What is like being Catholic?
I (Sal) grew-up to loving Catholic-devoted parents in St. Paul. They took me to church every Sunday mornings, and got me interested in God through their parent-child loving relationship. I remember my interest in watching "Ten Commandments" the movie every year during Easter time. Then in college, I discovered a personal relationship with Jesus, which I now attend a Catholic mass whenever I can with my parents in respect of them.
Still Catholic and Evangelical?
I didn't get out of the Catholic church because I was never part of it as I wasn't "confirmed". I'm neither a Catholic or Evangelical, but a child of God-a Christian! I dropped out of confirmation class because I couldn't afford the one I attended in St. Paul when I was a senior in high school. I don't have any resentment or was offended by the Catholic church overall. Living in Morris and the rural predominate Lutheran rural west central area Minnesota community, I've notice the division between the two. I don't like "division" because of my racial division experience.
My Catholic Experience
I grew-up going to our neighborhood Catholic church in the East Side of St. Paul. It was called...
St. Pascals Baylon/School
Above is a picture of their new sanctuary, which was actually my first time on Sunday, January 29th of 2007. I was here with my sister and mom after attending Woodland Hills Church earlier (8:45a-10:15a) in the morning.
I actually look forward going to church on Sunday because it was a time that my family would get together from our busy schedules as we got older. After going to UMM and discovering other church denominations besides Catholic, I started to appreciate more going to Catholic mass. I still attend whenever I can-especially when I'm visiting my family to spend time together as we are older now. As I write this, I attended mass/church service 2x this past weekend (April 2nd-3rd of 2005). This was the most in two days for a long time. In fact the book reading were the same Saturday (in Espanol at Morris, MN) and Sunday (Benson, MN). This past weekend, Pope John Paul II past away, which Roman Catholicism has been on the t.v. a lot-more than usual! He was a very "good person", which he was very respected from all over the world. However, he is like any other "man" created by God and doesn't need to be put in a higher pedestal than any other human being. I'm not trying to "put him down", but trying to show that he was a humbled man that probably would agree too. Jesus should be the one that gets the attention through the works the Pope did for Him! Anways, I decided to write this section of this website to share my reflections of my Catholic experience that will go on till I die. We are all one in Christ-nor Protestant or Catholic! Let's love one another as Jesus loves his whole church family!
As I look at the list of other parishes in St. Paul (The Archidiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis), here is my list of where I've been to so far...
St. Matthews on the West Side for my former college roommate's baby baptism sometime around 2001 or so..
Church of St. Vincente de Paul, a Hmong church by the state capitol. I went here with a friend of mine that went to UMM
Cathedral of St. Paul in downtown St. Paul, which my parents started first going when they immigrated here in the U.S. They lived only a couple blocks down. I've been here numerous times for special occassions (e.g. my niece's baptims, taking visitors from other countries-see pictures, etc...)
Filipino Catholic Heritage
Here is my story growing up as a Filipino Catholic=> (click). Philippines is the only "Christian" nation in Asia, which is due to our Spanish colonial background...
Love one Another
Putting down "Catholics" creates division, and we need to love them as anybody-that's "2nd greatest commandment" (Matthew 22:37-39) instead of judging them. We are all sinners and believe in Jesus, right? When I talk with "Evangelicals" about their resentment with "Catholics", I tell them that we should not look down at others below us or less....
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."-Philippians 2:3
We are all sinners (e.g. Catholics-abuse-Priests allegations and Evangelicals -racists-KKK were Protestants)!
This humility will show Christ's love through us that Catholics or anyone else will see that will be a better witness.
I have to give thanks to the Catholic "church" as a whole for playing a part in the "Big Team" (Christians, Protestants, Lutherans, etc..) of "reaching the nations"-in particular of the Philippines.
Yes, they may of not be "doctrinely" (no "church" is, except the first Christians in the Book of Acts) right with their teachings, but the commonality that the "Big Team" shares is the love of Jesus!
Priest Making a Difference
Here is a true story by Paul Harvey. Pass it to anyone who you think would find it interesting and inspiring. You will be surprised who this young man turned out to be. (Do not look at the bottom of this letter until you have read it fully.)
Years ago a hardworking man took his family from New York State to Australia to take advantage of a work opportunity there. Part of this man's family was a handsome young son who had aspirations of joining the circus as a trapeze artist or an actor. This young fellow, biding his time until a circus job or even one as a stagehand came along, worked at the local shipyards which bordered on the worst section of town. Walking home from work one evening this young man was attacked by five thugs who wanted to rob him. Instead of just giving up his money the young fellow resisted. However they bested him easily and proceeded to beat him to a pulp. They mashed his face with their boots, and kicked and beat his body brutally with clubs, leaving him for dead. When the police happened to find him lying in the road they assumed he was dead and called for the Morgue Wagon. On the way to the morgue a policeman heard him gasp for air, and they immediately took him to the emergency unit at the hospital. When he was placed on a gurney a nurse remarked to her horror, that this young man no longer had a face. Each eye socket was smashed, his skull, legs, and arms fractured, his nose literally hanging from his face, all is teeth were gone, and his jaw was almost completely torn from his skull. although his life was spared he spent over a year in the hospital. When he finally left, his body may have healed but his face was disgusting to look at. He was no longer the handsome youth that everyone admired. When the young man started to look for work again he was turned down by everyone just on account of the way he looked. One potential employer suggested to him that he join the freak show at the circus as The Man Who Had No Face. And he did this for a while. He was still rejected by everyone and no one wanted to be seen in his company. He had thoughts of suicide. This went on for five years. One day he passed a church and sought some solace there. Entering the church he encountered a priest who had seen him sobbing while kneeling in a pew. The priest took pity on him and took him to the rectory where they talked at length. The priest was impressed with him to such a degree that he said that he would do everything possible for him that could be done to restore his dignity and life, if the young man would promise to be the best Catholic he could be, and trust in God's mercy to free him from his torturous life. The young man went to mass and communion every day, and after thanking God for saving his life, asked God to only give him peace of mind and the grace to be the best man he could ever be in His eyes. The priest, through his personal contacts was able to secure the services of the best plastic surgeon in Australia. There would be no cost to the young man, as the doctor was the priest's best friend. The doctor too was so impressed by the young man, whose outlook now on life, even though he had experienced the worst, was filled with good humor and love. The surgery was a miraculous success. All the best dental work was also done for him. The young man became everything he promised God he would be. He was also blessed with a wonderful, beautiful wife, and many children, and success in an industry which would have been the furthest thing from his mind as a career if not for the goodness of God and the love of the people who cared for him. This he acknowledges publicly.
