#079 Book of Revelation Part 3 (Chapters 4-5)

Today we kick off this exciting podcast series on the book of Revelation. In this intro episode I explain the basics of Revelation and how we will cover it as Catholics using the Old Testament, Church Fathers, Liturgy, and Tradition. It’s going to fun. In this episode will look at Chapters 4-5 of Revelation line by line. Let’s get started! Click on the triangle play button below to start listening:

Book Of Revelation

Click to Listen: #079 Book of Revelation Part 3 (Chapters 4-5)

Play

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Are you enjoying this podcast? Please share it on Facebook by clicking here.

Please Share Your Feedback:

  • POPULARITY: 471,640 downloads on iTunes as of today.
  • SHOUT OUTS: A huge “shout out” to all 349 (!) of you who wrote amazing 5-star reviews at iTunes. Please rate this podcast by clicking here and then click “View in iTunes.” From there you can leave a review. I appreciate you for this! Thank you!
  • SUBSCRIBE TO MY WEEKLY PODCAST:
    • Apple/Mac Users: Please subscribe via iTunes by clicking here. and then clicking on “View in iTunes.”
    • Android Users: For listening to this podcast and others on Android devices (free), we recommend downloading Beyond Pod from the Google Play Store.
  • SURVEY: Please view our Podcast Listener Poll by clicking here.

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

If you like this podcast, please rate it over at iTunes.

Podcast Archive
# Title Released
078 Is the Relic of True Cross Real? 06/16/2015
077 Book of Revelation Part 2 (Chapter 2-3) 06/10/2015
076 Book of Revelation Part 1 (Chapter 1) 06/03/2015
075 Trinity Sunday, Liturgy, Thomas Becket and Anglican Use Thoughts 05/29/2015
074 Tongues of Fire in Acts, 1 Enoch, and Pre-Vatican Liturgy 05/27/2015
073 Advice on Being a Man 05/22/2015
072 What was the Priestly Status of Mary? Was she a Levite? 05/16/2015
071 The Theology of Cooking Food 05/14/2015
070 3 Steps to Overcoming Anxiety and Stress 05/06/2015
069 How to Read the Summa in One Year 04/22/2015
068 St Paul on Faith and Works Catholic vs Protestant Debate 03/25/2015
067 How Your Fears Are Hurting You Spiritually? 03/18/2015
066 What is 666 and the Mark of the Beast? 03/04/2015
065 40 Days of Joy 02/26/2015
064 Why did God make you? Luke 19 Gives the Answer 02/11/2015
063 Is Being A Christian Hard or Easy? 01/21/2015
062 Catholic View of the End Times and Tribulation 01/14/2015
061 When Other People Really Hurt You 01/07/2015
060 Is Saint George Still a Saint? 01/01/2015
059 Revolution in Catholic Education – Jennifer Fulwiler Interviews Taylor Marshall 12/31/2014
058 The Hidden Theology in Sword and Serpent with St George and Sabra 12/11/2014
057 Advent Total Consecration to Mary 11/13/2014
056 Top 5 Advent Devotions 11/07/2014
055 Why Do We Baptize Babies? The Covenantal Argument 10/22/2014
054 Is God Male or Female – The Catholic Teaching 10/08/2014
053 Lucifer vs. Saint Michael 10/01/2014
052 1 Year Anniversary Special Edition: Essentialism What is the Essence of Your Life? 09/24/2014
051 The Price of Your Anger 09/17/2014
050 The Seven Sorrows of Mary are the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit 09/15/2014
049 6 Obstacles in Your Life (How to Conquer Them) 09/10/2014
048 Brain Science, Your Soul & Prayer 09/03/2014
047 Don’t Swallow the Camel 08/27/2014
046 The Secret Life of Thomas Aquinas 08/22/2014
045 Did Saint Paul Teach Once Saved Always Saved? 08/06/2014
044 How to Escape Joyless Catholicism, Part 2 07/30/2014
043 How to Escape Joyless Catholicism, Part 1 07/24/2014
042 Golf Cart Saints 07/15/2014
041 5 Intellectual Virtues and Pornography, Art, and Culture 07/02/2014
040 Taylor and Joy Talk About Their Marriage 06/25/2014
039 How Was the Bible Assembled? (plus Joy joins me) 06/18/2014
038 Should You Budget Time (or Money)? 06/04/2014
037 The Theology of Vacation, Leisure, and Recreation 05/28/2014
036 Noah Movie Review – Rock Monsters? 05/21/2014
035 Children Need Fortitude 05/14/2014
034 Jokes of Saint John XXIII 05/07/2014
033 Divine Mercy: 5 Common Questions 04/30/2014
032 4 Sections of Hell 04/23/2014
031 Meet the Saint Version of You 04/16/2014
030 Should You Be an Optimist? 04/09/2014
029 Finding Fellowship like Samwise Gamgee 04/01/2014
028 Demons, Snakes, and Ticks: Lessons from a Hunting Trip 03/26/2014
027 How to Make an Eternal Impact with Your Life 03/19/2014
026 Thoughts on My Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe 02/26/2014
025 Why is the Catholic Church Roman? 02/19/2014
024 The Seven Lies We Believe About Our Failures 02/11/2014
023 How to Restart Your Mental Computer 02/06/2014
022 Top Five Productivity Tips from Thomas Aquinas 01/29/2014
021 Did You Miss God’s Plan for Your Life? 01/23/2014
020 When Prayer Becomes a Chore 01/15/2014
019 12 Attributes of a Baptized Christian 01/08/2014
018 A Podcast Against Bitter Catholics! 12/30/2013
017 Mary’s Painless Delivery of Christ Explained 12/18/2013
016 Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Luke (Plus How to Set Goals) 12/11/2013
015 Total Consecration to Mary 12/04/2013
014 What’s Your Apostolate? 11/27/2013
013 6 Items for the Liturgy of Your Life 11/20/2013
012 Why You Should Be More Creative 11/13/2013
011 Why Did They Stop Teaching Virtue? 11/06/2013
010 How Do Saints Hear Our Prayers? 10/30/2013
009 My Opinion of Martin Luther 10/23/2013
008 My Top 5 Daily Prayers 10/16/2013
007 Your Guardian Angel 10/03/2013
006 How You Can Convert 7 Billion People 09/25/2013
005 3 Strategies for a Marriage that Sings! 09/18/2013
004 4 Step Plan When Family Leave the Faith 09/12/2013
003 5 Tools for Deep Daily Prayer Life 09/04/2013
002 Three Tips to Increase Your Passion for Life 08/28/2013
001 How to Find a Spiritual Director 08/18/2013

