Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Do We Truly Believe What We Profess?

How strong is our conviction in what we believe to be the Truth and how strong is our faith to act on this conviction? Every Sunday at Mass, we recite the Profession of Faith or the Apostles Creed which proclaims who we are as Catholics and what we believe to be True. But do we really believe what we say? How sure are we of what we believe to be the Truth?

Many times we just recite prayers over and over again until they become second nature without thinking of what we are praying or proclaiming. A good example of what I am talking about is in the vows of Holy Matrimony. Think of the words, "For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, til death do us part" and "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." and ask yourself how many of us really meant these words when we made that vow at the alter, or was it just a quaint little saying that we recite out of mere tradition without any firm intention of keeping these words and living them? A near 50% divorce rate among Catholics is very telling in this case.

Catholics have just been challenged by the Obama administration to give up their consciences and to deny what we know to be the Truth: the truth that Christ redeemed mankind, set His Church here on earth with Him as the head to guide us in faith and morals and the gates of hell will never prevail against her. When we say "I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" do we mean it and truly believe it?

The strength of our belief and faith in the Church founded on Peter will determine how strongly we defend that belief and faith. No one goes into a debate or a war without a firm belief that they are on the right side of things for if we did have doubts about whether what we believe is really true, then we've almost certainly have lost the battle before it even begins and this is exactly what the Obama administration is counting on. They believe that we, as mere sheep, will acquiesce in face of this challenge. They do not accept that Catholics believe what they proclaim in Mass. They may be right because we've not given them any indication in the past that we are any different than other Americans when Catholics voted for him in the last general election, in the use of contraceptives or procuring an abortion. They believe Catholics have no spine for a fight.

Some of the most fearsome opponents to face are those that are sure of themselves in what they believe to be true. When Catholics defend life of the unborn, traditional marriage, criticize same-sex "marriages or homosexual acts without backing down, believing what the Church teaches on these matters as true, the response from the left is rage. No longer having an argument in their arsenal to counter Church teaching, the left now seeks to destroy the messenger. The Catholic is called a racist, hateful, a homophobe and the like.

No longer able to debate their side of the issue, the left will begin to silence the Catholic by any means possible. When the debate reaches this point, then you know fear has now entered them, the fear that the Church is right, for if the Church is right in her teachings on these issues, then that makes the left wrong and that will not do. Silencing the Catholic is now the only remedy to counter the Catholic Church. Unable to change our convictions, they now seek to silence our opposition through law. Here again, we need to ask ourselves if God's laws are above man-made laws when they contradict each other. 

Catholics have become very complacent about their faith in the last several decades. Rather than fighting for what we believe is true, we have sat back and have let society dictate was is right and wrong and we have gone along with them. Getting to this point in the debate did not happen overnight and it has only happened because we let it happen.

Are we up to the challenge to fight for the Truth? Will we again sit back and let a godless government ride roughshod over our faith in the Truth that the Catholic Church is the one, true faith? The bishops may think their lone voices and influence over public policy will not do much. I totally disagree. If they show they are willing to lead and fight for the Truth, then I believe Catholics will follow. Catholics make up a large voting block in this country. If they see their Church leaders standing up against this tyranny, I believe they in turn, will protest their government through calls, letters and their vote this year. Archbishop Dolan may be one voice, but he is not the only voice.

We need to ask ourselves if we are the Catholics we profess to be,  and do we truly believe the Catholic Church to be the one, true Church of Christ. If yes, then it's high time we act as if we do. Let's call Obama's bluff.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Battles To Be Fought In A War Already Won

I wrote in a previous post that I never thought I would live to see the day where our own government would actively and blatantly strive to take away the rights of American citizens. If any Catholic in the United States believes that the current battle between the bishops and the HHS is directed only to employers, who provide health care insurance to their employees, they would be dead wrong. It's much more than that. This administration is determined to undermine the rights of the American people and this HHS battle is the first major attempt.

This battle that the bishops are now engaging in against HHS will determine how the next battle will be fought. Believe me: there are more to come from Obama and company. It pays to know the enemy with whom you are doing battle and the character of the enemy. Obama is a man that has no respect for the U.S. Constitution or his fellow citizens. He has even less respect for the unborn. This is a man who's lack of character aided him in enacting more pro-abortion initiatives during his first 100 days in office than any other president before him. If you care to read about his 100 hundred days promoting death of the unborn, you can read it here First 100 Days. With this track record on abortion, he will not give in to anyone, especially the Church.

This is a man that opposed a bill which prevented the killing of babies that were mistakenly left alive after an abortion, similar to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, while an Illinois state senator. He is man that did not want his own daughters "punished" by an unwanted pregnancy, and just the other day, praised abortion on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade as a way for women to fulfill their dreams.

This man is a narcissist and a liar. He will say and do anything that will promote his agenda. He will back off a controversial issue if it gets too hot, but only long enough to draw closer his intended victim for the final kill. Archbishop Dolan found this out first hand.

This is the kind of man that the bishops will be dealing with. This man considers Christians, especially Catholics as doormats and he has no qualms in walking over their beliefs to get what he wants and he has made that abundantly clear to all America. Obama is ready for a fight. I think he believes he will only get a nominal resistance from the Church and he is counting on this.

Fighting HHS will take courage from the bishops. They must understand that the courage they will need and display against HHS will be contagious. I hope their courage to fight will infect Catholics in America, to the point where they will also do battle side by side with the bishops.

What the outcome of this battle will be, win or lose, is known only to God at this point. Win or lose, no government or person can make us do anything against our conscience, not unless we allow it. Thus it is very important that not one concession be made to this administration, no matter how small. It will be seen as a chink in our armor and will prove to this administration that we are indeed doormats and they will advance against us with even more fervor.

I pray that the bishops are up for this fight and already, I am very encouraged by the condemnations I have heard against the HHS ruling by various bishops. I've been waiting a long time to hear this Catholic unity from our leaders and I hope and pray it continues. What will be important in this first of many battles I see on the horizon, is how it is fought. It must be fought with resolve and courage. It must be fought tooth and nail with no quarter given to this administration. They are not to be trusted in any way, shape or form. They have proven that time and again. Any promise made by Obama will be a promise vowed to be broken.

I hope Archbishop Dolan and all his fellow bishops have learned that lesson. It is imperative that they have. I pray also that the bishops give their flocks the confirmation that our faith is worth fighting for no matter the outcome. We know the final outcome of this world: We have won the war, it is the battles such as this one, that must be fought. If courage is needed by the bishops, I ask them to look around the world and see our brothers and sisters that are being killed because of their faith. If they believed dying for their faith was worth it, then what we are faced with in this country, though important, is a cakewalk in terms of courage. We are not faced with death yet, but to cede our Catholic consciences to secularism. If we allow this administration to dictate our conscience, then all bets are off for those that hold on to their faith. There will be no telling what we may be faced with in the future.

This country may have loss some respect in the world of late, but I assure you that the eyes of the Catholic world, especially in Europe are watching what the Church in America will do. There are rumblings deep within the heart of Europe's soul that tells me the Faith is not all dead and is waiting for that spark to rekindle it again. Europe is already where, we as a country, are headed if we are not careful and vigilant. Some may think that this battle is insurmountable and that we cannot win. I do not believe that at all. I believe it is indeed a battle that can be won if all the resources available to us are utilized, including God and His Church.

Pray all you Catholics, pray for your bishops. They need us more than ever.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Catholics For Obama: Why Are We Surprised?

We should not at all be surprised to find that a majority of Catholics voted for Obama and that many still support him for the 2012 election. Long ago, at a time when Catholics were discriminated against in the U.S. as many of them were immigrants from Poland, Ireland, and Italy, there were no support systems for these common folks, laborers, who came to this country to start a new life, working everyday and raising their families. It was the Democrat party that took them under their wing and became the party for workers.

