Monday, October 5, 2015

Archbishop Fulton Sheen - Tolerance

In 1931, Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen wrote the following essay:
“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance-it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.”
“Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil … a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons … never to truth. Tolerance applies to the erring, intolerance to the error … Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in the laboratory.
Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.”


Monday, September 14, 2015

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14)

The Holy Cross of Christ is the universal symbol that identifies us as Christians.  In the most recent unrest in the Middle East, a radical Islamic group even posted a banner saying, 
Those who worship the Cross must know they may not insult Mohammad.”  
It is interesting that they should choose those words “…worship the Cross.”  It just shows how powerfully the instrument of our Lord’s execution has been impressed upon the world as a symbol of our identity.
Obviously, they do not understand our devotion to the Cross or our faith.  We certainly do not “Worship the Cross” any more than the Islamists worship the crescent moon.  But we make that sign on our bodies when we pray and we are constantly reminded of our Lord and Savior who, through this instrument, suffered, died, and in dying brought us all salvation. 
In the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we remember the recovery by the Church of relics of the True Cross. Historically, this feast was celebrated in Rome before the end of the 7th century to commemorate the recovery of that portion of the Holy Cross, which was preserved at Jerusalem, and which had fallen into the hands of the Persians. Emperor Heraclius recovered this precious relic and brought it back to Jerusalem, May 3, 629.
More important than the relics, however, is what the Cross of Christ means to each one of us.  It recalls the great kenosis – how Jesus emptied himself and poured out his life for us in a humiliating scene of pubic derision.  It recalls how, even knowing his fate as we hear in John’s Gospel, the Lord accepted God’s plan and became the healing sacrifice that saved all of God’s adopted sons and daughters.  It recalls that each day, in the Eucharistic Sacrifice at Holy Mass, his promise of salvation is reiterated and demonstrated as he offers his Body and Blood for our sins.
No, we do not Worship the Cross.  But we proudly embrace it, wearing it with both pride and humility since upon it hung the one whose  
“…name is above every name and at whose name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.”
 Christian typological exegesis perceives in the bronze serpent an image of the cross itself, which was lifted up in the desert that the Father might draw all things to himself through the death of his Son.  

Note to my CIA and SWAT: You are learning Christian typological exegesis at almost every meeting. Isn't that cool?
What's typological?  the study of typology
What's typology?    (You know this word)
  1. the study and interpretation of types and symbols, originally (especially) in the Bible.  (noun)
What's exegesis?  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I’m Not Being Fed (aka Do You Have The Blahs?)

 The impetus for today's post was this article that a protestant friend of mine shared. It reminded me (again) that we are so very blessed to have found the fullness of truth in our Holy Roman Catholic Church. We are so blessed to have the real presence of Jesus at every Mass and at Adoration -- body, blood, soul and divinity.
Here is the article (with my comments in red):

Do You Have The Blahs?   by Ray Stedman
In Mark 8:17, Jesus asked some questions that help combat the spiritual“blahs,”
(you know, when you have no interest in reading your Bible, talking with God, going to church, etc…)
“Do you not yet see or understand?”  Use your mind. Stop and think about where you are, what’s happening to you and why. Read what God’s word says about it. God gave us a mind. He wants us to use it and He’s given us His word to study and apply (. . . . with the essential guidance of our Magisterium -- because God did not leave us alone to interpret His Word. In John 10:11 Jesus tells us He is our Good Shepherd. He has taken the ultimate responsibility for our souls.  Then in John 14 Jesus tells us He is leaving. But He tells us He is sending the Holy Spirit to guide us.  Did He leave it to the conscience of the individual to discover truth or did he leave a quantifiable deposit of faith and give His authority to certain people to pass it on?   He established authority. The pillar of support and Truth is the Church.  (1st Timothy 3:15)
Matthew 16:13 --  "Who do people say that I am?"  This was asked BY JESUS waaaaay before splits of churches. The answers were diverse, and this was DURING Jesus' time. The answers they gave were: John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, one of the prophets. Those 4 answers were wrong.  And this was DURING Jesus' time!! We need more than our own reflection. We need more than an individual relationship between us and Jesus. As Peter tells us in his Epistle, "No revelation (prophesy) is of a private interpretation."  2 Peter 1:20
Then Jesus asks His apostles, "Who do you say that I am?" Remember Peter's answer?
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God!"
And what did Jesus do right after that?  Jesus established, as the head of His  Church,
Peter. Jesus gave Peter "keys to the kingdom of heaven." Jesus continued, " Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  There is a special anointing on the Vicar of Christ to guide us and direct us. 
But I digress. Here is the rest of the article.
“Do you have a hardened heart?” In other words, analyze the state of your heart. Is it dull and unresponsive to God and the things of God? If the heart does not respond to what the mind has read and understood, it’s because you didn’t believe it. You’ve mentally understood the truth, but you haven’t acted on it. The Gospel truth always moves us when we believe. It excites us and gives us joy. If you don’t experience that, it’s because your mind has grasped it, but your heart hasn’t. So what do you do then? Pray. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart to see the truth of the Gospel and your own need for it. If you want to know Him, He will respond.

