Monday, August 20

Kaddish, Pagans, Catholics, and Cavemen

I logged on yesterday - very briefly, because we were doing some necessary work - to see if my uncle had sent an update out on my aunt. (He did, and I'll post it later today.) Imagine my surprise to find the following comment attached to my last update:

When anyone prays to the Creator of all things, they are praying to God. So, yes. These prayers are valid in the sense that God hears them and knows they are really talking to Him, even if they cannot see it.

That is one of the stupidest things I've ever read. So you do adhere to pagan prayers. I thought so. Obviously, you seem to forget a little something called the 1st Commandment. I also couldn't help but notice that there wasn't a snide remark from you when I pointed out to you how absurd your notion was concerning Jesus praying the Kaddish. Why would God pray to God for the salvation of souls? You didn't bring that up with over at Tickle-Fight, did you? Nor did you bring up anything else that I had corrected you on, did you?

I can just see the stunned look on your face as you try to reconcile that with your unbelievably weak Catholicism. But you just keep taking your ques from that Episcopalin-Lite buffoon Toni. You know, if you wanted to disagree with me, fine. But you had to make snotty comments towards me personally on someone elses blog? Not that this really bothers me... I'm just suprized. I've even linked you to my blog. If you disagreed with me, I always thought that you would leave it at that.... we'd disagree, period.

Never did I think that you would jump on the "I Hate The Caveman" bandwagon. Are you that weak-minded or have that weak a character? BTW, in case you missed it, I never went to Toni's blog initially and started to toss around the insults... he came to mine. I never initially came to your blog and started tossing around the insults, you saw fit to go to someone elses and do such towards me. But like I said, you aren't the first one, and you certainly won't be the last. At least now I know the caliber person you are. One bit of advice... don't let Toni do your thinking for you. Have a nice day.


And so I will take this opportunity to answer the Catholic Caveman. The biggest reason I do so is because I want Kevin (the Caveman in question) to understand that I am not shirking from this. At the same time, though, comments on this post will close after a day or two. After that, the topic is closed. Period. I will not have this blog hijacked and descend into some angry exchange back and forth over nitpicky things. Up until yesterday, I had never had a problem with rudeness in the com boxes.

First, of all, I did not make a final decision on whether or not to post my comment (in bold) above. Of course, if you were there at Tony's blog (Catholic Pillow Fight), it seems to me that you could have commented there. I actually hadn't read your blog in a very long time, but decided to read the post that Tony pointed out. Lest anyone wonder if I was merely gossipping about you at Tony's blog, they can go and see that I left very specific comments, was quite polite and civil about it, at your blog, as well, and hadn't shrunk from discussing it with you at all. I appreciated that you put up my opposing comments. After the third comment, I had that one phrase pop into my head, but didn't want to merely post that at your blog without further thought on the other things you said. Plus, you can add to this that it was the weekend and I was busy with the usual weekend duties (to which you can add "staining a 1000 sq. ft. deck"). So I didn't craft a response. I'm not one who flies off the handle easily, and I prefer to think out my answers and be sure I'm not saying something I will regret later. Hence, I did not answer you immediately on Friday, the last time I commented. (You can see the comments at the link to the post on Tony's blog for the time I last commented.)

Secondly, to go from "I recognize that God hears the prayers of those who seek Him, even if they don't know His name" to "I pray pagan prayers" is quite the leap, don't you think? You've gone from "I linked to your blog" to "You aren't a real Catholic" in one fell swoop without giving my comment much thought at all.

