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Whom Will You Serve?

serveIf somehow Catholics didn’t realize it before Friday, I hope the realization has dawned. We have a choice to make.

If you’re a Catholic who feels like celebrating this wretched Supreme Court decision to impose same-sex “marriage” on the nation, may I strongly suggest that you reconsider your cheers.

I saw a lot of that on Facebook all day on Friday. Catholics, using the transparent rainbow on their profile pictures; Catholics repeating the secular line about “not imposing their beliefs” on anyone; Catholics talking about their unwillingness to “judge” anyone who supports same-sex “marriage”, and so forth.

It was discouraging to say the least.

It means that too many Catholics have been catechized only by the secular culture and not by the Church. They believe the lie that by speaking the truth, they are “imposing” their beliefs on others. They fear the accusations of hatred and bigotry from friends or family more than they fear the Lord.

That may sound harsh, but let’s cut through the crap and get right to the point. Each of us must choose whom we will serve. We can no longer live as though agreeing with the world isn’t disagreeing with God.

We’ve gotten away with such duplicity, it seemed to us anyway, until now because the culture tolerated it.

Those days are over.

The Supreme Court has declared a “new orthodoxy”, as Justice Samuel Alito called it. How fitting that he used religious terminology to describe Friday’s ruling and this new mandated form of “marriage” that we must all accept, by their decree.

“Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”

Dissent from this new orthodoxy will certainly not be tolerated, even to the smallest degree. This brings us swiftly to the decision point: Who will it be? God or Caesar? There is no middle ground — that earth has been scorched.

If there remains confusion about what our Church teaches on the subject, let’s clear it up. From Canon lawyer Ed Peters:

“Catholic doctrine and discipline can never, ever, recognize as married two persons of the same sex, and any Catholic who regards “same-sex marriage” as marriage is, beyond question, “opposed to the doctrine for the Church” (Canon 750 § 2). I am sorry so many Catholics apparently think otherwise and I recognize that many who think that Church teaching on marriage can and should change, do so in good faith. But they are still wrong and their error leads them, among other things, to underestimate how non-negotiable is the Church’s opposition to the recognition of same-sex unions as marriage.”

And from the United States Catholic Bishops:

“Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.

The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.”

It doesn’t matter how popular same-sex “marriage” becomes. It changes nothing, because the truth of the human person and marriage will never change. Catholics need to understand that marriage has an ontology that cannot be changed. There are no such things as round triangles; or green made from two similar shades of yellow; and there is simply no such thing as marriage between two men or two women. It is an impossibility.

In the beginning God created them male and female… Do we now think that God made a mistake? Are we really so arrogant as to insist that what God designed and ordained can be altered because the present age demands it?

On the one hand, I believe there are those, as Ed Peters said, of good will who think Church teaching should change. They are wrong, but I don’t doubt their good will.

I think there’s something else at play here as well though, and that’s self-image, fear, and personal cost. We want to be nice. No one wants to be called hateful. No one wants to be branded a bigot. Nobody wants to lose friends or family over the “issue” of marriage. No one wants to risk being publicly ridiculed and persecuted for not riding the rainbow parade float.

It’s hard to stand against the crowd. When the crowd looks like they want blood, nobody wants to offer theirs.

It’s very hard to withstand the accusations of being narrow-minded, discriminatory, homophobic, backwards, bigoted, and hateful. It means being very unpopular in a world that prizes popularity.

Christians who’ve not suffered for their faith often romanticize persecution. They imagine themselves willing to lose their jobs, their liberty, or even their lives for standing up for the Gospel. Yet when the moment comes, at least here in the United States, they often find that they simply can’t abide being called “hateful.” It creates a desperate, panicked response. “No, you don’t understand. I’m not like those people — the religious right.” Thus, at the end of the day, a church that descends from apostles who withstood beatings finds itself unable to withstand tweetings. Social scorn is worse than the lash.”

Indeed. It’s terrifying to risk great personal sacrifice; even real persecution in the loss of a business or job or position; or agonizing grief at losing a loved one or a friend. It takes some real inner steel, some unshakable conviction to stand firm in the face of all that.

But there is no compromise. If we choose to obey the world’s mandates, we will forsake the God we claim to love and forfeit our eternal inheritance.

Some will read those remarks and recoil, saying how can a God of love condemn me for supporting “equal rights” for all people?

Catholics need to understand there is no “right” for two men or two women to marry, just as there is no “right” to kill the unborn child in abortion. Just because people may want to do something doesn’t mean they have the right to do it.

Feelings are not the barometer of moral rightness. Love is not a feeling!

Is all this hatred toward homosexual persons? No, it is not! At least not what is being called hatred. If by hatred, you mean saying that homosexual sex is not licit and morally right, then there’s the problem. If by hatred, you mean saying that marriage only exists between a man and a woman, then there’s the second problem. If by hatred, you mean upholding the Natural law and the truth of the human person created male and female, then that’s the trouble.

It isn’t hatred to say what is true. It isn’t hatred to obey the sovereignty of God’s law, and to recognize the Natural law. (For the record, it’s also true that adultery, fornication, and pornography are also immoral, illicit, unacceptable. It isn’t hatred to say so.)

