Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Remembering The Lady Dragon

It is with great sadness and in loving memory that I bring this news. Recently I found out that our own Lady Dragon passed away after a long battle with cancer. A few years ago when she was still posting on the forum, she sent me a private message and told me that she had cancer, and asked me to not tell anyone. I respected and honored her request. Having not heard from her for over a year, I worried that she may have passed away. I did not attempt to find out until the other day when I was chatting with Hugo and brought up the possibility to him. He located her obituary as we were talking and it is linked here: Marsha A. Adams Obituary She was very direct in her conversations with both SDAs and also with me. There were times early on when I would make a statement and she would private message me and let me know without any question, that what I had said was a false belief carried over from before I became Catholic. Those of you SDAs who had conversations with her, also know of her direct manner. So often on these electronic mediums of discussion, we never get to know people...their lives, their day to day struggles and joys they experience on their journey through this life. I liked Marsha very much, even though I was ignorant of those most important parts of her life's day to day journey. She was there when I decided to become Catholic and needed to know other SDAs who converted to Catholicism. And she was there, whenever I reached out to her with questions and thoughts. I honestly don't know if I can say I was there for her in the same way, but I hope so. If anyone would like to share any memoroies on here about here, please do so. Love her or not, she was a part of our family on this blog. My dear Marsha, Lady Dragon, we will pray for your soul. When you get the chance please pray for ours! I believe we will meet again one day when we too enter God's Rest! As it was in the beginning, is now and shall be forever, world without end. Amen. John 11:25-27

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Future

I may finally be in a position to resume some semi-regular posting (weekly?). In that event, I'd be interested in the answer to a few questions:
  1. What should this blog be? What would you like it to be? 
  2. What do you miss about it? 
  3. What has changed about you, or this community, since the blog went inactive?
 It has been some time since this blog has been active, but I suspect it still has an interesting future ahead of it.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Year in Catholic School

An interest sketch on the Adventist Review site. Worthy of mention, though it is odd in its own right.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Adventists and the Catholic Church: What is Possible?

In recent days, I was invited by Matthew Lucio, a friend, blogger, and pastor in the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, to discuss how Adventists approach the Papacy today, and what might yet be possible even within a commitment to the historic Adventist prophetic interpretation. The conversation was spurred on some level by my recent Spectrum article. In this interview, I've tried to answer his question from a perspective sensitive to that of Adventism. I've reproduced it below.


On the bus with a future Pope.
ML: The title of a recent article you wrote, “Is the Pope Good for Christianity?”, leads Adventists to consider whether something that is good for Christianity can be good for them. Though we claim to be Christians, many Adventists are all the same suspicious of their fellow Christians. So I’d like to ask you whether you think it’s possible for this pope (or any pope) to be good for Adventists, specifically.

HM: Well, yes. Anyone who calls people to Christ, to repentance, to faith, is fulfilling the mission of the Adventist church, if only in part. This is especially true in a world where millions have lost sight of God. The message of the first angel is “Fear God, and worship him.” Even if this message includes a call to Sabbath worship, it more fundamentally calls people, generally, to worship, to an awe of God. This is a mission in which any Christian can participate, even if they have not (yet?) come to ‘the fullness of truth.”

Jesus addresses this issue in Mark 9:38-40, when the disciples tell him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” Jesus responded, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is for us.” Other Christians are “for us” when they call people to faith, to repentance, to salvation, to love. Their words, their deeds, their faith, can mean something in the divine plan. We often hear evangelists say “there are millions of true Christians in Babylon, whom God is calling out,” but what does that mean for an Adventist? Does it mean that these individuals have no significance until they have come out of Babylon? Think of Esther and Mordecai accomplished in Persia. Think of what Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego accomplished in Babylon. God works in ways and places beyond our imagination.


ML: Sure, but even the spiritual fraternity we share is diluted by our differing views on salvation. I think this makes it hard to wholly celebrate with Catholics as they fulfill the Great Commission. If Adventists baptized 20 people, we’d say “people are coming out of Babylon!” If Catholics baptized 20, we’d say, “They all wonder after the beast.” On some level, we might prefer conversions to Catholicism over, say, Islam, but it is messy to maintain our theology of Babylon when it seems to preclude our accepting any parallel metaphors for the Catholic Church, such as “sister.” Do you think Adventists can logically accept that Catholics can ever be Babylon AND _____, or must that title supersede all others?

HM: That’s a fascinating question. On the one hand, I’d say the problem is resolved when we remember that Adventists take issue with institutions, not individuals. If there are millions of Christians in other churches, they are still “our brothers and sisters,” even if those churches are not “sister churches,” per se. And if they are “true, sincere Christians,” the converts they make can also be “true, sincere Christians.” Their conversion is still a cause for celebration.

