The Catholic Beef With HHS (click link below for video)

21 02 2012
Priest Gives Obama’s Mandate “The Finger (?)” – YouTube.

Flippin’ Awesome.

The outrage against the HHS Mandate puzzles not only those on the “Left”.  A breakdown on why this is something that Catholics are willing to go to jail over is coming soon.





I Thirst

21 02 2012

Listen to a reading and commentary by Fr. John Riccardo here

Image
It is true. I stand at the door of your heart, day and night. Even when you are not listening, even when you doubt it could be Me, I am there. I await even the smallest sign of your response, even the least whispered invitation that will allow Me to enter.

And I want you to know that whenever you invite Me, I do come – always, without fail. Silent and unseen I come, but with infinite power and love, and bringing the many gifts of My Spirit. I come with My mercy, with My desire to forgive and heal you, and with a love for you beyond your comprehension – a love every bit as great as the love I have received from the Father (“As much as the Father has loved me, I have loved you…” (Jn. 15:10) I come – longing to console you and give you strength, to lift you up and bind all your wounds. I bring you Mylight, to dispel your darkness and all your doubts. I come with My power, that I might carry you and all your burdens; with My grace, to touch your heart and transform your life; and My peace I give to still your soul.

Image

I know you through and through. I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to Me. I have followed you through the years, and I have always loved you – even in your wanderings. I know every one of your problems. I know your needs and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you – not for what you have or haven’t done – I love you for you, for the beauty and dignity My Father gave you by creating you in His own image. It is a dignity you have often forgotten, a beauty you have tarnished by sin. But I love you as you are, and I have shed My Blood to win you back. If you only ask Me with faith, My grace will touch all that needs changing in your life, and I will give you the strength to free yourself from sin and all its destructive power.

I know what is in your heart – I know your loneliness and all your hurts – the rejections, the judgments, the humiliations, I carried it all before you. And I carried it all for you, so you might share My strength and victory. I know especially your need for love – how you are thirsting to be loved and cherished. But how often have you thirsted in vain, by seeking that love selfishly, striving to fill the emptiness inside you with passing pleasures – with the even greater emptiness of sin. Do you thirst for love? “Come to Me all you who thirst…” (Jn. 7: 37). I will satisfy you and fill you. Do you thirst to be cherished? I cherish you more than you can imagine – to the point of dying on a cross for you.

I Thirst for You. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe My love for you.

Image

I THIRST FOR YOU.  I thirst to love you and to be loved by you – that is how precious you are to Me.

I THIRST FOR YOU. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation, and give you peace, even in all your trials

I THIRST FOR YOU.  You must never doubt My mercy, My acceptance of you, My desire to forgive, My longing to bless you and live My life in you.

I THIRST FOR YOU.  If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you.

I THIRST FOR YOU. Open to Me, come to Me, thirst for Me, give me your life – and I will prove to you how important you are to My Heart.

Don’t you realize that My Father already has a perfect plan to transform your life, beginning from this moment? Trust in Me. Ask Me every day to enter and take charge of your life. – and I will. I promise you before My Father in heaven that I will work miracles in your life. Why would I do this? Because I THIRST FOR YOU. All I ask of you is that you entrust yourself to Me completely. I will do all the rest.

Image

Even now I behold the place My Father has prepared for you in My Kingdom. Remember that you are a pilgrim in this life, on a journey home. Sin can never satisfy you, or bring the peace you seek. All that you have sought outside of Me has only left you more empty, so do not cling to the things of this life. Above all, do not run from Me when you fall. Come to Me without delay. When you give Me your sins, you gave Me the joy of being your Savior. There is nothing I cannot forgive and heal; so come now, and unburden your soul.

No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget Me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in this life; there is one thing I want you to always remember, one thing that will never change. I THIRST FOR YOU – just as you are. You don’t need to change to believe in My love, for it will be your belief in My love that will change you. You forget Me, and yet I am seeking you every moment of the day – standing at the door of your heart and knocking. Do you find this hard to believe? Then look at the cross, look at My Heart that was pierced for you. Have you not understood My cross? Then listen again to the words I spoke there – for they tell you clearly why I endured all this for you: “I THIRST…”(Jn 19: 28). Yes, I thirst for you – as the rest of the psalm – verse I was praying says of Me: “I looked for love, and I found none…” (Ps. 69: 20). All your life I have been looking for your love – I have never stopped seeking to love you and be loved by you. You have tried many other things in your search for happiness; why not try opening your heart to Me, right now, more than you ever have before.

Image

Whenever you do open the door of your heart, whenever you come close enough, you will hear Me say to you again and again, not in mere human words but in spirit. “No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake Come to Me with your misery and your sins, with your troubles and needs, and with all your longing to be loved.

I stand at the door of your heart and knock. Open to Me, for I THIRST FOR YOU…”

A Meditation by Mother Teresa





Catholic, Pro-Contraception, Rational (pick two)

17 02 2012

I just read Karalen Morthole’s “Why I’m a Catholic for Contraception” on CNN’s faith blog and I facepalmed so hard I actually hurt myself.  Oh, wow, I even made my nose bleed!

Oh, wait – wait…False alarm.  That stuff coming out of my nose is just a steady stream of dead brain cells who committed suicide after being unable to process her immense ignorance of her own Church’s teaching.

What manner of Orwellian DoubleThink allows a person to call herself “Catholic” but deny the 2,000 year-old universal teaching of the Catholic Church? If you consistently protest against the unanimous voice of your bishops and the Pope that makes you – a Protestant!  In fact, not following the Pope and Bishops is the only thing that unites all Protestants together.

I know, I was one for 30 years. Looking back, I remained Protestant in no small part due to the opinions and witness of those like Karen who treated her Faith like it was Civics class.

“I have been a Catholic my whole life. Baptized as a baby and confirmed in the seventh grade, I attended weekly catechism classes and received a Jesuit education. Never once did the opinion of the church on a person’s use of contraceptives surface.”

It’s the appeal to innocence via ignorance found so commonly in lazy schoolchildren and employees. The common cry: “No one ever showed me that!” I have heard throughout my life in school and beyond.  As a manager, I had one employee who insisted her lack of culpability, even after I showed her her own initials on the training check-list.  There is a very difficult phrase for some people to utter.  It is only three words, but it is a magical key to learning:

“I was wrong.” 

It’s reminiscent of Dave Ramsey’s “Just Say No” rant.  Like the word, “no” it’s something our culture has forgotten how to say.  “No” is something we have forgotten how to say when it comes to spending, and it’s something we have forgotten we ever could say to sex.  I grew up not knowing I could, and apparently so did Karen.

“Birth control, condoms and emergency contraception have all served their purpose in my life, because each work in different preventative ways.”  Condoms are the only real preventative measure there, as hormonal birth control and emergency contraception are both actually abortifacients.  One of those other inconvenient Church teachings is the recognition of the scientific fact that a new human life begins at Conception, but maybe her “Jesuit education” was lacking in basic Biology as well.

After pleading ignorance of Church teaching and then extolling all the virtues of having ignored it, she then proceeds to recognize that the Bishops do, in fact, prohibit contraception.  However, instead of asking why the teachers of her faith would prohibit contraceptives and then answering that simple question, she instead settles on, “I do not feel immoral using it.”

At this point I’m going to have to assume that Karen stopped taking her birth control just before writing this piece, because she swore earlier that, “I am able to think more rationally because of [it].”

Your momma had to use that ancient magic word “no” when you were about to hit your brother because you felt he had it coming.  She used it when you were about to touch the stove, because you didn’t see the problem.  Part of being rational is realizing that there are many things in this world that you may not immediately intuit.  If you are going to stand in judgement over your Pope and all your Bishops, do yourself a favour: don’t base it on a feeling.  While many Catholics have used or still use contraception, don’t think that you’re part of “the 98%”.  As Twain said, There’s lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Besides, last I checked, 100% of Catholics were sinners.  Taking your favourite sin and calling it good, however, is called a Scandal.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains the instructions that all “official Catholics” are called to follow.  The section on the Sixth Commandment starts in 2331, but I’m going to break it down a little smaller:

The virtue of Chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason…

Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is “an interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society.”

Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life.

The outcry against the HHS mandate is not one that fails to respect “the rights of women to take care of our bodies”.  It’s not even primarily about “conscience”.  It is truly about the right for Catholics (Catholics who behave and believe…well, Catholic) to be able to believe, live, and teach that the Human Person is a moral and spiritual being.  Other faiths who do not have any problem with contraception recognize how this mandate fundamentally undermines the ability of any person of faith to be able to take his or her views into the marketplace of ideas and rationally argue for them.

This mandate communicates a fundamental principal of Relativism that is offensive to any person of Faith.

“You may believe as you wish, as long as you do not allow that belief to enter the public square in any way.  Just agree that your Faith is completely irrelevant in day-to-day life, and we can all get along.”

This is why we cannot and will not comply.





Stand in the Place Where You Are…

2 02 2012
…Or the Big Pink Stink

There has been a lot of crosstalk about the Susan G. Komen foundation pulling the plug on Planned Parenthood.  The funny thing is, Komen hasn’t said peep about it until today.  Planned Parenthood leaked the story and Jill Stanek says she knows why they have been first to punch the press on many occasions.  I can’t say it’s shocking, in fact the best defence is a good offence, and Planned Parenthood has increasing reason to be defensive as several States have pushed for defunding and tighter (or any) regulation.

What seems inconsistent in the crosstalk I’m hearing is that Planned Parenthood supporters who have long cried, “But look at all the good they do for women’s healthcare!” don’t seem willing to extend that same benefit of the doubt to Komen.  Threats of cancelling donations and, “I’m burning anything pink – from now on, screw Komen!” have abounded, and yet – donations are up.

According to a conference call from Komen’s VP, donations have gone up over 100% in the past two days.  If pressure from pro-life activists are behind Komen’s change of heart, it seems they’re at least the generous sort of “hurtful bullies”.  Planned Parenthood’s donations are up, too.  In fact, they’ve been pledged more than Komen ever gave them.

If only every culture war issue resulted in both sides vindictively donating to charity…

The mass media still reports its’ biased view of the March for Life  as this article from Reuter’s shows.

With this kind of media bias, it understandably shocks a lot of people that pro-lifers could effect such change – “It must be bullying and coercion!” is the only logical conclusion.  I mean, we’d know if nearly half a million people were marching to the Capitol, right…right?

Pick a place to stand:

Susan G. Komen -or- Planned Parenthood

.





Love & the Digital Age

1 02 2012

“When I talk about the hurt and the hypocrisy in some of our values—our sexual values—it comes from the fact that I didn’t get hugged a lot as a kid, and I understand that.” – Hugh Hefner

I realize that many people will think me crazy for saying this, but I feel truly sorry for the old goat. He was repressed, to be sure – Puratinism is incredibly repressive. Any time a child grows up without affection, an immense deficit will result. Repression of healthy affection is not just unhealthy – it’s an offense against the human person.

Heff’s solution, however, was to trade repression for indulgence. Sexuality does not exhibit binary characteristics of only repression or only indulgence. It is something uniquely human. We recognize our status as different from all other creatures on the Earth. More than mere pleasure, mating, or even a combination of those things, a sexual relationship has a different quality that is more than the sum total of its benefits.

“You and I baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel” was the chorus line from the Bloodhound gang’s only hit.  This has been gospel truth since the start of the Sexual Revolution.  The only problem with that statement is that it is untrue.  We are much more than “pants-wearing monkeys”, and most of our laws have reflected that fact.  There is, for example, no such thing as rape in the rest of the animal kingdom, but it remains one of the few acts regarded universally unacceptable.

Even consensual sex has legally allowable limits: blood relation, age of involved parties, to name a few.  More limits used to exist because the thought was that following the natural order was generally beneficial to society.  That worldview has been changing to one of sex as recreation, but that doesn’t describe it, either.

So then, if sex isn’t a purely animal, purely recreational activity — what is it?

A friend once said, “Pornos are just love stories with the words removed.”, but I would counter that they’re “Sex stories with the love removed.” We know instinctively that sex and love are related, which is why forcible sex, or rape, is recognized as a heinous crime. There is no love involved in rape. Power, perhaps, but certainly not love. Love does not force itself upon another. There is at least consent involved in casual sex, though the only love there is an inward-focused, self-pleasing, self-gratifying love. If this is the only type of love a person has ever experienced, it may actually seem fulfilling…for a while. Until we recognize our humanity, that is – our spirituality – that we indeed have souls are we even capable of self-donative, self-giving, self-sacrificing love.

I read the above SomaReview.com article and thought of all of the friends that have suffered because of Mr. Hefner’s overcompensation for lack of physical affection. I think of the men I know who are enslaved to his vision. Quite literally visually enslaved, in fact.  There have been several studies expounding on the neurological effects of pornography. I think of the women I know who can’t measure up to the airbrushed beauties and take second place to their live-in boyfriends attention. He can never commit because he’s always holding out for that Playmate, never able to give love, only pleasure. The relationship suffers and ultimately falls apart; because who would feel loved under the pressure of constant comparison? Who feels loved in the mere trading of momentary pleasures?

The movement that Hef started has been sold as “liberation” and it really looked that way for decades. “Sex isn’t bad!” was the essential proclamation. “The body isn’t dirty – enjoy it!” was the mantra. Repressed people all over America – even the world – began to shed their Puritanism and begin to really enjoy sex. Wow!

Why does it look so much like slavery now?

Because no matter how much “power” it may grant, women lose infinitely more freedom by becoming an object and no matter how “satisfying”, using persons as objects for pleasure degrades and enslaves men.

This is not just a “heathen” problem:

“7 of 10 lay leaders in the church admitted to visiting adult Web sites at least once a week and 4 out of 10 pastors said they did the same.”

No wonder the opposition is so timid!

“In February 2010, about 28 percent of people who used a work computer to access the Internet visited an adult site, according to The Nielsen Company. The average visit from a work computer was about 13 minutes and the average work visitor spent one hour and 38 minutes on adult sites during the entire month of February, the research firm told ABCNews.com.”

It is now everywhere! Sex is used to sell you soap, cigarettes, beer, cars, jeans, music – you name it (any half-naked examples of commercials unwillingly pop into your mind there?). Woman makes a fine implement to beat Man into submission with when she’s okay being an implement and he’s okay being a slave. I will admit that it took years for me to move from seeing women as objects with people-like qualities, to people with object-like qualities, to individual, unique, and beautiful persons. The process was long, as are most paradigm-shifts. The process was arduous, as are any changes that run completely counter to the surrounding culture. It started when I began to reflect and survey the damage Hef’s vision has done in my life – and it is still going on today.

In flagrant opposition to most of my peers, I am not thankful for Hugh Hefner‘s legacy. It was his life’s work that I was introduced to at the ripe old age of eight that has taken me years to straighten out. Now that I am, I’m at least slightly less ashamed to talk about it, and incredibly puzzled that we scratch our heads at the increasing rates of fatherlessness, divorce, teenage pregnancy, STIs, and abortion, and wonder why all the money we pump into sex education and social programs over the last 40 years hasn’t “fixed” it yet.








%d bloggers like this: