Men of Emmaus – June 7, 2014

Where: St. Francis
When: 8:00 AM
What: 2 Corinthians, Chapter 4

Looking around the web for some potentially helpful resources, I found the following:

St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians

This is a short and a bit of an odd letter. It primarily focuses upon the relationship between Paul and the Corinthians, not doctrinal teachings. This fact should give pause to Protestants who claim exclusive authority for Scripture, which includes such letters by Paul, rather than the writings of the Church fathers which claim apostolic authority for their teachings. The specifics of the relationship between Paul and the Corinthians are of limited relevance today, but the general character is of great importance.

There are two overarching Catholic doctrinal themes in this letter: apostolic authority and the necessity and ministry of reconciliation. In the face of doubters and false apostles, Paul is forced to reassert his apostolic authority. In dealing with a repentant sinner, Paul exercises his apostolic authority to forgive sins in the person of Christ and to indulge the repentant sinner in comfort rather than require more penance of him, demonstrating the ministry of reconciliation he mentions in the letter.

Paul’s letter does the following things with regard to the Protestant-Catholic divide:

Contradicts the heresy of sola Scriptura and upholds the authority of oral apostolic preaching and discipline in person (1:19, 23-24; 2:1, 3-4, 17; 3:2-6; 4:5-7; 5:5; 10:5, 9-11, 16; 12:19; 13:10-11)
Affirms apostolic/Church authority over lay believers (1:1, 21-24; 2:1; 6:11-13; 7:15; 10:8; 11:17; 12:14, 19; 13:2-4, 10-11)
Contradicts the fallibilism of Protestantism (2:17; 3:4-6, 12; 4:5-7; 5:5, 18-20; 10:5; 11:5-6, 10; 13:3)
Affirms the Catholic sacrament of reconciliation (2:5-11; 5:17-20; 13:2)
Affirms the necessity of perseverance in obedience and repentance for salvation/to obtain heaven (1:24; 2:11, 15-16; 5:20; 6:1; 7:8-13; 11:3-4; 12:21; 13:2-5)
Contradicts certainty of knowledge of others’ or one’s own salvation (1:6-7; 5:20; 6:1; 7:13; 11:3-4; 12:20-21; 13:5)
Contradicts sola fide (5:10-11, 15; 7:1, 15; 10:15)
Affirms the necessity of the institutional and doctrinal unity of the Church (1:1; 11:2-4, 12-15)
Affirms the Catholic view of suffering (1:5-7; 4:9-11; 12:7-9)
Affirms the Catholic custom of referring to priests as father (6:13; 12:14)
Supports the Catholic doctrine of praying to dead saints (1:11)
Supports the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory (12:2-4)

The author then comments on a selection of these verses. This could be a useful resource, especially for linking the words of Scripture to what we believe as Catholics.

The author claims that what we just read – Chapter 3 — contradicts sola scriptura. Do we agree? Comments are open.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Priorities

Every once in a while people just cut to the heart of a matter. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did so in article:

9. Career is never as important as family. The better you are at your job, the more you’re rewarded, financially and spiritually, by doing it. You know how to solve problems for which you receive praise and money. Home life is more chaotic. Solving problems is less prescriptive and no one’s applauding or throwing money if you do it right. That’s why so many young professionals spend more time at work with the excuse, “I’m sacrificing for my family.” Bullshit. Learn to embrace the chaos of family life and enjoy the small victories. This hit me one night after we’d won an especially emotional game against the Celtics. I’d left the stadium listening to thousands of strangers chanting “Kareem! Kareem!” I felt flush with the sense of accomplishment, for me, for the Lakers, and for the fans. But when I stepped into my home and my son said, “Daddy!” the victory, the chanting, the league standings, all faded into a distant memory.

A Prayer Upon Entering The Workplace

This prayer appears to be well-known, but I thought that I would share it nonetheless:


My heavenly father, as I enter this work place, I bring your presence with me.
Bring your peace, your grace, your mercy and your perfect order into my work. I commit to use them responsibly in your honor.

I acknowledge your power over all that will be done, spoken, thought and decided within these walls. Anoint my projects, ideas, and energy, so that even my smallest accomplishment may bring you glory.
Lord, when I am confused, guide me. When I am weary, energize me. Give me a fresh supply of strength to do my job. When I am burned out, infuse my mind with the light of the Holy Spirit.

May the work that I do and the way I do it bring faith, joy and a smile to all that I come in contact with today.

And oh Lord, when I leave this place, give me traveling mercy.

Bless my family as they go about their day and watch over my home so that it will be as I left it when I return and to always be a place of life and love.

Lord, I thank you for the gifts you have blessed me with.

Lord, I thank you for everything you’ve done, everything you are doing, and everything you are going to do.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, I pray, with much love and thanksgiving,


The Duck Song And Catholic Theology

We at St. Francis Men of Emmaus are expert theologians. Theological conundra (we use big words too!) that stump lesser minds are child’s play for us. With that in mind, we offer you:


As of this writing, The Duck Song has been viewed more than 100,000,000 times (no typo!). What are the profound theological implications of “The Duck Song?” Does it presage the End of the World? Or merely the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine)? What does it say about the Nature of God? Love? Beauty? Truth? The other sublime mysteries of our faith?

