Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fight the Good Fight

Dear Brothers and Sisters, In our catechesis on Christian prayer, we now turn to the biblical account of the Patriarch Jacob’s struggle with God at the ford of the Jabbok. This mysterious encounter takes place at night, when Jacob is alone and unarmed; the identity of his assailant and the winner of the contest is not at first clear. Jacob is wounded and must reveal his name to his rival, suggesting his defeat, yet he receives a new name "Israel", and is given a blessing. At daybreak Jacob recognizes that his opponent is God; limping from his wound, he now crosses the ford.

The Church’s spiritual tradition has seen in this story a symbol of prayer as a faith-filled struggle which takes place at times in darkness, calls for perseverance, and is crowned by interior renewal and God’s blessing. This struggle demands our unremitting effort, yet ends by surrender to God’s mercy and gift. At daybreak, Jacob called the place of his struggle Peniel, which means “face of God”, for he said: “I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” In our prayers, let us ask the Lord to help us as we fight the good fight of faith, and to bless us as we long to see his face.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Back Soon!

All my faithful readers,

Please forgive my abscence; I have been handling a personal family matter for the past week.  Keep us in your prayers.  I will be posting something new within the next few days--don't go too far now!

God Bless You,


Monday, May 23, 2011

The Foxgloves In My Garden

Last year I decided to plant perennial foxgloves in my garden. I planted what appeared to be two healthy and green plants last summer; but as with all of my perennials in my garden, I don't know if they will make it until the following spring.

NOT my foxgloves...yet!
I watch my garden with great attention. I know every plant and watch each one carefully. They each have special needs, not just from variety to variety, but from plant to plant. They all get fertilizer, water and sun as required, and regular hands-on care (shaping, pruning, deadheading, etc.). These new foxgloves are no different.

One overwintered beautifully. It awoke in early April with a lovely sprout in the center of the spent leaves from last year, the way it's supposed to grow, and has been growing quite perfectly. Right now it's wide, lush, green and beautiful. I'm confident it will flower beautifully.

The other didn't overwinter well at all. More than half of it was damaged by the rain and snow this past winter and spring. It's center sprout rotted and died off after only a few days. I really thought it was a goner; but then on one side of the plant I saw a little wisp of green peeking out from under the spent leaves.

Have you noticed how hard nature fights to live?

It's a good thing I spotted the leaves, as the damage might kill this poor little guy's chances. I cut away the dead leaves on the damaged side, careful to remove anything that appeared to be rotting. It continued to grow, and now a month later my damaged foxglove appears to be growing nicely. It's a little bit lopsided at the moment, but I'm pretty confident that in spite of its late start and tougher road back to life, this foxglove will flower beautifully.

Isn't this what God does with us?

When we finally hear His call upon our hearts and find the courage to reach out to Him from under the damage that we've done to ourselves through sin and despair--no matter how bad we think it is--He knows exactly what to do for each of us. He knows how to cut away all that damage. As we fight our desire to sin which we know will lead us back to death, He feeds us with His Word and with His Body, and He tends us through the sacraments. As we continue to reach for Him through prayer He reaches back with grace, and we grow strong in Him.

It doesn't matter how or when we start our new life in Christ; if we reach out for Him we, too, will flower beautifully.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Need for Spiritual Direction

Today the Holy Father addressed the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum, celebrating its 75th anniversary, founded by the Discalced Carmelites to serve the church in its scientific study of anthropology and spirituality. I recommend reading his address in its entirety to get a better understanding of the Teresianum, but I want to zero in on the following excerpt:
As she has never failed to do, again today the Church continues to recommend the practice of spiritual direction, not only to all those who wish to follow the Lord up close, but to every Christian who wishes to live responsibly his baptism, that is, the new life in Christ. Everyone, in fact...needs to be supported personally by a sure guide in doctrine and expert in the things of God. A guide can help defend oneself from facile subjectivist interpretations, making available his own supply of knowledge and experiences in following Jesus. [Spiritual direction] is a matter of establishing that same personal relationship that the Lord had with his disciples, that special bond with which he led them, following him, to embrace the will of the Father (cf. Luke 22:42), that is, to embrace the cross.
Papal Address to the Teresianum, Zenit. Emphasis
In case anyone's wondering, I do not accept the idea that scripture is self-interpreting. The rapture is a great example of this. Now, I don't know any of the details on the background of the rapture; nor do I have the desire to go looking for said details.

Suffice it to say that someone read 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and, through the picking and choosing various scripture verses that supported their idea, developed the concept that is now a favorite subject for many a person who hopes for deliverance from this increasingly hostile world. When May 21, 2011 comes and goes and again there is no rapture, faith will take another hard kick to the ribs.

Forget for a moment the theological or apologetic discussions regarding the end times. Right now there are people who, having convinced themselves that tomorrow is their last day on earth, have said their goodbyes and are waiting to be delivered. When they're still here on Sunday, how many will abandon their faith?

Right now many people are recklessly--and, by the way, very uncharitably--mocking those who have bought into the most recent rapture prediction. How much more entrenched in their disbelief will result?

What of those who, in spite of being proven wrong again and again, don't want to let go of the faulty concept of the Rapture? Will they dig into the scripture further, continuing their futile search for the supporting evidence of their own ideology?

It's a vicious cycle, and it will be humanity's downfall, because it all boils down to this: we must embrace the Cross, every one of us, no exceptions. This is why, if we don't already have a spiritual director (mine's my regular confessor), we should all take the Holy Father's very timely advice and find ourselves one.

[T]he Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot."
So Philip ran to him, and heard [a eunuch] 
reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, 
"Do you understand what you are reading?"
And he said, "How can I, unless some one guides me?" 
And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Human rights activist sees face of fascism at EU human rights conference
by Austin Ruse

VIENNA, May 13 (C-FAM) - Not even the seasoned culture war professional was prepared for the hectoring she received at an official European Union human rights meeting. Neither was she prepared for the cheering among homosexual activists for violent behavior against Christians.

Dr. Gudrun Kugler runs a Vienna-based human rights group called the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, which monitors and reports on what some call “Christianophobia.” Professor Joseph Weiler of New York University School of Law coined the term after Rocco Buttiglione was rejected in 2004 for a high-ranking position in the European Commission for his Christian beliefs on homosexuality.

Discrimination against Christians for their beliefs is on the rise all over the world, including in what some consider to be tolerant Europe. A few months ago a Christian couple were told they could no longer act as foster parents because they held the Christian view of homosexuality. A state electrician in the United Kingdom recently faced dismissal for showing a crucifix on the dashboard of his company van. A crowd in Belgium cheered when an archbishop was attacked with cream pies.

Last year Kugler was accepted onto the Advisory Panel of the Fundamental Rights Agency’s Fundamental Rights Platform, a gathering of non-governmental organizations concerned with human rights. Her acceptance was not without controversy. Kugler is on record opposing homosexual adoption. She was investigated by an Agency staff member for three months to ensure her “opposition to adoption of children by gay couples is not a violation of fundamental rights.”

What Kugler knows is that much of the discrimination against Christians in Europe comes from the homosexual lobby and that in many sometimes official quarters freedom of religion is trumped by the homosexual agenda.

Last month Kugler presented her group’s Five-Year Report on Intolerance against Christians in Europe at the agency’s conference on civil society. In an account on MercatorNet.com Kugler said she “was aware that my audience would not be favorable, as combating homophobia is always a main issue at these meetings.”

Kugler nevertheless suggested to the group that holding a “kiss-in” at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was not respectful of Christians. She said anti-Christian images at homosexual parades, including mock-crucifixions, was likewise not respectful.

Kugler suggested, “no one should go to prison for respectfully stating an opinion which does not advocate violence.” The human rights crowd shouted “No!” Someone responded, “People should go to prison for what they say if it is a negative comment against a vulnerable minority group…” Kugler said a staff member of the Fundamental Rights Agency nodded in agreement.

Kugler also reported to the group how a Berlin pharmacy was vandalized for refusing to sell the sometimes-abortifacient morning after pill. The pharmacist’s windows were smashed and his pharmacy wrecked. One participant shouted, “Quite right!”

Kugler wrote in MercatorNet that she “love(s) human rights, and I am glad they hold such a prominent place in today’s society. But they are vulnerable to fundamentalism and ideologies. As long as fundamental rights are used for some radical groups’ agenda, they will never be fully respected.”

source: LifeSiteNews.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

God Himself Becomes The Just Man

Dear brothers and sisters, continuing our catechesis on Christian prayer, we now turn to sacred scripture and its witness to the dialogue between God and man in history; a dialogue culminating in Jesus Christ, the Word Made Flesh.

We can begin with the prayer with which Abraham, the father of all believers, implores God not to destroy the sinful city of Sodom. Abraham's prayer of intercession pleads to Gods justice, begging him not to destroy the innocent with the guilty; but it also pleads to God's mercy, which is capable of transforming evil into good through forgiveness and reconciliation.

God does not desire the death of the sinner but his conversion and liberation from sin. In reply to Abraham's prayer God is willing to spare Sodom if ten righteous men can be found there. Later, through the prophet Jeremiah, he promises to pardon Jerusalem if one just man can be found.

In the end God Himself becomes the just man. In the mystery of His incarnation Christ's prayer of intercession on the cross brings salvation to the world. Through Him let us pray with unfailing trust in God's merciful love for all mankind, conscious that our prayers will be heard and answered.

Happy Birthday, Blessed JPII!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Way of Love

From The Forge:
The way of Love is called Sacrifice.

The Cross, the Holy Cross, is heavy. First there are my sins. Then the sad truth of our Mother the Church’s suffering; the apathy of so many Catholics who want without really wanting; the separation—for all kinds of reasons—from those we love; the sufferings and trials of ourselves and of others… The Cross, the Holy Cross, is heavy. Fiat, adimpleatur…! “May the most just, the most lovable Will of God be done, be fulfilled, be praised and exalted above all things for ever! Amen. Amen.”

When you walk where Christ walked; when you are no longer just resigned to the Cross, but your whole soul takes on its form—takes on its very shape; when you love the Will of God; when you actually love the Cross… then, only then, is it He who carries it.

Join your suffering, your Cross that comes from within or without, to the Will of God, by saying a generous Fiat! And you will be filled with joy and peace.

Escriva, Josemaria (2011). The Forge #768-771. Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Table Manners

You've spent hours preparing a fabulous meal especially for your guests. You used the finest ingredients, and presented each delicious, nutritious dish on a beautifully set table. You've thought of everything, and tended to every last detail, including the garnish. You are exhausted, but also exhilarated at the idea of watching your guests joyfully eat the fruits of your labor.

Then in walk your guests. Most of them have a seat for a moment to be polite, but are oblivious to the beautiful table; some express concern that the table setting is "too old-fashioned", that you should provide some snappy music, or even a television to accompany their meal. Some of your guests don't even bother to sit down. Most have a plastic bag with them so they can take their share with them. They stab at the meats and ignore most of the sides. They turn their noses up at the vegetables; they shove a hunk of dessert in their mouths with their hands. They tromp out the door, some with a half-wave, some without bothering with a simple "thank you". Only a handful of guests remain to sadly dine on the pilfered remains.

Welcome to the Church in the US.

"This is a HUGE CHURCH, far flung all over the globe; hundreds of cultures, scores of languages..."

A huge Church--an important point. Here in the US we tend to think that we're the center of the Universe, and that our way is the only way. The fact is, there are 1.1 billion Catholics in this world, and only 6% of us live in America. Perhaps we don't realize this, but were it not for immigration the Church in America would not be growing; whereas the Church in many other parts of the world (parts of the world that adhere to Catholic teaching and tradition wholly, I might add) is growing exponentially.

If you were seeking spiritual sustenance, and you saw Catholics treating their Church like those guests treated the dinner party I described above, would you want to join it?

Put the bag away and brush up on your table manners, US Catholics; it's time to have a seat at the banquet.

Friday, May 13, 2011

An Argument for Solitude

From My Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis:
The desires of sensuality draw thee abroad, but when the hour is past what dost thou bring home but a weight upon thy conscience and a dissipation of thy heart.

A joyful going abroad often brings forth a sorrowful coming home; and a merry evening makes a sad morning.

So all carnal joys enter pleasantly but in the end bring remorse and death.

What canst thou see elsewhere which thou seest not here? Behold the heavens and the earth, and all the elements; for of these all things are made.

What canst though see anywhere which can continue long under the sun?

Thou thinkest perhaps to be satisfied, but thou canst not attain to it.

If thou couldst see all things at once before thee what would it be but a vein sight? (Ecc 1:14)

Lift up thine eyes to God on high and pray for thy sins and negligences. (Ecc 3:4; Ps 82:1)

Leave vain things to vain people, but mind thou the things which God hath commanded thee.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Aborting Poverty

A Matter of the Heart

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our catechesis on Christian prayer, we have seen how prayer is part of the universal human experience. Our own age, marked by secularism, rationalism and an apparent eclipse of God, is showing signs of a renewed religious sense and a recognition of the inadequacy of a purely horizontal, material vision of life. Man is made in the image of God; a desire for God is present in every heart and man in some way knows that he is capable of speaking to God in prayer. Saint Thomas Aquinas tells us that prayer is the expression of our desire for God, a desire which is itself God’s gift. Prayer is first and foremost a matter of the heart, where we experience God’s call and our dependence on his help to transcend our limitations and sinfulness.

The posture of kneeling at prayer expresses this acknowledgment of our need and our openness to God’s gift of himself in a mysterious encounter of friendship. Let us resolve to pray more frequently, to listen in the silence of our hearts to God’s voice, and to grow in union with the God who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ, with the One who is infinite Love.

I offer a warm greeting to the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing visiting Rome for a program of spiritual renewal. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, especially those from England, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Canada and the United States, I invoke an abundance of joy and peace in the Risen Christ!

(2nd installment in the Holy Father's Catechesis on Christian Prayer. To view his introduction to this series, click here.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Raymond Cardinal Burke in Texas

At 2:28 the coverage of Cardinal Burke begins. Awesome footage, RealCatholicTV.

Blessed John Paul II on the Rosary

From The Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae of John Paul II:
The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.

This Apostolic Letter is one of the countless reasons that the people of God call Blessed John Paul II "The Great". In

this letter, the Holy Father discusses some of the history and importance of praying the Rosary. He examines in-depth how the through a Rosary, when properly prayed, Mary systematically draws us into the heart of her Son; and then he teaches us how to properly pray a Rosary, practically bead by bead.

I've posted several times about the Rosary over the last few years. I love the Rosary, even though at times I've found it intimidating and difficult. Lately, though, St. Louis Marie de Montfort has been helping me out quite a bit. I posted his suggestions HERE. They really work--I use them myself!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pray for the Church in Egypt This Week

From Assyrian International News Agency:
Christians Copts in the area of Embaba were attacked Saturday evening by Muslim Salafis. The attacks lasted for 14 hours. The Muslims fired guns and rifles and hurled Molotov cocktails at Coptic churches, houses and businesses. 12 Copts were killed and 232 injured.

Three churches, an apartment complex, homes and businesses were looted and burned in a 14-hour attack. The Egyptian authorities were called repeatedly, but did not respond for nearly five hours. More from the article:
The Bishop of Giza, Anba Theodosius, said "These things are planned. We have no law or security, we are in a jungle. We are in a state of chaos. One rumor burns the whole area. Everyday we have a catastrophe." Addressing the Salafis he said "We will never leave our country".

Most witnesses interviewed asked for international protection of the Copts, as the army does nothing when it comes to attacks on Copts. Others accused the army of complicity.
Pray for the Church in Egypt, and for the Church around the world, that each of us has the courage and depth of faith to return with love the many forms of hatred we each endure for Christ.

When a Person Applies the Intellect in Matters of Faith

We are created, complete with an intellect. Our intellect is designed to recognize the truth, and truth is God. When we know the truth, we must follow wherever it leads, no matter what the means.

Today my prayer is one of thanksgiving--that I was born a Catholic, and that God blessed me with the grace to recognize the truth and to remain Catholic.

Abortion Mega Center A Waste of Taxpayer Money

Auburn Hills, Michigan-- Planned Parenthood has spent two hundred thousand dollars of taxpayers’ money to purchase a building in Auburn Hills, Michigan that could be lost because of mismanaged funds. The building, located at 1625 N. Opdyke Road, carries a deed restriction forbidding its use as a medical facility.

According to CoStar, a commercial real estate reporting agency, the property was purchased by Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan late last year. The abortion giant did not rule out the use of the building as a large “medical” abortion facility. The owner of the adjacent property holds a recorded interest in its uses, and has written Planned Parenthood a letter with his attorney expressing readiness to take legal action to protect it.

The owner of the building next door is currently still in dialogue with Planned Parenthood’s legal counsel, hired from Dykema Gossett PLLC, a prestigious Michigan-based law firm.

Planned Parenthood’s loss of the building would mean a waste of the two hundred thousand dollars in tax money commissioned to acquire the building. Such a large amount of money wasted on a questionable real estate purchase, either without adequate research or with intention to breach legal precedents, is not an institution that should be trusted with taxpayers’ funds. This incident has raised eyebrows in the state capital, and may have repercussions regarding the state funding of the abortion provider.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Catholicism on PBS

From Word on Fire:
In a breakthrough agreement, public television executives in Chicago have committed to prime-time broadcasts and nationwide distribution of Fr. Robert Barron's new CATHOLICISM documentary series this fall.

This is such great news. Can September come soon enough???

Thursday, May 5, 2011

2011 National Prayer

Today, on this 60th National Day of Prayer, join me in a prayer for our Nation written by Joni Eareckson Tada, 2011 Honorary Chairman of the National Prayer Task Force:

Almighty God, you are our Mighty Fortress, our refuge and the God in whom we place our trust. As our nation faces great distress and uncertainty, we ask your Holy Spirit to fall afresh upon your people — convict us of sin and inflame within us a passion to pray for our land and its people. Grant the leaders of our country an awareness of their desperate need of wisdom and salvation in You until sin becomes a reproach to all and righteousness exalts this nation.

Protect and defend us against our enemies and may the cause of Christ always prevail in our schools, courts, homes, and churches. Lord God, send a spirit of revival and may it begin in our own hearts.

Remember America, we pray. Remember the foundations on which this country was built. Remember the prayers of our nation’s fathers and mothers, and do not forget us in our time of need.

In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas,

Steven Tyler, Abortion and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Once upon a time, American Idol judge and rock superstar Steven Tyler had a very young girlfriend named Julia Holcomb with whom he conceived a child.

From ‘Jesus, what have I done?’: rock star Steve Tyler’s traumatic encounter with abortion by Kevin Burke:
When Miss Holcomb and Tyler conceived a child, his longtime friend Ray Tabano convinced Tyler that abortion was the only solution. In the Aerosmith “autobiography,” Walk This Way (in which recollections by all the band members, and their friends and lovers, were assembled by the author Stephen Davis), Tabano says: “So they had the abortion, and it really messed Steven up because it was a boy. He ... saw the whole thing and it [messed] him up big time.”

Tyler also reflects on his abortion experience in the autobiography. “It was a big crisis. It’s a major thing when you’re growing something with a woman, but they convinced us that it would never work out and would ruin our lives. ... You go to the doctor and they put the needle in her belly and they squeeze the stuff in and you watch. And it comes out dead. I was pretty devastated. In my mind, I’m going, Jesus, what have I done?”

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines a traumatic event as follows: “1. The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others. 2. The person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror.”

Those who support abortion rights assure us that post-abortion complications are a myth. But Steven Tyler cuts through this fog of denial and lays it on the line: Jesus, what have I done?

This is the cry of a post-abortive father whose very intimate exposure to the reality of abortion fits the textbook definition of trauma — as set down by the very same American Psychiatric Association that assures us abortion is a safe procedure with no negative effects on a man’s or a woman’s mental health.
Read the entire article at LifeSiteNews.com by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Weekly Audience on Prayer

Either the Holy Father channeled my thoughts today or the Holy Spirit is drawing me into His plan (I'm pretty sure it's the latter.)  Earlier today I was thinking about how much I need to start concentrating more on prayer, and even wrote about how solitude is necessary for prayer (click here). Then I read this at CatholicCulture.org:
The Pope, who recently concluded a series of weekly talks on the most influential thinkers of the Catholic tradition, said that he would now conduct a "school of prayer" at his Wednesday audiences. He told the 40,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square that "drawing near to Sacred Scripture, the great tradition of the Church Fathers, the masters of spirituality, and the liturgy, we will seek to learn how to live even more intensely our relationship with the Lord."

(Twilight zone music here.)

Enjoy the Silence

"The greatest saints avoided the company of men as much as they could and chose to live to God in secret."*

I just found my other earplug on the floor under my desk. It's been driving me nuts all day today that one of my earplugs vanished, and between my coworkers and Leo Sayer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'" blaring from the radio (disco on the oldies station--I can't believe it's come to this), the thoughts in my head don't have a chance unless I can block out the noise. Earplugs mean silence, and with silence I suddenly have solitude, even if its for just for a few brief minutes to collect my thoughts.

It's in solitude, which I don't often find, that I am not only able to compose my own thoughts, but it's when I'm most able to hear and understand God. If I'm so destracted that I can't hear myself think just to write a marketing letter or a blog post, what makes me think I'll hear God or know His will? A lack of time for silent reflection has been missing from my spiritual development for quite some time. Sure, I steal moments when I can, but that's not the same thing. I'll bet I'm not the only one. It's why so many of us go on retreats and pilgrimages, or visit monasteries and shrines. We need to escape the world and all its trappings, and many of us need to do it more often than we are able.

I decided that, since I live close to work, I would make it a habit to go home for lunch pray a Rosary. Today it was rainy and cold, but my gardens are quiet and peaceful, and as the perfect backdrop for today's moment of solitude, served me as a living example of the resurrection. Of course Jesus rose from the dead, I thought; His earthly creation is rising from the dead right now. If my mind were competing with the television, a radio, a person standing there talking at me, or even the mail sitting on the kitchen table, I would not have experienced that tiny little revelation that brought me closer to the mind of God and His will for me.

"In silence and quiet," Kempis teaches us, "the devout soul goes forward."*

* Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Book 1 Chapter 20

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wes Bentley's Inspiring Witness

As of today, the nearest theater carrying this film is almost 400 miles away from me. hmmf. I'll just buy it on DVD if I have to--I can be patient.

Monday, May 2, 2011

When confronted with the killing of a man...


Read my dear friend Robin Marie Therese's more in-depth post on Bin Laden's capture and death by clicking HERE.

On Osama Bin Laden's Death

I am blogging today about the latest breaking news. Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces. Last night, I was appalled as I watched crowds cheering at the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Now before anyone gets angry, let me explain. I do not suggest that the man should not have been executed. That's really beyond my scope of expertise, considering I don't have the facts about what attempts were made to capture him alive, etc. He certainly has done grave evil in his life. We are probably safer with him gone. I am not suggesting that he shouldn't have been executed. Our faith does allow for capital punishment when necessary to protect the society.

Rather, I firmly believe we should not REJOICE at a man's death. A man created in the image of God. If it was necessary to execute him, so be it, its done. We shouldn't rejoice at taking such a grave, even if necessary, step. My sentiments are somewhat expressed in the news release from the Vatican today:

"Osama Bin Laden, as is known, claimed responsibility for grave acts that spread division and hate among the peoples, manipulating religion to that end. A Christian never takes pleasure from the fact of a man's death, but sees as an opportunity to reflect on each person's responsibility, before God and humanity, and to hope and commit oneself to seeing that no event become another occasion to disseminate hate but rather to foster peace." -Father Lombardi, SJ Holy See Press Director
I'd like to unpack this a little. Last night I was disgusted and troubled. I watched as the crowd cheered at this execution and thought about news clips in other countries where this is common after they kill Americans. We have to be better than this. We do what we have to do to defend ourselves, but we shouldn't be cheerful or brag about killing someone. In my opinion, that type of behavior is, to borrow Father Lombardi's words, disseminating hate. What a strong Catholic witness to say, we deeply regret that such steps were necessary and pray for God's mercy on Osama Bin Laden. That's right, I said pray for God's mercy on Bin Laden. Isn't that what John Paul did to the man who tried to kill him? Isn't that what Jesus Christ did for the most henious criminals of all time? We best follow suit. We must.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Dead and the US Has His Body.

This is all I know right now at 11:28 Sunday Evening. I've been watching the news for a half hour now, and every talking head has said a whole lot of nothing. Sure, they're all blabbing on and on like they've got something to say, but basically I'm hearing alot of posturing, cheerleading and pointless commentary. Still waiting for the President's speech, which was promised now an hour ago. I'm sure that he's going to say nothing different than our inept media.

My first instinct is to click here and find out what this really means from someone who actually understands what's happening right now.

An excerpt:
Osama bin Laden has gone to claim his virgins, and while that is fine news, it really won't change anything. The role of al-Qaeda in the global jihad, and the role of Osama bin Laden in al-Qaeda, have both been wildly overstated. Al-Qaeda is not the only Islamic jihad group or Islamic supremacist group operating today, and Osama bin Laden was not some charismatic leader whose movement will collapse without him. The exaggeration of his role, in fact, was a result of the general unwillingness to face the reality that the global jihad is a movement driven by an ideology, not an outsized personality, and that that ideology is rooted in Islam. (from www.jihadwatch.com)
St. Joan of Arc, pray for us.

New Book on Divine Mercy

May Benedict XVI's successor do the same for him...

Blessed John Paul II, Pray for us

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