Saturday, June 06, 2009

"If only you knew what makes for peace"

Our Lord wept over Jerusalem and said, "If only you knew what makes for peace" (Lk 19:42). And now we do know (those of us who Christian in more than name). Only a life lived in conformity with the mind of Christ as shown to us by His Catholic Church can bring true peace. By contrast, "Pride inflates man; envy consumes him; avarice makes him restless; anger rekindles his passions; gluttony makes him ill; comfort destroys him; lies imprison him; murder defiles him...the very pleasures of sin become the instruments of punishment in the hands of God." (Pope Innocent III, On the Misery of the Human Condition).

It is our duty as Catholics to remind others of these truths and to expose those who are promoting sin or error. But often we will find ourselves being criticized (even by other Catholics, whose commitment toward Catholic teaching is, at best, questionable) for doing so. This should never deter us. When such people accuse us of "negativity," we should recall the words of Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand: "..the rejection of evil and of sin is a response which is purely positive and morally called for, and it possesses a high moral value. One cannot truly love God, without hating the devil. One cannot really love the truth, without hating error. One cannot find the truth and grasp it clearly as such, without seeing through errors. Knowledge of truth is inseparably linked with knowledge of error, with the unmasking of error.* All talk about the superiority of 'yes' over 'no,' about the 'negativity' of rejecting that which should be rejected, is so much idle chatter." (The Cult of the 'Positive').

* "I would maintain that fear of error is simply necessary to the genuine love of truth." (John Cardinal Newman, Grammar of Assent).

Fr. Felix Sarda Y Salvany explains in his work "Liberalism is a Sin," that, "..the wolf has always been called the wolf; and in so calling it, no one has ever believed that wrong was done to the flock and the shepherd...In his Introduction to the Devout Life, that precious and popular work, he [St. Francis de Sales, a Doctor of the Church] expresses himself: 'If the declared enemies of God and of the Church ought to be blamed and censured with all possible vigor, charity obliges us to cry wolf when the wolf slips into the midst of the flock and in every way and place we may meet him.'" (pp. 97, 100-101).

Pope John XXIII said essentially the same thing: " long as we are journeying in exile over this earth, our peace and happiness will be imperfect. For such peace is not completely untroubled and serene; it is active, not calm and motionless. In short, this is a peace that is ever at war. It wars with every sort of error, including that which falsely wears the face of truth; it struggles against the enticements of vice, against those enemies of the soul, of whatever description, who can weaken, blemish, or destroy our innocence or Catholic faith." (No. 93).

I have often been criticized for speaking the hard truths. For exposing error and for calling it what it is. So be it. I'm not interested in popularity contests or being a friend of the world. Simply put, I choose not to be a coward. I agree with Pope Leo XIII who said, "To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind." ( Sapientiae Christianae, AAS 22 (1889-90) 390, PE, 111.14).

How about you dear reader? Aren't there enough chicken-Catholics in the world?
Meditation: Galatians 1:10


Ellen Wironken said...

In the comments section of the blog post "What everyone deserves" at the DTF blog, homosexual activist John Hosty wrote: "Jay, you are in the thick of radical people." This because we have the "audacity" to tell John Hosty the truth. But, as a friend of the world, John Hosty isn't interested in truth.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Without realizing it Mr. Hosty was actually paying you a compliment. The word "radical" stems from the Latin word Radix which means "root." The definition of radical is to go to the root of something. We are all called to go to the root of our faith, to the root of why we exist. We are called to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. Luke 10:27

John Ansley said...

I believe this is relevant to the discussion at hand:


People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; be successful anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, other may be jealous; be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will forget tomorrow; do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give your best anyway.

For you see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It is never between you and them anyway.

Misery loves company. I have known Catholics who resented my success and my being happy. Or who tried to make me feel like I was being "self-righteous" because I love and defend truth. I'm not -I confess regularly myself.

These people don't realize that they are really doing the work of the Devil. Not only do they not do their part in defending Church teaching, but they put up obstacles in the way of those of us who take this obligation seriously and who DO defend the Church and her teaching.

I think their punishment will be all the worse. Because they add a sin of commission to a sin of omission.

Eric Levan said...

Religious persecution and hatred are on the increase here in America and around the world. More and more Christians are falling silent as things intensify. Only a remnant will have the courage to defend the faith until the end. There will be new martyrs.

WND is reporting:

Court sentences bishop for ringing church bells
Neighbors complained of 'noise,' though songs played quieter than traffic

Posted: June 05, 2009
10:45 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn


Bishop Rick Painter

Ding, dong, the bells are dead – at least on weekdays.

By court order, the electronic chimes that were rung each day by Cathedral of Christ the King Church in Phoenix, Ariz., are now confined to Sundays and special occasions, while the cathedral's leader, Bishop Rick Painter, faces potential jail time for playing the daily melodies.

Responding to complaints that the electronic bells at the northern Phoenix church were rung too loud and too often, a municipal court gave Painter three years probation and a suspended 10-day jail sentence on charges of violating city noise ordinances.

The judge further ordered that the church – which had been ringing the bells daily on the hour from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – may now only ring the bells on Sunday mornings and a court-ordered list of select religious holidays.

"It's ridiculous to be sentenced to jail and probation for doing what churches have traditionally done throughout history," said a statement from Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, which has been retained by Painter. "Christians shouldn't be punished for exercising their faith publicly."

Separate investigations found the bells to be no louder on the street than a conversation or even local traffic, yet according to a report from KNXV-TV in Phoenix, neighbors testified the music disturbed them and made them feel like captives in their own homes.

The ADF statement claims the bells registered only 67 decibels at the nearest property line, about as loud as a conversation, which ranges from 60-70 decibels. An investigation by KNXV-TV found the bells, even in the church's parking lot, were quieter than street traffic and failed to even register on a sound level meter in some parts of the neighborhood.

Nonetheless, the court opted to restrict when the bells can be played, ordered their level lowered to less than 60 decibels and convicted Bishop painter of on two counts of creating "an unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise."

The ADF pointed out the Phoenix noise ordinance does not include an exemption for religious worship, though it does provide an exemption for ice cream trucks, which are allowed to emit 70 decibels, measured at a distance of 50 feet.

"The church bells chime a short, ancient melody of praise to God," commented Stanley. "It's too bad that the value of the bells is lost on many in our society. In a busy neighborhood full of sirens, heavy traffic and loud motorcycles, these chimes are a sound of peace that do not exceed the noise level of an average conversation. Certainly, that should be at least as acceptable as the sound of an ice cream truck."

Bishop Painter defended the bells as a constitutionally protected freedom of religion issue.

"We're expressing our religion," he told KNXV. "We glorify God by the bells."

The Associated Press reports Painter plans to appeal the conviction, and the ADF states that it is examining legal options for best defending Painter's rights.

As for the ringing of the bells, Dale Schowengerdt, legal counsel with ADF, told WND, "The church is waiting to see if the sentence will be stayed pending appeal. If it is not, they will not ring the bells except for the 2 minutes allowed on Sundays and other major holy days. Otherwise, the pastor would be in violation of his sentence and will spend 10 days in jail."

Eric Levan said...

Meanwhile OneNewsNow is reporting:

Obama more than tolerant of homosexual lifestyle

Allie Martin - OneNewsNow - 6/5/2009 5:00:00 AM
A leader in the Southern Baptist Convention says President Barack Obama's recent proclamation designating a homosexual "pride" month goes beyond mere tolerance.

Earlier this week, the White House released a proclamation recognizing June as "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month." The proclamation was signed by President Obama and mentioned the record number of homosexuals he has nominated and chosen for positions in his administration. It also called for equal justice under the law for homosexuals and transgendered Americans. (See earlier story)

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, says the proclamation advocates more than mere tolerance.

"The United States federal government, now by executive order, signed by the President of the United States, is declaring national pride in these lifestyles," he contends. "This is not mere toleration; it's not calling for legalization, an end to criminal sanctions. It's not calling even for something like civil's calling for pride."

Scripture, Mohler points out, does not allow Christians to be proud of sin.

There you have it: church bells are now offensive in America. But we take pride in sodomy.

Michael Cole said...

Great post Paul. I also like what Mark Mallett said in his latest post at his Blog...

"Whether they are the winds of a personal trial or The Great Storm gathering over the earth, many of you are afraid—shaken by the circumstances in your own life, by the astounding decline in morals, or by what our Lady has warned will come upon an unrepentant world. Discouragement is setting in, if not despair. As I prayed about this, a word came to me:

Each moment—and the Divine Will contained in it—are the wind of the Holy Spirit. In order to sail forward toward your goal: union with God—one must always raise the sail of faith mounted upon the mast of one’s will. Don’t be afraid to catch this Wind! Never be afraid where the winds of God’s Will take you or the world. At each and every moment, trust the Holy Spirit who blows where He wills according to My plan. Even though these Divine Winds may carry you into a great tempest, they will always carry you safely where you need to go for the good and sanctification of your soul or the correction of the world.

This is a beautiful word of assurance! For one, the Spirit is in the wind, even if it bears chastisement. It is the will of God, for the present moment is where God is living, acting, guiding, dwelling, intersecting with the activity of men. Whatever it is, whether it is a great consolation or trial, good health or sickness, peace or temptation, living or dying, all is permitted by the hand of God and ordered to the sanctification of your soul. Each and every moment the Divine Will of God blows in your life within the present moment. All that is required of you is to simply raise the sails of trust into the Winds of the moment and, turning the rudder of obedience, do that which the moment requires, the duty of the moment. Just as the wind is invisible, so too, hidden within this moment is the power of God to transform, sanctify, and make you holy—yes, hidden behind the mundane, the ordinary, the unglamorous; behind crosses and consolations, the will of God is always there, always working, always active. The soul must pull up the anchor of rebellion, and this Holy wind will blow it towards the harbor for which it is destined."

Catholics who are making friends with the world are doing so hoping that they will not be persecuted. They are tied still to the anchor of rebellion. Honors and friendship with the world are more important than the faith to them.

We need to persevere to the end. Many will not because they rely on themselves and not Jesus. These will succumb to the lies of Antichrist.

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