Or…. is it a consolation from an infinitely living Father hidden in a cute, catchy tune and a quick laugh to brighten a moment or two? Is it a consolation when we adults show it to our kids and grand kids and their faces break into a smile and they begin laughing in spite of themselves?

Without further ado, here is THE DUCK SONG.

Five Clicks To Jesus: The Wikipedia Game

The fruit of the fifth Joyful mystery is joy at finding Jesus. This is a whole new way of finding Christ.

Wikipedia articles are chock full of links to other Wikipedia articles. The challenge is to start with a random article and find the Wikipedia article on Jesus in 5 clicks or less. So far I’ve been able to do it each time.

Here are five articles chosen using Wikipedia’s random article feature. The first is very tough, the rest are easier. Can you beat my click count? Enjoy!

Chrysomyinae (5 clicks – very hard).

Bottesford, Leicestershire (3 clicks).

158 Koronis (5 clicks).

Cabañas de Ebro (3 clicks).

Leo T (dwarf galaxy) (4 clicks).

Updated: Litany of Transfiguration



Today, August 6, 2012, is the Feast of the Transfiguration.  This Litany is a perfect prayer for today and everyday.


This is the Litany that I have mentioned.  It is by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P. in the August 2008 issue of Magnificat. I found it on at Postscripts From The Catholic Spitfire Grill.

Litany of Transfiguration

When I am tempted to look only at my faults…Let me see only Jesus.

When troubled by the specter of doubt and defeat…Let me see only Jesus.

When I can’t see beyond the frustrations of the moment…Let me see only Jesus.

When the horizon seems distant and dark…Let me see only Jesus.

When I can’t see the point of pursuing what’s good…Let me see only Jesus.

When complaining and cynicism invade my peace….Let me see only Jesus.

When I can’t face my problems…Let me see only Jesus.

When the world looks bleak…Let me see only Jesus.

When others measure and judge me…Let me see only Jesus.

When beset by depression…Let me see only Jesus.

When friendship is far from me…Let me see only Jesus.

When overshadowed by sorrow…Let me see only Jesus.

When I fail to use my freedom…Let me see only Jesus.

When it’s hard to forgive…Let me see only Jesus.

When things don’t make sense…Let me see only Jesus.

When I think I can’t change…Let me see only Jesus.

When confronted by suffering…Let me see only Jesus.

When stress gets me down…Let me see only Jesus.

When it’s hard to go on…Let me see only Jesus.

When blinded by sin…Let me see only Jesus.

When the hardness of life overwhelms me…Let me see only Jesus.

When hope begins to fade…Let me see only Jesus.

Our Father…

Closing Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for allowing me to witness the vision of your Son transfigured on Mount Tabor. May I become what I behold so that my life will radiate the glory and grace that remain your priceless gifts to me in Jesus. Amen.

Photo source:  History Channel; for the background of picture, go here.

Movie Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Dog Days

Looking for some good family fun?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid may be for you. Recognizable characters. Recognizable situations. Real, honest-to-goodness laughs. No ironic detachment. No cringe-inducing use of pseudo-sophisticated, arrogance-laden cynicism to force uncomfortable pseudo-laughter. Although not every bit worked, but Diary is well-worth seeing, especially with teens and tweens. Five stars!

A Nighttime Prayer

A short bedtime prayer from Psalm 4:

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

What a simple, child-like acknowledgment of God’s power and love.

“What is the New Evangelization?” — Feb 25

Feb. 25:
What Is The New Evangelization?

“There is the need for a proclamation of the Gospel capable of accompanying man on his pilgrim way, capable of walking alongside a younger generation.”

Come join the St. Francis Men of Emmaus as we discuss the answer Bl. John Paul II gave to this question in Crossing The Threshold Of Hope (copies in Church library).  We meet in the Youth Room on Saturday mornings for coffee, bagels, and fellowship at 7:45 A.M. and continue until 9:00.
Upcoming:  Pope Benedict XVI, “Jesus of Nazareth – Holy Week: From The Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection”, Chapter 1 – The Entrance Into Jerusalem

Mysteries Of The Church: The Afterlife

This is an interesting video, produced in conjunction with the Diocese of Brooklyn, about what we believe about the afterlife.  It is well-produced and visually appealing.  It also taught me something and might offer you some new insight.  There are many more of these so we will be seeing more in the future.

Three things surprised me.  The first was the explanation of Hell.  The announcer states what I always thought we Catholics believed about Hell and then affirmatively states that that is untrue.  She then backs it up with ecclesial authority from the Diocese of Brooklyn.  I still wonder, though.

Second, the affirmation that “Heaven” is wherever God is struck me.  Not so much because it is surprising, but because I just stumbled across a meditation from St. Teresa of Avila, who made the same assertion.  There are no coincidences, but that was spooky.

Finally, the explanation of what we believe about purgatory was excellent, i.e., it made perfect sense.

The video is copyright 2010 Trans Video Communications.