Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013 – 1 Maccabees 10:46 – 10:89

This is not the famous Cleopatra from the movies.  She was in relationships with Caesar and Mark Antony around the year 40BC. This is taking place around the year 150.  But it is likely that she is in the line of that Cleopatra, a great grandmother perhaps.

I had asked when both men had sent promises of peace to Jonoathon which he would choose.   He made the right decision in choosing the first and the eventual victory and being rewarded for his choice.

Another great battle, the Israelites coming out against a more numerous foe, then being surrounded, enduring the initial attacks, wearing out the opponent, and eventually achieving victory.  Jonathon has been doing quite a bit and becoming very praised by the Roman rulers.  I wonder who is seen as the greater leader, Judas or Jonathon.

Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013 – Jeremiah 27 – 28

Sometimes it might be hard to understand what God is doing, but you must submit yourself to the fact that He is in charge.  Even the things that have nothing to do with religion are under His guidance.  Here, He says that He has given Babylon all the land that they are conquering.  It isn’t Babylon that is doing this, or at least not on their own.  What is happening is God’s will and He is allowing it.  Whether it makes sense to us or it is good for us in our eyes doesn’t matter.  God is telling Israel that this is happening because He is allowing it and to accept it or there will be more suffering.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 28, 2013 – 1 Chronicles 8

Here we see Saul and his heirs.  We see that Saul’s line goes on after Saul and Jonathon.  If you recall some, or many, of the stories coming after David and Saul, whenever a king was dethroned, it usually followed that all of his heirs died with him.  We see that this didn’t happen with Saul.  That probably has a lot to do with how much David respected Saul as God’s anointed and how much he loved Jonathon.  We can remember how upset David was when someone in Saul’s family was hurt or killed despite his orders.  I would have thought that Saul’s heirs would have been more interested in trying to reclaim the throne from David’s heirs.  They would have had some claim, I think, but that never really seem to come up as a claim from what I can remember.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 27, 2013 – Catechism 2534 – 2540

“Our thirst for goods is immense, infinite, never quenched”.

Envy is the sin that seems to be the one that is pointed to here as the thing to avoid.  Through envy, death entered the world.  That is what Satan planted in Eve and Adam.  That is what David had when he went after Bathsheba.  And what prods envy, pride.

I was reading these paragraphs and what I found interesting is that it doesn’t say desiring your neighbors things is not bad.  Wanting things is fine, but desiring them at the cost of someone else is where it becomes sinful.  Wanting too much or what we don’t need is sinful.  Wanting what someone else has, even though we have our own simply because someone else has it.  Like with most things, the actual desire is not what is sinful, but the acting on it.  We are human and this envious desire in us is one of our worst cruxes.  It is inherent and dangerous and will always be there, but we must battle against it be being generous and humble.  SOOO much easier said than done.

Friday, July 26, 2013

July 26, 2013 – 1 Maccabees 10 – 10:45

I don’t know what Jonathon is going to do.  He is now getting peace  offers from two opposing sides.  He has already accepted one and now he has the second.  I assume that the ones offering the deal want the Jews on their side not the other, so he cannot accept both.  I would think you have to stick with your first deal.

I was shocked that Jonathon accepted the high priest position.  That doesn’t sound like something he should do.  God should appoint the high priest, not the king of the Romans.  It just surprised me that it was accepted so quickly.  I wonder if their might be some repercussions for that in the future. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25, 2013 – Jeremiah 26

It is so true that when you tell someone that what they are doing is wrong, they will criticize you and blame you and turn on you, but often don’t change.  It is like that in this country with anyone that post or says anything about the country’s morals and what we are teaching, abortions, gay rights, sexual conduct, anything like that, the proponent of chastity is criticized for their teaching and made the negative and be raided, called a bigot or a puritan, but the action continues.  The last thing they want to do is actually look at their conduct and whether it is good or not.  They don’t want anyone to tell them they are wrong.  That is why the world loves moral relativism, where anything you think is right is right.  Jeremiah preaches, but instead of listening or ignoring him, they want to kill him.  That is the reaction when you say something being done is wrong. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013 – 1 Chronicles 7:6 – 7:40

These families talk of 20 or 25 thousand names listed in the archives for families.  Those books would have to be huge.  You wonder where those archives were kept, if each family had their own.  It is hard to locate records that are 100 or more years old so imagine how hard it would be then to keep records.

