The Significance of Seven
Long before dice were ever created, Almighty God rolled sevens for a very specific purpose. It really is no puzzle. The number can be very good or very bad depending on the intent and bent of the individual and how or who he obeys.
"I am sure that there are many more examples of just how illogical sin and evil really are, but these are just the ones off the top of my head. I close with one mystery of the universe. It corresponds with the very guardians who should have been standing vigilant as the vanguard of truth, but have, over the past 40 to 50 years, abandoned their post. The question before all: How does one throw a stone into a New Order church, chancery, seminary, nunnery, or anywhere in the Vatican without hitting a coward, a traitor to the Faith, or a heretic?"
This piece is set to run seven days before Christmas Eve in conjunction with the Seven Antiphons leading to the Solemnity of the Nativity, and I wanted to focus on the number seven and its significance for a number of reasons which I will outline below. We all know how God holds this number so special for He created seven days. In the world He formed, He chose seven seas. Even the wonders His creation of man built or which He Himself fashioned is logged in the annals of the seven wonders of the world. But more importantly is the fact in the Holy Church He founded upon the Rock of Peter, He established seven sacraments and, after receiving the Sacrament of Baptism shortly after birth one remains in the state of Sanctifying Grace until one reaches the age of reason - seven. From that point on, one is responsible for his own sins and eligible to receive the other sacraments such as the Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, followed by the Sacrament of Confirmation and then either the Sacrament of Matrimony or Holy Orders. For the minor and major orders to the priesthood, there was established by Holy Mother Church seven steps - tonsure, porter, lector, exorcist, acolyte, subdeacon and deacon. Finally, when one nears the end of his life he will hopefully be able to receive the Sacrament of Extreme Unction so that his soul can return to the pure innocence of his youth.
Sacred Scripture is the Word of God and in Psalm 11: 7, David asserts "The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver is tried by the fire, purged from the earth, refined seven times." The New Testament gives testimony to the significance of seven with the seven loaves which were returned as seven baskets full (cf. Matthew 15: 37) In Matthew 18: 22, Our Lord speaks of forgiving thy brother if he offends, not seven times but seventy times seven! And speaking of forgiveness, Christ forgave Mary Magdalene all her sins and from her drove out seven devils (cf. Mark 16: 9 and Luke 8: 2). Consider that it is recorded by the Evangelists as Jesus pronouncing seven last words and His Blessed Mother Mary suffering the Seven Dolors.
Nowhere is the number seven more significant than in Saint John's Book of the Apocalypse in which there are seven seals (cf. Apocalypse 5: 1) which are eventually broken and seven golden vials poured out upon the earth (cf. Apocalypse 15: 7) and seven plagues (cf. Apocalypse 15: 1), and the "seventh Angel (Apocalypse 10: 7). There are also "The seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars" which can be found in Apocalypse 3: 1 and in Apocalypse 4: 5 there are the "seven lamps" which " were burning before the throne of God." Conversely there is Apocalypse 12: 3, the great red dragon (the devil) having "seven heads" and on them seven diadems. And on that note I want to share...
Seven Things The Devil Knows Nothing About
We all know that the devil has many talents and abilities which he uses to drag souls into perdition. Despite this, there are clearly at least seven things that the devil knows nothing about.
- Love… The devil clearly has no clue what love is about. He never realized how much God loved him when He created him as an angel, for if he had he would never have turned his back on that love. In fact, the devil is the universal authority on hate, so it stands to reason that such a level of hate would not allow any form of love or appreciation of love to exist. Since love causes people to do and say things which go beyond simple reasoning and selfish motives, that emotion is a foreign language for the devil, who is all about cold, calculated and selfish motives. Given all of the above, it stands to reason that nothing that comes from the devil or that pleases the devil can have anything to
- Life… As the prince of death, the devil has no idea of the just how sacred and valuable life really is. The devil only sees life as a tragedy waiting to happen, much to his delight. When the devil looks at lives, he only sees opportunities to fall into his waiting clutches. Any society, like this one, that has sold itself to death, has sold itself to the devil.
- Light… As the prince of darkness, the devil likewise has no idea of just how beautiful and inspiring light can be. Light represents truth, hope, trust, and salvation and, as described below, the devil likewise is clueless about these things. If evil and treachery grow in darkness, then it stands to reason that light will reveal their weakness and sin, and therefore evil prefers darkness to conceal its treachery. If Christ is The Light of The World, and the devil is the opposite of Christ, then obviously the devil is the darkness of the world.
