)

God Bless Bishop Boyea for his strong stance, he truly is a Sheppard of his flock, and I for one am proud to know he is in Michigan and at one time was part of the Archdiocese of Detroit. He speaks boldly and strongly, and his statement should be ours, we, as Catholics, will never comply with this mandate. We need to refuse, to protest and to vote with our Catholic heart and sensibility. We need to let Obama and his administration that he cannot, that no politician can dictate the pillars of our faith, that no mortal man can overturn the laws of God! We will not stand for this and we will, we must, fight back!

It is not only Conservatives or Republicans that should be upset, but Liberals and Democrats, this is not going to stop, the power grab will continue if it is not revered. We will see more laws; more directives infringing upon our Liberates and Freedoms enter into the cause of fairness and equality. The forced secularization of Catholic institutions is neither fair nor equal; it is tyranny in its infancy. It is socialism at its birth and will continue to grow unless we, as Americans, stand and fight! It is time that we rejuvenate our revolutionary hearts and stand for what is right.

Please do not miss understand me here, I am not talking about bloodshed, but I am talking about revolution, a change in the current regime and a return to Liberty and the Constitution. This Administration has trampled this document more than any other has; they have no respect for the Founders and see the Constitution as outdated and in-need of an update, The Constitution 2.0, if you will. Obama himself has stated this:

The President said,”…our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes.” (Source)

clip_image004Really, the system Obama is referring to is outlined and detailed in the Constitution… Hmm, How dare the Founders limit King Obama’s power to force his radical and leftist views upon Americans. That is exactly what he is doing with the contraceptive healthcare law being enforced upon Catholics. I know some Liberals and pro-abortionist are hailing this as a victory. However, they should be careful not to celebrate too much, because soon the heavy hand of tyranny will crush your freedoms and liberties, as it is ours. Hold your convictions tight, as Americans; we have the right to do so, and an obligation to defend them. However, be careful and de diligent, the road to socialism is paved with many tempting things. Such as forcing all to accept, for the betterment of all, abortion, birth control and serialization. It promises a nation with “free” healthcare and equality that is not only protected by the government but also guaranteed. The temptations of Utopia are many and they shine and glimmer of in the distance, just like fools gold below the waters of injustice. We all want Equality and Liberty, we all strive for Freedom and Fairness, but as we quest for and search for this Utopia, this perfection of Government and men, we often times forget the men to whom we are governing. Our Nation was designed with one concept in mind, that it is man who gives government its power, not government who gives man its Freedoms. We, as a Nation allow the Federal Government the power to withhold Liberties and Freedoms as a payment for protection of our Liberties and Freedoms. We give them the power, not the other way around. Yet they seem to see it differently, The Obama administration seems to see it as they grant us our Freedoms and Liberties, and in doing so, they rightly feel they have the power to remove, to hold ransom, our Liberties and Freedoms. As long as we allow them to feel this way, as long as we do not stand and fight for our Freedoms and Liberties, they will continue to act as if they have the power over us, and not as our Founding Fathers intended, we have the power of them. It is our Government, we created it and we can destroy it or we can restore it! What will it be? This is a defining moment in our history; this is a turning point for our Great Nation. How will we react?

Revelation 3:16
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

I for one am going to stand and Fight!

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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You Smoke….. Your Fired!


smokersThe other day I was listening to WJR 760, the local Detroit talk radio, the show was the Mitch Album show and the topic was companies that fire smokes. The interview itself was very calm, but the post call in, at times got very heated. The question that caused all the heat, “Do companies have a right to fire smokers?” My simple answer, yes they do…. But…

The but in this answer is very big, in fact its huge… As a person who believes in free enterprise and the ability of people and companies to control their destiny. Companies should have the right to decide who should represent them, be it smokers or nonsmoker. But this rule should also hold true for other attributes, such as size, faith, or any other attribute. If, for example I owned a Catholic company or school or hospital, I should have the right to only hire Catholics in good standing. Or if I run an airline, I should have the right to hire only stewards the represent what I want to present my company as. If that is thin beautiful woman, than that’s what I should be allowed to hire.

The fact that several companies will not hire smokers (Source) is a corporate decision, one made to help lower health insurance coast, increase profits and promote a healthy life style. Fine, I’m good with that… As a smoker (well currently a nonsmoker) I good with that, they have the right to decide whom they want working and representing them. So if Delta Airlines decides they no longer want to hire anyone whose weight is over a certain level, to save fuel, promote a healthy life style, than they should have the same right as the companies that fire smokers. If a Catholic hospital wants to hire only Catholics in good standing, to promote the catholic faith, and wants to lower health insurance coast by not covering birth control and abortion, than they should have the same rights as the companies that fire smokers.