It makes you wonder about all the information, like what I am writing now, that is only electronic, that would be lost if something happened to electronics.  There is a show on TV where that is the premise.  I don’t watch it, but I haven’t actually thought about what that would mean.  How much data do we have out there that there is actually no hard copy for.  For 1000’s of years, people wrote to each other and were able to keep those letters and be remembered.  People communicate today and for 99% of it, there is no foot print, no tangible thing that said it actually happened, no way for someone to look at that in 100 years and see what you said to another.  We won’t be around to see what that means to those that are trying to figure out who we were, but it makes you think about what they will think of us.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23, 2013 – Catechism 2520 – 2533

I think it is interesting that in the section on concupiscence, the main weapon against this is modesty.  When you look at the one thing lacking in the world, modesty might be your answer.  When you look at the recent story of Mylie Cyrus and her performance on TV and the reaction, you can tell that people understand what modesty is and that it is important, but it is not actually taught that way.  It is only reported on as a measuring stick for how far the next person will go.  Cher outfit on a landing craft, Madonna attire, Spears and Madonna kissing, and on and on, the only tool the media uses modesty for is to see how far from what should be appropriate people will go.  But everyone has an idea of what should be appropriate, and that line is continuing to move generation after generation.  If moderation is lost as a weapon, then concupiscence will triumph and that is what we are seeing in the world.  Those are the two sides of the battle and moderation is losing.

I also liked how it talked about the world’s idea of freedom not being actual freedom.  I have talked about that before.

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013 – 1 Maccabees 9:35 – 9:73

I found myself focusing on Bacchides as I read this.  He seemed like a mercenary more than a general.  He would come in, defeat someone, then leave again.  When he came in and was defeated, he quickly turned on those that hired him.  There doesn’t seem to be any loyalty or real care in the cause, he is just a fighting man, which makes him seem a mercenary.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacchides_(general)  This makes it sound like he broke one treaty and then ended by making another.  I remember their being a peace made with Rome at one point a couple chapters ago, but not lasting long, so he must have had some part in that, though I don’t recall his name.  The peace they come to with him in the end here appears to be with him and not really with Rome.  But if he is the one that Rome kept sending, then making peace with him is the way to go.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 21, 2013 – Jeremiah 24 – 25

I find it odd that the exile is for 70 years.  It seems that 40 is the number that should have been used.  40 days of rain, 40 years in the wilderness, 40 days in the desert, 40 appears to be the number associated with purification.  But here, 70.  I am trying to think of a reason that this is different or another time 70 might come into play that might be associated with this.  It might be that the sin was worse than the sin of those with Moses in the desert.  Israel had been given this land and kingdom and turned away from God.  A worse crime deserves a worse punishment.  I also thought about Jerusalem being sacked around the year 70 AD by the Romans, the last Temple being destroyed and thinking if there is any correlation there.  The Jews had 70 years from the birth of Christ before the Temple was destroyed to convert themselves and change course.  But that really isn’t accurate because a Jew can convert today.  I just find the number 70 out of place when many numbers that are used are usually connected to some other story or point toward some other purpose.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20, 2013 – 1 Chronicles 6:35 – 7:5

While looking at the descendants of Aaron, I was thinking who the descendants were during Christ coming.  We here about the high priest Cyphas, but because he was the high priest, does that mean that he was of Aaron’s line.  You can see the importance of descendants and lines and how much they meant to the Jews because they put so much time into them in the Scriptures.  It also tells us why Matthew, writing specifically to the Jews, spent his first chapters going through the genealogy of Christ.