- Truth… The devil thrives in deception, fraud, rationalization, and dilution of absolute truths. He is the prince of lies, and his promises to those who follow him will only succeed on those souls who have turned from God. Given this point, it stands to reason that wherever there is deception there is the devil and, conversely, wherever the devil is present there will be deception and manipulation.
- Hope… The devil relishes despair, for in despair we make mistakes and slip into his hands. Judas was obviously a great sinner, yet his greatest sin may have been despair upon realizing his great sin of betrayal. God's Divine Mercy should provide us with the hope we need to keep on seeking Him despite our unworthiness.
- Trust… If the devil loves despair, then it follows that he will love mistrust, which is the seed of despair. Serving and honoring God demands that we trust Him and His love for us. The devil can only see things in terms of their evil content, and therefore the idea of trust is completely foreign to him. He cannot fathom how any mere mortal could hold out for God even when things look bleak which is why it is precisely when things are bleak that the devil gets his chance to infect minds and souls. Trust is the core of faith and the devil is blind to pure faith.
- Salvation… The devil sees success as dragging souls to eternal perdition, for each lost soul is a mocking defiance of the God that created that soul. Through each lost soul, the devil gets another chance to say "I will not serve". Perdition, and not salvation, is the currency by which the efforts and plans of hell are measured. Those who follow the devil and/or buy his rhetoric will gain perdition and not salvation!
Unlike God, Who is all perfection and all goodness, the devil is a very flawed, if still powerful, being. From the very nature of who he is and how he got to be who he is, he must have very clear weaknesses and flaws. If there are many things he knows, there are clearly at least seven things above he has no idea about. However, thanks to the 4th Estate, we run into his cohorts when encountering the...
Seven Rules of Media Coverage of Catholic Issues
It gets old after awhile. No matter how many times I see these things unfold before my eyes, the same pattern develops and consistently exhibits itself. If we define "there" as Catholic teaching and doctrine, there are clearly seven things we can count on when the media "goes there".
- 1. The media will undoubtedly be sloppy in accuracy….Since the media is either clueless or apathetic concerning true Catholic teaching, doctrine, and history; it will usually be very sloppy in accurately portraying these things. The examples are legion, but the most recent I have seen was the CBS movie about John Paul II which showed him receiving The Eucharist in the hand and women in church without head coverings in the 1930s! This is like a movie showing someone using a photo cell phone upon hearing about the Kennedy assassination! We've all seen it, a scene which is meant to demean Catholics more often than not uses a traditional church replete with altar and tabernacle and communion rail, plenty of statues, candles and even Gregorian Chant in the background or in the music track of the movie and it is supposed to be in modern time. Tell me where there is a New Order church like that. Most have been torn down, desecrated and ransacked, totally gutted with a theater in the round concept or like a gymnasium. Yet Hollywood is prone to still depict Catholics worshipping in traditional churches. Oh, if only. More of the inaccuracy of the know-nothings.
- 2. Any so-called expert will usually be a liberal puppet/Catholic fraud… While there may be some - make that very few - exceptions here, beware the so-called Catholic commentator in the media, as these are usually modernist, feminist, sodomite-favoring, secular, and who knows what else. Put it this way…given the media's distortion of tradition and distaste for anything truly Catholic, just what kind of Catholic do you think they would prop up in front of a camera or microphone? Oh, say Richard McBrien of Notre Dame who is dragged out for any controversy as if what he says is what Holy Church decrees. 99% of the time he is off on a tangent and so out of touch with true Catholicism that he is truly a fraud, yet 95% of the viewers consider him an "expert" just like the "experts" at Vatican II - periti - sold out the Faith right from under our knees.
3. The more serious and upset the above so-called experts seem to be, the more liberal and false that Catholic will be… The media loves to present Catholic frauds raging about this or that error in the Catholic Church and demanding this and that "progress" in the Church. While McBrien is marched out, so is Frances Kissling of 'catholics' For Free Choice which are as Catholic as rabied weimaraner, Neither traditional Catholics nor false Catholics like the present state of The Church, but it is the false ones who want things that will only make things worse. Such 'experts' as EWTN traipses out are of no use for it only confuses the viewer with the packaged "feel-good charismatic psycho-bafflegab" of accepting Vatican II as if none of the preceding 20 Councils ever occurred. Let's all hear it for the mantra fostered by EWTN's neo-con evangelicals: "John Paul II, we worship you!"
