30 September 2008

Obama Opposes Healthcare Funding for Women

We constantly hear from both sides of the political spectrum that we have had 8 years of Republican majority government and that they have done nothing to reduce abortion. Although there is significant evidence to the contrary and considering the slim majority which was never sufficient to override the Democratic obstruction on the issue it is amazing what did get done. Here is another piece of information taken from the NARAL website regarding the Allard Amendment which would have codified recognition of unborn children as actual human beings.

Of course this was opposed by Democrats including Sen.'s Obama and Biden along with the usual pro-abortion groups. Although Sen. Obama claims that Republicans don't care for the health of the mother and proposes with his change mantra that he will provide healthcare to poor pregnant women he voted against this Republican sponsored amendment because it would have recognized the unborn child for what it is, a living human being. Here's the source.

There is also more at Lifenews.com
What's At Stake?
Pro-Choice Victory in the Senate!

Background material on the amendment:
When Sen. Allard explained his amendment to codify the Bush administration's "unborn child" regulation, he said this would not be the first time this definition of an "unborn child" was put into federal law. Don't be misled by that statement. It is true that the so-called "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" and many other anti-choice proposals use this same definition of an "unborn child," but this whole SCHIP regulation has never before been codified in federal law. Sen. Allard's amendment does not simply repeat some existing piece of law; it would have put the controversial SCHIP regulation into statute for the first time ever. Why does that matter?

For years, the right-to-life movement has worked to build a case for its next challenge to Roe v. Wade. As part of that effort, anti-choice legal activists have systematically tried to give legal "personhood" rights to an embryo or fetus everywhere possible in federal and state law. (The "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" is just one example of this strategy; there are many others.) Today's Allard amendment is another attempt to give a pregnancy "personhood" rights in law. The next time a case to reverse Roe is before the Supreme Court, anti-choice lawyers will then point to all these examples in statute, arguing that society, culture, and the law have "evolved" since 1973 and now recognize a pregnancy as a separate legal person in a variety of settings. The more examples to which they can point as "evidence" of this legal "evolution," the greater weight their claim will carry. For this reason,
pro-choice lawmakers must very carefully examine each attempt to give an embryo
or fetus "personhood" rights in law, considering its potential use in the next challenge to legal abortion.

In unguarded moments, anti-choice advocates themselves admit this strategy:
One prominent anti-choice legal advocate, Samuel Casey of the Christian Legal Society, describes the strategy candidly: "In as many areas as we can, we want to put on the books that the embryo is a person. . . . That sets the stage for a jurist to acknowledge that human beings at any stage of development deserve protection – even protection that would trump a woman's interest in terminating a pregnancy."

When Sen. Orrin Hatch was asked about the purpose of the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act," he told a reporter: "They say it undermines abortion rights. It does."
And when the controversial "unborn child" regulation was first unveiled by the Bush administration in 2002, a prominent anti-choice newsletter, the "Pro-Life Infonet," applauded the move, specifically because, under this rule, "unborn children will be recognized by [sic] government as children."

Again, in sum, the Allard amendment has two true purposes: (1) to entangle the SCHIP legislation in anti-abortion politics; and (2) to continue the strategy of undermining the legal foundation of Roe v. Wade

29 September 2008

Feast of the Archangels - The Virgin of the Rocks

Today is the feast of the 3 known of 7 Archangels, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Today at Mass the priest reminded me of a 4th, Uriel, who he was unfamiliar with other than he was next to Michael in one of the stained glass windows in the Church. While he is not mentioned in the Bible specifically he is mentioned in Catholic tradition by among others, St. Gregory the Great. He was also one of the key angels in the children's story The Day the Angels Fell, which recounts the battle in Heaven between the good and bad angels.

In that account Uriel is rewarded for his faithfulness by becoming Jesus's guardian angel when he becomes Man. Another apochryphal account holds that it was Uriel who rescued St. John from Herod's massacre of the Innocents and brings him with his mother St. Elizabeth to be reunited with the Holy Family in Egypt. That story is the basis for the painting at left known as the Virgin of the Rocks by Da Vinci. From Wikipedia,

According to the standard interpretation of the paintings, they depict the Madonna in the centre ushering John towards Jesus, who is seated with the angel Uriel. Jesus is blessing John, who holds out his hands in a gesture of prayer. In the Louvre version, Uriel points towards John while looking out at the viewer.

This picture was used in the film The Da Vinci Code for its supposed hidden symbolism. There is no need to remind everyone of that scandalous film and even the Louvre roundly denounced the theory of Dan Brown as "far fetched" and a travesty of art history."