Do you honestly believe that God checks someone's church membership before He listens to a prayer to the Creator of the Universe? Is He not the Creator? If someone specifically addresses Him, even though the do not realize exactly Whom they address, do you think that God will say, "Nope, not praying through Jesus. Not a Christian. Not a Catholic. Not listening. lalalalalalala." (This is the mental image I get here, mind you.) So in your mind, because I believe what the Church teaches - that there are portions of the Truth to be found in other religions, though incomplete and "defective" (the pope's word) they might be - I am not "Catholic enough" for your liking. Because you don't like that part of what the Church teaches. Much of the world rejects Jesus in part because we do not present Him in a way they can understand. Not everyone has been blessed to be raised Catholic, or even Christian, and the search for God is a tough one if you aren't. The search for the Truth that the Catholic Church holds is difficult, at best, and that, my friend, includes the search that those of us who are Catholic must make. But when someone prays to the Creator of all things, even if they do not pray through Jesus, they are still praying to God. Because that is Who God is. Creator of all things. Understanding that God isn't plugging His ears (metaphor, here, God the Father is not a physical Being) when someone doesn't use the name of Jesus doesn't make me a pagan, or even less Catholic. (Here, the story of the Samaritan woman at the well springs to mind. Jesus did not shun her or dismiss her because she was a Samaritan, but told her that she worshipped that which she did not understand. I see our separated brethren, as well as Jews, in much the same light. They do not have the full revelation of the Truth as contained within the Catholic Church. It doesn't mean that they cannot access God at all, or that they prayers are not heard.)

Now, believing that God listens to people who call on Him - pagan, Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, whatever - and adhering to pagan prayers are two very different things. This is quite an accusation you make. Not one I particularly care for, either. I absolutely do NOT adhere to pagan prayers. This is, to be frank, an insult. And a big one, too.

Now, for the part about bringing up whatever else you "corrected" me on: I know that anyone who wants to see what you said has the ability to go and look. Tony did. As a matter of fact, if you read the first few comments at his blog, I actually asked him what he thought of the comments box. Since you banned him there, he can only comment at his own blog. Which he did. Honestly, he's got a right to defend what he said; he's only doing it in the one place he can do so: his own blog. If you want him to fight the battle where your readers can see (since you don't always provide a link to his blog in your posts on him), then un-ban him from the com boxes. Preventing him from commenting there only exacerbates the situation. You have the control to make it easier. But it's a decision you have to make: are you brave enough to debate him on your own turf, or is this all bluster on your part?

Backing up a bit...you asked why God would pray to God for the salvation of souls. Here is the full text of the Kaddish:

"May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified/in the world that He created as He willed./May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your days,/and in the lifetimes of the entire Family of Israel,/swiftly and soon. Now say:/(Amen. May His great Name be blessed forever and ever.)/Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled,/mighty, upraised, and lauded be the Name of the Holy One/Blessed is He./beyond any blessing and song,/praise and consolation that are uttered in the world. Now say:/Amen/May there be abundant peace from Heaven/and life upon us and upon all Israel. Now say:/Amen/He Who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace,/upon us and upon all Israel. Now say:/Amen."


Actually, this prayer asks God for peace, blessings on Israel (remember that Christians are the new Israel, not necessarily just the Jews, to use a general term; in reality, only the tribe of Judah are Jews), and for the reign of His kingship to be soon. This third request is one that we echo in the Lord's Prayer. The rest of the prayer concentrates on glorifying God and praising His holy name. So, yes, I think that there is a good possibility that Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Apostles, etc. all prayed a Kaddish. The Kaddish might very well have been slightly different in those ancient of days (many prayers do change very slightly), but the basics would still be there. (I make this assumption based on the information that my very good friend and her family gave me. When she got married in a synagogue - bride and groom are both Jewish - I asked how different this ceremony was from one done, say, 2000 or so years ago. Everyone assured me that it was basically the same, with very few changes. This was a wonderful way for my daughter - then 4 - to "see" how Mary and Saint Joseph were married. The whole experience was wonderfully instructive for both of us, and much of what I learned that day has made its way in some fashion into our religious education since then.)

Back to Jesus' prayers. He prayed all the time. To God the Father. The Bible talks frequently about Jesus being in prayer. So we know He prayed. We also know that he prayed in the Temple, that He was an observant Jew (coming from an observant family, you see). Mary, even though she was without sin, even made the offering after Christ's birth. The family participated in the Passover. They made their sacrifices as proscribed by the Law. (The one Jesus did not come to abolish.) They followed the customs, etc. of Judaism. One of the customs is to pray a Kaddish. Could be that it's from Maccabees. Honestly, that's something we could easily look on an apologetics site for.

Here, you leave off any arguments in favor of your opinions at your blog. I'll deal with the personal attacks you've decided to make.

