Saturday, February 8, 2014

The UN is not a friend

It has been awhile since I have read up on the amount of our money the United States government alocates to propping up the UN.  I don't even want to look because it will probably make me sick to see how my tax dollars and those of so many hard working Americans are being spent to prop up such a corrupt, anti-American, anti-Christian, pro-abortion organization.

This past week's "report" from the UN child protection committee is clearly not a true report but a piece of anti-life, anti-Catholic propaganda.  In their corruption, they clearly want to control the Church.  In reality, just like the hijacking of airliners, the sexual abuse of minors at the hands of clergy is largely a thing of the past.  There are effective safeguards in place to prevent terrorists from taking over airliners.  Plus, the other people on the airliner will not tolerate it.  Since 9/11/01 several terrorist attempts have been stopped by the people.

Sure, more stories of abuse will come out in the future, but we notice that these cases are almost exclusively from decades past.  In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, effective processes were put in place way back in 1993, nine years prior to the issues that came to light in 2002.  Notice how the vast majority of cases are decades old not new.  At every level: local, national and global, effective child protection measures are in place and working extremely well.  Plus, the people will not tolerate it.

The thing that blows me away is the lack of intellectual honesty in the "report".  This UN committee says the Vatican has to do more to protect the little ones from harm but then also says the Vatican has to do more to allow the killing of the little ones in the womb. 

I pray that some day the rest of the world will notice that the Church's teachings on contraception and homosexuality are the most loving and reasonable in the entire world.  Contraception has only, and will only weaken families by opening the doors for further infidelity and spousal abuse.  Since the family is the basic building block of society, we have a weak society when we have weak families.  One would think that the UN would try to do what works for making a strong society: strong families.

It is not politically correct to point out the fact that practice of the Church's teaching would eradicate AIDS in Africa and everywhere else in the world in just one generation.  Don't have sex before marriage.  A simple blood test shows if a prospective spouse has AIDS.  Maybe think twice about marrying that person.  If only the UN would put our resources behind that agenda!

The Church has been a constant voice of the demand of Christ to love all people no matter his or her sins, background, religion, race, etc.  There is no other option besides love and respect for all.  This UN "report" charges the Church with the opposite without showing any evidence.

Where do they get the gall to demand the Church change unchangable teachings based in natural law reasoning?  So much more could be written on the hypocracy of the UN and their lack of reason.
Here are some excellent links to more information:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Catalytic Converter

I have chosen a new name for my blog.  The old one, "The Faceless Man", was the name of my first blog post as I wrote about the liturgical "East" of ad orientem.  Christ is the focus of the liturgy, not the priest, who is merely a faceless man standing in persona Christi leading the faithful in a procession to the Father.

I have chosen "Catalytic Converter" for several reasons.  First, I am a bit if a gear head.  As I child I enjoyed working on my own bikes.  Then in high school, I enjoyed working on two different 80cc dirt bikes, my 1963 Fairlane, and my 1981 Mustang, which actually had catalytic converter issues and was too slow to get out of its own way and really didn't deserve the name Mustang.  I continued tinkering on my 1990 Ford Probe, 1988 Ranger, and 1992 Toyota pickup.  However I notice that the older I get and the newer my cars get, the less I am able to work on them.  I was able to do very little on the 2008 FJ Cruiser and now even less on the Diesel engine of my 2013 Volkswagen.

The second reason for the new name is that another gear head may accidentally stumble upon my blog and hear the Good News of the Gospel.  Or a thief who steals catalytic converters for the scrap money may stumble upon it and have a conversion experience.

The most important reason for the new name is in reference to the Holy Spirit.  At an archdiocesan priests' convocation last year, the Most Reverend  Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R, Archbishop of Indianapolis, gave a keynote address to the priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  In the address, Archbishop Tobin referred to the Holy Spirit as the "Catalytic Converter".  That imagery blew me away.  Isn't the Holy Spirit the most awesome Catalyst for everything good we do?  And isn't the Holy Spirit the true Converter, even though we are sometimes tempted to take credit?

In the Gospels, Jesus tells us of the crucial importance of conversion that we may live.  Since then, Holy Mother Church has been passing on to each generation the importance of our need for daily conversion.  My prayer is that all of us will open our hearts to ultimate Catalyst and Converter, the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Presentation of the Lord

It has been 40 days since Christmas.  Some churches remain decorated for Christmas until today.  Since then we have celebrated a whole series of epiphanies, or events of God showing Himself to the world: Christmas, the Epiphany when the magi bring their gifts, the Lord’s Baptism in the Jordan, the Wedding Feast at Cana are all epiphanies of the Lord showing Himself.  Today we celebrate another one.  When Jesus is presented in the temple, God is showing himself to the world.

All the candles for the year are blessed on today which is also known as Candlemas.  It is appropriate to focus on the candles because they bring light into the church.  We recall that day when the Light of the world, Jesus was brought into the temple.  Sin and evil hide in the dark shadows.  But Christ comes as the brilliant shining light.

And what a rich story we hear today: Old Simeon recognized the Christ of the Lord.Do we recognize Christ?

The Canticle of Simeon is prayed daily at Compline or Night Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours.  He says: “My eyes have seen your salvation,” not just Christ, but salvation, the act of being saved.  Saved from what?  Is there something that will ruin us?  Yes, sin entered the world.  Sin messed things up.

Today’s feast only makes sense to us if we acknowledge sin as a reality in our world.  A couple days ago, Pope Francis quoted Pope Pius XII: “The greatest sin today is that people have lost a sense of sin.”  And because of that we lose the meaning of the Kingdom of God.  If sin is not real or not important, then anything goes.  So why has God made His presence with us?  Because it is real, it is important, and He loves us too much to be separated from us.

We baptized Christians are called to build up the Kingdom of God.  The pope said that the loss of a sense of sin is always a sign that the Kingdom of God is diminishing.  We pray for the coming of the Kingdom daily in the Lord’s prayer: “Thy Kingdom come.”  We’ll pray it here together in a few minutes.  We are praying that we will allow the Kingdom of God to grow in our midst.  We need salvation.  Pope Francis points out that it can’t come from our cunning, our cleverness, or our intelligence in doing business.  It comes from God’s grace and how we train for it every day in the Christian life.  He reminds us that Christian mediocrity will never cut it.

The good news is we have a Redeemer to imitate.  We need a redeemer.  We have been redeemed.

And there is more good news.  Simeon reminds us that Jesus is for the people of Israel and the Gentiles, all nations.

It’s interesting that the Presentation we celebrate today is one of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.  It is a joyous occasion.  It is an epiphany when God shows himself to us.  But notice this Gospel is also used when we celebrate Mary as our Sorrowful Mother.  Simeon predicts “you yourself a sword will pierce.”  She would witness her Son’s act of redemption as he is tortured and dies on the Cross.

Anna is a great witness to all of us of the importance of redemption, the importance of God in our lives.  She worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.

As if that’s not already enough good news, we hear a little bit about how God does it in our second reading from the letter to the Hebrews:  Jesus shared in our humanity fully – flesh and blood.  He redeems everything he assumes.  He assumes our flesh and blood – He redeems our flesh and blood.

The temple was God’s dwelling place.  We acknowledge Mary as God’s dwelling place as she carried him in her womb and presented him to the world.  What about us?  We are also God’s dwelling place.  We receive him in a very real way in the Eucharist and the other sacraments.  Now, our task is to present him to the world.  Mary brought the Light to those in darkness.  We must also bring Christ the Light to those in darkness until no one remains in the darkness.