Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31, 2010 – Acts 24:10 - 25:12

We just watched the movie “Invictus”. Nelso Mandela was in prison for 27 years. But it reminds me of Paul. It appears that Paul is being held, really because they don’t know what to do with him. There are accusations against him, but they can’t be proven. They can’t convict him of anything, yet they don’t want to release him because powerful people would get upset. It sounds like the definition of a political prisoner, which Mandela was. I don’t know much about Mandela, but it would appear he was arrested for standing up to the power, but then, not convicted of enough to really sentence him to anything. After reading a little bit, it appears he was a little more violant than Paul in trying to spread his message, but non the less, he was a political prisoner. Anyway, my thoughts were just about them not knowing what to do with Paul, so they leave him locked away, granted it sounds like a minimum security type place. This is placed by some to be around 58-60 AD. So we are roughly 25-30 years after Christ. And we now join Paul on his final journey to Rome.

Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30, 2010 – Nehemiah 7:39 - 7:72

Not much to say here.  Usually when we have had a list of names, I have a family tree to work on, but this is a gap between where we were on the tree.  The numbers of people seems pretty high.  It is a huge city to populate, so imagine the numbers that were exiled.  It does say at the end that they went to their own cities, so maybe the city of Jerusalem could have still pretty barren. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 29, 2010 – Exodus 15

Extol.  I have seen this word and you can tell from the context what it should mean, but I looked it up just to be sure.  It means to praise highly.

3 days without water, I may a bit testy too.  Where is our trust in the Lord when we go without for a while.  Do we understand there is a reason for it.  Do we realize that He is doing it for our own good.  We get so used to having what we want and need, we become so petty when something, even something minor, is taken from us.  We need to step back and look at what we have been given and maybe what we need to get rid of in our life on our own to clear room for God before He takes it and we find room for complaint.  I would imagine He likes it much better if we make the choose, rather than Him taking it.  We are always called to help Him in His work of salvation, especially when it is our own salvation. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

August 28, 2010 – Catechism 470-475

Over many centuries the idea of Christ, fully God, fully man, was sorted out.  It was something that was believed, but not formalized until later.  Have you ever had a thought, but waited before saying it out loud to someone because you weren’t quite sure how to put it into words.  That is what the Church does with many things.  The Church never moves very quickly.  That is fortunate when it comes to teachings of the Church because we can take confidence in the teaching.  It can be unfortunate in cases such as the abuse scandal and how long the Church took to react to that. 

I have always wondered when Christ knew He was the son of God.  Reading these paragraphs, it talks about Jesus was fully human and through this learned what is was like to be human.  To work with His hands, love, speak, walk.  All this He learned in His life as all humans do.  But He was always fully God.  The paragraphs also say He knew all His Father knew and if He did not reveal something only means it was not meant to be revealed, not that He did not know it.  We get a sense that He knows it when He is lost in the Temple, but He did know He was the Son of God at that time, when did He first know it.  Did He always know it, but just could not express it as an infant because His human body could not express it.  Or did He express it in non-verbal tones.  I was just always curious about that. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

August 27, 2010 – Acts 23:12 - 24:9

First, we see the number 40 a lot, so I looked up its Biblical meaning. It is seen as a number that means either probation, trial, or chastisement. Here we see 40 associated with a group conspiring to kill Paul. That seems a pretty extreme chastisement. I didn’t know the meaning before, but will hopefully remember that next time 40 comes up.

As Paul’s story continues, we see that he is being shipped around in order to see who will actually deal with him. The last little piece I really got a kick out of. Being a lawyer and having to argue in front of a judge, this is a great start. Starts by praising the authority. Good step. Then accusing the person of doing something that hurts the authority. Then saying that what you are saying is the truth. It’s a slam dunk case. Obviously the only issue is that what he is saying isn’t true. I try very hard in my job to stick to the truth. I have to give it my own spin to do my job, but never try to lie. Obviously when I rely on a person telling me something, and they have lied to me, I get stuck. But know that this has never been a positive thing for my client. Lying never gets you anywhere. It appears tempting and always appears to be a great way to get a quick answer, but it isn’t. We will see how lying affects Tertullus.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26, 2010 – Nehemiah 7 - 7:38

Here we see them trying to figure out exactly who they have left.  A nation was taken into exile and now they are here to start again.  I don’t know if it is exactly the same, but a similar feeling might have taken place after the Holocaust with the survivors.  I guess  in thinking about it, it is the same feeling anyone would have after a tragic event, where when it is over, you have to take stock of what is still there.  After any war, after 9/11, after a house fire for a family.  Here we see the Israelites taking stock.  This would seem to be a time of mixed emotions.  You need to feel grateful for what you have, yet in taking stock, you begin to realize what you really lost.  The city was wide but population was small.  Imagine empty streets that at one time were full of life.  Help us remember to be thankful in those moments for what we still have.  It is ok to be upset or even grieve over a loss, but we must remember God has a use and a plan for it.  We may not understand it or think that it is right, but it is and it is for our own good.  Maybe not here on Earth, but in the view of eternity.    

