Archive for December, 2007

prosperity gospel = pyramid scheme

December 28, 2007 11 comments

Prosperity Gospel in TIMEFoxNews reports that there is a senate investigation targeting six ministries promoting the “Gospel of wealth” to innocent victims.  — Finally somebody is calling their bluff … but nothing will be done about it.

Prosperity theology is commonly a part of televangelist, charismatic, and Pentecostal churches, that highlights the idea that God wants Christians to be “abundantly” successful in every way, including financially.  It’s loosely based on Deuteronomy 8:18,Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.”  In a nutshell, it suggests that a God who loves you does not want you to be broke.  Some of the evangelists supporting prosperity theology include Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Nasir Saddiki, Robert Tilton, T.D. Jakes, Paul Crouch, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Jesse Duplantis, Juanita Bynum, Eddie Long, Brian Houston, Paula White and Peter Popoff, and internet evangelist Chris Mentillo. Pat Robertson calls this theory the “Law of Reciprocity” on his show, The 700 Club[2].

Critics, including CATHOLICS, claim that the doctrine is used by its proponents to become wealthy at the expense of persons who give or that the doctrine’s focus on material wealth is misguided.  In my view, I sounds like a glorified “Pyramid Scheme.”  If our goverment is starting to look into this, why stop there Senators? Wall Street does this on a daily basis. Vegas and all the lotteries that are under government control do the same thing, promise the moon to lure a victim’s coin.  — That’s why nothing will be done.

tithe offeringThis got me looking for the Vatican’s guide to tithing our 10%, but I haven’t found anything official.  Anybody know what the Catholic Church says about tithing?  — Kermit?

Pope to Baptists

December 28, 2007 2 comments

One ChurchI ran across a short speech Pope Benedict XVI gave to the ecumenical council for the Baptist World Alliance on December 6, 2007.  Here’s an excerpt (the last line is deep):

As believers in Christ, we acknowledge him as the one mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim 2:5), our Saviour, our Redeemer. He is the cornerstone (Eph 2:21; 1 Pet 2:4-8); and the head of the body, which is the Church (Col 1:18). In this Advent season, we look to his coming with prayerful expectation. Today, as ever, the world needs our common witness to Christ and to the hope brought by the Gospel. Obedience to the Lord’s will should constantly spur us, then, to strive for that unity so movingly expressed in his priestly prayer: “that they may all be one… so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). For the lack of unity between Christians “openly contradicts the will of Christ, provides a stumbling block to the world, and harms the most holy cause of proclaiming the good news to every creature” (Unitatis Redintegratio, 1).

where’s Heaven?

December 27, 2007 Leave a comment

heaven in the heartA thoughtful closing to Pope Benedict’s 2007 homily at Midnight Mass (reposted by Fr Stephanos, OSB on his blog Me Monk Me Meander).

In the stable at Bethlehem, Heaven and Earth meet. … Just as the sinner is called ‘Earth’, so by contrast the just man can be called ‘Heaven'” (Sermo in monte II 5, 17). Heaven does not belong to the geography of space, but to the geography of the heart. And the heart of God, during the Holy Night, stooped down to the stable: the humility of God is Heaven. And if we approach this humility, then we touch Heaven. Then the Earth too is made new. With the humility of the shepherds, let us set out, during this Holy Night, towards the Child in the stable! Let us touch God’s humility, God’s heart! Then his joy will touch us and will make the world more radiant. Amen.

monks & the Trinity

December 27, 2007 Leave a comment

I found a few blogs done by monks in California:  One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict and Me monk Me meander.     The Benedictine Monastery is PRINCE OF PEACE ABBEY in San Diego, CA.  Website had some beautiful icons.

Diagram on how Benedictine monastic life leads to God.  More info at
Monks & God

Christmas Day

December 25, 2007 1 comment

I served with cross at the 10am Christmas Day Mass at my home parish of St Bernadette Catholic Church with my Pastor Father Brendan Dalton and Deacon Lou.
St Bernadette 2007 Christmas Day Mass St Bernadette 2007 Christmas Day Mass

Relaxed with family with great food and some movies (Ratatouille, The Kingdom, The Golden Compass)
Ratatouille The Kingdom The Golden Compass