I can just see the stunned look on your face as you try to reconcile that with your unbelievably weak Catholicism. But you just keep taking your ques from that Episcopalin-Lite buffoon Toni. You know, if you wanted to disagree with me, fine. But you had to make snotty comments towards me personally on someone elses blog? Not that this really bothers me... I'm just suprized. I've even linked you to my blog. If you disagreed with me, I always thought that you would leave it at that.... we'd disagree, period.


No stunned look. Well, okay, maybe. But only because I am stunned that you continue to harp on this point. The cardinal requested this prayer. (One of your fellow cavemen said so.) If he himself did this, what position are you in to say it is wrong? He outranks you, to use a crude term. I happen to think that the cardinals (all of them) know better than we do. And this cardinal asked that this prayer be said for him after his death. I think he knew what he was asking, and I would question the judgement of someone who says that the cardinal adheres to pagan prayers because of it.

I will, though, apologize for the "head exploding" part. It was made in jest, but apparently, you did not take it as such. However, I actually had the intention of answering (with that comment) at your blog. You could have discussed the matter right there, and since you weren't commenting at Tony's blog, I made the assumption that you weren't reading all the comments posted there. It was probably an unwise assumption on my part.

In regards to agreeing to disagree, I actually had left it at that. I actually had removed you from my blogroll. I didn't mention why, or mention you specifically, but I was basically removing a lot of blogs that, when I read them, wound up filling me with anger. I don't want to be an angry person. I don't want to be an angry Catholic. I don't want to lose the JOY I have in being a part of the Body of Christ and the Church He founded. But reading some blogs was doing that. Again, until this moment, I did not mention your blog by name in regards to this. But the anger in your posts was running over into mine, and it was stealing the joy I have for the Faith.

Now, if this didn't bother you, then why did you see fit to make the above comment at this post? (If you haven't already done it - and I pray that you didn't before you left that diatribe there - go and read it. Also follow the links. And look for the update that I'll be posting later today.) Seriously, on this point, I would really like an apology. I've been forwarding the links to my aunt and uncle so that they might read any well-wishes people have for them. Imagine if they read the above when they were looking for something to lift their spirits during this difficult time! I've decided to forgive you, by the way, no matter what your reaction. Not because I'm better than you or anyone, but because I know that carrying around anger in my heart like that just eats away at a person. Even over little stuff.

Never did I think that you would jump on the "I Hate The Caveman" bandwagon. Are you that weak-minded or have that weak a character? BTW, in case you missed it, I never went to Toni's blog initially and started to toss around the insults... he came to mine. I never initially came to your blog and started tossing around the insults, you saw fit to go to someone elses and do such towards me. But like I said, you aren't the first one, and you certainly won't be the last. At least now I know the caliber person you are. One bit of advice... don't let Toni do your thinking for you. Have a nice day.


You know what? I wasn't on any bandwagon. I don't hate you. One single post that I commented on (in the two places it was being discussed) where I disagree - and make one stupid comment - and you tear into me like this? I notice you didn't go to Tony's blog initially, but you have the freedom to go and comment there like anyone else. And as far as this sentence:

I never initially came to your blog and started tossing around the insults, you saw fit to go to someone elses and do such towards me.

I made a single comment at Tony's blog; I commented consistently at your blog, as well, and made no secret of my identity or my comments. I wasn't discussing the point here. YOU are the one who brought it here. It wasn't something I felt I had much to contribute to, but one that I was discussing where others commented. But you did come here to toss insults. Here, where I wasn't discussing the topic at all. I did not insult you at all, though I joked about what I thought your reaction might be if I made a particular comment. And though I don't have a justification for my decision to delay responding at your blog at that moment, I must say that your reaction to that one, single comment is more than a bit overblown.

When you judge the caliber of someone, it surprises me that you only want to take into account so little. You said in the beginning of your comment that you linked to me. I can only guess that you read things I'd posted occasionally. And yet when you wish to judge my character, you will take into account only one unguarded comment: not the hundreds of posts I've made here, or the more than 1,000 posts at my other blog. I think that your actions will speak for themselves.