Because of the avid angel worship taking place in the early centuries of the Church,
Pope Zachary, at the Council of Rome of 745, intending to clarify the Church's teaching on the subject of angels and curb a tendency toward angel worship, condemned obsession with angelic intervention and angelolatry, but reaffirmed the approval of the practice of the reverence of angels. This synod struck many angels' names from the list of those eligible for veneration in the Church of Rome, including Uriel. Only the reverence of the archangels mentioned in the recognized Catholic canon of scriptures, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, remained licit.
Despite the uncertain historical accuracy of the existence of an archangel Uriel it is still a beautiful painting of Mary, Jesus, and St. John.

28 September 2008

Archbishop Nienstedt - Mass in the Extraordinary Form

Archbishop Nienstedt who this past June officially assumed the role of Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis will be celebrating Mass in the Extraordinary Form, aka Tridentine Mass, on Sunday October 5th at St. Augustines in South Saint Paul at 11:30. I encourage everyone who is available to attend this Mass.

27 September 2008

Union with God, The Goal of All Our Actions

"Seek ye first the kingdom and the rest shall be added unto you." Matt. 6:33

As we are bombarded daily with pessimistic news stories on the economy, society, the election, war, etc. it is easy to succumb to despair unless we are grounded in our faith. While it is important to be informed it should not overwhelm us nor cause us to neglect our primary duties. We can remain in the world but not of the world if we remember first a life of prayer and detachment.

Fr. Gerald Vann O.P. wrote in his book "Heart of Compassion" that it is possible to become saints in the middle of a busy world but to accomplish this "we must commit ourselves to daily prayer." We should try and set aside a half hour a day, but as a bare minimum 15 minutes, in silence and solitude for the purpose of prayer. "You can find God in the midst of a busy life, but not if you never for moment withdraw your mind from its business and wait upon Him."

Those who are filled with zeal for activity for the world, but are tempted to dismiss the need for daily prayer as a luxury in such times of crisis as these, may learn a lesson from the story of Elijah. He brought down fire from Heaven upon his offering and slew the idolaters of Baal, and he was jubilant, thinking he had served God well. But then he saw his triumph turn to ashes and was forced to flee for his life. And in his humiliation and self-contempt, he threw himself down under a juniper tree and begged God that he might die, because he was no better than his fathers. And God vouchsafed him a vision, and showed him why his success had turned to failure.

First there came a great wind, which overthrew the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces, but the Lord was not in the wind; and then there came an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and then there came a fire, but still the Lord was not there. But after all these symbols of wrath and might and terror, there came the whisper of a gentle wind, or, in another version, the sound of a still small voice; and when the prophet heard it, he covered his head with his mantle for he knew that this was the Lord. 3 Kings 18:36-40

The vision was to teach Elijah, first, that you cannot fight for a merciful, gentle God without the weapons of a merciful , gentle God; but perhaps we may see in it a further symbolism. For this zeal without wisdom, this determination to fight for God without understanding the nature of God, is the very thing we shall do unless we set out to seek Him before we attempt to serve Him. And if we seek Him, we must seek, not in sound and fury, but in the deep silence in which alone His voice can be heard.

Religion As The Root of Culture

Christopher Dawson is best known as an historian and sociologist who focused on the relation of religion to culture. In our age and particularly during this current presidential election where we see politicians seeking to divorce religion from the public life we must realize that religion and culture are inseparable. Fr. Joseph Koterski S.J. has written a commentary which can be read in its entirety here on Mr. Dawson's work 'Religion as the Root of Culture.' Here is a brief excerpt.

But however much the West is admired, openly or with secret jealousy, legitimate concern arises over where we are headed. Will, for instance, the easier access to material goods promised by westernization simply drown thirsty eastern Europe in hedonism? Or, to consider America and western Europe, will the relentless secularization even of religious institutions desiccate the very sources of the cultural life of the west? [6] There is no shortage of prophets of doom who think it already has, and the massive evidence available is compelling.

Our culture certainly does not feel like a religious culture. Even the Catholic sub-culture in which many here in the audience grew up seems to be in shambles. The prevailing wisdom among the most successful, prosperous and lively sectors of our society — the media, the legal and medical professions, the professoriate and the wizards of technology — is that this culture has a fine life of its own and plenty of drive; religion is better left a private matter, available to the superstitious but invariably a bull in a china shop when it enters the arena of public policy discussions.