X-Mas Midnight Mass

December 24, 2007 Leave a comment

St Bernadette 2007 Christmas Midnight Mass with Pastor Father DaltonDid some last minute Christmas shopping.  Served 6pm Christmas Vigil Mass with Msgr Strano & Deacon Lou at my home parish of St Bernadette Catholic Church in Hollywood, FL.  At 11pm, there was a Christmas Program combining a history of Christmas tradition from around the world with the choir’s carols.  I had a short reading part from Genesis (God kicking Adam & Eve out of the Garden of Eden).  Then Midnight Mass.  The procession began with our “Army of Acoloytes” (high school alter servers).  I carried in the holy water to bless the nativity scene on the alter.  A beautiful service.  After Mass, I got a great picture with my family and our Pastor Father Dalton.
St Bernadette 2007 Christmas Day Program  St Bernadette 2007 Christmas Midnight Mass

The Subtle Knife

December 21, 2007 Leave a comment

The Subtle KnightWith all this talk about how the new movie The Golden Compass is an “atheist” Chronicles of Narnia, I listened to the second book in Philip Pullman‘s literary trilogy His Dark Materials series, The Subtle Knife.  — I need to finish the whole series before making any judgement (so far, it doesn’t look good)

FLL pickup

December 20, 2007 Leave a comment

Children of MenFracturePicked up my sister from the airport.

DOTS — Fracture & Children of Men [project]

home worklist

December 19, 2007 Leave a comment

The Simpson's MovieIn order to maintain the “seminary schedule” I’ve grown accustomed to over the past few month, I was strongly encouraged (by Mom) to do a “home worklist.”  — I thought “these hands were made for chalices, not calluses”

DOTS — The Simpson’s Movie [PsYcH] — gum bubble

“Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig, does whatever a Spider-Pig does … Look out!  Here comes the Spider-Pig!”

1st sem grades

December 18, 2007 Leave a comment

Stephen King's The MistToday I received my grades for my first semester in St John Vianney College Seminary:

Arts & Ideas – (Fr Vallee) — B
Ancient Philosophy – (Fr Santos) — B+
Modern Philosophy – (Fr Santos) — B
Ministerial Methods – (Fr Michael) — A
Intermediate Spanish – (Dr Jimenez) — B
Intro to Old Testament – (Fr Michael) — A

DOTS — Stephen King’s The Mist [PF]

2007 blog traffic

December 17, 2007 Leave a comment

This blog (on WordPress) has some easy to use tracking features.  Here’s some blog traffic I’ve had this year, since I’ve started in May, by days, by weeks and by months.
2007 blog traffic - by day 2007 blog traffic - by weeks 2007 blog traffic - by months

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Family Day + StB

December 16, 2007 Leave a comment

2007 SJV Miami Family Day MassMIAMI FAMILY DAY — today, Archbishop Favalora hosts all the Miami seminarian & their families for a Mass & luncheon.  We started the morning with a seminarian group picture in our black suits (for a vocation poster) at ~9:45am.  I served as “cross bearer” for the 11am Massby the grace of God, I didn’t fall over with that heavy 2-piece cross.  The Archbishop have a great sermon including family support and after Mass gave all the servers a “ring blessing.”  After Mass, we had a great lunch.
2007 SJV Miami Family Day Mass 2007 SJV Miami Family Day Mass 2007 SJV Miami Family Day Mass  2007 SJV Miami Family Day Mass 2007 SJV Miami Family Day Mass

Canolli & Apple CakeHOME PARISH — later in the afternoon, at my home parish St Bernadette (in Hollywood, FL), I joined the RCIT class for their Christmas party and served with incense with Mgsr Strano.

MOVIE The Nanny Diaries with Wendy’s & canolli.

X-Mas break begins

December 15, 2007 Leave a comment

2007 home Christmas treeMorning Mass (Fr Michael) — start 2 week Christmas break — Visitation Parish — caroling copies — decorate home tree

Categories: breaktime

Gaudeamus skit + gifts

December 14, 2007 Leave a comment

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — last exam & turned in reflection paper on “Amadeus highlighting the Modern Period”

SJV Gaudeamus 2007 skit @ St John Vianney College SeminaryGAUDEAMUS — There’s a tradition at the seminary, called Gaudeamus, where a skit is performed to make fun of seminarians.  At the end of the first semester, all new guys are highlighted.  At the end of the second semester, seniors are highlighted.  Since I’m a “new guy,” over the last week, guys are asking what I think they “have on me.”  I have no idea — hopefully nothing that will haunt me throughout seminary.  After dinner at 9:30pm, we all gather in the Community Room for the “show.”  Just when I think I’m safe, the FIRST guy that comes out is “ME” — making fun of me taking fruit (if that’s all the got, I dodged that bullet!).  The whole skit was hillarious with great impressions, including the Rector Fr Michael, Fr Santos, Fr Vallee, & Bishop Noonan. 
SJV Gaudeamus 2007 skit @ St John Vianney College Seminary  SJV Gaudeamus 2007 skit @ St John Vianney College Seminary SJV Gaudeamus 2007 skit @ St John Vianney College Seminary 

Christmas gifts 2007 @ St John Vianney College SeminaryChristmas gifts 2007 @ St John Vianney College SeminaryCHAPEL GIFTS — Our last activity together (besides tomorrow’s morning Mass) was Night Prayer in the Chapel.  Afterwards, each class presented their Christmas gifts to their chosen priest and the Rector’s staff presented each of us with a gift — a SJV personalized messenger bag — AWESOME!


