Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

May 8, 2012

Spicy Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Spicy Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

How is that for a long name for a recipe? I couldn’t figure out which adjective was the most important, so I just included them all. I think my favorite part is the fact that its spicy.

It’s been awhile since I posted in this blog, though now that the school semester is wrapping up, I will have all summer to post again. Boom!

I know this has nothing to do with Catholic stuff, but I was playing around with my own concoction and I was surprised it turned out great. So I had to go ahead and blog just so that I could document it.

So here goes:

–1 28oz can diced tomatoes
–2 14oz cans chicken broth
– 1 tsp dry basil
–a dash or two of red pepper
–1 tbs garlic powder
– 1 tsp black pepper
–1 tsp salt
–1/2 cup milk
–1/4 cup flour

Its easy. I just poured the chicken broth and can of tomatoes in a pot and spiced it with the basil, red pepper, and garlic powder. I let it boil, then reduced to low heat, covered it, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

In a separate bowl I mixed milk, flour, salt and pepper. I whisked it until it was smooth, and then stirred into the soup. I let it boil again for about 2-3 minutes.

Spicy, Creamy, Chunky, deliciousness.

June 29, 2011

Praying to Saints–A Powerful Form of Intercessory Prayer

It has been awhile since I made a post, due to time constraints, but this blog has not been far from my mind! I still have so much that I feel I need to cover and so many misconceptions I would like to clear up, and tonight I think I’m going to pick up with the issue on praying to saints.

It’s no secret to anyone that Catholics pray to the saints (in other words, Christians who are in Heaven)…and this is true! What is untrue, however, is that this means Catholics worship the saints. The word “pray” is not synonymous with “worship”. Pray, by the original definition, means “to ask earnestly”. Ever heard that old fashioned saying “Pray tell me…”? That phrase, utilizing the word “pray”, is a form of asking. Therefore, simply saying that Catholics pray to the saints does not in any way imply worship.

Worship is for God and God alone…all three parts of Him. The Chatechism of the Catholic Church (which is basically a giant document that covers the Church’s belief and theology on everything pertaining to God, Scripture, Tradition, and life) will tell you that the Chruch’s official belief is that, again, Worship is ONLY for God. The Catholic Church does not condone the worship of anyone other than our one God. (I apologize not for redundancy…I felt that that fact bares repeating).

If Catholics don’t worship the saints, then what are they doing praying to them??

Let me ask you, whoever “you” reading this may be, a simple question. If you are going through a rough time, and could really use some prayer, what is the first thing you do, after (or perhaps before) praying to God yourself? I assume that most of you would say that you go to your best friend, family member, or fellow member of your congregation, and ask them to pray for you. But why…why would you ask someone else to pray for you, when you have a direct connection to God? Why not just pray to Him yourself…it’s YOU he wants to hear from, and there is no mediator between God and man besides Christ, right?

You ask a fellow Christian to pray for you in times of need because two praying hearts are better than one! Especially if the person you came to is someone you trust as a strong Christian and a mighty prayer warrior.

This is why Catholics pray to saints.

The saints are simply Christians who are in Heaven. As Christians, we are one family, despite our current place in our spiritual journey (still enduring here on Earth, or experiencing eternal life in Heaven). Therefore, the saints, just like the Christians here on Earth, are our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are at the foot of God’s throne, worshiping Him for all eternity and serving as prayer warriors for those of us enduring the hardships that life on Earth brings. So just like you can ask your best friend or pastor to lift you up in prayer and intercede on your behalf, you are also provided with heavenly prayer partners to do the same.

Personally, when I am struggling with something, I first spend some quiet time with God myself. Then, I may go recruit those I trust to pray for me as well. I’ll ask my husband or my best friend to pray for me, as well as a saint in Heaven. Because prayer is powerful, and in tough times, I need all the prayer I can get!

 

“For when two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them” –Jesus Christ; Matthew 18:20

May 12, 2011

Where in the Bible does it say that everything has to be in the Bible?

When questioning beliefs of the Church, the one thing people always go back to is “Where is that in the Bible?” While all of the Teachings and Traditions of the Church coincide with principles and references in the Bible, not every Teaching or Tradition is specifically mentioned in the Bible in a clear cut, direct manner. When people cannot find a scripture that directly references a Catholic belief, their immediate response is, “Where is that in the Bible?”