Frankly, Catholics have got to stop being so emotional about all this. We’ve got to stop worshiping everyone’s feelings, including our own.

Don’t be deluded into thinking it ends with marriage. Oh, no. Far from it.

The end goal is the family. The militant activists in this movement to normalize homosexual sex will not stop until they have decimated the family unit of father, mother, and children. They call it “heteronormative” as though being male and female is by its very nature discriminatory against homosexuals.

The movement to wipe out gender entirely is well underway and gaining tremendous steam. A man can chemically castrate himself, get breast implants, hair extensions, wear a push-up bra and make-up and voila! He’s a woman, because “gender is a social construct” that must now be rendered meaningless.

“Sex Ed” beginning in Kindergarten now will indoctrinate children into this kind of thinking, and cause healthy, normal, impressionable young kids to question their own sexuality, their own gender, and reject the natural differences between boys and girls in favor of “gender fluidity”. They will be taught to see their God-given bodies as separate and even opposed to how they feel, then told all that matters is how they feel.

We’re on a luge going at breakneck speed toward this depraved societal revolution. Catholics who are celebrating this as a “victory” for equal rights are as sorely deceived as the rest of the crowd, but far more accountable because they are obligated to know better.

Now that marriage means anything (and thus, nothing), now that being male or female either means nothing or whatever we want it to mean, the assault on the family by the enemy of our souls will gain a power and intensity most of us are not prepared for.

We have to stop being afraid of hurting someone’s feelings and start focusing on eternal truths.

The goal isn’t to discriminate against anyone or deny anyone their human rights. The goal is to not be deceived into believing that sin is no longer sin just because that sin has become wildly popular and celebrated by the whole world.

“And if you be unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

It’s decision time for every Catholic in America: the false gods of our culture, or the Lord. There’s no fence to straddle. It’s time for courage and fidelity.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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A Christian Woman’s Promise: I Will Not Be Dissuaded

A Christian Woman’s Promise: I Will Not Be Dissuaded

I don’t think I ever expected my daily life to become such a fierce battle. I never imagined that I would come to feel as though I’d fallen through some bizarre looking glass; that society at large would resemble a Mad Hatter’s tea party.

I wanted something much different for my children. I didn’t want them to grow up in this insanity, where wrong is suddenly right and freedom is gladly traded in for empirical dictates, but so much for that. It’s time to face facts, and the fact is, hostility toward Christianity is increasing rapidly. We are no longer welcome in the culture. Christianity has always been the anti-culture in every age, but here in America, in this present age, it is now a targeted threat; a presence that will no longer be tolerated.

So be it. 

I am sad for my country, and for the world. I grieve for the immorality that has become so commonplace and celebrated. I grieve for the family — father, mother, and children — as I watch it crumble and be slowly erased from our collective understanding. I grieve for the innocence of our children that is snatched from them before they can even ride a bike.

I grieve for the death of romance and sacrificial love, which has been replaced by indiscriminate, sterile sex without commitment or obligation. I seethe with anger at the objectification of women and the so-called empowerment that is nothing more than vulgar, degrading, pornographic smut.

With every fiber of my being I reject a so-called feminism that says I can only have equality and freedom if I am willing and able to kill my children in the womb.

I grieve deeply for our profane and mercenary practice of manufacturing babies to suit our fancies. We treat children like accessories to be added to our lives whenever we choose, and to reject whenever we choose. We order them up the way we’d special-order an automobile. And we expect that if some defect shows itself, we are entitled to cancel the order and have the product-child destroyed.

Wombs are for rent, and babies must accept being denied a mother or father, depending on the adults’ sexual preferences. No one cares what the children need — only what the adults want. All that matters is affording the adults’ lifestyle the legitimacy and status they demand. The children are there to serve that end, period.

I grieve deeply for the slow death of marriage that has been coming for decades, and the lightning-fast speed at which the final blows are being delivered as we attempt to redefine marriage into meaninglessness and chaos. I shake my head at the blind stupidity and apathy which has taken over the consciousness of so many people.

And all of this must be celebrated and hailed as progress. It is utterly selfish and depraved, yet it must be codified as the new love. To oppose this desecration of life, sex, and marriage makes one now an enemy of the state.

So be it.

What you, the culture, fail to understand is that I am not motivated to please you or appease you. I will not be bullied into submission. I will not “adapt” my beliefs to suit you. It doesn’t matter that you have decided there is no sin in abortion, same-sex “marriage”, sex-on-demand, and the treatment of babies as commodities — I disagree because I know that God has said otherwise.

What you cannot accept is that I will not cease to worship the true God in favor of your gods. I will not abandon the Truth in favor of your empty, self-serving doctrines. It doesn’t matter how many names you call me, or how many insults you hurl in my direction, or how you may wish to ostracize and push me to the outer edges of society. It will not change anything.

Abortion will always be a grave evil and utterly unjust, no matter what the Supreme Court says. Marriage will always be the union of a man and woman, for life, for the benefit of their children, no matter what the Supreme Court or any government says.

