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Archive for the ‘The Bible’ Category

Loving  Heavenly Father, creator  of all things, Your Word says “1You created all things through Jesus Christ and 2You made all things good and perfect.” 3You give life to all things. I thank You, that I have conceived by Your grace and mercy. The baby in my womb is Your creation,  thank You for Your precious gift.

Cover me, the baby in my womb and my family members with the holy and precious blood of Jesus. I forgive all who have hurt me and rejected me in any manner.

Protect me, my baby and my family members from all evil and dangers. 4 You are our refuge and our fortress. 5 For You, Lord, will give Your angels charge over us. My God, in You I put my trust. During this time of waiting, help me to guard this new life carefully and do nothing to hurt it in any way.

Lord, Your word also says, 6 “Truly You have formed my innermost being. You have woven me in my mother’s womb. “According to Your Word, let my baby grow normally with all its requirements fulfilled. Take away all complications from my baby and me. Grant me and my baby good health. 7 Lord, let my baby be perfect as You are perfect.

Lord Jesus, You be present with me during all this time this baby grows and comes into this world. Lord Your Word says “8 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I sanctified you. Please grant me a safe and normal delivery. Take away all blocks and barriers that are hindering this blessing in my life. Lord I also pray that You lead all pregnant women who are reading this prayer to safe and normal delivery. All this I ask in the name of Jesus, who is Lord of Life, now and forever. Amen.

9 Shall I bring to the time of birth and not cause delivery?” says the LORD. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb? says Your God.

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Scripture References: 1-  Romans 11:36,  2 –  James 1:17,  3 –  1Timothy 6:13, 4-  Psalm 91:2, 5  Psalm 91:11, 6  Psalm 139:13,  7-   Matthew 5:48,  8-  Jeremiah 1:5, 9-  Isaiah 66:9 
 
 

Prayer for a Woman in Labour at Childbirth

O Lord God Almighty, Creator of all things and Giver of knowledge to mankind; Who fashioned the body of man from the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, granting him Your blessings, that he might increase and multiply by means of the birth of children: We fervently entreat You Who loves mankind to bless this Your servant, N., who is with child, granting her help and comfort at this trying time. Ease her labour and bring her to a safe delivery. Yes, O Lord, open the treasury of Your mercies and Your compassion to her, and let her give birth to a fruitful vine to be a cause of joy to her all the days of her life. For You are blessed, together with Your Only-begotten Son, and Your Most-holy, Good and Life-creating Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

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God hates gay people. That’s how some Christian ‘activists’ and members of the Westboro Baptist Church in the US seem to interpret some Old  and New Testament passages on homosexuality and immoral behaviours:

  1. “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” (Leviticus 20:13)
     
  2. “Do you not know thatthe unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom ofGod? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, norhomosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Obviously, I am not suggesting that anyone should simply ignore the totality of the Bible picking only whatever suits them; but when it comes to homosexuality I am not convinced that Christians should condemn it as the WBC does, be it because of an individual’s sinful nature or a personal life-style choise, makes no difference. God hates the sin not the sinner.  Therefore, it is hard to agree with people demonstrating outside a funereal ceremony with banners reading “You Die, God laughs” or  “God hates fags”, because such statements have nothing to do with Christianity. In fact, they resemble more the sort of hate speech aimed at minority groups that, as we have witnessed through history, can have catastrophic consequences to all.

The scripture tells us that God wants all men to be saved, and Jesus himself declared that He didn’t come for the just but for the sinners. So how can we reconcile God’s message with such hatred charged speech of the Westboro Baptists? I am afraid we can’t. This is why I stick with the good old Catholic teaching on daily prayers for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of all souls.

But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22 None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? Ezekiel 18: 21-23

 

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Protestant Evangelical churches multiply at an exponential rate these days, the phenomena of the mega churches and their fell-good & prosperity Gospel, some of  which are run by business minded pastors and their ‘marketing’ orientated approach, is not all that uncommon in the United States, and is worryingly beginning to spread around the world. 

However, some of the things we see as the core ‘doctrine’ Protestants are so strict about, such as the ‘sinners prayer’, which is a personal invitation for Jesus to become the individual’s Lord and Saviour, and is so fundamental to the Protestant psyche of today was not something shared by the fathers of the Reformation, such as Luther or Calvin and didn’t come about until the 18th with th Puritans in England. In fact, the scriptural support for this belief is very weak and one has to stretch the scriptures rather aggressively in order to Biblically prove it.

Other discoveries would shock most Evangelical Protestants, I am sure, such as Calvin’s views on Ecclesiastical Authoritative role on the interpretation of Scriptures and Luther’s recognition of priestly confession.

So why has the Protestant movement, which initially started to ‘reform’ the Church, not to deny its teachings, ended up like this? The video below surely answers some of these questions.

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Firstly, I would like to state that most of the thoughts and references posted in this entry,  are either based on or refer to the writings of a former Protestant Minister and author, Paul Whitcomb, who after several years of Bible Study and spiritual ‘search’ converted to Catholicism.

Mr. Whitcomb is a profound studious of the Holy Scriptures and his insights on Catholicism can be very valuable to those looking to understand the Psyche of a Catholic, but most of all they provide an incredible understanding of the Catholic Faith. I believe also that his work can provide very plausible answers to many, if not all, of the most common misunderstandings and prejudice against the Catholic Church.

Yes, we Catholics have to deal with a lot of questioning and criticism. I do not intent to ‘convert’ anyone, rather my goal with this section of the blog is to explain my Faith as best as I can. I realize that some of the issues I intend to write about in this space are controversial and sensitive.  However, I hope that anyone reading these posts will not be tempted to ‘draw hasty conclusions, but read on’ before they can sincerely make an opinion, which hopefully will be based on facts and not in preconceived ideas.

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Many people these days seem to turn to Christianity mainly for the sake of their own personal material fulfilment, rather than because they want to surrender themselves to God and follow Jesus’ example  during His life on earth, or simply achieve spiritual growth.

I feel that many Christian denominations tent to focus on material prosperity and worldly achievements, as opposed to spiritual growth and spiritual fulfilment. It seems as though  the ultimate purpose of being a Christian is to achieve self-benefits without self-sacrifice or deprivation. Which is as convenient as it is far from the truth. 

Some Christian completely distort Jesus’ teachings to fit their views, and their understanding of Christianity has no resemblance to what you see in Jesus’  ministry, or for that matter, the Bible itself.

A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish. (Psalm 49:20)

Recently, an American Pastor was talking on TV about her book ‘Buy the Shoes, Eat the Coockie’ – or something to that effect – I must admit I was very saddened by her arguments. After watching her interview, I found myself wondering about  the purpose of penance, self-sacrifice or as Catholics say, ‘the offering up’ of one’s sufferings as means of  achieving  a holy life…

There are plenty of instances in the Bible where Jesus talks about material wealth and the lack of it, as well as spiritual growth and the way to the truth. Many interpretations, however, seem to fall short of understanding His words, even though they sometimes can be plain clear. 

Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:25)

A good Christian wants to be more like Jesus Himself.  A good way of  ‘practicing’ this is to always remember to ask ourselves a very simple question, whenever we found ourselves in position when we are not sure which way to go: What would Jesus do/say if He was me right now? I am certain that if we put our own will aside and listen carefully to the answer, it would most definitely lead us  to live a more sanctified way of life.

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