The right of privet companies should be respected across the board. The right of a restaurant to bad age groups (Source) should also be respected. We should not allow some rules but not others, fair is fair, to use a liberal phrase. If a company make a bad decision, and offends to many people, they will do one of two things, they will either change or they will close down, it’s that simple. The free market will correct the system, as long as the system is allowed to work.

The problem is, the rules are not fair, and the liberals are picking and choosing what is good for you and what is good for corporations. The problem is, we are not allowing the free market to be free. We are regulating the market, holding it back and creating a false market. A market that is pushed and prodded to follow along a path of socialism. A system of the government telling you what is best for you. Yes I know the government is not forcing companies to fire smokers, but they are forcing Catholic institutions to hire non-Catholics and Delta to hire heavy-set stewards. And give the government time, and they will require companies to hire only non-smokers. Trust me on this, with Obamcare coming, to save money, drive down health care, they will force Americans to quit smoking. Is that a bad thing? Health wise, no, we all know smoking is bad for you, but liberty wise, Hell ya its bad…. What would be next? Drinking? Read Meat? Sugar? Salt? Think not… (Source) Or how about the size of your TV (Source). The government has not right to interfere in your personal life. They tried it with prohibition (Source), it didn’t work to well.

So, does a company have the right to fire smokers…. Sure it does, as long as a company has the right to fire fat people or to fire non-Catholics or anyone else that does  not represent that company’s views. Fair is fair.

God Bless

Paul Sposite

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Politically Sterile


The Christmas session is over, and the decorations are down, now starts the political session… Over the weekend I watched the ABC GOP Debates, if you can call them that. I was so mad that I found it hard to watch. The moderators were, well to put it simply, STUPID. They asked stupid questions, has stupid follow-ups and acted just plain stupid. George Stephanopoulos was the biggest idiot of them all (Drudge Report). But none of them should be proud of themselves.

The best moment for me, Newt’s monolog on the Catholic Church:

“I just want to raise, since we just spent this much time on these issues, I just want to raise a point about the news media bias. You don’t hear the opposite question asked. Should the Catholic Church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won’t accept gay couples? Which is exactly what the state has done.”

He continued:

Should the Catholic Church be driven out of providing charitable services in the District of Columbia because it won’t give in to secular bigotry? Should the Catholic Church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration in a key delivery of services because of the bias and the bigotry of the administration? The bigotry question goes both ways, and there’s a lot more anti-Christian bigotry today than there is concerning the other side, and none of it gets covered by the liberal media.

God Bless him, got to love it…. We need more Catholics in public office and in the public eye to be more like Newt, and stand up for our faith. I wanted to get in my car and drive out there to shake his hand, but living in Michigan that would have been hard to do. But boy did I want to….

It seems to me that people are afraid to stand up for the faith because they are afraid of being labeled politically incorrect. But really is it? Does being politically correct mean that you have to stop standing up for your faith, your beliefs? I don’t think so, to me that is being politically sterile, having no value system no moral ground to stand on. How can I take your view points about anything seriously if you are afraid to stand up for them? The liberals stand up for what they want, a society of drowns with no original though, but we conservatives do not, for the fear of being labeled!

We have allowed the politically correct crowed do exactly what they are supposed to be against, we have allowed them to marginalize us and label us. We have allowed them to force their belief upon us, all in the name of political correctness… Does that really make sense?

We, conservatives and Christians are the new fair game when it comes to bigotry and discrimination, and the worst part, its been institutionalized bout our governments and our Churches! I know that in the Catholic Church the political correctness thing has done damage to the faith. We have Bishops who support gay marriage, want social health care and believe abortion is ok… All in the name of not wanting to offend!

I have to say this, but Jesus offended people, He spoke the truth and sometimes that truth was offensive to people. He spoke load and bold on issues, regardless of the political correctness that others sought… I would think that Jesus offended quite a few when he over turned the money changing tables in the Temple:

Cleansing the Temple
12And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”

14And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 16and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF’?” 17And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there. (Matthew 21: 12-17)

In today’s world He would be arrested and the story would have been blasted all over the 24 hour news channels as an intolerant religious fool. Now, to be fair, Jesus was killed, but not for that, He was killed out of fear. The same fear that causes the liberals to do what they are doing now, the fear of Truth. The fear of being called to task, the fear of having to face the fact that you can not do as you please and that there is someone watching over you, someone greater than you, God.

Nope Newt did the right thing, he stood up, knowing it was on national TV, knowing people on the left will try to spin it, knowing it could hurt his run for the presidency, he stood up and proclaimed the truth… God Bless him! We need more like him, we need to do as he has done, and stand up and stop being politically streile.

God Bless

 

Paul

Guided Insight Life Coach

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