Saturday, July 28, 2012

On a Personal Note

Dear Family in Christ,

My Homily for this week is below. It is an important message. I would humbly ask for your prayers for me. I recently found out that I have a polyp on my colon that has some cancerous cells contained within it. The prognosis is very good and from all indications the cells are contained within the polyp. It is consider a very very early stage. However, because the polyp is attached more completely to the colon wall I will have to undergo surgery to remove it by removing about a foot of my colon. If all goes well it will be a cure. I pray, God's Will, I will be able to recover fully and return to my duties at the parish. Praise God in all things. God bless you all!

Love in Christ Jesus,
Fr. Lange

We, as a Country and as a people of God, have to get back to a morality that is base on what God has told us is the difference between right and wrong...

This past week I heard a very powerful message from a holy priest who was speaking about the horrible massacre which took place at the movie theater in Aurora Colorado; this priest’s name by the way is Father Mitch Pacwa. I know that many of you know of Him. I want to share this very important message with you today.

We are very shocked and concerned about this terrible tragedy and our hearts continue to go out to the families of the victims; and we continue to pray for those who were killed and injured. We also pray for all of the law enforcement and EMS personal who had to be greatly affected by such unspeakable horror.

I am sure we are going to hear plenty of people tell us what we need to do to prevent such a tragedy from occurring in the future. But I think, as did this good and holy priest that I listen too, that we have to keep something very important in mind as we struggle to come to grasp with such evil and seek a remedy for our society. I think we have to keep something very important in mind that has to do with the nature of our great country.

When the Constitution of these Unites States was written, the founding Fathers said they wanted to restrict the size and power of the federal Government. Remember when they came to America, they had just escaped from an oppressive government and so definitely did not want to form a new oppressive Government. So they focused on restricting the federal government and limiting its power and its reach.

But when you read some of the document of these first founders, especially Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and others, they emphasized that with such a government structure, which placed so much on individual responsibility, you depend on having a moral people, that the people themselves have to have firm moral characters. In other words, they knew that their vision would only work with a nation of Godly people. And so these same founders emphasized that this character would habve to be fashioned by faith in the true God and His Ten Commandments and Teaching, that it would have to be fashioned by their Religion. This is exactly why the founding Fathers knew the importance and necessity of religious freedom and so emphasized it in our founding documents. Without religious freedom the America experience dies from immorality.

When you look at all of history we discover, shockingly, that the last century has witnessed some of the most horrible mass murders ever seen. In fact, before 1890 we would be hard pressed to find such atrocities as we just witnessed in Colorado. Even though these unspeakable crimes begin around 1890, we see them begin in earnest in the early part of the century; but where you really see them increase is from 1965 forward.

From 1965 on we can count about 60 or so serial killers and mass murders; who interestingly, use for the most part small caliber weapons in perpetrating their killing. Colorado was rare in its use of a large caliber weapon.

What’s interesting, and I think this points to the real problem at hand, it is interesting that about this time (1965 and on) we can see the beginning of a strong diabolical movement to get God and the truths of the Christian religion out of the public sphere, out of the public discussion, attempting to keep God away from this aspect of public life. We also see at this same time many corresponding societal revolutions shaking the foundation of our Judeo-Christian culture, shaking the foundations of Western Civilization--the sexual revolution, the drug revolution and a religious revolution esepcially within the Church herself, this religious revolution as seen by a rejection of the Encyclical Human Vitae--Human Life, as well as by the great exodus of priests and religious and the subsequent freefall in the attendance of Catholics at Holy Mass.

And so in most of these mass murders, not in all but by far in most, the constant underlying theme has included something twisted on the sexual side and, drug use. And most especially, you see a hatred for God and the sacred things of God, including and especially a hatred for His true Church on earth, the Holy Roman Catholic Church. It is as if when God is kicked out of society a vacuum results which then becomes filled in by pure evil.

And so, all of us as faithful Catholic Christians, as faithful Americans have to raise up, doing more of what we can to in righteousness to confront the people and organizations in our country that are trying to remove God from the public discourse.
It is time for us to ever more start standing up to the forces of the media, some in the judicial system, and in organizations such ACLU, who are doing everything they can to squash religious freedom in order to keep God out and to keep Christians, especially Catholic Christians, out of public life and so silence the moral voice of the Catholic Church which is the audible voice of Jesus Christ Himself, the True and Living God incarnate.