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 25, 2010 – Exodus 14

Here we see the completion of God’s work with the Egyptians.  With all the plagues and this scene we have seen God not only trying to separate Israel from Egypt, but show Egypt’s weakness as compared to the Lord.  Still we know that Israel will test Him and be sent to forty years in the dessert, but I guess you could say this ends the Egyptian part of the lesson.  So looking back, what did we learn.  God’s plan is not a simple or quick one.  We saw that with the fact that all the plagues seemed to lead to the next and they had to go in the order they did in order to get the result that God wanted.  We saw that the Israelites would prefer slavery to the unknown.  That one we can really see in our lives I think.  I heard it best explained as when we are living sinful lives in this sinful world it is like driving with flat tires.  But since everyone is driving with flat tires and we have done it for so long, we don’t know to live life any different.  But there is a different way.  Putting air in our tires is like living with God in our lives.  Most the world just doesn’t want to put air in their tires because it is unknown and different for them.  They would rather live in slavery than in freedom with God.   

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 24, 2010 – Catechism 464-469

The whole idea of True God and True Man we can see was challenged or misunderstood from the earliest days of the Church.  This paragraph’s are a good example, not only of the Catechism’s ability to instruct us of what Catholics believe, but the importance of a Church authority when it comes to teaching and instructing Christians.  Different heresies spread, and are still being spread, throughout the history of the Church and we need a guide to help us find the truth.  I think we see here that not only from the earliest days of the Church were there disagreements, but also ways to sort out the disagreements, come to solutions through the Holy Spirit and make teachings that were firm.  The same Church does the same today. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010 – Acts 22:17 - 23:11

We see here and throughout why God would have chosen Paul. As a prominent member of the Jewish authority, not only would his conversion help convert others, but it also allowed him to speak with the Jewish authority when others might have been ignored. Also, we see that because he was a Roman citizen, he gets treated differently. God knew all this and knew what person he needed to fill a certain role at a certain time.

We also see how to distract an enemy when they are about to attack. It is similar to the idea of you enemy’s enemy is your friend. Paul sees two sides coming after him and distracts them by reminding them what they disagree on. In thinking about that and what I wrote about Friday and thinking of the Unity of all Christians, this appears to be Satin’s strategy. Whenever people may become more united he will plant in them the knowledge of all the things that they disagree on. They lose all focus on the majority of things they do agree on and become obsessed with those that they do not. We see it in the country since the unity of 9/11, we have become focused on our differences in political ideas so that we are a divided nation. Even in families, Satan will show a mother and father what their differences are so much so that they will lose sight of what brought them together in the first place. Here we see St. Paul use this method to escape a mob. Let us be mindful of Satan using the same tactic in our lives to drive us away from others by turning small disagreements into great divides.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 22, 2010 – Nehemiah 6

The walls are complete.  And in only 52 days.  And we see the enemies not only started by ridiculing the efforts, but when that did not work, changed their tactics to out right lying and scheming to discredit Nehemiah.  As they say, there is nothing new under the sun.  Discrediting people has become a staple in a modern culture.  We will get a lot of it as we get into the political election season, which seems to never end.  When an opponent cannot get people to agree with him, his next option is to discredit the opponent, and sometimes doing so by lying.  Not only is that a moral issue for the one lying, but it becomes a public issue because so many will believe whatever they are told on the TV.  When we see this happening to our politicians, let us pray that they learn from Nehemiah, ignore the taunts and the lies and accusations and focus on the work of rebuilding, which with our country in the state it is in, needs rebuilding.  

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 21, 2010 – Exodus 13

First, the whole first born being consecrated is an interesting thing.  It seems like up until recently that was still something that was something that was done.  Not necessarily consecrated to God, but he first born male was the main inheritance of things.  Now, everything has to be equaled out and fair.  That kind of stinks coming from a first born male.  But we see the connection with God taking Egypt’s first born and now asking for Israel’s.  We will see what happens when Israel does not follow through with this. 

Further down, this appears to be one of the only times God’s motives are given in this manner.  We often hear God speaking and explaining why something was going on.  But here, the motivation for not taking the Israelites one direction is just placed there as a thought of God.  I just thought it was different than usual.     

Friday, August 20, 2010

August 20, 2010 – Catechism 456-463

This is about 5 hours worth of work, so know that I did put a lot of time and thought into it.   I listened to one of the talks at a site my cousin gave me.  I didn’t know which one she listened to, so I picked one on my own.  I really went into it with an open mind, but it didn’t take long before I was upset.  Not specifically with what he was saying, but just the fact that what he was saying about the Catholic Church was incorrect.  So, I will not be doing a reflection on the readings but I will post the next one.  But I listened to this in its entirety, and then again very slowly.  I don’t plan on convincing anyone of what may be right or wrong, but my intention is, if you listen to this, to have a proper understanding of the Catholic Church “actually” teaches, not what this person says it teaches. 


5:25 – Starts actual talk

6:10 – Not all Catholic Churches follow the teachings and instruction of the Catechism.  If that is true, those churches are in error. 

6:13 – The Catechism is not the foundation of the Catholic Churches beliefs.  It is a book put together to state clearly what the Church’s teachings are.

6:57 – Sola Scriptura – If it cannot be found or rooted in the Bible it should not be believed.  He does not tell us where the Bible came from.  Here is a link that talks about where the Bible came from.

http://download.biblechristiansociety.com/files/which_came_first_church_or_bible.mp3.  Think about this, Sola Scriptura as a practice is a tradition. 

7:10 – It would be nice, if you are quoting something and want to be accurate and credible, give us a precise place of the quote.  The Catechism is easily broken down in Paragraphs that are numbered.  Whenever he quotes the Catechism, that is all he says.  1 second to say what paragraph.  When he quotes the Scripture, he does not say “from the Bible.”  But I will try to do his job for him.   The underlined portions are what he leaves out.  