Sex will always be designed to be life-giving and unitive, no matter how much you trivialize it or how much contraception you demand.

There will always be fundamental, inherent, and complementary differences between men and women. There will always be only two possible genders of the human person: male and female.

You see, you didn’t create the human person. You didn’t create marriage. You aren’t the author and giver of new life. You didn’t establish the human family.

You don’t have the power or authority to change what God has ordained from the foundation of the world.

You will try, nonetheless, and to a large degree it will seem you have succeeded. You will perhaps change civil laws, but you can never change the Moral law. You will be able to upend the natural order of things, but you will never undo the Natural law. You will sow havoc and confusion into the very heart of our society, and we will all reap the destructive whirlwind.

As that happens more and more, as the carnage increases and the damage leaves no one untouched, then perhaps people will finally awaken from their deceived stupor and see that they eagerly bought a barrel of poisoned apples. Perhaps then they will look around for someone who can help restore the order, sanity, and morality that had been violently cast aside.

They will find the Church. They will find Christians, the very ones they scorned and sued, bankrupted and put in prison. They’ll find the Catholic Church, and the late Cardinal George’s prediction will come to pass:

“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”

Do not misunderstand me. This is not arrogant boasting or a finger-wagging “I told you so!” I don’t say this to you, the culture, out of spite or snickering glee, but with a heavy heart that longs to see such a dismal future averted. Yet I know that even if the darkness closing in on us is not lifted, then the Church will suffer through it, be purified by it, and will be there, still standing, when souls come in need of healing and hope again. God is not mocked, and He is not dead.

You may hate me and hate my Christian values; you may despise the Church and all Her teachings; you may be certain that if only the old-fashioned notions of marriage and sex could be jettisoned, and if God could be adapted to your enlightened, modern sensibilities, then “equality” would win the day and everyone would be free and happy.

But I know you are wrong. I know it because nothing good can possibly come from eviscerating marriage of its meaning, or of distorting and twisting human sexuality into a pretzel of fabricated varieties and initials; or of wrenching innocence and modesty from our children in the name of sexual freedom and autonomy.

Nothing good will ever, ever come of the brutality of abortion.

Love will never be found in the sexless manufacture of children, or the selfish denial of their right to their mother and father.

Love is “willing the good of the other, as other” the great saint Thomas Aquinas said. If I love you, I will want and do only what is for your good, even if it costs me. If you love me, you will do the same.

The signs all along the road our culture is currently speeding down do not point to love at all. They point to hedonism, nihilism, and despair. When sacrificial love is no longer the guiding principle, we are hopelessly lost.

The plans and vision you wish to bring about in our country are loveless, empty, and hopeless. You may very well be gaining ground, and you may win a few battles, thanks to decades of a lackluster witness and worse, friendly cooperation from Christians who should have known better, and should have done better.

Even so, the Church will survive you. She has watched as every major world empire has ended up on the ash heap of history. She will survive you. But not arrogantly, and not due to any cleverness or merit of Her own, but only because Jesus Christ has promised that the gates of Hell shall not prevail.

As long as I have breath, I will battle to restore to America God’s vision of the human person, the human family, authentic freedom, and genuine equality of dignity. Nothing you can say or do will dissuade me or slow me down.

determinedI just thought you should know.

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Play-doh Christianity and the Vanishing Cross

Play-doh Christianity and the Vanishing Cross

If you haven’t heard, the Rev. Rob Bell has a dire warning for the church in America.

It was against the backdrop of Ash Wednesday, in the still-numb reality of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians being martyred for their faith by monstrous Islamic terrorists that I first read about Bell’s pronouncement.

The Church was irrelevant. Christianity itself was becoming more irrelevant with every passing day that it did not embrace same-sex “marriage”.

More irrelevant. This supposedly Christian pastor told Oprah that it was only a matter of time, and he expected the Church to get over itself very soon or perish. He said that since that was the direction society was heading, it’s the direction Christianity needs to be heading as well. Otherwise, the faith founded upon the Eternal God and his Incarnate Son will simply disappear and be left behind.

“I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense…”

Alrighty, then. According to Bell, the inspired, holy Word of God is merely a collection of 2,000 year old letters which are no longer relevant to our modern culture. God is past His expiration date.

Bell’s disdain for the authority of Christ, for Sacred Scripture, and for the purpose and nature of marriage is all too clear, and I know I won’t persuade him otherwise today. But this characterization of the Church as an irrelevant body that is essentially prejudiced, woefully out of touch, and dying on the vine is just feeble, smarmy perfidy.

Bell is a little boy sitting at the table with his Play-doh. But rather than making planes or buildings or weird animals, he’s squishing together beliefs and opinions and preferences to form his own religion. He is the latest architect of Play-doh Christianity: those heretics who prefer a religion, fashioned by an ever-changing culture, in which the only true doctrine is there is no sin.

Since there is no sin, there’s no need for a Cross. No need for a Christ. No need to mention repentance at all. (Except to demand repentance of the sin of intolerance of all the culture says is good and necessary.)

