The papacy is one office, not many men with their own ideas. What one pope teaches about doctrine, all popes teach about doctrine. The continuity of the papacy is not like the continuity of the US presidency. The teachings don’t change. So if one pope teaches that Marxism is evil (which, BTW, [is] the reason for yesterday’s feast day), ALL popes have taught it.
The mere fact that the pope spoke in honor of St. Joseph the Worker yesterday was, in itself, a smack down of Marxism & statism. The feast day was set for May 1 as an answer to the removal of God from people’s lives for some “workers’ cause” by Marxists.
This unspoken truth must be taken at the same time as Francis’ admonition to the world not to take advantage of workers.
Also, keep in mind he wasn’t merely speaking to us self-centered Westerners. He is the pope of *everyone*, not just the US & Europe.
He doesn’t need to cover every side of what he discusses in 1 sitting. He’s not Fox News. Very often, papal audience discussions last YEARS! Look, for instance, at John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. It was over years of Wednesday audiences that he spoke on this topic. If you pulled out 1 address, you’d be lost. You have to take the Church’s teachings as a whole, keeping in mind all prior teachings as well.
The pope never teaches for the moment. He teaches for eternity, with the understanding that all prior teachings apply here, as well.
Category Archives: news
As I knelt in the chapel near the Blessed Sacrament after Mass last night, I prayed my evening prayers. The above passage from Hebrews was the reading during Vespers for Holy Thursday. It’s not the first time I had read it, and each time I am more struck by it.
Jesus died outside the gate, to sanctify the people by his own blood. Let us go to him outside the camp, bearing the insult which he bore. For here we have no lasting city; we are seeking one which is to come. Through him let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which acknowledge his name.
In years past, I might not have thought about it except in the terms Saint Paul is speaking in to the recipients of the letter he wrote. His fellow Jews-turned-Christians, being rejected and shunned by their fellow Jews who do not believe the Gospel. How heartbreaking it must have been for them to be rejected by family and friends because of their belief in Jesus as Christ. Saint Paul encouraged them to hold fast to the Christ, knowing that their true home is Heaven, where Jesus promised that He would prepare a place for us.
But these days, I’ve felt under assault. I gave up Twitter for Lent, as I’ve found it to be a good way to clear my head and get away from the shouting (so to speak) that tends to occur there. There can be a lot of vitriol on all sides of every issue, and even though I’ve been culling my follow list to gradually eliminate people who have nothing but this kind of attitude, it still wears on me. So with the exception of a few hours on the Feast of Saint Joseph, I haven’t been on Twitter’s site. My blog and Flickr pictures both auto-post there, as well as Facebook, but aside from that, I haven’t been on.
Then came the Supreme Court hearing on gay “marriage.”
Suddenly, I was feeling just as assaulted on Facebook. I felt more and more frantic as the day went on. It didn’t help that I had started following the actor George Takei, who in the past had one of the funniest feeds I’ve ever seen. I’m telling you, the guy has some of the funniest graphics, filled with geek humor and puns, and it’s almost always hilarious to read. There were occasional posts of his where he’d celebrate his homosexuality or make mention of his “husband,” but it was easy to simply scroll past the posts, since the vast majority of them were just these silly puns and geeky pictures about Sci Fi/Fantasy topics.
But beginning on Tuesday, when he decided to switch his profile picture to the red equal sign, his feed changed from the occasional post on homosexuality to a non-stop barrage of nothing BUT homosexual “marriage” posts. One after another, filling my feed, in my face, with comments showing below (only two or three at a time) calling people who don’t support redefining marriage as bigots, haters, the equivalent of racists, idiots, etc. Seeing the occasional red equal sign or post in favor from family and friends wasn’t going to make me un-friend them, but a non-stop, nothing-but-gay-”marriage” stream was enough for me to un-like Takei’s page and decide to take a break from Facebook for the Triduum.
As Jayne would say, it was damaging my calm.
I’ve been feeling more and more as though our culture is less and less okay with people truly living their faith. Oh, going to church on Sundays is fine, but don’t bring your beliefs with you to work or into your business. Don’t tell us what you think if you’re in the public eye or have a big business. (Unless, of course, you support the Culture of Death; then it’s fine to talk about your beliefs and let them guide your business model.) It’s fine if your Catholic belief wants you to go out and perform the Corporal Works of Mercy, but don’t tell me that those same beliefs demand that you not give material cooperation to mortal sins like abortion and contraception. Paying for those things for other people is now considered a human right!
America is not what she once was; in fact, I’d say she’s pretty close to gone. And things are not going back to the way they were.
This isn’t said in despair. It’s a fact. Our culture worships the orgasm, as Frank Weathers would say. Our culture believes in choice as long as it’s related to unrestricted sex, but not if it has to do with actual laws written down, the right to life, or even the right to practice and live out our faith on a daily basis. The very idea that a person’s faith would inform every aspect of his life is anathema to our Culture of Death.
And yet this is exactly what we’re called to. Now that we know the Gospel, what do we do with it? What impact will it have on our lives? Any at all? Will it change us forever? Will we be as the rich young man, who was offered Christ Himself and turned away because his life as he was living it was too good, or will we be as Matthew, who saw that as good as his life might be, it was nothing in comparison to living a life with Jesus.
Even though I have seen the story about the rich young man geared towards the vocation of the priest, I also can see it as every one of us in many ways. Are we willing to give up all of our comforts, even if it’s gradual and one at a time, in order to be faithful followers of Christ? Are we willing to be different, to live differently than others (and even our past selves) in order to live as Christians?
Are we willing to endure ridicule, persecution, and the pain of lost friendships for standing firm in our beliefs and following the doctrines of our Church? Are we willing, if it comes to it, to lose everything just to be with Him?
In this life, we have no city. Our true home is in Heaven with God. One of the first questions in the old Baltimore Catechism reminded us of this fact:
Question: Why did God make you?Answer: God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.
As times become darker for Christians in this world, it will do well for us to remember:
For here we have no lasting city; we are seeking one which is to come.
Please join me at 3 PM in praying a Divine Mercy Chaplet for the souls lost in Connecticut this day. Don’t forget to pray for the shooter.
For information on how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, head over here to EWTN’s page on the devotion.
Don’t worry about the exact time (though the 3:00 hour is the Hour of Mercy because it’s when Our Dear Lord died), and feel free to pray in your time zone if you’re not on Eastern Time like me.
It’s because I’m everywhere!!
After a post on Facebook about how the news stories on Kate Middleton having hyperemesis really affected me (as in, I started crying over it), my good friend Barb asked me to share my experience with HG with a larger audience.
Even though I did not need another project right now, I knew this project needed me. I gratefully accepted, and this past Monday, my story appeared at The New Parents Guide.
The world is abuzz about the newly-pregnant Kate Middleton, wife to Prince William, heir to the throne of England. And yet, something different has come up with this royal pregnancy–something likely to be brand-new information to most people.
Kate is very sick – hospitalized, even – with something called hyperemesis gravidarum.
When I heard this news, I cried for the royal couple, because I know her pain rather intimately. I had hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) while pregnant with my own two children.
The press is describing it as “a severe form of morning sickness,” but this really doesn’t even come close to being an adequate definition. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that unless you or someone you know has suffered through HG, you can’t quite imagine how awful it can be.
Let me share my own story:
Read the rest here.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the charges of hypocrisy levied against Christians lately. Not that it’s new, but it seems there are several things that are in the news where Christians feel pitted against society at large in regards to high-profile issues. I’m sure you can think of several on your own, and I don’t feel the need to go into each individually in order to make my point here, which is to say that, while Christians can be hypocritical, publicly stating their beliefs and living them out is not, in fact, a case of an attitude of hypocrisy.
Usually, when Christians say, “I do not support your efforts to do X because it is against my beliefs,” there is a growing portions of the population – a portion that might be in the minority, but very loud nonetheless – who shouts, “But you’re a Christian! You’re called to LOVE everyone! You’re being a hypocrite by being against me!”
It really doesn’t take much to see the fallacy of this kind of statement. Most Christians would not say, “You’re a horrible person because you don’t agree with me,” or even “You’re going to Hell because you support X.” (I admit there are some who do this, but most Christians would not engage in that kind of rhetoric, for it is an un-Christian thing to pass judgement on another person’s soul.) What Christians are trying to do is the exact opposite of hypocrisy: they are trying to live out their stated beliefs rather than pay lip service to a particular church or doctrine, then turn around and say that, really, those things their faith teaches are sinful are not really sinful.
Now let us take a very public and recent example: Mr. Cathy, son of the founder of Chick-Fil-A and current president and COO of the company. He’s a Christian, proudly so, and has even kept the tradition of closing his business on Sundays to keep the Lord’s Day holy (one of the Ten Commandments). In an interview with a Baptist publication, he mentioned his support for the Biblically-based definition (which has been the socially-acceptable definition) of marriage: one man joined to one woman for a lifetime under the holy bonds of Matrimony, a promise before God to live as one flesh for the rest of your days. Somehow, this was picked up by a secular source, and his quote was pulled out of context and edited (and the editing is key here) in an effort to make it look bad. Honestly, even the edited quote didn’t look bad to me, but I’m a Christian, so it’s hard for me to imagine why his personal beliefs (not any operating guidelines for his business) would be objectionable. We are, after all, still a free country, and people have differing beliefs. I’m told constantly that’s what makes America great: we can be of differing beliefs and still live together in harmony.
But lately, there is little harmony, and a small faction in our great country has taken offense that some Christian believes different things than they do. And someone, somewhere, decided that Chick-Fil-A, a lovely little family-owned company who gives every employee Sunday off, should somehow be punished. And cries of “intolerance!” and “hypocrite!” came out.
What’s funny is that the definition of hypocrisy is not living out your stated beliefs. Mr. Cathy’s stated beliefs are that marriage is between a man and a woman for life. He and his fellow founders are happily married to their wives – their first wives, he stressed – and are joyfully living out their Christian vocations.
But what those who criticize Mr. Cathy are saying is that as a Christian, he’s commanded to love his neighbor, and to these detractors, Mr. Cathy’s non-support of their views is tantamount to hatred. “How can he love me and say that what I do is wrong?”
First of all, the simplest thing here is to point out that he’s not saying he hates anyone; he has simply reiterated his Christian faith. Seriously, we’re talking about a company that is closed on Sundays and gives out Veggie Tales toys and books. Is anyone surprised that he would vocalize Christian ideals?
Second, let’s take a look at the idea of love carefully. Love is wanting the best for someone – it’s more than an emotion, it’s an action. It’s taking action that the best is provided for the one you love, or that you help that person achieve what is best for him. So a Christian has a strong sense of duty towards those he loves to help them have and do what is best for them.
For a Christian, what is the best thing you can want for someone? Heaven. And getting there involves accepting God’s gift of faith and living a virtuous life in demonstration of that great gift.
Let’s step away from Christianity for a moment, and take the view of a parent and his child. A parent loves his child and wants the best for that child. Sometimes, wanting the best means saying no to her. If my daughter wants to eat a snack 30 minutes before dinner hits the table, the best thing I can do for her is to deny that request. If I have a little one who is running into the street, the best thing I can do is to prevent that from happening and punish that child for the action (even if she doesn’t understand it). I do not love my children less for punishing them for running into a street or sticking a butter knife into an electrical socket. I do not love my children any less for telling them that they can’t eat an ice cream sandwich before dinner. And I don’t love my children less for teaching them the family rules and then enforcing them. Do I want to punish my child for lying by preventing him from playing on a sports team one season? No. Even though the punishment is levied at the child, it’s no picnic for the rest of us, either. But I do it out of love because it will, in the end, help my children grow to be better people.
And the same goes for Christians. A Christian is called to love, but a Christian is also called to Truth. Not a changing truth, not a truth that’s relative depending on who you ask (for these two latter things are not, in fact, Truth). Truth is unchanging, and a Christian knows this. And a Christian who loves wants only the best for his neighbor, no matter who the neighbor is. A Christian, out of love, will love their neighbor but will not condone his neighbor’s sin. A Christian, out of love, will proclaim the truth, just as a parent, out of love, will be truthful with his children and tell them the truth that running in the street is dangerous, that you shouldn’t eat ice cream just before dinner, and that you cannot tell lies to people.
