Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Starting A New Look For Faith of the Fathers


I have started implementing a bit of a different look for the blogs of "Faith of the Fathers". The template colors are the same with one difference. Instead of a two column template, I am switching over to a three column look. The template comes from Blogcrowds, and I like the way it looks, and hope you do as well.

I have tried to maintain most of the sidebar elements, and have added a couple of new things, such as a Catholic related custom Google search, a banner link for the Hunger Site, and I kept the Babel Fish page translator for those visitors who have a primary language other than english.

I am also in the process of implementing a different comments management system from DISQUS. I was using Haloscan, but they will soon be going to a paid comments management system instead of free. I like the looks of DISQUS, and I feel that it will give visitors more options to choose how they leave their comments. It should also make it easier for me to keep the spam commenters out as well.

Please bear with me as I make these changes as it is a slow process. The changes have already been made on this blog, Apologetics, The Early Church Fathers, Church Under Attack, Saint Quote of the Day, and Catholic Books and Movies. So, six down and only 18 to go. (Whispers a prayer: "LORD, give me strength".)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

How You Can Help Feed The Hungry....FREE!

The Hunger Site


Awhile back in a conversation with a friend of mine, she mentioned a site where you could go, and by clicking a graphic at the top of the page, corporate sponsors would donate money to help feed the hungry.

It was one of those things you intend to make use of, and somehow you never get around to it, or you quite simply forget. I, unforgivably, forgot.

The conversation was awakened when I accidentally ran into this friend again, and this time, I remembered to write the information down.

If you will look to the right at the sidebar you will see a lovely new graphic that says "Help Feed the World's Hungry With One Click". Clicking that graphic box, will take you to "The Hunger Site", where at the top of their page you will see a bright yellow (or orange depending on your browser and monitor) that says "Click Here to Give - it's FREE". Click that button, and corporate sponsors will donate to buy food.

According to the information provided at "The Hunger Site" :

"On average, over 220,000 individuals from around the world visit the site each day to click the yellow "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button. To date, more than 300 million visitors have given more than 657 million cups of staple food.

The staple food funded by clicks at The Hunger Site is paid for by site sponsors and distributed to those in need by Mercy Corps , Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest) , and Millennium Promise . 100% of sponsor advertising fees goes to our charitable partners. Funds are split between these organizations and go to the aid of hungry people in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America."

To me, 220,000 individuals clicking once a day is not enough. So, I am asking people who read all of our blogs, to please click on our "Hunger Site" buttons once a day. Also, if you are the owner of a blog, a home page, a website, or an e-commerce site, I challenge you to include a button or text link for the "Hunger Site" on your pages. Especially all of you Catholic bloggers! Get yours (a text link, button or banner) by cliking on this link :




You're chicken if you don't!

I know that the "Faith of the Fathers" blogs have visitors every day from all over the world. I am asking all of you, to please help by simply clicking the box in the sidebars of our blogs, and then click to feed hungry men, women, and children around the globe. The people who subscribe to our feeds with a feed reader will also have a chance to participate, as I have set a text link to appear in the footer of every post for all of our 23 blogs.

Whether you are Catholic, Protestant, agnostic, American, Canadian, Filipino, Australian, German, or whatever...no one should be against feeding the hungry. Especially when all it costs you is the time it takes for a click or two.

Your brother in Christ,
Steve



The Hunger Site









Tuesday, December 08, 2009

New Posts For 12/08/2009



Each of these have two new posts, as I was sick yesterday and unable to get them up sooner.

Daily Mass Readings; and Saint Quote of the Day








Monday, December 07, 2009

New Posts For 12/07/2007



New posts on:

Favorite Prayers And Scripture; Daily Mass Readings; and Saint Quote of the Day







Saturday, December 05, 2009

New Posts For 12/05/2009


New Posts on:

Daily Mass Readings; Pope Benedict XVI; Busy Mom's Notebook; and Saint Quote of the Day







Friday, December 04, 2009

New Posts


New Posts on:

Daily Mass Readings; Pope Benedict XVI; and Saint Quote of the Day






Recommended Reading


Here is a list of some recommended readings from our blogs:

On "Apologetics": What Does Being Catholic Mean? by Marie

On "Saints of the Faith": Blessed Mary MacKillop by Marie

On "Spiritual Warfare": Too Smart For Church by Steve

On "Spirituality and Mysticism" : Look Around You And See That God's Love Is Real by Ginny

On "Our Lady": Joseph And Mary A Holy Union by Marie and

On "The Early Church Fathers" : Saint Pope Clement I- Early Church Father by Steve





Thursday, December 03, 2009

Trying A New Idea





As some of the contributors of these blogs are either now ill, or other factors don't allow their being able to contribute here as much as before, I am going to try a “new” approach.