At best, religion is considered an inspiration to the good manners and morals needed in civic life, so there is no harm in paying it lip service, so long as the rhetoric is sufficiently pluralistic and innocuously inclusive.

Bleak as the prospect of restoring the spiritual dimension of our culture any time soon is, there is a more constructive assessment possible than merely gloomy despair. We dare not be naive about this. The irrepressible optimism of the 60s brought many well-intentioned religious leaders to expect no harm to come from exchanging a predominantly eschatological model of religion (concern with saving one's own soul and one's neighbor's) for the social gospel of liberal Protestantism (the reduction of Christianity to part of its ethical and moral teachings). [7] But the reason for hope even amid the current confusion consists in the increasing recognition that the task of the Church is direct evangelization and that the renewal of culture is its hoped for fruit. [8] Like any good apple or peach, the fruit may be what we most directly enjoy, but in the long range perspective of the tree, the moisture and nutriments in the fruit actually help to root the seed in some new ground so it may gradually but sturdily grow, transforming the land and the landscape as it does so.

To appreciate the call to refocus religious energy on direct, one-to-one personal evangelization as a genuine blessing and not a fall-back strategy of desperation requires that we see "the big picture" of the proper relation of religion and culture. In what follows, I would like to develop two points: 1) Dawson's analysis of the distinctive trait specific to the Christian religion as formative of Western culture, and 2) an important shift the Church has been laboring to make in this regard.

Feast of St. Vincent de Paul

A shining example of a saint dedicated to helping the sick and the poor is Saint Vincent de Paul whose efforts live on in the Society that bears his name and continues the work he began. They are found in many of our big cities helping the homeless, the poor and sick, those in prison and many other ways.

The deathbed confession of a dying servant opened Vincent's eyes to the crying spiritual needs of the peasantry of France. This seems to have been a crucial moment in the life of the man from a small farm in Gascony, France, who had become a priest with little more ambition than to have a comfortable life.

It was the Countess de Gondi (whose servant he had helped) who persuaded her husband to endow and support a group of able and zealous missionaries who would work among the poor, the vassals and tenants and the country people in general. Vincent was too humble to accept leadership at first, but after working for some time in Paris among imprisoned galley-slaves, he returned to be the leader of what is now known as the Congregation of the Mission, or the Vincentians. These priests, with vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and stability, were to devote themselves entirely to the people in smaller towns and villages.

Later Vincent established confraternities of charity for the spiritual and physical relief of the poor and sick of each parish. From these, with the help of St. Louise de Marillac, came the Daughters of Charity, "whose convent is the sickroom, whose chapel is the parish church, whose cloister is the streets of the city." He organized the rich women of Paris to collect funds for his missionary projects, founded several hospitals, collected relief funds for the victims of war and ransomed over 1,200 galley slaves from North Africa. He was zealous in conducting retreats for clergy at a time when there was great laxity, abuse and ignorance among them. He was a pioneer in clerical training and was instrumental in establishing seminaries.

Most remarkably, Vincent was by temperament a very irascible person—even his friends admitted it. He said that except for the grace of God he would have been "hard and repulsive, rough and cross." But he became a tender and affectionate man, very sensitive to the needs of others.

Pope Leo XIII made him the patron of all charitable societies. Outstanding among these, of course, is the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, founded in 1833 by his admirer Blessed Frederic Ozanam.


The Church is for all God's children, rich and poor, peasants and scholars, the sophisticated and the simple. But obviously the greatest concern of the Church must be for those who need the most help—those made helpless by sickness, poverty, ignorance or cruelty. Vincent de Paul is a particularly appropriate patron for all Christians today, when hunger has become starvation, and the high living of the rich stands in more and more glaring contrast to the physical and moral degradation in which many of God's children are forced to live.

"Strive to live content in the midst of those things that cause your discontent. Free your mind from all that troubles you, God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this [choice] without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of what your heart desires" (St. Vincent de Paul, Letters).

25 September 2008

Our Lady of Walsingham

I had to borrow this post from Padre Steve over at Da Mihi Animas. Walsingham is the holiest and oldest shrine in England. It has been visited by royalty and commoner alike.

The following comes from Patron Saints Index: In 1061 Lady Richeldis de Faverches, lady of the manor near the village of Walsingham, Norfolk, England, was taken in spirit to Nazareth. There Our Lady asked her to build a replica, in Norfolk, of the Holy House where she had been born, grew up, and received the Annunciation of Christ's impending birth. She immediately did, constructing a house 23'6" by 12'10" according to the plan given her. Its fame slowly spread, and in 1150 a group of Augustinian Canons built a priory beside it. Its fame continued to grow, and for centuries it was a point of pilgrimage for all classes, the recipient of many expensive gifts.