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19, 2013 – Catechism 2514 – 2519

The idea of original sin, that we are all born with the inherited desire to act against our best nature and do things we know are wrong is so obvious to anyone that has children and yet so many disregard it.  Children, from a young age, do things that are wrong and have no idea.  Even when they get a sense of what is wrong and right, they tend to lean towards the wrong.  They must be instructed in the right way and discipline themselves to act in the right way.  Our human nature is to do the wrong.  That is the stain and inheritance of original sin.  To ignore that is to ignore who we are.  What tempters this is to motivate yourself and teach yourself to control your desires.  The world says we don’t need this.  What tempters this is to be obedient to others teachings and accept that we do not have all the answers ourselves.  The world says we don’t need that either.  Isn’t it obvious that a world that says we don’t need authority and we should allow ourselves to indulge in our every desire is heading towards oblivion, but look at what our world teaches and that is their foundational teachings.  What the world teaches enhances the very flaws we inherited by original sin because it chooses to ignore the idea of original sin.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18, 2013 – 1 Maccabees 9 – 9:33

Is there a movie for Judas.  He sounds like the perfect character for a movie.  All these battles, being outnumbered, rallying troops, and the climatic final battle, going in almost assured defeat and fighting to the end, has Braveheart type movie written all over it.

Judas is a name we hear and almost always think of Christ betrayer.  But the Jews must have heard that name and thought of this hero.  Judas the betrayer may have been named after this great hero.  I have heard many say that Judas betrayed Christ because he was disappointed that He didn’t take more of a military approach to kicking out the Romans.  Maybe Judas the betrayer was named after Judas the hero and felt he had to live up to that, to be a part of another rise, to bring Israel back to greatness.  If he had grown up being groomed or told of the great man he was named after, then saw Christ and the miracles and thought he was going to be a part of the new movement and live up to his name’s sake, and then realized that it was a completely different type of movement, you can understand the disappointment.  You cannot excuse the act, but you can sympathies with the act and maybe see where Judas was coming from.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17, 2013 – Jeremiah 23

This chapter we see the two leaders of God.  The true and one Messianic leader, the good shepherd, and on the other we have the false prophets.  I have been listening to a CD series by Tim Staples where he goes through the different teachings and arguments for many Catholic teachings.  So far I have listened to Sola Scriptura, Papacy, and Eucharist.  Having listened to those and then read this about the false prophets, I can’t help think of all the non Catholic Christian teachings that are leading people astray.  These prophesies might have been given before Christ, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be seen in light of today.  They prophesy Christ as the Good Shepherd, so to talk about the false prophets right after that tends to suggest that this is not about false prophets then, but after Christ and leading those away from Christ.  And I don’t think the false prophets are going to say they are against God or Christ, or else they wouldn’t be called prophets.  They are going to say that their message is from Christ and God, but when you get down to it, it is their own message, “their own deceitful fancies”.  Tim just does such a good job of showing that the arguments he used to make, because he is a former protestant, just don’t make sense when you dig into the Scriptures and meaning and early Church history.  I just think sometimes when we see “false prophets” we might identify new age teachings or atheistic ideas, but I think those that preach Christ without authority fit better into the category of “false prophets”.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013 – 1 Chronicles 6 – 6:34

I am assuming that the Samuel that is mentioned is the Samuel that anointed Saul and David given that after they list his sons they talk about David forming the choir.  So, Samuel was a Levite.  I don’t know if I ever realized that or if it is mentioned in the books of Samuel.  Just looked back at the beginning of the book of Samuel and they have the same father, so I will assume they are the same.  Remembering the story of Samuel, he was left with the priest because of his mother’s choice in feeling that God have given her this gift so she would offer it to God.  He wasn’t in that environment just because he was a Levite.  And even though he was a Levite, he wasn’t from Aaron’s line to be a higher ranking Levite.  Just once again showing that God can choose any instrument from any place or background to be His instrument.