And let's get to that penultimate comment of yours. No one does my thinking for me. I just happened to agree with Tony's point of view on the situation.

And I will certainly try to have a nice day. It took a while after the stress of finding that comment, though. You might want to think about the kinds of things you decide to post on the Lord's Day.

*****************************

NOTE TO POTENTIAL COMMENTERS:

Any comments here need to remain civil. Period. I don't care who you agree with more.



Christine

19 comments:

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Wonderful example of you denying "no man shal come to the father except through Me".

You asked Do you honestly believe that God checks someone's church membership before He listens to a prayer to the Creator of the Universe? Is He not the Creator? If someone specifically addresses Him, even though the do not realize exactly Whom they address, do you think that God will say, "Nope, not praying through Jesus. Not a Christian. Not a Catholic. Not listening. lalalalalalala."

As a matter of fact, I do. Of course with the exception of Invincable Ignorance, which you've totally ignored.

Bottom line, you asked some hard questions on my blog. I gave answers. Never did I hear a response from you. But lo and behold, I find your rather snotty comments directed towards me on another blog. And no big suprize... but you failed to answer any of my responses, just the same old "can you believe he's against the saying of the Kaddish?" drivel that Tony keeps regurgitating.

But like I said, I never initiated any childish comments towards you. How sad you can't say the same. But now you want to play the part of the victim.

How typical.

Tony said...

Hello Christine,

Not because I'm better than you or anyone, but because I know that carrying around anger in my heart like that just eats away at a person. Even over little stuff.

Very well put. Kevin seems to believe that disagreement with him means we hate him. It's the same fallacy that many homosexual activists use when we oppose "gay marriage". The fact that we disagree with their opinions, and their lifestyle means we hate or fear them. This just isn't the case.

When I disagree with Kevin, I disagree with specific posts he makes. These are posts I consider wrong and dangerous to the faith of Catholics. These need to be corrected. I don't disagree with everything he says, though I usually don't like the way it's presented. Those things I'll generally leave alone.

I would much prefer to address the things I disagree with locally in Kevin's comment boxes, but oh well. I don't have that option. And if I did, I'm surrounded with little kids who hang with the bully saying "yeah, what he said!".

Kevin said:

But like I said, I never initiated any childish comments towards you. How sad you can't say the same. But now you want to play the part of the victim.

Kevin, this is a funny tack to take from someone who has treated me as uncharitably as you. I think the characterizations made of you on the CPF forum, are accurate if not charitable. You are welcome to participate in our forums if you believe you were wronged, and ask for an apology. Though it would be much more effective if you emulated the charity you profess to deserve.

I have been referring to you as "Kevin" because "The Catholic Caveman", (Kevin's anonymous online persona) is decidedly disagreeable. I figured "Kevin" might be a little nicer.

How about proving me right?

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Kevin, I get the feeling you haven't read this post. You'll find that I apologized for my "head exploding" comment. Please address the points I made here, if you'd like.

Back, for a moment, to the idea that God does not hear/listen to prayers not addressed through Jesus specifically.

I have been questioning this idea again and again, asking for more and more clarification, because it is unbelievable to me that you would hold a belief so against what the Church teaches. I will be looking further into this idea and preparing a full post on the concept of God hearing prayers of those who don't fully know him (invicible ignorance or otherwise) later on. As it is, I've used up too much of my time today on this one topic.

Again, I get the feeling that you haven't actually read this post in full. You seem to be going completely off the comment I left at your blog rather than the lengthy post I just put up.

I'll revisit this after my children are in bed. In the meantime, everyone please be civil.

newhousenewjob said...

Christine, I was stunned to see that you got such a discourteous response to what I read as very reasonable and polite comments which happened to disagree with someone else's view.

I've been lucky enough to have a regular commenter to my blog for a while who was an atheist and disagreed profoundly with everything I believe. We had discussions both on my blog and on his, and he has never treated me with anything but courtesy and respect, despite the fact that we ended up agreeing to disagree on practically everything we discussed.

I'm truly sorry that a fellow Catholic hasn't been able to maintain the same level of polite discussion with you, and would like to congratulate you on keeping your own response as civil and reasonable as it is. It must have been a terrible shock to see that comment where it was left, whether that was intentional or not - and like you I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that it wasn't - and you're particularly in my prayers tonight.