Play-doh Christianity says that since God is love, then He happily allows whatever His children decide will make them happy, and bows to their conclusions about what is right and wrong. He serves at the pleasure of His children, from age to changing age. He bends with the times — or rather, they mold Him to the times and He cooperates — pliable, good-natured deity that He is.

play doh

Bell can have his happy-clappy, navel-centered religion and his wimpy god. He just can’t call it Christianity, and he can’t claim it’s the Church.

If Bell’s Play-doh creation was a jarring contrast to the profoundness of Ash Wednesday and those heroic men who clung to Christ when death was at their throats, it seems mild compared to the formless mound of doh being sculpted by the next “Reverend”.

Let me introduce you to John Schuck. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister and considers himself a Christian, despite the fact that he doesn’t believe in God.

He believes that Christianity is merely a human construct, like all religions; that Jesus Christ may have been a historical figure, but is mostly legend; the Bible is a human product and not the Divinely-inspired Word of God. In short, he says, he “regards the symbols of Christianity from a non-supernatural point of view.”

And by the way, he doesn’t appreciate being told he’s not really a Christian.

“Why is that so many people think my affirmations are antithetical to Christianity? I think it is because Christianity has placed all of its eggs in the belief basket. We all have been trained to think that Christianity is about believing things. Its symbols and artifacts (God, Bible, Jesus, Heaven, etc) must be accepted in a certain way. And when times change and these beliefs are no longer credible, the choices we are left with are either rejection or fundamentalism.”

(Again, God serves at the pleasure of the people and their changing times. Otherwise, how could he be credible?)

“I think of Christianity as a culture. It has produced 2,000 years of artifacts: literature, music, art, ethics, architecture, and (yes) beliefs. But cultures evolve and Christianity will have to adapt in order to survive in the modern era…”

(Mr. Shuck, ours is not the first era Christianity has “survived” and it will not be the last unless Jesus returns.)

“I believe one of the newer religious paths could be a “belief-less” Christianity. In this “sect,” one is not required to believe things. One learns and draws upon practices and products of our cultural tradition to create meaning in the present. The last two congregations I have served have huge commitments to equality for LGTBQ people and eco-justice, among other things. They draw from the well of our Christian cultural tradition (and other religious traditions) for encouragement in these efforts. I think a belief-less Christianity can be a positive good for society.

“Belief-less Christianity is thriving right now, even as other forms of the faith are falling away rapidly. Many liberal or progressive Christians have already let go or de-emphasized belief in Heaven, that the Bible is literally true, that Jesus is supernatural, and that Christianity is the only way. Yet they still practice what they call Christianity. Instead of traditional beliefs, they emphasize social justice, personal integrity and resilience, and building community. The cultural artifacts serve as resources.
“But what about belief in God? Can a belief-less Christianity really survive if God isn’t in the picture? Can you even call that Christianity anymore? In theory, yes. In practice, it is a challenge because “belief in God” seems to be so intractable. However, once people start questioning it and realize that they’re not alone, it becomes much more commonplace.”
“Since posting my article — and in response to my ministry in general — many have opened up to me that they didn’t believe in God but they liked coming to my church. One young woman, after going through my confirmation class, joined the church. She read her faith statement in front of the congregation. It was a powerful articulation of her social justice commitments in which she added that she didn’t believe in God. The congregation enthusiastically welcomed her, of course.”
“Someone quipped that my congregation is BYOG: Bring Your Own God. I use that and invite people to “bring their own God” — or none at all. While the symbol “God” is part of our cultural tradition, you can take it or leave it or redefine it to your liking. That permission to be theological do-it-yourselfers is at the heart of belief-less Christianity.”

your image hereBelief-less Christianity, in which there is no God but the one you bring with you, or none at all.
Have you ever read anything so dopey in your whole life?

When you get past the dopeyness of it, you recognize the melody. Same old song been sung since forever. “I shall not serve.”

Shuck’s Play-doh design goes way beyond Bell’s. Shuck has squished God out altogether. He simply clings to the name “Christian” for, what reason? Artifacts and resources?

It is Lent. The season set aside for reflection and contemplation of all that Jesus Christ suffered for our sakes. The season given to us as a time for purging and cleansing our lives of sin and obstacles to faith. The time when we are asked to follow Christ into the desert and in the silence, to listen and hear God.

It’s almost Holy Week; soon we will stand in solemn remembrance of a particular Friday in Jerusalem, long ago, when two pieces of wood became a bridge; became a Divine splint; became that thing Bell and Shuck have no use for any longer.

The “faith” Bell and Shuck preach is merely a vehicle for social justice according to their terms. It’s not a religion but a political and secular movement trading on God’s generosity and good nature.

But Christianity is first and foremost about the Cross.

There is no Christianity without Christ, and no Christ without the cross. There was no need for the cross except for our Redemption, and no need for that except for our sin. To preach Christianity without preaching repentance from sin and taking up your cross is just wicked babble.