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013 – Catechism 2504 – 2513

This is a review section so there is not too much more to say.  I did find myself thinking about lying being trying to intentionally misleading someone.  So, telling someone something you think might be true is not lying even if it turns out you were wrong. But that is something that you shouldn’t do.   Imagine being lost in a city and you ask someone for directions.  They say where you are going is 2 blocks down and to the left.  You go there and it isn’t anywhere around.  Now you are more loss.  It could be that they thought they were correct, but weren’t.  It isn’t lying, but it can put someone in basically the same position as if it were.  I think we need to be careful about not only misguiding people on purpose but also misguiding them accidentally.  As I type that, I think something could be connected with that notion and the idea of scandal as well.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14, 2013 – 1 Maccabees 8

I was curious as to when this was occurring.  From the chapter, Rome has conquered Spain and Greece when this letter is written.  It is also in the stage where a Senate in ruling with one head executive.  According to Wikipedia, the Roman Republic was from 509-27 BC.  The conquering was from 264- 146 BC and conquering of Greece was 215 – 148 BC.  That puts this sometime after 146 BC and before 27 BC.  That can give you a sense of when Rome became an ally of Jews.  When we see Christ, Rome and the Jews are not really at war, just more being ruled over by the Romans.  There must be something that we haven’t seen yet to have this occur.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

July 13, 2013 – Jeremiah 22

The exile seems to be seen as having the same effect as the 40 years in the wilderness.  Basically God wants a new batch of Israelites to start over because the ones that are there are not following Him and following other Gods.  You can see this from the language that you will be taken from the land where you were born and never see it again.  It puts a new emphasis on the book of Lamentations, which has always been described to me as an exiled Jew looking down at Jerusalem for the last time.

Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013 – 1 Chronicles 5:11 – 5:41

I think it is interesting that it is Aaron’s line that we get in such detail from Aaron to the exile.  It isn’t Moses descendants that are written down, but Aaron.  That is because he was the high priest and that was an important figure during this period, but Moses had children.  I guess it is interesting that we don’t hear much about his children.  Aaron’s sons inherit the priesthood and Joshua takes over for Moses, there is nothing about Moses’ children.

Verse 36 talks about Johanan and Azariah being the descendants and priest during the time Solomon built the Temple.  The names don’t sound familiar from all the stories about David and Solomon.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

July 11, 2013 – Catechism 2500 – 2503

We were outside last night and the sun was setting and Paul was talking about the pink colors in the sky.  The sunsets are such a great gift to teach us as to how much of an artist God is.  Yes, I understand that sunsets and sunrises turn different colors because the light particles passing by the Earth way different amounts and the gravity of Earth bends certain colored light waves more than others, but that doesn’t explain why the sunsets look like art or why so many artist paint sunsets to sell them.  If the God’s art, His canvas, and just one of many.  Ever wonder about the fact that so many landscapes become art or the tops of calendars.  Because they are so beautiful.  And the less they are touched by human hands, the more beautiful they are.  Tell me that is just random nature.  Tell me there is no connection between the way nature looks and the fact that humans find it beautiful.  You think a fox looks out over a prairie untouched and is amazed by its beauty.  No. It is a human thing because we are different than a fox and because the Earth has a creator.

Sacred art is another thing I have written about before.  I couldn’t be happier that we have a Church that is very beautiful and full of sacred art and long for the day I can go back to Rome and fill my eyes with those beautiful works.  I don’t see how people can be so against it, I have never understood it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10, 2013 – 1 Maccabees 7:26 – 7:50

I was interested in the celebration of the 13th of Adar as it is described and when that was on our calendar and whether it was still celebrated.  Little did I know that something else is actually celebrated that day and it is a bit controversial.  I found two articles, one quick, one long, explaining the Fast of Ester vs the Defeat of Nicanor and why one fell away and one is still celebrated.