“You have eyes, do you not see? You have ears, do you not hear?” Jesus said these words again and again to the people he taught, and each time He means the same thing. Do not just look at the events you are seeing and think that is all there is to it. It is a parable, a parallel to something deeper and more important, concerning your spirit. We need to see beyond the physical to the spiritual truths. In this part of Mark the people were looking for Jesus to give them food, He wanted them to see the deeper truth, their more demanding need for daily replenishment spiritually that only He, the Bread of Life, can give.  This part of the Gospel of Mark is the story of the loaves and the fishes.  The loaves and the fishes are a prefiguration of the Eucharist. When you leave the authority of the Catholic Church you run into many paths    Only 60 years after the protestant revolution there was a book published entitled, 200 interpretations of the words, "This is My Body."
As is evident here in this article, by Ray Stedman, one can see how the author just misses a crucial understanding of the miracle of The Eucharist. 

And finally, “Do you not remember when…”  Hasn't God taught you things in the past through your circumstances? Hasn't he led you through events which have made you understand something about your life? Do you think that the things happening to you right now, whoever and wherever you are, are just accidents? Or is God saying something to you? Do you not remember the times He said things like that in the past? Well, remember them now, and interpret these events now, and recognize that you are in the hands of a loving Father who has put you right where you are to teach you a very needed truth. Learn to lay hold of that truth, and rejoice!”

"Forgive us, Father, for the dullness of our hearts, for the way we reflect so frequently the attitude of the pagan worldlings around us, who see no further than the surface of events, and never think any deeper. Forgive us for living like animals, in this respect, and help us to remember that we are men and women, that we have a spirit as well as a body, and that it needs strengthening, needs upholding, and needs to be fed. Lord, help us to give ourselves every day, afresh and anew, to this One who is the bread sent down from heaven, the One who can strengthen us and keep us and establish us. We ask in his name, Amen."

When you google Mr. Stedman, you may find this blurb:
"[The Ray Stedman Library] helps you move beyond religion, rules and rituals to become intimately connected with Christ -- this is authentic Christianity!"


A much better response to "Do you Have the Blahs?" is this excellent Catholic audio!

The source is Lighthouse Media

In a dynamic talk, Jeff Cavins explores some of the reasons why so many have left the Catholic Church for evangelical Christianity. He responds to the most commonly heard complaint of these former Catholics – that they simply were not being “fed” by their Church. As he presents the story of his own return to Catholicism, Cavins builds a case for the unique character of the Catholic Church as the church founded by Christ.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

What Is Your Middle Schooler Being Taught About the Crusades?

by Thomas L. McDonald @

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.”

Yesterday, something interesting happened: my daughter asked me to print out her 7th grade Social Studies homework, which was a lesson on the Crusades. Coincidentally, I was teaching the same subject that evening, and what I saw in my daughter’s lessons drove home the absolutely necessity of Catholics telling our own story and teaching our own history.

I’ve been teaching Church history to 8th Grade Confirmation candidates for 6 years, and I’ve developed a series of history lessons that are taught to multiple classes each year. I’ve spent a lot of time studying the controversies of our history in order to better teach them to the students. I never whitewash it.

