Dec 22, 2011

Wishing Christmas was over?


“I will be glad when Christmas is over”

That is the phrase (in one form or another) that I have heard many times this year. I have been feeling a little like that also so I can relate in a way to that statement.

The problem is not Christmas.

The problem is the secularization of Christmas.

The shopping, the traffic, the political correctness. It is enough to make you despise Christmas if you forget about the reason for the season.

That is exactly what the dark forces of evil are trying to do. As usual, Satan takes something good that God has given and flipped it around into a tool of destruction for the human soul.

Society has taken Christ out of Christmas and replaced Him with Black Friday (24 injuries/deaths this year alone) and other sources of gluttony, avarice, envy and discontent.

It seems such a waste to buy items for people that either don’t need anything or that just don’t want what you bought them.

It is sad to see a child with a frown on their face sitting amongst mountains of wrapping paper and toys because they did not get the exact thing they wanted.

What a long way from Jerusalem we are these days.
Instead of traveling to see the NEW BORN KING, we are traveling to the malls to rack up more debit on our credit cards that we are already having trouble paying off.

Instead of spending time talking, laughing and enjoying our families; instead of attending Mass in remembrance of the day our Savior came to this earth, we are sitting in front or the TV watching the big “Christmas day ball game”.

Instead of enjoying Christmas, we are looking forward to it “being over”.

If we continue to let unbelievers, the media, the shopping mall and Walmart take Christ out of Christmas, it will soon “be over” and will be nothing but another “holiday” and not the “Holy Day” that was celebrated by the 3 wise men over 2000 years ago.

This Christmas please celebrate Jesus and let's all pray for our country that it will not become secularized as Europe and other countries have become.

God Bless you and your family.

Have a happy Advent and a Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Nov 11, 2011

HAPPY VETERANS DAY!!!

Today being a special day for our country’s veterans, I have had something on my mind that just won’t go away. A thought that seems appropriate for this day of remembrance of the service of our country’s hero’s.


This country was founded and lead by men of integrity, men who were not afraid to stand up for what they believed in.
Men that fought and died for this country. Men that left their families in order to protect their freedom and their future. Men that sacrificed themselves for the good of their country.

Throughout this country’s history, men and women have sacrificed their time, talents and even their lives to serve this country. They have left behind wives, husbands, children; even unborn children; babies that they would not get to hold until their service was over.

Some would never come home again…….

It seems to me that while there are still many that appreciate, with great gratitude, the sacrifices made by our military men and women, the rest of the country looks upon military service as a burden, not to be tried.

They protest and want to bring our troops home, which I am not condemning, but to do so at the price of our country’s security.

They have no loyalty to God or country. They try to undermine our nation’s morals and foundation.

Now, to the crux of the matter, the original thought in my mind;

I think when we choose leaders in this country, especially for the office of President, why would we not want someone whom served in this country’s military?

If a person is so much in love with their country, that they would risk their life to protect it’s people and freedoms, why shouldn’t they be appreciated enough to get your vote?

Of course there are a few factors that go along with the reasoning behind this, such as the respect and dignity of life from the moment of conception to natural death. We can’t let service to the country over-ride the life issues.

While I don’t want to belittle this great Veterans Day, I wonder why we ever elected a President that has no loyalty to this nation, whom went abroad to bash this nation, and whom has never served this country (or stuck his neck out) to show his pride in this country.

I hope we do a better choice of selecting future leaders for the greatest nation in the world,

The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ONE NATION UNDER GOD!!!

GOD BLESS ALL VETREANS AND ALL MILITARY MEN AND WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES WHOM HAVE SERVED OR ARE STILL SERVING THIS GREAT NATION.

THANK YOU!

Nov 8, 2011

The Screwtape Letters (part VI)

18) The Enemy's demand on humans takes the form of a dilemma; either complete abstinence or unmitigated monogamy. Ever since our Father's first great victory, we have rendered the former very difficult to them. The latter, for the last few centuries, we have been closing as a way of escape. We have done this through the poets and novelists by persuading the humans that a curious, and usually short-lived, experience which they call "being in love" is the only respectable ground for marriage; that marriage can, and ought to, render this excitement permanent; and that a marriage which does not do so is no longer binding. This idea is our parody of an idea that came from the Enemy (God).

Now, more than ever, music, books, movies; all the forms of communication, have a huge influence upon our culture. As mass communication grows, so does the evil of decadence.

While poetry, books and music can certainly lift our hearts and minds to the Divine, it can also lead us down the road to destruction. Satan once again is out to confuse the good with the bad.

Today's modern poets and writers spew nothing but illicit and explicit garbage in their works.

Have you listened to what is on the radio these days?
Have you seen the popular movies and television shows airing these days?
Have you glanced over at the magazine rack in the store lately?

You will be hard pressed to find any of these that do not reference something sensual or offensive. Most of the time, you will find it hard to see anything that isn't offensive to anyone with morals.

Now imagine our youth (as well as the rest of us) being bombarded by all these images, these idea's, these
false ways to happiness, to love.

No wonder there are so many broken marriages, unhappy people, depressed children. People now-a-days
try to live their lives according to what they see in all this media.
But, what they fail to see, is the lives behind the music, videos, actors and actresses. Those peoples lives are in shambles and those who idolize them, who try to live the lives they see, are going to go the way of the current. Dead bodies (and souls) float downstream.

The attack of Satan on sacrament of marriage has taken on many forms, especially in our recent times.
Satan has turned "love" into just a fleeting moment or word instead of the eternal "love" that God speaks of throughout the Scriptures.

Love is a word meant to be descriptive for us in relationship; relationship with God, with our spouses, with our children and with our fellow mankind.

Now, once again, Satan has taken something good and turned it into a catch phrase; we "love" our pet, we "love" our house, we "love" our favorite TV program; we "love" to do this and that.
We cannot have a relationship with our car, home, or I-POD.

Modern culture has rendered the word "love" meaningless; so meaningless, that our youth has no idea what love actually means. The sacrificial aspect of love is lost. The very cause of love (God) is forgotten.

So, as Screwtape points out, when all the meaningless "feelings" of love is gone, so does the marriage.
Satan has convinced the culture that "love" is nothing more than a word or a feeling, so people have no idea what the basis of their marriage is for other than feeling good and having fun together.

Without the foundational, sacramental basis of marriage, which is God, your marriage will have a hard time surviving the non-fun, non-exciting times and days of our lives.

There is so much more I could comment on this, but just be aware of what you are committing yourself to when you make a covenant with the Lord. It is binding forever.

There is also something that most people don't think about when it comes to marriage;
abstinence.

Most people scoff at the thought of becoming a priest or religious because "there is no way they can be abstinent"; that is just not normal.
Of course they are talking about cultural "normality" and not "normal" according to Gods plan.

So what does abstinence have to do with marriage?
Is that normal?

It may not be "normal" since we are called to give all of ourselves in marriage, but there are times when we can or even are hurled into it.

Abstinence in marriage can occur if you use NFP for your family planning.
Abstinence can also be sacrificial if agreed upon by husband and wife for a kind of fasting (for lack of better terminology).

There is another reason for abstinence in marriage, which Satan will test your "being in love".
The unplanned abstinence brought about by an accident, physical or mental situation or disease.
This is when a husband and wife find out truly how much they are in love; how much they are loved; how well the foundation of their marriage actually is.

Most younger couples never think about that since it seems they have their whole lives ahead, but it could happen at any time; and this is probably one of the most thought provoking situations that one should think of when contemplating marriage. The true test of your love is, if you are willing to sacrifice the pleasures of the flesh and live Gods covenant through the wandering in the desert to the valley of death.

Nov 1, 2011

Occupy jobs, the other percent

I will try to be charitable as I delve into the “fashionable” new cult known as “Occupy Wallstreet”, but this situation really “burns my britches”.
While I am sure that there are a few people that are actually sincerely concerned with the issues that this latest ploy of the leftist has brought forward; but, for the most part, the rest of the cohort are just paid political activists or blind sheep being lead to the slaughter.

I used to get mad at seeing large corporations that would lay off thousands of people only to see the guys at the top of the ladder getting unfathomable bonuses at the end of it all.

That is not right. I agree. No argument there.

My beef is the fact that these “occupiers” are not protesting in front of any of the other
“1 Percenters”.

Where are the protests in front of all the pop stars and athletes homes such as Forbes wealthiest celebrities?

1. Oprah Winfrey
2. Tiger Woods
3. Madonna
4. Rolling Stones
5. Brad Pitt
6. Johnny Depp
7. Elton John
8. Tom Cruise
9. Jay-Z
10. Steven Spielberg
11. Tom Hanks
12. Grey's Anatomy Cast (what the heck is this about?)
13. Howard Stern
14. Angelina Jolie
15. David Beckham
16. Phil Mickelson
17. David Letterman
18. Bon Jovi
19. Donald Trump
20. Celine Dion

We have a whole athletic league (NBA) shut down because they want to make more money as if millions a year isn’t enough.

I haven’t heard a word about George Soro’s, Planned Parenthood, Solyndra or any other person or business associated with the far left. It’s alright for them to have money or waste millions of tax dollars, right?

A large number of those from the “occupiers” that I have seen interviewed are college, or post college students looking for a free ride.

We have raised a nation of ENTITLEMENT babies, who are afraid of a little hard work and want everything handed to them. They think the rest of us owe them something.

I say WORK FOR YOUR MONEY. That is the way it has always been.

We should always help the most vulnerable and poor, but we shouldn’t have carry the burden of ignorant people that would rather sit in a park, smoke pot and be intimate with whomever, wherever they can.

I have to get up very early in the morning and work a job that isn’t exciting, isn’t appreciated and doesn’t pay me what I would like, but it does put a roof over our heads and food on the table for my family and that makes it all worth while.
Maybe the “occupiers” should OCCUPY JOBS (even if they are below their expectations) and work their way to the top instead of expecting to be entitled to something the rest of us has worked our lives for.

I can assure you that I am not anywhere close to being a 1 percenter, but I can assure you that if the “occupiers” are the 99%, I’m not in that percentile either.

So, where do the rest of us fit?

Uncle Sam fits us into the 15% (what I pay in taxes) that is actually funding this country (and the “free riders” ).
Here’s the new slogan for the “fifteen percenters”: OCCUPY JOBS!



Oct 14, 2011

Thanks to all who voted for the approval of Protect Life Act (H.R. 358)

I was just telling my wife last night how all the "Obamamites" around the place of my employment are still in love with him.
I understand that it isn't looking too promising on finding a great replacement for him, but surely the whole world isn't in such darkness that they can't see his administrations lies, agendas and dismantling of our great country.

At least there is some light among the darkness until "the other side" pulls some of their devious tricks;

NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE APPLAUDS U.S. HOUSE APPROVAL OF PROTECT LIFE ACT,SLAMS PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR THREAT TO PROTECT ABORTION SUBSIDIES WITH VETO


WASHINGTON – By a bipartisan vote of 251-172, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved the Protect Life Act (H.R. 358), a bill to nullify the multiple abortion-expanding provisions of the 2010 federal health care law ("ObamaCare").


On October 5, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius vehemently defended the 2010 health care law in a speech to a NARAL Pro-Choice America fundraiser, saying 'we are in a war' with critics of the law. On October 12, the White House issued a formal veto threat against the Protect Life Act. "President Obama won enactment of ObamaCare in 2010 partly by pretending that the bill did not expand abortion -- but now the mask is coming off," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson.


In an October 6 letter to U.S. House members, NRLC noted that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, Public Law 111-148, "ObamaCare") ". . . contained multiple provisions that provide authorizations for subsidies for abortion, both implicit and explicit, and also multiple provisions that opened doors to abortion-expanding administrative actions." The Protect Life Act would prohibit the use of any PPACA-authorized funds for abortions or to subsidize health plans that cover abortions, except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest. The Protect Life Act would not restrict the sale or purchase of insurance coverage for abortion with non-federal funds.
During today's debate, opponents of the bill repeatedly claimed that it would allow hospitals to deny women "emergency" abortions. In reality, the bill does not change the longstanding federal law in question, called EMTALA, which requires that in an "emergency" a hospital must do its best to stabilize both the pregnant mother and her "unborn child" (which is the term used in the statute). The Protect Life Act allows federal funding of an abortion required to save a mother's life.


The Protect Life Act is sponsored by Congressman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Il.). On today's vote on passage, the bill was supported by 236 Republicans and 15 Democrats. It was opposed by 170 Democrats and two Republicans.
NRLC's Douglas Johnson presented detailed information on the abortion-expanding provisions of ObamaCare, and regarding the need for the Protect Life Act, in testimony before the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce on February 9, 2011:
www.nrlc.org/AHC/ProtectLifeActDouglasJohnsonTestimony.pdf.


Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation's oldest and largest national grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Oct 11, 2011

JTM Food Group shout out!

While driving home from work the other day, I seen from a distance the back of a semi trailer with a huge picture of a baby on it. I thought it was probably a truck for some baby product manufacturer or something like that. Here is what I seen;




 
How awesome it is to know there are semi's rolling down the highway with this on the back of them.
 
Please show your support and your appreciation to JTM Food Group. 
 
As you know, with our country under control by the "other side", many companies who support the dignity of life (from the womb to the tomb), or support other causes that our leaders do not respect, are under attack. They need our prayers and support.
Here's a link to their mission statement and their website. Please let them know they are appreciated.
http://www.jtmfoodgroup.com/missionstatement.asp

Thanks and God Bless!

Sep 30, 2011

Government raids strike a controversial chord

Don't think that this can't happen to each and every one of us under this administration.
We need to get the bums out of our political system.

.....and yes, I was a Gibson owner for 20 years and they are the best.





Russ Jones and Jody Brown - OneNewsNow - 8/31/2011 8:55:00 AM

The legendary guitar manufacturer Gibson was recently raided by the U.S. Department of Justice. On Wednesday, August 24, heavily armed agents from the federal agency executed four search warrants on Gibson's facilities in Nashville and Memphis in what some are calling an extreme abuse of power.

Reports claim Gibson is violating the Lacey Act with its guitars produced from rosewood and mahogany imported from India that are crafted by American workers in U.S. facilities. The intent of the law combats trafficking in "illegal" wildlife, fish, and plants, but Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz tells OneNewsNow that the company has been using the wood for years.
"We have letters from a very high-level government agency in India that says that this product was allowable export," he notes. "And in fact, we have been buying the same product for well over 17 years, regularly."

This is the second such raid in two years where Gibson employees were evacuated and computers and pallets of wood were confiscated. Gibson reports no charges have been filed from that 2009 raid, and that the government still holds the company's property.
Meanwhile, competitor C.F. Martin & Company uses the same wood product, but has not endured similar investigations. "Wood that we are buying is being bought by other companies in the industry, and they have not had any kind of action -- not so much as a letter or a postcard," states Juszkiewicz.

In addition to questions about application of the Lacey Act, some are voicing concern about possible political intimidation. Chris Martin IV, CEO of the Martin guitar company, is a long-time Democratic supporter, donating tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates. In contrast, Juszkiewicz has a long history of supporting Republican candidates.
In an interview with The Daily News in Memphis earlier this week, Juszkiewicz stated: "The federal bureaucracy is just out of hand. And it seems to be there's almost a class warfare of companies versus people, rich versus poor, Republicans versus Democrats .... We feel totally abused. We feel the arrogance of federal power is impacting me personally, our company personally, and the employees here in Tennessee -- and it's just plain wrong."
Juszkiewicz argues that the U.S. Lacey Act is only applicable when a foreign law has been violated. He believes his company is innocent of any wrongdoing.
(and now the hypocrisy)......
In April 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama presented France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, with a Gibson guitar as a gift. The Gibson "Hummingbird" acoustic guitar's construction incorporates mahogany and rosewood from India.

Please pray for our country and for a good political "change".

Sep 22, 2011

Irena Sendler


Perhaps you have seen an email going around concerning Irena Sendler, if not, here it is in a nutshell.
Thanks to my mother-in-law for sending me this.

There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena.

During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in theWarsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist.
She had an 'ulterior motive'.
She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews (being German).
Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids).
She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.
She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely.


Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.
After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family.


Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.


Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.


She was not selected.


President Obama won one year before becoming President for his work as a community organizer for ACORN and Al Gore won also--- for a slide show on Global Warming.


MY PERSONAL COMMENTS;
For some time now I have lost respect for the Nobel Peace Prize. Really it is just recognition for man's glory anyway and we all know that mans ways are not Gods way.
Anyway, let me clarify the situation;
What's it about?----The goal of the Nobel Peace Prize is to award people who "have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Since World War II, the Peace Prize has principally been awarded to honour efforts in four main areas: arms control and disarmament, peace negotiation, democracy and human rights, and work aimed at creating a better organized and more peaceful world.

........so with that being said, let's see how these people compare;

PRESIDENT OBAMA---community organizer?  Me thinks not...he cannot even get the branches of government under him to come together on any issue. He's pro-abortion and anti Christian....you know because those bad Christians are "intolerant".
ACORN---you know that "friendly" community agency, a favorite of Obama's, that has been convicted in multiple voter-fraud cases and may have concealed fraud by destroying or failing to produce records, an investigation concluded. They have also been video taped physically attacking voters and people that question their motives.
......so much for that whole "creating a better organized and more peaceful world."

AL GORE----as far as the whole "global warming" issue goes check out this site http://www.globalwarminglies.com/index.html

most of us with eyes and ears and are not easily fooled by the liberal media can see this boohokey.

Irena Sendler---saved 2500 or more children from the Holocaust (among a host of other works of mercy).

Now, looking at the candidates, who would you vote for?

The Nobel Peace Prize name should be changed to For Nobel Liberal Lies.

Aug 19, 2011

S&P Target of Justice Department Investigation into Mortgage Ratings

Standard & Poor's is the target of a Justice Department investigation into whether it improperly inflated the ratings of dozens of mortgage securities, The New York Times is reporting. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/business/us-inquiry-said-to-focus-on-s-p-ratings.html?_r=1&hp

The U.S Government investigates a business that makes our credit approval rating (and president Obama) look bad?


No way!!!!!!


Didn't see that one coming, huh?

Where was the investigation when our own president lowered his own countries rating with the world by
calling American arrogant and dismissive?
 "Instead of celebrating our dynamic union, and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there has been times when America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."--- President Obama 2009 speech in France

Americans surely aren't that ignorant are they?

Surely everyone can see that Obama and his gang have nothing to lose now and are going to roll over anyone that tries to stand in their way (aka --tells the truth).

I am all for investigating anyone who bad mouths the great USA, the greatest country ever...but, let's make sure that we don't "put the fox in charge of the hen house".








Aug 16, 2011

New DVD set

It would be nice to be able to talk our parishes into getting this for their libraries,catechists classes or just for enjoyable and inspirational viewing….

http://www.wordonfire.org/WOF-Store/Catholicism/Catholicism-DVD-Box-Set.aspx

Jul 29, 2011

Child-like apologetics

"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,  you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18;3


I have been trying to wrap my head around a new apologetic style that has infiltrated my brain.
Teaching/defending the faith by asking questions like a little child.


When a child wishes to know something, they ask, why this…why that…why….why….why…..till they get to the root of the matter (or drive you crazy).


I think if we can get people to that place in their heart, their mind, their emotions….the source of their unbelief or unreasonableness; they can truly be liberated and free to hear and reason the Truth.

As long as they have an attachment to whatever made their perspective personal, they may never see beyond their world into the galaxy of Truth.
Of course getting them to that point is a monumental effort.


After some debate at a recent family function, I had some thoughts on the conversation. Of course, I can never think of these things when I really need to, only after the fact.
This is not exactly how the conversation went, but it is a close facsimile.


Individual #1---You  don't think women should have a "choice...?"                                            
 Sweet pro-lifer---“A choice between what?”….killing a baby or not killing a baby?”



When she made that “choice”, God privileged her with the opportunity to be a part of creating (procreation) a human body, with an eternal soul.


A soul that will be around forever. A soul that will either go to Heaven or Hell.
A soul that she (and the father) is responsible for…..


Now, of course there is always someone who will debate based on the fact of rape or some other forced pregnancy but that is for another day.


But to be child-like, we should ask, why do you think she has a “choice”?
Who gave her the choice to take a human life and soul?
Is that baby only hers?...it takes 2 to tango. What if the guy doesn’t want the baby aborted?
Does the baby have a “choice” in the matter?
Why do you think it is alright to kill an embryo (baby), but it is not alright to club a baby seal, or kill a whale or throw a puppy out of a moving vehicle?
Why do you have a moral law within you?
If you believe there is a God, what God do you believe in?


Of course this is just a very rough and quickly thought through series of questions, but if you continue to ask the person “why” on whatever the issue of the day may be, whether abortion, Church teachings, Euthanasia; I think we will find the root cause of their unreasonableness and it will probably be something personal that has happened to them or someone they know and love.
….but, with child-like confidence, if we trust in the Lord, and ask the right questions, the Truth shall set them free.


Please feel free to leave suggestions (or concerns) in my child-like apologetics thought process.

My thinking after the fact---The woman had a “choice” (under normal circumstances), whether or not to engage in the act that causes her to become pregnant. She (under normal circumstances) knows that there is a chance of becoming pregnant. She made that “choice”, and now there is a human life conceived. A human life not only consists of a mind and body, but also a soul.

Jul 28, 2011

Why homosexual behavior should be against the law

February 3, 2010
Why homosexual behavior should be against the law
By Bryan Fischer


I received a phone call this morning from a reporter for NBC Action News in Kansas City by the name of Josh Luch. He contacted me in response to my blog entry of last Friday, in which I suggested that it is proper for our culture to impose legal sanctions on homosexual behavior for health reasons alone.


The leftwing blogosphere has virtually lost its mind in response to my Friday post. Many of them falsely accused me of saying that I wanted all homosexuals to be locked up, and the response of many of these voices of tolerance was to declare that they wanted me locked up instead and locked away from civil society so my voice would be silenced.
Josh asked for some more information from me, regarding my position, including links to relevant FDA and CDC websites, and below is the email I wrote to Josh this morning.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josh,


Thanks for contacting me for clarification, and demonstrating journalistic integrity by reading my blog entry for yourself rather than forming your judgment based on what the left wing blogs have claimed I said.


I nowhere in my blog said we should lock homosexuals up in prison. What I said is that our public policy toward homosexual conduct should be the same as our public policy toward intravenous drug abuse.


My position is that homosexual behavior represents a severe threat to public health, and is even more dangerous to human health than intravenous drug abuse. Because of the health risks involved, curtailing homosexual behavior should be as much a public policy concern as curtailing intravenous drug abuse.


FDA: "Men who have sex with other men ... are currently deferred as blood donors"


The Food and Drug Administration is hardly a part of the vast right-wing conspiracy, and is not the research arm of the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, or Focus on the Family. Yet the FDA will not allow a male to donate blood if he has had sex with another male even one single solitary time since 1977.
Why? For the simple reason that the FDA cannot afford to adopt political correct postures with regard to homosexual behavior because it is entrusted with protecting the purity of the nation's blood supply. They understand that to allow homosexuals to donate blood is to put the nation's health at risk.


The FDA states quite explicitly that "male-to-male sex is associated with an increased risk for the presence of and transmission of certain infectious diseases, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS."
In fact, the FDA goes on to state a staggering fact: men who have had sex with men since 1977 have an "HIV prevalence" that is "60 times higher than the general population, 800 times higher than first time blood donors and 8000 times higher than repeat blood donors."


And further cementing my argument, the FDA will not allow "intravenous drug abusers" to donate blood either, for exactly the same reason: "Intravenous drug abusers are excluded from giving blood because they have prevalence rates of HIV, HBV, HCV and HTLV that are much higher than the general population."


The FDA flatly declares that this policy is not discriminatory, since it "is based on the documented increased risk of certain transfusion transmissible infections, associated with male-to-male sex and is not based on any judgment concerning the donor's sexual orientation."


I argue that my position, since it is identical with the FDA's, is no more "discriminatory" than theirs.


CDC: At least 60% of HIV/AIDS victims are men who have sex with men. The Centers for Disease Control is likewise not a part of the vast right wing conspiracy, nor is it the research arm of the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, or Focus on the Family.


On its website, you will find a page devoted to "Basic Statistics," and one set of statistics has to do with the total number of persons who have received an AIDS diagnosis from the beginning of the epidemic through 2007, the last year for which information is available.


The CDC's own statistics indicate that, among males, over 60% of the victims of AIDS over the entire course of the epidemic acquired the disease through "male-to-male sexual contact."


The next highest risk category was "injection drug use," through which just under 22% acquired AIDS.


The third category consists of those who engaged both in male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use, meaning the CDC could not assign transmission definitely to either category, and this category represents just under 9% of all AIDS cases. A miniscule 8% acquired the disease through "high risk heterosexual contact."


The bottom line here is that "male-to-male sexual contact" is far and away the riskiest kind of behavior for contracting AIDS, and IV drug abuse is a distant second. When you add these two categories together, a staggering 91% — 91%! — of all AIDS sufferers acquired the disease either through homosexual behavior or shooting up with drugs.


The neutral observer must conclude that homosexual behavior is extremely risky, dangerous and unhealthy, and represents an even greater risk to public health than intravenous drug abuse. This is highlighted by the fact that male homosexuals comprise perhaps 2-4% of the American population.


It is obvious, then, from the information gained from the FDA and the CDC that homosexual behavior represents and enormous threat to public health. Quite simply, if intravenous drug use is against the law, homosexual behavior should be too. It's a simple matter of common sense, sound public policy, and a concern for public health.


Now once we have agreed that we have a serious health problem on our hands here, the best public policy will contain the same kind of sanctions toward homosexual behavior that we have established toward intravenous drug abuse. Whatever we think we should do to curtail injection drug use are the same sorts of things we should pursue to curtail homosexual conduct. And that's the place for the discussion to begin.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Below the excerpts you will find the link to the FDA website. Here are relevant excerpts from the FDA website:
What is FDA's policy on blood donations from men who have sex with other men (MSM)?
Men who have had sex with other men, at any time since 1977 (the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the United States) are currently deferred as blood donors. This is because MSM are, as a group, at increased risk for HIV, hepatitis B and certain other infections that can be transmitted by transfusion.