- 4. The best place to sell ad space is on the foreheads of raging false Catholics… The media loves to show the distorted faces of unhappy Catholics demanding change and progress in The Church. Of course, progress is defined as any step that will further send The Church to hell. A split, controversial, chaotic Catholic Church is the media's playground. It doesn't matter that only 30 or 40 turn out for a protest against a Catholic truth, the media will cover it; but let 130 or 140 turn out to protest abortuaries and either the media will ignore it or twist it to depict the protesters as "raging maniacs who are a danger to society."
5. Some aspect of true Catholic teaching and doctrine must be mocked at least once a week… The time frame might be once a day, but I did not want to seem too blunt. The greater the sinner in public, the more he or she will mock Church Dogma and Doctrine. Do I have to remind you of Madonna or Sinead O'Connor, not to mention a bevy of liberal actors, actresses and news commentators.
- 6. The more someone mocks or criticizes true Catholic doctrine and teaching, the more likely that said fool will be a moral imbecile and/or hypocrite more qualified to critique toilet tissue than the Catholic Faith… I know that those who supposedly uphold the true Catholic Faith are near rock bottom when they are silent against the atrocious attacks of mental luminaries like Barbara Walters, Whoopie Goldberg, Bill Maher, and Denis Leary who have decided to open their mouths and spew their ignorance in the guise of deep thought or social commentary regarding Catholic teaching and doctrine. Guilty consciences all who lash out to cover their own inSINcerities and insecurities. In the scope of the true Church, these trivial spots on the windshield of history will be long gone, but right now they're making it very difficult for others to clearly see the true Faith.
- 7. Let's Make a Deal… If legislatures like the one in Pittsburgh can attempt to pass laws creating "bubble zones" around abortion mills to prevent Pro-life protestors to speak to women wishing to murder their unborn child, then we should have a similar "bubble zone" around Catholic teaching, doctrine, and history preventing media morons from even thinking of commentary, discussion, documentaries, movies, programs, or news reports having anything to do with The Catholic Church. While there are those optimists who continue to believe that it is of some value for the media to at least note anything Catholic, I have come to believe that, in this case, apathy would be bliss. To put it bluntly, having any media even attempting to objectively or intelligently cover anything Catholic is like hoping that a two-year old can safely land a jetliner on a runway. No, skip that, I will put my bets on the toddler.
Let me sum it up this way. If a soul was saved every time the media distorted Catholic teaching and doctrine or every time some moral imbecile spewed ignorance regarding it, the devil would be playing solitaire for all eternity.
Seven Logic Points
From what I have covered so far in the seven points of the seven things the devil doesn't know and seven rules for media covering Catholic issues, there are seven logic points to which the syllogism of sin is the result unless we are rooted in God. We are all well aware of just how illogical and inconsistent sin and the devil really are, but finally I just wanted to point out so-called "logic points" that have been bothering me a lot lately. They just happen to be seven:
- 1. If atheists and others argue that the government cannot stand by and allow the public mention of God and Christ since this would be akin to governmental promotion of Christianity, then does the government promote the burning of the American Flag if it allows people to publicly discuss that practice?
- 2. If the essence of free speech is that people are allowed to express themselves in public no matter how offensive that speech may be, then why are Christians not allowed to express their faith in public because such expressions might offend atheists and others?
If pro-abortion supporters claim to be fighting for women's rights, then how are they fighting for those rights if the practice they are promoting has been shown to cause breast cancer and these same supporters seem "hell-bent" on ignoring that link?
If those same pro-abortion supporters claim to be fighting for women's rights, then how can they justify the fact that the practice they champion is being used in many nations to discriminate and reduce female births?
If homosexuality is so normal and healthy, then why did homosexuals use every trick in the book to get The American Psychiatric Association to declare the practice normal despite tons of evidence to the contrary?
If liberals think that religious people are so intolerant, then what do these liberals call their own passionate drive to blot out the expressions and voice of religious people from society?
If mankind has all the answers to love, peace, and fulfillment, then why all the violence, wars, and dissatisfaction throughout history?
I am sure that there are many more examples of just how illogical sin and evil really are, but these are just the ones off the top of my head. I close with one mystery of the universe. It corresponds with the very guardians who should have been standing vigilant as the vanguard of truth, but have, over the past 40 to 50 years, abandoned their post. The question before all: How does one throw a stone into a New Order church, chancery, seminary, nunnery, or anywhere in the Vatican without hitting a coward, a traitor to the Faith, or a heretic?