And all Americans, beginning with us Catholic Christians have to, with God’s grace, repent more deeply in order to get back to ever more fully living a deeper moral life that is rooted in what God has taught us, rooted in the truth that comes from God and is proclaimed infallible by His Catholic Church and her teachings, all her teachings including those which are deemed unrealistic in today’s so-called enlightened modern age. For to live this moral life is to live our life fully because we are living it in Christ, through Christ—living life with Christ.

We, as a Country and as a people of God, have to get back to a morality that is base on what God has told us is the difference between right and wrong even when it is not politically or socially acceptable or even tolerated, even when it is politically incorrect. And even we are mocked and called names or accused of being judgmental, we have to stand up for what is right and stand against what is wrong. We as Catholic Americans are called by Jesus Himself to, in love for our all of our brethren, speak up and teach the truth about what is right and what is wrong, to teach the full unadulterated Gospel; and to do so, most especially, by how we live our lives. We have to proclaim with our voices but most especially by our actions that right is right if no one is doing it and wrong is wrong even if every one is doing it.

And in confronting our current culture of death, we have to especially proclaim the Gospel of LIFE!!! Because what is universal in every single case of mass murder, serial murder and massacre is that none of the perpetrators have any sense of the dignity of other people; they have no concern for them being real persons. They treat their victims merely as objects; they have no concern whatever for human life. They are literally a product of our society that is doing the very same thing with it’s culture of death; a society which tears apart and discards the unborn as if they were non-person, as if they werer merly a blop of matter; a society which kills the sick and elderly under the premise of so-called “mercy, or insufficient quality of life; and a society which rejects the sanctity of life by experimenting on it without any regard for Lord and Giver of Life; they are a product of a society which seeks to redefine that which God has defined to bring forth new human life into the world and nurture it, namely, marriage between one man and one women, the family itself.

And so we, you and I, all of us have a grave responsibility to teach that it is God who gives us our dignity as people. We have to proclaim without fear, that is God the Creator who give us our dignity as human persons as our own declaration of Independence makes clear, and that our inalienable rights come directly from the Creator to each individual, no exceptions, from the moment of conception to natural death.

With all due respect, I know our president will talk about our inalienable rights but notice he refuses to talk about them as coming directly from the Creator; he refuses to acknowledge this truth, this reality; he always skips the part about the Creator when he quotes or mentions this part of the Declaration of Independence. But you can’t skip this truth; it is the Creator Who is the source of these rights, not the government, not any government and not any man or group of men.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have to be the ones to remind everyone, including our elected officials, that God is the source of human dignity and rights, and that each human person must be seen as an individual endowed with these rights from God. And in light of this perennial truth, as the declaration also says, everyone of us will be answerable to God Himself for what we do or what we fail to do. This is also in the Declaration. A lot of people don’t pay attention to that part; but in the last paragraph it is there...that everyone is responsible before God for protecting the dignity and rights of the human person, especially the right to life and religious freedom. We have to remind people of this, we have to call people to that accountability to God, not to an accountability to the government, not to a priest, but to God our Lord the Almighty Creator and sustainer of heaven and earth.

One last point, this holy and wise priest made. In watching the news over the last few days what was impressive was the number of heroes…the number of people who gave their lives to protect others, men literally laid themselves on top of their girlfriends in order to be human body shields taking the bullets, giving their lives so another could live. These people are heroes; and they are heroes because they did see the dignity of life, did see the dignity of the human person, so much so that they gave their life to protect this dignity which comes from the Creator, who is the Lord of Life. That’s why we celebrate them as heroes, "for no greater love is there than this than that a man would lay down His life for his friend."

There were other heroes as well, those who praying for those who were injured, those who although injured themself still tried to come to the aid of others who were injured, those who even though bleeding themselves prayed for others; and all those other heroes who put them self in harms way, in grave and mortal danger in order to come to the aid of others…God has send us and our county a powerful message by the selfless actions of these heroes and we celebrate them.

