Is it a sin to wear a rosary as a piece of jewelry?

By Paul Dion, STL

About one year ago a dear friend of ours gave my wife a wonderfully crafted, dainty and beautiful golden rosary specifically made to wear around her neck. At the time we both were deeply impressed by the craftsmanship and the captivating beauty of the piece.

About a week or two ago a thought ran across my mind. I had not seen my wife wearing the wonderful rosary. This surprised me somewhat because my spouse is very deeply spiritual and profoundly modest. She is so modest that she hardly ever wears the diamond ring that she inherited from my mother.

I couldn't get over it, so one Sunday morning I asked her, "Why don't you wear the beautiful rosary that you received from our dear friend?"

Her answer was tentative, but sure, "Someone told me that it is not right to wear a rosary around your neck."

I had this Popeye reaction, "Well shiver me timbers and blow me down!"

I won't tell you my reaction, but I did practice good intellectual honesty and went around asking various friends and acquaintances if they thought that it was proper to wear a rosary as a piece of jewelry. I got a lot of answers, some right, some not so right.

Now is asking you:

"Is it proper or not to wear a rosary around your neck as a piece of jewelry?"

Post your comments below.

Click here to view our answer.

Was the Blessed Virgin Mary a Virgin Forever?

By Paul Dion, STL

It is rather rare that we get to make contact with the same topic three of four times in the same two week span. Usually, something comes along and we answer it, get it off our minds and don't remember it before publishing time.

Lately though, three times over the last two weeks the question of the perpetual virginity of the Mother of Jesus has been discussed. For that reason, we have decided to place it before you, Dear Readers, because we consider the question to be of high importance.

The question surfaces during conversations when we talk about the gospel story where we here the disciples tell Jesus, - "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." (Matthew 12:46-47) Jesus answers, "My mother and my brothers are those who do the will of my Father."

When St. Paul wrotes to the Galatians, he says at one point, - "But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lords brother." (Gal. 1:19)

There are many other passages that mention Jesus' brothers.

The one passage that called forth the most dynamic discussion was this one, - "And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus." ("Matthew 1:24-25)

The burning question then is this: Was the Blessed Virgin Mary a Virgin Forever?

Poat a comment below and let us know what you think.

Or click here to view the answer to the Burning Question.

"What would you ask of God?"

By Paul Dion, STL

Be careful what you ask for. This is the kind of question that everyone likes. There is no wrong answer. Or so we think.
Let's start with the saying, "Be careful what you ask for."
That having been said, there is a story in the bible about a young man who was destined to be king of his country some day. He knew it ahead of time because God had promised his father that his first son would inherit the throne. It is to be supposed that this young man knew many things about the world. His father was a rough and tumble man who had won many a battle in his day. At one point, when he was quite young, he had killed the one person who was the largest threat to the nation. He had been chosen by God to be king and God made a promise to him that his son would also be king and the son would some day build God a house, fit for God and not for humans.

One night the son got a vision that most of us dream of at least once in our life. God appeared to him and asked: "Ask something of me and I will give it to you."

Are you ready for this? What would you answer? Think about it a moment, and talk to yourself with the request that you would make and what you would do with the grant. Think about what would make you happy.

You may think that there is no wrong answer to this question. That may be true, but there are some that are better than others. Go ahead, tell yourself what your answer is to God's question: "Ask something of me and I will give it to you."

Before you click to compare your answer to that of the young man try to think of the name of the King and the name of the Son. Hint: They were distant relatives of Jesus. Now you can compare your answer to the young man's by clicking below.

Click here to view the answer to this Burning Question.


Is it OK for God to get angry?

It sure looks that way.
By Paul Dion, STL

So often in our culture, as children we are reprimanded by our parents when we get angry because it isn't "nice." We are trained as we grow up that anger is not a "nice" emotion. We are so often told to "control ourselves" rather than to show anger.

OK, so what about God? He doesn't seem to have any problem with anger.
He sure took care of His Adam and Eve problem nicely. He wasn't afraid to use the old 40 day rain trick at one point. Fire and brimstone worked rather well against Sodom and Gomorrha. Turning a woman into a salt statue sure taught her a lesson, didn't it?

When God saw humans building a tower in Babel, He came and visited the project, didn't like what He saw and so dispersed everyone by giving them each a different language. Ten plagues against Egyptians sure made life rough on them for a while.
Jesus had his moments too. He had a pretty sharp tongue that shows that He had no fear of showing His inner heat.

God has a history of getting angry. Is this wrong? How can God get away with it and I can't? I get angry, I hit someone and I go to jail. Are we missing something?

Try your hand at this one. There is more than just a lesson of disobedience and punishment. So, what is in it for us when God gets angry?

Post a comment today or just view what others are saying.


"Why is it a sin to miss Mass on Sunday?"

By Paul Dion, STL

Why is it a sin to miss Mass on Sunday? Maybe we should ask "Why is it a sin to "skip" Mass on Sunday?

The second question might be the more correct one. After all, there are several reasons why simply missing Mass on Sunday is not sinful. We all know them well; taking care of a sick child; helping a parent to deal with a violent child; being too ill to get out of bed; having to travel across time zones because there is no other choice for a good reason and many more.

"Skipping" Mass is a lot more serious, because at the very least it shows a "what the heck!" attitude. Before you plunge into your answer, let us tell you about a very religious person that we know who has an invalid husband and a job that requires her to work strange hours on the weekend. She participates in the Holy Mass at least three mornings every week.

Most weeks, she is there four times, but very rarely on Sunday. So she misses Mass just about every Sunday. With all of this information, jump in here and tell the world what you think about why it is a sin (and when it is) to miss Mass on Sunday.

CLICK HERE to see the answer to this Burning Question.


Can a Catholic person marry a non-Catholic person?

By Paul Dion, STL

This is an important topic for Catholics. There are a lot of "street corner" opinions about it. Like everything else it is possible to find a friend of a friend who is an "expert" Catholic and who "knows about these things". Surely there are many of you who wonder about this topic. Please respond. This is an important element of Catholic life in the "trenches"?

Is it permitted for a Catholic person to marry a non-Catholic person in a Catholic church ceremony?

If you want to just say "yes" or "no" you may do so. If you have other comments that you would like to add, you may do that too.

May God bless you all.

(Click here to view the many wonderful articles that await you in, America's Catholic Lifestyle Magazine. Be informed, be inspired, be blessed. )


Is it better to be a lukewarm Catholic or an on-fire Protestant?

By Paul Dion, STL

Tell us what your sincere opinion is: Is it better to be a lukewarm Catholic or an on-fire Protestant?

I was in San Diego last weekend and as usual I was taking a break from my intellectual pursuits and working with my orchids. At one point I had to stand upright and give my aching back a "breather". As I finished stretching and twisting I saw two very fetching young ladies standing in front of me, not too far from my front door.

They asked me if I was interested in talking about God. I said that talking about God is one of my favorite and quasi on-going activities. I pointed out that at the moment I was helping God make my orchids gather enough strength to blossom fully by Easter which was going to be upon us in five short months.

Then I attacked, "Do you believe in Easter?", I asked. I surprised them.

They said "yes". I said, "Good".

"How important is it to you?" I fired back.

"Oh, very" was the reply.

Then one of them got the message that they were not in charge of the conversation. She noticed that I was not quoting verses and chapters. Smooth lady!

"You're Catholic, aren't you?, she asked.

"Yes, I am" I answered. "I've been Catholic all my life and I am not about to negotiate that away."

They said that they understood. We talked for about ten more minutes on the difficulties of the life of door-to-door missionaries. We separated with smiles and promises of interchanging prayers.

These two young ladies are door to door missionaries. All of us have met some of these people before. Have we ever asked ourselves why none of them that we have met are Catholic?

Do we sometimes wonder whether it would be better to be a Protestant door to door missionary than a lukewarm Catholic? Do we sometimes ask ourselves if it would be better to be a zealous Boy Scout master for a Presbyterian church than a so-so Catholic who never offers anything to the Church? Would it be better to be working for the Episcopalian Home Economics group teaching people how to cook for one person and enjoy it rather than to sit by and wonder why the Catholic church doesn't do things like that?

You know that these are "Burning Questions" that come up in conversation all the time. What do you feel about these things? Don't be shy, tell the world what you REALLY think.

CLICK HERE to view the answer to this Burning Question.

Is Gambling a Sin?

By Paul Dion, STL

Catholics have often been accused of being very loose with their morals with regards certain human activities. After all, we drink, we dance, we play cards and we even gamble.

Gambling is considered to be rather nasty because it seems to take away from God the determination of what is going to happen next. It puts the welfare of the gambler at the mercy of the "odds" and not into the hands of God where it belongs.

Gambling is an insult to God's Providence. The gambler is trying to achieve a treasure that has not been foreseen by God, thereby manifesting a lack of trust in the all - loving Creator and Savior.

Now, in any man's language, isn't that a sin? So tell me, Gambler, are you holdin' or foldin' as God looks you in the eyes and dares you to up the ante?

You're right, the Burning Question of the week is, "Is it a sin to gamble?"

Are you reading this from the "hot spot" at your favorite casino? What about the recreational trips to the casino? Church Bingo? Are they all sins? Where do we draw the line?
Share your thoughts with us. Post a comment today.

Is it Better to Pray or To Study the Faith?

By Paul Dion, STL

This week's "Burning Question" is a challenge that you are going to have to churn out of the depths of your hearts and souls.

"Is it more effective to pray than to study the tenets of a religion when seeking a spiritual home community?"

Take a look at this and at yourself and throw your convictions out on the table.

God bless you all with health, peace and happiness.



Anonymous wrote to us again.  Our response is highlighted in yellow.

I am a blessed, highly favored, can't be cursed, Christian. I am saved [You will know if you are saved or not when God judges you when you die.  Until then, you are redeemed, not yet saved.]by the blood of Jesus who died on a cruel cross at Calvary as he took all the sins of the world apon (sic) him for us because he loved us so much. I am sanctified, Holy Ghost filled by his power. Living for Jesus. It does state in the bible [you mean Bible, right?] that in order to get to the Kingdom of God, you must follow the Lord Jesus.  [It says a lot more than that]God sent his only son to save the world not condemn it. When a person dies, he is "absent from the flesh and present with the Lord".  [Are you sure that he is present with the Lord?  How do you know?]He would have had to accept Jesus into his heart and ask for forgiveness of his sins in life. The Bible says if you reject the Lord Jesus, then the Father will reject you. He stated to go out as fishermen [Fishermen, really?  Not apostles?]and spread the good word. That Jesus came and abolished the Laws. [100% wrong, Anonymous.  “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”  Matt. 5;17, King James Version] We celebrate a persons life at there death and funeral, provided they have not rejected HIM. [So you only celebrate the funeral of those who have not rejected Him.  Are you the one who knows who has and who has not rejected Him or is that left up to God alone to decide?]The bible also states even the righteous man falls short of the Glory of God, but if you follow the Lord and to stay in the word ( the Bible), pray and talk to the Lord as a relationship not a religion, minister to others to bring them aboard for salvation, ( remember fisherman). [Anonymous, we don’t bring anybody on board for salvation.  We bring the word and the example to them to help them to open their hearts to the presence of God and to accept His invitation to be disciples of His.  That’s all.  Salvation is His work, not ours.As Christians we do not pray for a dead body's soul, as once they take there (sic) last breath they are either in heaven or hell. There is no such thing as purgatory. No mention of that in the Bible at all. I respect that we all love and adore the same God, but following the exact teachings of the Bible is important. [Anonymous, you yourself are preaching to us and yet it is clear that you are now a very profound student of the Bible] I never got a bible when I was a catholic. [When you were Catholic you were read from the Bible every time you went to Mass.  You prayed the psalms.  You prayed the Our Father.  You had the Bible staring you in the face.  If you owned a missal, (most Cathlics did) you had about 45% of the Bible in your hands full time.  Were you listening?  Were you reading?]They stated only certain people were allowed to have it. [This is 100% wrong.  I am 75 years old and I got my first Bible when I made my first communion at age 7.  Spare us from your ignorance.We as followers of Christ are all saints !!!! You do not pray to anyone other than The Lord God Almighty. We honor mother Mary but do not pray to her. [In avoiding praying to the Saints and Mary you are denying 20 centuries of Christian practice.] We pray to the Lord directly. We ask for a relationship with him. [You ask for a relationship with Him?  Have you forgotten the words of the covenant?  He has given us His word that we are His people and He is our God.  Do you think for a single moment that you can cause Him to enter into a relationship with you on your terms, outside of His Eternal covenant?  You have the arrogance to say  “I am a blessed, highly favored, can't be cursed, Christian. I am saved…”  yet you do not accept that He has reached down and given you the grace of a relationship with Him without your having to pray for it.] That is what he want (sic)from us and to lead a righteous life. No getting drunk after the be drunk is a sin. I am not saying you can't have a glass of wine but without the intention of getting drunk. All in all have a blessed and wonderful day, yours in Christ 
I will and I will also eat His flesh and drink His blood in conformance with the New and Everlasting Covenant, (John 6, remember that one?) all the while trying to figure out where you are coming from.


RESPONSE TO "ANONYMOUS" Theology Editor responds to the recent comment of "Anonymous."

"You say you are asking Him to forgive when u are actually praising mary;"  We write Mary
Right you are.  By praising Mary in God’s presence, we are letting Him know that we are sorry for our sins and that we trust that by showing Him our deep reverence for His Mother that He will be generous with His merciful forgiveness of our trespasses.  What better way to show some atonement for our sins than to show Him that we are glad to talk to His mother in prayer.  We can praise her night and day if we want.  It is God that we adore, not her.  Do you adore God, or do you worship him?  Do you know the difference?
"the bible says not to pray repetitiously" The Bible?  Notice upper case “B” Are you afraid to quote the person who is credited in the Bible with that instruction?  Are you afraid to say that it is in the Gospel of Matthew?  We Catholics know our Bible too.  We Catholics also know that the instructions that are present in the Bible have a personal source.  We know that the personal source of the instruction is God Himself, and in the case of the instruction you mention about prayer, it is Jesus Himself, God Incarnate.  Yes, we Catholics believe that Jesus is God.  Do you?
You don’t quote Jesus but just say “the bible” because for you the Bible is a weapon that you use to sustain your hatred against Catholics.
Jesus, remember Him? told His disciples not to pray like the Pagans by repeating and using many vain sounds [that’s from the Greek, by the way].  This is the way of praying of the Pagans…the mantra.  This comes from the spiritualities of the Middle and the Far East and Jesus and His disciples knew this.  It’s a shame that you don’t.  So we pray by repeating the same prayer over and over again, but it is a prayer and it keeps rolling the spiritual thoughts through our consciousness.  We do not multiply sounds in the hope that the sounds themselves will have a spiritual effect.  That would be superstition.
"many other cults have prayer beads too" Thanks for the insult, Anonymous. But look at it this way.  Catholicism is a cult.  Catholicism and Orthodoxy are the first Christian “cults”.  The Bible that you so proudly refer to comes from Catholicism and Orthodoxy.  So you too, Mr/Ms Protestant must be a member of a cult.  Oh, maybe not.  I forgot Martin Luther, that Catholic Augustinian Monk upgraded your Protestantism to the level of an honest to goodness Religion.  Too bad I forgot about that.  Jesus must be very glad that Luther got Him that upgrade.
"..its not a new thing or a catholic is pagan...outright pagan:  Do you think for a single instant that we Catholics do not know where prayer beads come from?  Why do you Protestants constantly, in season and out of season throw that at us?  Do you think we are stupid?  Oh yeah, I forgot that too, yes, you do.  I do know that you don’t know that the Rosary is a meditation prayer dedicated to the 20 great historically important moments of Jesus’ life.  While we are praising Mary, we are thinking of Her Son who is going through life on His mission to save us.  Did you know that, Anonymous?  So while we are praising her, we are adoring Him.  Pretty neat trick.  Right?
It is also important to straighten out the definition of Pagan.  Notice I used the upper case there.  I have noticed that your computer doesn’t seem to have a shift key on it.  You have all the important words in your comment starting with a lower case letter.  So, do you know the definition of Pagan?  Really.  The Muslims use prayer beads.  Are they Pagans?  For all you know, you are a Pagan too.  Consider the Bible that you so proudly flaunt around.  Have you read it through, from page 1 through to the final Amen in the book of Revelation?  Do you know that the Bible is the source of God’s pedagogy to reveal himself to us?  If you use the Bible to win arguments against Catholics, you are the Pagan.  Think about that.  I mean it.
"Hail Mary..." how is that asking Jesus to forgive you?" I explained that to you above.  By the way, you do know that “Hail Mary”…is from the Bible, right?
"the Lords Prayer" is not a prayer but a model or outline on how to pray..but u all have to say it over and over again like robots  Ah, yes.  We’re back there again.  Plus, “The Lord’s Prayer” is not a prayer.  Well, in that case, Anonymous, call it “the Lord’s Plan for Prayer.”  You have to be consistent in your thought process.  You’re reaching here, I know you are.  You hate us “cultists” so badly that you’ll say anything to get us riled up.  You’re an interesting person.  Here’s why I think so.
You don’t pray the “Hail Mary;” you don’t pray the “Lord’s Prayer” because it is not a prayer to begin with. So you probably don’t pray too much.  Do you pray when you awaken in the morning?  Do you pray before meals?  Do you pray in the evening before retiring?  Do you pray during the day?  Do you pray for the people you love?  Do you pray for your enemies?  Do you pray the Bible?  Do you pray Hannah’s prayer?  Do you pray Solomon’s prayer?  Do you pray Moses’ prayer?  Do you pray Samson’s prayer?  How about the prayer of Abraham when he is bargaining with God about the people to be saved from Sodom and Gomorrah?  Do you pray Zechariah's prayer?  Do you pray Mary's "Magnificat"? Do you pray the Psalms?  That’s a lot of prayer.  Do you do any of it?  I doubt it, and here’s why:  I repeat, you don’t have enough respect for the Bible to write it with an upper case “B”.  That, Anonymous, is Paganism.


