The more they stay the same. I’ve found myself doing more and more reading lately, really getting into various Papal documents, things like encyclicals and exhortations. One of these is fairly recent, “Evangelii Gaudium” or “The Joy of the Gospel” written by Pope Francis. I get my copies through Verbum.com but you can get them free from various websites.
Happy Independence Day!
Today is the 242nd anniversary of this great country of ours. It’s sad to think of how many of our fellow Americans have forgotten some of the principles this country was founded on. I am going to share some of them today.
I tend to be an avid reader. Now one would think that being an avid reader would make me a better writer, but alas, no. Anyway, I have started rereading a book I first read when I began my journey back to the faith, And I thought I would periodically reflect on various chapters as I go along. Continue reading “Don’t Jump Unless the Bridge is Falling”
Anyone who has followed this blog for some time will know that I am a freedom of speech and freedom of religion kind of guy. I believe that the United States Constitution is the second most important document ever written. The first being the Bible. Because of this I believe everyone has the right to work where they want. But…
Here it is the first Sunday of Lent and the Gospel reading was actually the same one I used yesterday about Jesus going into the desert and being tempted by Satan. The first reading of the day is from Genesis and is the story of Eve being tempted in the Garden of Eden. As I read this passage today I learned something new. This is usually the case every time I reread scripture and today was no different. As is often said, each time you read scripture something new is revealed to you.
The other thing I’ve come to realize with scripture is even though it was written over two thousand years ago, it is still relevant today. It relates to our world, maybe even more today then when they were written. Let’s look at Gen 3: 1- 8. This describes how the serpent tempted Eve. He made the forbidden fruit sound so good how could she resist? He convinced her that it would be okay if she ate from the tree, in fact it would make her a better person. It would give her things she didn’t have. The world would be hers. Does any of this sound familiar? Does this sound like the stuff we are bombarded with every day?
We are told how if we use this product, or go to this or that place, our lives will be so much better. Like Eve we will become a better person. But what about what will really make our lives better? What about what we really need to become a better person? Do we ever hear about God? No because every time we try to get the message out we are attacked. We are told there is no place for God in the public square, yet there is plenty of room for Satan and his traps. Satan is allowed to be everywhere with his temptations, but God is regulated to one hour a week stuck inside four walls.
The good news is Lent is a time for renewal It is a time for all of us to spread the word and renew the church. This is the time to get out there and live the Gospel. Lead by example. Live what you learn. Believe what you learn. Remember back in the late 80’s, early 90’s when the AIDS epidemic began? There was one of those public service commercials that went something like “When you date one person you also date the people they dated and the ones they dated and on and on…” The message was that it was an exponential thing. We need to look at spreading the good news in the same way. When we are an example to one person, they will be an example to another and then another. It will grow and grow.
It all starts with each of us who believe. Each of us needs to shut out the noise and listen to what God is telling us. Let him lead us in the right direction. He will teach us what we need to show others the way and how to bring others back to him. In other words, He will help us to renew His church.
Today the Catholic Church celebrates the feast called “The Epiphany of the Lord.” Pope Benedict XVI called it the “mystery of the manifestation of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, to all peoples” (Angelus, 1/6/12). This is the day the Magi visited Jesus in the manger bringing various gifts. (Imagine “We Three Kings” quietly playing in the background for the rest of this post.) These wise men from the east, left everything they had to follow the star to where Jesus lay, to see the “newborn king.”
God provided the light for the wise men to follow, just as He provides us with that same light. Some of us (I was certainly one) cannot see the light, or if we do, we choose not to follow it. (You know that whole following the narrow path thing again.) We stay in the darkness. We know that Jesus is the light of the world.
The problem today is that it is hard to see that light, there are so many clouds, the light has trouble breaking through them. We live in a world where other, dimmer, lights have taken over. Things are more important to many of us than each other. Money, status, possessions, have all become new gods that we worship. Not only do these distract us from the light, but so don’t others who don’t want us to follow the light. Christians are persecuted all over the world because of their beliefs. Even in our country, once thought of as the “shining light on the hill” those who openly profess their faith are ridiculed and demeaned. “Keep your religion in church where it belongs” we are told.
For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. – John Winthrop, First Governor of Massachusetts, 1630
I think we may still be a shining light, I just am not so sure if it is the same light.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Now as you may know, (as you would if you read my past entries), I recently lost my job. Prospects aren’t all that great when you are closer to sixty than 40. I am going to try to make it work by editing, proofreading and writing. You can help me out in two ways: If you or anyone you know needs any work done, you can contact me either through Elance by clicking here or via my email: email@example.com No job is too big or too small. Thanks!
And of course you can also make your Amazon purchases through this link:
Okay, it’s finally out there in the open, all Catholics hate women and they have declared war on them. It’s obvious isn’t it? After all it was those Catholic Supreme Court justices that voted to deny women the right to health care. How dare they! Women everywhere will no longer have access to contraception or abortion inducing drugs, oh the horror.
The National Organization for Women has called for a boycott against what they call “The Dirty 100” a list of the 100 companies that have filed lawsuits against the HHS mandate requiring companies to provide contraception and abortifacients (abortion inducing drugs) as part of their mandatory health insurance plan. See the problem with this is that those evil Catholics, or at least the real ones, believe that abortion and contraception are wrong. They kill babies or prevent life from happening. What is wrong with them? NOW asks that you stand with them and boycott these companies so they get the message, as stated on the NOW site:
“Stand with NOW and tell them it is not acceptable for employers to impose their personal beliefs on their employees.”
Here is the problem, and what the folks at NOW and the Huffington Post, et. al. seem to forget. If an employee doesn’t like the health insurance, they do’t have to work for the company. It is as simple as that. It is like the people who want a Christian photographer to photograph their same-sex wedding and he or she refuses, find another photographer. If the one they wanted doesn’t want the business that is their prerogative. The government does not have the authority (contrary to popular belief) to dictate to whom someone can sell their goods or services to.
Then of course there is the fact that not one of these companies, organizations, churches, or individuals, is stopping anyone from obtaining contraception or abortifacients, they are freely available to anyone for the asking.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which had filed an amicus brief against Hobby Lobby, claimed that the Hobby Lobby ruling allows employers “to decide what birth control an employee can use,” charging that this is not an “exercise of religion,” but “of tyranny.” – National Catholic Register
Again, no one is stopping anyone from deciding on whether they use birth control or not. But then this is the secular left and their “Everyone is a victim” mentality.
I guess it is only a matter of time before Catholics are accused of waging a war on children as well, after all we are fighting against abortion and taking away a child’s right to die.