Father Pacwa ending his powerful message by saying that in light of all this incredible heroism of so many to protect life, because of its dignity and worth which comes from the Creator, we should pray that we all can be heroes, like these heroes, in our society and call people to respect the God given dignity every human person, born or unborn, innocent or guilty, male or female, black or white, conscious or unconscious, rich or poor. And if it be God’s will to have the courage to sacrifice all we have, even our lives in order to save life, especially eternal life, the eternal life of souls.

It’s up to us, you and me, to do whatever we can with the help of God’s grace in order to convert our current culture of death into a culture of LIFE. We are all so weak and fearful; but let us not fear, our strength is in the LORD! He loves us so much. Let us fall on our knees in faith and love before out God Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist and cry out, “Jesus I trust in Thee! Jesus I trust in Thee! Jesus I trust in Thee! Have mercy on us and on our whole world, have mercy on our beloved country, the United States of America, convert her for in God, in You, we TRUST! O my Jesus forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy Mercy. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of our Country pray for us, obtain the grace we need to faithful even to the foot of the cross. Amen.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt. Accipio te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor tuum, Maria."

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time July 15th, 2012

This Monday, July 16th is the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Many Catholics don’t realize that this feast day actually has it beginnings in the time of the Old Testament prophets of Elijah and Elisha. Elijah and Elisha were filled with the Holy Spirit of God and did mighty works for the glory of God and for the conversion of sinful souls.

If you remember Elijah was one of the mightiest prophets of the Old Testament. He showed the people the way to true freedom by liberation of their sins and as such he showed them the way to God through proper worship of God. He took on the false gods of the people and showed the people the one true God. He also prophesied the virgin birth of Jesus and that this Jesus would offer to God on our behalf and act perfect adoration through His passion and death; and even more, that this Jesus would make it possible for us to be able to participate in this same perfect act of adoration after His resurrection and ascension.

Elijah's protégé was Elisha. After years of training, Elisha was told in a vision that his master, his teacher Elijah was going to be taken from him. So Elisha went to Elijah and asked that before he was taken from him, would Elijah obtain from God for him-Elisha, a double portion of Elijah's Spirit, which of course was the Holy Spirit.

After telling his young protégé that he didn’t understand what he was asking for, Elijah nevertheless said if God allows such a thing, the sign would be that he-Elijah would be taken away in fiery chariot up into heaven. And so he was; and Elisha was indeed given a double portion of the Spirit.

It is important to know however, that Elijah imparted to Elisha, and to the people of God so they would listen to Elisha as they had listened to Elijah, a sign of that the true Spirit of God was with Elisha. This sign of this double portion of the Spirit was Elijah’s woolen cloak, the same cloak that Elijah once used to strike the Jordon River causing it to turn back on itself so he could pass over on dry land. Once the cloak was imparted to Elisha and Elijah was taken away on the fiery chariot, Elisha himself immediately went to the Jordan and as Elijah had done, struck it with his cloak; and in front of the people, the river, as it had done for Elijah, turned back on itself and Elisha passed over onto dry land.

Elisha then traversed Mt. Carmel and stayed on that mountain in deep prayer, deep conversation with God. As he was looking out from the mountain over the Mediterranean Sea, Elisha witnessed a cloud rising from the sea in a shape of a foot. This cloud, in the shape of a foot, was actually an image pointing to the woman of Genesis whom God foretold to satan after the first sin of our first parents, would crush his, the devils head.

After witnessing this cloud, Elisha began a religious order of Jewish monks who for centuries spent their lives on Mount Carmel praying in the Spirit, for the coming of this Immaculate One, who would give birth to the savior of mankind; he who would free men from the greatest slavery, the slavery of sin, which stripped man not only his freedom but of the fullness of His human dignity and separated man from God and God’s love for man. The habit that these Jewish monks consisted of the brown woolen cloak of Elijah and Elisha worn as a Scapular

The story continues into the New Testament. After the death and Resurrection of Jesus, this same order of Jewish monks were in Jerusalem and among the crowd of people of many tongues who heard St. Peter at Pentecost conversed in their own language. These Jewish monks were also among the thousand who were converted to Jesus Christ. At their conversion they discovered as well, not only who Jesus was but also who was the Immaculate One for whose coming their order had prayed for all those centuries.

It is this group of these converted Jewish monks who were the beginning of the religious Order of Mount Carmel, better known as the Carmelites. The Camelites continued to wear the “Cloak of Elijah” as their habit. This cloak is called the Brown Scapular and is a sign of their consecration to Jesus through the heart of the Immaculate One, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the woman of Genesis who will crush the head of Satan through Her Son, Jesus.