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Thanks, newhouse. (Newhaus?) ;)

I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I admit that I was pretty angry, but when I started to answer, I asked God to help me to be charitible. It's only by His grace that I am able to be so when I get upset with someone.

I know I should not have said his head would explode. I was feeling a bit wicked at that moment. Not the best move on my part.

My mother said that she spoke to my aunt yesterday, and my aunt said she loves the things I've been writing here about her. I sincerely hope that I caught the comment before she looked at it. I think I did.

That new update will be coming tonight, too. Now it's back to the girls and a quick run to get milk at the grocery store!

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Christine,
I posted my comments on the first entry you had. If you so decide to look upon me commenting as a "hijacking", that's your call. Know that there was no disrespect intended to your family members.

But in all fairness, you should have considered that prior to your rather rude comments over at Tickle fight.

But like I said on your blog, if you have disagreements with me, then take them up with me. If you want to purposfully go out of your way to badmouth me on another blog, expect to hear from me.

If you disagree with my opinions concerning the Kaddish (or anything else), then why didn't you just say them to me? Instead, you decided to jump on the "I Hate The Catholic Caveman" bandwagon. And let's be honest here, Christine... that's exactly what you did.

But I'll give you benifit of the doubt. I'll just take it that you got caught up on Tony's mob mentality.

When we get right down to it, much like Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae (I believe he's the one blogger who you ref to as disagreeing with me RE: the Kaddish), I have no problem whatsoever with someone disagreeing with me.

I do however have a problem with the following;

1. You asked some hard questions. I gave hard answers. No problem so far.

2. You asked for clarification. I gave clarification. Still no problem.

3. You obviously didn't like/agree with the answers nor the clarifications I gave. Still we have no problem.

4. You decided to go to an entirely different blog and go out of your way to badmouth me. And keep in mind, I never said one lousy thing about you personally, but you chose to make more than one snide remarks. NOW we have a problem.

PS, there are a number of fellow bloglodytes who come here on a regular basis and disagree with me. Hell, even the other 2 contributors and I don't agree all the time. But the way you went about it was totally out of bounds. I would expect such from Tony and his buddy, Winnipeg Catholic, but not from you. I thought higher of you.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

OK, I think it's time to put all the name calling aside. Even if I may have believed you (with Tony egging it on) instigated it, I was rude to you. And I should have never been rude to you. In all sincerity, I apologize and ask you to forgive me.

Kevin, I get the feeling you haven't read this post. You'll find that I apologized for my "head exploding" comment.
I did read that. That particular comment was just the most blatant. But that's small potatoes. Let's get to the important stuff...

You said;
Back, for a moment, to the idea that God does not hear/listen to prayers not addressed through Jesus specifically.

I have been questioning this idea again and again, asking for more and more clarification, because it is unbelievable to me that you would hold a belief so against what the Church teaches. I will be looking further into this idea and preparing a full post on the concept of God hearing prayers of those who don't fully know him (invicible ignorance or otherwise) later on. As it is, I've used up too much of my time today on this one topic.
(emphasis mine)

Really? Where does the Church teach that those who knowingly, willingly and intelligently refute Christ can attain salvation? The Church never has. Now it may be the opinion of theologically liberal clerics, religious and laity that one could attain salvation even if they refute Christ... but Holy Mother The Church has never taught such, with of course, the exception of those in a state of Invincable Ignorance. Granted, there may be some who don't "fully" know God through no fault of their own. And there most certainly are those who don't "fully" know the Trinitarian God because they've made a conscience decision not to know The Holy Trinity (they willingly deny God). Would you agree?

In fact, as far as The Second Person of The Holy Trinity is concerned, take a gander at this (this is VERY important);

14. This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, COULD NOT BE SAVED. (emphasis mine)

Christine, do you know where that particular Church Teaching is from? Hold on to your hat... Vatican II. Chapter II, "On The People Of God" (http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html)

So Christine, when you asked of me Do you honestly believe that God checks someone's church membership before He listens to a prayer to the Creator of the Universe? Is He not the Creator? If someone specifically addresses Him, even though the do not realize exactly Whom they address, do you think that God will say, "Nope, not praying through Jesus. Not a Christian. Not a Catholic. Not listening. lalalalalalala." Well, it's not my opinion that I just typed concerning the necessity of Christ and Christ's Church for salvation, it's the 2,000 year old dogmatic teaching of the Church.