Paragraph 77 "In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them ‘their own position of teaching authority.'"35 Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."36

78 This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "the Church, in her doctrine, life, and worship perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes."37 "The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer."38

79 The Father's self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church: "God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Spouse of his beloved Son. And the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church—and through her in the world—leads believers to the full truth, and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness."39

II. The Relationship Between Tradition and Sacred Scripture

One common source . . .

80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing and move towards the same goal."40 Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own "always, to the close of the age."41

. . . two distinct modes of transmissio

81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."42 "And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound, and spread it abroad by their preaching."43

82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."44

8:12 – It is true that teachings laid down by Catholic tradition are to be followed by Catholics.  But there is no teaching that can be in opposition to Scripture (a Catholic interpretation of Scripture) because Truth cannot be in contradiction of itself. 

For the believer in Sola Scriptura, what is the reason for Paul to write this in 1Cor. 11:2   I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.

9:51 -  The Magisterium of the Church – Paragraph 85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

86 "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication, and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."48

87 Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me,"49 the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

He says that the Magisterium has exclusive authority to tell Catholics what is truth, and what isn’t.  I don’t think that is what this quote says.  It says the Church gives us an authentic interpretation of Scripture and Tradition.  That includes quite bit of what is true and not true, but not exclusive.  For example, the different theories on creation.  The Catholic Church does not give an exclusive teaching on what we must believe.  They do lay out certain things that from Scripture and Tradition we must adhere to, but does not say we must believe it was 7 exact days as we know it or that we cannot believe in some form of evolution.  That is for us to digest and form on our own.  And that is just one example.

10:37 – “what this essentially means to the average Catholic is that they are neither responsible nor able to determine what is truth.”  This is a complete misunderstanding of the Catholic teaching.  And I listened to it several times to try and get the quote exactly right.  The fact that I read the scripture and interpret it and study it on my own has increased my faith in the Catholic Church.  We are called to read the scriptures, to pray and study on our own.  If my blood was at a simmer earlier, it grew to a full boil after this. 

12:25 – 1 John 2:26-27   I write you these things about those who would deceive you. As for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, so that you do not need anyone to teach you. But his anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not false; just as it taught you, remain in him.”   His interpretation of this is that when you are given the Holy Spirit, that Spirit will teach you what you need to know so you do not need anyone instructing you.  When I received the Holy Spirit, it did give me graces to yearn for knowledge and it will guide me to seek knowledge, but by being given the Holy Spirit and to think that I will not need guidance after that just seems ridiculous. 

13:18 – The teaching of the Catholic Church has nothing to do with how smart you are.  It has to do with the authority given by God.  I cannot make a new for the United States.  I cannot even make a law inside my own house without my wife agreeing to it.  That has nothing to do with intelligence, but authority.  The Catholic Church doesn’t say you are not smart enough to have the authentic interpretation, but the authority.  He will get into his thoughts on authority in a minute. 

13:38 – He is very gifted at speaking about a certain topic or word and then quickly changing the word to make a statement that is rude, is the best word to describe it.  He was talking about interpreting authentically the Bible.  But in his example, he says the person should not be allowed to “read” the Bible.  This seems to have been done to get a laugh.  And then he says this was done to him.  Not by a Catholic, but Protestant.  I have already stated that he is misstating the Catholic Churches teaching on this topic, so I will leave it at that. 

14:35 – So wait a minute.  People did teach and instruct him.  He did not learn everything from the Holy Spirit.  And he still has a ton to learn.  Where is he going to get that knowledge.  Godly people will come into his life and speak to him so that he will gain knowledge from them.  That is the beauty of Christianity.  If anyone tries to take the Holy Spirit’s place in your life, that is not Christianity.  I don’t want to spend too much time on this or this is going to get really out of control, but how does he know these people are not going to lead him astray.  And what their instructions to him are not Scripture so he should not follow them.  And if the Holy Spirit inside of him has given him all the answers, why does he still have a lot to learn.  What I heard, when he said this, is that I don’t know everything, but I will learn from people, I just won’t learn from people that believe differently than me.  Following exactly what he said, I have not learned everything from the Holy Spirit that is inside of me and I have a lot to learn.  I have learned a great deal from Godly people, most of the those being Catholics.  And I will continue to learn, mostly from Catholics.  He and I are exactly the same, it is just who we allow ourselves to be instructed by.  This all will come back to authority.

15:16 – The Catholic Church’s hierarchy does have these verses as a foundation for their teachings on St. Peter and the Pope.  Matthew 16:13 When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi 9 he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, 10 others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood 12 has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 14 Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

That is not the only evidence it uses though.  I have pointed out in our reading of Acts that in the early Church, Peter was seen to be the head of Councils on issues, given the vision of accepting Gentiles, he is mentioned more than any other apostle. 

17:00 – He brings up that just a few passages later Jesus calls Peter Satan.  It is a teaching moment.  He is saying the God’s ways are not human ways.  Peter is human and he struggles a lot throughout the Gospels.  Does that take away what Christ told him about building his Church on him.  In his interpretation of Scripture, at least here, because one thing happened after the other, you ignore the first.  All Scripture in Scripture and in not take away from itself.  I do have to give him credit.  That is the first time I have heard that argument.   And if he really believes Sola Scriptura, he probably shouldn’t misquote the Scriptures.  No translation I found says “You’re Satan”.  What is his interpretation of “you are rock and on this rock I will build my church”. 

18:00 – Authority is given to all the Apostles.  Completely true.  It is Matthew 18:18.  But that is only one part of what Jesus told Peter.  Building the Kingdom on Peter was not told to the other Apostles.  And “this” scripture is the reason why it is the Pope “along with the Bishops” that form the Magisterium.  They have authority as well, given to them by Christ. 

18:13 – As stated, Peter does show authority over the others at points in Acts and people can be critical of people with authority, that does not take away their authority.  So, when he says Paul was critical of Peter’s handling of the Gentiles, that means very little.  I can be critical of the President, that does not change the authority he has.  Actually, Paul being critical of Peter’s actions means that he thought Peter was a leader or example and shows that he thought Peter should be acting differently.  And that if Peter acted differently or did things differently, others would follow.  So, his point about Paul’s criticism, I think, actually hurts the point he was trying to make.

19:35 – Peter only had two letters.  If he was so important, wouldn’t he have more.  Paul had so many.  By his logic, Paul is obviously more important than Peter.   According to that logic, Paul is more important than Jesus because Jesus didn’t write any books.  Obviously, he is not saying this, but you see my point.

21:50 – He is saying that because Peter mentions Paul and his teachings, Paul was more important.  This is exactly the point I made because Paul talked about Peter’s teachings.  Paul does have teaching authority in the Church and is considered an Apostle in many respects.  That puts him into the Magisterium authority.

21:10 – You really have to love the imagination he has for twisting this.  Peter is “instructing” them to be aware of those that may “instruct” you.  This goes back to the same point as before, about having all the knowledge we need from the Holy Spirit.  Why did the early Church write these letters if not to teach.  It is being taught by the correct people that Peter is talking about, and here, he and I disagree about who the right people are.  But says nothing to the authority of Peter accept as to say that the early Church did have some people of authority that the early Christians looked to for knowledge.  And the people they looked to were the Apostles or Magisterium of the Church. 

2 Peter 3:15 And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, 16 speaking of these things 12 as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures. 17 Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability. 18 But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. (Amen.)

22:23 – Here he uses that quote from the Catechism to twist this reading.  What does he think docility means.  He wants it to mean ignorantly obedient.  What it actually means is easily or ready to be taught.  The Church wants its faithful to be easily and ready to be taught.  I can’t see why he believes that to be so bad.  If he is someone who is truthfully seeking the truth and admits he has a “ton to learn”, he should be ready to be taught as well.  And he is, for those who agree with him.  And he probably hopes those listening are “ready to be taught” or else why would he be doing this.

23:16 – We gets a little loud here about not following anything that is not written down.  Here I would point out that Sola Scriptura is not in the Bible, following tradition is, and the early Christians did not have a Bible to read.  There was no agreed Canon of Scriptures until around 300 AD

23:40 – Here we go with Mary. 

Paragraph  963 Since the Virgin Mary's role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. "The Virgin Mary . . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer. . . . She is ‘clearly the mother of the members of Christ' . . . since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head."502 "Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church."503

I. Mary's Motherhood with Regard to the Church
Wholly united with her Son . .
964 Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death";504 it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son."505

965 After her Son's Ascension, Mary "aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers."506 In her association with the apostles and several women, "we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation."507

. . . also in her Assumption
966 "Finally
the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death."508 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.509. . . she is our Mother in the order of grace
By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity. Thus she is a "preeminent and . . . wholly unique member of the Church"; indeed, she is the "exemplary realization" (typus)510 of the Church.

968 Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. "In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace."511

969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."512

970"Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it."513 "No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source."514II. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

971 "All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship."515 The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of ‘Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration."516 The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.

I guess it would be easier to underline what he does quote. 

25:38 – Mary was not stained with original sin.  This does not make her the equal of Christ, the Son of God and that is not the Catholic Church’s teaching.  There are many important people in the Church.  Only one was chosen to carry Jesus in a particular way.  Mary was saved through Christ, who is God, who made Mary.  Is it beyond God’s power to create a human without sin to be the tabernacle for His only Son. 

27:19 -  2 Corinthians 5:21  For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.  I have no idea how he finds this to be a list of people that are born without sin.   It is a description of Jesus and He being our righteousness.  The Catholic Church’s teaching is that Mary was without sin, not that she is our savior.  And for him to say he “means no offense” in the tone in which it is said, is offensive. 

28:05 – Queen of heaven.  All the writings he talks about that do not mention Mary, especially JOHN’s writings, he doesn’t mention Revelation and its talk of a Queen of Heaven.  Who is Revelation 12:1 talking about according to him.  

29:25 – Mary is a model for the Church of Faith and Charity.  Just looking at that without even listening, what is wrong with having Mary as a role-model.    “Live a life, filled with love, following the example of Christ”  This, he claims to be quoting from Ephesians 5:2.  I don’t know which Bible translation that is, but I could not find that wording.  It doesn’t matter, the point he is trying to make is that Christ is our only example of how to live life.  He is a perfect example, but that doesn’t mean we can’t looked to others to try and model ourselves.  Jesus had no children, Am I not suppose to look to fatherly examples to better myself as a father.  And Christ was not a women.  Who is a woman suppose to look to as a example for things that are particular to women.  We are to look to Christ as an example, but to interpret this as meaning only Christ is an example I believe is incorrect. 

30:27 – Jesus “likes” His mom.  This literally almost made me do a spit take.  Jesus loves His mother.  And to say that because in the few quotes that says God does not have favorites, what does Luke 1:30 mean when the angel says “you have found favor with God”.  He picked Noah, He picked the Israelites.  I believe this is another misinterpretation.  God may not show favoritism, by the way I know what Bible he is using now because only one I found uses favoritism, but He definitely chooses people for certain task.  And favorites  

31:30 – The titles of Mary – This I really don’t have anything on.  I don’t really know how the Church comes up with these.  I did here something about also giving her the title of co-redemptrix but it was turned down or not accepted.  So, there is some reasoning and process by which these titles came to be, I am just not familiar with it

31:50 – Devotion to Mary is intrinsic to Christian Worship.  His logic is we are drawn to those who have done something for us.  Note that he quickly takes devotion and replaces it with worship and continues making the case of why we shouldn’t worship Mary.  The Catholic Church does not worship Mary.  And if you are drawn to those that have done things for you, I believe that Mary has prayed for me.  She has taken my petitions to her Son.  My wife feels very strongly that Mary was a great aid to her during her pregnancy.  We don’t worship Mary because of this and we don’t pray to Mary, but I do believe we owe her our gratitude.  I would feel nothing less than if someone helped me out of a jam.  I would owe them my gratitude.  This feeling takes nothing away from my worship of Jesus but in fact, enhances it.  

35:50 – Is it natural to worship someone other than God?  After he ask this, he seems to imply that it is ok to worship other things, but God deserves more of our worship.  I really think his definition of worship is off.  This entire portion is based on the misstatement of the Catholic belief in Mary

38:34 – His sum it all.  1. No Scriptural Integrity.  2. Eliminated Accountability of their teachings by self exaltation.  3. They foist (to force upon or impose fraudulently) spurious beliefs by keeping people Biblically Illiterate or Intimidation. 

39:00 – The rest is about why because of all these things, Christians will never be able to unite with Catholics. 

39:27 – Anyone outside the Church is not saved.  That is a hard one.  The priest was correct, but there needs to be a little more explained.  There are ways that those outside the visible Catholic Earthly Church can be saved.  But the statement in regards to the Catholic Church is meant to mean the entire Catholic Church, earthly and other.  If a person were to die and falls under some exception or with God’s grace is brought into heaven, that person is considered part of the Catholic Church, regardless of what they were on earth.  So the statement is true, but I would imagine the speaker does not understand the Catholic Church’s teaching this, much like he hasn’t understood many Catholic teachings. 

As stated throughout, this person does not speak about the Catholic Church’s teaching correctly.  I am sure that most of the people that listen to him don’t understand that when they hear this.  Many Catholics may hear him and leave because of his teaching.  That would be sad.  I don’t know if he does so with malice or ignorance.  That is between he and God.  I pray for him.  We need to know what the Catholic Church actually teaches, not what others tell us it teaches.  We are not called to be ignorant followers.  We are called to know Christ and know His Church and His Truth.  We are to have a relationship with Christ.  His view of Christianity sounds great.  To give your life over to Christ and then let the Holy Spirit guide your life.  I would agree with that.  Where we disagree is where we get our guidance.  His is from Godly people who agree with him.  I chose the Catholic Church and its 2,000 years of teachings and traditions.  Christ called for unity in His Church.  This gentlemen says he will never join with the Catholics because of what he believes are their teachings.  I pray someone comes into his life, a Godly person, who he will listen to, at least in order to inform him of what the Catholic teachings actually are.  I don’t have any issue with a person preaching honestly about his beliefs and how they may differ, but if you do so, make sure you are correct about what you are saying.   

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August 19, 2010 – Acts 21:27 - 22:16

Picture the scene of Paul preaching. The Roman guard, it says, stopped the mob from beating him. Then, the crowd is so thick they have to carry Paul. When he ask to speak, he still has enough authority over the crowd, just because of his reputation, to quite the mob. And he starts out saying I was one of you. Putting himself in their shoes. Basically saying if not for my great change, I would be leading this mob, not its victim. But there is a reason why he is being beaten, why he still preaches, why the Jewish leadership does not want you to hear what I am saying. You can picture a beaten Jesus and the angry mobs from the Passion of Christ movies. Paul wasn’t scourged, but I am sure he was severely beaten, with that many people going at him. There is a saying about the Church being fertilized by the blood of the martyrs. Paul was not killed here, but this example of someone preaching without regard for himself is a very similar fertilizer. Most in the crowd would have only been there because they had been stirred up by the Jewish leadership, perhaps paid or threatened. Their hearts were not fully there. Then, seeing this man be beaten and continue to preach, that can be very persuasive to someone who may be searching. So to with us, when we continue to live a Christian life when we are in the midst of struggle.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18, 2010 – Nehemiah 5

These readings in Nehemiah really bring up a lot of things we see in our world today.  People that are having hard times being dumped on even more by those that have.  How many stories do we read about high-up execs that run businesses into the ground only to get millions of dollars to quite.  Do we see them saying, “we were wrong, here use this money for the people that lost their jobs.”  Not in any story I have read.  And I know that they must have done something to get the job, at least in some cases, but it sounds like these men were only giving out loans.  Not unreasonable loans, just loans.  Nehemiah is saying that in a time of struggle they needed to work together.  If someone needed something, you give, you don’t loan.  I can hear the argument that businesses will not survive being generous.  I would have you look at what greed has done to our economy and ask you if things would have been worse if people were more generous. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 17, 2010 – Exodus 12

I was reading this and thinking about how God speaks about certain things.  When He tells them about the Passover, He is not only telling them what to do this time, but how to celebrate it for generations to come.  Not only does this signify its importance, but what I am seeing is, it signifies it will be successful.  Pharaoh is not letting them worship the and God is saying you will celebrate this Passover every year.  He knows this is going to work and not only that, but that there will be an Israel to celebrate it.  Up until it is fulfilled in Christ.  In thinking about that, two other examples of people saying what will be going on in the future came to mind.  Mary saying “all generations will call me blessed” and Christ in the Last Supper saying “do this in remembrance of Me.”  Both just seem to have a quality of assuredness to them.