In the interest of understanding what they’ve already been taught, I’ve read several middle school textbooks over the years, and found all of them deficient. Even textbooks intended for Catholic schools leave a lot to be desired. The current trend is to minimize the horrors of Islamic history (their role in the slave trade and their violent military expansionism are glossed over or left out altogether) and amplify the evils of Christians and the Church. None of this should be news to any observant Christian parent.

Yesterday’s lesson was an eye-opener, however, and I ran my red pen all over
the handout that was to serve as my daughter’s source, before scribbling a final grade of “C+” at the bottom. It was a rude thing to do, since my daughter likes the teacher and she’s only working the material given her, much of which is weak in several important areas. I wrote a follow-up email explaining my problems, and she was very responsive.

To begin with, there’s the oft-repeated lie that this was an unjust, terrible,
super-wrong series of misadventure by no-good Christians to wrest control of the Holy Land from innocent, wise, and gentle Muslims in the name of greed and God.
Muslim designs on Europe? The clashes with the Byzantine Empire, the conquest of North Africa, and the occupation of Spain? The Battle of Tours? Charles “The Hammer” Martel? The differences among Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Seljuqs and others? The attempt to conquer Europe through the gateway of Constantinople? The destruction of the Holy Sepulcher (twice) by Muslims? The expulsion and murder of Christians from the Holy Land? The wholesale robbery and murder of pilgrims?

Pshaw! Don’t bother the kids with facts! The text-book writers prefer easily digestible pap with noble non-white heroes and wicked European Christian villains. Forget that Muslims were not only the aggressors, but had powerful, expansive empires when Europe was little more than a batch of quarrels with borders. If we’re talking size and power, the Crusader armies were the underdogs.

Let’s look at what bothered me, and keep in mind it follows right on the heels of a section in which Islam is presented as all lollipops and puppies.
"Crusaders were particularly vicious in their attacks. Before they even reached the Holy Land, crusaders lay waste to the Jewish communities of Western Europe. Members of the Jewish community had been expelled from England and France. Many were forced to live in ghettos. Entire Jewish towns were completely wiped out by crusaders. Jewish men, women, children were all slaughtered and robbed of their possessions. Some committed suicide or killed their own children rather than being killed by crusaders, or forced to convert."
Note the absence of any qualifiers: not “some crusaders” but “crusaders were particularly vicious.” All of them. 
Note also the rather reckless and inaccurate use of the word “all” in reference to the slaughter, and the suggestions that the crusader armies committed wholesale genocide against the Jews of Europe.

The history of European interaction with the Jewish population is complex and often disgraceful, but too much is glossed, exaggerated, or left unsaid in this passage. The resulting image is of crusaders being commissioned for a Holy War and killing every Jew they find along the way, destroying their towns, and salting the Earth beneath them.

The lesson is blending two things: peasants who attacked Jews, and the fringe group of crusaders who committed the despicable Rhineland Massacres in 1096. Peter the Hermit’s mob of zealots also alternately killed and robbed Jews. There were crusaders on both sides of the fight: Emicho of Leiningen whipped his men into an anti-semitic mob, while Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV ordered them protected.
Christians in Mainz sheltered them in their homes. Adalbert, Bishop of Worms, sheltered Jews in the episcopal palace, only to have the mob overrun it and kill perhaps 800 Jews. Ruthard, Bishop of Mainz, barred the crusaders from the city and with the help of the Jews attempted to bribe them to go elsewhere. They took the gold and attacked anyway, leaving over a thousand dead. Stories are told of at least one mother who killed her children to keep them from their hands, and of a Jewish man killing himself in shame after submitting to a forced conversion. There’s no reason to disbelieve these stories.

As for “members of the Jewish community had been expelled from England and France” . . . . .  not quite.
Orders of expulsion were going on in various places in Europe and would continue for centuries, and France around the time of the Crusaders saw waves of this as well. As for England in 1095, they hardly had much of a Jewish population at all. Jews arrived with the Normans in 1066. King Edward’s Edict of Expulsion didn’t come until 1290 (almost 200 years after that First Crusade), and even then the population of English Jews was fewer than 2,000. No Jews were expelled from England as part of the manic zeal of the First Crusade for the very sound reason that England had almost no Jews to expel at the time.