As you know the Virgin Mary later appeared to St. Simon Stock. Her reason for appearing was that she wished all her children to receive a “double portion” of the Spirit, like the prophet Elijah and Elisha, in order to be prophets of truth and life to the current sinful world, so enmeshed in the net of the slavery of sin and false worship.

But instead of having these faithful remnant of hers wear the large scapular of the Carmelites, which covered them from front to back and neck to foot, she handed to St. Simon and smaller woolen scapular that the faithful could wear around their necks as a sign of their true devotion to her and through her to her Son.

At Fatima centuries later as she again appear as “Our Lady of Mount Carmel,” the Immaculate One whose heart would triumph over the enemies of God. Holding out her hand containing a rosary and a scapular, she called all of her faithful remnant to pray the rosary daily and to wear the scapular as a sign of their total consecration to her in order to be totally consecrated to her Divine Son Jesus. Through this faithful remnant, her Immaculate Heart would triumph and an era of peace would be come upon the world, but not before a time of great distress resulting from a great apostasy, a great worldwide loss of the true Catholic and Apostolic faith.

Essentially, total consecration would be a way for her children to get on the “ark of the new covenant” and be led to safe harbor during the purification of the world which would occur either by grace (if enough people would live the message of Fatima) or by fire (if mankind would refuse to heed the warnings and so refuse to stop sinning and so offending God). Those consecrated to her would be true sons and daughters of loving Father who did not wish the destruction of the world or the lost of souls.

This Total Consecration would assist then all those who make it and seriously commit to it; and it would give them the grace to become true adorers of her Son in the Holy Eucharist, thus becoming those whom the Father wish to adore Him in Spirit (the scapular a sign of the Spirit being with them) and Truth (Jesus the Incarnate Mercy of the Father). These true adorers would then bring down God’s Divine Mercy upon us and upon the whole world by being transformed into living images of Jesus to the world, living lives of holiness and becoming living proclamations of the Truth of the Gospel, and so being channels of grace for the conversion of souls and for the conversion of the Whole world. In this the brown scapular is connected to the revelations of Divine Mercy given to St. Faustina.

And so as you can clearly see, The Brown Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not some outdated pious old devotion no longer needed by us more modern enlightened Catholics; its not just for children and it is not an extra-biblical add on by us Catholics; it is totally Scriptural. The brown Scapular and the Consecration it signifies is essential for all those who take their faith seriously and who are concerned about the “signs of the times.”

However it is important to know as well, that the scapular is not magic, it is meant to be sign, a “wedding ring,” if you will, not only of our dedication to God, but also sign of our total yes to God, a sign of our Fiat, of our total gift of self to God in return for the gift of His total Self to Us in the person of His Divine Son. This consecration is an exchange of persons, human and divine, that actually takes place at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, better known as the Holy Mass.

The Scapular is a sacramental from heaven, not only to symbolize this exchange of persons in the holiest of matrimonies, but to assist the faithful who struggle to give themselves totally to Lord and holy Mass to live out this consecration, this gift of self, in all aspects of their daily lives…in other words to assist them to make their “I do” to God at the Wedding of the Holy Mass and then to live out their “I do” to God in their daily lives by striving to live out all the truths of God as found in His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The brown scapular is a help to those who wear it with faith to participate more fully, actively, consciously and fruitful in the Holy Mass and to participate and share in the act of perfect adoration of the Son to the Father for our good and our salvation.

As you can now also see, the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is really a key component in helping us to confront the “Culture of Death” which is a “Culture of Sin” which is really a culture of false worship, which stems from a failure of us creatures to adore, worship and so love our Creator with our whole mind, body, soul, mind and strength. And so the scapular should also be taken seriously by all who are fighting for our Religious Liberty-one of the foundational rights of the Human Person.

The gift of our selves to God in Total Consecration and living this gift of self in our everyday lives by living the truths of our Catholic Faith is really the key to winning the fight for “religious freedom;” for ultimately, True freedom is not something that comes from outside of you, but from within. Freedom is not something that occurs from removing all obstacles that prohibit freedom; it must come from an interior act of the will of man. And this act of the will must be directed to moral truth, to accepting and living the truth from God about God and about man, the truth that sets men free.

This act of the will in order to choose this truth, the Truth and live it, must be assisted by God’s truth and grace, must be assisted by His Holy Spirit, a double portion of which will be given to those who wear the scapular faithfully and with trust. It is freedom that comes from leaving sin behind through repentance and converting more fully to God by living His truth out in our daily lives of sanctity (living and proclaiming the truth in Charity). It is this freedom in the truth that promotes and protects the dignity of the human person, of every human person, born or unborn, sick or healthy, poor or rich, black or white, conscious or unconscious. It is freedom in the Spirit to live as true sons and daughters of the Almighty Father God through Jesus Christ His Son.

Today in a special way then, let us turn to Our Lady of Mount Carmel to assist us in our struggle to be truly free and so to live truly human lives. If you would like more information on the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and total consecration to Jesus through Mary, I would suggest the book, “Total Consecration” by Louis De Montfort. If you would like a copy please contact the parish office. And then once instructed more fully on the meaning of the Total consecration and being so prepared, we will give you an opportunity on the first available feast day of our Lady to make your Consecration and if necessary to be enrolled in the Brown Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. "Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt. Accipio te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor tuum, Maria." ("I belong entirely to you, and all that I have is yours. I take you for my all. O Mary, give me your heart")

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Our Country in in need of a Spiritual Health Care overhaul...

Fourthteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Mark 6, 1-6. July 8th, 2012

Last week in my homily I spoke about our great commission that we Christians have been given by Jesus; we are called to speak the truth to all men and to do so with great love, better yet, with great Charity. We are to speak the truth in Charity.

Again, this is what is at stake with regards to our current struggle with religious freedom. It is so much more that freedom to worship. Again, the enemies of the truth will give us that, at least for the time being. It is even more than the freedom to not to betray our principles and our conscience, which are part of our human dignity. Religious freedom is freedom to engage society; the freedom to proclaim to all of the members of society out of love for them, the truth that sets men free, gives them true happiness and saves them; it freedom to call all men to repent of their sins and to accept the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who is God become man to save us through the forgiveness of sins, sins which are acts against the truth.

It is the freedom to speak out against all evil, yes, against the evil of homosexual acts, which are life-less acts; but also against the evils of artificial contraception which too are life-less, anti-family, and so oppress and degrade women and endangers their health and well-being; it is the freedom to defend life, to defend the life of the human person in all of its stages; to speak out in defense of the sacred dignity of every single human person born or unborn, rich or poor, sick or healthy, black or white, conscious or unconscious; to defend all human persons, especially those who cannot defend them selves.

Yes, we must speak the truth in Charity out of love for God who is the source of all truth, and then out of love for our brother and sister and concern for their eternal salvation. We want to bring them the truth so that they might be free, that is free to live life to the fullness by being free to choose all that which is True and Good, and ultimately free to choose He Who is Truth and Goodness Itself God. This is why Jesus came to earth, to reveal the truth about God and Man; and then to free man from the greatest slavery, the slavery of sin, in order that men could accept this truth with their intellect and live it with their lives and so become one with God through Jesus who is the Truth.

But if we are to speak the truth in Charity we must also live Charity in the truth. We can’t live charitable lives, lies of love without the truth, that is without Jesus who is the truth and without the truth that He came to bring to us from His Father in Heaven so that ultimately through living the truth we might become one with God.

This was the title and theme of the most recent Encyclical of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict entitled Caritas et Veritate…Charity in Truth. In the Encyclical He said our works of Charity must be done in the truth or they are not charity at all. Without the truth they can actually become unjust works which degrade man and lead to a loss of the freedom and liberty of man. They become acts which are done not for the common good, not for the good of all the members of the society, especially not for woman and the unborn.

Let me use an example. Let’s take for instance governments that send aid to third world countries but only on condition that these third world countries accept our own population control mandates. In other words they must force their people, all in the name of development, to limit their births and mandate laws that allow artificial birth control and even abortion before they receive that which their people are in great need of. Once the governments of these countries acquiesce to these unjust conditions, then and only then, will material aid be given. In fact, many times before any material aid arrives, first arrives the birth control and aborti-facient drugs first. This aid is not charity for it is not given with the truth, not given in the truth; it is unjust and does not promote the common good of the society.

Ultimately, charity done without the truth is not charity at all because the truth is really a Divine Person, Jesus Christ. Charity is really doing good works through Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ through Jesus Christ. Charity is doing good works for love of God and for the love of our brethren with the Love of God alive in our hearts, minds and souls. Any so-called works of charity that are done without the truth, are ultimately works done without God who is the source of all Charity. God is in fact, Charity Itself, for God is love, Deus Caritas est--God is Charity…! Interestingly the title of another of Pope Benedict’s encyclicals.

All of this brings up why we are against Obama care, and why all Christians and men of good will should oppose Obama Care…it is charity without the truth and so it is not Charity at all. Even though it is presented as a law for the common good, it actually goes against common good because it endangers our religious freedom and our freedom of conscience.

The truth is, is that this goes against the very dignity of the human person; it strips the person of the right to practice the truth, to proclaim the truth out side of the walls of the Church building. And even more, and most of all we oppose Obama Care because it is anti-life…and as such is anti-God who is the Creator and Lord of Human life.

Let us get it straight; we are not against the right to affordable health care for every human person. Our bishops promoted that ideal long before this current administration. In fact it was our religious orders that were the first to provide affordable health care and in fact many times free health care to the first citizens of this great country. The Church has been the savior to the sick and ill, not some politician.

These hospitals were founded for the love of Christ and to bring the healing and love of Christ to the sick and suffering, both physically and spiritually. In other words, Catholic Hospitals were founded in charity. Even to this day, many times when a patient has the inability to pay, the secular hospitals will send them to Catholic hospitals for care.

We know that our current health care system needs to be reformed. But we are against Obama Care because it is health care without the truth. And it is so, not only because denies Catholics and all men of good will religious freedom and freedom of conscience by mandating us to go against the truth of God; not only because, thanks to the supreme court ruling is now a tax on the public practice of religious by its imposition of a penalty for following the truth of our faith; but we are also against it because it is an Abortion expanding health care reform law and the most abortion expanding law since the Roe vs. Wade decision which legalize abortion in all nine months of pregnancy. It is charity without the truth, which means it is not charity at all.

And so, it will never work because it is an unjust law. It does not protect our liberties and it does not protect the most defenseless and most poor of all, the unborn…it is unjust because it is anti-woman; it oppresses women; it is a weapon in the true war against women in its attack against motherhood, treating women’s gift of fertility and bearing new children of God as if these things were diseases …it is a war against woman because it attacks and will kill in ever increasing numbers especially unborn women…and so it is anti-family; and all this funded by yours and mine tax dollars and insurance premiums; and our cooperation in this evil will be mandated, that is forced upon us Catholic Christians and upon all men and women of good will. In good conscience we must disobey this unjust law for as St. Augustine taught, “An unjust law is no law at all and must be opposed.”

Blessed John Paul II once directly addressed America saying, “(America) The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless ones. The best traditions of your land presume respect for those who cannot defend themselves. If you want equal justice for all, and true freedom and lasting peace, then, America, defend life.” John Paul II

Obama care is not charity because it is unjust; and it is unjust because, it ignores the truth that comes from God about the dignity of every single human person; and so it does not protect life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness…In fact, interestingly, immediately after the Supreme Court’s ruling, one of the first groups to come out in support of its decision was Planned Parenthood, the most anti-life organization in the world…They understand clearly that Obama care is not going to make abortion more accessible, nor will it make abortion causing pills more accessible and life preventing contraception more accessible, but it will force you and I to pay for these moral evils out our tax dollars and with our insurance premiums. And if we refuse to deny our consciences and not go along with this evil then we will be punished and force to submit by an even greater so-called tax. And after that, who knows what the punishment will be.

Even more than a health care overhaul, our dear country is in great need of a spiritual health care overhaul. It’s leaders, Catholic, Christian or otherwise are in need of spiritual and moral conversion; its Catholics, Christians or otherwise, including all of us, are in need of great spiritual and moral conversion and the healing of our sins. So, Let us not pray for the suffering to be taken away but that we may accept the Holy Will of God. Let us not pray to escape the cross but to be able to embrace the cross. Let us pray not to escape persecution but that we may be used as faithful instruments of God’s divine design, even if that means that we may be Martyrs (white or red) for Christ and for His Holy Catholic Church and for the salvation of souls and salvation of our Great Country.

“Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless, and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us, and increase Your mercy in us, that inn difficult moments, w might not despair, no become despondent, but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy Itself. Our Lady of Divine Mercy, Mother of the Americas, Pray for us. Amen.”

Sunday, July 1, 2012

True Freedom-The Freedom to choose God!

On this past Friday we celebrated the Solemnity of the great Saints Peter and Paul. Even though they did not die on the same day our Holy Mother Church celebrates their death, or their birth into eternal life, on the same day. The two were one because they were both called by the Lord to be apostles.

Peter and Paul were also one in the fact that they were to proclaim the truth that sets men truly free and gives men life, not only eternal life, but the fullness of life in this world as well. They were also one in that they shed their blood for their fidelity to this truth; and they did so out of love for Christ and for His Holy Church and her members; but also in love for all men.

Peter and Paul gave their lives for the Truth in love or better yet for the Truth in Charity. They did this in two ways; first by giving their lives to preach this truth to the world in order to convict it of its sins, so that it might repent and accept this truth both in mind and in will in order to have true freedom and life. And second, they consummated their preaching with the shedding of their blood; Peter shedding His blood on the cross representing Charity; and Paul shedding His blood on the sword representing the Truth. In this Peter and Paul’s martyrdoms are also one, one in Charity and in truth. For there is no love, no charity without the truth.

The Holy Church today and all her members, both religious and lay, must continue this mission given to it by Christ to Preach the Truth to all. If they do not, if we do not, then we don’t carry out God’s great commission to love our brothers as our selves. We must give the truth. But we must do it not with a club, not with self-righteousness, but with love-with Charity.

Take homosexual acts for instance. If we deny that these acts are intrinsically evil, deny the fact that they not only offend God but hurt those engaged in such acts, and hurt society in general; if we deny that these acts go against the very nature of man and the very nature of marriage as God has created man and marriage; if we deny this truth by not only accepting homosexual acts but condoning them as well, then we fail to proclaim the truth in love. We fail to love our brother and our sister who are engaged in these acts by refusing to tell them that truth that sets them free and gives them life.

I read an article a few days ago about this very thing. It was written by a Catholic man who in love speaks out about the destructiveness of homosexual acts and so-called Homosexual “marriages.” He said he is often confronted, as are all Christians who speak out against “gay marriage,” by those who say, what does it hurt you if the government makes law allowing homosexual marriage? He says he responds to this question by saying, “It will hurt me because it will destroy religious freedom and free speech rights. It means that those hostile to our beliefs will attempt to bend us to their will to force us to not only accept gay “marriage,” but to condone it as well. Once it is law then any person who speaks out about it will be going against the law. The Law will not just allow such an evil but will coerced all to not only put up with homosexual marriage but to condone it. And this is exactly what is happening for instance in Canada where you can now be arrested by law for a hate crime if you speak out against homosexual acts and homosexual marriage.

But if we love them we must speak the truth to them, even if we are shunned by the modern society, even if we are persecuted by the modern society. We Christians must come at it from an altruistic prospected, that is from a perspective of love, love for the sinner but hate for the sin—love in truth. We must tell them it is wrong because we love them and that their actions have eternal consequences.

I recently heard that a Christian was present at a T.V. talk show in Canada hosted by a famous anti-catholic, anti Christian- atheist. The show attacks religion in every way. After the show in which they were promoting homosexuality, promoting every anti-life idea you could image, including smashing Christianity to bits, this Christian came up to try to convert this anti Christian atheist. The atheist responded to the Christian’s efforts with a very interesting comment. He said:
“If you believe that there is a heaven and hell, and that people could be going to hell or not getting to eternal life or whatever, and you think that its not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…-how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible , and not tell them that?”

Isn’t this the point, from this atheist…to tell them the truth in love, because of love, out of love for them and concern for their well-being, their physical well being (all of the many resulting diseases) their psychological well being (vastly higher depression and suicide rates), their emotional well being (incredibly higher rates of emotional and physical abuse); and most of all for their eternal well-being.