The young man was and is Mel Gibson, director of The Passion
His life was the inspiration for his production of the movie "The Man Without A Face." He is to be admired by all of us as a God fearing man, a political conservative, and an example to all as a true man of courage. And to think I admired him before I knew any of this! He is quite a man!
"Shall Not Worship Any Idols"
After growing in my found personal relationship with Jesus during college, I began to discover slowly the tradtions and practice of my Catholic faith that didn't seem fit with the Bible. Yes, I've been labeled different things: taking the Bible too literally, etc...However, as you look into history of colonialism, many of the past dominant colonizer nations would keep some of their oppressors' religous cultural practices or traditions. For example, I went to this Nicaraguan share-event of a local UMM college student's social church humanitarian trip experience. She shared about how it was cool to see some former practices of the natives shown in the Catholic church building through their art. There was a picture of their "sun god" painted in the ceiling, which....
"Do not worship the Lord your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods. 5 Rather, you must seek the Lord your God at the place he himself will choose from among all the tribes for his name to be honored."-Deuteronomy 12
I don't mean to point some "wrongs", which we can all do with every type of local church, congregation, denomination, religion, etc... God will deal with each "church" individually, as Revelations 2-What it boils down to is that we each individually need discernment on our personal walk with Christ that we don't get distracted or lose focus on our eyes on Him!
It's Saturday, December 16th of 2006-I decided to write more on this topic after writing on deliverance from idloatry. I decided to re"search" specifically on Catholic idolatry...
Catholic Spirits, prayer tools from demonbuster.com
Deliverance from the Darkness of Catholicism, from pro-gospel
"had been married for five years in 1973 and was stationed at Tucson, Arizona in the Air Force. My wife and I were active in the Catholic Church. But the sin of sexual lust was starting to gain a stronghold in my life. I became enamored with pornography. It felt like being divided into two different people. One was devoted to his Catholic religion and all its disciplined rigors but the other was obsessed with the sensual pleasure of forbidden sex..."
It's Thursday, June 7th of 2007-I've been re-reading this book "Like A Mighty Wind" (revival in Timor-Indonesia) . I found this on the internet....
"The priest was upset. "Those are not idols," he said indignantly. "Those are just Paul and Mary and Jesus and John and other saints."
"But the Lord told us that they are idols."
When the team saw that arguing wasn't going to accomplish anything, one of the team members said, "Since none of us knows if these are idols or not, let us ask God to show us. Do you remember the story in the Bible about Elijah and the Baal priest? (ref ` Kings 18) Well, let us pray, and gather these images and ask the Lord to burn them with fire from heaven if He is displeased with them."
So they gathered all the idols into the middle of the room. They were made of brass, wood and plaster. The people stood back away from the pile of images, and one of the team prayed that the Lord Himself would give the final decision or proof by burning the pile if He wished. After the closing amens, there was a short silence, then a sharp crashing bolt of fire - like lightning - which hit only the pile of images and burned them to ashes.
The priest was so excited, he rubbed his hands together and kept repeating, "We must get the rest of them to burn. They are in the back. We must get them and burn them, too." So they went into the back of the church and dragged out the other images and they were all burned even those of metal. And nothing else in the church was harmed.
Many repented and turned to Christ that day. And when the team left, the priest said, "If the Lord tells you to come again, you'd better come."-Mel Tari: God Burns Idols-from Univ of Penn
"Don't Call Anyone Father"
"And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven."-Matthew 23
FAQ about Catholic Symbols
Was the cross actually "t" shaped? I just had an interesting discussion (April 22nd-23rd 2005) about where the "cross" came about, so I did some re"search"...
"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree"-Acts 5:30
How Did Jesus Christ Die?
"The usual crucifixion began with the victim being flogged and severely beaten. He was then forced to carry or drag the crossbeam of the cross to the place of execution, where the upright post was already firmly fixed in the ground (see Cross Or Stake?). He was then bound or nailed to the crossbeam which was then raised up and attached to the post about 10 to 12 feet (3 or 4 meters) off the ground. The feet were then nailed to the post. The legs were then often broken with an iron bar"
What other distractions do you see?
The Fighting Nun
"Nuns are not confined to using just nunchaks." Performed & edited by Beau Chev!#us;. Shortly after this footage was filmed, three squad cars showed up, cops jumped out and--pointing guns at me--they screamed for me to get on my knees with my hands where they could see them. Apparently someone called 911, complaining about a person jumping and dancing about in a nun's outfit out in a field, twirling weapons around. Spokane always has these problems."
Leonardo Da Vinci
*movie: Cracking the Da Vinci Code
Traditional Catholic Mid Files
Thank you for visiting my page at Angelfire. Please come back and visit again!