Is looks like February 23, 2013 was 13 Adar this year.  http://www.chabad.org/calendar/view/list.asp?tdate=2/23/2013&mode=j

Monday, July 08, 2013

July 8, 2013 – 1 Chronicles 4:28 – 5:10

When you are reading these and they are talking about the cities and territories that the different families lived in and possessed and that they then spread into other areas, I was thinking about a family tree and how it grows.  I have done family trees from my dad’s mom’s family and just that one branch spreads far and wide.  But, that is also because they had so many children generations ago.

When a family only has 2 children, 1 family, over 100 years, with a generation being 25, will develop 8 new families.  1-2-4-8.  Now, what this assumes is that everyone survives and lives to actually has any children.  You can see how quickly things will not develop if 1 in 4 does not survive into adulthood.  1-2-3-4.  What if one doesn’t decide to have any children.  1-2-2-2 perhaps.  You can quickly see that we don’t actually grow as a family or a civilization when families don’t have more than 2 children.  It is not about religion or contraception or abortion.  It is about math and when we don’t have children to take our place, things will fall apart.  You can see what would happen if the average is 5.  Then you can account for those that decide to have none or those that die before adulthood.  But that is only if the average family is willing to have more children.  When the average family is only thinking about 1 or 2 children, we cannot compensate for those that have none or those that die early and we don’t have a population influx, we actual we begin to be in decline.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

July 7, 2013 – Catechism 2488 – 2499

I have read stories about attorneys that heard a client confess to a crime that someone else was convicted for.  The person convicted was serving life in prison, but the attorney could not say anything because of the privilege that goes between them and a client.  This becomes the issue as to what a person must do and what they might lose.  Is breaking that privilege worth your livelihood and family because you most certainly would lose your license to practice if you broke that confidence?  Is your client telling the truth about the crime, because clients don’t tell their attorneys the truth any more than they tell anyone else the truth, trust me?  Would this confession by someone else be enough to get the person convicted off?  Remember that they were found guilty by a court or juries and that they were found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Those are not easily overturned and the confession of another criminal might not be believed or enough.  So, it is not as easy as you might think.  In the story I read, when the confessor died, the attorneys brought forth the confession and worked diligently to get the wrongly convicted man out of jail, but many would think they should have acted sooner.  I hope I am never in that situation.  Clients have told me things that I cannot share, but it has never come to a level like that.  When you are sworn it, you make an oath to follow rules.  Part of that is keeping confidence with your clients.  Breaking that not only breaks your license, but your oath.  It is a question to chew on.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

July 6, 2013 – 1 Maccabees 7 – 7:25

This isn’t about the reading but just something I wanted to mention.  I recently heard a song that disturbed me.  The song is called “Live while we’re young”.  Basically the song is about meeting a girl and then having sex.  “I know we only met but let's pretend it's … Tonight let's get some”.  Also “Hey girl it's now or never… Don't overthink, just let it go…And if we get together, yeah get together don't let the pictures leave your phone”.  So, this is obviously not a song about true love nor is that something the singer really aspires to.  This song is probably very popular because this is the way the world wants to see relationships. http://youtu.be/AbPED9bisSc  Perhaps more disturbing is that fact that the singers look to be in high school at the oldest.  The song really makes my stomach crawl.

BUT this is not the most disturbing part.  I got their CD from the library.  One of their other songs on the CD is titled “Last First Kiss”.  “Let me be your last first kiss, …Wanna be the first to take it all the …let me be your last, Your last first kiss.”  It is just shocking to me that a band can sing two songs that just make no sense together and these are supposed to be what kids listen to and shape their thoughts.  The guy wants to meet someone and hook up that night, but also wants a commitment for life from a girl.  Either females should see these young men as completely sexist and only using women in whatever way they want or complete liars.  The two songs cannot exist in the same universe.  But I don’t know if anyone will look at that.  People will dance to the one and oh and ah during the romantic one.  This may be the way music has always been, but I don’t know if I have ever seen an example of such bi polar ideas in two songs by the same group, same album, only 2 songs apart.

while we're young was #3 at its peak according to billboard.com

Friday, July 05, 2013

July 5, 2013 – Jeremiah 18 – 19

If you are a fan of the Game of Throne movies or books, then you know how violant they can be.  It is a cruel world where no one is really safe from being killed, usually in very cruel fashion.  But when you think about it setting in a time long ago, that seems to just be the way things were.  You can’t read any of the Old Testament without seeing cities conquered and destroyed, women and children murdered, and kings and leaders with power doing whatever they want.  We look at that and fiction like Game of Thrones and see ourselves being so civilized.