A thought I had before was that these plagues took place of a long period of time.  Here is another example of the Egyptians losing livestock when it appeared that they had lost everything to other plagues.  I read one explanation that when it says all the livestock, it doesn’t literally mean all the livestock.  There were still some left and those were then killed.  I don’t like that one.  I read another that Egypt replenished its stocks by buying from neighboring lands.  I like that one better.  One thing that does throw a wrench in my idea is that it states Moses was 80 when the plagues started and he dies at the age of 120, 40 years in the dessert later.  So the plagues would have been in a most a years time.          

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16, 2010 – Catechism 446-455

Our final name for Jesus, Lord.  Jesus is Lord, in other words, Jesus is God.  Jesus cannot be divided from God and you cannot believe Christ and His teachings or follow Him without accepting that He is God.  I believe it was in “Mere Christianity” the argument that you can either believe Jesus is God, or you must believe Jesus is a liar, because He said He was God, or He was a head case, because He said He was God.  The idea that Jesus was just a good person, a major prophet, or a powerful Jewish teacher are not logical.  No other prophet or good person or teacher has ever said “I am God”.  When Jesus says this, He is either telling the truth or lying.  You either believe He is God, or you don’t, there really is no logical room for middle ground.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 15, 2010 – Acts 20:25 - 21:26

We see that Paul knows what he is heading into.  Many of us may find ourselves in difficult situations and must react in one way or another, it is a completely different situation than knowing you are going into a situation where you will suffer and still choosing it. 

I am still confused about Paul’s attitude or response to the questions about what different things Jew converts and Gentile converts must do.  We read what was decided at the council in Jerusalem and it is quoted here, yet there have been two examples where Paul goes along with Jewish customs in order to please the Jews.  Or at least that is what appears to happen.  Once, he had a follower circumcised because his father was gentile and he wanted this appearance for the Jews.  Now we see him going along with a Jewish custom of cleaning because of Jewish converts.  It just seems to be giving the wrong message to the Gentile converts.  “We are all Christians and you don’t have to do Jewish customs anymore, accept when it will make things easier and you are still Gentile converts while we are Jewish converts”.  There still appears to be a divide there. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

August 14, 2010 – Nehemiah 4

I know the people working on the walls reminded me of those working on the levees in 93, so I was also reminded of the fact that that levee was destroyed by a saboteur that year.  Someone that either lived upstream or downstream destroyed the levee on the West Quincy side and created a huge flood on the Missouri side.  Here, the men find out about the threat and strengthen their guard.  I don’t know how security was on the levees, it was obviously not good enough.  But let us keep in mind that even when there is unity and strength, there are always going to be those that are opposed.  Nothing is ever 100% unified in this world.  Sometimes the unity of a good portion of the people may leave us more vulnerable because we lose our alertness.  Let us never drop our guard to the one who will never stop tempting us.

Friday, August 13, 2010

August 13, 2010 – Exodus 10-11

Seth – the god of wind and storms, also the god of chaos and evil.

Ra – the god of the Sun

Pharaoh – the last plague was an attack on Pharaoh himself who was thought of as a deity and his first born son, the future Pharaoh.   Here we see the climax of the plagues and the introduction to what will become Passover.  we see that God was building up for this moment.  It would not have worked otherwise, the lessons would not have been learned, the Egyptians would not have told them to leave, the power of the Egyptian gods would not have been shown as obsolete, if God had not done it His way.  Help us always remember the long and painful way may be the path we are suppose to go to get to the greater places God has in store for us.  Remember that all this really stemmed from Joseph’s evil brothers leading to this moment.    

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 12, 2010 – Catechism 441-445

Jesus as the only Son of God.  I will have to pay more attention.  I have never noticed that when Jesus is talking about God, He makes the distinctions in saying “my” Father and “your” father.  And the the fact that He only says our father when teaching the disciples how they are suppose to pray is another fact that I never caught before.  Jesus’ son ship and our adoptive son ship are definitely distinguished by the teachings of Jesus.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11, 2010 – Acts 19:28 - 20:24

We see that cooler heads prevail in the arena of Christians vs. the ones that make the gods. How does that translate into what we were talking about. The cooler heads tell the crowds that there is a court of justice for those that say they are wronged by the Christians and that is where they should go. Stirring up the crowds into mobs is only going to hurt the city. What is the court of justice in today’s world of Christian beliefs vs. the Secular world. We see the crowds are growing into chaotic mobs where everyone is saying everything and nothing gets done except for more people are swept into the chaos. Where are the cooler heads these days. Where are the ones saying that living your life for material things, living with moral relativism as your ideal, being selfish is making our world unsafe and chaotic. And you cannot say that Christians are helping in the chaos. Besides the separation of all the Christian denominations you have those, and this is just the most recent example, that feel in order to fight the chaos they will have a large party around burning the Koran. How is that cooler heads. And cooler heads does not mean making or religion a private matter. Living life in a secular world and keeping our beliefs and religion for Sunday mornings only.