#078: Is the Relic of True Cross Real? [Mini-Podcast]

I’m enjoying Rome like you can’t believe. It started with Mass with Pope Francis at the Lateran…and I just keep enjoying the saints, relics, liturgies, and churches after I teach my classes for the Rome Experience at Santa Croce. I have the pleasure of being with some great priests and seminarians.

St Helen and the true cross

St Helen and the true cross

Here’s a mini-podcast I recorded in Rome from outside the Church of the “Holy Cross of Jerusalem” (it’s on the street so you can hear the crazy Italian drivers) where Saint Helen placed the true cross that she found in Jerusalem.

Is it legit? I share the history…and my thoughts – just 3 minutes and 4 seconds:

Play

Please share my journey with me: I’m posting tons of awesome photos of saints, relics, altars, churches, and Roman gelato over at Facebook (photo stream) and Instagram (photo stream).

Question: Is there anything you want me to cover while I’m in Rome? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Want more podcasts? Great here’s the podcast archive vault. And don’t forget to tap into my new Catholic Apocalypse series. Look for some thoughts soon about the Shroud of Turin!

#077 Book of Revelation Part 2 (Chapters 2-3)

Today we kick off this exciting podcast series on the book of Revelation. In this intro episode I explain the basics of Revelation and how we will cover it as Catholics using the Old Testament, Church Fathers, Liturgy, and Tradition. It’s going to fun. In this episode will look at Chapters 2-3 of Revelation line by line. Let’s get started! Click on the triangle play button below to start listening:

Book Of Revelation

Click to Listen: #077 Book of Revelation Part 2 (Chapters 2-3)

Play

  If the audio player does not show up in your email or browser, please click here to listen.

 

Are you enjoying this podcast? Please share it on Facebook by clicking here.

Please Share Your Feedback:

  • POPULARITY: 461,144 downloads on iTunes as of today.
  • SHOUT OUTS: A huge “shout out” to all 345 (!) of you who wrote amazing 5-star reviews at iTunes. Please rate this podcast by clicking here and then click “View in iTunes.” From there you can leave a review. I appreciate you for this! Thank you!
  • SUBSCRIBE TO MY WEEKLY PODCAST:
    • Apple/Mac Users: Please subscribe via iTunes by clicking here. and then clicking on “View in iTunes.”
    • Android Users: For listening to this podcast and others on Android devices (free), we recommend downloading Beyond Pod from the Google Play Store.
  • SURVEY: Please view our Podcast Listener Poll by clicking here.

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

If you like this podcast, please rate it over at iTunes.

Podcast Archive
# Title Released
076 Book of Revelation Part 1 (Chapter 1) 06/03/2015
075 Trinity Sunday, Liturgy, Thomas Becket and Anglican Use Thoughts 05/29/2015
074 Tongues of Fire in Acts, 1 Enoch, and Pre-Vatican Liturgy 05/27/2015
073 Advice on Being a Man 05/22/2015
072 What was the Priestly Status of Mary? Was she a Levite? 05/16/2015
071 The Theology of Cooking Food 05/14/2015
070 3 Steps to Overcoming Anxiety and Stress 05/06/2015
069 How to Read the Summa in One Year 04/22/2015
068 St Paul on Faith and Works Catholic vs Protestant Debate 03/25/2015
067 How Your Fears Are Hurting You Spiritually? 03/18/2015
066 What is 666 and the Mark of the Beast? 03/04/2015
065 40 Days of Joy 02/26/2015
064 Why did God make you? Luke 19 Gives the Answer 02/11/2015
063 Is Being A Christian Hard or Easy? 01/21/2015
062 Catholic View of the End Times and Tribulation 01/14/2015
061 When Other People Really Hurt You 01/07/2015
060 Is Saint George Still a Saint? 01/01/2015
059 Revolution in Catholic Education – Jennifer Fulwiler Interviews Taylor Marshall 12/31/2014
058 The Hidden Theology in Sword and Serpent with St George and Sabra 12/11/2014
057 Advent Total Consecration to Mary 11/13/2014
056 Top 5 Advent Devotions 11/07/2014
055 Why Do We Baptize Babies? The Covenantal Argument 10/22/2014
054 Is God Male or Female – The Catholic Teaching 10/08/2014
053 Lucifer vs. Saint Michael 10/01/2014
052 1 Year Anniversary Special Edition: Essentialism What is the Essence of Your Life? 09/24/2014
051 The Price of Your Anger 09/17/2014
050 The Seven Sorrows of Mary are the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit 09/15/2014
049 6 Obstacles in Your Life (How to Conquer Them) 09/10/2014
048 Brain Science, Your Soul & Prayer 09/03/2014
047 Don’t Swallow the Camel 08/27/2014
046 The Secret Life of Thomas Aquinas 08/22/2014
045 Did Saint Paul Teach Once Saved Always Saved? 08/06/2014
044 How to Escape Joyless Catholicism, Part 2 07/30/2014
043 How to Escape Joyless Catholicism, Part 1 07/24/2014
042 Golf Cart Saints 07/15/2014
041 5 Intellectual Virtues and Pornography, Art, and Culture 07/02/2014
040 Taylor and Joy Talk About Their Marriage 06/25/2014
039 How Was the Bible Assembled? (plus Joy joins me) 06/18/2014
038 Should You Budget Time (or Money)? 06/04/2014
037 The Theology of Vacation, Leisure, and Recreation 05/28/2014
036 Noah Movie Review – Rock Monsters? 05/21/2014
035 Children Need Fortitude 05/14/2014
034 Jokes of Saint John XXIII 05/07/2014
033 Divine Mercy: 5 Common Questions 04/30/2014
032 4 Sections of Hell 04/23/2014
031 Meet the Saint Version of You 04/16/2014
030 Should You Be an Optimist? 04/09/2014
029 Finding Fellowship like Samwise Gamgee 04/01/2014
028 Demons, Snakes, and Ticks: Lessons from a Hunting Trip 03/26/2014
027 How to Make an Eternal Impact with Your Life 03/19/2014
026 Thoughts on My Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe 02/26/2014
025 Why is the Catholic Church Roman? 02/19/2014
024 The Seven Lies We Believe About Our Failures 02/11/2014
023 How to Restart Your Mental Computer 02/06/2014
022 Top Five Productivity Tips from Thomas Aquinas 01/29/2014
021 Did You Miss God’s Plan for Your Life? 01/23/2014
020 When Prayer Becomes a Chore 01/15/2014
019 12 Attributes of a Baptized Christian 01/08/2014
018 A Podcast Against Bitter Catholics! 12/30/2013
017 Mary’s Painless Delivery of Christ Explained 12/18/2013
016 Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Luke (Plus How to Set Goals) 12/11/2013
015 Total Consecration to Mary 12/04/2013
014 What’s Your Apostolate? 11/27/2013
013 6 Items for the Liturgy of Your Life 11/20/2013
012 Why You Should Be More Creative 11/13/2013
011 Why Did They Stop Teaching Virtue? 11/06/2013
010 How Do Saints Hear Our Prayers? 10/30/2013
009 My Opinion of Martin Luther 10/23/2013
008 My Top 5 Daily Prayers 10/16/2013
007 Your Guardian Angel 10/03/2013
006 How You Can Convert 7 Billion People 09/25/2013
005 3 Strategies for a Marriage that Sings! 09/18/2013
004 4 Step Plan When Family Leave the Faith 09/12/2013
003 5 Tools for Deep Daily Prayer Life 09/04/2013
002 Three Tips to Increase Your Passion for Life 08/28/2013
001 How to Find a Spiritual Director 08/18/2013

Why do Popes Change Their Names?

This morning I was so excited to begin teaching a class for the Rome Experience at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce) in Rome. All of the seminarians are top-shelf Catholics and gentlemen. It’s an honor to be here with them.

In this morning’s second session on “The Theology of Rome,” (which is covered in book form here), we studied the second chapter of Daniel and explored the role of the unhewn stone that destroys the pagan sovereign kingdom’s over Israel – climaxing in the Roman Empire. The Stone is Christ, but it is instrumentally Saint Peter (Kepha in Aramaic or Petros in Greek) when we appreciate the Roman context of the prophecy.

One of the students raised an excellent question: “Why do Popes choose new names?” Here’s where the tradition got started:

Pope Mercury? Try again…Pope John II

Johannes_IIOn January 2 AD 533, a priest of Rome named Mercurius was elected as the Pope. He felt, however, that it would be unbecoming of the Holy See to have a Pope named after a Roman god “Mercury.” It would sound strange to Roman ears. Think of saying something like “Pope Jupiter” or “Pope Neptune.” So this priest opted not to be called “Pope Mercury” and instead changed his name when he became Pope.

Not all Popes after Mercury chose new names. However, those with extremely non-Roman names (think Germanic Popes) often chose Roman names assimilate into their Roman context. Pope Adalbert just sounds wrong.

Mercury chose the name “John” to honor his papal predecessor Pope John I who died in AD 526. Incidentally, Pope Saint John I was the first Pope to visit Constantinople while serving as Pope.

Pope John II (Mercury) is notable in Church History because obtained from the Emperor Justinian his orthodox profession of the Catholic Faith and his repudiation of the Monophysite heresy.

  • Fun Fact #1: The last pope to use his personal baptismal name was Pope Marcellus II in 1555.
    Fun Fact #2: There hadn’t been a new Papal name since AD 913 until Pope Francis! Before Pope Francis, Popes always chose names from the recycled list of previous Papal names. I supposed that “John Paul” is technically a new name, but it’s also a compound name of two previously uses Papal names.

Question: What Papal name would you choose for the next Pope and why? Which would I choose? I love Pope Leo XIII (by the way, will somebody please canonize him!), so I’d like the next Pope to be Pope Leo XIV. Plus, Leo is a very regal name. So…what named would you like to see for the next Holy Father. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

[Video] Is Eucharistic Benediction with the Pope More Powerful?

Is Eucharistic Benediction more powerful in the hands of the Pope?

The answer may surprise you. I share my thoughts after attending Eucharistic Benediction with Pope Francis on the Feast of Corpus Christi:

To watch the video at Youtube, please click here.

I’d like to add here that there are always “extra graces” associated with the Petrine ministry and his liturgical functions. I simply wanted to express that the Eucharistic Benediction is Christ’s direct blessing on your life. He is really there blessing you from the monstrance – whether it’s the Pope holding the monstrance or newly ordained priest. Christ does the blessing.

I hope you enjoy the video.

Question: Is there anything else you’d like me to cover while I’m here in Rome? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

I’m here with the Rome Experience teaching seminarians. Please learn more about the Rome Experience and support this powerful apostolate with your prayers and gifts: The Rome Experience.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 11.44.48 AM

My Video Message from Papal Mass of Corpus Christi

I’m teaching in Rome! It’s beautiful here. I was invited by Father James Socias and Father Eric Nielsen to present classes to a group of fantastic seminarians as a part of the Rome Experience at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

My jaw fell on the marble floor when we arrived. Here’s a photo taken just outside where we are staying. You can see Saint Peter’s Basilica and Piazza beautifully. This is the view out of my window!

IMG_5619

Attached below is a short 5 minute video with footage (with commentary) I took from the Holy Mass and Procession with Pope Francis for the Feast Day of Corpus Christi at Saint John Lateran (Rome’s cathedral church).

As you can see in the video, it was a beautiful Mass and Eucharistic procession:

If you can’t see the 5 minute video below, click here to watch it and here my commentary.

Question: Is there anything else you’d like me to see/cover/video while I’m here in Rome? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Here’s a video to learn more about the Rome Experience:

Click here if you don’t see the Rome Experience video.

PS: If you believe in vocations and solid formation for our future priests, please support the Rome Experience financially. It’s a worthy apostolate and I fully endorse it as solid. Tell them Taylor sent you!

Our 8th Baby is….a Baby Girl!!!

Joy had her 19 week sonogram and we found out that our eighth child is…drumroll…a healthy baby girl!

We already have 4 boys and 3 girls so this evens out the two teams. Also our youngest is a girl (Elizabeth, she’s 2 years old) so it’s great that she’ll have a girly playmate in the years to come.

God is just so good. Thank you for all your prayers. We feel so blessed.

Question: And now: What shall we name this little girl? You get bragging rights if we choose your suggested baby girl name! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

#076 Book of Revelation Part 1 (Chapter 1)

Today we kick off this exciting podcast series on thec. In this intro episode I explain the basics of Revelation and how we will cover it as Catholics using the Old Testament, Church Fathers, Liturgy, and Tradition. It’s going to fun. In this episode will look at Chapter 1 of Revelation line by line. Let’s get started! Click on the triangle play button below to start listening:

Book Of Revelation

Click to Listen: #076 Book of Revelation Part 1 (Chapter 1)

Play

  If the audio player does not show up in your email or browser, please click here to listen.

 

Are you enjoying this podcast? Please share it on Facebook by clicking here.

Please Share Your Feedback:

  • POPULARITY: 451,679 downloads on iTunes as of today.
  • SHOUT OUTS: A huge “shout out” to all 340 (!) of you who wrote amazing 5-star reviews at iTunes. Please rate this podcast by clicking here and then click “View in iTunes.” From there you can leave a review. I appreciate you for this! Thank you!
  • SUBSCRIBE TO MY WEEKLY PODCAST:
    • Apple/Mac Users: Please subscribe via iTunes by clicking here. and then clicking on “View in iTunes.”
    • Android Users: For listening to this podcast and others on Android devices (free), we recommend downloading Beyond Pod from the Google Play Store.
  • SURVEY: Please view our Podcast Listener Poll by clicking here.

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

If you like this podcast, please rate it over at iTunes.