Possibly now you see why I went off concerning the Kaddish. It's really quite basic for me, Christine... I have the foundations of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and Official Church Teaching telling us that absoluterly NO ONE can attain salvation if they knowingly, willingly and intelligently refute Christ. The Kaddish, BY IT'S VERY NATURE, refutes The Risen Lord. (caps for emphasis, not yelling)

Now with all that said.... I'm asking of you Christine, do you understand where I'm coming from? It would be nice if you agreed with me, but if you don't... you don't! It really is OK with me if you disagree with me!

But one thing you said still nags me. When you asked if God checks someone's church membership before He listens to a prayer to the Creator of the Universe? Is He not the Creator?
I'm compelled to ask you if you're familiar with something called Religious Indifference? The specifics can be found here - http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07759a.htm

In a nutshell, "The term given, in general, to all those theories, which, for one reason or another, deny that it is the duty of man to worship God by believing and practicing the one true religion."

I think your statement flirts awfully close to Indifferentism. If I'm misreading/misunderstanding you, let me know.

Kevin

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Kevin, I provided links to both places. I believe that it is clear that I made my comments clear to you. If you were reading the comments at Tony's blog, I maintain that you should have commented there instead of here.

This is, I notice, a repeat comment that is originally attached to your post, which I did link to. (I just wanted that to be clear for anyone who hadn't gone over to your blog to see the comments there.)

Again, I have linked to all places where I commented on the topic. I'll leave it up to our collective readers as to whether or not I was as rude as you say I was. I'm not sure how many times I am supposed to apologize for the exploding head comment. I meant it the first time I said it and every time thereafter.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Christine,

All that silly name-calling nonsense aside... any thoughts on the meat and potatoes of what I had posted concerning NOT going through Christ, and going straight to The Father? (caps for emphasis, not yelling)

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

(Just now seeing the last comment you made.)

Before I answer anything else, I appreciate and completely accept your apology. (I already forgave you before.)

Really? Where does the Church teach that those who knowingly, willingly and intelligently refute Christ can attain salvation?

Kevin, I wasn't saying that they are saved. I was saying that God hears them when they pray. Really. The words said exactly what I wanted them to say and nothing more.

You might be surprised to hear this now, but I really and truly believe that salvation outside the Church is not possible. I also know that what we see as in/out of the Church is not necessarily what God sees as such. (His mind not being our mind, etc., as the Bible says.) I pray for true unity among Christians and for the conversion of all souls. Conversion to the One, True Church that Christ Himself founded.

But I am not going to say that God won't hear the prayers of someone because they aren't Catholic. Even if they have denied the Church or denied Christ or whatever. I hold out hope that, even if it's in the final moments of death, they will be saved by God's grace and Divine Mercy. And so, in the meantime, while they are here, I believe that when a person prays to God - even if they don't understand Him or know who He is, willingly or unwillingly - that God will still hear those prayers. I mean, who are we to say that at some point they won't be converted? We don't know that - only God does. You know, since He's outside of time and all. Heck, if I can pray for my great-grandfather's happy death and God can hear that prayer and it can have an effect, who are we to say that when someone prays to the Creator God isn't listening?

No one knows who is saved or not, except God. I don't believe that is a non-Catholic idea. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure the Catholic Church is one of the few places you hear that.

Anyway, my point was not that people who deny Christ (with complete knowledge and all) are just fine and dandy. Only that their prayers until their death can still be heard. Again, we do not know what happens to a soul in the final moments of earthly life. And none of us know who is saved and who isn't - with the exception, I am just thinking here - of the canonized saints, which the Church teaches are there. What I mean is in the general sense of the average guy you meet on the streets. We don't know the state of anyone's soul. I hope that makes it clear, though, that I am absolutely NOT religiously indifferent. (And, just an aside, that quote from Vatican II doesn't really surprise me. I haven't read a lot of the documentation from VII, but I know it isn't contrary to the Church's doctrines: how could it be??)

