Noticias de la Diócesis de Allentown

Five Faith Friday

Here is this week's installment of "Five Faith Friday" which contains five, faith-based things I found interesting and am sharing on Friday.

What Catholic News Made Headlines --
That the U.S. bishops voted 168 to 55 (with six abstentions) to move forward on drafting “a formal statement on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.” The bishops' doctrine committee will now be tasked with drafting the document. A draft document could be debated at their November meeting. “For Catholics, the Holy Eucharist is Christ really present,” said Bishop Schlert, the Bishop of the Diocese of Allentown (my diocese). “To receive the Holy Eucharist, Catholics must be properly prepared. They must not be conscious of mortal sin, which can be removed through the Sacrament of Penance (Confession). They also must be in the right disposition, meaning in a relationship of unity with the Church and her teachings on both faith and morals.” The USCCB said in 2006, "If a Catholic in his or her personal or professional life were knowingly and obstinately to reject the defined doctrines of the Church, or knowingly and obstinately to repudiate her definitive teaching on moral issues, however, he or she would seriously diminish his or her communion with the Church. Reception of Holy Communion in such a situation would not accord with the nature of the Eucharistic celebration, so that he or she should refrain." Jesus once said, "Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you" (Matthew 7:6).

Which Catholic Politician Threatened the Church --
Ted Lieu, Congressman from California. After the USCCB's vote, he posted a statement: "Dear @USCCB: I’m Catholic and I support: -Contraception -A woman’s right to choose -Treatments for infertility -The right for people to get a divorce -The right of same sex marriage. Next time I go to Church, I dare you to deny me Communion." My translation of his statement, "How dare you try to hold me to the tenets of the faith I profess to belong to." What Congressman Lieu is saying is, "I'm Catholic, but..." Here's the thing... there are no "buts" in Catholicism. It's an all or nothing. Why? Well, watch the "I'm Catholic but" video. Don't get me wrong, it's okay to struggle with elements of the faith, but use those struggles as reasons to perform research. I have found that in every single one of my struggles, it came down to a lack of understanding of the "why" behind it. Don't be a cafeteria Catholic. Use your conscience in forming your decisions, but keep in mind that you do not form your conscience in opposition to Church teaching." The Bible tells us that it is not easy to be a Christian. The Bible also says, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it" (Matthew 7:13).

Which Department of Education Announcement Was Appalling --
The one from Wednesday stating that all public educational institutions nationwide must recognize the “gender identities” of “trans” people, including by allowing biological males to use female facilities such as restrooms and compete in female sports. “Today marks 49 years since the passage of Title IX, the strongest tool we have to protect every student’s right to equal access to educational opportunities free from sex discrimination,” wrote Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I’m proud of the actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken so far in ensuring that Title IX protects the civil rights of all students, including LGBTQ+ students, in our schools and on college campuses.” The Biden administration has worked consistently to assert “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected under Title IX. Critics, on the other hand, point out that the legislation was originally predicated precisely on the distinction between biological males and females — asserting the right of females to their own educational programming, including female sports. The Biden administration and anyone who supports the concept of transgenderism need to stop lying to people - it's damaging. There is no such thing as transgenderism since a male cannot be a female. It's basic logic and it's science. It's also Biblical: "So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27).

What Resource I'm Checking Out --
"The Examination Journal" If you're familiar with St. Ignatius' Examen, then this is a journal that guides you in making a daily practice very similar to the Examen. If you don't know what the Examen is, it's a daily examination of conscience. It's essentially a prayer that takes as little as a few minutes in the evening, during which you place yourself in God's presence, review your day, thanking God, asking for His forgiveness, and resolving to do better tomorrow. I first started performing a nightly examen 3 years ago during my first Exodus 90 and I haven't looked back. In the words of the creator Mark, "Many in the Church consider this practice a staple for any believer pursuing holiness. There's a wealth of knowledge as to why, but to me, it's simple. If we want to be better tomorrow, we have to look at where we are today -- reviewing the good, the bad, and the in-between. The Examination Journal takes this idea and puts it into a hard copy book/journal with daily exercises." Check out the link above where you can learn more about it and even download a preview.

What News Is Worth Celebrating --
"The world's most premature baby has celebrated his first birthday after beating 0% odds of surviving." While those who are pro-abortion would've probably have said, "Abort the baby. It's going to die anyways" when hearing 0% odds of surviving, pro-lifers say, "We aren't God and I will not murder a baby." What fantastic news that the parents chose life and even more incredible that God blessed the baby and his family with over a year of joy and life. Thank God that sweet little Richard wasn't murdered in the womb alongside the 614,820 babies that are every year in the United States.

Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and your family!