Our enemies are not flesh and blood…We tell them the truth, because we love them. And we want them to know the truth and come to the truth so that they might not be lost but might have life and have to the full. Again as I said at the beginning, not just eternal life…but the fullness of this life here on earth as well—living the fullness of life as a human person.

This is what is at stake with regards to our current struggle with religious freedom. It is so much more that freedom to worship. The enemies of the truth will give us that, at least for the time being. It is even more than the freedom to not to betray our principles and our conscience, which are part of our human dignity. Religious freedom is freedom to engage society; the freedom to proclaim to all of the members of society out of love for them, the truth that sets men free, gives them true happiness and saves them.

It is the freedom to, in Charity, speak out against all evil, yes, against the evil of homosexual acts, which are life-less acts; but also against the evils of artificial contraception which too are life-less and so oppress and degrade women and endangers their health and well-being; it is the freedom to, in love, defend life, to defend the life of the human person in all of its stages; to speak out in defense of the dignity of every single human person born or unborn, rich or poor, sick or healthy, black or white, conscious or unconscious; to defend all human persons, especially those who cannot defend them selves.

We must like St. Peter and Paul preach the truth with love, with our holiness of life; and even, God give us the grace, if necessary with our blood. The eternal destiny of millions of souls hangs in the balance, the survival of our nation and our civilization hangs in the balance.

Blessed John Paul II once said, “If you want peace work for justice, if you want justice defend life, if you want life, accept the truth, the truth that comes from God. This is what we must tell the world, not because we want to condemn but because we love it, we must tell the world…it is the truth that comes from God that gives true liberty, happiness and life.

The ruling of the Supreme Court upholding the Abortion expanding health care reform unjust law, known as Obama Care, has made many of us who have been fighting the mandate and the threats against religious liberty and fighting the anti-life forces in our country, this ruling has made many of us distraught and discouraged. The opposite needs to be the case.

Fr. Frank Pavone, head of “Priest for Life,” said the ruling must energize us. He
reminded us of the Words of Sacred Scripture which tells us, “Do not fret at the triumph of the wicked: do not let yourself be deceived or disturbed, because their triumph is always fleeting, is always temporary.” The same needs to be said for our fight for religious liberty, the ruling needs to energize us, it should make us well up with righteous indignation.

Fr. Pravone said, “We go at it spiritually from that point of view to say Lord, you allow darkness, you allow us to fall into depths of evil, and yet you never take away the way out, you never close off the way back to salvation.”
We can take the advice of Fr. Pavone to turn our disappointment to concrete action, however small. ( Sign the petition in the back, writing our elected officials and voting our conscience this fall, praying before the Blessed Sacrament for the conversion of our Country).

Father also said, so it is not a matter of praying that things will be well, it’s about experiencing the presence of Christ in the midst of this. We ask ourselves: what concretely can I do today about this? What can I do to rally people to educate them? As soon as we put our energies into some concrete action, no matter how small it is, then it starts re-encouraging us.”

In a few days we will celebrate our freedom in this country. But let us make sure we are not celebrating a false freedom. That is the false idea that reduces freedom to individuals choosing whatever they want, from homosexual acts to so-called homosexual marriage, from contracepted acts, to abortion, so long as it’s a choice condoned by the government. As Archbishop Lori, recently said, “…when freedom is reduced to individuals choosing whatever they want, so long as it’s a choice condoned by the government, then religious liberty is severely limited. And If this false secular idea of freedom prevails, it is the strong—those who have money, power and influence—who end up imposing their views, their “truth” on others. This is what Pope Benedict calls the “dictatorship of relativism.”

And With regards to the Church Her freedom will become limited to worship, preaching, and teaching only behind the walls of the building of the Church only. She will not be able to carry out its commission to preach the truth in love, to being able to put her teaching into practice through her own institutions when they hire or serve people of other faiths or of no faith at all.

But let us instead celebrate true freedom; the freedom to choose the true, the good and the beautiful, which comes from God and is ultimately God. Let us celebrate true freedom, which allows us to proclaim the truth that comes from God to all men, the truth which reveals to all men the truth about God and the truth about man himself; the freedom which allows men to choose this Truth, to choose God Himself. This true notion of freedom is the one on which this great nation was built and which rests the dignity and the worth of every human person, born or unborn. Let us more than ever defend this true freedom, but even more importantly let us live it. Our Lady of the Americas pray for us.