And where was the Church in all this? It’s kind of an interesting question that might be of interest to middle school students, no? After all, there’s no shortage of detail about how bad ole Urban II had called this crusade, so naturally he must have approved of wholesale slaughter of the Jews, right?
Obviously, if you know your faith, you know the opposite is the case. Under the influence of Augustine’s Witness Doctrine, popes issued edicts of protection for Jews, and bishops sheltered or attempted to shelter them. Orders against forced conversions were issued repeatedly, and repeatedly ignored by the mob. Heroic stands by great Catholic leaders might be worth a passing mention, one would think.

When St. Bernard of Clairvaux was preaching the Second Crusade, he explicitly condemned the actions against the Jews taken during the First in order to prevent it from happening again. Urban II condemned the murders, and ordered protection of Jewish life and property.
(Note: Several popes did issue antisemitic orders in defiance of the Witness Doctrine. Innocent III and Paul IV are among those who ordered Jews to wear distinct signs of their faith, be prohibited from higher office, or moved into ghettos. It was as wrong, but it was not the norm, and property and life were to be protected.)

Certainly, the Crusades saw the first sustained outbreak of antisemitism in Europe. Leaders like Godfrey of Bouillon thought a crusade to save the Holy Land would be worthless if Europe’s own Jews were left unconverted or alive.
The Church didn’t share these views, and insistently pronounced against them, but too often they were ignored.
Why? That brings us to the second reason: it was widely believed that all Jews were spectacularly wealthy, and some crusaders coveted their gold. Indeed, the “zealotry” of these alleged radical Jew haters often could be bought with a bribe, which tells us their zealotry often was a mask for their greed.
Finally, there’s a third reason. A letter (most likely a forgery) was in circulation that allegedly proved prominent European Jews had written to the the Fatimid caliph urging the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This libel helped stoke antisemitic sentiment.

Moving on:
"Crusader atrocities continued when they reached the holy land. After capturing the city of Antioch, crusaders committed an unimaginable act – they committed cannibalism. They ate Muslims as a show of their utter disregard for Muslims. In other words, the crusaders viewed Muslims as no more that animals."
Whoa! That’s some pretty wild shootin’, Tex!
Widespread crusader cannibalism is one of the libels that’s become embedded in the popular imagination, and it’s time we disembedded it. First off, the reports of cannibalism come not from Antioch but from Ma’arrat al-Numan. Different siege, different city.
As for the stories themselves, the text would have us imagine a victorious crusader looming over the supine body of the hated Mohammedan, cutting out his heart, and biting into it with zesty contempt.

Ah … no. After Ma’arra fell, some crusaders moved on to Jerusalem, while others remained behind as famine took over the city. The starving population may have been reduced to cannibalism, and contemporary reports suggest this is a reasonable belief. As disgusting as that is, it was cannibalism driven by hunger, not as a gesture of contempt by a healthy man. Even the contemporary reports say the perpetrators were driven to madness by hunger. To suggest that it was a conscious gesture of contempt is an attempt to dehumanize the crusaders and portray them as barbarians in contrast to the Muslims, who are portrayed as noble.
"Eventually, the crusaders captured the city of Jerusalem. Upon capturing the city of Jerusalem, crusaders massacred all Muslim and Jewish people. Muslims sought safety in their holiest mosque, as did the Jewish in their synagogue. All Muslims were slain and the Jewish were all burned alive inside."
The massacre of Jerusalem is a historical fact, but the statement should read “many” rather than “all Muslim and Jewish people were killed.” Too many by far were killed, but not all. Cold comfort, but history needs to strive for accuracy.

Massacres of besieged cities in medieval and ancient warfare were not unique to the crusaders. It was a crime against God and man. It was also the way hostile populations were subdued in the ancient world.

As for the “burning the Jews alive in the synagogue,” this certainly happened in the middle ages with depressing frequency, but did it happen at Jerusalem? A Muslim source claims it happened. A Jewish source claims the synagogue was burned with no one inside. I would not be surprised if it happened, but there’s evidence for and against.

