Catholic Fatherhood, growing in geekiness, holiness and intelligence.

kc0lex (Matthew). Get yours at

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A little Apologetics about Purgatory

One of the best little apologetics sites around, The Bible Christian Society. I can't vouch for all these ideas being my own as some of them come from their but I ran across this blogpost and thought it worthwhile to respond to protestant criticism that their is no purgatory.

There has never been a place called Purgatory and there never will be a place called Purgatory. It does not exist. If you search the scriptures you will not find this place in there at all.

First, to understand what I am trying to show here it would behoove you to read the post and the line of reasoning that Mr. White presents. Alright, now that you are back let us look at the line of reasoning.

What seems to be laid out is that if purgatory existed it would be mentioned and laid out in the Bible and by Jesus in the Bible. Now, on the face this doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the following reasons.
  1. Taken to absurdity, for something to exist it must be presented in the Bible. Cars are never mentioned in the Bible but who would say that they don't exist. The same could be said of airplanes and many other things including the very computer that you are reading on.
  2. Reducing back to an area that is more generous, let us assume only that if it is a theological principle it would be mentioned in the Bible so that we could have knowing of it. Why did Christ not write anything or command the writing of the scriptures? It can't be found in the Bible, if it can, please show it to me!
  3. "There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described indicidually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written." John 21:25. It would seem to me that this particualr point of the text indicates that the reality of faith and that which is is not and cannot be limited to the Bible alone.

Now let us look and see what we can find about this whole idea of purgatory, is it Biblical? Yes, it is and I will lay out the texts to show you how it is.

  1. "Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the Lord.' Nathan answered David: 'The Lord has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die." 2 Samuel 12:13-14. This first principle of the Bible shows that their is still punishment due to sin, even after the sin is forgiven.
  2. "So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48. The second principle shows us that we must be made made perfect, it is a direct command and the will of Jesus Christ.
  3. "the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire [itself] will test the quality of each one's work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. But if someone's work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved but only as through fire." 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. The third principle from the Bible is one that shows us how we will be judged on "the Day" and what will happen with the work we have done. On "the Day" after we are judged (translation=dead) it is interesting that we can a) suffer loss (something that doesn't happen in heaven), b) still able to be saved (enter heaven) but through fire (purification).
  4. "The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death). Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire." Revelation 21:12-15. I find it interesting that people who had died were not in heaven or in hell but under the possession of Hades and Death that were thrown in the pool of fire that is second death. Some of these people were thrown into the second death (hell) and some were not and went to heaven. Conjecture on my part, but I believe it is possible that those who were to be damned were in one place and those who were to join Christ in heaven were in the other.

Okay, so we have found that their is punishment due for sin after the forgiveness of sin, we must be perfect as Christ himself commands, we can be purified after the day of judgement and we will be somewhere else until we are judged for our sins. As a Catholic, that is my understanding of purgatory, those four biblical principles.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
, , , , , , , ,

Art, piles of stuff and a blank canvas

I am currently working on a blog post about art and how it works, I am highlighting one of my favorite modern artists. I am fortunate enough to have met this person in real life and he has something special in his soul.

I am also in a homeschool support group that is having a t-shirt design contest, well lets say I have a design in my btain but I am having trouble getting it to come out. What I am saying is that I am someone who can appreciate art but I have trouble drawing it. I should post some of my stuff that is "decent." Of course, its really frustrating when I get an idea for a piece of art because it is hard to get it out of my head, no software can help with that, I think its related to some type of hand-eye coordination issue and having trouble making things look right in reference to each other.

Enough rambling, have some work to do, some writing to write and loving of my children that needs done. Also, if you have noticed that blogs aren't coming as quick as they once did, I am working on a rough draft of a book about fatherhood. I will publish some parts of it here but I need to get the draft done so I can start filling it out.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , Tags:
, , , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Never seen this before ҉ erofeb siht nees reveN

Just randomly looking through google trends for Aug 27 and saw this character, not a real popular search but in the top 100 for the day. ҉ Cut and paste it, stick it into google search. Oh, the things we do on the web.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Technorati Tags:

Sacrifice:Gain or Gift?

H/T: Catholic Fire

I was talking to my wife today about sacrifice and why we do . Do we do it for some type of gain, like work so we can earn money for food for our family? We have a certain expectation in that situation, a contract with our employer. What about sacrifice for our family?