A Christian can, indeed, proclaim their faith and still love their neighbors despite their sins. After all, Christians all sin – every last one of us. Not turning a blind eye to sin is what makes Christians not be hypocritical! Speaking about our faith (especially when asked about it) is not hypocritical or hateful, but is honest and truthful. And calling people to abandon their sins for better things – namely Heaven – is the greatest form of love we can have. Tolerance is one thing, condoning of action is completely different.
What needs to happen is for people who dislike Christian beliefs to stop misusing the words “hate” and “hypocrite” when what they really mean is “I don’t agree with you.”
We could all do with a little less victimhood mentality in our culture. And a little more tolerance of people’s beliefs.
I almost forgot that I had exciting news! Days after losing power, my first column at CatholicMom.com went up! I’ll be writing about technology and apps there once a month, focusing on how to be better organized using technology available. (Yes, this is different than how to level up on Tiny Wings. I promise!)
My first column is a review of one of my favorite apps, and one of the first really useful things I downloaded: Gas Cubby! I even give props to my dad in it, because it’s his influence that makes me want to keep track of this information.
My next column will be on the first Tuesday of August, and I hope you’ll stop by the site and take a look around at all the other terrific writers there; lots of much more talented writers than me, for sure!
Governor Mandates Via Executive Order That Adoption Services Must be Offered at All Abortion Clinics
In a recent executive order, Bob McDonnell (R-VA) has ordered that all clinics that provide abortions first provide patients with specific information on adoption services. Pamphlets given out must meet certain guidelines and be from state-approved lists of adoption service providers. All health centers must be ready for on-the-spot inspections of their premises, as well as secret-shopper-style visits from undercover representatives of the state government who will report back to a new special council set up by the governor. The council has been given the power to fine non-compliant clinics up to $2000 per instance.
Abortion providers have until July 15 to comply and submit to an inspection of their clinics to assure that they have all documentation in order. If they wish, they may apply for a one-year allowance to figure out how they will comply and begin to make the mandatory referrals to the approved list of adoption agencies.
Abortion rights advocates are already scurrying to prevent new clinic regulations from going into effect. Such regulations now require any clinic that performs more than 5 abortions per month to have hallways at least 5 feet wide, areas outside procedure rooms at a minimum of 8 feet wide, as well as regulations on everything from parking spaces to the numbers of toilets available. Clinic owners say the requirements are burdensome, but supporters of the measure say it’s a matter of having abortion clinics up to the same standards as any other medical clinic in the state.
… oh, wait …
There are no abortion clinic requirements to refer people to specific adoption agencies. It’s just that the President of the United States is disregarding the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in order to force Catholic hospitals, universities, colleges, and charities to pay for contraception (including abortifacient drugs) and sterilization – things that the Church deems mortal sins.
Imagine if Governor McDonnell did enact the regulations requiring adoption referrals. What outrage we’d hear from the very crowd who is currently crowing with delight that Catholics are being denied their religious freedom! After all, the clinic regulations I linked to are the same as required for all outpatient surgical centers in Virginia. (Several articles lie about this, saying that it’s the same as hospitals; this is a misrepresentation of the facts, as these are the regulations for outpatient centers.) What the president is now requiring of Catholic organizations is that they either deny their faith or disobey the government and risk paying fines of thousands of dollars per person no longer covered.
Guess which one we’re picking, sir?
Just read that Elizabeth Taylor – the one I’m not related to – passed away.
May she rest in peace, and may she have embraced the One Who has truly loved her all her earthbound life so she may be with Him in her eternal life.
I’m a little annoyed with the scope of the questions on the Census this year, and not particularly in the mood. I was most annoyed that I got a letter telling me that they’re going to send me the Census next week.
Do I Have to Fill out the Whole Form?
The most frequent question we receive from member families is, “Am I required by law to answer the census form?”
The U.S. Census is mandatory by federal law. There is clear federal warning in the code about refusing to give the required information to the Census Bureau. U.S. Code, Title 13 states that citizens must comply with the census or face a $100 fine. There is a $500 penalty for giving false information.
Are the Census Questions Constitutional?
Article I, Section 2(3) of the U.S. Constitution is the provision that authorizes a census. “The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such a manner as they shall by law direct.”
The last phrase, “in such a manner as they shall by law direct,” gives Congress broad authority to determine the scope and process for collecting the census. Congress used this authority to define the parameters of the census in Title 13 of the U.S. Code.