The Republicans were considered more the party that supported businesses and was comprised mainly of an electorate that was then considered WASPs. Many Church leaders of the day were also Democrats and supported this political party for the work they were trying to do for the poor. This support was solidified when JFK became the first Catholic President and for many Catholics, now Democrats, this president and his party could do no wrong.

Since the time of JFK, the Democrat party began to move in a direction that was increasingly at odds with Catholic teaching on abortion, social justice for all, immigration et al. Even though it became apparent that there was an inconsistency in the Democrat agenda and what the Church taught, bishops, priests and a majority of Catholic laity continued to vote for and find a voice with the Democrat party. Many Catholics at the time simply did not want to see or didn't understand the moral dilemma of voting for a politician that supported abortion rights for a woman, rather, they looked at the broader spectrum of issues of the day and felt justified in voting for a pro-abortion politician.

A mere twenty years ago, Church leaders were still not very clear in their guidance to Catholics in how to use their "Voting Conscience" when it came time to enter the ballot box. Their guidance was vague and left big holes in how a Catholic could vote. Indeed, many of the Church leaders still supported Democrat politicians that made no attempt to hide their pro-choice views, because they themselves believed this party best supported Catholic teaching in many other issues. The Catholic in the pew followed their bishop's lead.

After generations of voting Democrat, many Catholics found it very difficult to move away from their party of choice, and to admit they were supporting a party that did not see eye to eye with what the Church taught in terms of social issues. Yet, bishops continued to support this pro-choice party. Then the tide began to turn as a few courageous bishops began to speak out against pro-choice politicians and to publicly say they could no longer be affiliated with the Democrat party. Too little too late for the majority of Catholics. We saw the results of this in the last general election with the Catholic swing vote going to Obama. Despite this turning tide, we found the bishops supporting Obamacare as long as it didn't use taxpayer funding of contraception and abortion.

I'm not sure where the Church leaders gather their information when bills are introduced to legislation, but when  Pelosi tells them that the health-bill has to be passed in order to know what it is in it, that should have tickled the bishops' antennae. It didn't. Even when they won the concession that abortions would not be publicly paid for by the taxpayer, (which naively the bishops believed) they supported the bill knowing (or unknowing?) the far reaching tentacles of a government paid health-care bill would have to control the life styles of the people that the insurance covered in order to control costs. The bishops left the impression that losing a few rights was worth it if all were covered by health insurance. Many Catholics in the pews, seeing the support the Church gave this bill, went along.

For whatever reason, the bishops in this country have had a hard time being clear in certain issues as to what the Church teaches. They teach abortion is wrong, yet many Church leaders would vote for a Democrat that was not profoundly pro-life. Is this not a confusing message to the rest of us?

In terms of social justice, Church leaders seemed to be in bed with the liberal idea of  social justice, and very seldom made any reference that the Church taught social justice for all people, including the unborn. I would cringe time and again when I heard a bishop praise a liberal Democrat who fought for social justice in this country and not say a word about including the unborn and the care of the elderly as part of true Catholic social justice. It seemed as though they thought Catholics in the pews would know this through osmosis. Above all, Catholic bishops seemed to want to believe the promises of Democrats to fight for all injustice even though their track record spoke otherwise.

A good example in the lack of clarity in how the Church leaders teach is in the recent clerical abuse scandals. When the stories from Boston first came out, I heard words like, "lack of discretion by priests", failure to uphold their vows, a failure of trust to the children and so on from Church leaders. Bishops taught Catholics the sinful nature of sexual activity outside of marriage, but I had to wait a long time to finally hear a bishop say that sexual abuse of children by priests was grievously immoral, a high crime against God and nature and that it was a mortal sin. We all knew this was gravely wrong, but why were the bishops so reluctant in spelling it out? Why cover up the moral gravity of this sin in petty language instead of being plain in that it was a grave, mortal sin? Again, they left the impression that it was only a matter of law and not a grave sin.

I believe it is for this reason the majority of the Catholic vote went to the most pro-abortion president in our history:  A total lack of clear-cut teaching by the bishops and their own voting records. Bishops need to realize that there are still many Catholics that take their lead from them. What they do and say is regarded by Catholics who seek their leadership in what the Church teaches.

American bishops, either because of their naivete, ignorance or just bad judgement on their part now have a major fight on their hands with a president that is intent on destroying religious freedom. This is a fight of the bishops' own making and they have no one but themselves to blame. They have supported liberal Democrats  for years, while decrying abortion and contraception. They have accepted money from the government for Catholic Charities but are shocked to hear that the government expects them to compromise their faith. They supported Obamacare and all of a sudden they are again surprised at the governments insistence that all employers provide coverage for abortions and the like at the expense of Catholic conscience.

The majority of Catholic voters for Obama are also to be blamed in part on the Church leaders'  by seemingly giving the Catholic voter wide berth in how they should vote. Bishops should have been crystal clear that any politician supporting abortion should not be considered for the Catholic vote at all, and by voting for a pro-choice candidate, the voter was putting him or herself in immoral dire straits. By not emphasizing the importance of voting pro-life and giving too much elbow room in considering  the most important moral issue of our day in their guidelines, Catholic voters went to ballot box thinking they were justified in voting for Obama. And they did, big time.

The Catholics that voted for Obama cannot be without blame. In today's' world, information can be had practically anywhere and anytime over the internet. To know what Obama believed and what his agenda was could have been learned by anyone willing to take the time to do a little research. The "I didn't know" excuse is just that: an excuse. If their source of news was mainstream media, then they got half the story and truth about Obama, and the other half was deception, knowing what we know today about liberal media bias. There are many fine Catholic websites that deal in politics, what politicians espouse and what the Church teaches concerning certain issues. It's all there at our finger tips. If Catholics find themselves paying for abortions or contraception through their taxes and are horrified by that, they should be more horrified to have believed the lies of this administration and supported it by voting for Obama.

I don't believe the Catholic voters are stupid. Lazy or apathetic, perhaps. They can and do make their own decisions in many things without bishops having to guide them, but when it comes to faith and morals, the increasing confusion of moral issues by those willfully blurring the lines of truth and how to approach a certain candidate, then they need to and should be able to turn to their Church for clear guidelines. Those Catholics that did turn to their leaders were let down for the most part by a less than clear message.

So, we have come to the point where the Bishops now have to backtrack, fight what they inadvertently supported through Obamacare and try to sue this government to retain religious freedom of conscience. They also have to be increasingly clearer in teaching Catholic doctrine with no ambiguity at all if they want Catholics to vote along Catholic teaching on social issues, and that won't be done overnight. The American bishops however, have to lead the way with their teaching and their actions at the ballot box. They are after all the shepherds of the Catholics in America.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Mengele Legacy Lives On

Have we finally come to this? Have we come to the point in society and especially in the medical profession that if the notorious Nazi Doctor Josef Mengele were alive today he would be hailed as a great medical pioneer of modern medicine? So it would seem to be. After reading the heart wrenching story about the couple whose little girl was refused a medical transplant by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia because of her "mental" condition, I can only come to this conclusion.

Many eyewitnesses recalled seeing Dr. Mengele standing outside boxcars full of human cargo in the Auschwitz death camp during the Third Reich, pointing to one person then another, deciding who would immediately go to the gas chamber to die and who would be given a reprieve for a short while so Mengele could conduct his 'medical' experiments on them. I remember asking myself when first reading of these accounts, how anyone could have been given so much power over an individual in such a supposedly, civilized society that was Germany in the 1930's to be able to have the power to decide who lives and who dies without impunity. Yet, here we are today doing the same thing.

I'm sure many in the medical profession and society at large would be offended to think their actions are seen in the same light as those of Mengele, yet that is what some in the medical profession have become: Angels of Death. Chop made the decision not to allow a child to have a transplant because they deemed her quality of life was substandard; mentally delayed. The story is here. (This decision was reversed? due to pressure if indeed reversed?) In another story, a lesbian couple here have decided to experiment with their son and push ahead on a path of turning him into a little girl because he 'exhibits' female tendencies. In India and other asian countries, gender selection and the deliberate abortions of female fetus's has become the new norm for those wanting sons over daughters. Unborn children who through medical testing, are found to have Downs Syndrome are systematically denied life and aborted. This happens over 90% of the time in Europe.

And now in the West, a conference was held in Canada among medical professionals sounding the alarm that perhaps telling would be parents the gender of their unborn child  is not a good idea and would prevent parents from aborting children who are not of a gender of their own liking. Perhaps I'm being naive, but I would not have thought this practice was done in Western cultures, yet here we are again. If medical society has begun to question this practice in the West, then what is not being said is how extensive these gender selected abortions are being done today.

Society and the medical profession have become so entangled in a web of their own making that on the one hand, decisions of who lives and who dies has become common practice, yet on the other hand, medical science has so evolved that saving a fetus that shows a dangerous medical condition in its earliest stages of development are successfully being saved. There is no rhyme or reason to any of this. Without the ethical standards that the medical establishment adhered to in the past, where one could rightly accuse Dr. Mengele of atrocities for his experimentation on live humans, no one today can accuse Mengele of any wrong doing when they themselves are deciding who lives and who dies.

The medical society will only tighten the knots of this self created web of unethical and immoral behavior unless they take back their vow of "do no harm" and realize that quality of life is not determined by a doctor or a group of doctors. We have learned the wrong lesson from the Mengele era.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Abortion and Capital Punishment: Where is the Consistency of Logic?

Before the advent of DNA testing, there was no question that some prisoners on death row were executed, though innocent of the crime for which they were accused. It was not just unfortunate, but a horrible travesty. Today however, DNA testing has exonerated more than one convicted prisoner which has led to their release from prison and death. All good. Our justice system is not nor has it ever been perfect, but it is all we have at the moment. In justice and in most things where humans are involved, there is always the chance of human error and our penal system has proved that. DNA testing has been invaluable as a means of finding the truth as to the innocence or guilt of a person. I will venture to say that DNA does not lie. It is as perfect in identifying a person through genetic code as anything we have, and more so. Innocence is at stake here and that is no small thing when faced with execution.

Many who wish to ban capital punishment feel the risk of killing an innocent person is too great to allow executions to continue, that it is not a deterrent to others who wish to commit a capital crime and that the taking of a life, even of one who is guilty of a heinous crime is simply wrong and we debase ourselves as a society as a result. Fair enough, but many who are against capital punishment support abortion rights for women.

There is no question that an unborn child is human life; DNA testing of any fetus will prove that. You cannot take a human sperm and fertilize a human egg and come up with anything other than a human being. It cannot be a kitten, a puppy or a turnip. It's that simple. So why is the killing of an unborn human any different than the killing of a person on death row? Why is one allowed and not the other? The argument today seems to  be the state of personhood when it pertains to the unborn. The argument goes that the unborn is not yet a person. Yes, DNA proves it's humanity, but that alone does not make it a person, so an abortion is acceptable. Obviously, a prisoner on death row is not only human, but also a person and to execute that person would be wrong.

As Americans, we've prided ourselves in believing that someone is innocent until proven guilty, and that the burden of proof that a person is guilty of a crime lies with those that are victims of that crime or the entity representing the victim. Not so with the unborn child. An unborn child, unable to speak for itself is considered guilty until proven innocent. Guilty of what? Guilty of not being a person. What defines a  person? You can ask ten people what makes a human being a person and you will get ten different answers. You can ask 200 people the same question and you will get 200 variations of the same answers. In other words, there is no scientific or medical proof that conclusively dictates that an unborn child is not a person. There is no test that determines the personhood of the unborn. The unborn are in the same predicament as a prisoner on death row before DNA testing.

If those who are pro-abortion and at the same time in favor of banning capital punishment because of the risk of executing an innocent man or woman are so willing to fight for the life of a prisoner, why then is not the same fight, fought with the same exuberance, not extended to the unborn? If the chance of executing a person that is innocent remains because of uncertainty of his guilt despite our best efforts to ascertain guilt, why is an unborn child aborted if the uncertainty of whether or not they a person also remains?

Notice that presumption of guilt is placed on the unborn; not so with a prisoner. Pro-abortion advocates have framed the argument in such a way that those of us that are pro-life have to prove the personhood of the unborn, thus their innocence, when those who favor abortion, knowing that there is no test to prove personhood, go off without having to provide evidence of the lack of same. This is not only inconsistency of logic of those who favor abortion, but also a double standard.

Dr. Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy at Boston College once described abortion as an abandoned house. I do not remember the exact wording of the analogy but it goes something like this.

Supposing someone with a gun came upon a house that was abandoned with the intentions of shooting out the windows and while taking aim, a passerby stopped and asked what he was doing. The passerby, after the first man explained what he was about to do, then asks him what if there was someone inside the house? What if a person really lived there? The gunman answers that it's been abandoned and falling down and that no one in their right mind could believe a person would actually live in such a place. Besides, he explained, there has been no movement seen around the house nor has anyone ever seen a person go in or out.

The story then goes on to explain that if the gunman did discharge his gun and was reported to the police, then he would be arrested or fined for endangerment of the public, discharging a firearm in a residential area and if indeed a person lived there and was killed by one of the bullets, he would then be charged with manslaughter at the very least. A defense of he didn't know a person was in the house at the time of the shooting would be no defense. He should have known better. He should have reasoned that perhaps someone could be in the house, and that by shooting out the windows he could not only have put others in danger but ended up killing someone in the house he could not see.

For those who are pro-abortion, the life in the womb is an abandoned house. There is no person in that little life because it does nothing. There is no indication that it can even think let alone "know" anything. So no one lives there. It is only a shell, a shell that maybe one day will hold a person, never thinking that perhaps a person does inhabit this shell of a human body, but at the present moment it cannot communicate that it is a person. What defense will an abortionist have if it is ever proven medically that the unborn is a person? That he didn't know? As in the analogy above of the abandoned house, not knowing is no defense, that is why there are laws against reckless endangerment of the public. The gunman should have erred on the side of caution. Not so when it pertains to abortions even though there is no proof that the unborn is not a person. An assumption is made that it is not a person instead of the other way around.

Those of us that are Christian and pro-life do not need medical proof that an unborn child is a person. The law of nature and our faith has provided us with all we need to know. But what of those that are not of our faith and do not listen to what natural law has inscribed in all of us? If medical science ever proved that the unborn is a person, perhaps it would suffice for those that fight for abortion rights and will then abandoned their support for abortions. That proof, or lack of it, would not change what I believe is the truth. It would only solidify what I've always known. As in the shroud of Turin, were it ever to be  proven without a shadow of a doubt that it is a fake, it would do nothing to my faith for my faith does not lie in a shroud. The lack of medical proof of the personhood of the unborn does not change my mind that all humans are persons from conception, but perhaps if it were proven that an unborn child is a person,  it would change the minds of many that fight for the right of abortions. Until then, it would be logical and reasonable to assume that yes, it is a person and we should err on the side of caution.

There are those that can better articulate the defense of the unborn than I can. They have a gift of persuasion that I can only hope to have someday, yet, despite this, I cannot remain silent, nor will I. As mentioned above, Dr. Peter Kreeft has written a tremendous article arguing the defense of the unborn here.

Finally, I believe that there are some hardcore abortionists that would not change their minds even if the truth of personhood slapped them in the face. I do not think anything short of a "Road To Damascus" could sway them in changing their minds. However, it is for those that are morally confused about abortion that I appeal to. There are those I believe that do not know what to think about the immorality of abortion and do not know how to listen to that voice inside of them and how to discern it. If you are confused or not sure if that unborn life in a woman's womb is really a person, than I ask you err on the side of caution. If I am wrong and it is not a person, then nothing is lost, but if I'm right...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pro-life, Pro-family, Defender of Traditional Marriage and Electable

On Tuesday, I'll be heading off to the polls to vote in New Hampshire's primary elections. I've thought long and hard and have finally come to a decision as for whom to cast my vote. As mentioned in a previous post, (here), I am a one issue voter and I make no excuses for it. It's not that I think the economy, the war or Obamacare aren't important, they are, but I believe the issue of abortion is at the top of the list as far as importance is concerned. I believe all the other problems happening in our country stems from the lack of morality this country is faced with, and I think in order to get back on track and getting this country moving again is by repairing our moral compass and that begins by rescuing our unborn children.

My choices have come down to two candidates: Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. My own state's newspaper, the Union Leader, a paper I have to admit I read and admire for its more conservative leanings,  had an editorial stating that Gingrich is a conservative and was the only candidate that was capable of defeating Obama and for that reason we should support Gingrich in the primaries; sorry...not a good enough reason for me. I need more than electability from a candidate in order for me to vote for him or her.

On top of that, it is clear to me what the GOP elites and certain conservative newspapers are attempting to do. In endorsing Romney (with the exception of the Union Leader) and telling us there is no one better or more eligible to beat Obama and become president, and that by all accounts he will be the primary candidate, we should just vote for Romney and get it over with. I can't do that nor will I. Primaries are about choices, and I am not going to allow "elites" to dictate to me for whom I should vote. I've allowed that to happen before like Dole and McCain, but no more.

Too often in times past I've followed that line of thinking that though I liked a particular candidate, I would vote for another that had a better chance of winning...though I would have to hold my nose while voting. I won't have to hold my nose Tuesday, for I am voting as I have in the recent past, for the person I want to be President and not the one that has a better chance of winning. Though both candidates mentioned above have their own problems to deal with in the media I am standing with Rick Santorum. Rick Santorum, in my view is the one true pro-life candidate that is presented to us. He has proven that with his daughter Bella. Not only do I admire a man who not only talks the talk of being pro-life, but actually walks the walk and has no regrets.

I also admire him for his pro-family stance. He has spoken how the family IS the foundation of society and today that foundation is in grave danger. He speaks what I think when it comes to families. I believe him to be the man to  enact programs that will strengthen families, solidifying our American society. For too long this government has done everything possible to destroy families and we are seeing the results of this through one parent homes where the father is no where to be found. We see it in our welfare state where a single mother is rewarded for having children without a father being responsible for it's welfare and upbringing.

This third point follows the second, in that Rick Santorum is not only pro-family but firmly believes that marriage is between a man and woman, creating a stable home that is safe for children. A child has the right to have his or her own biological mother and father when ever possible. Taking a child and putting this child in a same gender home where he has two "fathers" or two "mothers" is not and has never been in the childs best interest.

Rick Santorum not only talks about God, but has proven to me that God is a big part of his life and the life of his family. I can connect with him in this also. There are those that would love to shut him up when he speaks of his faith and I'm sure the temptation is there for him to do just that, knowing the ridicule that is facing him because of his faith. Too bad. He hasn't shut up and takes the ridicule and lies and continues on. He's a bigger man than his critics on the left.

There are those that are afraid of a coming theocracy should Santorum be elected. I have no fear of that at all,  not from what I've seen or heard from him. What most critics do not realize is that we are already in a form of theocracy: Secularism. It has its own god to worship.

This country is in a moral quagmire and it will take more than a team of horses to pull it of there. It will take a moral stance and a moral defense of what is good as well as a change of hearts. I think this country is ready for a moral change. I've seen it in the general public as more of them have changed their minds concerning abortions and have become pro-life.

Obama and the liberals have done us a favor in the last three years. They have shown us their true colors simply because they are drunk with power and believe they can now come out of the closet and show this country what they stand for because they believe themselves indestructible. Our country has now seen first hand what happens when those who have very little respect for God and the moral absolutes that DO exist and have since the beginning, come into power. Yes, we are ready for a change, a change that takes us back to a moral country with the respect for ALL people, born and unborn.

No, I don't believe Rick Santorum is perfect in all ways. No, I don't believe him to be another messiah. What I do believe however, is that hopefully,  he is the one, the first of several in succession of presidents that will take his faith in God and change the course of this country and begin to put it back on a moral track.

Pro-life, pro-family and a staunch defender of traditional marriage. I think he is the best bet yet, and yes, I do believe he is electable and that he can defeat Obama in November.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sharing The Eucharist At Home With Family

One of the things I dislike the most in life is having to eat by myself, but luckily I don't have to do that very often. A meal should be shared and enjoyed with others. It's not just the food itself that is most important in this, but the company of others that sit with you while eating.

Quite often we read in scripture instances where meals are eaten together. In Genesis we see Abram instructing Sara to prepare a meal for the strangers that arrived at their tent and Abram sat with them as they ate. In Exodus, the people are told to prepare a lamb the night before their deliverance in the Passover and to share what they have with others.  Of course, in the New Testament we read of our Lord sharing the last supper(Passover) with this apostles. My favorite story of sharing a meal is when Jesus, after the resurrection, arrives at the shore during the early hours of morning while his apostles are out fishing on their boat, and he is cooking fish on a fire and invites them to come and share this meal.

The very birth of Christ shows us the importance of food and a meal shared. Mary placed the child Jesus in a manger. This manger, basically a feeding trough for animals and a word meaning "to eat" in French, was the first hint at what our Lord had come to do: feed us and be with us for eternity. Offered to us in a manger as real food and real drink, He is the bread, the manna come down from heaven. Spiritual food. In Holy Communion, we share in the body and blood of Christ in a meal that makes us a part of the One Body of Christ along with all the other faithful.

The importance in having dinner together as a family must not be overlooked. This was instilled in me when I was young and still living home. Now, with my own family as we sit for our meals, we turn off all radios, the TV and do not answer the phone except to tell the caller we will call them back, unless it is an emergency.  As in Mass, I want no distractions during dinner. When the kids were young and in school, the meal was the time we could delve into our children's minds, ask about their day and tell them about ours. We laughed, joked and we also had serious talks. Problems were solved at meals, and questions were asked as well as answered.  It wasn't just the eating that was important but what sharing a meal meant for the unity of our family. This One Body. A family meal where everyone is present is it's own prayer, like a rosary said as a family.

At times, we share our meal with visitors. Many of them never say grace before a meal, so it's quite amusing to see their expressions when family members quietly extend their hands for visitors to hold and grace is said.  Most times no one mentions our saying of grace, and  if they do comment on it, it's usually because they are surprised to see that some people still give thanks for their food. You can be sure that on subsequent visits they know grace will be said and they also stretch out their hands to us. When in Rome...

I've always felt that shared meals were an extension of Holy Communion. I know we do not partake in the Body of Christ at dinner time, but the sense of belonging to something very important is there. The unity and the sharing as a family that comes with it always reminds me of what we share in Mass with other Catholics all over the world. Is it any wonder why the Thanksgiving meal is so loved? Friends and family from all over are invited to share in this gigantic feast  where everyone is enjoying themselves, chatting, and catching up with each other. Yeah, the turkey is good, but the company and meal shared is better.

My favorite meal to have is Sunday breakfast. Very often we go out for breakfast after Mass to a diner close to the church. To me, it's a perfect extension of Holy Communion and what we have just shared. We see others also who have just come from Mass with the same idea, and the feeling of 'oneness', again with the One Body, is so very much present when we gather here for this meal. 

Heaven is described as wedding feast and that just thrills me for I've always loved wedding receptions. You see people you haven't seen in ages. You reminisce with family members or friends that you grew up with who left for other destinations as adults, only to have years go by before seeing them again. A wedding reception is  a family reunion. It was so apropos for our Lord to begin his ministry at the wedding in Cana and to make sure the wine kept flowing. The final wedding between Christ and His bride, the Church, will come at the end of time. I don't know if there will be any need for food or a shared meal after our resurrection, but seeing the importance of a meal throughout scripture, I suspect there might be, especially if heaven is described as a wedding feast. If there is to be a final wedding with Christ and His bride, then there has to be a reception afterward, for what is a wedding without a reception? That is one meal I do not want to miss. I've been practicing for this wedding feast all my life.

Happy and blessed New Year!