A few years back, when I was anti-all-things Catholic, due to lack of knowledge, I asked this question often. Then one day, I got an answer that made me think: “Well, where in the Bible does it say that everything has to be in the Bible?”

As I thought on this comment, I began to find that not only does it never say in the Bible that everything related to Christ and His Teachings has to be in the Bible, but in fact the exact opposite is stated:

“So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15

St. Paul is referencing two mediums to knowing Jesus’ truth: the letter, which is the many letters that he himself and the other apostles wrote that later came to make up a huge portion of the New Testament canon (in layman’s terms: scripture), and word of mouth, also known as oral tradition.

Let me pause here to clarify: The Bible is the Holy, infallible Word of God, and the Church teaches this. Scripture is very important. However, the Church teaches that Scripture is not the only source of infallibility Christ gave to us. The oral Teachings of the Church, passed down from Jesus to the first apostles to their successors today, are also infallible.

The fact of the matter is, everything Jesus said was infallible and every event that happened in relation to Jesus is significant to our faith as Christians. But not all of these things were physically written down.  What was not written down was spoken through the Church. And just as the Bible was physically written by sinful men, yet remains infallible because of the Holy Spirit’s divine guidance, so are the Teachings of the Church considered infallible because of the same phenomenon. Although leaders of the church have sinned and made mistakes along the way, God has promised that the “gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18b), and alas, the oral Teachings of God have remained consistent throughout the years.

There are a couple of prime examples of divinely inspired, oral Teachings of the Church that Protestant denominations also hold. One is the concept of the Holy Trinity (one God, in three parts) No where in Scripture is the word “Trinity” found, and although there are indirect references to the concept, there is not a direct verse that states that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all together make up ONE God. In fact, it wasn’t until approximately 400 years after Christianity began that a council of church leaders met and made this Teaching an official Teaching of the Church. This is an oral Tradition of the Church in which all mainstream Christian denominations subscribe.

Another example is the compilation of the New Testament as it is today. The New Testament and the books in which comprise of it were not agreed upon and made official until the year 395, over three centuries after Christianity began. So, obviously, no where in the Bible does it specifically say Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, etc. etc. etc. are the infallible word of God. Yet, we believe they are, because the Church that Jesus established to sit in His seat in His physical absence, the Church that was being lead by the Holy Spirit, decided that these writings were divinely inspired. Well over a thousand years of this teaching being consistently, orally passed down, all Christians still believe these books make up the Bible and are the infallible Word of God.

We all know that Christianity began when Jesus ascended back into Heaven, very much alive, and sent His Holy Spirit over His Church. But at this point, as mentioned before, there was no Christian Bible as we know it today, nor would there be for over three hundred years. Even after the New Testament was officially decided upon and compiled, ownership of books were few and far between, due to lack of technology at the time. And even after the invention of the printing press, over a thousand years later, most common people did not know how to read, as it was not a priority in those days as it is today.  Therefore, it was simply not practical nor logical for the only source of divine inspiration to come from a book, and Jesus, a product of that time, was well aware of this.

Yet Christianity still persisted. This is because Jesus did not just leave us with a book to guide us, He left us with a Church. He did not just send His Holy Spirit over the writers of the New Testament to proclaim His infallible word, He sent His Holy Spirit over the leaders of the Church, to orally pass down His Teachings from generation to generation, so that this game of telephone might remain divinely inspired, despite the sinful nature of the men who were to proclaim it. And although not all of these Teachings were physically written down, they remain the infallible Word of God.

May 5, 2011

Finals Are Causing a Slight Delay. . .

I just wanted to take a minute to let those who follow this blog and those who have asked me questions know that I have not forgotten your questions! Unfortunately, this last week of school and the imminent finals have prevented me from spending the time I feel is necessary to thoroughly answer all the questions and address all that I feel is important. However, they are at the forefront of my mind and this blog is my first priority as soon as I have a good chunk of spare time in between finals!

Good luck to those who are in the same boat and stressed about the end of semester responsibilities, and just remember: so long as you study hard and do your part, God will meet you halfway and be there with you as you take your exams!

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will be established” –Proverbs 16:3