President Obama’s stance on so called same-sex “marriage” (SSM) has finally “evolved”…not really. He held the same stance in support of SSM in 1996 when he was running for the U.S. Senate. As part of his political strategy during his presidential bid and after the election, he rolled back his view in order to appeal to a broader base and slowly rolled back up to his actual view. Now that he is going to be running against a candidate who for all intents and purposes is exactly like himself (other than skin color) he had to find a way to make himself different. The President chose gay “marriage”.
It is a political strategy that he will use once the campaigns get into full swing. It can be the only logical reason for him to make the announcement in an ABC interview that he supported SSM. He already has the LGBT vote anyway. He really didn’t need to pander to that base to gain their votes. So now, when the mainstream media (MSM) and its masters on the liberal left are painting Mitt Romney as a “hateful, homophobic bigot” for supporting traditional marriage, that wide brush will not fall upon Obama as well.
Polls reported by the MSM trumpet to the masses how the majority of Americans approve of SSM. The reality in the voting booths consistently shows otherwise as North Carolina became the 30th state to adopt a constitutional amendment by popular vote to define marriage as between one man and one woman. This is why I put no stock in polls. They’re usually wrong. If anything, the polls are more indicative of the fact that more people are recognizing that LGBT persons are human beings and are entitled to the same level of compassion and dignity as anyone else. That they should be allowed to provide for whomever they wish under the law. But they still recognize that same-sex relationships or civil unions are not the same as, nor equal to marriage.
Marriage has suffered great degradation in the last half-century. First contraception led to “children not needed” mentality toward sex. Roe v. Wade gave us “consequence-free sex”, then we got no-fault divorce which said “marriage is no longer un-dissolvable without reason” and finally co-habitation told us “marriage is not necessary at all”. Now that the institution of marriage has been left tattered by the forces of liberalism, they want to put the final nail in the coffin by redefining it completely to strip it of its purpose, which was to provide a solid, loving and stable foundation for the furtherance of society by the procreation and raising of children to be future productive citizens. Instead they want to redefine it as being “two people in love”.
Just as for centuries man believed the world was flat, it was actually round, and just as a populace can “evolve” its view and declare that the world is square, it does not change the fact that the world is round. That is what we call absolute truth. No matter what our belief of something is, the truth remains unchanged in spite of our views of that truth. Society can likewise state that marriage is between two men or two women or one man and five women or one man and his dog. It does not change the absolute truth that marriage is a joining of one man and one woman in order to create, nurture and raise a new, distinctly unique being, a child.
Lately, the left has been decrying the Catholic Church's "crackdown" on the "poor sweet nuns" of the Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) saying that it is a war on all nuns in America in order to force them into submission to the heirarchy of "old men in robes" and to force sisters to "bow to the will of Rome". To top it all off, they *gasp* appointed a bishop (you know, one of those old men in robes") to beat these poor innocent women into submission. This is hardly true.
First of all, the LCWR only represents a small percentage of nuns in America. The vast majority of women religious are in no way affected (or targeted) by the renewal measures determined to be necessary by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Measures that were deemed necessary due to the flagrant disregard for Church teaching and outright public opposition to the US Council of Bishops (USCCB) when the bishops opposed Obamacare over it's funding of abortion by the leadership of the LCWR.
Second, the average person, frankly (including the average Catholic) wouldn't even recognize these women as Religious, since they tend to prance around in expensive business suits instead of the habits that (in my opinion) not only identify a Religious Sister's dedication to being a bride of Christ through love, charity, prayer and sacrifice but also inspire the respect due to them because of their selfless response to their call to vocation. Despite the claims to otherwise, the Leadership of the LCWR has ceased to be charitable and have become political lobbyists, consorting with Obama's ultra-liberal left-wing administration to cause confusion among Catholic voters by proclaiming liberal agenda items (abortion, same-sex marriage, etc.) as compatible with Church teachings when in truth, they aren't.
Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain was appointed as Archbishop Delegate to oversee this renewal, with the assistance of other bishops, women religious by working with the LCWR leadership. The mandate for the Delegate includes:
·Revision of LCWR statutes
·Review of LCWR plans and programs, including its General Assemblies
·Creation of programs for LCWR member congregations in initial and on-going formation
·Review LCWR’s application of liturgical norms and texts
·Review of LCWR affiliation with Network and the Resources Center for Religious Life.
In other words, renewing the truth of Catholic faith and doctrine among the upper echelons of the LCWR, where it is needed the most.
Sometimes I just long to return to those happy-go-lucky days when I didn't know squat about the realities of the world and could just indulge in my own personal pursuits. Like how I didn't know about the 54,000,000+ babies aborted since 1973, just that there was a case called Row v. Wade or how much people REALLY hated religion (because I didn't have any either) or how hard it was going to be to try to keep my kids (much less myself) sane in such a screwed-up and insane world. Ah, yes! The days of blissful ignorance.
Sadly, there is no returning. Once you have knowledge of something, there is no returning it. You can try to ignore things, but they are still there, knawing at the back of your brain like termites in the basement just waiting for the floor to cave in underneath you. You can accept things for what they are, but often, you're never happy about it and more often than not, you just build up a lot of resentment for it (I believe this is where angry old people come from) or you can try to change things. This is the hardest to do, but it can be the most rewarding. Sometimes though, you feel like no matter how much you do, it isn't enough, which can be frustrating or depressing. How some people deal with that, I don't know. For the rest of us though, there is Jesus.
Yep, when there's nothing else left for you to do about a situation, you take it up to Calvary, lay it at the foot of the cross, pray on it, and then walk away, leaving it there. Let Jesus take care of it from there. Since nothing is impossible for the Lord and he is more than willing to take up those burdens which are too much for us mere mortals to deal with, we can dump them on him. All he asks in return is the faithful devotion, worship and praise that is due to God the Son and adherance to his commandments. Adherance often feels like a burden too though. Why? Because there was a time when we didn't know any better and we liked it that way. As long as we got away with doing whatever we wanted, without immediate consequence and it "felt good", who cared if it went against God? After all, is there really a God to worry about? The answer is yes, and fortunately, while he is a just God, he is also a merciful and forgiving God.
That, boys and girls is the "good news", God forgives. Not only does he forgive, he grants us a path to that forgiveness up to the moment of our earthly death, no matter how many times we stumble. No matter how many times we screw up. No matter how much we rail against the apparent injustices in the world. as long as we make an honest and deliberate effort to repent, love and serve, we have hope. Hope, along with prayer, is a mighty powerful thing to have. When we pray to the Lord and place our hope in Him. We have nothing to worry about, not even death.
When I went into the hospital last summer with gangrene, I must admit I was a little nervous, but I wasn't afraid. I knew I was in God's hands. Before going into surgery, I received the sacrament of the anointing of the sick from my previous parish priest (he retired a few years ago, but he still gets calls) and I prayed the Lord's Prayer and a Hail Mary and I went in relaxed and comforted, for Jesus was carrying my cross so that I didn't have to, and I knew that in the off-chance that something went wrong, I would be in his presence soon enough, after a stint in purgatory I'm sure. Which brings up another topic. Why do some people try so hard to deny the existence of purgatory? For them it's either straight to heaven or straight to hell and you got a 50/50 shot of going either way. As for me, I expect to make it to heaven, but not right away. In the words of Wayne Campbell, "I'm not worthy!" I expect to go through a good long period of purification after my earthly passing before coming to the full presence of the One Holy Triune God.
About 12 years ago, after our second son was born, I chose to receive a vasectomy. I won't go into the whys or what-fors here, other than to state that it was a decision I have since regretted, especially since I have often wished for a daughter. Vasectomy reversals are seldom successful (approximately 3% chance of success) and most insurance companies will not pay for a reversal.
Before Mass last night, I knelt at the Marian shrine built into one corner of the church, lit a votive and prayed the Rosary. Among my intentions was that if The Father willed it, to find a way to provide for us a daughter. The Lord responded by sending Fr. Peter Hereley, O.P., a visiting priest performing churc h outreach for an organization called Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA). CFCA provides sponsored services to needy children and elderly in developiong countries. There are many organizations like this, but what made this one unique, in my opinion, is that a sponsored child or elderly person only has one sponsor and the services funded by the sponsor is tailored to the sponsored person's needs (they do not receive money directly and only 3% goes to overhead). While Fr. Hereley was presenting the program, I felt The Spirit telling me that this was God's answer. While I would not receive a daughter of my own, I could still make a difference in a young girl's life, for the better.
After Mass, there was a table set up with profile packets of various children and elderly that needed sponsors. My wife wanted to sponsor a child from her birth country of El Salvador and I found the profile packet of a 10-year old girl (whome I will call Abby) from there. We did not pick up the packet though and went home. While preparing dinner in the kitchen, my wife and I discussed the matter and decided that I would go back before morning Mass and fill out the sponsorship form for that little girl. We would becom Abby's sponsors. I woke up early, showered and dressed and was out the door by 8:30am, worried that someone else might have already picked up Abby's profile and chosen to sponsor her. When I arrived there and looked over the table, I was relieved to find her profile still there. I picked it up and sat down in a nearby pew to fill out the sponsorship form. When I handed Fr. Hereley the form, I asked him how they would know which child I was chosing to sponsor and he pointed out the section near the top of the form where Abby's full name was listed, to which I jokingly said, "Well, you can see how observant I am". I suppose that between my excitement and the early hour (I am NOT a morning person), no matter how much I looked at the form on my own, I kept overlooking that section.
Now I must wait to receive my first "bill" and send in the first sponsorship payment and then receive information on how to write letters to this little girl that hopefully will have a better chance at a more fruitful life. Eventually we will also have the opportunity to travel to El Salvador to meet Abby and her family in person.
The Lord answers our prayers, often just not in the ways that we expect. If we listen to The Spirit and follow His will, we will find peace and joy.
Just a humorous little personal anecdote that I'd like to share.
Last weekend was fairly typical. Saturday morning I went to men's Bible study. Saturday night, the whole family went to Mass and Sunday morning I took Communion to an elderly home-bound parishioner. As I said, pretty typical.
When it came time to drop my oldest son off for the 11:30 Mass at which he sings in the choir, I informed my wife I would be staying for Mass. To which, she responded, "WHAT? You don't spend any time with ME! Good God! You spend all of your time with God! God! God! GOD!".
I knew she was being silly and wasn't serious (She likes me spending more time with God now, really) so I responded, "Honey....you and I are until "death do us part", but God is forever".
Good Friday is one of those days I truly look forward to each year. It is this day that the local Hispanic Ministries hosts the living Via Crucis (Way of The Cross) at St. Mary of The Annunciation Church. We had a little bit of rain tonight, but not enough to put a damper on the event.
Have a happy and blessed Easter!
What a glorious weekend! I spent it at Mount Saint Francis on the Mens ACTS Team. As with many retreat programs, there are faith-journey talks, and I had the privilege of giving the first.talk, the topic of which was "Values". I won't go into details as to the contents of my story includes those deep-dark secrets that you really hope to never reveal to anyone, but the main point is that it gives how my conversion to The Lord reshaped my values. Part of my presentation was a song of my choosing to be played after my talk was finished and I had left the room and while the retreatants mulled over what they had heard and reflected on how, if at all, it relates to their own faith journey. I chose "I Heard The Voice of Jesus Say".
I don't really know what their reactions were as I was not in the room while they shared among themselves, however I did have many thank me later for sharing my story, and the retreat director told me "it was perfect". I resigned myself to accepting that these would be the only signs that I had given a good talk.
As we had our final gathering before leaving the Mount on Sunday, the retreatants and team members received several gifts. One of those gifts was this months issue of Magnificat magazine. As I was preparing for bed, I sat down to read the evening reflection for that night, which was titled "The Gift of God", and what a gift it was! It was a reflection of my life-faith story that I had related to my Brothers in Christ at the Mount, the following Hymn was also the same song that I had chosen to be played after my talk!
There are NO accidents with God and for me this was affirmation from The Lord that I really had done well.
Thank you Father for this sign. While I did not ask for it, You know my heart and saw my inner desire for Your approval that my words gave glory to You.
I finally dragged myself out of bed early enough this morning (never mind the fact that I barely slept last night) to stand outside Louisville's only abortion clinic to pray for the young women who think abortion is their only solution to a unplanned pregnancy. Thi sis something I have been feeling the call to do, but have not recognized the opportunity until today.
I arrived at ten till seven and the clinic escorts (a.k.a., "Angels of Death" or "Deathscorts") were already outside in full force and a few cars were already out front with young women waiting for the clinic to open. I was warmly greeted by a street counselor right at seven o'clock who spends the time approaching women to offer them literature and hopefully convince them to go to the neighboring pregnancy resource center instead of the abortion clinic. A Woman's Choice Resource center now has facilities not only accross the street but also in the space adjoining to the EMW abortion clinic. It is great that they can now get these young women not only out of the hands of the abortionists, but can get them real help just a few steps away.
I started praying the rosary while other "prayer warriors" and sidewalk counselors arrived.
At about 7:15, the Deathscorts round up all of the women who are going to the clinic and line them up in a column of twos and croud around them in an effort to keep the sidewalk counselors from making any contact with them. Seeing this brought to mind the image of cattle being herded into a chute in preparation of sending them into the slaughterhouse, which when you think about it, is exactly what they were doing. They were herding these women into the clinic in order to slaughter their babies. I kept praying for the lord to touch these women's hearts and to change their minds. Meanwhile, the sidewalk counselors constantly talked to the women through the wall of Deathscorts offering to take them to the resource center for free sonograms and other pre-natal services and support. The women waiting to enter the clinic just looked straight ahead at the glass doors, not wanting to aknowledge that what they were about to do is wrong and not wanting to aknowledge the presence of the sidewalk counselors, knowing that their resolve would fail if they did.