Seven Deadly Sins
I have left the worst for last and there is nothing worse than the seven deadly sins of pride, avarice, lust, anger, envy, gluttony, and sloth. I have to be careful with the anger I feel at the review below posted on the USCCB official site which condones the following by Harold Forbes, Director of the Office for Film and Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. I urge caution in reading the obvious condoning of what most in the American band of bishops would tacitly go along with. There should have been an outright condemnation of the unnatural lust in this excuse for a film to promote a sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance and yet, to protect his employers, Forbes has patronized the lavendar mafia of the American prelates. Again, read with caution because I cannot provide the reader vomit bags over the net.
NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Brokeback Mountain" (Focus), the much publicized "gay cowboy love story" adapted from a New Yorker magazine piece by Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Proulx, arrives at last, and the film itself -- a serious contemplation of loneliness and connection -- belies the glib description.
While it is the story of an intimate relationship, more to the point it's the relationship of two emotionally scarred souls. Ranch hands Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) share a sheepherding assignment on a mountain in Signal, Wyo., in 1963. Ennis is a man of few words; Jack is somewhat more open.
Their friendship gradually grows despite Ennis' taciturn manner. At first, it's only Jack who sleeps in the camp near the sheep (with Ennis ensconced down the mountain), but come to realize it is more practicable to guard the sheep in tandem.
Ennis resolutely insists he'll sleep outdoors, but the cold drives him into Jack's tent, where the two awkwardly, then roughly, have sex. Incidentally, that scene -- short and with the men mostly clothed -- is the only onscreen gay sexual encounter in the film.
In the morning, both are too embarrassed to talk about what has transpired, but a bond has formed, and we are led to understand that the relationship has deepened. Later, some outdoor wrestling is observed by their boss, the unsympathetic rancher Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid), who watches them with a knowing eye.
At the end of the season, they come down from the mountain, and dismissing what happened on the mountain as a "one-shot deal," go their separate ways. Ennis is engaged to Alma (Michelle Williams, Ledger's real-life girlfriend). But we see him crumple in despair as soon as he's alone. The first human connection he's had is coming to an end.
Jack, for his part, makes a tentative attempt to pick up an Ennis-like cowboy in a bar, but eventually meets former prom queen Lureen (Anne Hathaway). Both men marry and have children.
Time goes by, and Jack sends a postcard to Ennis telling him he's coming to town.
The air is rife with anticipation as Ennis waits for the reunion. When Jack finally drives up, the unexpressive Ennis can barely contain his excitement, and rushes out to meet him.
They embrace passionately, not realizing that Alma is sadly viewing the interaction from behind the screen door. She says nothing, but understands all.
On the trip, Jack proposes that they chuck their families and buy a ranch, but Ennis -- who as a child witnessed the aftermath of a hate-crime murder of two rancher neighbors who had lived together -- can't bring himself to do it.
Thereafter, Ennis and Jack initiate meeting several times a year for "fishing" trips where they can be alone together. Lureen, for her part, senses the importance of these trips to her husband, but remains engrossed in her own business.
As the Catholic Church makes a distinction between homosexual orientation and activity, Ennis and Jack's continuing physical relationship is morally problematic.
The adulterous nature of their affair is another hot-button issue. But the pain Jack and Ennis cause their families is not whitewashed. (The women are played with tremendous sympathy, not as shrill harridans.) It's the emotional honesty of the story overall, and the portrayal of an unresolved relationship -- which, by the way, ends in tragedy -- that seems paramount.
Director Ang Lee tells the story with a sure sense of time and place, and presents the narrative in a way that is more palatable than would have been thought possible. Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana's screenplay uses virtually every scrap of information in Proulx's story, which won a National Magazine Award, and expands it while remaining utterly true to the source.
The performances are superb. Australian Ledger may be the one to beat at Oscar time, as his repressed manly stoicism masking great vulnerability is heartbreaking, and his Western accent sounds wonderfully authentic. Gyllenhaal is no less accomplished as the more demonstrative of the pair, while Williams and Hathaway (the latter, a far cry from "The Princess Diaries," giving her most mature work to date) are very fine.
Looked at from the point of view of the need for love which everyone feels but few people can articulate, the plight of these guys is easy to understand while their way of dealing with it is likely to surprise and shock an audience.
Except for the initial sex scene, and brief bedroom encounters between the men and their (bare breasted) wives, there's no sexually related nudity. Some outdoor shots of the men washing themselves and skinny-dipping are side-view, long-shot or out-of-focus images.
While the actions taken by Ennis and Jack cannot be endorsed, the universal themes of love and loss ring true.