Bell and Shuck both want a “Christianity” in which there’s no cross for them to carry, so first they must do away with the cross. Let us not speak of Calvary, they whisper. Let us not speak of sin. How ugly and accusing. God is looove!

God — whatever he may be to you, or nothing at all if you choose! — does not dwell on unpleasant things like rules, laws, right or wrong, good or evil. He cares only for your pleasure and satisfaction. All that offends him is the intractableness of some folks who insist that Jesus Christ is Lord; the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

It’s a very popular message in our culture today, where rights and opinions are paramount, and autonomy is inviolate. Obedience is a very bad word. Humility and reverence and sacrifice are spit out like sour milk. We’re quite sickened by the very concepts.

Bell’s and Shuck’s words sound very sweet indeed to ears itching for such pleasing affirmation and permission. Come, be your own god. Establish your own law. Determine for yourself what is good and what is not. Worship yourself. Worship your own ideals. Make social justice your religion, and by your own decree establish what justice means. Listen to the wisdom of the age and mold your god accordingly.

Bell and Shuck are fools handing out Play-doh to more poor fools who listen to them and start molding and squishing their own god.

Their malleable inventions will never save them. For that you need solid wood.

I’ll take the foolishness of the Cross over the wisdom of this world any day.

crucifixion“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 1 Cor 1:18-21,25

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Church Remains

Try all you want, Obama.  Try all you want, secular America.  Go ahead — knock yourself out.  You will not destroy my Church.

 

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Caroline Kennedy’s False Witness: Who Will Speak for the Church?

at Catholic Online

There were a lot of bad speeches at the Democratic National Convention, but Caroline Kennedy’s speech was the low point in many ways.

Caroline Kennedy got up on a national stage and used her professed Catholic faith to justify and actually demand the preservation of grave evils that the Church explicitly condemns. She twisted Catholicism into a pretzel to suit her own apostasy. She presented lies for the truth, and tried to justify it with her Catholic faith.

I’ve been hoping to hear some strongly-worded corrections from our stellar priests, bishops, and cardinals since that night, but unless I’ve missed it, so far I’ve seen nothing. Are we wrong to expect a public condemnation of Caroline Kennedy’s words from our church leaders? And by the same token, are we remiss in voicing that public condemnation ourselves?

Ms. Kennedy, I know you grew up Catholic. I know you were raised in the Church. I won’t speculate on the exact nature of your faith, but I can say this for certain: What you professed that night at the DNC was NOT Catholic. You seem to indeed have a very specific creed, but it’s not the creed of the Catholic Church.

Your speech that night was scandalous. There’s no other word for it. It was disgraceful. On the one hand, it made me furious, and on the other hand, it made me feel very sorry for you.

I am furious with you and every other public “Catholic” in this country who makes a mockery of our faith by living in utter contradiction of what the Church teaches while claiming to love the Church, love your faith, and take your faith seriously. You obstinately persist in championing grave and intrinsic evil, while wearing your ashes on your forehead as an empty display of authenticity. You claim to love the Church you persecute and blaspheme at every turn. You claim membership of a Body you despise through your actions.

When you champion the “right” to kill the child in the womb, you despise the Body of Christ. When you champion the “right” to treat the child in the womb as a thing rather than a person, you despise the Christ Child. When you champion the demise of true marriage through its redefinition, you despise the Holy Family. When you champion the demise of the family by casting aside the primacy of mother and fathers in raising children, you despise the Child Jesus. When you champion the proliferation of contraception and require your own Church to violate Her unchangeable teachings about the sanctity and dignity of human life and marital love, you despise the blessed humanity of Christ.

You do not correctly represent the Church when you make such scandalous remarks as you did that night. You may wish to fashion a Catholic Church more to your liking, but you don’t have that authority or ability, thank the Lord.

I pity you that you have not yet encountered the true Faith in which you were brought up. I’m sorry you haven’t yet realized what a treasure you could have. It is rich and beautiful and merciful and miraculous, and you don’t know that. I hope someday you will. In the meantime, I cannot let your remarks or your version of Catholicism stand unchallenged.

You and Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius and John Kerry and on and on… you do not speak for the Church. You do not serve the Church. You don’t seek to build up the Church but to weaken Her and contradict Her and remake Her in your own image. You make your scandal public so I make my confrontation public as well. I’m tired of all you wolves in sheep’s clothing making yourselves at home in my Church while you work to scatter and devour.

If the Catholic Church is not to your liking, then leave and find a church that is. If the doctrine of the Catholic faith is not palatable to you then go find a doctrine that is. No one’s forcing you to believe or to stay against your will. Be honest for once. You know quite well that your personal doctrine is diametrically opposed to the truth of Church teaching. You know that what you call good the Church rightly calls evil. You know that what you celebrate as progress the Church rightly calls immoral and destructive.

Your facade is pitiful and insulting. I’m sick to death of hearing you embrace evil and call it a “right” that must not be lost. My blood boils when you advocate for evil while waving your little Catholic banner.

So while I’m sitting here waiting for a bishop or other Church leader to publicly renounce your remarks, I started wondering if perhaps they were all waiting for me. And thousands of other Catholic women just like me.