In 1534 Walsingham became one of the first houses to sign the Oath of Supremacy, recognizing Henry VIII as head of the Church in England. Dissenters were executed, and in 1538 the House was stripped of its valuables, its statue of the Virgin taken to London to be burned, its buildings used as farm sheds for the next three centuries.[Photo]In 1896 Charlotte Boyd purchased the Slipper Chapel and donated it to Downside Abbey. In 1897 Pope Leo XIII re-founded the ancient shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, and pilgrimages are permitted to resume. The statue of Our Lady is enshrined in 1922 beginning an era of cooperation at the shrine between Catholics and Anglicans.

In 1981 construction began on the Chapel of Reconciliation, a cooperative effort between the two confessions, and located near the shrine. The feast of Our Lady of Walsingham was reinstated in 2000. For more information on this historic shrine click here.

21 September 2008

The Laborers in the Vineyard

The Gospel of today deals with the familiar parable of the laborers who went to work in the vineyard at various times of the day but at the end all received the same pay. It is easy to sympathize with the workers who complained after working the full day and receiving the same pay as those who came late. Maybe we look at people who lived a lax or downright immoral faith life but before dying had a conversion and embraced the faith. Of course we should rejoice that they did but again do we often feel a little jealous that they got to have what seemed like fun while we struggled to avoid the sins they were comitting? But in each instance we more often than not view ourselves as belonging to the first group when really we ought to consider that we belong to the second group. We are the ones that have been frittering away the day in idleness when we ought to be truly living our faith. Then we can appreciate the divine mercy of Jesus, who offers us the same reward even though we hardly deserve it.

15 September 2008

Eucharistic Devotion - Compositio Loci

Fr. Groeschel wrote an excellent book on the history, theology, and psychology of Eucharistic devotion titled In The Presence Of Our Lord. It is an in depth study of the topic rather than a book of devotions and prayers but a worthy read. Hopefully as we gain a deeper understanding of the Eucharist it will lead us to a greate love of Jesus in the Sacrament. There are many important passages but one in particular I wanted to post on.

My point is that the common human technique (compositio loci) used to help an individual to relate to what is not physically palpable must be put into use at any religious ceremony that goes beyond the level of a pious pep rally. The ceremonies of the Church and her liturgy should go far beyond group sessions, public-relations events, and luncheon meetings. However well intentioned these attempts may have been, the liturgy and the ceremonies directly related to it (including solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to the Eucharistic Presence) should call upon all of human potentials, not just intelligence and voice, especially when these two are being used with such meager results.

The whole tradition of the Church in East and West bears witness to an age-old integrated psychological response of all the powers of the individual. The experience of sacred compositio loci (as distinct from a purely dramatic presentation) is of utmost importance, since it brings the totality of human potentials into play. Not only reason but imagination, not only dedication but desire, not only thought but will, not only head but heart and body are to be used. The Psalms used as liturgical prayers only make sense in this way. What could be duller and more formalistic than a purely intellectual reading of the Psalms? What could be more inappropriate than an abstract acknowledgement that the Eucharist is the real Body of Christ with no response of reverence and awe?

10 September 2008

Life Athletes, Inc.

I had the good fortune to hear an inspiring presentation today by former New York Giants guard Chris Godfrey who founded the organization Life Athletes, Inc. Here is a little about them taken from their website.

Welcome to where we live. Here we are committed to what is most important to us. Not in a selfish way, but in a heroic way, because our commitment benefits others too. Nor is our commitment made thoughtlessly. We firmly believe that the relationships between men and women stand at the center of everything that is most important, namely - love, life, marriage, family, and even heaven itself. It is also necessary for world peace.

Therefore we have decided to protect these values by living lives of virtue, abstinence (chastity), and respect for life. This website and our Resources will help explain the reasons for our commitment, and we hope it will help you to decide for your self where it is that you live.

Check out their website and the resources they have available for getting their program started in your local parish or other youth group activity. In an era when so many of the actions of athletes run contrary to our values and provide little positive example for our children it is encouraging to see many of the athletes who are members of this organization pledged to respecting life. Here is a video clip sample from one of their DVD's.