The film contains tacit approval of same-sex relationships, adultery, two brief sex scenes without nudity, partial and shadowy brief nudity elsewhere, other implied sexual situations, profanity, rough and crude expressions, alcohol and brief drug use, brief violent images, a gruesome description of a murder, and some domestic violence. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
The worst Forbes, who comes across as a pompous pink pimp, could say is that it is "morally objectionable". Then it should have received a flat-out "O" for Objectionable and been thoroughly condemned, but for the very reason that the bishops have collectively given its seal of approval with an "L" - meaning it's okay for a "limited adult audience" as if that "limited adult audience" is immune from the seven deadly sins. Because the 'gay' "shepherds" (it is estimated that close to 2/3 of the American 'bishops' are homosexual) have given their tacit approval of a movie about two "gay shepherds" in Wyoming, they have not only exposed where they really stand, but once again failed miserably as the wolves in sheeps' clothing that they are.
If enough people protest their tacit approval of this filthy film, watch for them to back down a bit, but still not outright condemn it. That has long been their modus operandi in all matters except for the death penalty. Were this movie promoting the death penalty, you can better believe they'd voice their opposition quite demonstrably. Just as they remained silent over the pro-abortion pic Cider House Rules, they'll do the same for this sinful cinematic sodomite cowboy flick. Remember these are the same counterfeit chaps who couldn't give a good word to the awe-inspiring faithful-to-the-Scriptures-and-Catholic-Truth The Passion of The Christ, but find room to hype this piece of propaganda trash praising the most revolting and unnatural sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance. That doesn't seem to matter to these rotting sepulchres posing as today's hypocritical Pharisees. Enough is enough! Throw 'em all out! Woe to them for their judgment will not go well and they will be held accountable for those they deceived through such rotten filth allowed and condoned by the "Brokeback Chancery" of the USCCB.
We can see the significance of seven in so many things that interact between God and man. There are scores of meditation in the various verses of Sacred Scripture which identify seven mostly for good, but also to show the bad that can result because of our disobedience to God. Thus,
unlike God, Who is all perfection and all goodness, the devil is a very flawed, if still powerful, being. From the very nature of who he is and how he got to be who he is, he must have very clear weaknesses and flaws. If there are many things he knows, there are clearly at least seven things he has no idea about. These things are love, life, light, truth,
hope, trust, and salvation. Once we realize that the devil has no idea what these things are really about, it becomes all too obvious that these are precisely the tools we can use to defeat him. But we sure don't want to leave it up to the media to be the vehicle for spreading those tools for they'll surely get it wrong; after all they're in legion with the devil both directly and indirectly, and that is obvious in the contradictions the world, the flesh and the devil pose with their illogical seven points of logic.
Despite our own human weakness and vulnerability, we do have some idea of what is logical because we have been created in the Likeness of God and have the guidelines by which to understand and apply these traits. Using our God-given senses, we know right from wrong. That is why we ask God Almighty to give us the common sense and courage to apply these weapons of God.
We know we can't depend on the bishops. That's for sure.
Considering the bishops are supposed to be our friends, we should not wish that on our worst enemy for with friends like that who needs enemies? They have shown very clearly they are the enemy anytime they open their collective USCCB mouths. The latest 'Pearl Harbor' was their publicly praising the abominable sodomite slease flick Brokeback Mountain using such blasphemy as their publishing on their site that "while the actions taken by Ennis and Jack cannot be endorsed, the universal themes of love and loss ring true." The fact is nothing rings true in something that cries to Heaven for vengeance. But the bishops, already silent on the issue of keeping Christ in Christmas as the Reason for the Season and the senseless horrific slaughter of innocents in the womb, have called the blatant abomination on the screen "a serious contemplation of loneliness and connection" which is "looked at from the point of view of the need for love which everyone feels but few people can articulate, the plight of these guys is easy to understand while their way of dealing with it is likely to surprise and shock an audience." In actuality, thanks to these do-nothing slothful purple hats, the real shock is that they are still in office and that 'Catholics' actually still support them in the collection plate. After this, hopefully more will awake to how they're getting taken to the cleaners by these chartreuse charlatans in the closet. If you believe that satan is not gloating royally and boasting of his conquests over all this, then you'll believe anything - even the preposterousness that bankers, doctors and lawyers serve behind the counter in suit and tie seven hours a day, seven days a week in - what-else - a 7-11! Wake up and smell the coffee, or are the fleeced so dense that they get their sustenance not from the Spirit of God, but from the spirits of Seagrams and 7-up!?!
Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.