The Papists

Apologetics and Evengelization
  • April 13, 2014 3:08 pm
    Anonymous:  Can the Credence Table used as a table for a temporary shrine for a prayer meeting?

    I don’t know, and I couldn’t find any information online on this question.  

    I would guess that if no other table can be found, and it were to be used for the purpose of prayer, and nothing profane, God would desire it to be used as such.  However, it should only be a last resort, and only used in this matter for the purpose of prayer.  The reason for this is because the credence table is a part of the “physical structure” of the mass, and part of the sacredness of the mass is recognizing that we need to keep it “separate” or “set apart” from the rest of our daily life. However, if its going to be used for prayer, and no other options are available, the credence table is still fulfilling its purpose as facilitating the relationship between God and man through prayer.  But perhaps Fr. Angel, at Fatherangel.tumblr.com would be a better source of answers for you.  Hope this helps!

    In Christ,

    Niko

  • March 7, 2014 1:49 am
    layingdownamess:  Hey, guys. Have any of you heard the whole 'Jesus was born in July and Christmas is actually a pagan holiday' thing? If yes, can you explain it to me? Please & thank you!

    There is some debate as to what time Christ was actually born.  While virtually all scholars agree that he existed,* we are not sure about when he was born.  Many scholars argue that given that the nativity accounts claim that shepherds were grazing their flock, a December birth is unlikely, and therefore, a summer birth makes more sense.  Others respond by noting that winters in that part of the world are mild, and that it might have been possible. 

    Christmas Day is also the date of several pagan holidays (probably because of its proximity to the winter solstice,) leading some to claim that Christmas is actually a pagan holiday, and that Christians who celebrate Christmas are actually celebrating the pagan gods.  This is of course silly.  My friends celebrate my birthday on March 4th.  There are hundreds of people who celebrate birthdays on March 4th, but we are not all the same person just because we share a birthday. 

    In the end, does it really matter when Jesus was born?  No, it doesn’t.  All that matters is that He was born, He died for our sins, and because of that, we love Him by obeying Him and His Church because that is what will bring us to heaven, that is union with God.

    Does that help?  God bless!

    Niko

    *Wikipedia

  • February 20, 2014 11:21 am
    theincast:  Were Mary's labor and delivery of Jesus painless? Because she was born without original sin?

    Good question!  The tradition is that Jesus’s birth was painless.  St. Thomas Aquinas makes the argument for it in his Summa Theologica.

    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4035.htm#article6

    It generally is argued that as the pains of childbirth are a consequence of original sin from which Mary was preserved from, she did not suffer the pains of childbirth.

    That being said, this is not a dogmatic teaching necessary for salvation, and some difference of opinion may be held on this point, so long as no opinion held violates dogmatic teaching necessary for salvation. (ex. That Mary bore her Son without any violation of her virginal integrity. (De fide on the ground of the general promulgation of doctrine) and After the Birth of Jesus Mary remained a Virgin. (De fide.))

    Does this help?  God bless!

    -Niko

  • January 23, 2014 3:15 pm
    Anonymous:  if (as in the philippines) god will permit any evil to fall on anyone, what is the point of praying about illness, natural disaster etc.? should we restrict our prayers to requests for patience and inner peace and hope for the world to come, since any hope of god making this one nicer is bound to bitterly disappoint?

    A great modern prophet who goes by the name of the Doctor, once said, “what’s the point in them being happy now if you know they’re going to be sad later? The answer is, of course, because they are going to be sad later.”  Similarly, why should we pray when evil may fall upon anyone, the answer is of course, because evil may fall upon anyone.  

    I think prayers asking for the peace, patience, and courage to deal with the conditions of life, and for the hope of a world to come may be a more “mature” attitude than asking for the conditions of life to be changed, but one should not think that God does not answer prayers of the second nature, for there have been miracles of healing which appear to defy explanation.  The fact that evil happens does not speak to the futility of prayer, but rather, the need for prayer, and the need to face evil with a prayerful attitude.  For, however great the evil and destruction we face are, when we encounter it with a prayerful attitude and a firm trust in God, whatever despair and pain we feel will in time fade in the light of the good things God will bring out of that sorrow.  Does this help? 

    In Christ,

    Niko

  • January 11, 2014 3:09 am
    Anonymous:  I use to be a very faithful Catholic, I even thought about a vocation to priesthood for a long time. The sad truth is I've fallen in college... And I am not happy. I feel fake and artificial and when I close my eyes I dream of the love I felt from the Father before I ran away from the church. I'm in a sexual D/s relationship with a wonderful girl... But I don't know if I can tell her about my struggles...how can a man come back from something like this...I long for my home, my church

    You fell away from the faith in college.  Guess what, your normal.  More people than not will change in some way in college, and often times, we’re not happy about those changes.  We feel like we’ve fallen.  What defines us, is how we get back up.

    Look at St. Augustine.  He didn’t just fall in college.  He went on rager that lasted around two decades.  He was not exactly a model Christian.  And then, he changed.  He met people who really introduced him to the faith again, he left his former ways, and went on to be one of the most revered saints in history.  And there are a ton of other saints like him.  Moses the black was a murder and adulterer, and he became a saint.  So, God really doesn’t look at how far we fall, he looks at the efforts we take to pick ourselves back up, and really, He does most of the work, we just have to give Him the space to do it. 

    There’s a story called the prodigal son, (Luke 15) but really, it should be called the story of the running Father.  Because the son, when he realized that what he was doing wasn’t working, he prepared a long speech to tell his father, begging him to just take him in as a servant.  But, while the son was still a while off, the Father saw him and ran up to meet him.  The Father immediately called him his son, and prepared a feast for him.  The son didn’t even get a chance to say his speech.  Point is, turn to God, and give Him the space to work.  You want to come back home to the Church, just do it!  Find a priest who you trust, could be at your college or nearby, or back home.  Wherever.  Ask him to talk.  Hang out with a friend who’s faith you admire.  That’s how we give God the space to work.  We surround ourselves with people who God is working through.  Does that make sense?  And always know, that you are truly loved by God, and nothing you do can ever change that.  God bless!

    Your brother in Christ,

    Niko

  • January 9, 2014 2:49 am
    Anonymous:  I don't know if you've seen the video on Youtube of what is supposedly Baby Jesus appearing at his birthplace. Do you know if the Church recognizes this occurrence as legitimate?

    I do not believe the Catholic Church has recognized any apparition of Christ at his birthplace. 

    Also, while it is not my aim nor the aim of this blog to credit or discredit any miracle/apparition/supernatural occurrence, if the video you are talking about is the one I’m thinking about, it does look pretty fake.  I mean, when I first saw it, I thought it kinda looked like 1980’s ghost movie style special effects.

    Also, in all the generally accepted apparitions, Christ or Mary appear giving the person privy to the apparition a very specific task or mission.  There’s never an instance of them just appearing on camera for a couple seconds as if by accident.  So, that’s another reason why I’m skeptical of the claim that clip makes.  Does that help? 

    God bless!

    Niko

  • December 28, 2013 9:30 pm
    Anonymous:  If I made a mistake when I am praying, am I required to pray the prayer again?

    No, just recollect your thoughts and continue.  Sometime starting over may help you distance yourself from the mistake, but starting over is not required.  What’s required is that you attempt to maintain a prayerful attitude, speak honestly and reverently, and hopefully, your prayer will move you to a sense of peace and calm in the Lord.  That is the goal, when we pray, we ought to rest in the Lord.  I hope this helps!  God bless!

    -Niko

  • December 11, 2013 2:57 pm
    Anonymous:  Do you have any information on the current demographics of the Church, i.e. which country has the most Catholics, which ethnic group has the most Catholics, etc?

    Wikipedia actually has pretty good statistics on that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_by_country

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Roman_Catholics_by_nationality

    I don’t know of any statistics on worldwide ethnic groups and Catholicism but I hope this info on nationality helps!

    -Niko

  • December 6, 2013 11:45 am
    Anonymous:  Is it appropriate to applause after the Holy Mass? Because from what I've noticed here, people applause for the Lord after the Holy Mass.

    I would generally say no, it is not appropriate, for the reason Pope Benedict XVI gave:

    “Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. ” (Spirit of the Liturgy p. 198)

    Essentially, what this means is that if your clapping for the singers during mass, or clapping because the priest gave a good homily, you’re operating a superficial level of focusing on the human element of the mass instead of what God is doing.  The mass is not a performance, it is not a concert, it is not a play.  Applause during the mass makes it appear like it is such. 

    Furthermore, applause is distracting from prayer.  It is making a lot of noise that may be disturbing to those praying. 

    It is possible that parishes may have a distinct culture in which clapping is not a celebration of a human achievement, but as a way of “amen-ing,” or showing agreement with a particular point made during the homily, which perhaps is more licit, but still unnecessary and distracting and therefore should be discouraged gently and pastorally.

    We should remember that what we are seeing during the mass is what the Blessed Virgin Mother, John, and Mary Magdalene saw on Calvary, and therefore, we should model our behavior after theirs.  Were we there on Calvary we would clearly see it would be very inappropriate to be clapping while Jesus is dying on the cross, and therefore, we should consider it similarly inappropriate to applaud during the mass. 

    Does this help you?  God bless!

    Niko

  • December 4, 2013 9:04 am
    Anonymous:  Is it okay to wear sandals during the Mass? I know shorts are inappropriate, I was just wondering if sandals are. I'm a male.

    It depends.  What’s the character of the parish where you go to mass?  Is it generally expected that people come to mass dressed to the nines, or is it more relaxed?  The general rule of thumb is not to draw attention to yourself, so would wearing sandals do that?  If so, then maybe its best to leave them at home.  If not, then it’s not really a big deal.

    I would generally caution against flip-flops, mostly because those can make a lot of noise when one is walking up to receive communion and that’s annoying.

    But really, I wouldn’t sweat the wardrobe too much.  So long as you have a love for the Lord in your heart, and that’s what you focus on at mass, that’s what’s important.

    -Niko