December 13, 2007 Leave a comment

Deck the Halls movieAmadeusSPANISH 2 – (Dr Jimenez) — Final Exam.  — I guess it went ok?

EVENING MOVIE — tonight, we watched Deck the Hall drive-in style with a projector outside for the whole community.

WRITE A PAPER — today I re-watched Amadeus for my Arts & Ideas reflection paper due tomorrow.  Here is my opening paragraph:

The Modern period, beginning with the Renaissance, is most known for its ideas in rationalism, empiricism, enlightenment and romanticism.  A reflection of the time can be seen in the he 1984 film Amadeus, based on Peter Shaffer’s stage play.  The story takes place during the end of the 18th century and is based on the lives of two composers of the time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri.  Within the film, signs of the “modern period” can be seen.  More specifically, the modern traits of displaced eschatology, the rise of the genius and technology are demonstrated in Amadeus.

2 exams + semester evaluation

December 12, 2007 Leave a comment

OLD TESTAMENT – (Fr Michael) — 36 multiple choice questions.  (found out later — 2 wrong 94%)

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — 5 essay questions.  (found out later — 93%)

SPANISH STUDY SESSION – (Dr Jimenez) — we had a great EXTRA review session with our professor.

Approved (for now)SEMESTER EVALUATION — at the end of each semester, each seminarian is given a written evaluation (with an interview).  Mine went very well.   What was observed:  I’m open and engaged in formation, quiet, mature, willing to serve others, responsible and diligent in academics and house duties.  What I need to work on:  share my gifts more confidently within the seminary community.  Final recommendation:  I should continue in the program of priestly formation.  — It wasn’t nearly as scary as some veterans made it out to be.

Lost Sheep + cram day

December 11, 2007 Leave a comment

Rise of the Silver SurferMASS – (Fr Santos) — the Lost Sheep gospel reading — don’t forget importance of the other dependent communal shephards (fellow seminarians).

STUDY GROUPS — since I have no exams today, it’s cram day for 2 exams tomorrow (Ancient Philosophy & Old Testament).  Burger King & CVS runs.  -Cef

EVENING MOVIEFantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

“philosopher soccer”

December 11, 2007 Leave a comment

Yesterday was our exam on Modern Philosophy (not easy) and tommorrow is Ancient Philosophy.  As some of us took a break from a study session, we found this YouTube video from Monty Python about Philosopher’s Football (Soccer) that has the (Ancient) Greeks verse the (Modern & Contemporary) Germans.  — Hillarious!  (but only because I kinda-know some philosophy)

first 2 exams + Publix

December 10, 2007 Leave a comment

Rescue Dawn (2007)MODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — Final Exam #1 — I think I over-studied with little sleep.  (found out later — 78%)

MINISTERIAL METHODS – (Fr Michael) — Final Exam #2 — 25 multiple choice questions.  (found out later — 2 wrong 92%)

EVENING MOVIERescue Dawn in community room

DOTS — naps — Publix (ice cream, cakes, drinks, sub) — Dinner “mystery ball” w Oz  — watched 3 comics (Josh, Francisco & Ron White)

vocation Mass + Jubilee Rosary + 4 movies

December 8, 2007 Leave a comment

2007 SJV Miami vocations MassVOCATION MASS – (Fr Manny) –the Miami seminarians were asked to serve this morning for a special vocations Mass on this feast of the Immaculate Conception. Afterwards, we helped serve refreshments outside the Main Chapel.

JUBILEE ROSARY – (Archbishop Favalora) — 7pm tonight was a Rosary with the Archbishop during this Jubilee Year Celebration of the Archdiocese of Miami here at our Main Chapel @ St John Vianney College Seminary. Beautifully done.
2007 Miami Jubilee Rosary 2007 Miami Jubilee Rosary 2007 Miami Jubilee Rosary 2007 Miami Jubilee Rosary
MOVIE DAY — today, I watched 4 movies throughout the day … The Muppet Christmas CarolBack To The Future The 5th ElementRat Racewith L-Wendy’s & D-McNuggets … I have no explanation 🙂
The Muppet Christmas Carol Back To The Future The 5th Element Race Race