My very last comment on the Kaddish.

Read from a Catholic point-of-view, especially from that of a Jew-turned-Catholic, I can see strong Messianic messages in that prayer. VERY strong. Like the Psalms, it looks forward to the reign of God's Kingship. Who is that King if not Christ Jesus?

The prayer, requested by the cardinal himself, should be viewed as such, since he would certainly not deny Christ. You know, being a cardinal and all. I think a charitible view of the prayer, especially as it was requested for the cardinal's funeral, would be to see that he felt it a way to praise God, glorify His holy name, and make mention of his Kingship. It was a way of remembering that as a Catholic, he was nothing more than a fulfilled Jew.

Now, I am not lecturing you on this (much - ha), but I have a recommendation. If you follow through on it, I think you'll see more of where I'm coming from here. Look for the "Understanding the Scriptures" podcast that Carson Webber did from down in Texas. I only recently finished up the Old Testament chapters (Hubby is taking the class at a nearby parish, but we can't both go), and it puts much of our Faith in a new light. It makes me see so many more of the connections we share with Judaism and the roots of our Faith that lie there. The more of the Old Testament I read - especially from the point-of-view of the Church when it was newly founded - the more I realized that Catholicism is Judaism fulfilled. (As one person put it, Judaism 2.0.) Much of what I am saying about the Kaddish is based on the things I've been learning. Our prayers are rooted very strongly in the Old Testament - including much of the Mass. (It's made me wonder how anyone who has read the Bible thoroughly can say that Catholics don't use the Bible at Mass - even if they ignore the four readings and the Gospel acclamation!)

I won't close comments on this thread just yet, though, so don't feel like you need to respond tonight. Take a breather!

And I sincerely appreciate your tone here. Thank you for remaining civil.

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Oh...sorry, about the not going through Christ and going straight to the Father. I wasn't trying to ignore that.

I honestly do not finish every prayer I say with "Through Christ our Lord." I don't say it at the end of the Lord's Prayer, nor at the end of the Hail Mary, the Creed (either one), the Doxology, etc. I go to Jesus with most of my prayers, though I also go to the Saints and ask for their intercession with God.

I think that perhaps you are misreading what the meaning behind this comment is. What I thought was meant here was that no one goes to Heaven by any other means. Christ is the Way, right? I don't think He meant that we cannot directly petition God the Father or God the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, why would we have novenas to the Holy Spirit? Prayers directed straight to Him (and the Father)? I have never heard anywhere (and this includes quite a bit of reading on catechesis in the last several years) that you cannot pray without "through Jesus Christ" tagged on at the end, like a magic formula or something.

My brain is a bit taxed, and I am really supposed to be printing "brainstorm" sheets for the girls' writing notebooks. (Shhhh...don't tell.)

Tony said...

Really? Where does the Church teach that those who knowingly, willingly and intelligently refute Christ can attain salvation?

Kevin, you seem to be accusing a Catholic Cardinal of "knowingly, willingly and intelligently refuting Christ".

When you are a Catholic, and you pray to God (either Father, Son or Holy Ghost) the other persons are implied even if they are not addressed specifically.

When you pray: "Come Holy Ghost" are you excluding the Father and Son? When you pray the Our Father, are you excluding the Son and Holy Ghost? When you pray O My Jesus, are you excluding the Father and Holy spirit?

Every Catholic prayer does not end "in Jesus name".

Tony said...

Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, COULD NOT BE SAVED. (emphasis mine)(emphasis mine)

Exactly. That particular clause you quoted lets off the hook those people such as pagans, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., who do not know that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, or even know that Christ is necessary.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Christine,
This is weird. I posted a response earlier this AM, and it's not here. I must have screwed something up... or there's one heckuva delay.

Anyway, I'll try to dig in the ol' brain housing group and remember what I posted. Here goes...


YOU SAID;
I honestly do not finish every prayer I say with "Through Christ our Lord." I don't say it at the end of the Lord's Prayer, nor at the end of the Hail Mary, the Creed (either one), the Doxology, etc.

As I pointed out earlier, The Our Father is from Christ Himself... so it IS "though" Jesus, so to speak. The Hail Mary has the verbiage "The Lord is with thee..." Does that mean that The father has called upon Mary? Or that Jesus is now physically within her? Or possibly that she has been touched by The Holy Ghost? Beliewving in the Trinitarian God, I believe all three are the case. But no matter how you slice it, The Hail Mary IS concerning ""through") Jesus. See what I mean?

But getting back to the gist of things concerniong parayers that don't IMPLICITLY mention Jesus... that doesn't matter if Christ is specifically mentioned or not (as in the case of the Our Father and the Hail Mary), the imprtant thing is, are those particular prayer "through" Christ or not? And as we already know, the answer is yes!

Quickly, back to the Kaddish, and other pre-Incarnate Word prayers. You mentioned the Psalms. Please keep in mind that those prayers fortold of the promise of the Savoir TO COME, so yes... the Psalms are wonderful prayers for us.

Before Jesus made His divinity public knowledge, the Kaddish is a great prayer. THE PRAYER IN AND OF ITSELF is straight to The father, right? But here's it's fatal flaw... Christ has already made Himself known. The moment St Peter acknowledged Jesus as God, the Kaddish became a moot point. I'm not asking if you AGREE with me, just if you UNDERSTAND what I'm getting at?

(caps for emphasis, not for yelling)

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Okay, I think this will probably wind up wrapping things up. (I have to say that I'm whooped today. The grass pollen is high and so the five minutes I spent battening down the hatches before the thunderstorm made me feel like I'd been run over. So forgive me if I'm not as clear as I could be.)

I do understand what you're getting at. I think that the difference here is that I see a Catholic cardinal's wish for a Kaddish to be said for him as no different than taking a view of the prayer in light of our knowledge of the salvation given to us through Christ. Just as the Psalms look forward to the Kingship of God (Christ), so does this Kaddish. And just as we now read the Psalms with this knowledge and understanding that Christ is the fulfillment of this Kingship, I think we can also read the Kaddish in the same way.

Now, perhaps what we've got here is a way of seeing who is saying the Kaddish. A Jew will say it with a mind to the future Kingship of God. A Christian should be able to look at this very same prayer and see it with an understanding that the Kingship has been fulfilled in Jesus and, therefore, see that it is said implicitly with Christ in mind, even if it is not directly stated as such. Because, as Christians, we read the Old Testament with the New Testament in mind, we see Christ clearly being typed (i.e. Moses and Isaac are types of Christ because they foreshadow Him).

I guess I'm just looking at the Kaddish in the same way. While you are seeing it as a prayer ignoring Christ, I see it as an ancient prayer from before Christ that, when it was written, looks forward to the Messiah's reign. And so, since I know Jesus fulfills that desire, I see it as praising God for that Kingship, that reign, and as also looking forward to the same Kingdom that we pray for in the Lord's Prayer.

Now, I also don't expect you to suddenly agree with me, but I do want to be sure you know where I'm coming from. ;)

And, since discussion has been so completely courteous, I don't see much of a need to close off comments, either. So don't feel like you've got to hurry to answer. Contemplate what I said first and mull it over. Besides, I've got a homeschool meeting tonight, so I am going to be a bit busy for a while.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

I underatnd exactly where your coming from. If one is in a state of Inv Ign, then yes, the Kaddish makes perfect sense. HOWEVER... if one DOES know Christ.... well, I'm sure you know what I'm going to say!

Would it suffice to say that we're going to have to amiably agree to disagree?

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

I suppose we'll have to. :)

Okay...on to other things. Like that Ten Commandments booklet I was going to make with Little Girl.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Just don't forget the 11th Commandment...

Thou Shalt Be A Notre Dame fan

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Aw, crap! I forgot that one, and now the book won't have the right number of flaps. Oh, well.

Of course, she probably thinks that the 11th is "Thou shalt root only for the New York Yankees." Poor child, I once forgot myself and yelled at her for claiming to be a Red Sox fan. But since she repented quickly, I only made her say fifty Hail Mary's.

Who are your heros?

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