The clinic staff opened the doors at about 7:20 and herded the women inside. I finished praying a decade of the Rosary and started praying the Chaplet of Devine Mercy. Sidewalk counselors talked to the women inside, continuing to exhort them to accept real help. I don't know if they were heard or not as they talked in a normal tone of voice, not yelling, nor shouting in order to be heard. Meanwhile one of the Deathscorts gave a snide, evil laugh at the fact that he did his job and got those women into the clinic.
I continued to pray.
It was very sad to watch and I continued to pray.
At 7:45, I had to bid farewell to the others that were out there as it was time for me to make my way to work. I was informed that 13 women entered the clinic this morning. 13 babies were possibly killed this morning.
And I will continue to pray....
I have decided to add a memorial page to the site listing the names of women who have died as a result of complications or other factors directly related to obtaining an abortion.
We all need to remember that these women did not need to die. That there were alternatives available to them besides abortion, if someone had just been able to talk to them and educate them and offer them assistance.
Seriously, what DO they mean by "Choice"?
It's not a choice for the unborn, they get no say in the matter.
It's not a choice for the father who may actually want a child. Radical feminism has convinced women that men must have no say in the matter whatsoever.
The frightened, confused and often ill-informed women who go into abortion clinics or other "Pro-Choice" centers are not provided information on ALL of the options available to them besides abortion so that they cannot make a educated and well-formed decision. Therefore, they are not provided with a choice, because they are not necessarily aware of the alternative options in regards to their unborn baby.
So what do they mean by "Choice" and for whom do they think gets to make it?
While I'm writing on this subject, I would like to respond to a few of the classic arguments that are constantly thrown out by "pro-choice" women.
1) "Until men can get pregnant, they have no say in the matter"
Well, if men could get pregnant, then seriously, what would we need women for? The very nature of this argument is fallacious, since man has proven time and time again that anything that does not serve a uniquely desirable purpose is either destroyed or left to destruction and the femal gender would have become extinct ages ago. Just look to China for an example. They are having to import brides due to the unavailability of Chinese brides, a situation that has been created by China's single-child policy and the ability of parents to abort their baby just because it's a girl.
As it is, it takes two people, a man and a woman to create a baby, no matter what method is used (natural, IVF, etc.) and if a man has no say in whether the baby he helped create (intentionally or not) gets to be born or not, then he should be making 100% absolutely, positively certain that he sperm is not coming into contact with any woman or her eggs. Which means keep it in you pants boys.
I also pity any man who marries a woman who holds this belief, because he is likely to be emasculated in short-order by his radical feminist wife and will either spend his life miserably married to her or eventually divorced from her and damaged goods to other women.
2) "Men can keep their hands off my uterus/ovaries/reproductive rights"
In which case, they should be looking forward to either a long life of celibacy or lesbianism.
At the same time they should be pushing for legislature prohibiting any male doctor from performing any kind of abortion, since it involves him making medical decisions or recommendations that do have a direct correlation to your uterus/ovaries/reproductive rights as well as literally putting his hands on them. I would really support this since I'm willing to bet that the majority of doctors performing abortions are men.
3) "Abortions should stay safe..."
Except there is nothing safe about abortion. Surgical abortions just like any other surgery has risks such as cuts/nicks to internal organs/body parts causing infections, internal bleeding and a visit to th eemergency room at best and death at worst. Chemical abortions have their own unique set of risks to include allergic reactions, chemical-induced hemmhoraging, cramping and again a possible visit to the E.R. at best or death at worst.
4) "...and legal"
Keeping abortion legal simply reinforces the false notion that abortion is morally acceptable. When laws are in place that ban immoral acts, the general population is generally deterred from performing that act. Granted, there will always be that fringe that will act in defiance of the law, but the percentage of women who suffered or died each year while having an "illegal" abortion before the Roe v. Wade decision is lower than those who suffered or died from "legal" abortions after Roe v. Wade.
5) "Why should I be punished/burdened with children"
Simply, because they are the ones who are going to wipe your butt and take care of you in your old age, should you live that long. Analysts keep talking about how Social Security will not be able to support the increasing number of retirees because it will run out of money. Why? Because we have aborted our replacements in the work-force who should be contributing to the Social Security fund. Half of the people who should be working and contributing to Social Security today never made it out of the womb alive.