It does feel sometimes that things are spinning out of control in a direction that doesn’t appear to be the right one and we appear to be gaining speed, not slowing down. This scene with the crowds and the reasons for the chaos and the way it was diffused should teach us a lesson about our world today and what is happening. We need cooler heads to guide us. Where will they come from. The better question is with the speed and momentum we have, is the mob too big, will the cooler head be runned down, can the mob be silenced for just a minute in order to be instructed that what is happening is not benefiting anyone.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 10, 2010 – Nehemiah 3

What I thought of when reading this chapter was the levies during a flood. I remember in Quincy during the 93 flood how everyone was chipping in. It didn’t matter what you did or who you were, everyone was on the levy filling bags and working together. That is what I pictured it like here in this scene. The list is long of the names, but their titles and descriptions of what they did is what stood out to me. Heads of families, merchants in gold, everyone was helping to rebuild these walls. Sometimes circumstances bring unity. I could see that in the flood. We could all see that on Sept. 11th. I think you can sense that in this reading. They had a job and a goal and they worked together to get it done in the midst of naysayers. Although it is mainly just a list of names and places, I found this chapter pretty moving and can really picture the scene of lower class side by side with upper class working together to build these gates and walls.

I link with a picture of the walls as described in this chapter.

Monday, August 09, 2010

August 9, 2010 – Exodus 9

Hathor the goddess of love is also known as the cow goddess and was one of the most popular goddesses in Ancient Egypt. 

Im-Hotep the god of medicane and healing was the focus of the boils.

Nut the goddess of the sky, the focus of the hail from heaven.

I always pictured hail from heaven like they do in the movies with what can best be described as fireballs raining down.  But that doesn’t appear to be what happened.  In the movies, this always causes all the houses to burn (explode actually) but here the Lord says that if you sought shelter you would be safe.  It appears that it was not the size of the hail, but its quantity and the lightning as well that destroyed those who did not take the Lord’s warning.  And another thing, here we see God’s warning taken on a personal level.  If someone chose to head it, they were saved, whether Egyptian or Hebrew.  That seems to be unique to this plague, at least so far.  How many have we done so far.  Blood, Frogs, Gnats, Flies, Pestilence, Boils, Hail.  7 down 3 to go.  

By the way Pestilence is defined as an epidemic of a disease, so we really don’t know exactly what the livestock died from, just that it they died from it.  And here is something to think about.  The readings talk about days of Moses coming back to talk to Pharaoh, but how long was this back and forth happening.  The reason I bring it up is because the Pestilence says that it killed all the livestock, yet the Egyptians were allowed to bring in livestock from the hail storm to save them.  What if what the Hebrews were asking to pray for was only a once a year celebration, so every year at that time, Moses would come to Pharaoh and ask for this and be told no, then a plague, then permission, then Pharaoh’s renege.  What if this scene of the Plagues took a lot longer than we often think and it actually took place over several years or longer.  What does that alter in your view of the story.  Are the plagues more awh inspiring or less.  Does the Pharaoh’s stubbornness make more or less sense.  Does the final release mean more or less.  Just something that popped in my head while I was reviewing the plagues. 

Sunday, August 08, 2010

August 8, 2010 – Catechism 436-440

“Christ” being read as anointed is something I didn’t realize.  And not only anointed, but the anointed one.  Then reading some of the scriptures it gives and exchanging Christ or Messiah with Anointed gives a new vision.   John 1:41: He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah”.  Matthew 2:4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.  And when you see the name Jesus Christ, what does that say.  The Anointed One sent by God to Save or that Will Save.  Just something that is great about the Catechism in breaking things down like this.  How many times do we say Jesus Christ as a name, granted the holiest of names, but not knowing the meaning given to the name.  And know that people of Jesus’ time would not have missed the definition of the name.   

Saturday, August 07, 2010

August 7. 2010 – Acts 18:24 - 19:27

I seem to be talking a lot about the “gods” of our modern age lately.  Whether it is whatever is in the news or the readings, I don’t know.  But here we see the people that make the “gods” in Paul’s time.  They seem to know that what they make are not gods but they also know that people believe they are gods.  They also realize what happens to their business if the Christian religion really takes a hold.  Fast forward 2,000 years.  What do the makers of the modern “gods” think of religion.  Do you see TV, movies, video games, Wall Street, etc., promoting Godly values.  We actually see the opposite.  We haven’t seen what the makers in Paul’s time are going to do, but when we do, think about the actions of the people in charge of the things that surround us in the secular world everyday.  What is their motivation to push a Christ centered life when that would take you away from their product.  Think about what their motivation is when you feel yourself persuaded by one of their adds.  Then think about Paul and this “god” makers.   

Friday, August 06, 2010

August 6, 2010 – Nehemiah 1-2

Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.  What do we take from this episode.  We see a servant who is so saddened that his conquering master is moved to let him leave.  And not just leave to freedom, but to go and build up the walls of a city that was defeated.  Really the only thing I know about defeating the city of Jerusalem is from the movie “Kingdom of Heaven” and if that is any indication, it is a very difficult thing to do.  But this person allows him to leave to increase its fortifications.  What does that mean.  And why the walls first.  I am sure the temple was also in ruin.  Why not build that up first.  It just seems confusing to me, especially when you are already conquered.      

