Monday, May 30, 2011
The press is full of glowing reports of the so-called Arab Spring sweeping through the Middle East. Chanting protesters demanding “democracy” are seen confronting brutal police force. It is a narrative that is accepted without question by so many in the West who want to believe a transformation is taking place. Western governments are quick to offer aid. In Libya, there is military intervention to safeguard the lives of innocent civilians.
While the Moslem world seems ready to embrace democracy, there are disturbing signs this particular brand of democracy is spelt with an “s” as in shariah law. Organized radical Islamist groups like the Moslem Brotherhood are jockeying into position to ensure theirs is the dominant one.
However, one disconcerting aspect of the "democratic” Arab Spring is that the very people who complain of oppression are now themselves oppressing and killing Christians. Indeed this May has proven to be part of a very bloody Christian Spring – and no one seems to be upset about it.
Among recent attacks, one reads of an angry mob of Muslims who threw rocks and firebombs at Christians gathered in Cairo to petition the new regime to reopen nearly 50 churches it shuttered. More than 65 were injured.
On May 8, attackers stormed and set ablaze the Virgin Mary Church in Cairo, shouting: "With our blood and soul, we will defend you, Islam." Twelve people were killed in these attacks and 232 wounded. These and other attacks have all taken place while Egyptian police and troops have done little or nothing to stop the violence which is quickly becoming systemic.
The persecution is not limited to Egypt.
In Tunisia shortly after former President Zine Abeddine Ben Ali’s fall, Father Marek Rybinski, a Poland-born Catholic priest, was murdered on the premises of an inter-denominational school in the Tunis suburban governorate of Manouba. All over the Middle East, the rumblings of revolts heighten the prospects of more repeats of such violence.
Many Christians in the region are considering leaving because they fear radical Islamists have hijacked the uprisings. Syrian Christians say ‘Arab Spring’ changes could hasten their own extinction.
Alas, it seems that it is open season on persecuting Christians not just in the Middle East but all over the world. Persecution of Catholics is happening in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, North Korea, Zimbabwe and many other places.
According to a March report of the Human Rights Watch (HRW), Christians in Vietnam increasingly face charges of national security crimes, severe abuse, property confiscation and forced renunciations of faith.
In early May, there were at least 49 dead, hundreds injured and an unspecified number of arrests in a wave of bloody repression unleashed by the security forces against the worshipers which included several Catholic groups in the Hmong community, an ethnic minority that lives in the northwest of the country and in Laos.
In April, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its annual report, which flagged several incidents of horrific abuses of Christians in China—including “disappearances,” beatings, the destruction of churches, and forced “re-education through labor.” The same report also noted that China has found subtle ways of undercutting religious authority, creating divisions and quietly preempting the spread of free religious worship. Indeed, the commission’s report notes that “Chinese officials are increasingly adept at employing the language of human rights and the rule of law to defend repression of religious communities.”
While so many media support the “Arab Spring,” violence against Christians does not seem to move them to action. There is little outcry to defend Christians against bloodshed. There are no military interventions put in place to save persecuted Catholics. No one mentions the reality of today’s Bloody Christian Spring.
Friday, May 27, 2011
If you check the video at about one minute and twenty-five seconds, you will find a word of thanks to the TFP's efforts to defend traditional marriage in Maryland.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Legend has it that when a Spanish Catholic missionary named Father Jose Manuel Subirana visited Honduras about a hundred and fifty years ago, he saw so many poor and starving people that he prayed for 3 days and 3 nights asking God to provide them with free food. Suddenly, a miracle happened… it rained fish from the sky. And as crazy as it sounds, the rain of fish STILL happens to this day. It starts just like any storm, but when the rains end, thousands of living fish are flopping on the ground, waiting for villagers to scoop them up and eat them. A scientific explanation is still up in the air.
This strange phenomenon is called Festival de la Lluvia de Peces, or Festival of the Rain of Fishes, and it happens sometime between May and July in the city of Yoro, Honduras. While raining animals has been often observed throughout history , and all over the world, it is exceptionally rare to have it occur in the same place twice. Researchers also determined that the fish were all of the same fresh water species, which is a known species, but that does not inhabit any waters nearby the area.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
In response to the beautiful invocations to the Holy Face of Jesus, the cry of: “Lord, have mercy” from about 200 persons rose as one voice up to Heaven.
They had gathered in front of the Oakland Museum in California on Saturday, May 21,2011, to vehemently protest the photo of a blasphemous depiction of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a bikini, which is on display there.
This is the same blasphemous photo of ‘Our Lady’ which provoked the outrage of nearly 100,000 Catholics who protested against it when it was first displayed at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2001.
Now, in face of this new blasphemous insult to the Virgin of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, the American TFP and its America Needs Fatima Campaign, organized this peaceful act of protest, which drew friends and sympathizers from all over California who came to say: “we will not be silent!”
The protestors stood together for two hours beginning at noon, in public prayer and reparation to the Virgin Mary, praying the Rosary, chanting the Litanies, singing hymns.
The Oakland Museum, in a sinister manner – as if to lure the unsuspecting faithful and public at large – placed this blasphemous photo alongside of an exhibit showing the History of the California Missions so that anyone who went in to view that exhibit was lead unsuspectingly to be confronted by this blasphemy .
Perhaps the placement of the photo of “Our Lady” (of Guadalupe) in a bikini alongside the exhibit of the History of the California Missions was done to break the natural shock of repulsion and indignation which springs up when unexpectedly confronted by this blasphemous depiction, while still filled with or in a state of admiration for the richness of the missions’ sacrifices and contributions to society.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
This commemoration was introduced in the liturgical calendar by decree of Pope Pius VII on September 16, 1815, in thanksgiving for his happy return to Rome after a long and painful captivity in Savona and France due to Napoleon’s tyrannical power.
By order of Napoleon, Pius VII was arrested, 5 July, 1808, and detained a prisoner for three years at Savona, and then at Fontainebleau. In January, 1814, after the battle of Leipzig, he was brought back to Savona and set free, 17 March, on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, the Patroness of Savona.
The journey to Rome was a veritable triumphal march. The pontiff, attributing the victory of the Church after so much agony and distress to the Blessed Virgin, visited many of her sanctuaries on the way and crowned her images (e.g. the “Madonna del Monte” at Cesena, “della Misericordia” at Treja, “della Colonne” and “della Tempestà” at Tolentino). The people crowded the streets to catch a glimpse of the venerable pontiff who had so bravely withstood the threats of Napoleon. He entered Rome, 24 May, 1814, and was enthusiastically welcomed. (McCaffrey, “History of the Catholic Church in the Nineteenth Cent.”, 1909, I, 52).
The invocation “Help of the Christians” is very old, having been included in the Litany of Loreto by Pope Saint Pius V in 1571, as a token of gratitude to the Most Holy Virgin, by virtue of Christendom’s’ victory in the famous battle of Lepanto.
* * *
During five years of captivity, Pius VII appealed continuously to Our Lady under the invocation of “Help of Christians”. From 1809 to 1812, the Pontiff remained imprisoned in the Italian city of Savona, then making a vow to crown an image of the Mother of Mercy existing there, should he obtain his freedom.
In 1812, the Pope was taken to Paris, remaining a prisoner in Fontainebleau, where he suffered enormous sufferings and humiliations inflicted by the French tyrant.
But in the course of time, events began providentially to overturn the fortunes of the despot.
In 1814, weakened by losses suffered in several fronts and pressured by public opinion, Napoleon permitted his august prisoner to return to Rome. The Supreme Pontiff took advantage of the journey to honor in a special way the Mother of God, crowning her image in Ancona under the invocation of Queen of All Saints. And, fulfilling the vow that he made when still prisoner in Savona, he adorned the forehead of the image of the Mother of Mercy with a golden frond as he passed by that city.
The journey continued amid glorious manifestations of reverence on the part of the populace in all the localities where Pius VII passed. And on May 24, he made a triumphant entrance in Rome, being received by the population at large.
As the carriage that transported the Supreme Pontiff advanced with difficulty amid the crowd along the Flavian way, a group of faithful, under the tumultuous applauses of the people, withdrew the horses and went on to pull the vehicle up to the Vatican Basilica.
Pius VII, attributing this great victory of the Church over the Revolution to the powerful intercession of Mary Most Holy, wanted to show his gratitude by means of establishing a feast day of universal scope dedicated to this beautiful Marian invocation.
* * *
Such invocation took a new turn in the Catholic world due to the action of one of the greatest saints of modern times: Saint John Bosco, founder of the Society of Saint Francis of Sales (Salesians) and of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
The companions of Saint John Bosco noticed that, from 1860, he began to invoke the Most Holy Virgin under the title of Mary Help of Christians, Maria Auxilium Christianorum.
In December of 1862, the Saint made a resolution to build a church dedicated to that invocation. And he declared, on that occasion: “To the Virgin Most Holy whom we desire to honor with the title of ‘Help of Christians’; the times we are in are so sad that we truly need the Most Holy Virgin to help us in preserving and defending the Christian Faith as in Lepanto, as in Vienna, as in Savona and Rome…. and it will be the mother church of our future Society and the center from where all our works will radiate in behalf of the youth”.
Six years after, on May 21, 1868, the magnificent Church of Mary Help of Christians was solemnly consecrated in Turin by the Archbishop of the city. The dream of Saint Bosco became a reality and since then, that devotion spread specially all over the Catholic world owing, in great measure, to the action of the Salesian Congregation.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Packed audience attends drag show, promoted by the pro-homosexual Triangle Club, at Catholic Seattle University
Friday, May 20, 2011
PIERRE PART, La., May 19 -- Residents of a small town in southern Louisiana say they have already seen signs the Virgin Mary is helping protect them from floodwaters.
Pierre Part residents have gone to Virgin Island for more than a century to ask the Mother of God's intercession when disaster looms. They did so a few days ago when water began spilling into the Atchafalaya Basin after the opening of the Morganza Floodway.
Ray Crochet said the north wind has kept the water moving south, away from Pierre Part and its canals and bayous. He attributes that to the Virgin's intercession.
"The north wind is one," said Crochet. "That is odd, that's the weirdest one. In May, you don't have that."
The statue of the Virgin Mary was placed on Virgin Island after it survived a flood that put the church underwater, Crochet said. Pierre Part residents say the town will survive as long as the Virgin's feet remain dry.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
By the time the sun rose on the morning of May 15th, members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) were already at work, preparing for the day’s activities. Our vehicles were soon rolling to their destination: The heart of New York City – the Bronx. Our purpose: to join a march for traditional marriage organized by State Sen. Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) and other pro-family leaders.
|"We support traditional marriage between one man and one woman."|
As the TFP band played stirring marches and patriotic music, people lined the streets and leaned out of windows to see the parade. Although a few passers-by were quite vocal in their opposition, the overall response was positive.
|Thousands of traditional marriage supporters gather at the Courthouse.|
|The TFP band kicked off the march with patriotic music.|
For the good of the family, let us continue to pray that more and more souls will stand up and peacefully oppose the homosexual agenda, especially in its latest effort to impose same-sex “marriage” on the state of New York.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
In the ongoing assault on the mentality of American youth, we have to be amazed at the resourceful and relentless completeness of the attack. Many casual observers, but not all, accept the fact that it is coordinated in all its aspects. Some prefer to see the destructive programs as a series of individual, although malicious, operations such as healthcare and sex education.
During a seminar at a university in Miami, Florida in 1976, there was a well-known professor of philosophy from a Texas Catholic school who had excellent conservative credentials, with the exception of one liberal trait: he didn’t believe that the political, cultural and moral evils oppressing mankind were interrelated one with the other. In fact he abhorred this concept to the degree that he forbade the word “conspiracy” — which he saw as describing that concept — from his classroom.
Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira’s monumental study, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, answers that objection in the following manner. Comparing the crisis of modern man to a forest fire, he made the lucid analogy, “When a forest fire breaks out in a forest, one cannot regard it as a thousand autonomous and parallel fires of a thousand trees in close proximity. Indeed everything helps to make the forest fire a single fact, totally encompassing the thousand partial fires…”
The conversion of the barbarians, in what has been maliciously misnamed the Dark Ages, established Christendom and gave rise to Western Civilization. A fusion between the classical studies of the Greeks and Romans, especially the use of the Latin language, with the Revelation of Christ and the monastic schools of the Middle Ages brought about a Christian educational system that lasted a thousand years. This magnificent edifice began to crumble in the eighteenth century with the arrival of the so-called Enlightenment and the French Revolution.
The morality, spiritual development and internal structure of our youth have suffered a proportional decline along with the demise. In an article published December 28, 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported that 25% of children and teens are taking prescription drugs on a regular basis with approximately 40 million on anti-depressants, anti-psychotics or ADHD medications. With some allowance for over-prescribing, that means there are a lot of stressed-out children and families in the country that are leading very unhappy lives.
The trend since the French Revolution has been to remove the teachings of Christ from public and daily life. With morality abandoned, this has had the effect of frequently leaving children with parents, one of which is not biological, if indeed they are married in the first place. Studies have shown this increases high school dropouts, prison incarcerations and suicide attempts.
The damage caused by modern communication systems such as the Internet, iPhones, Facebook and Twitter have received book length treatment by several educators and journalists and should be explored in a separate article. However, the principal objection was expressed well by MIT professor Sherry Turkle who stated in her book Alone Together that technology is threatening to dominate our lives and make us less human by isolating us from real human interactions.
One more citation to show the minefield that children will have to negotiate to reach adulthood appeared May 2, 2011 in a commentary in the Washington Times by Kerry Picket in which he explores the politically correct attitude of some popular comic strip heroes. In 2008 Spider-man supported Obama and last year a Captain America comic book portrayed Tea Party protesters as villains. Superman takes a more subversive route by renouncing his U.S. citizenship and supporting the policies of the United Nations. No front is left unassailed.
Certainly this coordinated process of destruction is not going to ignore the possibilities of using comic strips to corrupt our youth as the older readers of Al Capp’s Li’l Abner can attest, but to immerse younger readers in the concept of global education that include environmentalism, pantheism among other evils is reaching new depths. Until the teachings of Christ, for which He paid a heavy price, are restored to their proper importance, the tragic conditions of our youth will continue deteriorate abysmally.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
On Friday, May 13, as is customary, a multitude of pilgrims were praying in Fatima, Portugal, to honor the first apparition of Our Lady at that great shrine.
At noon, which is the time that Our Lady appeared at Fatima on May 13, 1917, a beautiful solar halo appeared in the sky and was evident to all. The phenomenon was also noted by many Portuguese newspapers together with pictures of the event.
This is significant. Friday’s solar halo reminds us of the miracle of the sun that took place in Fatima on October 13, 1917, the date of the sixth and last apparition of Our Lady at Fatima.
This connection raises the question that even one of the area newspaper noted: Was Friday’s solar halo a sign from Our Lady?
The phenomenon of solar halos is explained by science. However, what science cannot explain (and this is not science’s role) is why this solar phenomenon took place at Fatima on May 13, at the very time and on the same day that Our Lady appeared at Fatima.
Article originally published by Devotos de Fatima:
Thursday, May 12, 2011
The extraordinary feat of the Navy Seals taking the compound where Bin Laden was hiding by surprise, and killing him, gave rise to manifestations of joy among numerous people who saw themselves free from an implacable enemy of the nation and because justice had been served on the mastermind of the 9/11 attack which killed 2,977 people, mostly Americans.1
It Is Not Licit to Rejoice at the Harm Suffered by Fellow Human Beings…
Following this spontaneous explosion of jubilee — which led many thousands to celebrate in front of the White House, Times Square, Ground Zero and university campuses around the nation — statements and comments from the most varied sources multiplied. Some of them condemned this jubilee, while others qualified it.
Indeed, we should never rejoice with the harm suffered by a fellow human being. Nor should we wish him this harm. This moral norm stems from the principle of solidarity and charity which unites us to all other human beings as our brothers and sisters.2
…But It Is Licit to Rejoice at the Triumph of Justice
However, it is another thing altogether, for us to rejoice, not with the harm done to another, but with the good that stems from this. For example, there is the joy at seeing the elimination of a cruel and pitiless criminal who endangers all of society, or, on a higher plane, we might have the joy of seeing that justice has been done. It is in this sense that King David affirms: “The just shall rejoice when he shall see the revenge” (Psalm 57:11).
|Saint Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, Philosopher, Theologian, patron of Catholic universities, colleges, and schools.|
Thus, we read in the Supplement to the Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas:
“A thing may be a matter of rejoicing in two ways. First directly, when one rejoices in a thing as such: and thus the saints will not rejoice in the punishment of the wicked. Secondly, indirectly, by reason namely of something annexed to it: and in this way the saints will rejoice in the punishment of the wicked, by considering therein the order of Divine justice and their own deliverance, which will fill them with joy.”3
Charity Does not Bar Us From Hating the Evil in a Sinner
When discussing the virtue of charity, Saint Thomas Aquinas says one should consider two things in a sinner: (a) that his nature comes from God, and is therefore good; (b) that his sin does not proceed from God and it turns the sinner into an enemy of the Creator.
While the sinner should be loved for the first of these, in other words, for his nature, “in respect of their guilt whereby they are opposed to God, all sinners are to be hated, even one’s father or mother or kindred, according to Luke 14. For it is our duty to hate, in the sinner, his being a sinner, and to love in him, his being a man capable of bliss; and this is to love him truly, out of charity, for God’s sake.”4
Upright Vengeance is Part of Justice
In another part of the Summa Theologica, when discussing the virtue of justice, the Angelic Doctor writes about the virtue of vengeance that is linked to justice (through the virtue of observance). Obviously, this virtue has nothing in common with personal revenge, which stems from a purely personal hatred, but rather with that which flows from a love of justice, as seen in the expression: “a crime [or sin] that cries out to God for vengeance.”
▪Personal vengeance is not licit
Saint Thomas explains that it is not licit for anyone to avenge themselves on their own, for as Holy Writ affirms, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Deut. 32:35; cf. Romans 12:19).
▪God Himself will avenge the just
However, the saint adds, Sacred Scripture also states that God Himself will avenge the just: “Will not God revenge His elect who cry to Him day and night?” (Luke 18:7). He goes on to explain that this means vengeance cannot be wrong in itself, seeing that God engages in it. And thus he concludes: “Therefore vengeance is not essentially evil and unlawful.”
If vengeance, then, is not evil per se, its licitness hinges on the intention with which it is exercised. Vengeance will be good or evil depending on the intention of he who exercises it being good or evil. Thus, the saint continues, “if his intention [of the avenger] is directed chiefly to the evil of the person on whom he takes vengeance and rests there, then his vengeance is altogether unlawful: because to take pleasure in another’s evil belongs to hatred, which is contrary to the charity whereby we are bound to love all men.”
Just Vengeance is a Virtue
Saint Thomas concludes saying that if “the avenger’s intention be directed chiefly to some good, to be obtained by means of the punishment of the person who has sinned (for instance that the sinner may amend, or at least that he may be restrained and others be not disturbed, that justice may be upheld, and God honored), then vengeance may be lawful, provided other due circumstances be observed.”5
This act of vengeance — which proceeds from the love of God and zeal for justice — Saint Thomas adds, is not only legitimate, but is a virtue, since “the punishment of sins, … so far as it is concerned in defending the rights of the individual by whom a wrong is resisted, it belongs to the virtue of revenge.” This virtue has its root in charity, because “[z]eal, as denoting the fervor of love, signifies the primary root of vengeance, in so far as a man avenges the wrong done to God and his neighbor, because charity makes him regard them as his own. Now every act of virtue proceeds from charity as its root, since, according to [St.] Gregory (Hom. xxvii in Ev.), ‘there are no green leaves on the bough of good works, unless charity be the root.’”6
The Good and Bad Joy Over the Death of Bin Laden
Therefore, insofar as public opinion saw the death of Bin Laden as the fruit of zeal in avenging “the wrong done to God and his neighbor,” a punishment inflicted upon a terrorist who was an enemy of the One and Triune God7 and of America, which he harmed greatly, inspiring and directing attacks like that of 9/11, then the manifestations of joy had a legitimate and healthy foundation.
If, on the contrary, such jubilee was fruit of a personal hatred only directed against Bin Laden as a human person and not because he was a malefactor and a terrorist, then it was an illegitimate and blameworthy rejoicing.
A Prudential Judgment
We do not take into account here the secrets of consciences, be they those of the authorities who ordered the attack or be it that of the dead terrorist. It pertains to God alone to judge the secrets of consciences and He alone knows the eternal destiny of a soul.
This notwithstanding, although we cannot scrutinize the most profound dimensions of human acts, we may — guided by the virtue of prudence — come to some degree of certainty in the judging of human actions basing ourselves on observable external acts. If this were not true, then it would be impossible for man to discern good and evil in human deeds and to make practical decisions that allow him to act properly.8
Wishful Thinking does not Change Reality
Lastly, the fact that we would have wanted Bin Laden to convert and transformed himself into a great saint does not alter the evidence from the facts, namely, that he was and continued to be a terrorist who was resolved to impose Islamism on the whole world by means of propaganda and terror.
Read also: Rejoice, Justice is Done: a Common Enemy of the Christian West is no more!
Footnotes1. Cf. (Cf. CBCNews, “Bin Laden claims responsibility for 9/11,” http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2004/10/29/binladen_message041029.html, Dan Eggen, “Bin Laden, Most Wanted For Embassy Bombings?” Washington Post, Aug. 28, 2006 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/27/AR2006082700687.html. [back]
2. Pius XII, in his Encyclical Summi Pontificatus (1939) lamented “the forgetfulness of that law of human solidarity and charity which is dictated and imposed by our common origin and by the equality of rational nature in all men, to whatever people they belong, and by the redeeming Sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ on the Altar of the Cross to His Heavenly Father on behalf of sinful mankind.” (No. 35 at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_20101939_summi-pontificatus_en.html [back]
3. Supplement, q. 94, a. 3. This part of the Summa was completed by Reginald of Piperno (d. 1290), the disciple of St. Thomas. [back]
4. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25 a. 6. The correction of St. Luke’s citation was done based on the Textum Leoninum (Rome, 1888), at http://www.corpusthomisticum.org/sth0000.html. [back]
5. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 108, a. 1. [back]
6. Ibid., a. 2 ad 1 and ad 2. [back]
7. The Koran denies the dogma of the Most Blessed Trinity and even mocks it. See, for example, [72.3] “And that He— exalted be the majesty of our Lord—has not taken a consort, nor a son;” [4.171] “So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not ‘Three’; ‘Cease!’ (it is) better for you! Allah is only One God.” (Our emphases.) [back]
8. Cf. Summa Theologica, q. 60, a. 3, ad 3; q. II-II, q. 47. [back]
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
At the 800th anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of Reims, a news item reports what took place last Friday:
According to the cultural aid of the Mayor of Reims, Jacques Cohen, "we had to discuss with the archbishop [Abp. Thierry Jordan] so that the Our Father would not be sung or recited" during the ceremony for the eighth centennial of Reims Cathedral.
"We [the staff of Socialist mayor Adeline Hazan] are secular [laïques]." They finally won their struggle. And if the Ave-Maria was tolerated, it was because the Cathedral is called Notre-Dame... "We had to negotiate, that took place directly between city hall and the archbishop. It was not simple," confirmed, outside the ceremony, auxiliary Bishop Joseph Boishu.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
In matters of human sexuality, there are male and female. It is an established biological fact. It is from this fact that comes the family which assures the continuity of the human race. From the family comes society and the State which works toward the common good and perfection of our nature. There is nothing complicated about this obvious fact. It is simply the way things are and always have been.
However, there are those who claim this classification is completely and artificially constructed by society. Humans, they maintain, are not made male and female. Rather, in matters of sexuality, we should all be free to reject the “gender” identity forced upon us and adopt whatever “gender” we want. We are no longer male or female but can choose to be either one or the other, both, and/or neither.
Thus, we have seen the proliferation of behaviors and conditions that now qualify as sexual categories. Gender identity now applies to how one perceives oneself or even how one can surgically change oneself to fit that perception.
What began as a short list referring to homosexual, bisexual has now expanded to include a LGBTQI “community” – adding transgender, questioning and intersexed to the list.
However, that is not the end of the story. Once the floodgate is opened to give official status to any kind of sexual behaviors, there is no limit to the categories and genders that can appear. Thus, for example, the Australian Human Rights Commission has come up with a listing of 23 “genders” that it feels need protection under the law.1 On this list, beyond the standard LGBTQI listing, one can find transsexual, androgynous, agender, cross dresser, genderfluid, genderqueer, intergender, neutrois, pansexual, pan-gendered, sistergirl and other classifications that are best left unmentioned.
What is clear from the listing is that the whole “gender” debate, which accuses traditional society of artificially constructing sexual roles, is itself artificial and counterfeit. Advocates of this unrestrained sexuality cannot restrain their imagination in expanding the new categories that must be protected, even to the point of taking it to the ridiculous and absurd. They are likewise creative in manufacturing a whole list of phobias (biphobia or transphobia) for those who disapprove of these aberrant behaviors.
Such findings are really not new. They are merely logical extensions of the sexual liberation movement of the sixties. Back then, any kind of free love between a man and women was made socially acceptable. Now, any other kind of sexual relationship must be accepted and given legal protection.
The only thing that is not tolerated is the insistence that male and female define human sexuality. It is not accepted that a natural law and a corresponding morality limits and regulates the strong sexual instincts so that society might perpetuate itself through the family. Essentially, this position holds that the ways of expressing sexuality are unlimited and that each one might define one’s own unique gender category beyond the current 23 and counting gender listing.
One day, when commonsense will again prevail, one might hope that all will return to the beginning when God created male and female.
Friday, May 6, 2011
The most important person on earth is a mother.
She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral.
She need not.
“She has built something more
magnificent than any cathedral –
a dwelling for an immortal soul,
the tiny perfection of her baby’s body…
“The angels have not been blessed with such a grace.
They cannot share in God’s creative miracle to
bring new saints to Heaven. Only a human mother can.
Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature;
God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation…
“What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this; to be a mother?”
— Cardinal Mindszenty
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Perfect contrition is contrition based on the motive of love, and imperfect contrition is that which is based on the fear of God.
Perfect contrition is that which flows from the perfect love of God.
Now, our love of God is perfect if we love Him because He is infinitely perfect, infinitely beautiful, and infinitely good (love of benevolence) or because He has shown us His love in such an admirable way (love of gratitude).
Our love of God is imperfect, if we love Him because we expect something from Him.
Accordingly, in imperfect love, we think above all about the favors received, and in perfect love, we think above all of the goodness of the One who bestows these favors. Imperfect love makes us preferably love the favor itself, whereas perfect love makes us love the Author of these favors, and that less for His gifts than for the love and the goodness that these gifts manifest.
From love, contrition flows. As a result, our contrition will be perfect, if we repent of our sins for the sake of the perfect love of God, whether from benevolence or from gratitude.
It will be imperfect, if we repent of our faults owing to the fear of God, whether because sin has made us lose the reward that we have been promised, viz., heaven; or because we have earned the punishment imposed on the sinner, viz., hell or purgatory.
In imperfect contrition, we think particularly about ourselves and about the evils that sin brings to us, according to the light of faith. In perfect contrition, we especially think of God, His greatness, His beauty, His love, and His goodness; we consider sin an offense and that it has been the cause of the many sufferings endured to redeem us. We wish not only our own good, but that of God.
An example will help us grasp it better. When St. Peter had denied our Savior, "he went forth and wept bitterly." Why did he weep? Was it for the shame that he was going to endure in front of the other Apostles?
In such a circumstance, it would have been a purely natural pain and without merit. Is it
because his divine Master is perhaps going to strip him of his dignity as an Apostle and Supreme Pastor, or drive him from His kingdom? In this case, the contrition would be good, but imperfect. No indeed! He repents, he weeps because he has offended his beloved Master, so good, so holy, and so worthy of love. He weeps because he has responded to that immense love with base ingratitude, and that is perfect contrition.
Now, don't you, too, dear reader, have the same motive as St. Peter to detest your sins, for the sake of love, for the sake of perfect love, and for the sake of gratitude?
Without any doubt, God's favors are more numerous than the hairs on your head and every one of them should make you repeat the words of St. John: "Let us love God, because He first loved us" (1 John, 4, 19).
And how has He loved you?
"I have loved thee," says God Himself, "with an everlasting love, I have had pity on thee and I have drawn thee to me" (Jer. 31, 3).
"With an everlasting love I have loved thee."
From all eternity, before there was even a trace of you upon the earth, He cast upon you this look of love that penetrates everything. He prepared for you a soul and a body, heaven and earth, with all the tenderness of a mother who prepares to welcome the child who is going to come into the world. It is God Who has given you life and heath; it is He Who gives you the good things of nature every day.
This idea was sufficient for the pagans themselves to bring them to the knowledge and the perfect love of God. For a greater reason, it should bring you there - you a Christian who possesses the love and the supernatural goodness of God for you. Through the prophet He says, "I have had pity on you."
You were condemned like all men as a result of original sin; God sent His only Son who became your Savior and redeemed you with His blood by dying on the cross.
It was of you that He lovingly thought in His agony in the Garden of Olives, when He shed His blood under the whips and the thorns, when He followed, carrying His cross, the long and painful path of Calvary; when, nailed upon the cross, He expired in the midst of ghastly torments, it was of you that He thought, with a tender love, as if you had been the only person in the world. What shall we make of that? "Let us love God, because He loved us first."
Moreover, God drew you to Himself by baptism, which is the first and chief grace of life, and by the Church, in whose bosom you were then incorporated. How many men have been able to attain the true faith only through the strength of effort and sufferings! But to you, God gave it to you from the cradle, out of pure love. He drew you to Himself, He draws you every day by means of the sacraments and by numberless graces, interior and exterior, with which He showers you.
You are, as it were, submerged in an ocean, the ocean of goodness and divine love, and He wishes again to crown all these graces by placing you near Him and making you eternally happy. What will you give Him for such love?
Isn't it true that you must make a return for these advances? Then let us love our God, since He loved us first.
Let us come to the point: How have you responded to the love of a God so lovable and so good? Without doubt, by your ingratitude and by your sins. But do you repent of this ingratitude? Ah, yes, without any doubt, and you burn with a desire to make amends for it by a limitless love. Well, then, if that is so, you have at this moment perfect contrition, that which is based on the love of God and which is called contrition of love or of charity.
But in contrition of charity itself, there is a degree, more elevated yet, that consists in purely loving God, because He is infinitely glorious, infinitely perfect, and worthy of being loved, the abstraction of His mercy for us. Let us make a comparison. There are, in the firmament, a number of stars so distant from us that we cannot perceive them, and yet they are all as large and as bright as the sun that so freely imparts to us warmth and life.
Likewise, suppose that man had never been in possession of this eternal star that is God's love. Suppose that God had created neither the world nor any creature: He would be no less great, no less beautiful, no less glorious, no less worthy of being loved, for He is
Himself and in regard to Himself the greatest good, the most perfect, and me most lovable.
Such is the sense of the formula: I am heartily sorry...because You are infinitely lovable and You deplore sin. Reflect a moment and consider God's love; especially contemplate the Savior's bitter sufferings. In this light, you will easily understand, and it will pierce your heart through.
(Written by J DE DRIESCH, PERFECT CONTRITION:THE GOLDEN KEY TO PARADISE.)
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The brutal octogenarian leader attacked the church at a Zion Christian Church (ZCC) conference in Bikita.
He said: “Often Catholic bishops expose that they are not their own men. They are mere puppets of Western countries. I grew up in the Catholic Church but now I am totally frustrated by how these so-called men of God lie. All Catholic bishops are liars, they demonise my party every day.”
President Mugabe attended Catholic Jesuit schools in his youth. Now, Catholic priests and especially former Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube, are exposing political injustices of his regime.
Recently, a Catholic priest from Lupane, Father Marko Mnkandla, was arraigned before the courts in leg irons for the "crime" of holding a Mass for survivors and victims of Mugabe's brutal suppression of any who oppose his corrupt regime.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
In 1998, Osama signed on to a fatwa ordering Muslims everywhere to kill Americans and their allies: “The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip.”1
In 2001, he masterminded the attacks of 9/11, which killed 2,977 people, mostly Americans.
Now, in an act of justice his body lies at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. He was killed on May 1 by a heroic team of our tremendous Navy Seals. May God be praised!
A cruel and cowardly enemy of the Christian West is dead. Rejoice! Yes, rejoice! We do well to rejoice over bin Laden’s death.
We do not rejoice at the demise of any personal enemy. Rather, we rejoice over what the great Saint Bernard defined as a “malecide,”2 the just execution of a malefactor. Indeed, Osama bin Laden was the common enemy of the Christian West. He killed innocent people and wished to destroy America, and, with our nation, the remnants of the Christian order in the world.
A Call to Vigilance
As we rejoice at the death of this great common enemy of the Christian West, we prepare in prayer, vigilance and ever greater resolve to face the difficult moments and crises that will surely come ahead.
If we are faithful to Christian principles in our war against Islamist terror and Osama bin Ladens of every stripe, we can certainly expect God’s blessings on America.
May the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of America, favor and help us carry out these difficult responsibilities.
1. Osama bin Laden was the first of five to sign the 1998 fatwa. See the English translation at http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/980223-fatwa.htm [back]
2. Saint Bernard de Clairvaux, De laude novae militiae, in Migne, Patrologia Latina, Vol. 182, col. 924. [back]