But let’s explore this question of the Catholic Church as “Babylon AND _____.” Historically, I think it’s fair to say that Adventists have confined their description of other Christian churches to a single metaphor: there exists a “harlot Babylon” (the Catholic Church), who is the “mother of all [other] harlots” (Protestant churches). At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a very flexible metaphor. But notice: the “harlot” metaphor embraces both the Catholic and Protestant churches. Now I find it generally true that Adventists are quick to distrust, vilify, and frankly fear the Catholic Church, but treat the Salvation Army, Willow Creek, the United Methodist Church, the Lutheran World Federation with relative indifference. In some of these cases, Adventists even extend a warm, if limited, hand of dialogue, cooperation, and fraternity. Why is the metaphor the same, but the reaction so different? In Adventist theology, all these churches are “harlots,” none are redeemable or reformable, and all will actively persecute the remnant (GC 616). The call is, universally, “come out.” Why the different reaction?

Certainly, some consistency would be helpful. And I sincerely doubt Adventists want to segregate themselves, and vilify and fear all other churches. Perhaps there is more flexibility in the “harlot” metaphor than we imagine. Perhaps even “the harlot Babylon” is capable of some limited respect, fraternity in practice.


ML: Responsible Adventist evangelists are definitely quick to point out that they’re applying Babylon to the institution (without really defining that) and not the people, but I think this brings us back around: who is the pope if not a part of that institution? I think it’s hard for Adventists to separate Francis the sinful human from Francis the CEO of Babylon. The pope is someone both wandering in Babylon while also the face of Babylon. This is what makes it difficult for Adventists to fully get behind an individual pope, to pray for him, to rejoice in his Christian success, etc. You say that Adventists could afford some “limited respect, fraternity in practice” to the Catholic Church, but how does one have respect and especially have fraternity with an entity we loudly proclaim to be Antichrist? How do we separate “Pope” from “Francis” and see the pontiff as a soul Jesus wants us to intercede for?

HM: From a Christian perspective, that’s exactly the question we need to be asking! In 1 Timothy 2:1ff., we are called to “offer entreaties and prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings on behalf of all men” since “this is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wishes all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Are we in a position to exclude the bishop of Rome from these prayers? Are we in a position to say that in his capacity as “CEO of Babylon,” as you put it, that he is beyond the reach of salvation? And if he is not,  why can’t he have wrestlings of spirit? Why can’t our prayers be fruitful?

As for the institution, even if the Catholic Church is “the mother of all harlots,” Jesus took the time to sit and eat with harlots and prostitutes. He accepted his future betrayer among his closest twelve friends, leaving him to his choices and wrestlings. Jesus never called his disciples to isolationism or a bunker mentality. He called them to boldly move among humanity, treat others with respect and love, and share the gospel with courage. And if they are betrayed or martyred at last, all the better. That’s the faith of the apostles.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pope Francis and Adventists

Hugo Mendez was invited to write a piece for Spectrum blog on Pope Francis. In it, he reviews Doug Bachelor's recent comments on the new pope. Please, feel free to look it up and comment.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Conclave Begins

Pray for the election of the new bishop of Rome, that the Spirit would guide the bishops to a man of humility, deep faith, courage, and above all, love.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

One Last Time



In gratitude for the the 265th bishop of the city of Rome, the servant of the servants of God, in the final hour of his ministry.

V. Let us pray for Benedict, our Pope.

R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. [Ps 40:3]

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Catholic-Adventist Blog Scene

Inviting you all to check out the redesigned "Catholicism and & Adventism" blog by Stephen Korsman, a long time writer on Catholic-Adventist questions, and a fellow Catholic.

So glad to see all your forum activity as well!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The End(s) of the World

I was directed to this site for an interesting graphic on end of the world prophecies through time (including William Miller's time prophecy). It's fascinating to think about the psychology of each of community which issued a prediction.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Apologies

My apologies for late comment moderation. In better news, through my distraction, I am now entering PhD candidacy. Your prayers are welcome. :)

Also, I could not be happier that in my extended absence from blogging, the SDA2RC forum remains active as ever. Keep up the good work everyone!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

How Can God Bless America?

It may be time to change our motto. We may have to give up "God bless America" It may be time to write a new song. My recommendation is that we trade it in for "God Help America" or better yet "God have mercy on us all." The Guttmacher Institute is a division of Planned Parenthood. In January 2011, the Guttmacher Institute reported: a.) 1.21 million abortions in the US in 2008. The number of abortions from 2005 - 2008 has remained the same; b.) 5.3% of abortions in the US occurred from week 16 of pregnancy to week 32; c.) From 1973 to 2008, more than 50 million legal abortions occurred in the US; and d.) Medication abortion (mifepristone) accounted for one quarter of all abortions before 9 weeks gestation in the US in 2008. (From: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.pdf).  

Can we really expect God to bless a nation that murders its unborn? Another recent study has shown that abortions were up for the first time in years because when the economy is good the number of abortions goes down. Is this country so debauched, so degenerate, so perverse that the strength of the dollar is sufficient reason to kill babies? We need to change our motto. I vote for "God have mercy on America," because the alternative is "May God reward America according to its works." and I don't think any of us could survive that.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

National Nuns’ Group Dodges Showdown With Vatican

In the body of this article is the following quote: "Many nuns said they regarded the Vatican’s assessment as not only wrong, but also “a public humiliation,” said Sister Mary Waskowiak, a Sister of Mercy, in a news conference on Thursday." This really bothers me on two counts: first, one of the key signs of any saint you can name is humility. I would expect women who have made perpetual vows or promises of poverty, chastity and obedience to strive towards that life of holiness of which humility is a key factor. Second, this quote makes me think of Numbers 12:14 "And the Lord said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again." If found wanting, wouldn't dedicated religious women respond with shame and repentence? Instead they display almost an arrogance suggestive of "how dare they question us?" I understand this response perfectly. By nature I am prideful and arrogant. I hate being told what I can and cannot do. When someone interferes between me and getting my own my hackles raise and I'm ready to fight. But if I were living in community with other women who are striving for sanctity, I would hope that they would remind me that this is a time to offer up natural reactions, swallow my pride and pray for the grace of humility and obedience. This reaction on the part of the Leadership Group says to me more strongly than their words that the Vatican's assessment is absolutely dead on.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Intents of the Heart

‎'In everything that we do God searches out our purpose to see whether we do it for Him or for some other motive.'

St. Maximos the Confessor, my patron

Friday, June 01, 2012

LETS GO METS!

On their 50th anniversary year, the Mets pitch the first no-hitter in franchise history. What a day.

(And yes, Ph.D. work continues, limiting my blogging.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Exult, Let them Exult

The Exultet, sung at the Paschal Vigil of the Roman rite:


_________________


Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven,
exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,
let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!
Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,
ablaze with light from her eternal King,
let all corners of the earth be glad,
knowing an end to gloom and darkness.
Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,
arrayed with the lighting of his glory,
let this holy building shake with joy,
filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.

(Therefore, dearest friends,
standing in the awesome glory of this holy light,
invoke with me, I ask you, the mercy of 

God almighty,
that he who has been pleased to number me, though unworthy, among the Levites,
may pour into me his light unshadowed,
that I may sing this candle’s perfect praises.)

(V/: The Lord be with you.
R/: And with your spirit.)
V/: Lift up your hearts.
R/: We lift them up to the Lord.
V/: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R/: It is right and just.

It is truly right and just,
with ardent love of mind and heart,
and with devoted service of our voice,
to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father,
and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, his Only Begotten.
Who for our sake paid Adam’s debt to the eternal Father,
and pouring out his own dear Blood
wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness.
These then are the feasts of Passover,
in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb,
whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers.

This is the night, when once you led our forebears,
Israel’s children, from slavery in Egypt
and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.
This is the night that with a pillar of fire banished the darkness of sin.
This is the night that even now, throughout the world,
sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin,
lending them to grace, and joining them to his holy ones.
This is the night when Christ broke the prison-bars of death,
and rose victorious from the underworld.
Our birth would have been no gain, had we not been redeemed.

O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!
O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!
O truly blessed night, worthy alone to know the time and hour
when Christ rose from the underworld!

This is the night of which it is written:
The night shall be as bright as day, dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness.
The sanctifying power of this night dispels all wickedness,
washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners,
drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty.
On this, your night of grace, O holy Father,
accept this candle, a solemn offering,
the work of bees and of your servants’ hands,
an evening sacrifice of praise, this gift from your most holy Church.

But now we know the praises of this pillar,
which glowing fire ignites for God’s honour,
a fire into many flames divided,
yet never dimmed by sharing of its light,
for it is fed by melting wax,
drawn out by mother bees to build a torch so precious.

O truly blessed night,
when things of heaven are wed to those of earth,
and divine to the human.
Therefore, O Lord, we pray you that this candle,
hallowed to the honour of your name,
may persevere undimmed,
to overcome the darkness of this night.
Receive it as a pleasing fragrance,
and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.

You are Morning Star that never sets
find this flame still burning:
replace Christ, you Morning Star,
who came back from the hell,
and shed his new light on all mankind,
your star, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen