Monday, December 9, 2013

Immaculate Conception

In America today, we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Our dear Blessed Mother.  This feast refers to the conception of Mary, free from original sin, in the womb of her mother.  This dogma has created no small misunderstanding with non Catholics.  It simply need not be.  As we think about this, we can ponder the traditional way of explaining this to fellow non Catholics.  We, having sinned, through the merits of Jesus on the Cross, were pulled from our sins and cleansed, out of the pit after falling, so to speak.  God's timeless existence saved Mary through her Son's same sacrifice on the cross, preventing her from ever falling into the pit.  How fitting, the Mother of God, prevented from falling into the pit of sin in the first place.  She would, afterall, carry in her womb, the Son of God.  Completely human, Mary can inspire us, also completely human, to be always living better lives. 

         To borrow from Kimberly Hahn, God has saved me personally from many sins in my life; times when I didn't fall into this trap or that, etc.  Therefore saving his Mother is entirely within His realm. 

He did it for a reason.  He does everything for a reason.  On this feast of the Immaculate Conception, how can we help pull some one out of a pit they are struggling in?  How can we help that family struggling to live a Catholic life in today's world bear the ridicule they face day after day?  How can we make that family  with 5 kids feel welcome, because they have embraced and actually desire life?  How can we reach out and stop that frightened teenager from making that decision to abort her child.  One decision,  I promise that she will regret and suffer over.  Could it be a coin given to one in needy?  (I don't suggest Salvation Army for their stance on abortion)  Could it be a smile to someone lonely?  A visit to the rest home?  A simple and sincere "God Bless you."  Let us keep our eyes open as we celebrate this feast of the Immaculate Conception.  Mary pray for us!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Check Your Rhetoric: What Common Good?

“The horrors of Bolshevik governance stemmed directly from their repudiation of the precious fruits of Western political thought.” It is a classic example of the tendency of some to promote cheap moralisms while ignoring the empirical realities of any given context, what then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger termed in 1985, “the antithesis of morality.”

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why Should Everyone Should See Les Miserables (whether you like musical theater or not)?

Because it is about METANOIA, in the most complete sense of the word.

I had mixed feelings when I heard about the film production of Les Miserables last fall. I was concerned that a film version would turn this magnificent musical into a chopped up mess. I thought movie-musicals were a lost art. I didn't think it could be pulled off.

I waited until last Sunday to see it, not by choice. I came down with that nasty influenza that swept the nation, and I was down for about a month (count your blessings if if you avoided it). As much as I was curious, though, and as much buzz that the film has generated over the last month, I completely avoided anything by way of commentary about it, because I wanted to formulate my own thoughts.

I am so glad I did. It's the best movie-musical I have ever seen.

More importantly, though, is the story itself. In a merciless world, one merciless man is shown mercy, and that one act of mercy changes him. From the moment he realizes what has been shown him, he lives a deliberately good life, even when it meant certain hardship, loss, or the possibility of death. This is the heart of Metanoia--to make the decision to live better, to try harder, to be more Christlike today than you were yesterday, and to leave yourself behind.

If you're not into musicals, this will be a tough one for you. It's nearly an opera, as much of the dialog is sung rather than spoken. Try to get past it, though, and see this film, if for no other reason than this:

"So long as there shall exist, by virtue of law and custom, decrees of damnation pronounced by society, artificially creating hells amid the civilization of earth, and adding the element of human fate to divine destiny; so long as the three great problems of the century--the degradation of man through pauperism, the corruption of women through hunger, the crippling of children through lack of light--are unsolved; so long as social asphyxia is possible in any part of the world;--in other words, and with a still wider significance, so long as ignorance and poverty exist on earth, books [and their adaptations for stage and screen*] of the nature of Les Miserables cannot fail to be of use."

Preface, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
*my addition.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Go Directly To Jail.

It's what Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli believes must happen in order to expose the tyranny of the HHS Mandate. From the article: "If citizens were would 'provide an example of what tyranny means when it’s played to its logical conclusion.'" (Read the entire article HERE.)
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