Are Catholics Getting What They Deserve?

Do Catholics deserve what the Obama administration is doing to them? He has thrown out the First Amendment and usurped the right to tell us what we believe. If He succeeds with his contraception mandate, the Church will never be the same. We will be subject to the whims of whoever occupies the Oval Office. One can only imagine what will come next.
The Fortnight for Freedom is going on now. This is the time designated by the bishops to go to the One who can truly help us, God. Go to church and look around. Where are the crowds? Where are the people praying?
The most powerful weapon we possess is prayer yet I see little evidence that American Catholics are joining the Fortnight for Freedom. We have the same people attending daily mass and joining together to say the rosary. Yet we ignore our greatest weapon.
We have adopted the tactics of the enemy. I see negative email after email but they accomplish nothing. They didn’t stop the president from being elected or roughly half of Catholic from voting for him. We’ve turned to the Republican Party rather than the God who is sovereign. No wonder the president is winning. The only hope for our Church and our country is God, not the Republican Party. We can not depend on the Supreme Court. We will not win by sending negative emails or letters to the editor. Only by prayer can we succeed
Don’t we believe in prayer? Don’t we trust God? Don’t we understand our faith? Or is it that we enjoy complaining? We’d rather sit around complaining than do the most constructive thing we could do, pray?
Your prayers are important. This is not a job only for saints or “holy people”. All of us need to be praying. We have the power in prayer to change the world.
Mark 10:27 says “with God, all things are possible”. Only with God will we succeed. We can not expect to win without prayer. We can not expect to win using the weapons of Satan. Wake up!

Change Your Stinking Thinking

I knew a priest who constantly challenged people to change the way they think. The other night a friend of mine basically said the Church has to change the way it thinks about the mass. She said we should throw out the word obligation.
Going to mass on Sunday and holidays should not be considered an obligation, something you “have to do” but a privilege, something you get to do. It is a privilege to spend time in worship and communion with the Creator of the Universe, the Almighty God, and worker of miracles. We get to receive Jesus, the Divine Healer, miracle worker, and forgiver of sin, He who fed 5,000, healed the paralytic and raised the dead. Jesus with all His power is present in every host. Jesus passionately longs to bless us every time we open our hearts to Him in communion. Every time we go to mass there is a virtual Niagara Falls worth of grace poured out upon those who open their hearts to Jesus.
In the Bible we read how the Israelites traveled days and weeks to go to the Temple to worship. The Magi traveled for about two years to see Jesus. The crowds traveled for days following Jesus. Often they traveled from place to place trying to find Him. How easy do we have it? So often we get to travel by car less than a half hour and we don’t have to hunt. He sits in our Tabernacles just waiting for us. Most churches offer daily mass. We get to worship the Christ, the Living God in our local churches almost every day if we choose.
Think about it. People went berserk over the Beatles. People camped out to buy tickets to various concerts, and even movies. Around Thanksgiving some camp out to be in front of the line for sales. For the pope or a famous priest the crowds are unbelievable. I remember 70,000 people sitting in the rain for hours and hours in Giants Stadium waiting for John Paul II to say mass in October 1995. For security purposes they weren’t even permitted umbrellas yet they happily sat all day.
This is how it should be for every mass. Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord of Lords, miracle worker, the Master of the Universe is present with all of His power, waiting to pour His infinite love upon us. The God who created everything and has everything we will ever need waits for us to come and worship Him so He can pour His graces upon us. He longs to bless us.
What can we offer Him in return for all He has given us? Can we ever offer a gift on our own worthy of Him? No but at the Consecration we get to combine our offering with the sacrifice Jesus made at Calvary.
If we only thought about how privileged we are to go to mass. At every Consecration we enter the throne room of heaven. We kneel with the angels and saints before the God of the Universe. We kneel with Mary, Joseph, Peter, James and John, Padre Pio, John Paul II, Mother Theresa and all the saints in heaven including those from our family. How could we ever think of mass as something we have to do!

Slavery Was Legal

It is amazing how many Catholics support pro-choice politicians like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and the president.. You have to wonder if they understand the politician’s position or the seriousness of abortion. There appears to be an attitude that since abortion is legal it must not be so bad. After all, the Supreme Court has ruled it to be a right.
Yet the Supreme Court has not always been right nor has everything legal in the U.S. been moral. You need look no further than slavery to see evidence that what is legal is not always right. Slavery was legal in every state in the Union when the Constitution was written. It stayed legal for the first ninety years after the beginning of our Revolution. It wasn’t until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment that slavery was finally removed from this country. Slavery was not only legal but upheld by the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Decision which ruled Congress had no power to regulate slavery in the territories and African-Americans were not citizens even if they were free because according to Chief Justice Taney they were not part of the sovereign people when this country was established. It took the Fourteenth Amendment to make African-American men citizens.
You might recall that slavery was not eliminated until we fought the bloodiest war of our history. Some like John Brown and Thomas Jefferson felt that there would be a harsh punishment for the sin of slavery. Perhaps that is why the War was so bloody.
There are other similarities between the sins of slavery and abortion. Slaveholders argued that slavery benefited the slaves providing them a good living that they could not earn on their own. We all know the immensity of that lie. Those who argue for abortion argue that it is for the good of the child that it saves them from a miserable life of poverty, abuse or disability. The illogic of that claim is obvious. There has to be a better way to save one from abuse besides killing them. Another similarity is that the active participants in the struggle against both slavery and abortion were and are only a small minority of Americans. To America’s everlasting shame the majority of Americans voted their pocketbooks rather than their consciences. Both struggles have been long struggles lasting decades. Slavery lasted almost two hundred and fifty years from the arrival of the first slave ship in Jamestown. Let us pray that the struggle against abortion does not take that long.
Yet slavery was not the only injustice that was legal in our history. Any feminist could tell you that it took from the Constitution in 1789 until 1920 for women to get the vote. Even then it was longer for women to get the right to serve in certain professions and jobs. This wasn’t moral but it was legal.
Segregation was also legal until the 1960’s. We all know of the infamous Jim Crow laws of the South, requiring separate schools, water fountains, railroad cars, bathroom and other facilities. Not only was it legal but upheld in 1896 by the Supreme Court in Plessey v Ferguson which ruled “separate but equal” facilities were constitutional.
Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right. America and other nations are killing babies. To put it into perspective since Roe V Wade we lost more babies than we’ve lost lives in all of our wars so far. Just in America more babies were killed by abortion than all of the lives lost to battle and disease in World War I. Abortion has taken more lives than either Hitler or Stalin. Abortion was deadlier than the Black Plague of the Middle Ages. More babies are aborted each year than we lost in any of our wars. In fact we lost less lives in all of the wars we fought in the 1800’s than in one year due to abortion.
Americans protested and fought over the Vietnam War. Almost all of the media turned against the war. Yet less Americans died in Vietnam over the course of the war than in one month in the abortion clinics of the U.S. Where is the media now? Why are they silent about the horrors of Abortion?
The sad reality is that more persons of African descent have died due to abortion than died during the “Black Holocaust” the years of the Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas. We should wonder how anyone of African descent could support abortion.
It is time for Catholics to wake up and recognize the immensity of the evil of abortion.

A World of Confusion

Our world and the Church seem to be totally confused. The Church may know what it is supposed to be doing but many Catholics think the Church is supposed to do what is popular, what the people want rather than what God wants. We are influenced too much by the world, a world that is steeped in sin.
For most of us the main purpose of the Church is to help us get into heaven. Whether modern society believes in Heaven or Hell doesn’t matter when we die. The issue becomes whether God believes in Heaven and Hell. According to the Bible He does and no opinion poll, survey or New Age teaching will change that.
We live in a society that has decided that polls should decide what is right or wrong if anything is wrong anymore. We live in a society that doesn’t care what God thinks, that only cares about God during disasters and ignores Him the rest of the time. We do whatever we want as long as it is legal, well most of the time it is legal.
To God we live in a world of sin. We are so accustomed to the filth that we fail to recognize it. We dress like the rest of society even to mass on Sunday and think nothing of it. So often we brag about our sins and don’t even realize we’re doing it.
What is the role of the Church supposed to be in this day and age? Are we supposed to turn a blind eye and keep our mouth shut? That is what the world would like us to do on abortion, homosexuality and other issues. We’re told to keep Church and state separate. How can a Church stay silent?
Would it be really love to leave you sitting literally in a pig sty? Is it really love to leave you wallowing in sin? Is it really love to allow you to hurt yourself and others? The sad reality is that sin hurts. We suffer because of our sins and so often children suffer from the sins of their parents. Should all of this emotional or physical pain be ignored? Is this the kind of love Christ calls us to?
How can the Church stay silent? How can it not point to a better way to live? How can it not call us to repentance and reconciliation? There is so much pain in the world caused by our sins, it is impossible to be silent.
What does Jesus think? Does He not suffer to see so many of His children in pain? Isn’t the Church supposed to represent Him on earth? How can they not call people to repentance, reconciliation and prayer? How can we not offer the only true hope there is for us?
I knew a priest fresh out of seminary. He was in his first assignment and passionately preached the need for repentance, reconciliation and prayer. He got so many complaints about his sermons because talking about sin made people feel uncomfortable. I gave him a hat to wear that said Jesus is my boss. We forget so often that priests are answerable to God that they have to account to God for their failure to answer His call. They are supposed to be guided by the Holy Spirit not society.
All of us need to remember that Jesus is our boss. We too are called to take a stand against the sin in the world and refuse to cooperate with evil. We need to take a good look at our lives and not be afraid to be considered out of step with the times or old-fashioned because we dress and speak modestly. We need to look seriously at what we wear, watch, listen to or read.
We need to ask ourselves if immorality has slipped into our lives. Are our values those of God or the world? Where do we need to change?
All of us should discover so much that God would want to change in our lives. So much of today’s media is offensive in the eyes of God? We all know about the nudity and language and many of us avoid that. But what about the other values they promote towards sex, marriage, drugs and violence? Are they God’s values?
You would be amazed at how often things fly under the radar. We’re so accustomed to it that you don’t think about it. Maybe you don’t see sex on-screen but you know two characters are having an affair. It is so common on TV that you don’t even think about it.
As a six grade teacher I always had my religion class write a composition analyzing one of the TV shows they watched from God’s perspective. It was funny because most of them felt uncomfortable writing about the shows they usually talked about and instead wrote about Full House which was in reruns. It is sad that even in the so-called Family Hour they had difficulty finding shows that they believed God would approve. Where does that leave the rest of us?
We need to wake up to all of the sinfulness that surrounds us? We need to be grateful to those who answer God’s call to warn us.

Lord, help us to be grateful for our modern-day prophets. Help us to open our eyes and see the world as You see it. Amen

What Would Jesus Say Today

So often today we hear the claim that Jesus would condone modern morality. After all He understands what we are going through. The question we face is whether this claim is true. Can any story more pertinent to this question than the biblical story of the woman caught in adultery? There is much for both liberals and conservatives to ponder. Probably no other story reveals Jesus’ attitude towards sinners as this one.
His mercy was obvious. He did not condemn the woman. He said Let He without sin cast the first stone which is something we need to think about. All of us are sinners. We have no right to be worrying about other’s sins while we ignore our own. We need to take the plank out of our own eye rather than worry about others. Jesus didn’t like hypocrisy. He frequently criticized the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. We need to examine our own conscience about our own hypocritical tendencies.
We should rejoice that Jesus understood the weakness of the woman and he understands our weaknesses, our own struggle with sin. He also understands the struggle of those who commit abortion, homosexual acts and other modern day sins. Yes He understands. Yes He will forgive us just as He forgave the woman but it is also important to remember His last words to the woman.
Go and sin no more. He forgave her but He also told her to sin no more. We can be forgiven just as she was but we have to recognize our own sinfulness and try to change. Would Jesus have been as merciful if the woman had insisted that she wasn’t wrong? Can we deny our sins and expect forgiveness? Can we commit adultery over and over? Can we go against nature and God’s law and expect forgiveness if we deny our sinfulness? Can there be forgiveness without contrition and repentance?
Jesus did not condone sin. He never said sin was right but he forgave the sins of those who tried to change, who admitted their sinfulness. One of the biggest disagreements He had with the Pharisees was their refusal to admit their faults.
Over and over we hear how impossible it is to maintain a chaste lifestyle. It is difficult. Jesus never said it would be easy. He described the road to heaven as going through the narrow gate. We really can’t do this on our own but we were never meant to do so. We were always supposed to rely on God’s power not ours. With God all things are possible including living a chaste lifestyle. God provides the graces we need in the Sacraments but we must in humility take advantage of them. We must admit that we are sinners and open ourselves up to God’s grace.
We also need to remember Jesus warning about those who corrupt children. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their necks. Would He really favor the distribution of birth control devices in schools? Would He not speak out against the media and programs which discourage abstinence? Where would He stand on the issues of today?
Remember His last works to the woman were to go and sin no more. Would He not have the same message today?

Love Your Enemies

One line jumped out at me from yesterday’s gospel, Matthew 5:44 love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Do we really do that? Wouldn’t that include President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Kathleen Sebellius and Andrew Cuomo? Can we truly say that we love our enemies? Are we really praying for them?
This is what Jesus calls his followers to do, to love our enemies, even the president and to pray for our persecutors. We may not like the idea but it is His will. Don’t we pray Thy will be done? How can we pray the Our Father and ignore Jesus’ command?
Maybe things would not be as bad as they are if we had followed this command earlier. What would have happened if the more than 25 million Catholics who go to mass each week had seriously prayed for the president? What might happen if we begin to pray daily for Joe Biden? Could this be the only way to get a pro-life president? Don’t we believe that with God all things are possible?
Following Jesus command to love our enemies does not meaning giving up the fight. We still must oppose the policies of this administration. There is no question that we are right in doing so. The question lies in how we do so. We are against policies not a man. There is no need for the personal attacks and emails. That is not what God wants. That is not what it means to be a follower of Christ.
Too often the tactics we have used have come from the dark side. They turn people off and give Christians a bad name. Prayer is our greatest most powerful weapon. We need to unleash this weapon, especially the rosary.
Why not pray for all these politics to know the love of God, to know Jesus and to be guided by the Holy Spirit? Look how Paul changed. All things are possible for God even changing the heart of the president. Why do we keep denying the power of God by our failure to pray? Don’t we believe in God’s infinite power?

When Doctors Have No Answer, Go To Jesus

Why don’t we go to God when we are sick? Why not ask for His love to heal us? There are so many people I know suffering with cancer, some of them terminal cases. Many have been invited to be prayed over at a charismatic meeting but very few ever accept the invitation. How sad Jesus must feel when we don’t come to Him!
So many of us put our faith in doctors but why not also go to the one who loves you passionately, who created every cell in your body and in the universe? Our God is an awesome God, a God of infinite love, infinite mercy and infinite power. Why not do everything possible to open yourself up to His love and mercy. Do everything possible to open yourself up to His love, get anointed, go to confession, receive communion and get prayed over as often as possible.
God wants us to come to Him. Jesus said “Come, all you who are weary and burdened”. What can be more of a burden than a terminal disease? He wants us to come to Him in our sickness, in our weakness. He understands what we are going through. He took on our sufferings in the Passion. “By His stripes we are healed. Both Isaiah and Peter wrote this.
It is not about our worthiness. It is about God’s love and compassion. In the gospel Jesus raised the son of the widow from Nain from death because his heart was moved with compassion. He even healed the ear of Malchus, the servant of the high priest who was one of those in the Garden to arrest Jesus. He had compassion on all who came to Him in humility.
God has so much to give us even in our last days, a sense of peace, a greater sense of His love, the grace to forgive those who’ve hurt us, the grace to love better, maybe even more time. Doctors often are amazed by what God does. I knew one lady diagnosed with terminal cancer when her granddaughter was in 1st or 2nd grade. She lived to see her graduate from high school. I know of other people whose cancer disappeared or contracted so a surgeon was able to remove all of it. How do we know what God will do if we don’t come to Him in faith, trusting Him to do what is best? How will we know if we don’t open ourselves up to Him!
There is so much God can do if we come to Him. It may be that our healing, whether spiritual, emotional, and physical or all 3 will be the instrument He uses to bring our children back to Him.
We have to understand that God loves us so much, so deeply that we could never imagine it. A million years will not be long enough to understand the depth of His love for each one of us. He passionately wants to bless us but He wants us to come to Him. He will not force His love on us. He waits for us to open ourselves to His love so that He can pour His love upon us.
Yes, we all have to die but how we die makes a big difference. God can take us home in an instant. We can go out serving the Lord, one way or another right up to our last day. Or we can spend our last days in pain or a morphine induced stupor, unaware of anything.
As long as we are alive there is hope in the Lord. If we open ourselves up to Him, He can bless us, our family and those around us. Death can be a joyful experience, a memory cherished by our family. It can be an experience we share with the Lord. He wants to go through it with us. Why go through it alone? We are not meant to be like John Wayne in the movies. God has something so much better for us. All we have to do is come to Him.
I beg you not to tough it out but to go to God in every way you can to ask for His love, grace and blessing. Don’t just accept illness or disease. Go to God. We were created to depend on God. We are supposed to come to Him with our problems. That is what He wants for us to come to Him to trust in Him and depend on Him. He will bless you in the way best for you according to His plan for you.