Since the home page for this series of blogs is “Faith of the Fathers” (faithofthefathers.blogspot.com), there will be a new headline animator (courtesy of FeedBurner) for this page placed in the top portion of the sidebar on each page of all the blogs. Since some people read only “Saint Quote of the Day”, “Pope Benedict XVI”, or one of the other of our other 23 total blogs under the Faith of the Fathers blogs (we have a kids section with 6 blogs), those readers may not be aware of the other blogs, and their content.


In the past, Marie, Ginny, Emmy and myself have all contributed our own original writings to “Spirituality and Mysticism”, “Saints of the Faith”, “Spiritual Warfare”, and essentially on all of our pages. Many of those writings (theirs, not mine) were quite good, are still quite good, and are very much worth reading, or even reading again if you've read them before.


So, each week I am going to place on the main page, a posting with some recommended posts from each section, called “Recommended Reading”. I will also have a post for “New Postings” as they occur. The “New Postings” will include “Daily Mass Readings” posts, “Saint Quote of the Day” posts (which are both daily postings), and “Pope Benedict XVI” (which occurs weekdays with news from the Vatican Information Service). Other new postings will be noted as they occur.


Since I will be going solo apparently, I can't promise how often new postings will occur on the other blog pages, but I will do my best.


At the ripe old age of 54, I have given up on the hope of being adopted by near-sighted millionaires who would throw embarrassing amounts of cash my way, which would leave me with the time necessary to write all I want. Since I have grown accustomed to eating and living indoors, it is necessary that I work, and my postings will occur as time permits. So please bear with me.


I hope this will be of help to our readers, and bring some good reading to the readers of all our blogs.


The Peace of Christ to you all!

Monday, August 03, 2009

By The Grace of God


Awhile back, I read a blog entry from a Catholic man, who was not happy with converts to Catholicism. He felt that we are overzealous, far too eager to discuss our faith, and even far too eager to share it. He more or less said that he did not need any convert to tell him how to be Catholic and that we need to realize that we don't know everything about Catholicism.


Being a convert myself, I was, to be honest, somewhat hurt, and yes, offended that this man felt that the best thing any convert can do, is to just shut our mouths and not speak unless spoken to. I began to wonder why this man felt this way, and I wondered if maybe he was right and that we all go overboard in our discussing and sharing our faith.


Maybe this man felt he knows everything he needs or wants to know about Catholicism and he does not want or need some neophyte telling him about it. Then again, he could possibly be intimidated if a convert has spoken of something that he did not know.


I became very aware of my own discussions and sharing of the faith and found that many times my discussions were occurring more often with non-Catholics as opposed to “cradle Catholics”. I was avoiding discussing the faith with other Catholics unless like me, they were also converts. To be honest, I found more openness and receptivity among the neophytes like myself, and yes, even among the non-Catholics with whom I spoke and shared the faith. Many (not a majority though) of the life long Catholics did not want to discuss the faith, did not know anything about a particular subject, or said they only discuss the faith with their priest or spiritual adviser.


Now, I will be the first one to tell you that I do not know everything about the Catholic faith nor have I ever claimed to. I try to have these discussions, and this sharing with other Catholics so that I may learn, and so that I may grow in the faith. Sometimes, many times in fact, some of those “cradle Catholics” have gone away having learned something themselves.


The truth is, no matter if we are converts or “cradle Catholics”, we all have something to learn. God gives us reason and understanding through the Power of the Holy Spirit, as we are able to grasp it. No matter whom we are, no matter what our station in life, if we think or imagine that we have learned all that there is to know about Jesus Christ and His one true Church, then we are mistaken. There is always something new to learn, always something new revealed to us by the Grace of God. If we begin to think, if we become so arrogant to think we know all there is to know, and that we can learn no more, then we shortchange our selves, and we have rejected the Power of Christ through the Holy Spirit.