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, nor am I ashamed of His Body on earth, the Church, and I will gladly profess and live the Truth and the Faith that you spit on with your betrayal. I will fight for the life of the child in the womb, for the sanctity of all human life, and for true marriage between husband and wife for life.

Perhaps our leaders are waiting for Catholic pewsitters to stiffen their spines a little and take a public stand for their faith. We cannot always wait for bishops to sound the charge. Each one of us has the horn in his hand as well. What are we waiting for?

We cannot take for granted that our Church leaders’ words will be enough. Their voice is strong and powerful and irreplaceable, yet it does not give us permission to be mute. Jesus felt pity for the people of His time, calling them “sheep without a shepherd.” Well, you know what? The last few years we have seen leader after leader, bishop after bishop, priest after priest boldly defend the Church and Her teachings as they should; they’ve used their gifts and their words to instruct the faithful and to teach and inspire. Perhaps what we now suffer from is shepherds without sheep.

What would happen if Catholic women across America rejected Caroline Kennedy’s version of “rights” and truths, and instead publicly witnessed to the true doctrine of their Church? What would happen if Catholic women embraced chastity and virtue instead of Planned Parenthood? What would happen if Catholic couples across America rejected the culture of death with all its abortion and contraception and instead gave public witness to the power of life-giving love?

It was not the votes of bishops and cardinals that ushered in the current administration with its ceaseless devotion to abortion and love-affair with Planned Parenthood; contraception; same-sex “marriage”; and assault on Religious freedom. It was the votes of the sheep! If polls are to be believed these days, it seems those sheep have learned nothing at all, and are poised to once again extend their support to the man and the party that glories in killing the child in the womb, along with redefining marriage and elevating homosexual sex to something righteous; and punishing the Catholic Church and the faithful for being Catholic.

Perhaps our leaders are hoarse from screaming at sheep who refuse to listen. Perhaps they’re tired of putting up with phony Catholics and impotent Catholics and cultural Catholics who really couldn’t care less what the Church teaches. Perhaps they’re heartbroken that so many Catholics can’t even be bothered to show up.

Perhaps, like me, they’re also angry that so many Catholics make a mockery of the faith by openly denying what the Church teaches and openly advocating for intrinsic evils. If they are, I admit I’d love to hear them express their outrage more often. I’d love to see public scandal answered publicly and corrected publicly every time.

Whether I get my wish is not the point. The point is, it has always been up to you and me to be salt and light in our culture. It is up to us to speak the truth and live the truth and confront evil in our midst with courage. It’s up to you and me to live an authentic faith. It’s up to you and me to answer Caroline Kennedy and the others and bring their false witness to shame with our own genuine witness.

Caroline Kennedy et al only have the nerve to do what they do because sadly there are a lot of sheep who applaud and march with them. They are lost sheep, all of them. They will not benefit from our timidity or lukewarmness. It’s time to light the fire and you and I are holding the match.

Pray continually for our Church leaders here in America. They need our support and the covering of our prayers. They also need us to take ownership of our faith and act like the militant Church we’re supposed to be. Just as we wait for inspiration from them, so they need some enthusiasm from us. It is a laborious task indeed to lead people who stick their finger in your eye.

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Papa, the Young Catholics and Amanda Marcotte: Hope in Madrid

at Catholic Online

I watched part of the World Youth Day welcoming ceremony in Madrid, Spain, and talk about great television!   From every ethnicity and country stood throngs of youth jam-packed into the square, waving their countries’ flags and they were all absolutely beaming.  They were exuberant with joy and excitement at welcoming the Holy Father and being welcomed by him.

I readily admit I was overcome with emotion at the sight.  So many young people in every manner of dress, yet they all seemed to be clothed with the same electrifying spirit.  I watched some of them present a thoughtful gift to Pope Benedict on behalf of their nation, and each of them got his childlike warm smile and blessing.  The rice from a young Korean woman; a flower garland from the young lady from Japan (she looked like a walking flower herself — so lovely!); the sombrero from the young man from Honduras; each one given with sincerity and gratitude, and equally received.

It was a striking thing to watch.  Young Catholics in full-spectrum color, bubbling over with enthusiasm.  This, after all, is supposedly the Church that has abandoned young people and oppressed women.  I defy anyone to watch what’s going on in Madrid and tell me the Church is not alive with young blood!  What I saw tonight gives me great hope for my Church, and I shamefully admit I am often susceptible to discouragement.  We, the Church, will indeed climb the steep hill before us because the souls doing the climbing are young and strong.

I saw young people screaming, crying and jumping for joy like lovesick fans at a rock concert, but their affection is for their Papa!  This young flock knows him and they respect him.  They know him because he speaks the truth without condescension or apology.  They know him because he offers them hope that will never be shaken.

They recognize in Papa’s voice the One who truly loves them and gave Himself for them.  They hunger for that love and so they long to hear the words of the Holy Father, for he communicates the joy, the love, and the promise of Divine Mercy.  He dares them to build their lives on the firm foundation of the Person of Christ rather than the flimsy, shifting sands of their era.

Those who wag their finger and look disdainfully at the Catholic Church and pile up their scathing criticism about this World Youth Day are yelling with their eyes shut.  They have no idea what they’re describing because they’ve never seen it.  They’re filled with hatred, anger, resentment, disappointment, and other, less understandable motivation.  Like scrawny, feral cats backed into a corner and sprayed with a hose, they’re just hissing and clawing, all fangs and screeches.

One such cat is Amanda Marcotte.  Slate had the bad sense (or was it endorsement?) to publish her latest round of anti-Catholic vomit this week.  There was nothing at all new in her ravings, just the same ol’, same ol’:  The Church is misogynist and hates women; the Church hates sex and thinks sex is dirty; the Church hates women who’ve had an abortion; the Church is full to the rafters will creepy pedophiles who practically eat little children for lunch; the Church has no remorse whatsoever for the crimes of her priests and couldn’t care less who got hurt; and on and on it goes.

Well, Amanda, there’s only one thing to say.  Sit down, honey.  You must be exhausted!  I mean, the energy it takes to perpetuate this much venomous anger toward the Church must be enormous!  It’s clearly consuming you, so why don’t you just let it go?

Seriously, Amanda, come on home.  Are you Catholic?  It’s not your fault if you were never properly taught your Church’s teachings.  Sadly, most of us weren’t.   However, you’re an adult now, so it is your fault if you don’t now seek out the truth and learn to separate fact from twisted fiction.

The good news is there’s a plethora of great books, CD’s and other material that can bring you up to speed real quick if you just make an effort.  You’ll find a much different Church than the one you’re railing against so viciously.  You’ll find a very different God than the one you slander so callously.  But you have to seek.  That’s the rule:  seek and ye shall find.

If you’re not interested in seeking, well, I’m sorry to hear that.  But in that case, please close your mouth and keep your vile and ignorant screeds to yourself.  You don’t know what you’re talking about, and you don’t have the right to spread lies and hatred.

Did you see those people in Madrid, Amanda?  Did you see the life and freedom on the faces of that crowd?  Do those really look like mindless sheep to you?  Do those vibrant young women really look oppressed or restricted to you?

They are filled with something I believe you desperately want and need:  real joy.  The pure joy that comes from knowing you are loved.  Endlessly, completely loved.  And you are, Amanda.  I’m truly sorry you don’t know that.  There’s no way you could know that and still behave the way you do.

They’re also brimming with the excitement of being part of the Body of Christ on earth.  By God’s grace, they are hearing the call to transform their generation by the witness of their lives.  They’re getting ready to fling their nets wide and haul in the catch of the century.  And through their faithfulness, our dying culture will be reborn.  By God’s grace…

As I said, I’m prone to discouragement about all of this.  I, too, see the statistics revealing the chasm between what Catholics are taught and what they’re actually doing.  I know there is much, much work to be done in catechizing generations of Catholics who don’t know two bits about their faith.  I’m frustrated on a daily basis by so-called Catholics who give the Church “the finger” and live like any other pagan.

I’m disgusted by the betrayal of public officials who are supposed to be Catholic, yet devote their lives to tearing down every moral truth when they should know better.  But you know what, Amanda?  Those folks are not the Church.  They’re just hecklers and criminals in sheep’s clothing.

The Church — the real Church — is seen in the faith and hope now gathered in Madrid.  God is still in His heaven, and our High Priest still offers Himself for us every second of every day.  Our Blessed Mother still intercedes for us.  She’s still teaching us the only way to freedom is through humble obedience to the lovable will of her Son.

I am not ashamed of being Catholic.  I’m not ashamed to join with the youth in Madrid in expressing profound affection, love and loyalty toward our courageous Holy Father, our Papa! Nearly half a million young people traveled to Spain for this WYD!  You can’t diminish that no matter what you say.

The Catholic Church is both Spirit and mud.  We bring the mud; Jesus brings the Spirit.  In recent years there’s been way too much mud.  There is much house-cleaning yet to do, and many of us are standing with broom at the ready.  You’ll find, Amanda, that no one is more disgusted by the filth that infiltrated our House than faithful Catholics.

Yet Christ has not and will not abandon us.  The gates of hell will not prevail.  And neither will you, Amanda.  Lay down your hurt and hatred.  Wouldn’t you rather be joyful?  Come home.  We’ll leave the Light on for you.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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My Love/Hate Relationship with NFP: Is It Worth It?

At Catholic Online

Next week is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week.  (Do we get thermometer pins?)  Talking about NFP tends to be awkward because it’s so personal and it rapidly descends into the realm of “too much information.”  On the other hand, a little honesty on the subject is long overdue, so here goes nothin’!  And anyway, Danielle Bean started it.  (And God bless her for it.)

I have a real love/hate relationship with NFP.  There are days I’d give anything for another way to live in harmony with my faith and my reproduction.  It’s a great tool for understanding and managing fertility, but it’s not fair to put a pretty ribbon on NFP and sell it as just a shiny, wonderful wedding gift.  NFP requires some real sacrifice, and we should be honest about that without sugar-coating the challenges.

If you’re a healthy woman whose body is great at being pregnant and giving birth, and you & your hubby are thrilled to receive as many children as God wants to give you, then you probably don’t have any complaints about NFP because you probably have no need of NFP.

But what if you’re slightly less than healthy, or you have complications during pregnancy and a pattern of premature labor with every child (like me)?  What if you have serious reasons for not having more children?  (Some of us may wish the Church would come out and define more specifically what qualifies as a “serious reason” but She wisely leaves that for each married couple to discern for themselves through prayer and honest evaluation of their circumstances.  The Church gives guidelines regarding health and finances, but the decision is between the spouses and God.)

If, like me, you fall into this latter category, then NFP becomes a necessity.   In my case, I’m able to take care of my family today thanks to a wonderful drug that is “incompatible with pregnancy.”  Another child for us would have to be a very intentional choice, would have to be well-planned beforehand and would involve some risk for me.  Should we?  Shouldn’t we?  Don’t think for a second that my husband and I don’t wrestle with that decision.  (We’d be thrilled to welcome a new baby.)  You know how often I’ve wished for writing on the wall?  It doesn’t work that way.  So we keep praying and doing the best we can to follow God’s lead.

In the meantime, it means very careful NFP.  It means living by The Chart.  Not much room for spontaneity or surprise romantic interludes.  (Here comes that “too much information” part.)   It means small windows of opportunity for sex.  And don’t think abstinence is only hard on the guys!  Women are hard-wired to want sexual intimacy when they’re fertile, so if you must be diligent in avoiding pregnancy, you have to say ‘no’ precisely when you most want to say Yes!  It stinks!!

Times of abstinence are ideal for finding other ways to connect and be intimate with each other; or to pray together, relax and watch a movie together and above all, to “offer it up.”  When that actually happens, it’s wonderful and rewarding.  But in reality, this is where it can sputter and falter because we’re only human and we’re vulnerable to mood swings, fatigue, and chaotic schedules.  Alas, often those times of abstinence are just, well, uneventful.  That’s life.

NFP can also feel very one-sided.  It’s never the man’s fertility we have to be concerned with; only the woman’s.  It’s not his temperature being taken at the same time every day, or his – ahem – fluids being checked (what am I, a car engine?).  No wife wants to feel like the Gatekeeper.  It’s crummy to have to turn your husband down time after time.  And when it’s your health issues that necessitate all this trouble, well, you feel doubly crummy.

It’s not NFP’s fault it’s so one-sided.  Reproductive biology does not spread the burden equally between men and women.  We may not always like it, but it’s simply a fact that women bear the heavier load (no pun intended).  We’re the ones who get pregnant; we’re the ones who breastfeed.  We’re the ones who deal with weight gain, sickness, complications, exhaustion, loss of freedom, and the pain of childbirth.

The flip side is we’re the ones who get to be pregnant!  How many of our husbands would love to know what it’s like to carry a child inside you and feel the kicks and hiccups and experience the miracle of new life?  I bet a lot of men would love to know how that feels.  But that gift has been reserved for us, ladies.  Along with the ability to feed our children with the most miraculous food God ever designed.  The men have no share in that; it’s all ours.

So come to think of it, maybe all this one-sidedness presents another perspective that gets overlooked.  All this woman-centeredness means that a husband who loves his wife must really love her as St. Paul described, and give himself up for her.  He must really tame his own desires in light of her body and her needs.  He must truly prefer her above himself.  It forces him to acknowledge the wondrousness of her co-creator status with God, and treat her with appropriate reverence.  No longer is his wife merely his source of physical satisfaction, but she becomes someone that, dare I say it; he should be in awe of.

And then, this perspective should also compel women to behave accordingly!  It should make us ever mindful of the miraculous ability we possess, which was given to us by our Creator with intention and generosity.  God chose us to be co-creators of life with Him!  It ought to give us a holy pause regarding our bodies and how we treat them; while every man is a temple of the Holy Spirit, only women are “temples” of new souls.  Yes, it is an awesome weight, and in difficult times can feel like a “burden.”  But has an awesome gift ever come without an awesome obligation?  To whom much is given, much will be required.

I’d say that’s the real treasure NFP offers and this is why I love it.  Like a pair of eyeglasses, NFP helps correct our vision of each other and our physical love.   NFP is worth the “cost” because some things are sacred – like sex.  And people are sacred – like my spouse.

Love is never sterile or “preventative.”  Love is self-giving and sacrificial.  By definition, that means it is not easy or always convenient.  NFP requires selfless love that honors the other and reveres life because marital lovemaking is life-generating.

While our contracepting counterparts are swallowing pills, snipping body parts and aborting babies in order to “free” themselves of the worry of an unplanned pregnancy, we are implored to treat our bodies and each other differently.  While the world separates love from sex, we are called to love that brings life.  If more of us lived that way, then maybe those contracepting counterparts would see the blessing of living a holy sexuality.

So after careful reflection, I think I’ll keep my chart and thermometer, thank you.  It’s worth the trouble after all.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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