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Friday, September 21, 2012


Thank you, my friends, for your prayers.

This week we learned who remains and who had to go. It's been difficult, both in the waiting and in the endings.

As for now, I still have a job. I need to find a new one by next summer, though, and before if possible. Not because I'm being terminated, but because I can't live on nothing over the summer. The bills don't stop coming even though my work hours and paychecks will.

We've had a difficult time and had to say goodbye to people, and that's always hard, especially when it comes so suddenly but with so much anticipation. When we spoke, after the one from our own group was terminated, we found that all of us thought that we'd be the one to go. Our own boss actually, several times, offered her own head so that no one else would have to give theirs. We all, individually, did or expressed the same thing.

We're tight, or we were. Maybe the loss of one makes even tighter. We don't agree politically or even necessarily faithfully (with regard to our Catholic faith), but we work together well, we love and respect each other, we are friends who just lost a very respected co-worker and right now, we're in a sort of mourning.

My friends, know that your prayers for me were also those for our lost co-worker and friend, and know that the Holy Spirit made the decision, and that decision was correct. I can't say why, but it is exactly right, even though knowing that does not lessen our own grief or prayers.

Those of you who have experienced "downsizing" may know what I mean. Please, though, continue your prayers for us and for our intentions...there is much work to be done, and much need of support.

God bless you, and thank you.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Mere Politics?

Recently I had a conversation with a friend who lamented her father leaving the Church because the Pastor in question had gotten too involved in "politics", and he didn't intend on going back until the Pastor in question left.

Interestingly enough, he went to the Lutheran Community down the road, who didn't avoid "politics" but who, it just so happens, had a platform with which my friend's father happened to agree.

Methinks that if one is following a Faith based on politics, one's relationship with God is inherently disordered.

What, you may ask, were the political issues in question?  

 Abortion and Gay "Marriage" of course!

So many people accuse Catholics of bringing Faith into the public square, and condemn us for it. They try to shut us up and send around Facebook Memes designed to shame us into silence. Shame us with profanity into keeping "our beliefs to ourselves."

To those I respond blatantly that since they who are trying to shame us are clearly living their lack of faith so publicly, it gives equal license to we who believe to do the same. We will not be silenced simply because a few people want us to shut up. In fact, we will be more vibrant still, for we CANNOT be silent in the face of injustice.

On the issue of "Abortion", it belongs to the deposit of the Catholic Faith that life is sacred. It belongs to God alone and always has, from the beginning of time. The fact that this issue has for several years now come into the political sphere does not render it political property. We as Catholics believed and advocated the sanctity of life from the very beginning and this is present in the writings of even pagans in observance of the early  Christians (who were only Catholic as there were no other Christian denominations until 1500).

The Other "Political" Issue?

Thanks for asking!

The other "political" issue at hand, at least here in MN, is the push to re-define "Marriage" to include same-sex  couples.

Once again, people of Faith are not being allowed to comment without being shouted down by all sorts of vile accusations.

Why? Because we have logic on our side. The arguments from those who oppose the MN Marriage Amendment argue from emotion, not logic. They argue from mere "feeling" and a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of marriage and the nature of love.

You see, their argument goes something like this (and I used to fall within this belief myself, until I woke up and began questioning the status quo):

* "People should be allowed to love whom they want. No one has the right to tell them they cannot love someone."
*  "How dare someone tell me I cannot be happy?"
* "Telling me I can't marry my same-sex partner is relegating me to second-class citizenship."
*  "You hate me! You're a hater! You're a homophobe!" 

You get the idea. It gets tiresome.

The reality is this: "love" according to cultural definition has NOTHING to do with the nature of marriage. What our culture calls "love" is, in reality, mere lust, mere superficial desire and attraction. It does not desire the eternal good of the other. It does not look beyond this world.

So, to address the first point, people can "love" whom they want. This amendment does not limit freedom of consortium or association. It simply states that such association or consortium does not match the definition of "marriage", which is a union of one man and one woman who are bonded for the ultimate reason of the foundation of society and the upbringing of children in a stable relationship and for the common good.

On the second point, regarding "Happiness", well, don't get me going on that definition. How do you define "happiness"?  I seriously doubt that redefining Marriage to match the definition of "Anything Goes" would really give "happiness" to anyone. No one is being denied "happiness" but for their own personal definition that happens to be temporal and quite transitional. Given the state of "gay marriage" in other states, and the rate of divorce and infidelity, I seriously doubt the MN amendment would do anything other than render more people miserable by definition and give divorce attorneys more of your money.

The charge of relegating same-sex partners to "second-class citizenship" is just plain silly. You see, when compared to slavery and REAL Civil Rights issues, the question was not about the DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE. It was about WHOM was allowed to Marry, and yes, it WAS, back then, a civil rights issue as people were actually not allowed to marry even though under Biblical and natural law it was clearly permitted. Same sex "marriage" on the other hand, simply doesn't exist as it does not meet the basic nature of what marriage has always been and what it intends. A man and a man and a woman and a woman cannot between themselves be fruitful without unnatural intervention. And that unnatural intervention actually opens a whole other Pandora's box as it necessitates the death of many children in vitro. In natural marriage, the miscarriage of a child is a tragedy. In Same-Sex "Marriage" the death of many children is part and parcel to create from a dish, only one child.

On the final inflammatory point, no, I don't hate anyone. I do hate temper tantrums though, and find them to be far less dignified when put on by full grown adults who know better, and I'll treat them in the same way as I treat a child: by ignoring him or maybe, in severe cases, by throwing a glass of ice water on him when he gets to be too loud and tiresome.

I am quite tired of being "hated", however, because I'm Catholic. I'm tired of people accusing me of "not respecting" them. I'm tired of people doing to me what they accuse me of doing to them when I've done no such thing.

I'm tired of the heterophobics and the Catholophobics and am tired of being treated as a second class citizen because I am Catholic. But then again, that's our lot, isn't it? Because we have a LOT to live up to and here is an examination of conscience for all of us who claim to be Christian, no matter what our Faith or Denomination:

From a letter to Diognetus (Nn. 5-6; Funk, 397-401)

"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.

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."