At least they refrained from saying “the streets ran ankle deep with blood,” which I have read in textbooks, and is just a crass bit of hyperbole treated as fact by people who should know better. In a speech given at Georgetown, Bill Clinton even brought up the lore of crusaders wading knee-deep in blood, because nothing is so wonderfully responsible as an American president validating that lie and projecting it into the Islamic world.

There’s a lot of praise for Saladin, the only leader in the entire Crusades praised in this lesson. We are told that crusaders respected his honor.
Why the rabid murderous blood-thirsty flesh-eating “Christian” animals thus far described would respect a man of honor is not explained.

Then we come to this howler:
"Children attempted to take back Jerusalem, although many drowned or were sold into slavery along the way."
Oh dear, that won’t do at all.
The Children’s Crusade is so tainted by legend that it’s almost impossible to tease out the truth. It gets blended with facts about the People’s Crusades and a couple other popular movements in Germany and France, so we wind up hearing that 30,000 children marched to the sea, which they expected to part for them, and when it didn’t, they tried to cross anyway and drowned. The rest were sold into slavery.
Yeah … that didn’t happen.

Genuine facts about the Children’s Crusade are fairly thin. In France, a young boy named Stephen claimed to have a vision ordering him to gather an army and march on Jerusalem. In Germany, a shepherd named Nicholas experienced something similar. It being a time of outbreaks of extreme popular piety, and both people claiming supernatural commands, they attracted some followers and began to march. These ragtag groups soon began to splinter and then starve. The sea didn’t part and most went home. Some may have been kidnapped and sold into slavery by sea captains. When a hardcore remnant finally made it to Rome to offer their services, Innocent III sent them home. The end.

Writing a broad history text is a matter of selection: what facts do you select, how do you shape them, and what governs the process?
The cherry-picking of grotesque facts, half-facts, and lies about the Crusades from among a wide array of facts both good and bad suggests an agenda to make Christians look uniquely horrible. I could tell a story about Islam that was nothing but 1300 years of murder, rapine, and ruin, and be fairly accurate, if not actually fair. Yet, quelle surprise!–the story of Islam is told by many textbooks in the exact opposite way from the story of the Christians: the bad is suppressed and only the good highlighted.

Why? Which facts are selected to be included, and why? Why are we told this, but not that? Why is one point emphasized and another minimized?
It’s an interesting question, no?

One final point.
I used these sections of text in my own lessons last night to help my students sort fact from BS. I urged them to be critical readers, and to not just take these stories at face value, but to seek out sources and alternate points of view. I said they should extend that skepticism me as well: Don’t take my word for it. Look for yourself. Find good sources. Test everything, hold fast to what is good.
The quoted passages matched what my students had learned in two other towns. This is just how the Crusades are taught to middle schoolers. It’s strange, I explained, that the image of the courtly knight and the crusader were the main images of chivalry, which provided generations with thrilling and heroic stories and lessons in honor, nobility, and sacrifice. And now children are carefully instructed to dispose them all and chivalry is mocked.

They stared at me blankly, and I realized something wasn’t computing.
“You know what chivalry is, right?” I asked.
No one did. Not one.

I explained how people realized that young men given power, money, armor, weapons, and training could be a dangerous, disorderly addition to European civilization. They needed a civilizing hand. They needed a code that bound up faith, honor, care for the weak, courage in battle, upright behavior, chastity (or at least continence), and idealization of women.
Men were given an ideal of manhood, and were expected to honor it. When they didn’t, we get things like massacres and murder and robbery by knights professing Christianity.
Was it ever anything more than an ideal?
I think it was. I think some men tried to live it, and did. Others tried, and sometimes failed. Others never tried. Humanity’s funny that way.

