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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dwelling in the Shelter of the Most High


He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High,
who abides in the
shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God in whom I trust"


~ Psalm 91

Who do you trust? As we approach Election Day from Hell, who do you trust? Where is your faith? In the smiling face of the Obamessiah, or the sorrowful, bleeding visage of Christ? Are you of this world? Or are you just in it? Do you find your glory in the Cross, or do you find your glory in political assassins of the unborn?

It might be a temptation to vote for the candidate who SEEMS to be winning, but really, it ain't over 'till it's over. We are called to vote for LIFE. No, none of the options truly fit that, but it is clear that we as Catholics CANNOT vote for Obama, for he has vowed to make abortion a "right" in this country, which will not only make life impossible for babies yet to be born, but will overwhelmingly harm women as they won't even have to go to a licensed doctor to butcher their children! Yes, we do need to consider the poor, but if the poor are not first considered through their right to live, how can any program flourish? All natural rights arrive from the basic one...the right to life. And NO WAR in PRESENT or HISTORY has taken as many lives as those taken by abortion. And don't even suggest that those who vote for life don't provide for those who have it. I grew up on welfare, and Obama's tax increases will likely put me there again. He has denigrated we, the working class, for being such, for being less educated, and for not having been born on the coasts and into the elite class. He has denigrated the kind of woman I would be if I were a mother; a hockey mom who would not only HAVE a child with developmental disabilities, but would consider ADOPTING one. (I am the product of two "defective" parents). And do NOT get in between me and the moose or caribou in my gunsights! Or the elk! Do you know how many people you can feed (and keep warm) through those animals? Pioneer women UNITE!

Any vote for Obama is a personal affront to me and all I stand for. And I believe I was raised in a Democratic family, as was common to Catholics. I don't care what your political allegiance happens to be these days; open your eyes and vote a well-formed conscience, consistent with GOD'S laws...not the winds of "change".

Sacred or Secular?

The image above is a photograph I took just this last Monday, in Cincinnati. I was standing under the shelter of and among the columns of the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains, looking towards City Hall.

See how tall the tower of City Hall looms? It is a beautiful building, revealing incredible architecture, a representation of secular Government, and there, high above, we see a ticking clock. Ironic, isn't it, that the towers are all under a cross? And yet, our politicians seem to know nothing of the Cross, but see it only as an adornment to be used or tossed aside at will.

See also the tall Greek columns, which hold the roof of the Cathedral under which I stood, only one Cathedra, representative of many more, and a power much higher than ANY secular government. In St. Paul, the Cathedral of St. Paul is built upon a hill which overlooks the State Capitol; symbolic of God's Dominance of all government.

So we must all remember, even as we think that the outcome of this election is obvious, that God is in charge, and even if we feel small in the face of great odds, we remain in the shelter of the Almighty. No matter what comes our way, we MUST remember that we are citizens of Heaven, not of this earth, and this is something to consider as we head to the polls.

Below is the Letter to Diognetus (source linked in the title), a fairly short work written in early Church history; and even though Christianity has been fractured over time, I do believe that the message contained is one that all who claim to be Christian is bound to recognize. Use it to examine your conscience and examine your vote; if you aren't going to the polls considering yourself to be doing so as a child of God and citizen of Heaven, you ought not go to the polls at all. If you can't define yourself according to the article below, you most certainly can't claim to be a Christian.

LETTER TO DIOGNETUS

"Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives.

[Note: "They do not expose them" refers to the common practice of killing "defective children" by leaving them on a hillside, allowing them to die "naturally" if they do not meet their society's standard of normality.]


They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they, rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body's hatred. It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself."

8 comments:

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

more comments later...dead tired :(

Lillian Marie said...

A friend of mine and I said the Patriotic Rosary last night - this was the first time I had ever prayed this Rosary. What I found interesting was that all of our Forefathers heavily relied upon prayer and Christianity (their faith) in their every-day life.

Below are 2 of the 5 quotes:

“Soldiers! Let us humble ourselves before the Lord, Our God, asking through Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, beseeching the aid of the God of our forefathers in the defense of our homes and our liberties, thanking Him for His past blessings, and imploring their continuance upon our cause and our people.” “Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I pleadingly urge our people everywhere to pray. Believing that prayer is the greatest contribution that our people can make in this critical hour, I humbly urge that we take time to pray-to really pray.” “Let there be prayer at sunup, at sundown, at midnight - all through the day. Let us pray for our children, our youth, our aged, our pastors, our homes, Let us pray for the churches.” “let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word ‘concern’ out of our Christian vocabulary. Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have known Jesus Christ and His Redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice.” General Robert E. Lee, 1863


“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism.” “ All efforts to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of political freedom and happiness.” “Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.” Jedediah Morse, 1799


As you so eloquently stated above (and me not so much here), our country was founded on Christian principles. Principles not to be thrown away because of politics, but to be emphasized in the midst of political upheaval.

Lillian Marie said...

btw - I like your new pic for your blog.

Hidden One said...

Thank you for this excerpt!

Adoro said...

LM ~ Thanks

Hidden One ~ It's actually not an excerpt...it's the entire thing!

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

What I find interesting is the parallel between this election and sin. Sin is always an attractive thing as it "satisfies" the desires of the flesh. The Spirit is strong, but the flesh is weak.

Obama looks promising with the words "hope" and "change". But in reality it is moreless an addiction to these types of ambigous things and the longing to be of the world and our hearts not being oriented to Chirst that we end up choosing sin and the wrong thing.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. This subjective hope of the government doing everything to solve your problems only leads to a false dichotomy and if not worse you being in an even worse situation than you currently are in.

I honestly can't see how anyone would support Obama, but then again, I've been re-educated surviving public education :)

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: Great post and I like the new banner pic!

uncle jim said...

wow ... coincidence?

i just reread that letter this week; i didn't know how deeply you were into the patristics yet