Thursday, January 31, 2019

A Serious Question

St. Therese of Lisieux (right) with her sister Celine.
Just before Christmas I found myself in line at Walmart with some gift wrap.  Behind me was a woman with her two granddaughters.  I happened to notice that the girls were dressed nicely and so I said so.  The grandmother sorrowfully replied that it was because they had come from a funeral.  She said she was buying the girls each a toy to cheer them up.  The older girl had chosen a small pillow that was popular among her friends.  It was designed like a disgusting inanimate object that is also a smartphone emoji.  What a strange thing to pick out, I thought!  Then I noticed that the couple checking out before me were taking quite a long time.  They had a huge amount of cheap plastic toys and were now paying with a very shiny credit card.  I could hear them raving about how special they would make their child's Christmas!

This situation stayed in my mind because it represents many Americans.  We rush around buying trashy toys for our children just to stimulate a squeal or a smile.  I must admit that I have participated.  But isn't this at least a little bit sad?

Cheap, ugly toys are so popular!  The isles of Walmart are filled with scary monsters, strange beasts, blue haired dolls that look like strippers, plastic creatures with magic powers and even some plush TV characters known for their "tolerance".  There are also many worthless books, violent video games and lots of iPads, which according to science encourage children to be much too hyperactive.

Are we trying to educate our children or to distract them?

 Is it healthy to make life into a joke, especially when it is at the expense of everything sacred?

What happens when everything is mocked, everything is for pleasure and superficiality is encouraged?  What happens when spoiled, bad mannered, bratty and entitled children are rewarded?  Take a good look at the TV shows!

Is the purpose of life to laugh at nothing- a joke?
On the other hand, the Catholic seriousness is a great part of healthy development.  It fosters the child's innocence, ability to marvel, attraction to sacred objects and ideas, sacrifice, heroism and righteousness.  This child becomes calm because he is entertained by the true, the good and the beautiful.

Of course we do not constantly have to discuss the serious threats to the civilized world or admire classical art and brilliant intellectual works.  But then again, full term abortion was just legalized in the state of New York.  This does seem like an appropriate time to end the party.

What if we were to ask, "How is your soul doing today?"

It should not surprise us when today's child lifts his eyes with grave wonder that life is deeper than a joke.

Children need to be asked serious questions.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Horror of a Nation

"Indeed, a loud, dissonant gong has sounded in history.

It brings dark and foreboding tidings. For if even tiny fully formed infants about to be born are no longer safe from the butcher’s hand, no life is safe. If all pretense of compassion or ignorance is now discarded, there is no cruelty that cannot be openly conceived."


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Ideological Clash in Washington

The March for Life is a soul-stirring sight,
some admitting abortion is only a horrible result of moral decay.
The Women's March descended on Washington for the third time this weekend.  The event drew smaller numbers as its liberal leaders ironically face accusations of bigotry and corruption.

Only a day before, much larger crowds marched down the same street at the forty-sixth annual March for Life.

The feminist movement markets itself as a magic remedy for the ills of mankind.  Feminists believe that if we destroy "oppressive" and "toxic" masculinity we will reach the utopia.  They narcissistically think the answer to the world's problems is within themselves.  "And the Serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death.  For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat therof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Gen 1:4-5) 

On the other side, Catholics defend the smallest victims of feminism.  The March for Life is a soul-stirring sight.  The streets are filled with half a million people outraged at the slaughter of innocent babies, some admitting abortion is only a horrible result of moral decay.

The feminist movement markets itself as a magic remedy for
the ills of mankind.
It seems impossible for these two movements to mesh.  But mingled in the ranks of pro-life marchers are signs that declare, "Feminists for life" and "Feminists for Nonviolent Choices".

Here is an ideological clash!  Feminism profoundly contradicts Christianity.  We forget that Eve, consumed with pride, participated in the Fall of man.  She ate the apple and gave it to her husband.  Yet we refuse women equality in this one essential thing: her fallen nature, tendency to sin and consequential dependence on the protection of the family and the Church.

All mankind is inherently dependent, even more so after the Fall"To the woman also He said...thou shall be under thy husband's power, and he shall have dominion over thee." (Gen. 1:16)  But dependence is rejected.  Feminism removes women from the home, encouraging both men and women to recklessly disobey more of God's commands.  Concupiscence is indulged.  The magnitude of social disorder is tremendous.  Instead of embracing the Church, the clergy, the nobility, the elites and the fathers of families as channels of God's benevolence and mainstays of our dignity, we seek to topple them.  Pride and rebellion threaten all sacred institutions.

All mankind is inherently dependent, even more so after the Fall.
We must counter this anarchical revolution which challenges the very essence of nature.  We risk loosing not only the light of grace which spiritually enlightens man but also the temporal guidance of order.  Without psychological grounding in metaphysical truths, the structures of civilization are crumbling into dysfunctional remnants.

We are living in a social, political and spiritual clash which threatens to usher us into a world of chaos.  Will we return to order and to God?

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by Him: and without Him was made nothing that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him.  He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light.  That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world.  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name.  Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-14)
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