Thursday, August 05, 2010

August 5, 2010 – Exodus 8

Geb was the Egyptian god of the Earth, so from the Earth, God brought forth the gnats or lice, depending of what you read.

Khepri is the god of creation and responsible for the movement of the sun.  I am not quite sure why this one is associated with the flies, but maybe it has something to do with this being the first divided plague, the first to not strike the Israelites.  Dividing day and night connection maybe.  The god is also related to the dung beetle, maybe that is close enough to the fly. 

So, two more plagues and two drastic changes.  First, the pharaohs priest can no longer perform their magic to do the same things as the Lord.  Secondly, the plagues start to strike only the Egyptians.  What can we take from this.  I think the thing that comes to my mind is how God does not do anything quickly.  He takes His time and is methodical in how He goes about His dealings.  We talked last time that He needed to show the Israelites the weakness of the Egyptian gods, but He is also making Egypt in such a state that they will not only expel them from the land, but pay them to leave.  What do we think happens if God had done the last plague first.  If Pharaoh had not killed them all out of rage, he would definitely not let them all go and no other plague would seem near as bad.  God’s way may seem long and drawn out, but He always has a reason for the way things are happening.  I think we can learn from that in our lives and be patient with the Lord. 

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

August 4, 2010 – Catechism 430-435

The name of Jesus.  I was thinking about people that name their children Jesus.  It doesn’t seem as popular here as in Latin American cultures.  They are also cultures that seem more religious.  I guess I thought it was always a little bit odd.  I don’t want to judge and you don’t know anyone’s mind, so you hope they were doing it as a sign of upmost honor.  There is no greater show of affection to someone than to name your child after them.  It is with them their whole lives.  Paul is named after his great-grandfather and I hope he honors that fact.  But the name of Jesus it seems to me is in a different category.  The name was given by an angel not only for who He was but what He was doing.  At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.  It just seems (I was trying to think of what to say next and make it something profound, but I came up with ziltch) like something I would do I guess.  But to each his own, and I do think there are much worse names for children.   

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

August 3, 2010 – Acts 17:16 - 18:23

So, yesterday we read about God making nature and the world so as to make us realize who God is.  Here we hear Paul using the same argument to the Pagans of Athens.  I loved how it describes them.  People who sat around all day and did nothing but talk about new ideas.  It sounds like a whole city that is a university.  And here they have someone with new ideas.  Talking about God coming down as a man, rising from the dead, and that this is the God that made everything.  And the message I think that really inspired people is the closeness to God they can have.  He is here, everywhere, and He wants us to go after Him.  He made the world so that we would long to grasp for Him.  Not just find Him and watch Him from a distance, but grab a hold and allow Him to lead us.  And they seem very interested in such a “new” idea. 

Monday, August 02, 2010

August 2, 2010 – Wisdom 12-13

An interesting perspective on the question of why those that do evil are allowed to continue on.  Why God doesn’t hit His big “SMITE” button.  God is not only merciful and allows them a chance to change, but also wants to teach us to be merciful.  It is a lesson for us to not judge too harshly.  God sent wasp as a warning before He sends an army to destroy.  We should not be quick to lay on heaps of punishment.  That is not how God teaches.  And by giving them time to repent, God also gives them enough time to rack up their evils if they also choose that path, so there can never be anyone accusing God of judging wrongly.  Being an attorney for the Public Defender’s office, I was in the habit of asking for people to get second chances.  Sometimes it works out and you don’t see them again.  Sometimes it leads to me asking for them to have third, forth, or fifth chances. 

To see the beauty of the world around us and not stop and think of the creator or the complex things we can’t describe and not the master that wrote them is a sickness of our secular culture.  But it is obvious that this is not something new.  Here we see the writer is dealing with the same issue.  Some may say there is a difference because the secular world does not worship nature or complicated works as gods but as they are and so they are not similar to the person described in chapter 13.   But they are not gods in name only.  People are obsessed and infatuated and lay waste the rest of their lives to these “non-god” gods of the modern world.  What else would you call something that could possibly take up 10-15 hours of a person’s day other than something that is worshipped.  Yet young men would spend that exact amount of time playing video games if they were allowed to.  It is a sad irony (and I don’t know if it is irony, that word gets used when it is not suppose I am told) that this “worship” of “non-gods” has seem to lead to a rise in Atheism.  But that is also in word alone, because these people say they do not believe in a god, but will devote their lives to one thing or another.  They just won’t call it a god. 

Sunday, August 01, 2010

August 1, 2010 – Exodus 7

I know I didn’t really have an answer when I was talking about the staff turning into a serpent at the burning bush, but here we see the staff turn into a “snake” in front of Pharaoh.  Usually terms are not in there unless they are suppose to be, so that makes me think that there was something more to the serpent at the burning bush than just a regular snake. 

The ten plagues were not just done at random.  They were an attack of the Egyptian Gods as well.  The Hebrews had begun to fall into the Egyptian beliefs and so not only was God showing His power for the Egyptians, but was showing the Hebrews that He is all powerful, above any Egyptian god.

Hapi was the god of the Nile, father of all gods.  The Nile turning to blood was an attack on him. 

Heket was the goddess of fertility and happened to have the head of a frog.   http://www.crystalinks.com/heket.html