Podcast Archive
# Title Released
075 Trinity Sunday, Liturgy, Thomas Becket and Anglican Use Thoughts 05/29/2015
074 Tongues of Fire in Acts, 1 Enoch, and Pre-Vatican Liturgy 05/27/2015
073 Advice on Being a Man 05/22/2015
072 What was the Priestly Status of Mary? Was she a Levite? 05/16/2015
071 The Theology of Cooking Food 05/14/2015
070 3 Steps to Overcoming Anxiety and Stress 05/06/2015
069 How to Read the Summa in One Year 04/22/2015
068 St Paul on Faith and Works Catholic vs Protestant Debate 03/25/2015
067 How Your Fears Are Hurting You Spiritually? 03/18/2015
066 What is 666 and the Mark of the Beast? 03/04/2015
065 40 Days of Joy 02/26/2015
064 Why did God make you? Luke 19 Gives the Answer 02/11/2015
063 Is Being A Christian Hard or Easy? 01/21/2015
062 Catholic View of the End Times and Tribulation 01/14/2015
061 When Other People Really Hurt You 01/07/2015
060 Is Saint George Still a Saint? 01/01/2015
059 Revolution in Catholic Education – Jennifer Fulwiler Interviews Taylor Marshall 12/31/2014
058 The Hidden Theology in Sword and Serpent with St George and Sabra 12/11/2014
057 Advent Total Consecration to Mary 11/13/2014
056 Top 5 Advent Devotions 11/07/2014
055 Why Do We Baptize Babies? The Covenantal Argument 10/22/2014
054 Is God Male or Female – The Catholic Teaching 10/08/2014
053 Lucifer vs. Saint Michael 10/01/2014
052 1 Year Anniversary Special Edition: Essentialism What is the Essence of Your Life? 09/24/2014
051 The Price of Your Anger 09/17/2014
050 The Seven Sorrows of Mary are the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit 09/15/2014
049 6 Obstacles in Your Life (How to Conquer Them) 09/10/2014
048 Brain Science, Your Soul & Prayer 09/03/2014
047 Don’t Swallow the Camel 08/27/2014
046 The Secret Life of Thomas Aquinas 08/22/2014
045 Did Saint Paul Teach Once Saved Always Saved? 08/06/2014
044 How to Escape Joyless Catholicism, Part 2 07/30/2014
043 How to Escape Joyless Catholicism, Part 1 07/24/2014
042 Golf Cart Saints 07/15/2014
041 5 Intellectual Virtues and Pornography, Art, and Culture 07/02/2014
040 Taylor and Joy Talk About Their Marriage 06/25/2014
039 How Was the Bible Assembled? (plus Joy joins me) 06/18/2014
038 Should You Budget Time (or Money)? 06/04/2014
037 The Theology of Vacation, Leisure, and Recreation 05/28/2014
036 Noah Movie Review – Rock Monsters? 05/21/2014
035 Children Need Fortitude 05/14/2014
034 Jokes of Saint John XXIII 05/07/2014
033 Divine Mercy: 5 Common Questions 04/30/2014
032 4 Sections of Hell 04/23/2014
031 Meet the Saint Version of You 04/16/2014
030 Should You Be an Optimist? 04/09/2014
029 Finding Fellowship like Samwise Gamgee 04/01/2014
028 Demons, Snakes, and Ticks: Lessons from a Hunting Trip 03/26/2014
027 How to Make an Eternal Impact with Your Life 03/19/2014
026 Thoughts on My Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe 02/26/2014
025 Why is the Catholic Church Roman? 02/19/2014
024 The Seven Lies We Believe About Our Failures 02/11/2014
023 How to Restart Your Mental Computer 02/06/2014
022 Top Five Productivity Tips from Thomas Aquinas 01/29/2014
021 Did You Miss God’s Plan for Your Life? 01/23/2014
020 When Prayer Becomes a Chore 01/15/2014
019 12 Attributes of a Baptized Christian 01/08/2014
018 A Podcast Against Bitter Catholics! 12/30/2013
017 Mary’s Painless Delivery of Christ Explained 12/18/2013
016 Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Luke (Plus How to Set Goals) 12/11/2013
015 Total Consecration to Mary 12/04/2013
014 What’s Your Apostolate? 11/27/2013
013 6 Items for the Liturgy of Your Life 11/20/2013
012 Why You Should Be More Creative 11/13/2013
011 Why Did They Stop Teaching Virtue? 11/06/2013
010 How Do Saints Hear Our Prayers? 10/30/2013
009 My Opinion of Martin Luther 10/23/2013
008 My Top 5 Daily Prayers 10/16/2013
007 Your Guardian Angel 10/03/2013
006 How You Can Convert 7 Billion People 09/25/2013
005 3 Strategies for a Marriage that Sings! 09/18/2013
004 4 Step Plan When Family Leave the Faith 09/12/2013
003 5 Tools for Deep Daily Prayer Life 09/04/2013
002 Three Tips to Increase Your Passion for Life 08/28/2013
001 How to Find a Spiritual Director 08/18/2013

What is the Charlie Charlie Challenge? A Christian Perspective on a Demonic Game

Are you related to someone under the age of 18? Chances are, you’ve heard of the “game” Charlie Charlie Challenge.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, all you need to know is that the Twitter hashtag #CharlieCharlieChallenge has been tweeted more than 2 million times! It’s not only popular, it’s dangerous…as we will explore below:

The identity of “Charlie Charlie” is disputed. Some say “Charlie Charlie” is the victim of a car accident that can now commune with the living and the dead. Another version is that “Charlie Charlie” is a small child that committed suicide. Another version is that “Charlie Charlie” is the name of a demon with dark powers in Mexico.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like option A, B, or C!

Parents are rightly concerned since kids are playing Charlie Charlie at school and trying their hands at pencil divination.

I’m getting lots of request to give my {Christian/Catholic} take on Charlie Charlie, so here goes:

How is Charlie Charlie Challenge Played?

Basically Charlie Charlie is a poor man’s Ouija board.

Here’s how people play Charlie Charlie (I’m explaining the game, not encouraging anyone to do it – please don’t do it – I explain why below):

Step 1: Draw an cross with 4 quadrants on a piece of paper.
Step 2: Label two of the resulting quadrants “no,” and the other two “yes.”
Step 3: Place two overlapping pencils on each axis of your grid, crossing them in the middle.
Step 4: Say “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” and ask a question. (eg, “Is Mr Smith a murderer?” “will I marry Jenny?” )
Step 5: The pencils will move and provide an “answer” as “yes” or “no.”
Step 6: Say “Goodbye” to Charlie. Allegedly, if you don’t say “Goodbye,” the offended spirit of Charlie Charlie will haunt you.

Charlie Charlie Challenge

The Charlie Charlie Quadrant – a Poor Man’s Ouija Board

Where Did Charlie Charlie Challenge Come From?