One of the pitfalls that we can run into is seeing ourself as a martyr, feeling that we are owed behaviors or other things based on what we have given. The problem is that martyrdom depends on someone coming and asking you to deny the faith and you refusing, not just you working yourself to the bone. No, sacrifice for our family must be gift, that can mean martyrdom, but we have a tall example.

This is a song that I have heard my wife sing before, I like her beautiful voice, but this is a wonderful video to go with it.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , ,

Monday, August 27, 2007

planB?? Whatever happened to planA?

The Curt Jester put up a great post about EC (Emergency Contraception), the morning after pill, plan B or whatever other name its being pushed under. It got me to thinking though, people will repeatedly state that the morning after pill will not have an effect if the woman is already pregnant, its not a big deal. Isn't the morning after pill just a high-dose version of the pill? Why, yes, it is just that. Funny, if you are pregnant or could be pregnant then you aren't supposed to take the pill, it all of the sudden has unnamed health risks and potential side effects.

In the pill's insert it states that you shouldn't take the pill if you are pregnant on page 5 when talking about side effects:

You should not take the pill if you suspect you are pregnant or have unexplained vaginal bleeding.

Oh, and it states it again on page 6 under the section, WHO SHOULD NOT TAKE ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES.

So, I saunter over to the Plan B website and what do I find in their package insert but the following:

Progestin-only contraceptive pills (POPs) are used as a routine method of birth control over longer periods of time, and are contraindicated in some conditions. It is not known whether these same conditions apply to the Plan B® regimen consisting of the emergency use of two progestin pills. POPs however, are not recommended for use in the following conditions:
Known or suspected pregnancy
• Hypersensitivity to any component of the product

I did add a little emphasis here but what I am getting at is something that is scary, if its ok to take this if you are pregnant, then why do both of these inserts nott want pregnant women to take this medication????? I thought it would have no effect on an existing pregnancy??:
If you take Plan B® and are already pregnant, it will not affect your
existing pregnancy.

Now, I am trying to figure it out if their is something bad that could happen to the mother or child and I have found lots of conflicting data on that. Some things say that nothing bad will happen to a baby in utero that has a mother taking the pill and others say that their is minimal data or no significant effects, this seems to be a place that has some very shady or selective language used.

Oh, and it appears that having Plan B out their and available doesn't really do a whole lot of anything to pregnancy and abortion rates, odd.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

P.S. A is for Abstinence.

Technorati Tags:
, , , ,


Fatherhood is a journey that has many pitfalls. One of the biggest dangers is resentment over having to change the way one has to live life. As a father you are still in charge but you are no longer in control.

In my house we currently have six wills trying to make it through the day and I only have control over one of them. The other five wills intersect mine repeatedly, from wanting to snuggle and read a book to crashing headlong into mine over chores.

I have come to realize the as a father, and it holds true at some level for mothers, that each interaction with my children is a crossroads in my life and in my relationship with them.

Jesus spoke of roads and how we must travel. As the Word in the Old Testament we see rules for journies and as the Savior in the New Testament we see Him sending people out on roads to spread His message. He spoke of the easy road, the well traveled road and its counterpart, the road less traveled.

The choice between those two roads is the choice I face with every crossroads in my life. Fortunately, He is the way, the Truth and the Life, He set out on journies and it is thus that we have Him as an example.

As a father I am to represent God to my children in how I lead them down the road and in how I interact when I come to a crossroads. It is my hope that even when they are discouraged from failures that I can show them many things about God's plan and as I share myself with them sacrificially that their eyes may be opened to Christ through me, much like Christ did with His disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sad Story out of Wisconsin

As someone who works in this field I can relate to tragedies like this as I have dealt with them over the phone from time to time. Most people only call 911 one to two times in their life on average and call when they don't know how to deal with a situation, they are looking for help in dealing with it and 911 is where they look for the answer.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This compass is pointing the wrong way! ! !

Ok, I have already laid out a blog post with links to resources about the first movie being released in the Pullman Trilogy, His Dark Materials. The Golden Compass is turning out to be more frightening than I had realized.

Part of the problem is that I had only seen the teaser trailer, the one that made me think they were announcing the impendening release of The Hobbitt. Instead it appears to be very anti-Catholic and anti-Christian if not just flat promoting atheism and hedonism. Here is another good summary of just what is wrong on the American Papist's blog.

Nicole Kidman is already having to defend her decision to participate in this movie stating that it is not anti-Catholic. The name of the villanous organization is The Magesterium, that just happens to be the name for the heiarchy of the Roman Catholic Church but it is in no way a slam against Catholicism. Uhhh, no, if you buy that then I have one questions for you: What if instead of calling it, The Magesterium, we called it The Sanhedrien? Would you and the rest of society feel the same way?

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Monday, August 20, 2007

Reason 4,368 not to have next years beerfest at the zoo

I think what the zoo director is saying is

that when you are drunk, you are an idiot.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Click the following to access the sent link:
I JUST SAW IT ON CNN.COM: Bears eat man at beer festival *
*This article can also be accessed if you copy and paste the entire address below into your web browser.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

News around on Thursday

A couple things that appeared in the RSS feeds today that I thought you might find interseting:

Crooner 'with a calling' sings Elvis ... in Latin

Doctor Ammondt, is a proffessor at the University of Jyvaeskylae, has a passion for Elvis Presley and Latin. I have not heard anything recorded by him and the only review I have read compared it more to Karaoke than real singing. Dr. Ammondt does state that the Late Pope John Paul II and former president Bill Clinton both enjoyed his music. Some of the musical selections (alright Latin scholars, reply with comments guessing the origional song title below) are: "Nunc hic aut numquam"; "Nunc Distrahor"; "Ne Saevias"; and "Tedere me ama".

Evangelicals support conversion code

I haven't heard of many Christians using brute force and torture to convert people but stating that we won't do that will, allegedly, reduce tensions between Christians and Muslims. I do find it interesting that on the second page of the article even the Muslims are worried about their ability to spread their message:

Sensitivity to Christian proselytism is widespread among Muslims. Under most interpretations of Sharia, or strict Islamic law, conversion from Islam is forbidden.

Last week, a religious court in Malaysia ordered a woman trying to renounce Islam to undergo three months of counseling in the mainly Muslim country's latest legal tussle over the issue. In Egypt, a Muslim who converted to Christianity and then took the unprecedented step of seeking official recognition for the change said he had gone into hiding following death threats.

Last year, lawmakers in the western Indian state of Rajasthan made it the latest region in the country to outlaw proselytizing with punishments up to five years in prison. Critics claimed the laws will be used to target Christian missionaries, who are often denounced by Hindu nationalists. But Muslims - who represent about 14 percent of India's population - also say the measures could be used against them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Catholic Carnival has arrived...

A well done and fun to read carnival, dividing things up well into thoughtful categories and giving a good summary of each post. Check it out.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Monday, August 13, 2007

Catholic parents face quandary over vaccine to prevent cervical cancer

Check out this Catholic Online Headline

Catholic parents face quandary over vaccine to prevent cervical cancer

I feel fortunate that I don't have to face for another five years or so. I hope they will find out anything that is bad that is caused by this vaccine so that I can make a more informed decision. Of course, can we really trust the same crowd that made the pill? When they were making the pill it started out for men. They stopped testing it because one man noticed testicular shrinkage and they restarted it on women. Well, a few women fell over dead and they just changed the dosage.

I know that this may sound like rambling but I think its my WCSS kicking in and wondering if its part of an agenda that someone is trying to do something to manipulate our children. I should recount my thought about cosmo the magazine.

The other night at work someone left an issue of cosmo out and it happened to talk about "The 75 positions" your man wants. They were all one line quotes from men about what turned them on, they were so self-centered it made me sick. It got me thinking though, if I were a guy cosmo is the perfect magazine, it is targeted at women and makes them think being a sex slave/slut is the only way to make their guy happy. If this magazine is run by a man its like someone that is tottally trying to manipulate our culture. Thank God I try to be a man and not a guy.

In other news I am working on focusing with dealing better with feelings of resentment as they come up, this is a parenting issue. Trying to relate better to my kids and not blow up at them. It is hard because that is how I was raised (or really what I remember of being punished) and I have lived that way for so long. I am reading the book I mentioned awhile back by Dr. Meg Meeker, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. It is a good read and changing the way I approach parenting as a father.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wifely submission

Honey, get me another beer! ?!

This past weekend as a family we went to the Midwest Catholic Family Conference and saw some really great speakers including one of my favorite local priests who gave (from what I hear because I had to get off to work but I am awaiting the tape) a wonderful talk and is just a generally great guy. Alright, so an interesting topic was mentioned by Fr. Gorges was his standard homily that he delivers at weddings, he always preaches on Ephesians 5:21-32 even though he fully understands that most of the couples probably won’t pick it as one of the readings they use in the wedding. Now, if you don’t remember what this selection is, let me remind you.

“Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband
is the head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the
savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be
subordinate to their husbands in everything.” --Ephesians 5:22-24

This is the part that most people are familiar with and there is probably the greatest controversy about this part of the passage. Should a wife ask her husband for help around the house when she is tired? Does submission require her to do all (and I mean ALL) of the housework while her husband goes away to work and then comes home and relaxes or goes and enjoys recreational activities? Should a wife never be able to refuse her husband her wifely duty?

I know some people who say this passage is the most oppressive part of the Bible and they outright reject it. I know other people who believe that the wife has no ability to ask her husband for help around the house or object to options that he has presented. For example, the pregnant woman that is tired and has a sink full of dishes, can she ask her husband for help when he gets home from work? Does that same woman or the mother of a sick toddler have the right to refuse her husband when she is exhausted at the end of the night?

I think we really have to look at this text completely, especially verses 21 and 25-28, but it would be good for you to grab your Bible or go here and read the full section from 21 to 33. 21: “Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Verse 25-28: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle blemish.”

Okay, so now I think we need to take a big step back and start at my take/Fr. Gorges’ take on wifely submission and the economy of love in marriage. Let us first approach the topic from the text that we find in Ephesians. First, we need to look at the word submission and define it. What is the origin of the word submission? The root of the word is “sub missio”, and these two Latin words have very specific meanings: sub=under missio=mission. Alright, if we look at verse 21 we see that husbands and wives are subordinate or under the mission of the other out of respect for Christ (I believe this is because the gift of the spouse comes from Christ, an important point that we will have to blog more about later). So we can see that both spouses purpose in marriage is to be under the mission of the other spouse. The point is that we are both trying to get to heaven and my, as a husband, purpose in marriage is to make sure my wife is able to journey to heaven. Conversely, my wife’s purpose is to make sure I get to heaven. This is mentioned specifically for the husband in verses 27-28 of the 5th chapter of Ephesians.

Ok, back to our task at hand in figuring out what the role of wifely submission is in the context we have set up here. If my wife is under my mission (submission) what is she supposed to do? Well, what does it say that the mission of the husband is? Well, in Ephesians 5:25 it simply says that I, as husband, am to love my wife as Christ love the Church. How did Christ love the Church? He teaches is, ministers to it, feeds it, provides for its needs and finally, suffered and died for it on the cross so that the gates of heaven would be opened to the Church.

Ok, so if my wife is under my mission (its given to me by God, not determined by me) that means she is supposed to help me give up my entire being for her so that she can get to heaven. Doesn’t sound like to bad a deal for her does it?

Another way of taking a look at this is the way that Christ takes a look at the role of marriage. In the Gospel of Matthew He directs us to the model that he set for marriage while talking about divorce. “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” –Matthew 19:8

The late Pope John Paul II used this passage in his work on the Theology of the Body to point us to where we should look at for a picture of God’s model of marriage. The book of Genesis and creation of man, specifically the second story of creation in the second chapter. God created man outside of the garden in the wild (Genesis 2:7-8) God then made trees and put the man in charge of all that was created, the man was in charge and he was responsible for what happened in the garden(Genesis 2:15-17). Now, God makes the statement that it is not good for the man to be alone and decides to make him companions to see who would partner with him. God made creatures to see who would be a partner for his mission. (Genesis 2:19-20). Finally, God made woman, from out of man and this was the creation that would be the partner for the man in his mission. The one whom would work with him and help him in his mission and responsibility to be responsible for all that is. (Genesis 2:21-23).

My thought on my household and running it is my responsibility, God has charged me with the responsibility. My wife is my help-mate, she is my partner, the one who works beside me and helps me as we battle the battles that we face in life. She is not to fall at my whims and be responsible for whatever I command her to do, but she is here to do things with me to help me accomplish my mission. This does give me authority over her but as a husband I must order it to the end that was given to me. I must give of myself completely to her. Now I must say that this is only possible through Christ, as I am an imperfect fallen being.

This is not something that I can hold over my wife and have her do everything around the house while I sit and relax because I go and slay the dragon for 8-12 hours a day. I shouldn’t expect her to mow the lawn and do all the tasks at home. As parents are workdays are almost identical. They are identical in the fact that they begin when we wake (we are just on-call while we sleep, you know kids do get sick or have nightmares) and end when we retire to bed for sleep. Mine just involves me going somewhere else to get money so that I can buy the things we need and my wife’s is mainly present here at the house as she is a stay-at-home mother. We both have a need for resting and recharging but I don’t get from the time I get home from work until I go to bed four hours later.

If you read the little house books, Pa worked all day from sun up to sun down away in the fields when that was his duty and Ma worked all day at the house. Family time and work for Pa around the house occurred when he wasn’t or couldn’t be out doing the work away from the home. He didn’t come home and put his feet up and ask for Ma to bring him a beer while he read the paper or made plans to go golfing. Ma in some ways had it easier; she hardly left the house, no soccer games or home-school meetings or grocery store runs. So, what is wifely submission? Help your husband become more like Christ, treat his words as if they came from Christ (unless they are immoral) and ask for things from him as if you were asking Christ himself. Most importantly, help your husband give his life to you as Christ has already done.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Friday, August 3, 2007


Alright, first I would like to give a hat tip to the two people that inspired the title of this blog post, Mac and Katherine from The Catholic in a Small Town podcast. They have a very funny and real podcast and a very unique way of saying scandalous. I would reccoment you checking them out, failing to do so would be SCANDALOUS. Now, on to the blog.

Okay, one of the things my wife and I struggle with is not presenting scandal to our fellow man. This is not to say that we are doing anything scandalous but more a question of putting the best foot forward or being realistic when dealing with our embracing of Church teaching in our life.

For example, we have discovered that using NFP to avoid pregnancy, extended ecological breastfeeding, homeschooling and having a large family can all be a challenge. We both realize that the Christian walk isn't something that is supposed to be a cakewalk, we are told in the Bible to take up our cross and carry it, but we also live in a society of ease and pleasure.

We have not experienced dirctly any of the following but when we are int the company of a newly married DINC and my wife is in her normal state of breastfeeding should we be worried about someone thinking or saying, "I am never going to do that ecological breastfeeding, she spent over 1/2 the evening with that kid attatched to her breast." Another related thought we be if my wife is talking to young engaged or expectant married womwn about breastfeeding ecologically and she mentions the positives of delayed return of fertility and the health benefits but also mentions the negative effect of decreased libido and someone thinkd, "Well, thats not worthwhile if I can have sex all I want after the baby is born but I won't want to."

The list of possibilities goes on and on with homeschooling and having a bad day, should you appear anything less than having the perfectly ordered life when at times you would rather sit and spend twenty minutes venting about how you feel like today was more challenging than it would be to land a 747 with one wing, no landing gear and one engine.

Natural Family Planning can be another challenge if their is a need to avoid pregnancy. It can be a significant challenge to avoid pregnancy when the time to avoid relations and the time of greatest desire happen to typically coincide.

Do we present the best foot forward always for those who don't understand them or do we work to be really honest about the struggles? My wife and I talked about this for awhile the other night and something a friend of mine always says about struggles comes to the top of my mind. He always tells anyone that is struggling to 'play the tape to the end.' Push fast forward and look at what you are trying to achieve, what is the goal (eternally speaking, that is) you are seeking?

I think that when we share the struggles it needs to be in the context of rembering what we are doing. "Today was a hard day getting half of what I needed to get done and I am just frazzled but it will be worthwhile in the long run as the kids are getting the best I can provide them."

I think that it is important that we are realistic and don't sell a false bill of goods that dissillusion people, like with NFP, if we tell people that NFP builds stronger marriages and will help prevent divorce it would be easy for someone to become disillusioned if they have any struggles in their marriage.

However, I do think that we should reach out to couples in modern ways but should be real about who and what we are. If they reject, let us say, ecological breastfeeding because it keeps the mother from doing whatever she wants because the baby is so dependent on her that is their prerogative. We don’t get to decide which value systems people use to make decisions, we just have to be confident in our decisions when people who don’t understand them are around. We have to be real but trusting in God. This is something that is counter-cultural and the rest of society will think we are crazy but they aren’t thinking about the eternal perspectives or the health benefits and how 2 years is really a short period of time in the grand scheme of things.

We have to remember that we live in a society that is built around self-gratification and pride. We are more worried about our career, what kind of car we drive, where we live, and how fast our motorboat can go than where we will spend eternity. We live in a society of practical atheists, people who may profess God but act as if he doesn’t exist. I don’t know about you but I prefer an air conditioned and joyful eternity for me and my family with some suffering now than being self-indulgent for a few years and spending eternity in a constant state of feeling my flesh being melted off my skin.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.