A Example of the Chivalrous Spirit

While it is sometimes difficult to articulate the idea of chivalry there come those times when we see in the selfless example of someone exactly what it is. Thomas Vander Woude died after saving his twenty year old son Joseph. Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post story,

When Joseph, 20, who has Down syndrome, fell into a septic tank Monday in his back yard, Vander Woude jumped in after him. He saved him. And he died where he spent so much time living: at his son's side.

"That's how he lived," Vander Woude's daughter-in-law and neighbor, Maryan Vander Woude, said yesterday. "He lived sacrificing his life, everything, for his family."

Vander Woude, 66, had gone to Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville on Monday, just as he did every day, and then worked in the yard with Joseph, the youngest of his seven sons, affectionately known as Josie. Joseph apparently fell through a piece of metal that covered a 2-by-2-foot opening in the septic tank, according to Prince William County police and family members.

Vander Woude rushed to the tank; a workman at the house saw what was happening and told Vander Woude's wife, Mary Ellen, police said. They called 911 about 12 p.m. and tried to help the father and son in the meantime.

At some point, Vander Woude jumped in the tank, submerging himself in sewage so he could push his son up from below and keep his head above the muck, while Joseph's mom and the workman pulled from above. When rescue workers arrived, they pulled the two out, police said. Vander Woude, who had been in the tank for 15 to 20 minutes, was unconscious. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, and he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Read the rest of the story here.

St. Ignatius of Loyola - Soldier of Christ

I missed the feast of St. Ignatius and getting this posted but there is a nice biography that is relevant to the goal of this blog that I didn't want to wait until next year to post on. It was written by the late Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira of Brazil a Catholic thinker, writer, university professor, journalist, lecturer who founded the organization Tradition, Family, and Property. The decline of chivalry as was occuring in St. Ignatius' time has continued down until are own so that now not even the idea of a romantic chivalry exists in the hearts of men. Let us pray for the intercession of St. Ignatius that his vision of a knighthood will be realized by both the lay and religious vocations.

This selection does not sufficiently describe the key note of St. Ignatius’ work, the most profound sense of his conversion, which would determine the rest of his life. Let me try to fill this void.

St. Ignatius lived at a time when the tradition of medieval Chivalry still existed and had a strong influence. In his Spiritual Exercises one notes the presence of this tradition. For example, looking at the parable of the king who is a great general and invites his knights to fight with him, St. Ignatius asks this question: “Who would be so base and vile as to refuse such an invitation?”

It is a valid question and a well made argument to spiritually move the person who is making the Exercises. But what I would like to point out is the backdrop of the scene, which is the feudal ambience. St. Ignatius was describing the feudal system of vassalage, whereby a knight owes allegiance to his lord, and he was pointing out the disloyalty of the noble who does not follow his king. St. Ignatius presupposes the knight he addresses to be a medieval knight. Another confirmation of this can be found in his meditation on the two standards, the one of Christ, our Commander-in-chief, and the other of Lucifer, mortal enemy of our human nature, which also makes up a part of his Spiritual Exercises.

At the time of St. Ignatius, Chivalry had become decadent. Much of its style and many rituals remained the same, but an essential part had changed. I am referring to the dedication of the knight to the service of God, Our Lady, and the Holy Church. The ideal of a complete renunciation of the world in order to dedicate one’s life completely to the supernatural fight had passed away. The knight of that time was no longer a knight for the Catholic Church. His life was dedicated to serving his king and his lady. The notion of a sacred knighthood was dying.

The conversion of St. Ignatius took place during this period. During his convalescence his first desire was to read books on this romantic Chivalry, but none were available in the castle. He read the lives of saints to pass time because that is what was at hand. As he read, however, he realized the great ideal of the saints as warriors of God and a sublime notion of Chivalry took hold of his spirit. This sublimation represented on one hand, a return to the previous supernatural ideal of medieval Chivalry, and on the other hand, an even more perfect ideal than the medieval Chivalry.

When he decided to found the Society of Jesus, he was thinking of making an order of Chivalry, a military order. Compañia de Jesus is the Spanish name he chose for his work. Compañia means company, or army. He wanted to found an order exclusively turned to the fight for the Church, putting aside any other temporal concern. What he did was to restore the sacral knighthood.

The chivalry he founded did not have the sacramental of knighthood; it had the priesthood, that is, a participation in the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The new priest-warriors he envisioned would be a new style of warrior, warriors who did not shed blood, but entered the battle in response to a new type of attack inaugurated by the enemies. They would fight by means of the word: preaching, teaching, hearing confessions, and converting people in order to conquer the world for Our Lord Jesus Christ.

