Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Hail, countless and bitter tears which flowed in such profusion from your eyes, O Mary, in your loving and tender compassion for your Son, our Crucified Saviour! Men and angels shall honor and revere these tears, and all sinners shall flee to them for refuge, for they have their source in your most compassionate Heart.
O Sorrowful Mother! Even as the crimson blood flowed from the Wounds of Jesus, so did the tears flow from your eyes, O Mary, mingled with unutterable bitterness on account of the agony with which your soul was overwhelmed.
O burning tears, O bitter tears, O mournful tears, which moved the angels to pity and touched the Heart of the Eternal Father! Soften my hard heart that it also may be moved to pity and to a true sorrow for my innumerable sins. O holy tears, wash me! O bitter tears, purify me! O mournful tears, cleanse me! O gentle tears, soften my heart! O burning tears, inflame my heart! O tears, rich in merit and grace, enrich and adorn me!
O most gentle Virgin, I recall to you the heartfelt compassion which you felt for your Divine Son during His Passion and the countless tears which then flowed from your eyes. I beseech you, through these bitter tears, to obtain for me the gift of tears and a true and heartfelt sorrow for my sins. Oh, would that I could shed such efficacious and salutary tears over the cruel sufferings of my Saviour and over my sins, as you shed at the foot of the Cross.
O most merciful Virgin, offer, I beseech you, your bitter tears to the Eternal Father in satisfaction for my tepidity and hardness of heart; and through their merit obtain for me mercy and pardon of all my sins. And when, O dearest Mother, I lie upon my deathbed, give me but one of your precious tears wherewith to wash and purify my sinful and guilty conscience. Amen.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
This week's Catholic Free Press has a CNS article written by Dennis Sadowski entitled "Financial woes leave millions wondering how far down economy can go." But Our Lady, whose messages indeed are seldom taken into consideration by many Catholics (and most especially those in positions of "power" or influence) has already answered this question. Read here.
Do we believe ourselves to be "wiser" than Our Lady? Recall the words Our Heavenly Mother spoke to Mother Elena (a longtime spiritual daughter of St. Padre Pio): "If penance is not done, and they do not pray, the punishments will be ghastly...there will be death everywhere...Awareness of the terrible reality is urgent....I have given messages in all parts of the world with tears of blood, and humanity is not conscious of the terrible reality."
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Massachusetts Department of Public Health Report: Homosexuality linked with health problems and destructive behavior
"As a physician, it is my duty to assess behaviors for their impact on health and wellbeing. When something is beneficial, such as exercise, good nutrition, or adequate sleep, it is my duty to recommend it. Likewise, when something is harmful, such as smoking, overeating, alcohol or drug abuse, and homosexual sex, it is my duty to discourage it." (John R. Diggs, Jr., M.D. - see here).
"Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity." (Romans 1: 26, 27).
Friday, December 26, 2008
- Pope Benedict XVI
"The human heart is constantly seeking good things that will make it happy; but if it seeks them from creatures, it will never be satisfied, no matter how many it acquires. If it seeks God alone, God will satisfy all its desires. Who are the happiest people in this world, if not the saints? And why? Because they desire and seek only God."
- St. Alphonsus de Liguori
The solution? Prudent education. Paragraph 1784 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that: "The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the earliest years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law recognized by conscience. Prudent education teaches virtue; it prevents or cures fear, selfishness and pride, resentment arising from guilt, and feelings of complacency, born of human weakness and faults. The education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart."
Oscar Romero, the martyred Archbishop of San Salvador, said that:
"The Church, like Jesus, has to go on denouncing sin in our own day. It has to denounce the selfishness that is hidden in everyone's heart, the sin that dehumanizes persons, destroys families, and turns money, possessions, profit, and power into the ultimate ends for which persons strive. And the church has also to denounce what has rightly been called 'structural sin:' those social, economic, cultural, and political structures that drive people onto the margins of society. When the church hears the cry of the oppressed it cannot but denounce the social structures that give rise to the misery from which the cry arises." (August 6, 1977.)
And: "To try to preach without referring to the history one preaches in is not to preach the gospel. Many would like a preaching so spiritualistic that it leaves sinners unbothered and does not term idolaters those who kneel before money and power. A preaching that says nothing of the sinful environment in which the gospel is reflected upon is not the gospel." (February 18, 1979)
And: "The church is obliged to demand structural changes that favour the reign of God and a more just and comradely way of life. Unjust social structures are the roots of all violence and disturbances. How hard and conflicting are the results of duty! Those who benefit from obsolete structures react selfishly to any kind of change." (November 1979).
Will we heed Pope Benedict XVI's warning? In San Salvador, Archbishop Romero was not heeded by those in power. And more than 60,000 people lost their lives. Will we choose solidarity or selfishness? Self-interest or justice?
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!
But Mary's power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him. In the eyes of the world they will be little and poor and, like the heel, lowly in the eyes of all, down-trodden and crushed as is the heel by the other parts of the body. But in compensation for this they will be rich in God's graces, which will be abundantly bestowed on them by Mary. They will be great and exalted before God in holiness. They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal and so strongly will they be supported by divine assistance that, in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their heel, that is, their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ.
2) Devotion to Mary is especially necessary in the latter times.
Finally, God in these times wishes his Blessed Mother to be more known, loved and honoured than she has ever been. This will certainly come about if the elect, by the grace and light of the Holy Spirit, adopt the interior and perfect practice of the devotion which I shall later unfold. Then they will clearly see that beautiful Star of the Sea, as much as faith allows. Under her guidance they will perceive the splendours of this Queen and will consecrate themselves entirely to her service as subjects and slaves of love. They will experience her motherly kindness and affection for her children. They will love her tenderly and will appreciate how full of compassion she is and how much they stand in need of her help. In all circumstances they will have recourse to her as their advocate and mediatrix with Jesus Christ. They will see clearly that she is the safest, easiest, shortest and most perfect way of approaching Jesus and will surrender themselves to her, body and soul, without reserve in order to belong entirely to Jesus." (St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, Nos. 54, 55).