So please try to be patient with those of us who are converts to the faith, who are learning, who love what we are learning, and love Christ and His Church. Think of how Christ Himself said:


MATTHEW 18:2-5: And Jesus calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receives me.

Yes, we are like little children. Those of you who have little children, those who remember when your own children were little, or when you see your own little grandchildren now, think of those times and their excitement when they have discovered, or will discover something new. Think of those times when something or someone they loved or love now excites them. That is what we converts are today. We are like little children, who have found something new, that we love and that excites us. We are like little children who just have to share something new. That excitement, that love, is the love we have for Christ and His Church. Do not belittle us for it; do not think that we are overzealous, or overbearing. That is not what we mean to convey. Understand that we are striving to learn, we are striving to grow, and like little children, we need you to help us, and enrich our growth.


When you look at the history of the Church, from the time of its founding until the present day, many, many illustrious converts helped to build up and grow the Church. I don't know about you, but I think we converts are in some good company. I came into the Church five years ago, and I still have that hunger to know all that I can, and that excitement that still urges me to share. I only pray that what we do here, helps the building up.



Copyright © 2009 Steve Smith. All Rights Reserved.











Tuesday, July 07, 2009

World's Oldest Bible Now Online





A 1,600 year old manuscript of the Bible has for at least the last 150 years, been in four separate locations around the world. It is known as “The Codex Sinaiticus”, named after the Monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai, Egypt. The name 'Codex Sinaiticus' means 'the Sinai Book'. Leaves and fragments of the Codex were taken on three occasions, in 1844, in 1853 and in 1859, so that they could be published. The largest surviving portion of the Codex, comprised of 347 leaves, was purchased from the Soviet government in 1933, and is now held by the British Library. An additional 43 leaves are held at the University Library in Leipzig, Germany, and parts of six leaves are held at the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg. Twelve leaves and forty fragments remain at Saint Catherine’s Monastery, where they were recovered by monks in 1975.

The Codex Sinaiticus was hand-written in Greek by three (possibly four) scribes in the mid-fourth century, around the time of Constantine the Great. The Codex was originally around 1,400 pages long, is now a collection of 800 pages and fragments. The text, written on vellum (high quality parchment made from calfskin, kidskin, or lambskin) and the pages that have survived include the entire New Testament and the earliest surviving copy of the Gospels, written after Christ’s death by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Half of a copy of the Old Testament is also among the pages that remain. The rest has been lost over time.

The Greek Septuagint in the Codex includes books not found in the Hebrew Bible and regarded by Protestants as apocryphal, such as 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, 1 & 4 Maccabees, Wisdom and Sirach. The two other early Christian texts are an Epistle by an unknown writer claiming to be the Apostle Barnabas, and 'The Shepherd', written by the early second-century Roman writer, Hermas. The number of the books in the New Testament is the same as that in modern Bibles in the West, but the order is different. The Letter to the Hebrews is placed after Paul's Second Letter to the Thessalonians, and the Acts of the Apostles between the Pastoral and Catholic Epistles.

Only one other manuscript of the Christian Bible, the Codex Vaticanus (kept in the Vatican Library in Rome) is of a similarly early date.

In March of 2005, the British Library, the University Library in Leipzig, Germany, the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg, and the Holy Monastery of Sinai signed a Partnership Agreement “for the conservation, photography, transcription and publication of all surviving pages and fragments of Codex Sinaiticus”.

The organizations from Great Britain, Germany, Russia and Egypt who each owned parts of the 1,600-year-old manuscript, have worked together to publish research into the history of the Codex. During a four-year period, they have transcribed over 650,000 words.

To see this manuscript yourself, and read about the work being done for this great project, go to:

http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/











Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Right to Free Speech


It’s Not Free Anymore

Many of our readers may be familiar with the faith-based website, Catholic Answers. Catholic Answers provides a plethora of information regarding the Catholic faith to both Catholics and non-Catholics alike. During the 2004 election, Mr. Karl Keating, President of Catholic Answers in one of his E-Letters stated that because of Senator John Kerry’s unchanging position on the issue of abortion, he should be denied Holy Communion. The Internal Revenue Service says he should not have said it.


Continued on "Church Under Attack" section.









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