Why doesn't FDA allow men who have had sex with men to donate blood?


A history of male-to-male sex is associated with an increased risk for the presence of and transmission of certain infectious diseases, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. FDA's policy is intended to protect all people who receive blood transfusions from an increased risk of exposure to potentially infected blood and blood products.


The deferral for men who have had sex with men is based on the following considerations regarding risk of HIV:
Men who have had sex with men since 1977 have an HIV prevalence (the total number of cases of a disease that are present in a population at a specific point in time) 60 times higher than the general population, 800 times higher than first time blood donors and 8000 times higher than repeat blood donors (American Red Cross). Even taking into account that 75% of HIV infected men who have sex with men already know they are HIV positive and would be unlikely to donate blood, the HIV prevalence in potential donors with history of male sex with males is 200 times higher than first time blood donors and 2000 times higher than repeat blood donors.


Men who have had sex with men account for the largest single group of blood donors who are found HIV positive by blood donor testing.


Are there other donors who have increased risks of HIV or other infections who, as a result, are also excluded from donating blood?


Intravenous drug abusers are excluded from giving blood because they have prevalence rates of HIV, HBV, HCV and HTLV that are much higher than the general population.
http://www.fda.gov/biologicsbloodvaccines/bloodbloodproducts/questionsaboutblood/ucm108186.htm


CDC website on HIV statistics by mode of transmission:
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm


Bryan Fischer
Director of Issues Analysis and host of "Focal Point"


American Family Association
© Bryan Fischer

Jul 22, 2011

Campus Crusade for who?

I just heard the news today that Campus Crusade for Christ was dropping the "Christ" from their name.
You can read the details here;
 http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/22/campus-crusade-for-christ-adopts-a-more-sensitive-name/.

First they take God our of the classrooms.
Then they take God out of some funerals.
They are always trying to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance.
They are taking Christ out of Christmas little by little.

Now our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are taking Him out of secular society so as not to offend anyone.

I understand that there is more to it than just that, but....give me a break!

I could understand maybe taking the word "crusade" for Christ out because of the blot on Christianity it is associated with. Although I doubt any kids these days have even heard of the Crusades much less know the history of them.

This is just another blow from satan to take any reference to God, Christ and Church from our culture, from our society.

Jul 20, 2011

Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. on Catholic homeschooling

http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Education.htm

Aricles like these make you wonder why some parishes give homeschooling families such grief.
I will put my kids religious education up against any of the kids in CCD or our local Catholic schools.
I don't say that in a prideful way, but truthfully and sincerely.

Jul 19, 2011

The Screwtape Letters (part V)

Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity. .It is far better to make them live in the Future....Biological necessity makes all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear.

Hope and fear. That is what brought about the most pro-choice and anti-American president this nation has ever had.....at least for those whom were really concerned voters and not just those cultural voters who wanted to be a part of history and be able to say "I helped elect the 1st African American president".


Hope is good if it is used in the framework of Christianity. Faith, hope and love; the theological virtues.   Hope is bad if it based solely upon man's own doings. I think many people are feeling the sting of this principle after the last presidential election.
They were promised false hopes, then when their hopes were dashed, they were more anxious and hopeless about the future than ever.

The forces of evil know mankind's weak nature and uses it against us. We have reasons to hope and reasons to fear; both rational and irrational.
The Holy Spirit was sent to us to guide us, to help us discern these matters so we may be rational people making rational decisions.
Hope in the Lord and you can never go wrong.


If (or should I say when) we make mistakes, we should not dwell on them. We can learn from them, but not despair from them.


16)  Surely you know that if a man can't be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighbourhood looking for the church that "suits" him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.

This sounds very familiar.
Ever since some of Jesus's disciples departed from Him during His "bread of life" discourse (John 6;66) and    the jealousy and rivalry of the followers of St.Paul and Apollos, there has been nomadic Catholics (or cafeteria Catholics) that only like to follow certain priests or teachings.
Granted, there are some priests that are more pious or traditional, or are better homeliest than others. I myself prefer "old school", in your face, teachers of the faith. BUT, we cannot forget the real reason for attending Mass. The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. No matter how bad the homily is, no matter how wishy-washy Father may be; no matter how bad you think the idea's of your parish council may be,
we still can receive all the graces of Mass and the Eucharist.
There are many, many other issues that I could mention concerning the weaknesses of mankind, but the teachings of the Church has never wavered. That fact is what should bring unity among us all and encourage us all to take our faith and our Church more seriously.
As Archbishop Sheen wrote in "Life of Christ".....
"How holy must the Church be before you will enter into it?"

17) The contemptuous way in which you spoke of gluttony as a means of catching souls, in your last letter, only shows your ignorance. One of the great, achievements of the last hundred years has been to deaden the human conscience on that subject, so that by now you will hardly find a sermon preached or a conscience troubled about it in the whole length and breadth of Europe. This has largely been effected by concentrating all our efforts on gluttony of Delicacy, not gluttony of Excess.

At first this seemed strange to me. I always thought of gluttony as excess...eating or drinking too much or hording. After reading this chapter though, I realized that I have seen gluttony of delicacy in my own life and that of others.


I am not sure if I can do this subject justice, so please read this chapter in full to better understand.
Sometimes it's not the quantity we want, but just getting things OUR way.
I call that the Burger King lifestyle....have it YOUR way as their slogan goes.
It's really just the same issue as normal in our society...relativism...it's all about YOU and YOUR way of thinking, YOUR choice.--------Gluttony of yourself.


The other thing I noticed that satan is secretly doing here, is getting us to think we are doing good, but we are really damaging our souls in another way. It is like looking directly at the sun; you can see it's radiance and beauty, but secretly you are damaging your eyes.
We may think we are sinless, but in reality, we may be committing a larger sin.
....or as Screwtape puts it--"keep your man in a condition of false spirituality".
I find this as one of the most common fallacies in Christianity; to think that just because you go to church, or just because you are a "good person", you are in good standing with the Lord.
If you are comparing your "goodness" to that of other people in the world, you are putting your soul in great jeopardy. You should be comparing, or should I say, striving to achieve the goodness of Jesus, imitating Him and conforming your will to His.










Jun 17, 2011

Feeding the poor locally

Last weekend we helped out at a local soup kitchen. This isn’t something we do often but I believe it is a work that everyone should experience at least once in their lives (although I bet if you do it once, you will be back again).

I don’t think the homeless situation in our town is near that of others, but it is amazing seeing the group that came this day.
Some were dressed decently, some were not.
Some were cheerful, some were not.
Some would talk to you, some seemed that they would rather not speak.

There were young and old alike. The amount of 20 to 30 year olds (in my estimation) was rather high as well as the 50-60 year olds.

The most heart wrenching was seeing a young boy, probably not older than 15 come through the line. I looked over at my 2 sons who were with me (8+13) and then back at the boy in line and couldn’t imagine them in his shoes. It’s one of those moments when you just want to take the child home with you and make a better life for him.
There was also an older lady there whom ate and then just laid her weary head on the table and fell asleep.
It had been unbearably hot earlier in the week and I am sure that had something to do with it.

The most interesting person that I talked to (more like listened to), was a gentleman, probably in his 50’s or 60’s, using a rolling walker and was pretty cheerful.
He had very eloquent speech and was knowledgeable of the city. He claimed that his father was mayor back in the 1940’s and that he himself had owned a business in town. I don’t know how much, if any of it was true, but just listening to him talk, one could tell that he has had some education.
He never got around to telling how he got to be homeless and I wasn’t brazen enough to ask although I am always wondering about those things.

As the work day ended, one of the regular workers there commented how well things went and how cheerful and upbeat the homeless were that day (evidently things are not always as easy going as they seemed to me to be).
He said that the work crew today was very joyful (and they were) in serving and doing God’s work and in just reaching out to those less fortunate. Not only serving food, but in listening to, talking to, and loving those whom came to eat. He said that the joy radiated from the workers was felt by the homeless and in turn helped them, if just for the moment, to feel the joy and love of Christ.

While I was reluctant to go at first due to the mountain of work I had to do at home, I was glad that I had the experience of God, of love….I think it was Mother Teresa that said “where there is love, there is God.

May 24, 2011



While I wasn't going to comment on this since it was just so ignorant, I was invoked to speak up after reading this article. This isn't the whole article, but only the beginning of it.
We all know that the day and the time of the end of the world will not be known to any of us. Jesus already warned us of that.
We also know that the end of time (on this earth) can be different for us all; you could die tomorrow, I could die next week, ect....


But what I really want to focus on is the comment in this article:          By his own reading of Bible, which was slightly different than Camping's, Fitzgerald expected the great worldwide event to begin at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.


THIS is the crux of the matter. THIS is what gives Christianity a bad image. People inturpting the bible on their own. The bible is not up to our own inturpatations. We should read the bible of course, and let the Holy Spirit speak to us in our own hearts, but we should never proclaim our own inturptations upon Scriptures.
We have a Church that was started by the One who is the Word. The Catholic Church.
He gave authority to those whom He choose, whom He gave authority to hand down the traditions of His truths. If anyone other than those appointed, are proclaiming so called "truths", they are leading you away from Him and as we can see from so many times, if you don't have the Truth in your life, you will not find
peace in your life. You will continue to be swayed by every false prohet that comes along.

(Reuters) - With no sign of Judgment Day arriving on Saturday as forecast by an 89 year-old California evangelical broadcaster, followers were faced with trying to make sense of his failed pronouncement. Harold Camping, the former civil engineer who heads the Family Radio Network of Christian stations, had been unwavering in his message that believers would be swept to heaven on May 21.
His Oakland, California-based network broadcasts over 66 U.S. stations and through international affiliates. With the help of supporters it posted at least 2,000 billboards around the United States warning of the Judgment Day.
In New York, retired transportation agency worker Robert Fitzpatrick was inspired by Camping's message to spend over $140,000 of his savings on subway posters and outdoor advertisements warning of the May 21 Judgment Day.
As he stood in Times Square in New York surrounded by onlookers, Fitzpatrick, 60, carried a Bible and handed out leaflets as he waited for Judgment Day to begin.


By his own reading of Bible, which was slightly different than Camping's, Fitzgerald expected the great worldwide event to begin at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.


When the hour came and went, he said: "I do not understand why ...," as his speech broke off and he looked at his watch. "I do not understand why nothing has happened."
Camping, who previously made a failed prediction Jesus Christ would return to Earth in 1994, had said doomsday would begin at 6 p.m. in the various time zones around the globe.








May 3, 2011

The Lord has risen, Alleluia!



I have just realized what a slacker I truly am….I had nothing posted for Easter, the most important feast in the Church.
How can a Catholic blog totally ignore Easter?

Not that we didn’t celebrate it, we had our Easter baskets and Easter egg hunt (I am betting that those chickens are madder than wet hens about their eggs being stolen by a bunny rabbit).

OK, so Easter has lost some of it’s meaning in the secular world. Those of us whom have children find it hard not to do the whole “Easter bunny” celebration.

We also have a hard time not being gluttonous after our fast and abstinence. When you give up sweets for Lent, then have mountains of chocolate within reach on the day after Lent, there will surely be an opportunity for the sin of gluttony.

We have to make sure though that the secular celebration does not over-shadow the true “reason for the season”.

We try to make sure we are at as many Stations of the Cross devotions, confession evenings, and Divine Mercy celebrations as we are able. We have our own personal abstinence choices and we try to "do" some works for others. We also try to pray more and say some Novena's.
Of course Easter cannot be complete without celebrating in our parish all the Triduum services and the Easter vigil Mass which may seem long and drawn out (especially those with toddlers) but what better way to celebrate Jesus’ life, death and resurrection than to welcome our new brothers and sisters into the Church and also offer up ourselves; our time, our sufferings, our burdens with Jesus’ sufferings upon the Cross.

Our 2yr old daughter wanted to “go swimming” with our parish priest in the Holy font after witnessing the Baptisms…..but unfortunately he denied with her request.
What a hoot!

You can’t see the joy on a child’s face on Easter morning, until you endure the suffering of your wallet in the Easter section of Wal-Mart.
Joy comes after the suffering.
You can’t have a rainbow without the rain.
You can’t have the resurrection without the cross.

Just as in the octave of Christmas, we should not forget “the reason for the season”.

Christ has risen, He has risen indeed!


Apr 18, 2011

My thoughts on the man with many possessions...

 ( Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30)


In the parable of the rich young man, one of the things that came to me was the fact that he seemed to have it all;   Money, power, goodness…but yet he still was searching for more. It goes to show that we can “have it all” and still not be satisfied until we totally surrender to God.


My other thought, which is probably way off base, stems from the phrase concerning a persons questioning;
“intent is prior to content”.
What really did the young man want?
Of course, as with us all, he was in search of the Truth; we all have that longing deep in our hearts. But, did he also want what he didn’t have just for the sake of possessing more? Possessing that which he didn’t have and couldn’t obtain by his own accord. Was he spiritually poor or did he have an avarice, greed or pride problem?

Mar 22, 2011

It seems like everyone around me (including myself) has been in a depressed-like funk lately.
I am not sure if it is just because it has been a long dreary winter or what, but it is touching lives like I’ve never seen before.

I also have noticed that a lot of us are not only turning to God for help, but there seems to be a lot of interest in books and MP3 talks that we are turning to in search of relief.
Some are relying on the classics, but others are delving into modern books on the power of positive thinking and interior strength which sadly to say are written mostly by new agers.
Those thieves of souls in sheep’s clothing.


I know for myself, all the good Catholic books I have read and all the talks I have listened to have done very little for my spiritual being (or at least the immediate results).
It seems that the new agers and their books are giving some people hope, only to let them down again…much like a certain president who promised “hope” and has let is voters down.


We are searching for some “quick fix”, something to change our lives and clear us from the “funk” we are in, but I think this verse in Jeremiah tells us what our problem is;

Jeremiah
Chapter 17


7  Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD.


8  He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It fears not the heat  when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit.


9 More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?


10 I, the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, To reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds.


We tend to let our feelings, emotions, principles and our heart guide us in our lives, but as in
Jeremiah, our hearts are tortured and it is beyond us to be able to figure it out.
Only God knows what’s in our hearts, so Him alone should we be asking for help and guidance.

Books and talks can inspire us to look at ourselves, but only God can make us want to change;
our wills can be stong but remembering that God, at his weakest is still stronger than our wills are at their greatest.


Maybe God is giving us a little more suffering during Lent so we can offer it up. Maybe the words Saint Augustine wrote can give us some more insight;


“Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in you.”

Mar 18, 2011

Steelers Nation Essay


The following was written by a friend of mine in an editoral section of a Pittsburgh newspaper.
It was written before the Steelers lost the superbowl, but the content of it makes us all winners.

By Mark Fassio

One of your recent contributors talked about how she met total
strangers who ended up bonding with her because of a Pittsburgh
connection. As a former military officer who’s traveled worldwide, I
can attest to that fact.
I have seen the Terrible Towel in every location from the Berlin Wall
to Monterey Bay, and there’s usually a Pittsburgh accent attached to
the twirler. Each chance encounter with a stranger creates an
almost-instant friendship strictly because of the black-and-gold
connection; it is the ultimate icebreaker.
Here in north-central Kentucky and the surrounding Ohio/Indiana border
area — a mere 50 miles from Cincinnati — the supposedly second-largest
Steelers fan base outside of Pittsburgh has entrenched itself.

During a soccer game, a man noticed my Steelers apparel and we began
talking. Turns out he was a former classmate of my wife, who is from
Shaler. After 30 years, a random observance and a chance comment
reunited high school chums.

A Steelers bar in the local area had a collection of expatriate yinzers
one Sunday, and it turned out that one of them went to Kiski Area High
School with my cousin oh-so-many years ago; small world, indeed.
And the high school I teach in is a hotbed of Pittsburgh fandom. The
students are enthralled to know that my cousin, Eric Ravotti, played
for the Steelers in the 1990s. In our family, if you don’t become a
priest, being associated with the Steelers is the second-best honorable
career.

The biggest kick I get out of the Pittsburgh connection is going to
Mass every Sunday. There are three other Pittsburgh families who go to
our church, Immaculate Conception Parish. (Coincidence? I think not.
Calling Franco Harris!)

Each week the locals notice our three different Steelers jackets, all
clustered in one small pew area. We’ve become fast friends all because
we wear the same colors, holding game parties at each others’ houses
over the years.
And I have to admit that religion has helped the team over the years.

During Super Bowl XL five years ago, I took in my Terrible Towel and
asked the priest to bless it. I mean, heck, St Francis blessed animals,
so why not some fabric?
He politely refused and said he’d bless me instead. But I waited for
everyone to leave, and afterward dunked it in the baptismal font. We
already know the outcome of that game.

I did the same to my wife’s new towel right before SB XLIII against the
Cardinals (that holy water works pretty well), and have the font in my
sights this weekend as well for new towel No. 3.
And it’s not only holy water that works, but fire as well. I light two
candles after Mass every week: one for my family and one for the
Steelers. When they were down 21-7 to Baltimore, I found my St. Jude
prayer card (the patron saint of hopeless and despaired-of causes) and
pledged that I’d light every candle in the sanctuary the next day if
the Steelers pulled it out.

Thirty dollars and three burned fingers later, I stand testament to the
belief that all the powers of heaven are, indeed, Steelers fans, and
that The Chief put in a few good words to The Man Upstairs.

You lucky ones who still live in Western Pennsylvania have no idea of
the empty spot we expatriates carry in us.
Each shot of Heinz Field and the towels twirling brings a mist to my
eyes because we’re not there. Each year I count the days until I truly
come back home and, like long-suffering Browns fans, I always seem to
say, "Wait till next year." Count yourself fortunate, friends.

God bless the Steelers, and God bless us, each and every fan.


Mar 17, 2011

The least of these

And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.---Matthew 25;40


I don't want to take this Scripture verse out of context, but I believe that this can be expanded on.
Jesus, of course, was speaking of the poor, the homeless, the naked, the imprisoned....the social injustices in the world around us.
We ARE our brothers keepers, and Jesus wanted to emphasize this.


In today's culture, we still (as Jesus said) have the poor with us. We are still responsible for treating those so-called "dregs" of society with dignity and respect. We are still responsible for trying to house, cloth and feed them.

In today's culture, I can think of another of "the least of these" brothers and sisters.

I am talking about the unborn and preborn babies that are dying at the hands of so called physicians.


The unborn actually have less rights than the poor or imprisoned. In our society, they are not considered a "person"; their "person hood" has not been established (at least in a court of law).
Those of us who have opened our hearts and minds to Gods words know better.

The don't just get put into prison, a second chance or a homeless shelter.

So, much like Jesus, who came to this earth as the "least of these" (in the form of a babe), our society has certainly done unto the unborn as the people of His day done for Him.

Death is not the end, but we need to pray for an end to the death of the unborn.
We can also do our part, please visit; http://www.40daysforlife.com/blog/

Feb 23, 2011

The Screwtape Letters revisted (part IV)

12) He must not be allowed to suspect that he is now, however slowly, heading right away from the sun on a line which will carry him into the cold and dark of utmost space.
For this reason I am almost glad to hear that he is still a churchgoer and a communicant. I know there are dangers in this; but anything is better than that he should realise the break it has made with the first months of his Christian life. As long as he retains externally the habits of a Christian he can still be made to think of himself as one who has adopted a few new friends and amusements but whose spiritual state is much the same as it was six weeks ago. And while he thinks that, we do not have to contend with the explicit repentance of a definite, fully recognised, sin, but only with his vague, though uneasy, feeling that he hasn't been doing very well lately.