Sunday, December 21, 2008
In his Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio (The Mission of the Redeemer), Pope John Paul II said that, "The Church proposes; she imposes nothing." (No. 39). Such was the teaching of Vatican II: "The Church strictly forbids forcing anyone to embrace the faith, or alluring or enticing people by worrisome wiles. By the same token, she also strongly insists on this right, that no one be frightened away from the faith by unjust vexations on the part of others." (Ad Gentes, No. 13). And Dignitatis Humanae, No. 10 teaches that: "It is one of the major tenets of Catholic doctrine that man's response to God in faith must be free: no one therefore is to be forced to embrace the Christian faith against his own will. This doctrine is contained in the word of God and it was constantly proclaimed by the Fathers of the Church. The act of faith is of its very nature a free act. Man, redeemed by Christ the Savior and through Christ Jesus called to be God's adopted son, cannot give his adherence to God revealing Himself unless, under the drawing of the Father, he offers to God the reasonable and free submission of faith. It is therefore completely in accord with the nature of faith that in matters religious every manner of coercion on the part of men should be excluded. In consequence, the principle of religious freedom makes no small contribution to the creation of an environment in which men can without hindrance be invited to the Christian faith, embrace it of their own free will, and profess it effectively in their whole manner of life."
But while the Church respects freedom of conscience and shuns any form of coercion, our Holy Father reminds us that, "We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires.
We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth."
This dictatorship of relativism seeks to impose its immoral agenda on Christians in the name of "tolerance." But this "tolerance" is a sham. It is simply an attempt to make an idol out of a false conception of freedom. Again, our Holy Father explains that, "..what clearly stands behind the modern era's radical demand for freedom is the promise: You will be like God...The implicit goal of all modern freedom movements is, in the end, to be like a god, dependent on nothing and nobody, with one's own freedom not restricted by anyone else's...The primeval error of such a radically developed desire for freedom lies in the idea of a divinity that is conceived as being purely egotistical. The god thus conceived of is, not God, but an idol, indeed, the image of what the Christian tradition would call the devil, the anti-god, because therein lies the radical opposite of the true God: the true God is, of his own nature, being-for (Father), being-from (Son), and being-with (Holy Spirit). Yet man is in the image of God precisely because the being-for , from, and with constitute the basic anthropological shape. Whenever people try to free themselves from this, they are moving, not toward divinity, but toward dehumanizing, toward the destruction of being itself through the destruction of truth. The Jacobin variant of the idea of liberation...is a rebellion against being human in itself, rebellion against truth, and that is why it leads people - as Sartre percipiently observed - into a self-contradictory existence that we call hell. It has thus become fairly clear that freedom is linked to a yardstick, the yardstick of reality - to truth*. Freedom to destroy oneself or to destroy others is not freedom but a diabolical parody. The freedom of man is a shared freedom, freedom in a coexistence of other freedoms, which are mutually limiting and thus mutually supportive: freedom must be measured according to what I am, what we are - otherwise it abolishes itself."
In the name of "tolerance," the New World Order seeks to impose its rebellion from truth on all. It will not tolerate any dissent, any disagreement. Coercion is an acceptable tool in a dictatorship. Soon, the New Order will use violence to achieve its goals and not just coercion and propaganda. In the end, every dictatorship must rely on violence in its vain attempt to hold onto power.
* Previous Blog post here.
Related reading: Pope Benedict XVI on saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior: read here.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
According to a press release posted on the Dow Jones & Company's Market Watch website, readers should prepare for a miracle which everyone will see in the sky shortly before the "emergence of Maitreya and his group, the Masters of Wisdom." As Paul Proctor so eloquently put it, "This is a major business and financial news publication - not some obscure blog for Bigfoot hunters and UFO enthusiasts." Why such a strange message from such a respected financial news publication? If it were the Enquirer or some other silly tabloid which regularly runs stories about two-headed babies and Elvis sightings, we could just laugh and shrug it off. But the Dow Jones & Company's Market Watch website?
Read what Pere Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. had to say about this coming "Christ" here. As Maritain said, Teilhard preserves Christ in his theology, but what a Christ!
Related reading here and here and here.
Friday, December 19, 2008
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the power of his blood, his cross and his resurrection, I bind you Satan, and all your evil spirits, demonic forces, satanic powers, principalities, attributes, aspects, clusters, endowments, and satanic thrones: I bind all kings and princes of terrors, I bind all demonic assignments and functions of destruction, from any of the above demonic entities from outer space, the air, water, fire, the ground, the netherworld, and the evil forces of nature.
I bind all interplay, interaction, and communication between satanic and demonic spirits and expose all you demonic forces and spirits as weakened, defeated enemies of Jesus Christ. I sever all demonic spirits from any demonic ruler above these spirits in the name of Jesus Christ.
I bind all enemies of Christ present together, all demonic entities under the one highest authority, and I command that you leave my life now and go straight to the feet of Jesus Christ. Your assignments and influences are broken.
I call forth and loose the Holy Spirit, the heavenly host, the holy angels of God, to surround, and protect, and cleanse with God’s holy light all areas vacated by the forces of evil. I ask the Holy Spirit to permeate my mind, heart, body, spirit and soul, creating a hunger and thirst for God’s holy word, and to fill me to overflowing with the life and love of my Lord, Jesus Christ.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wrong Father. It's disobedience. And I won't expect you to understand the difference.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Let's hope that this positive development will mark the beginning of renewal for the Catholic Church in and around Fitchburg. And let's remember the words of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, our beloved Pope Benedict XVI, in his book "Salt of the Earth": "I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It's impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent."
Relevant passage from Vatican II:
"Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites." (Sacrosanctum Concilium, No. 36, see also No. 54).
And from Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei:
"Respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition...for the use of the Roman Missal according to the 1962 edition."
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
These organizations embody the best of our nation's history? The Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) will be marching in the Southern Decadence Parade. The Southern Decadence event has become known as the "Gay Mardi Gras" (see the official website here).
As Paul Rondeau explains, "Among America's culture wars, one of today's most intense controversies rages around the issue alternatively identified, depending on one's point of view, as 'normalizing homosexuality' or 'accepting gayness.' The debate is truly a social-ethical-moral conceptual war that transcends both the scientific and legal, though science and law most often are the weapon of choice. The ammunition of these weapons, however, is persuasion." (Paul E. Rondeau, "Selling Homosexuality to America," Regent University Law Review, 2002, Vol. 14, p. 443. Available here.
If you're one of those who is convinced that President-elect Obama has "moved to the center" in recent weeks, you are only deceiving yourself. The Obama administration plans on advancing a radical homosexual agenda. Elements of the LGBA do not "embody the best of our nation's history." They embody perversion*. And there is nothing noble about that.
*Saint John Chrysostom denounces homosexual acts as being contrary to nature. Commenting on the Epistle to the Romans (1: 26-27), he says that the pleasures of sodomy are an unpardonable offense to nature and are doubly destructive, since they threaten the species by deviating the sexual organs away from their primary procreative end and they sow disharmony between men and women, who no longer are inclined by physical desire to live together in peace.
The brilliant Patriarch of Constantinople employs most severe words for the vice we are analyzing. Saint John Chrysostom makes this strong argument: “All passions are dishonorable, for the soul is even more prejudiced and degraded by sin than is the body by disease; but the worst of all passions is lust between men…. The sins against nature are more difficult and less rewarding, since true pleasure is only the one according to nature. But when God abandons a man, everything is turned upside down! Therefore, not only are their passions [of the homosexuals] satanic, but their lives are diabolic….. So I say to you that these are even worse than murderers, and that it would be better to die than to live in such dishonor. A murderer only separates the soul from the body, whereas these destroy the soul inside the body….. There is nothing, absolutely nothing more mad or damaging than this perversity.” (St. John Chrysostom, In Epistulam ad Romanos IV, in J. McNeill, op. cit., pp. 89-90)
In a meeting with communications specialists in the United States, Pope John Paul II explained that, "...the Church recognizes the need for freedom of speech and freedom of the press, just as does your Constitution. But she goes further. Rights imply corresponding duties. The proper exercise of the right to information demands that the content of what is communicated be true and - within the limits set by justice and charity - complete (see Inter Mirifica, No. 5). Your very profession invites you to reflect on this obligation to truth and its completeness. Included here is the obligation to avoid any manipulation of truth for any reason. This manipulation in fact takes place when certain issues are deliberately passed over in silence, in order that others may be unduly emphasized. It also occurs when information is altered or withheld so that society will be less able to resist the imposition of a given ideology."
Many newspapers have exhibited a strong penchant for such manipulation. See here for example. There are many factors contributing to the death of local newspapers. But one which is so often overlooked is that readers have grown tired of newspaper editors and journalists who have abandoned their obligation to truth and its completeness.
Will the death of local newspapers represent a "tragedy" for society in general? I honestly don't see how this could be the case. Many gave up on these newspapers a long time ago. As one individual said at this Blog, "...liberal bias hasn't exactly helped these papers either. If a paper isn't even going to try to remain objective, I don't want to read it."
Precisely. This isn't a tragedy. It's a comedy of errors (minus the happy resolution at the end). The newspaper industry is only reaping what it has sown.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
A few years ago, another Catholic Blogger (who would routinely refer to His Eminence Sean Cardinal O'Malley as "Sean" - while accusing him of heresy) wrote me an email in which she referred to my Blog as "small potatos." It must have shocked this woman when I sincerely agreed with her. I'll go further. Not only is this Blog small potatos. But I am also small. In fact, my very name is from the Latin Paulus meaning "little" or "small."
We quickly forget that Jesus can do much with our little. Wasn't that really the point He was trying to make when He multiplied the bread and fishes and fed so many with so little? Humility (which is really only the truth) is so important to the spiritual life because it keeps us from falling into pride, which is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. It was pride that caused the fall of Lucifer, one of the greatest of the angels. And it is pride which goes before every fall. So important is humility to the spiritual life that St. Jean Vianney said, "Humility is to the various virtues what the chain is to the Rosary; take away the chain and the beads are scattered, remove humility and all virtues vanish." St. John Chrysostom said that, "Humility is the mother, root, nurse, foundation, and center of all other virtues."
It's okay to be "small" and "little." How easily we forget this. The Little Flower taught that even picking up a pencil for the love of God can be a great thing, precisely because it is done out of love. In Philippians 2: 3-11, St. Paul exhorts us to, "Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others. Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
There is no shame in weakness. Although the world would have you believe otherwise. But we don't follow the world or its asinine maxims do we? We follow the Apostle Paul who said, "For when I am weak, it is then that I am strong." When we humbly acknowledge our weakness, our poverty, then - AND ONLY THEN - can God fill us with His strength.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
"There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds"
Through one of the characters in his book The Lord of the World, Robert Hugh Benson describes this humanitarian religion which is to overcome the Catholic Church: "Humanitarianism...is becoming an actual religion itself, though anti-supernatural. It is a Pantheism. Pantheism deifies all nature, God is the world, but naturally, man above all is God since he is the highest expression of nature. It is a religion devoid of the 'super' natural, because since God is nature itself, there is no longer a distinction between Creator and creature. The creature is God and hence arbitrator of his own destiny and establishes the moral law for himself. Nature, and man is its highest expression, has all the divine attributes. Humanitarianism is a religion devoid of the supernatural. It is developing a ritual under Freemasonry; it has a creed, 'God is man'; and the rest. It has, therefore, a real food of a sort to offer religious cravings: it idealizes, and yet makes no demands upon the spiritual faculties. Then, they have the use of all the churches except ours, and of all the Cathedrals; and they are beginning at last to encourage sentiment. Then they may display their symbols and we may not..."
The new humanitarian religion, which is anti-supernatural, must absorb Christianity as it prepares for the entrance of the Man of Sin. Catholics who maintain a devotion to the Holy Eucharist and Our Lady must be first ostracized and later eliminated as incompatible with the New Order.
On March 11, 1995, Our Lady told Fr. Gobbi that, "In the Church, the great apostasy, which will spread throughout the whole world, will be brought to its completion; the schism will take place through a general alienation from the Gospel and from the true faith. There will enter into the Church the man of iniquity, who opposes himself to Christ, and who will bring into her interior the abomination of desolation, thus bringing to fulfillment the horrible sacrilege, of which the Prophet Daniel* has spoken."
Related: World ready for world government?
Sunday, December 07, 2008
It only serves to highlight the fact that newspapers such as the Telegram & Gazette are not really interested in a free and open exchange of ideas. Indeed, orthodox Christians are not welcome in the marketplace of ideas throughout much of our secularized society. Expect this trend to continue. Christians will be marginalized to the same extent our Jewish brothers and sisters were marginalized by the Third Reich. In the New Order, Christians (at least the orthodox ones who actually accept Divine Revelation and especially the authority of the Magisterium) will be barred from the public forum and contained within a ghetto courtesy of the dictatorship of relativism. Absolute truth will have to be expunged. As well as those who adhere to it.
In the Gospel of John, chapter fifteen verses 18-27, Jesus explains to us: "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But in order that the word written in their law might be fulfilled, 'They hated me without cause.' "When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning."
Related: When Mr. Vic Melfa, an alumnus of Holy Cross College in Worcester, wrote a letter to alumni of Holy Cross criticizing the Holy Cross newspaper and a student group which promotes homosexuality (see here), it elicited a strong front-page reaction from the Telegram & Gazette (see here).
More evidence of the pro-homosexual bias at the Telegram & Gazette here.
At the same time, Christians must not treat citizenship as inherently more important than other elements of their vocation which are more central (such as work and family) and should refrain from deferring unduly to the government's authority. It goes without saying that the State should not be regarded as the first principle of morality and that when the State demands that which conflicts with moral truth (such as same-sex "marriage" or abortion) the Christian should affirm that, "We must obey God rather than any human authority" (Acts 5:29). Dignitatis Humanae, No. 11, reminds us that: "He [Jesus Our Lord] acknowledged the power of government and its rights, when He commanded that tribute be given to Caesar: but He gave clear warning that the higher rights of God are to be kept inviolate: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's" (Matt. 22:21). See also Thomas Aquinas, S.t., 2-2, q.104, a.5.
The purpose of the State is to promote the common good. This is what gives the State its fundamental right to rule. Where the State no longer promotes the common good, it forfeits its right to rule: "The Church has always taught the duty to act for the common good and, in so doing, has likewise educated good citizens for each State. Furthermore, she has always taught that the fundamental duty of power is solicitude for the common good of society; this is what gives power its fundamental rights. Precisely in the name of these premises of the objective ethical order, the rights of power can only be understood on the basis of respect for the objective and inviolable rights of man." (Redemptor Hominis, No. 17).
Pope John Paul II defines the common good as, "..the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all" (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, No. 38). John Paul also explains in this Encyclical Letter that, "It is important to note...that a world which is divided into blocs, sustained by rigid ideologies, and in which instead of interdependence and solidarity different forms of imperialism hold sway, can only be a world subject to the structures of sin. The sum total of the negative factors working against a true awareness of the universal common good and the need to further it, gives the impression of creating, in persons and institutions, an obstacle which is difficult to overcome." (No. 36).
At a time when Christians are increasingly being marginalized, both here and abroad, the Christian has a duty more than ever to fulfill the responsibilities of his or her vocation and to say - when the State demands that which conflicts with moral truth - "We must obey God rather than men."
Will we have the courage, as Christians, to stand with Jesus? Will we risk being marginalized, persecuted and even put to death? Which is more important to us: friendship with the world or friendship with Christ? Many have already abandoned Our Lord and His Church. Some of these still warm a pew every Sunday. They remain "in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a 'bodily' manner" and not in their heart (See Lumen Gentium, No. 14).
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Such an appreciation of the common good which unites, as against - or, rather, as above all particular or factional or partisan goods which divide - would make possible the Vital Center for which certain political philosophers are pleading; a Vital Center which can exist only when honorable moderates of Right and Left prefer working with each other in behalf of the common good to working with extremists of their own respective camps, extremists who seek only the particular good after which their side aspires..."
In Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did violence to this idea of the common good. The Court forgot that the common good is the good of both the individual and the State "in and under and through the Supreme Good which is God." The Court opted to side with extremists who "seek only the particular good after which their side aspires."
And the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are the ones who will pay the price for this judicial arrogance.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Mr. Robinson is so concerned about the eruption of real violence (see here) which has been perpetrated by radical homosexual activists against Mormon and Christian Churches that he has said absolutely nothing to condemn these truly vile acts. And so the Walter Duranty Award for living in denial goes to V. Gene Robinson. A man whose thought processes really do not compute.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
At the 51st annual Red Mass held recently at St. Paul Cathedral, His Excellency The Most Reverend Robert J. McManus reminded those present that the greatest act of compassion which those in the legal and judicial fields can show is trying to ensure that the laws and statutes of the United States always protect the dignity of the human person. Sadly, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has not shown such compassion in recent years.
On November 18, 2003, the SJC ruled, in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, that two members of the same sex have a right to marriage under the constitution of the Bay State. Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, writing for the majority, wrote that the state’s constitution "affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals" and "forbids the creation of second-class citizens" and that the state had no constitutionally adequate reason for denying marriage to same-sex couples.
While this decision of the SJC is long on emotional appeal, it is short on substance. Article VII of the Constitution of the State of Massachusetts (1780) states clearly that, "Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people.." According to this same article, government is not instituted for the "private interest" of individuals and certain classes of men. And what do we mean by the "common good"? The Catechism of the Catholic Church, citing the Letter of Barnabas, a Christian document which dates to the first or early second century, provides an answer: "In keeping with the social nature of man, the good of each individual is necessarily related to the common good, which in turn can be defined only in reference to the human person: ‘Do not live entirely isolated, having retreated into yourselves, as if you were already justified, but gather instead to seek the common good together’ CCC, 1905). The Catechism then provides us with a precise definition in paragraphs 1906 to 1909: "By common good is to be understood ‘the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.’ The common good concerns the life of all. It calls for prudence from each, and even more from those who exercise the office of authority. It consists of three essential elements: First, the common good presupposes respect for the person as such...Second, the common good requires the social well-being and development of the group itself...Finally, the common good requires peace, that is, the stability and security of a just order."
In Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the SJC failed to uphold the common good and to acknowledge that government is instituted for the very purpose of promoting and defending the common good. With all due respect to Chief Justice Marshall, there is "constitutionally adequate reason" for denying marriage to same-sex couples. Same-sex "marriage" violates the common good. It does this on both the individual and social plane. On the individual plane, as Dr. Germain Grisez explains, "...although it is true that partners in sodomy also could conceivably share in a committed relationship with sincere mutual affection and express their feelings in ways that would be appropriate in any friendship, the coupling of two bodies of the same sex cannot form one complete organism and so cannot contribute to a bodily communion of persons. Hence, the experience of intimacy of the partners in sodomy cannot be the experience of any real unity between them. Rather, each one’s experience of intimacy is private and incommunicable, and is no more a common good than is the mere experience of sexual arousal and orgasm. Therefore, the choice to engage in sodomy for the sake of that experience of intimacy in no way contributes to the partners’ real common good as committed friends."
On the social plane, as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explained in a document entitled Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, "The inevitable consequences of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to homosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children. If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good. By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties." (No. 8).
Our forefathers, the very men who made this Commonwealth and who crafted its Constitution, understood that government exists to serve the common good and that all society, both religious and civil, and every legal tradition of both authority and liberty, exist for the protection and perfection of the human person. Moreover, our forefathers (and this includes former Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court) recognized the ends and the purposes of marriage. They understood that matrimony is the creative cause of the social unit, the family.
For example, Justice Charles Ambrose DeCourcy (1857-1924) interpreted the special dignity of marriage with these rational words, "By the law of the Commonwealth marriage is regarded as more than a civil contract. After cohabitation, at least, it ripens into a status which affects the parties thereto, their posterity and the whole community...it is a change which, for important reasons, the law recognizes, and it inaugurates conditions and relations which the law takes under its protection." (Richardson v. Richardson, 246 Mass. 353, 354, 104. N.E. 73 (1923), quoting from Smith v. Smith, 171 Mass. 404, 407, 50 N.E. 933, 934 (1898).
Justice George Tyler Bigelow (1810-1878) said that, "The great object of marriage in a civilized and Christian community, is to secure the existence and permanence of the family relation, and to ensure the legitimacy of offspring..." (Reynolds v. Reynolds, 85 Mass.(3 Allen) 605-607 (1862).
For these Justices, marriage was something "more than a civil contract." They would have understood the teaching of Pope Pius XI in his Encyclical On Christian Marriage that, "Matrimony was neither established nor restored by man but by God. It has been protected, strengthened, and elevated not by the laws of men, but by those of God, the Author of human nature, and of Christ who restored that same nature. Consequently, these laws cannot be changed according to men’s pleasure." They would have understood this great Pontiff’s teaching that marriage has its origin "in God." They would have respected the Author of marriage, the common good and the dignity of the human person.
What a shame that we cannot say the same about the Justices who decided it was their prerogative to redefine marriage.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
The Vatican II Fathers teach us (in the conciliar document Inter Mirifica, No. 14) that: "...To instill a fully Christian spirit into readers, a truly Catholic press should be set up and encouraged. Such a press-whether immediately fostered and directed by ecclesiastical authorities or by Catholic laymen-should be edited with the clear purpose of forming, supporting and advancing public opinion in accord with natural law and Catholic teaching and precepts. It should disseminate and properly explain news concerning the life of the Church."
Catholics in this country really do not need another Commonweal or National Catholic Reporter to instruct them as to how to sell out to the secular culture.
Monday, December 01, 2008
June 18, 1878
CHAP. 263 - An act making appropriations for the support of the Army for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, and for other purposes.SEC. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section And any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment.
10 U.S.C. (United States Code) 375
Sec. 375. Restriction on direct participation by military personnel: The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to ensure that any activity (including the provision of any equipment or facility or the assignment or detail of any personnel) under this chapter does not include or permit direct participation by a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps in a search, seizure, arrest, or other similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is otherwise authorized by law.
18 U.S.C. 1385
Sec. 1385. Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act ofCongress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise toexecute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Note: The only exemption has to do with nuclear materials (18 U.S.C. 831 (e)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Lavoie writes, "Justice John Greaney didn't write the Supreme Judicial Court's landmark ruling making Massachusetts the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, but five years later, a passage from his concurring opinion is sometimes used by gay couples in their wedding ceremonies. 'We share a common humanity and participate together in the social contract that is the foundation of our Commonwealth,' Greaney wrote. 'Simple principles of decency dictate that we extend...full acceptance, tolerance and respect. We should do so because it is the right thing to do.'"
Greaney, the son of an Irish immigrant, "said he knew he wanted to be a judge since his days at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, where his professors 'kept stressing that you have to do something with your life and contribute to society and the well-being of others.'"
And Justice Greaney believes that he has contributed to "the well-being of others"? To the common good? The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in a document entitled Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, had this to say:
"The inevitable consequences of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to homosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children. If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good. By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties." (No. 8).
Yes indeed, Holy Cross is creating quite a name for itself. Just recently, this institution spent a week promoting homosexuality.
Recall the teaching of Pope Pius XI in his famous Encyclical "On Christian Marriage":
"First of all, let this remain the unchanged and unshakable foundation: Matrimony was neither established nor restored by man but by God. It has been protected, strengthened, and elevated not by the laws of men, but by those of God, the author of human nature, and of Christ who restored that same nature. Consequently, these laws cannot be changed according to men's pleasure, nor by any agreement of the spouses themselves that is contrary to these laws. This is the teaching of Sacred Scripture (see Gen 1:27; 2:22f.; Mt 19:3ff.; Eph 5:23ff.); this is the constant, universal tradition of the Church; this is the solemn definition of the holy Council of Trent, which in the words of Sacred Scripture teaches and reasserts that the permanent and indissoluble bond of matrimony, its unity and strength, have their origin in God."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1603-1605, explain marriage in the order of creation:
"The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage." The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life."
God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator's eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: "And God blessed them, and God said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'"
Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: "It is not good that the man should be alone." The woman, "flesh of his flesh," his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a "helpmate"; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been "in the beginning": "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."
Pray for Justice Greaney and the College of the Holy Cross.
" What is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?
"Response: Christ 'established here on earth' only one Church and instituted it as a 'visible and spiritual community', that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted. 'This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic. ... This Church, constituted and organized in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him'.
"In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution 'Lumen Gentium' 'subsistence' means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church, in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.
"It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them. Nevertheless, the word 'subsists' can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the 'one' Church); and this 'one' Church subsists in the Catholic Church...
"Why was the expression 'subsists in' adopted instead of the simple word 'is'?
"Response: The use of this expression, which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, does not change the doctrine on the Church. Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are 'numerous elements of sanctification and of truth' which are found outside her structure, but which 'as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity.'
"'It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.' (For full text see here).
As Fernando Ocariz explains, "Christ founded only one Church his Church — on Peter, with the guarantee of indefectibility in the face of the persecutions, divisions and obstacles of every kind which she would encounter in the course of history (cf. Mt 16:18). Therefore, only one Church exists, which we confess, in the Creed as "one, holy, Catholic and apostolic".
The Second Vatican Council, in n. 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, stated that "this Church, constituted and organized as a society in this present, world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although (licet) many elements of sanctification and truth can be found outside her structure; such elements, as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic unity".
As is well known this famous expression "subsistit in" was subsequently the object of many and contradictory interpretations. The notion became quite widespread that the Council had not wanted to adopt as its own the traditional statement according in which the Church of Christ is (est) the Catholic Church — as was stated in the preparatory schema — so as to be able to say that the Church of Christ subsists also in Christian communities separated from Rome.
In reality, however, an analysis of the Council proceedings leads to the conclusion that "[t]he phrase subsistit in is intended not only to reconfirm the meaning of the term est, that is, the identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church. Above all, it reaffirms that the Church of Christ, imbued with the fullness of all the means instituted by Christ, perdures (continues, remains) forever in the Catholic Church".
This meaning of the term subsistit coincides with the common language of Western culture and is consistent with classical philosophical language from Aristotle to St. Thomas; that which exists in itself and not in something else is said to subsist.
"Subsisting is a special case of being. It is being in the form of a subject standing on its own. This is the issue here. The Council wants to tell us that the Church of Jesus Christ as a concrete subject in the present world can be encountered in the Catholic Church. This can occur only once and the notion that subsistit could be multiplied misses precisely what was intended. With the word subsistit, the Council wanted to express the singularity and non-multiplicability of the Catholic Church".
In this Document of the Council, the assertion of the subsistence of the Church of Christ in the Catholic Church is followed by the famous phrase about the presence of many elements of sanctification and truth, belonging to the Church, outside her visible structure..." (Read full text here).
This teaching of the Second Vatican Council is rejected by some who consider themselves to be "traditional Catholics." But as Ralph McInerny said in his wonderful book "What Went Wrong with Vatican II": "Once voted on and promulgated by the Pope, a conciliar document is no longer the victory of one side or the triumph of a faction: it becomes part of the Magisterium of the Church."
Those who reject the teaching of the Second Vatican Council really do not understand (or accept) the infallibility of an ecumenical council. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us authoritatively that: "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.... The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed," and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith." This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself." (No. 891).
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
There are so many reasons to be thankful. There are thousands of reasons on roughly 200 acres of land in Washington, D.C. At a place we call Arlington National Cemetery. Tomorrow, when you gather with family or friends to celebrate God's blessings, please remember the many men and women who died for our freedoms and who will not be celebrating with us.
by Moina Michael, November 1918
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
"The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission website is documenting attacks by gay activists. Will homosexuals be held accountable for their hate crimes? Don't hold you breath, but take action. Sign the petition calling on California Attorney General Edmund Brown, Jr. to uphold the law (CA penal code 302) against disrupting church services. Vandalism, intimidation, and assault are the weapons of anti-Christian homosexual thugs. Return their hate with love, but be prepared to suffer for Christ."
I couldn't have said it better.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The Southern Poverty Law Center operates a Blog entitled "Hatewatch." That Blog may be found here. In the links section, there is a link to another Blog entitled "Pam's House Blend." That Blog may be found here.
Read some of the hateful, anti-Christian comments which are laced with profanity at Pam's House Blend - here. And ask yourself: is the SPLC really interested in exposing hate? If so, they don't have very far to look. It may be found by visiting the links section at their own Blog.
I've said it before, the same radical homosexual activists who continually cry for more "tolerance" are anything but tolerant. This is a spiritual war. The homosexual movement is not a civil rights movement. It is an attempt at moral revolution. An attempt to change people's view of homosexuality.
Writing in the Chicago Free Press, even homosexual activist Paul Varnell admitted this. He wrote, "The fundamental controverted issue about homosexuality is not discrimination, hate crimes or domestic partnerships, but the morality of homosexuality. Even if gays obtain non-discrimination laws, hate crimes law and domestic partnership benefits, those can do little to counter the underlying moral condemnation which will continue to fester beneath the law and generate hostility, fuel hate crimes, support conversion therapies, encourage gay youth suicide and inhibit the full social acceptance that is our goal. On the other hand, if we convince people that homosexuality is fully moral, then all their inclination to discriminate, engage in gay-bashing or oppose gay marriage disappears. Gay youths and adults could readily accept themselves. So the gay movement, whether we acknowledge it or not, is not a civil rights movement, not even a sexual liberation movement, but a moral revolution aimed at changing people's view of homosexuality." (Paul Varnell, "Defending Our Morality," Chicago Free Press, Aug 16, 2000, http://indegayforum.org/authors/varnell/varnell37.html).
In a previous post, I mentioned how Professor James Hitchcock, in his excellent work entitled "Catholicism and Modernity" (New York: Seabury Press, 1979, p. 86), explains the role of the media in this entire process:"The media's alleged commitment to 'pluralism' is at base a kind of hoax. The banner of pluralism is raised in order to win toleration for new ideas as yet unacceptable to the majority. Once toleration has been achieved, public opinion is systematically manipulated first to enforce a status of equality between the old and the new, then to assert the superiority of the new over the old. A final stage is often the total discrediting, even sometimes the banning, of what had previously been orthodox."
Because MassResistance (and other pro-family individuals and groups) have been so successful at exposing the real agenda of the homosexual hate movement, and because many voters haven't bought into homosexual agitprop, the movement has started to become openly violent. Click on the title to this Blog post to see just how violent these "tolerant" people can be.
One Christian, in a statement which may be found here, described how violent homosexual activists became in San Francisco's Castro district:
After just singing and worshiping God for a while, Roger decided that we should all hold hands in a circle and continue singing. So we did...
Someone (Actually a person who came up and hugged and kissed some of us who he knew from the past) convinced some people that we were there to protest against the no on 8 campaign.
Then some guy who was dressed up like one of the sisters (The sisters of perpetual indulgence is a group of men who dress up like nuns and call themselves the spiritual authority of the Castro.) took a curtain-type thing (Which I think they use to curse people) and wrapped it around us.
Then a crowd started gathering. We began to sing “Amazing Grace”, and basically sang that song the whole night. (At some points we also sang “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” and “Oh the Blood of Jesus”.) At first, they just shouted at us, using crude, rude, and foul language and calling us names like “haters” and “bigots”. Since it was a long night, I can’t even begin to remember all of the things that were shouted and/or chanted at us. Then, they started throwing hot coffee, soda and alcohol on us and spitting (and maybe even peeing) on us.
Then, a group of guys surrounded us with whistles, and blasted them inches away from our ears continually. Then, they started getting violent and started shoving us. At one point a man tried to steal one of our Bibles. Chrisdene noticed, so she walked up to him and said “Hey, that’s not yours, can you please give it back?”. He responded by hitting her on the head with the Bible, shoving her to the ground, and kicking her. I called the cops, and when they got there, they pulled her out of the circle and asked her if she wanted to press charges. She said “No, tell him I forgive him.”
Afterwards, she didn’t rejoin us in the circle, but she made friends with one of the people in the crowd, and really connected heart to heart. Roger got death threats. As the leader of our group, people looked him in the eyes and said “I am going to kill you.”, and they were serious. A cop heard one of them, and confronted him. (This part is kinda graphic, so you should skip the paragraph if you don’t want to be offended.) It wasn’t long before the violence turned to perversion. They were touching and grabbing me, and trying to shove things in my butt, and even trying to take off my pants - basically trying to molest me. I used one hand to hold my pants up, while I used the other arm to hold one of the girls. The guys huddled around all the girls, and protected them."
Mass Resistance has posted a video which is most revealing. I challenge the Southern Poverty Law Center (which has done much good in the past exposing various hate groups such as Stormfront and the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire) to examine this video and other documentary evidence and to ask themselves this question: which is the real hate group: Mass Resistance or the homosexual movement in Massachusetts? Christian and Mormon Churches across the United States or the homosexual movement?
I'm confident that, with a modicum of objectivity, the SPLC will arrive at the correct answer. Even if they don't publically acknowledge it.
Related article here.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
"It does not take a gift of prophecy to see that humanity is presently polarizing and that all men are beginning to fall into the ranks of accepting either the man-god or the God-Man...Dostoyevsky...knew that atheism had to be associated with the destruction of the old society. There was some suggestion that an overplanned or socialistic society had to be the prelude of an atheistic society...
For the man-god to grow in age and wisdom, two conditions must be fulfilled. The heavens must be emptied, and man must be secularized. Both will be achieved by turning freedom into license. Men will be asked to give up God because His Commandments 'enslave' and because our will often runs counter to His. When finally everyone has his own will and does whatever he pleases, then there will be a chaos due to the conflict of egotisms. It will then be necessary for Big Brother, or the state, to organize this chaos into a closed socialist society and the formulas given by the character, Shigalev, the theorist of the Communism to come: 'Having set out from unlimited freedom, I have ended up with unlimited despotism.'" (Archbishop Fulton John Sheen).
Related reading here.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The Future Depends on Love...
is an initiative of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts...An initiative to evangelize on the vocation of marriage.
If you live in Massachusetts and feel called by the Lord Jesus to do your part to promote and defend the vocation of marriage, click on this link to learn how to get involved.
Christian marriage is sacred. In God's plan, the marriage covenant between a man and a woman becomes the image and symbol of the Covenant which unites God to His people (Hos 2:21; Jer 3:6-13; Is 54:5-10). It is the sign of Christ's love for His Church (Eph 5:32). As Pope John Paul II explained, "So often the pressures of modern living separate husbands and wives from one another, threatening their lifelong interdependence in love and fidelity. Can we also not be concerned about the impact of cultural pressures upon relations between the generations, upon parental authority and the transmission of sacred values? Our Christian conscience should be deeply concerned about the way in which sins against love and against life are often presented as examples of 'progress' and emancipation. Most often, are they not but the age-old forms of selfishness dressed up in a new language and presented in a new cultural framework?"
It is important that we all take up the Church's call to promote and defend marriage and family life as sacred realities. At the same time, let's not forget that the single state is also a vocation. There are many men and women who are not called by the Lord Jesus to enter into married life. I am one of these. The vocation to single life represents a heavy cross. Many singles are called to their vocation as shut-ins, invalids or handicapped ones to be Christ's crossbearers to the end. Still others are called to a serving love, caring for a family member who is sick or aged. Still others are called to be lay apostles, evangelizing a hurting and broken world in desperate need of the Good News which is Christ Jesus.
Life in the single state can be very rewarding and very joyful. It can also be very painful. The world (and sadly, this includes many in the Church as well) often ridicules and scorns the single life. Often parents, relatives and fellow parishioners will join in the attack: "What's wrong with you?" "Why don't you get married?" In my own experience, I have often been made to feel unwelcome at my parish. Almost all activities are geared toward married couples and families. Those called to the single state are simply ignored.
It is forgotten that single people have value too. We are not second-class citizens created by God for no purpose. Pope John Paul II said that, "Every human person is called to communion with God. That is why the Lord made us, to know him and love him and serve him, and - in doing this - to find the secret to lasting joy....the Church needs the Gospel witness of holy lay people, in married life and in the single state.."
Do we believe this? Then let's not forget, while promoting and defending marriage and family life, that those who are called to the single state are also members of the Church who have something to contribute.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
It was Abraham Lincoln, in a speech given on January 27, 1837, who forewarned: "At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide."
But Mr. President-elect, we are sowing the seeds of our own destruction. It was Pope John Paul II who taught us, in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae [the Gospel of Life] that:
"...If the promotion of the self is understood in terms of absolute autonomy, people inevitably reach the point of rejecting one another. Everyone else is considered an enemy from whom one has to defend oneself. Thus soci- ety becomes a mass of individuals placed side by side, but without any mutual bonds. Each one wishes to assert himself independently of the other and in fact intends to make his own interests prevail. Still, in the face of other people's analogous interests, some kind of compromise must be found, if one wants a society in which the maximum possible freedom is guaranteed to each individual. In this way, any reference to common values and to a truth absolutely binding on everyone is lost, and social life ventures on to the shifting sands of complete relativism. At that point, everything is negotiable, everything is open to bargaining: even the first of the fundamental rights, the right to life.
This is what is happening also at the level of politics and government: the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people-even if it is the majority. This is the sinister result of a relativism which reigns unopposed: the "right" ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part. In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. The State is no longer the "common home" where all can live together on the basis of principles of fundamental equality, but is transformed into a tyrant State, which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenceless members, from the unborn child to the elderly, in the name of a public interest which is really nothing but the interest of one part. The appearance of the strictest respect for legality is maintained, at least when the laws permitting abortion and euthanasia are the result of a ballot in accordance with what are generally seen as the rules of democracy. Really, what we have here is only the tragic caricature of legality; the democratic ideal, which is only truly such when it acknowledges and safeguards the dignity of every human person, is betrayed in its very foundations: "How is it still possible to speak of the dignity of every human person when the killing of the weakest and most innocent is permitted? In the name of what justice is the most unjust of discriminations practised: some individuals are held to be deserving of defence and others are denied that dignity?" When this happens, the process leading to the breakdown of a genuinely human co-existence and the disintegration of the State itself has already begun.
To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom: "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin" (Jn 8:34)." (Evangelium Vitae, No. 20).
Mr. President-elect, you say that President Lincoln possessed a wisdom and humility in his approach to government. And I couldn't agree more. Let's listen then to what he had to say on March 30, 1863, when he issued a historic Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day:
"...it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history: that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord: And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisement in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.."All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the nation will be heard on high and answered with blessing no less than the pardon of our national sins and the restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace..."
President-elect Obama, abortion is destroying the very fabric of our society. It is leading to the disintegration of the State. President Lincoln was right. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide. Thus far, by ignoring God's Eternal Law which forbids killing the innocent, we have chosen suicide.
This cannot be what you want for this nation. If you would have this nation once-again receive the blessings of Almighty God, then you must recognize that we the American people - just as in Lincoln's time - have become "too self-sufficient" and "too proud" and that, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, we are fashioning our own chastisement.