Charlie Charlie is a version of a “game” of divination called Juego de la Lapicera (“Game of the Pens”) played in Spanish-speaking countries. It became popular through a YouTube video titled “Jugando Charly Charlie.” Since then, it has now spread to the English speaking world and is being played in schools everywhere. I have parents writing to me complaining about how Charlie Charlie is even encouraged by some schools or teachers in the classroom!

Is the Charlie Charlie Challenge Evil?

Yes! We should be alarmed by Charlie Charlie. It is a form of divination and every act of divination is gravely sinful – chiefly because divination leads to demonic possession. Divination has always been condemned by Christians:

All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2116)

I met a real life exorcist last week who has performed over 100 exorcisms. Trust him. Demonic possession is real. You don’t want demonic voices in your head! Demons want to destroy your emotional and psychological well-being.

According to him, the two leading causes of demonic infestation are: 1) divination/occult practice (like Charlie Charlie), and 2) sexual crimes/abuse. These are how demons gain their entry into humans.

Father Jose Antonio Fortea, an exorcist recognized by the Vatican said that the Charlie Charlie Challenge poses a real danger as it involves the summoning of spirits. Father Fortea explained that “calling on spirits” is an occult action and that “some spirits who are at the root of that practice will harass some of those who play the game.”

Charlie Charlie as Demonic Activity

Look, Charlie Charlie is at best necromancy (talking to the dead) and at worst demonic consultation (talking to demons). This is not safe at any level. Demons are real. The Devil is real. Demons are fallen angels who were once good.The demons are envious of humans and have an infernal hatred for us. These demons want to rob your joy, rob your peace, and rob your sanity.  They wish to destroy young people especially and hurt them sexually, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.

Demons would love to grab a foothold in your soul so that they can steal away your peace and sanity. Charlie Charlie may appear innocent to some, but this is precisely the kind of “game” that demons use to take hold of you.

Catholic exorcists are reporting that demonic possession and infestation is on the rise globally. Ouija boards are once again popular and available for sale at your local Target. The popularity of the Charlie Charlie Challenge reveals that young people are thirsting for the transcendent, but they are seeking it through a spiritual path that will open their souls to malignant spirits.

True peace and true clarity comes from resisting the dark forces. True peace comes from God who sent His Son to be our Prince of Peace.

Tell your kids and tell your friends that Charlie Charlie should be avoided 100%. Don’t mess around with forces that you can’t handle. Like other forms of addictions, you never know how low it could take you.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

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Heretical Münster Rebellion Timeline of Events

I recently listened to Dan Carlin’s fantastic Hard Core History episode “Prophets of Doom” about the Protestant debacle at Münster, Germany in AD 1534-35. I would encourage you all to listen to it by clicking here.

The short story is that a bunch of Lutherans took over Munster, Germany but they were not content with Luther’s so-called conservatism. They wanted an even more radical form of Christianity that rejected infant baptism, the Eucharist, and included “biblical” teachings such as communism and polygamy (!).

I was so interested in the history of this story, I put together this time line of events. If you do listen to Dan Carlin’s podcast, this will serve as a handy resource:

5 Key Players in the Münster Rebellion

  • Jan_van_Leiden_by_Aldegrever

    “King” Jan of Leiden – False Prophet of Munster

    Melchior Hoffman: The Preacher Instigator

The “Two Bernard’s”

  • Bernhard Rothmann: The anti-Catholic pamphleteer.
  • Bernhard Knipperdolling: The first Anabaptist Mayor of Münster. Under “King” Jan, he became the “Steigbügelhalter” (literally “stirrup-holder”) of Jan of Leiden.

The “Two Jan’s”

  • Jan Matthys of Haarlem: The Original Prophet of Munster. He was a follower of Melchior Hoffman.
  • Jan of Leiden: The Second Prophet and “King” of Munster. He was a follower of Jan Matthys.

Anabaptist Hysteria Begins after Martin Luther

  • 1524-1525 German Peasants’ War. German peasants adopt a radical political interpretation of Martin Luther’s anti-authoritarian teachings. They reject not only the Church (Luther) but now also the State and civil authorities as “anti-Christian.” Luther condemned their civil unrest and these peasants were cut down by mutual agreement between Catholics and Lutherans.
  • Radical Protestants no longer feel loyal to Luther and explore new approaches to their (manifold) interpretations of Sacred Scripture.
  • 1527 The first Anabaptist (re-baptism sect) synod formulates the Schleitheim Confession in Schleitheim (Switzerland) condemning the Catholic Church, infant baptism, oaths, celibacy, and transubstantiation.
  • April 1530 Melchior Hoffman is re-baptized and then spreads the idea of adult re-baptism in Strasbourg as well as his eschatological form of Anabaptist doctrines.
  • 1532 Melchior Hoffman, assuming the office of prophet, declares Christ will return to Strasbourg in 1533 to establish the one thousand year reign of Christ. (He was wrong.)