As people start their Christian walk in life and become content with their new found happiness there comes a time when Satan throws those forks in the road. The forks which are subtle, yet can lead us down the wrong path.
The tendency is to become a "Sunday Christian" or a "Cafeteria Catholic"; "I'm a good person" attitude and that is well enough, even though on the inside we having feelings and opposition to Gods laws and Church teachings.



Just as "the angels in Heaven rejoice over one repentant sinner" (Luke 15;10), the fallen angels rejoice whenever they take the soul of a luke warm Christian.


We are sinners and we are going to fall from time to time, but when we lose the reverence to all that is Holy and become "content" sinners, unrepentant sinners, the devil still has a chance of taking us to the pit with him.


If you lock God in a closet, you don't have to face him, or so you tell your self.




"I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked". The Christians describe the Enemy as one "without whom Nothing is strong". And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man's best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is too weak and fuddled to shake off.


You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing.


This reminds me of the saying "idle hands are the devils workshop".

Much like kids (and some adults) today; they either have a lot of free time to spare or they claim that "there's just nothing to do".

We used to use that phrase a lot when I was a kid, the only problem was that we would find something to do and it was usually something bad.


I think that this is the problem with kids growing up too fast; you have to always find something to occupy their hands and minds quicker. Nothing seems to satisfy, and as modern children grow up with more of the "luxuries" in life, the simple pleasures seem boring to them. A board game becomes just that...a "board" game...they grow board of it quickly, unlike the sights and sounds of a video game.

If we are not vigilant in filling our kids hands and minds, be sure Satan will.




The second paragraph reminds us that venial sins can be just as bad as mortal sins if we continue to let them pile up. One bad habit can lead to an addiction.

The addiction to sin can only be cured by prayer, reconciliation and penance. (and Gods Grace)






13) The man who truly and disinterestedly enjoys any one thing in the world, for its own sake, and without caring twopence what other people say about it, is by that very fact fore-armed against some of our subtlest modes of attack. You should always try to make the patient abandon the people or food or books he really likes in favour of the "best" people, the "right" food, the "important" books.


God has placed before us a real world with real pains and real pleasures. In their right order (in a way that gives glory or acknowledgement to God), material possessions, passions and feelings
can be "good for the soul".

These worldly things can lead us to spiritual things (not new age spiritual, but Holy spiritual).


People in these days have a tendency to "go with the flow" and in most cases, they get washed downstream. We have the freedom to like and dislike things in this world, but it seems that people are more concerned with their "image" so they are driven to what the rest of society deems good whether it is good for them or not.


There is only One who is good...that is God.

We are made in His image, and that is the only image we should strive for.





14) Your patient has become humble; have you drawn his attention to the fact? All virtues are less formidable to us once the man is aware that he has them, but this is specially true of humility. Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, "By jove! I'm being humble", and almost immediately pride—pride at his own humility—will appear. If he awakes to the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride, make him proud of his attempt—and so on, through as many stages as you please.

Virtues, as great as they are, and as much as we want to gain them, can be used against us. We can succumb to false humility, or false pride. The virtuous person should be more aware of Gods blessings in their lives than by concentrating on how to obtain the virtues themselves. God has given us the virtues to glorify him and to bless others, not so we will feel more or less better about ourselves.
































Feb 8, 2011

The Screwtape Letters revisited (Part III)

9) All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy (God) has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; and it's better style. To get the man's soul and give him nothing in return—that is what really gladdens our Father's (Satan) heart. And the troughs are the time for beginning the process.

There is a lot of unsatisfied, unfulfilled lives today which causes people to become depressed. They then seek to find satisfaction and fulfillment in pleasures (especially those of the flesh). They want internal happiness but try to obtain it through external pleasures which any true disciple of Christ will tell you won't work. True happiness comes from inside.

God has given us pleasures of the senses to come to know Him, love Him and serve Him. If we use those pleasures for anything other than that, then we are turning our back on the Creator of all that is good. We lose focus on the internal and focus more on the external.


This also works in Satan's favor when times are not good.

Death, illness, marriage problems, financial hardship, job loss, war and just when you are having a bad day can bring in the tempter.
Satan (the father of lies) will make you think things will be better with a little alcohol or drugs (even prescription drugs). Pleasures of the flesh or a spending spree or a trip to get away from it all, that's what he will tell you that will make you happy. No matter how far away from your troubles you may move to, unless you take care of what is going on inside you, the troubles will still be there.
Satan will offer you those idea's of pleasure, but give you nothing in return but more problems.
SEEK NOT THAT WHICH CAN BE SEEN, SEEK THAT WHICH CANNOT BE SEEN.


10) All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be.

Humans by their nature are social beings. God calls us to love Him, but also to love our fellow mankind.
It is not easy to love your enemy; but even harder sometimes may be seeing those whom you like as your enemy.

What am I trying to say???

There are people we may truly love, especially family members and close friends, that are not good for our spiritual health.

They may have different beliefs, idea's or world views that are not Christ centered. They may let their feelings or stubbornness (pride) stand between them and the truth. They may have sin in their lives that clouds their minds.
If we spend a lot of time with these people, there is a chance we may start thinking like them or agreeing with them, or just not saying anything which is just as good as agreeing with them.

I know I am guilty of not rebuking others out of love for that person, out of charity or just to keep the peace....but, what is the cost of that silence?


If there is someone or a group of "someones" that is causing your faith to be tested, then either try to lead them to the truth or get away from them because your soul is at stake also.

It also works the other way. If someone whom who spends time with you is not a believer or is weak in faith, they can be influenced by your example of living and speaking the Christian way of life.
It is a fine line on which to walk. Ask God to guide you always to good and holy people. Ask God especially on behalf of your children to guide them to good and holy friends.


11) I divide the causes of human laughter into Joy, Fun, the Joke Proper, and Flippancy.
There has been some studies done which strongly suggest that laughter is good for your health. I can see some good in it myself.
There is also a saying that goes "laughter is good for the soul" that is accredited to Proverbs 17;22 but a closer look at that verse in the NAB tells us
"A joyful heart is the health of the body, but a depressed spirit dries up the bones." (Which is why you should be careful about reading modern translations of the bible).

A joyful heart is more than laughter and nowhere does it say that laughter is good for the soul. A depressed person can still laugh and have fun externally, but internally, they are still depressed and their condition is still detrimental to their body and soul.
Here Lewis (or Screwtape) shows us how Satan likes to use humor against us. He shows us that humor can be used to bring forth cruelty, lewdness, lust, pride and many other sins.
Screwtape also tells us that flippancy is the best of all. Flippancy is where every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it. It reminds me of how our culture portrays religion and God in movies, books and sitcoms. They shrug off anything that is virtuous or moral as being too ridiculous to believe. We live in a very flippant world.
 
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