Why do we say the Rosary at Catholic funerals?

By Paul Dion, STL

The question of the week for the is one that you are going to have to figure out for yourselves. I don't think that there is a source that you can consult for the answer to this one.

This question was presented to me by a member of my RCIA class, seeking Baptism through the Rite of Christian Initiation at St. Christopher parish, Moreno Valley, California.

I deeply appreciate this question because it is a seriously probing one. I had an answer ready for them which I will share with you in the Grand Inquisitor's wrap-up.

"Why is it that Catholics always have the recitation of the Holy Rosary as a part of their funerals?"

It's all yours. Tell us what you think.

(Click here to view the many wonderful articles that await you in, America's Catholic Lifestyle Magazine. Be informed, be inspired, be blessed. )


Do we adore "Bling?" more than God?

By Paul Dion, STL

"Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,and the greed that is idolatry." (Paul, Colossians 3)

"Idolatry? Who, me? Idolatry is for Pagans with Golden Calves. I'm not like that."

Really? Then why do we "empty nesters" buy "Escalades" at age 70? Why do we spend $40,000 on a Quinceanera celebration? Why do we spend $35,000 on our father's funeral? Why do we spend $10,000 on an IBM laptop instead of $1,800 on a Dell? Why do we have ten expensive rings, five "King's Ransom" pendants and a $50,000 diamond bracelet?

It couldn't possibly be that we adore "BLING" more than "GOD", could it?

Let's take a look at this statement of St. Paul's to the Colossians. then, let's ask ourselves the following:

"Am I an idolator or am I a true worshipper and disciple of the one true God, and of Him alone?"

By the way, before we answer, let us check out the last sentence of Luke's quote of Jesus' comment to the crowd that He was instructing: 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?'Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God." (Luke, 12: 21-21)

Also this one from Luke 14: 25-33: "In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."

Join the discussion. Post your comment to the burning question.


Does the Church permit Organ Donations?

By Paul Dion, STL

‘When he heard this, the bloodthirsty, murderous and utterly abominable Antiochus gave orders to cut out his tongue. But the youth said, "Even if you remove my organ of speech, God hears also those who are mute. See, here is my tongue; cut it off, for in spite of this you will not make our reason speechless. Gladly, for the sake of God, we let our bodily members be mutilated."’ (4 Macc. 10;18-20)

Ok, take my tongue out. God will still hear my cry. Didn't Cain's blood cry out to God from the earth onto which it had been spilled? Didn't Jesus give His life for ours? Didn't some of the martyrs commit some form of suicide?

What about the Franciscan Friar, Maximillian Kolbe who told the Nazis to shoot him rather than the family man that they were intending to kill? What about the priest who gave his life in the rescue action of 9/11/2002? More than organs, these people gave their lives for someone else?

What about the thousands of kidney donors who save lives every year? What about the lung donors? The liver donors who give half their liver for the salvation of their brother or sister?

So you think that all of the above are morally OK. So then, it must be OK for me to sell a kidney; maybe a lung; maybe a cornea; oh, you need a leg, here, I'm 80 years old, I'll sell you one of mine for $5,000; You need 25 square inches of skin, I have some on my tush that you can have for $50.00 per square inch.

Brothers and sisters, this question is not as easy at it seems on the surface. knows that this is an important 21st century moral question.

In light of the previous question about whether or not real Catholics believe 100% of the Church's teachings, what do you believe about this question? What do you think the teachings of the church about this question are?

The Burning Question is: Does the Church permit Organ Donations? What are the church teachings on this subject?

Try your hand at this. Further enlightenment will come a few days down the road.


What favorite bible verse serves as foundation for your spiritual life?

By Paul Dion, STL

I thought that we might give the reader the opportunity to provide a BURNING QUESTION of the week every now and then. I am therefore brazenly presenting the following.

I have been a Catholic all my life. I reserve the right not to declare my age. My father and mother were very devout Catholics. You know the type - more Catholic than the Pope.

Well, my father lived his life in prayer. He was a senior manager and a superintendent in the business world. He and I participated in the 5:30 AM Mass on every Sunday during the year. We never missed a single "Stations of the Cross" celebration during Lent. We received Communion every Sunday when it was only the "Holy Water Font Frogs" who did so. We recited the family rosary every single night of May and October and during the school year we had to answer all the questions of the Baltimore Catechism even though we had been grilled by the nuns in school during the day.

My father was one step ahead of a lot of the Catholics of his day in one respect. He had a Biblical guiding principle for his life. My maternal grandfather did too. Do you?

Our question to you this week is:

What is(are) your favorite and guiding Bible verse(s) that serve as the foundation for your spiritual life?