To make a religious order with a military spirit and way of being was the idea of St. Ignatius. The Society of Jesus is an army, its head is a general, the hierarchy is military, the obedience is military, the action is combative and carried out in a militant style.

This was the reason why the Society of Jesus was so combative - and also so combated by the enemies.

We can understand today how different the Society of Jesus has become when we see it promoting all kinds of reconciliation with the enemies of the Church.

What should we ask St. Ignatius on his feast day? To restore his work, to help to restore the whole Church immersed in this enormous crisis she has fallen into since Vatican II, to give us his spirit of combativeness and love for the Catholic cause.

04 September 2008

Fr. Vincent Capodanno

Today is the anniversary of the death of Fr. Vincent Capodanno a heroic Navy Chaplain who received the medal of honor for his actions during a battle at Chau Lam, Vietnam. As his platoon was involved in fierce combat Fr. Capodanno went among the wounded and dying, administering last rites and taking care of his men. Fr. was shot twice before being mortally wounded taking care of a wounded corpsman. You can read more of his story at Da Mihi Animas and a the site of his cause for canonization.

02 September 2008

Reclaiming Fatherhood

There is a Reclaiming Fatherhood Conference in Chicago for men dealing with abortion on Sept. 8th and 9th. Visit their website for more info.

Are We Hypocrites Because Our Children Disobey

The recent disclosure that the daughter of Sarah Palin is pregnant has demonstrated once again that the use of reason is not an ability that many American's possess. The argument runs either that abstinence programs don't work, the Republicans are hypocrites because they profess to be the party of family values, the Republicans didn't properly vet Gov. Palin or all of the above. But the pregnancy of Bristol Palin doesn't really tell us anything of the sort.

Sex education in schools, free birth control and the kids are gonna do it anyway mentality have done nothing to curb the numbers of teen pregnancy. An individual who's actions are contrary to the beliefs or philosophy of an organization do not render those beliefs invalid. St. Peter was the Apostle closest to Jesus, knew him the best, and he at least felt, loved him the most. Yet St. Peter was the one who most profoundly and publicly denied Jesus. That does not make the teachings of Jesus a lie or invalid. The Church continues to teach the necessity of celibacy on behalf of its priests. The fact that a greater or smaller number of priests violate their vow does not make the teaching wrong. It doesn't even necessarily make Fr. a hypocrite.

One would assume that the people who make such statements must not have children of their own. Either that or they are so permissive in their parenting that they allow their children to do whatever they want. It is easy not to be guilty of any wrong when you don't have anything to follow. When you send Bobby out the door with a pack of condoms and tell him that "I know you are going to have sex whether I tell you to or not so just make sure you're protected," it must make you feel good about yourself for not being a hypocrite. But as parents we are not hypocrites because our children ignore what we teach them. Fr. Corapi tells the story of his 14 year old sister who was in high school and wanted to go to a football game with some friends. Her mother said fine but she didn't want the daughter riding in a car. The sister protested and the mother refused. This went on all week with his mother holding firm that the sister could go to the game but not ride in the car with the other kids. On Friday she asked once again and one last time was told, No. His mother had a feeling that if she rode in the car something bad would happen. His mother went to work and the daughter to school. And despite all Mrs. Corapi did to keep her daughter from going to the game in the car, her daughter disobeyed, went and tragically was killed in an accident. We are all endowed with a free will and a fallen human nature, a fact seemingly forgotten by progressives and liberals. As parents we know that too frequently despite all efforts our children will go against what we taught them.

Perhaps that is the greatest difference between the two camps. One side believes in standards even though we will not always live up to them. The other side doesn't have them and therefore doesn't need to feel guilty for not living up to them.

L'OCDE - Europe Closer to Recession Than U.S.

We hear the incessant cry about how bad things are in this country after eight years of Pres. Bush and the Republicans. If only we vote for Obama and the Democrats we will be lead to the Promised Land where everyone will have healthcare coverage, good paying jobs, a clean environment and the litany goes on. Those who believe this pitch from the equivalent of carnival conmen would do well to read a foreign or at least international newspaper. This morning in Le Soir, a Belgian paper, there is a report from one of their government agencies declaring that Europe is closer to recession than the U.S.A. Another article puts nearly 17% of Belgian women at risk of being in poverty. Belgium like other European countries has many of the social programs that many of our politicians feel we should imitate in this country. But sloganeering and campaigning on promises and wishful thinking won't give us the true changes we need.


This blog and the opinions are all my own and in no way imply the endorsement from any organization. Nor does a recommendation of another blog or web site imply my agreement or endorsement of everything found on their site.