But at least it was an ideal, and a good one.
Oh, your average gender studies major will argue points about patriarchy and whatnot, but that’s just nonsense. A world in which strong, powerful men behave with honor, protect the weak, fight for the right, and treat women with genteel respect is a better world than we have now. It may have never been the world as it was, but at least, once upon a time, it was recognized as the world as it should be.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Expressions & Familiar Quotes From The Bible

Common Sayings from the Bible

  • Nothing but skin and bones
    Job 19:19-20 All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. I am nothing but skin and bones Job 19:19-20  

  • I escaped by the skin of my teeth
    All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth.
    Job 19:19-20 
  • There's a time and a place for everything
    There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. 
    Eccl 3:1 
  • Going the extra mile
    If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
    Matthew 5:41 
  • United we stand, "divided we fall"
    Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand".
    Matthew 12:25 
  • Scapegoat
    Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat. Leviticus 16:9-10
  • Red Sky at Night
    Jesus said: It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 3 and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
    Matthew 16:2 
  • The writing on the wall
    In the same hour came forth the fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace
    Daniel 5:5-6 
  • The Gifted must Give More
    From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:14

Apparently Modern Expressions from the Bible

Expressions that you might have thought came from Shakespeare or more recent authors

Twinkling of an eye
We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. 1 Corinthians 15

A man after his own heart
But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart 1 Samuel 13:14

Drop in the bucket
Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket. Isaiah 4-:15

Powers that Be
The powers that be are ordeyned of God. Whosoever therfore resysteth power resisteth the ordinaunce of God
Romans 13:2

The Greater the Knowledge the Greater the Pain
For in the abundance of wisdom there is an abundance of vexation, so that he that increases knowledge increases pain.
  Ecclesiastes 1:18

Even More Sayings from the Bible

  • A little bird told me
    Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say. Matthew 16:23
  • Stumbling Block
    Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men. 
    Matthew 16:23 
  • Gentle answer turns away wrath
    A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
    Proverbs 15:1 1
    Defuse someone's anger with a considered answer, almost always the best policy

  • Time to be born and a time to die
    here is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-- 2* A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
    This is also quoted in the film Blade Runner 

  • Rise and shine
    "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 
    Isaiah 60:1 
  • Spare the rod, spoil the child
    He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Prov 13:24

    (Do not misread this to mean that you should harm a child or literally beat a child) 

  • A leopard cannot change its spots
    Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil Jeremiah 13:23
  • Pride comes before a fall
    Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
  • Every day is miserable for the depressed, but a lighthearted man has a continual feast
    All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast. 
    Proverbs 15:15 

  • By the sweat of your brow
    In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. 
    Gen 3:19 
  • Out of the mouths of babes
    Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger Psalm 8:2
  • Bite the Dust
    They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.
    Psalm 72 
  • The Blind Leading the Blind
    He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides . If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."
      Matthew 15:13-14

Popular Sayings That Come From The Bible

  • Eat Drink and Be Merry
    And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 
    Luke 12:19

  • The blind leading the blind
    Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. 
    Matthew 15:14

  • Straight and narrow
    Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 
    Matthew 7:14 
  • It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God  Matt. 19:24
  • No man is a prophet in his own town
    Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house." He could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people, and healed them. He marveled because of their unbelief.

    Mark 6:1-6 
  • Head on a Platter
    This refers to the unfortunate John the Baptist. And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou forthwith give me on a platter the head of John the Baptist

    Mark 6:25 
  • Tearing Your Hair Out
    This news made me so angry that I ripped my clothes and tore hair from my head and beard. Then I just sat in shock

    Ezra 9:3

Biblical Quotes

Many Bible quotes have become so common that most people no longer associate them with the Bible. Whether in old or modern English, Biblical quotes offer easily understood words of wisdom.

More Sayings from the Bible

He sold his birthright for a mess of pottageGenesis 25:31-34

A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insultProverbs 12:16

Pride comes before a fall
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
  Proverbs 16:18

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free
John 8:32

Let he who has never sinned cast the first stone.   John 8:7

Apple of his Eye
In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye

It appears twice!
   Deuteronomy 32:10   and   Zechariah 2:8

Can the Leopard Change his Spots  Jeremiah 13:23

East of Eden
So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
  Genesis 4:16

A man after his own heart
But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD's command.
1 Samuel 13:14

Filthy Lucre
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous (phrase occurs in two other verses)

1 Timothy 3:3
Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we will dieIsaiah 22:13

I'll pin him to the wall
The next day an evil [a] spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, "I'll pin David to the wall" But David eluded him twice
1 Sam 18:10-11

Stranger in a strange land
And Moses was content to dwell with the man and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land
Exodus 2: 21-22

Flesh Pots
Flesh Pots in the Bible literally means "pots of meat" it is today used as a simile for "luxurious living"

And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. 
EXOD 16:3

Quo Vadis Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."
Quo vadis? is a Latin phrase meaning "Where are you going?"

John 13:36

Envy and wrath shorten the life
Envy and wrath shorten the life, and carefulness bringeth age before the time.  Ecclesiastics 30:24

Seek and Ye Shall Find    Matthew 7:7
A law unto himself    Romans 2:14
Absent in body, but present in spiritColossians 2:5


Bet You Didn't Know That Came from The Bible!

At my wit's end
They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end.

Psalm 107:27

Listen to advice and accept correction, then in the end you will be wise.
Proverbs 19:20
You Don't Know the Half of It
When the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon.
Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard

1 Kings 10: 7

Nothing new under the sun
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun

ECC 1:9

Writing On the Wall
In the same hour came forth the fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote

Daniel 5:5

Knees Knocking Together
Then the king's face grew pale and his thoughts alarmed him, and his hip joints went slack and his knees began knocking together

Daniel 5:6

United We Stand, Divided We Fall
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: Matthew 12:25

Inspirational Sayings from The Bible

Motivational Quotes from the Bible

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.
Proverbs, 4. 7

Wisdom is better than rubies.
Proverbs, 8. 11.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.
Proverbs, 17. 22

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.
Proverbs, 22. 1

Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs, 22. 6

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Matthew 7:7

Sayings People Incorrectly Think Came from The Bible

Cleanliness is next to Godliness
Apparently of Hebrew origins but not from The Bible, possibly also John Wesley.

God helps those that help themselves
by Benjamin Franklin.

God works in mysterious ways.
English poet William Cowper

The Sayings Often Used and Recognizable

The ones people usually know come from the Bible

A thorn in the flesh
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. St Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7

A voice crying in the Wilderness
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Isaiah 40:3 also Matthew 4:1-11

Turn the Other Cheek
If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also!

This is one of the statements from Jesus which was a revolutionary change from previous religions and existing cultures

Matthew 5:39 and Luke 6:29

No man can serve two masters
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon

Matthew 6:24

Reap What You Sow
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows
Galatians 6:7

Thou Shalt Love thy Neighbor as Thyself
Matthew 22:39 and in many other passages

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Matthew 7:3

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me
Philippians 4:13

What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Matthew 19:6

Get thee behind me, Satan
Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.
Matthew 16:23

Sayings still to research & add

Rain on the Just and the Unjust
I am Alpha and Omega
The Root of all evil
Cast the first stone
Fight the Good Fight
The weaker Vessel
A thorn in the flesh
Fallen from Grace
Cast the First Stone
Through a Glass Darkly
Beat their Swords into Plowshares
Get Thee Behind me Satan
Can the Leopard Change his Spots
Set thine house in order
Be fruitful and multiply
A mess of pottage
east of Eden
The Mark of Cain
As old as Methuselah
Sold his Birthright
The fat of the land
Stranger in a strange land
A land flowing with Milk and Honey
flesh Pots
An eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth
Be sure your sin will find you out
Out of the strong came the sweetness
How are the mighty fallen
The price of wisdom is above rubies
let us eat and drink for tomorrow we will die
A voice crying in the Wilderness

they have sown the wind they shall reap the whirlwind
no peace for the wicked
a law unto himself

Famous Quotes from the Bible

Bible Quotations

"A merry heart does good like a medicine; but a broken spirit dries the bones."
Proverbs 17:22

"Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity."
Ecclesiastes 1:2

"For in much wisdom is much grief, and increase of knowledge is increase of sorrow."
Ecclesiastes 1:18

No one can serve two masters.
Matthew 6: 24

Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.
Matthew 7:1

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Matthew 16:23 

I have not read these books but would love to know if you have:


Friday, July 31, 2015

Fr. Robert Barron on "The Shack"

Good commentary . . .  Some really nice comparisons, a fun watermelon analogy, and easy to understand philosophical information to boot!
I particularly like the explanation of the Lutheran v Catholic view of "the law."
Well done, Father!

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