Is that really so true when you turn on the news and see what is going on in Egypt or think about what goes on in abortion  mills or look at the condition of our prisons or the state of families.  Our brutality might not be as out in the open and cities might not be threatened from attack and being brought low, but that may not mean we are so much more civilized.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

July 4, 2013 – 1 Chronicles 4 – 4:27

We see someone name Bethlehem in this line.  I wonder if that person was the person that started the town of Bethlehem and the city was named after them.  That made me wonder what connection did Joseph have with Bethlehem.  It says that he had to go to his family’s place to register for the census and that is why they traveled to Bethlehem, but I never have really known where that family connection was.  But we do see that this Bethlehem is a descendant of Judah, which Jesus is, that may shed light on that connection.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

July 3, 2013 – Catechism 2475 – 2487

Lies tear apart society.  I have already talked about how it seems you cannot trust the information that we get and that comes from the fact that the information “they” get is not trustworthy.  What does that do to the stability of society.

I also thought about the image of “there is no truth in him” in describing satan.  I don’t think we can even comprehend that because there is a part of God in us and will always be there because we are His creatures and so we will never get to the point where there is no truth in us.  So, imagine the most untrustworthy person and they are nothing compared with satan.

I also imagine lies as a snowball going down a hill and getting bigger and bigger as it goes.  It is just so amazing how easy it is for some to lie and you wonder if there is any part of them that is true or whether they remember anything that is true about themselves.  Soon you begin to believe your own lies.  That is where satan came from, deceiving himself that he was God.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

July 2, 2013 – 1 Maccabees 6:28 – 6:63

It appears that the Jews are taking the brunt of these battles and are defeated for the most part.  It doesn’t appear that there is any action taken against God to get them out of God’s favor, but they are pushed back and forced to make peace all the same.  There is the part where they couldn’t do anything because it was the Sabbath and they had no extra provisions because it was the 7th year, so it was their obedience to God that allowed their defeat.  It makes me think that if I am ever in a war and find that the enemy can’t do a certain thing on a certain day or certain year, I would exploit that more than it seems Jewish enemies do in these stories.  There is really only the one occasion where we see a Jewish army getting attacked on the Sabbath and unable to defend themselves.  Either other armies didn’t take advantage or Jews didn’t follow the rule or the stories just aren’t in here.

Monday, July 01, 2013

July 1, 2013 – Jeremiah 17

I couldn’t get the image of the bush in the desert out of my mind.  I don’t know why.  The idea that it sees no season is what I kept rolling over in my mind.  The image is that of those that God is punishing.  He is barren and alone.  I guess that is not what I see when I see those that “trust in man” instead of God.  When the world looks at them, they are the tree growing full close to water.  The barren bush in the desert, the world would say, is that soul that clings to old traditions and is not flexible in their belief.  I guess that is where the “we don’t see as God sees” might come in.  Here is the image I would like to think of.  The world is a barren desert and we are a bush that blooms among the dry heat, blooming and gathering fuel and strength from a source the world does not comprehend.  You could also imagine the burning bush that is not consumed.  The world sees this bush, blooming in the desert, and in jealousy, sets it on fire to destroy it, but cannot.  The world as a desert is also an image that can be used to understand that the world is satisfied with the desert, but we are not meant for the desert.  We are meant for Eden, but the world doesn’t realize that because they have become accustomed to the desert and choose to stay and will not be told that there is something better.  I like the blooming bush in the barren desert image.  I will make that my sigil.