Meanwhile Munster Becomes Officially Lutheran (Feb 1533-Jan 1534)

  • 14 February 1533. Münster officially becomes a Lutheran city. The city’s Catholic Bishop Franz von Waldeck was sympathetic the writings and reform of Martin Luther – this celibate bishop already had a “wife” and children.
  • Summer 1533. Bernhard Rothmann, an anti-Catholic Lutheran of Munster is convinced by Melchior Hoffman to withdraw from Lutheranism and embrace the heretical belief that infant baptism is invalid and that adults must be re-baptized. Rothmann produces theological treatises against the Catholic Church and infant baptism – he’s Anabaptist.
  • Rothman’s friend and wealthy wool merchant Bernhard Knipperdolling through the aid of a printing press began to publish Rothmann’s anti-Catholic tracts for Munster and the rest of northern Germany.
  • Rothmann’s tracts convince most of Munster to move beyond Lutheranism and instead embrace the radical Anabaptist theology of Melchior Hoffman.
  • Bernard Rothmann and his allies take over the political offices of Munster, and Bernhard Knipperdolling (the second Bernard in this story) becomes the Mayor of Munster after deposing the Lutheran magistrates, who, until then, had seen him as an ally in their own distrust of the Catholic Church.
  • The two Bernards now believe that Lutheranism doesn’t go far enough.

Jan Matthys Becomes Anabaptist Prophet of Münster (Jan 1534-April 1534)

  • January 5, 1534, Anabaptist prophet Jan Matthys identified Münster as the “New Jerusalem” and a number of his disciples entered the city and introduced adult re-baptism. Rothmann accepted “re-baptism” that day, and over 1,000 adults were soon re-baptised.
  • February 10, 1534, Bernard Knipperdolling, Mayor of Munster, joined the Anabaptist movement to overthrow the town council and bishop. Anabaptist prophets Jan Matthys and Jan of Leiden Bockelson, one of Matthys’ twelve disciples, begins to shepherd the people of Munster.
  • The Catholic Prince-Bishop of Munster Franz von Waldeck, a Catholic cleric of Lutheran sympathies besieges he city from without.
  • April 4, 1534 (Easter Sunday) Jan Matthys, who had prophesied God’s deliverance on Easter day of 1534, made a sally with only thirty followers, believing that he would single-handedly defeat the Prince-Bishop’s armies. To the shock of Munster’s inhabitants, Matthys was killed, his head severed and placed on a pole for all in the city to see, and his genitals nailed to the city gate.

Jan of Leiden Becomes King of Munster (April 1534-June 1535)

  • Jan of Leiden was subsequently recognized as Matthys’ religious and political successor, justifying his authority and actions by the receipt of visions from heaven. Jan of Leiden married the beautiful widow of Matthys to signify the continuity of prophetic office.
  • Jan of Leiden proclaimed himself to be the successor of David and assumes royal regalia, honors and absolute power in the new “Zion” and “New Jerusalem” of Munster.
  • Jan of Leiden legalized polygamy, and himself took sixteen wives. (Jan is said to have beheaded one woman in the marketplace for refusing to marry him; this act might have been falsely attributed to him after his death.)
  • Community of goods (religious communism) was also established.

The Bishop’s Siege of Munster (June 1535)

  • June 24–25, 1535, the Bishop, with the aid of the deserter Henry Gresbeck, retook Münster. “King” Jan of Leiden and several other prominent Anabaptist leaders were captured and imprisoned. The residents of Münster were starving as a result of the year-long siege. The people are put to the sword.
  • January 22, 1536 Jan of Leiden, Muenster_Lamberti_Koerbe_6428Bernhard Knipperdolling and one more prominent follower, Bernhard Krechting, were tortured and executed in the marketplace of Münster. Their bodies were exhibited in cages, which hung from the steeple of St. Lambert’s Church. The bones were removed later, but the cages hang there still.
  • The body of Bernhard Rothmann, the anti-Catholic pamphleteer who introduced Melchior Hoffman, Jan Matthys, and Jan of Leiden to Munster, was never found.
  • 1543. Melchior Hoffman, the Anabaptist preacher who started it all, dies.

So there it is. It’s a crazy, but true, story of what can happen when Christians reject authority and the magisterial teachings of the Church!

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