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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What do you do if you are young, pretty, and intelligent? You consecrate your life to Jesus!

That is certainly what this young lady has done.  Mary Anne Marks is a graduate from Harvard.  She finished her undergrad in English and Latin Literature. She was chosen to give the Latin Salutary at the 2010 Harvard Ceremony (video below). After graduating from Harvard, she joined the Ann Arbor Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, the “Oprah Sisters.”  Currently, she is going into her second year of novitiate. The Ann Arbor Dominican order is growing massively due to its observance of orthodox Catholic teaching.  In fact, this seems to be the pattern of recent times whereby young people are seeking religious communities that are faithful to the teachings of the Magisterium. (You can watch a full interview with Mary Anne here).

During the past few decades, there has been a great confusion around Catholic and non-Catholic circles alike, about the importance and degree of honour attributed to the Consecrated life.  Many people believe that marriage is the only rational and realistic choice in life. This is definitely not true.  Since the time of the Apostles, there have always been people who have devoted their lives to Christ, starting with the Apostle of the Gentiles who openly declared, “I wish that all men were even as I am” and “to the unmarried and the widows: it is good for them to remain [unmarried] as I am” (1 Corinthian 7:7,8).  Of course, this calling is not for everyone.  Those who “cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn in passion” (1 Corinthians 7:9).  “He who marries does well, and he who does not marry does better” (1 Corinthians 7:38).  

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Biblical Proof of Mary’s Immaculate Conception II

As promised in my previous post, this blog entry is dedicated to offer further Biblical evidence of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

Previously, it was made clear from the typology that exists between Eve and Mary that the latter was the Second Eve, whom God protected from the stain of Original Sin.  Another typology in the Bible that cannot be ignored is the Ark of the Covenant foreshadowing the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The chest-like object in the OT was made of incorruptible acacia wood that was covered with pure gold.  The spiritual meaning of these two elements when the Ark is seen as a reference to Mary is that Mary is also incorruptible.  She is empty of any sin that would render her corrupt.  Now, let us look at the evidence from the Scriptures.

The Ark of the Old Covenant contained the two tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written (Exodus 25:16). The Ten Commandments are the word of God.  Likewise, Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant contained the “Son of God,” the “Word made flesh” inside her womb (Luke 1:35, John 1:14).  The Ark of the Old Covenant had the Rod of Aaron, which represents priesthood (Hebrews 9:4); Mary bore inside her womb “Jesus our great High Priest” (Hebrews 4:14).  “Inside the Ark, was a golden jar containing manna,” which the Israelites in the OT “ate” and yet they “died” (Hebrews 9:4; John 6:58)).  The Blessed Virgin carried inside her womb the “true bread from heaven” on which whoever feeds “will live forever” (John 6:32,58).  

If all this is not enough for my reader to be convinced that God intended the Ark of Covenant to foreshadow the person of Mary, let us delve deeper into Scriptures and see what the word of God tells us.  Using plain language commonly known to OT writers, Luke indicates the significance of the Ark in the OT by comparing it to Mary during the Annunciation and the Visitation.

In the OT, the Ark represented the physical presence of God among the Israelites.  When it was brought into the “tabernacle,” it became “overshadowed” by the Spirit of the Lord and “the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:21, 34).  The same word is used to describe the Spirit’s presence over Mary when Gabriel gave her the good news, “The power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35).  Immediately after the Annunciation, Mary takes a trip that is reminiscent of another trip taken by the Ark in the OT.  King David wanted to transport the Ark to Jerusalem, a city in Judea.  He brought “the Ark of God” to “the house of Obed-Edom, which was on the hill” country of Judea (2 Samuel 6:2,3).  In like manner, Mary “arose and went into the hill country, to a city in Judah” (Luke 1:39).  The house of Obed-Edom was “blessed” by the presence of the Ark (2 Samuel 6:11).  The word “blessed” is used three times in reference to Mary being in Elizabeth’s house (Luke 1:39-45).  David “danced with all his might” in front of the Ark while he “was wearing a linen ephod,” a priestly garment (2 Samuel 6:14). John the Baptist, a priest’s son, who himself was destined to be a priest, “leaped” with joy in Elizabeth’s “womb” at the presence of Mary (Luke 1:41).  David and his company greeted the Ark with loud “shouts of joy” (2 Samuel 6:15).  Elizabeth also “shouted with a loud voice and said to Mary, ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb’” (Luke 1:42).  David said, “how is it the Ark of the Lord should come to me?” (2 Samuel 6:9).  Elizabeth asks the same question about Mary, “How is it the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43).  The Ark of the Lord “remained for three months in the house of Obed-Edom” (2 Samuel 6:11).  Conversely, Mary “remained” in the house of Elizabeth “for three months” (Luke 1:56).  After “three months,” the Ark was brought into Jerusalem to its resting place in the Temple where the “glory of God filled the house of the Lord” (2 Samuel 6:12, 1 Kings 8:9-11).  Mary also went back to her house “after three months” and eventually “took Jesus” to the temple in Jerusalem (Luke 1:56, 2:22). 

Finally, our last piece of evidence brings us back to John the Apostle, to whom Mary was entrusted as a “mother” by Our Lord Jesus (John 19:27).  St. John writes in his Book of Revelation “the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple” (Revelation 11:19).  This is the last verse in chapter 11. In the next verse, he writes “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1).   Keep in mind that the chapter divisions were only introduced during the medieval times.  Prior to that, the chapters were one big chunk of text, unbroken and undivided, pronouncing more clearly the relation between the Ark and the woman.  They are one.  The “Ark” of the New Covenant is the “Woman” who appears in heaven.  Later on in the chapter, this “woman” gives birth to a “son, a male child who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter” (Revelation 12:5).  Who would this child be other than the “seed” of the “woman,” which was destined to “crush” the “head” of the Serpent? (Genesis 3:15).  If this child is none other than Jesus, then the “woman” is none other than “the mother of Jesus” Our Holy Mother Mary (John 2:3).

No serious reader of the Bible can deny these truths that are inspired by the Holy Spirit.  No serious scholar of the Scriptures can deny the clear indications that demonstrate the undeniable similarities between the Ark of the Old Covenant and Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant.  This brings us to a conclusion, which if denied, can be a great stumbling block in our path for salvation.  The same reverence and veneration that were offered to the Ark of the Old Covenant must likewise be also given to the Ark of the New Covenant.  In fact, when Uzza touched the Ark of the Old Covenant undeservingly, the Lord “struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God” (2 Samuel 6:7).  What would happen if anyone disrespects our Holy Mother in any way?  What would happen if anyone attributes any sinfulness to her?  Those who do, stand on a very dangerous ground.  Finally, if God wanted to create a woman and protect her from the stain of original sin, would it be possible for Him?  Could He do it if He wanted to?  The answer is of course He can. God can do anything He wants, including designing a woman from scratch who will bear His Son in her womb.  Those who deny Mary’s Immaculate Conception are denying God’s power and majesty.  May our Holy Mother shower us with her maternal love and bring us closer to her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Biblical Proof of Mary’s Immaculate Conception I

The doctrine of Immaculate Conception in the Catholic faith states that God preserved Mary from the stain of original sin from the moment of her conception.  The Blessed Virgin was born without a sin according to God’s will.  God the Father handed this gift to her, so that she may fulfill her role as the “Mother of the Lord” in the plan of salvation (Luke 1:43).  Like many other foundational doctrines of the Christian faith, such as Trinity, there is no one verse in the Bible that states the doctrine of Immaculate Conception.  Instead, an in-depth analysis of certain Biblical passages is required for a reader to discern this truth from the Sacred Scriptures.

It is important that we understand typology in the Bible before we say anything about Mary.  Typology is when a person, an object or an action in the Old Testament refers to a person, an object, or an action in the New Testament. The Bible is full of those. Lord Jesus says, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Mathew 12:40).  In this passage, Our Lord is teaching us how to read the Scriptures, by identifying types in the OT with figures in the NT.  In this case, Jonah is a type of Jesus, and the three days inside the whale correspond to the three days Our Lord’s body remained inside the grave.  Adam in the OT is another type of Jesus. St. Paul says, “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come [Jesus].” So, Jesus is the New Adam, the Adam of the New Testament.

The fact that a New Adam exists means that God is recreating the human race after its miserable fall. We turn to St. John’s Gospel to see the evidence for this. St. John writes, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Note the similarity between this verse and Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1 repeatedly uses the words, “there was night and there was morn, and the --- day” to denote the passage of time (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). In his creation account, St. John does something very similar. He uses the words, “the next day” successively to denote the passage of time (John 1:29, 35, 43).  In Genesis, the seventh day was a day of rest, a feast day. Likewise, in John’s gospel, there is a feast, a wedding taking place in Cana (John says this took place “on the third day,” after the first four days that had passed according to John 1:29, 35, 43).  All this is to say that in John’s gospel, there is another creation story where God is recreating the universe. However, there is a contrast between the two creation stories. In the first creation account, everything is physical, including human beings’ birth, “Eve became the mother of all the living” (Genesis 3:20).  In the second creation story, the birth is not a physical one, but a spiritual one: “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born again” of “SPIRIT and water” (John 3:3, 5).  In Genesis, mankind’s habitat is earth, a physical environment.  In John’s gospel, the kingdom of God is a spiritual realm: “my kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).  In Genesis, the first man to be created was Adam. In John’s Gospel, the first man to be “begotten” is Jesus (John 3:16).  If there is a first Adam and a first Eve in Genesis; and we have our New Adam in the NT, then where is the second Eve, the New Eve who will, along with our New Adam, Lord Jesus, usher in the new creation that is taking place in the NT?

The New Eve appears at the wedding of Cana on the seventh day in the same way the First Eve appeared on the seventh day in Genesis 2.  Note that the Blessed Virgin appears next to Jesus in wedding at Cana in a similar manner as Eve appeared next to Adam in the Garden of Eden.  There are some differences.  Eve eats from the forbidden fruit and thereby dooming mankind through her disobedience.  Mary, on the other hand, in a complete act of obedience, surrenders her will to God so that mankind can be saved: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).  Eve encourages Adam to eat of the fruit and bring death into the world; “Jesus’ mother” encourages him to perform his “first miracle,” thereby beginning his life-giving mission of salvation (John 2:3, 11). Eve encourages God’s servant, Adam to disobey God; Mary encourages “the servants” to obey God and “do as he says” (John 2:5).  Eve was standing with Adam next to the Tree of Knowledge; Mary “stood” next to Jesus under the wood of the cross, which is also called a “tree” (John 19:25; Acts 5:30). Eve cooperated with Adam to bring “death into the world” (Romans 5:12); Mary cooperated with the Lord to “give life” (John 10:10). Eve was the physical mother of all humanity, “the mother of all living”; Mary is the spiritual mother of all “her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and hold fast their testimony about Jesus” (Revelation 12:17). Eve was called a “woman” prior to her disobedience (Genesis 2:23); Jesus calls Mary “woman” throughout the gospel of John, beginning with Christ’s mission until its end when he was hung on the cross (John 2:4; 19:26). We must pause here for a second.

This point particularly has a great deal of significance for a proper understanding of the Scriptures.  When Our Lord calls his mother “Woman,” his intention was not to disrespect or rebuke her; otherwise, he would be guilty of breaking the fourth commandment, “Thou Shall Honour your Father and Mother” (Exodus 20:12). Our Lord’s intention was to reveal to mankind that she is the New Woman, the New Eve, the “woman” who was also prophesied about in Genesis 3:15 when God said to the Serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the WOMAN, between your seed and her seed; He will crush your head and you will bruise his heal.” Also note that Eve’s name does not change from “woman” to “Eve” until she committed her first sinful act of disobedience (Genesis 3:20).  The Blessed Virgin on the other hand, manages to retain the title of “Woman” from the beginning of the gospel all the way to its end, signifying that she did not commit any act of disobedience, not even once.  Prior to her fall, while she was called “woman,” God created Eve without a sin; by keeping the title of Woman throughout the gospel, God is telling humanity that the New Eve is also created without a blemish or stain of sin.  The first woman of the “old” creation in the OT was created without original sin; likewise, the first woman of the “new creation” in the NT, Mary, is also without original sin (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The imagery of a woman alongside a man, both working together to accomplish a single mission is a recurring theme that runs throughout the Bible.  We will look further into this when I discuss Mariology in other posts.  For the time being, it is sufficient to demonstrate the similarities between Eve in the OT before falling into sin and Mary in the NT.  Any serious Biblical student must acknowledge these truths that are unequivocally revealed by the Holy Spirit in the Sacred Scriptures.  This completes the first part of the twofold scriptural proof of Mary’s Immaculate Conception.  In my next post, I will show another typology in the Bible where the Ark of the Covenant is a clear foreshadowing of the Blessed Virgin.  May Our Holy Mother, the New Eve, intercede on our behalf in front of the King to help us feel her motherly love and protection and bring us closer to Our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

On Babies and Tampons

Retail sales have sunk to a new low in the United Kingdom. I imagine storeowners are rushing to put together an advertisement campaign to boost the consumers’ confidence and encourage them to spend their money.  Campaigners in the U.K. are doing just that, except their target demographics are not just any consumers.  They are targeting females with impregnated wombs. 

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK has given the green light for private abortion providers to air television advertisements and promote their services.  I would like to understand this situation a little better, as I imagine my esteemed reader would like as well.  The best way to go about analyzing this development would be through a Comparison.  Hearken back, gentle reader, to your grade 9 English lessons on Comparisons.  To compare two objects or concepts with each other means to find the similarities they share with one another. Here, the two objects we would like to compare are babies and tampons, more specifically aborted babies and dirty tampons.

Bear with me for a minute.

Now, I ask my reader.  After reading through this comparative chart, are you grossed out? Are you repelled? Are you disgusted, appalled and sickened at my veracious, candid and blunt comparison? Then you should know, that is the magnitude of the debauchery currently taking place in England re the abortion business.  This is the depravity to which life in, Europe in general and UK in particular, has been reduced. 

If you can find any more similarities between these two objects, please feel free to post them in the comments section.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Utter, Utter Failure of Postmodernism

Almost two weeks have gone by after the riots in Vancouver, city officials, along with provincial administrators are still bewildered with the disturbances that took place in Vancouver city on June 15, after a championship game of hockey ended with the Canucks losing the Stanley Cup to Boston Bruins.   Premier Christy Clark has ordered an investigation, as well as an “independent review,” to analyze the possible causes of this behaviour.  Psychiatrists also weighed in to see the driving force behind the disruptive conduct of the rioters that day. 

Meanwhile, this photo has been floating around the World Wide Web comparing the riots in Vancouver with those in Somalia, Libya and Egypt.  The satirical theme behind this comparison is obvious.  While all four countries witnessed deadly demonstrations, the reasons behind these demonstrations varied drastically.  Somalia, Libya and Egypt were fighting for freedom, while Vancouverites were just plain old silly.

No nation on the face of the planet wakes up one morning and suddenly finds itself looting, stabbing, and setting cars on fire because of a silly hockey game.  This is a result of a wrong turn that was made earlier.  Somewhere down the road, Canadians have lost touch with the meaningful, and instead, chose to attach their lives to the meaningless.  This, in a nutshell, describes the postmodern condition.

For 17 centuries, there existed a large narrative that governed the lives of the majority of today’s highly developed nations.  This narrative was none other than God, as revealed through Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Based on this narrative, people would choose their path in life and make important decisions; based on this narrative, a man would choose the type of woman with whom he would want to spend the rest of his life.  According to the norms set by God, the majority of people in the western nations carried out their daily routines, whether at home, work or on the streets.  The majority of the western populations subscribed to this narrative and surrendered their lives to this unequivocal Truth.

Today, however, this grand narrative known as God, has been replaced with countless small narratives, and instead of God governing our lives, it has become gods who are in charge of us now.  Rather than the foundational Truth that draws the dividing line between right and wrong, anti-foundational truths have taken the helms of our lives, steering us in which ever direction our unbridled desires wish to take us.  These smaller narratives include our area of specialization (our job), or sports; they could also be an illicit sexual relation, or perhaps drinking, smoking cigarettes and even drugs.  Today, some people attach their lives to their area of study or their job so strongly that it becomes the guiding principle and the ultimate arbitrator of right and wrong in their lives; others, find in sports the pleasure that keeps them occupied throughout their day; still others, devote their lives to finding a relationship in which they can be gratified and fulfilled.   All I wrote so far is nothing new.  Jean-Francois Lyotard wrote about it in his essay entitled “The Postmodern Condition.”    

Note that every small narrative mentioned above has to do with the means and not the end, the path but not the destination. So long as the means consist of some temporary pleasure, the end is irrelevant.  Consequently, anything becomes acceptable so long as it produces a transient moment of satisfaction.  This summarizes the utter, utter failure of the postmodern condition, once God goes out the door, everything is permitted.  Even though the effect of this condition has proliferated every aspect of human life in the western world, it will suffice to look at three areas where the detrimental outcome of postmodernism has clearly manifested itself.

Due to the removal of the foundational Truth, or the grand narrative labeled above as God, a broader definition has been ascribed to the term ‘family’.  As a result, no one can really understand what this term means anymore.  Is it two human beings who share residence and resources with each other? Or does it consist of a man and a woman, who live together under a state license that grants them the status of ‘marriage’?  Of course, at times the term ‘marriage’ needs a qualifier such as ‘same-sex,’ or ‘gay.’  If the term can be so radically redefined as to include same-sex couples, then why stop there? Why not make this term so inclusive that any group of people, whether it is three men and two women, or five men and one woman, or any number of any of the sexes who live and share resources together also be labeled as ‘family’?  This endless confusion is not a random result of human evolution, nor is it some free libertarianism that attempts to free humanity of its “mind-forged manacles,” to put it in Blakean terms. Instead, it is a direct result of human beings abandoning the source of all order, the grand narrative, the author of all Truth, God.  Redefining family has had a devastating effect on today’s society.  The population of some countries can no longer sustain itself because of the abortive measures employed by the postmodern ‘family.’ Life is no longer a sacred gift, but rather has been reduced to a “choice.” Parental roles are being exchanged in an attempt to paint a false image of equality.  Females are even encouraged to be leaders of the household, and any talk of submission to the husband is immediately dismissed as misogynistic or inequitable. All this confusion in the make-up and role-definition of family unit has caused so much turmoil, that currently there are only a few households left, whose members are not suffering from some sort of domestic breakdown or relational trauma.

2-Antidepressant Population
The most prescribed of all drugs today are antidepressants.  People are just not happy.  The confusion of postmodernism has made us embark on an endless search for happiness.  Some people attempt to find this happiness in sports; others remain content with sporadic and temporary pleasures by gratifying their fleshly desires; still others try to find a meaning in their lives through their area of specialization, as noted above.  When all this proves futile and incapable of producing a lifelong happiness, people turn to drugs.  This phenomenon is mostly prevalent in the most secularized societies in the west.  In 2008, the United Kingdom, issued 36 million prescriptions for antidepressant drugs, which is “nearly one for every adult in the population.”   In Sweden, nearly 9% of the entire population is diagnosed with depression.  Over the last decade, “the use of antidepressant drugs has skyrocketed” in the United States.  In 2005 alone, 113 million prescriptions were given out.  These statistics are very telling re the nature of effect postmodernism has had on the western world. 

Once the author and source of morality has been removed, everything becomes permissible.  Dostoyevsky articulated this same notion in his Brothers Karamazov.  If there is no defining Truth that acts as a measuring stick to the rules, which govern our lives, human beings begin to construct their own sense of morality.  As a result, the dismemberment and skull cracking of babies who sleep peacefully in their mothers’ wombs is a “choice” that belongs to the individual rather than an objective evil.  Human definition of right and wrong has gone so astray, that anyone who defiantly opposes the foundational Truth, is not only accepted, but also praised and exalted.  Patrick Madrid recognizes this in his book, The Godless Delusion. He notes the striking similarity between the eugenic practices of the Nazi regime and current leaders of the bioethics represented by Peter Singer, a world-renowned atheist bio-ethicist.

“In the Nazi Doctors, Robert J. Lifton quotes a 1973 interview in which the father of Baby Knauer [the first victim of Nazi infanticide] recalled the reasons Brandt and Hitler agreed to the killing of his son:
He [Brandt] explained to me that the Fuhrer had personally sent him, and that my son’s case interested him very much. The Fuhrer wanted to explore the problem of people who had no future – whose [lives were] worthless. From then on, we wouldn’t have to suffer from this terrible misfortune, because the Fuhrer had granted us the mercy killing of our son. Later, we could have other children, handsome and healthy, of whom the Reich could be proud” (

In his book, Practical Ethics, Singer writes:

“When the death of a disabled infant will lead the birth of another infant with better prospects for a healthy life, the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. The loss of a happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second [even if not yet born].  Therefore, if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others, according to the total view, it would be right to kill him” (The Godless Delusion, 95-96). 

Note the similarity of the two views expressed by the Nazi regime and Peter Singer.  Brandt was hung during the Nuremberg trials.  Today, on the other hand, Peter Singer holds a very prestigious tenured chair at Princeton University. If there is no ultimate Truth to which we must measure everything in our lives, then no one can blame anyone for committing the most depraved acts of violence and wickedness.  The perpetrators of these acts are simply acting based on their own sense of right and wrong.

The Postmodern condition has done a great damage to the fabric of the western society.  Premier Christy Clark and all the psychiatrists in the world do not need to be analyzing the situation any further.  The cause of all this insanity in Canada and the rest of the western societies is not some psychological defect or some hidden deficiency that needs to be brought to light through the use of human intellect and resources.  Rather, it is the postmodern condition.  It is the determination to forsake and completely abandon God, the author of all Truth, the giver of all morality and order.  Once God departs from our lives, all sorts of sicknesses begin to creep in.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Homosexualist Indoctrination of Children

Dan Savage, an outspoken homosexual activist, has been quite vociferous re the reaction of Penny Nance from Concerned Women of America to a homosexualist advertisement promoting the gay lifestyle.  Fox aired the advertisement during American Idol, a show that has been rated family-friendly by Parents Television Council.   

Savage begins his response with naming the group, Concerned Women of America, as an “officially-designated hate group.” Then, he moves on to offer three thoughts on Nance’s response.  First, he expresses surprise at the prospect of a fourth grader who does not know about “heterosexual sex,” and compares this fourth grader to an animal who is raised in a “skinner box.”  This is a homosexual activist’s idea of raising a healthy child; any fourth grader who knows not about sex is basically an animal that is trapped in a box, namely a mouse because mice are usually trapped in a “skinner box.” Later on in life, when this ‘sexually-enlightened’ child grows up to be a pedophiliac priest, Savage will be the first to weep crocodile tears over the victims and whine about the ‘wickedness’ of the Church and her ‘utter failures.’ 

Savage’s second thought is too obscene and filthy to be mentioned here in my blog.

The third thought is what I would like to make the object of my post here.  It is not empty of obscenity.  However, let’s try to navigate our way through it carefully, discarding the filth and focusing on the argument. 

It turns out that Savage’s campaign is targeting a specific audience. This audience “needs to know more than most” that not the entire world consists of “hateful s_ _ _ s.”  One might stop here and wonder, what exactly does Savage mean by the qualitative adjective, “hateful,” which serves as a modifier to the following noun, “s_ _ _ s.”  It becomes clear when the reader finds out that Savage’s targeted audience consists of “kids with parents like Nance,” or kids whose parents are religious.  Undoubtedly, for Savage, all religious people, just “like Nance,” are “hateful s_ _ _ s.”  They are “hateful s_ _ _s” precisely because they disapprove of homosexual lifestyle, and Savage feels that it is his ordained duty to encourage kids, 4th graders, to accept homosexual lifestyle. It does not take a genius to figure out that Savage’s attempt to preach his debauchery to young children really has nothing to do with bullying, but everything to do with converting or proselytizing; the filthy language that he deploys is demonstrative of his perverted mindset.  It gets better, indeed.  Savage tells the 4th grader that not the “entire world is populated with hateful s_ _ _ s,” but rather many people are “rooting” for him including “trans porn stars.” How many parents encourage their 4th grader to become a “porn star,” let alone a “trans” one?  I cannot imagine any parent, anywhere, religious or non-religious, Christian or non-Christian, who would encourage his/her 4th grader to become a “porn star.”  Of course, the only reason Savage feels this is acceptable is because he is not a part of a TRUE marriage, which is only between a man and a woman.  He does not have a son of his own. He has not experienced the blessings of a true fatherhood, whereby a father offers his life happily as a selfless sacrifice for the good of his child.  Savage scorns, despises, and even derides the concept of family precisely because he does not have the gift of fatherhood. 

I do not think that it will ever get better for Savage, nor for anyone else who subscribes to his contempt for family to find peace in this life, unless they discontinue promoting this lifestyle, and take up a true marriage.  I included a link for Penny Nance’s letter to Fox Channel.  I encourage you to sign it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Abortion Zombies: Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Co.

A recent poll shows Nancy Pelosi to be the least popular U.S. Congressional leader. I do not imagine that Pelosi’s theological blunders have anything to do with these poll results, but I am sure that these views certainly contribute to the composition of her character, which has been deemed “least popular.” In any case, there is nothing more amusing (or frustrating, depending how you look at it), than to see Pelosi theologizing.

Pelosi has previously deemed herself an “ardent, practicing Catholic,” who has been “studying the issue” of life “for a long time.” The conclusion of her thorough scholarship was that “over the centuries, the Doctors of the Church have not been able” to define when life first begins. “St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know.” 

Watching her utter these words during the interview, it is not difficult to see the eyes tearing up and the anxiety level rising to the point of almost choking on her words and clearly revealing her guilty conscience. The reporter’s question, “When do you think life begins?” went unanswered. Pelosi’s interview triggered plenty of response from faithful Catholics as well as pro-lifers. 

Tom Brokaw asked U.S. Vice President Joe Biden the same question. Unlike Pelosi, Biden is “willing to accept that life begins at the moment of conception.” However, his problem is that answering this question is a matter of personal “judgment” and for him “to impose” his “own judgment on everybody else” would be “inappropriate in a pluralistic society.” He goes on to speculate his opponent’s counter-argument, “what about fascism…you gonna say fascism is alright?” Then he answers his own question, “fascism isn’t a matter of faith. No decent religious person thinks fascism is a good idea.” 

The common revelation that emerges from both of these interviews is the difficulty of reconciling the two politicians’ views on abortion with their faith. Clearly there is a difficulty there. Pelosi’s statement made almost three years ago was never retracted despite the numerous protests it sparked from the various levels of the Church, the highest of which came from the Pope himself. Biden, on the other hand, received a correction that had the tone of a rebuke from Archbishop Charles Chaput, where he told Biden that he "should refrain from communion." 

The truth is that within each one of these two politicians, there exists a huge, irreconcilable gap between their personal views and the faith they purport to follow. This gap cannot be described in any other way except as a schizophrenic severance within their character. If a person believes that life does not begin at the moment of conception, or if one thinks that this is a matter of personal choice, then perhaps it would be healthier to recognize that he/she does not follow the Catholic Church, which clearly teaches otherwise. This is not a matter of a believer who falls into sin due to human weakness. Nor is this some passive character flaw that should be ignored and kept hidden. This is a case of intentional defiance of Church doctrine by those who claim to be among the ranks of her membership. The only path to reconciliation is either the Church changes her doctrine, which has never been known to happen, or Pelosi, Biden and co. change their mind and begin to live the faith they claim to follow. 

Pelosi and Biden are not a new anomaly. Many people, especially in our postmodern society, seem to be suffering from this psychological illness. The worst part is that the high-ranking positions these two Civil Servants occupy place them in a position that has a great deal of influence on how we live out our lives. They have enough legislative powers to impose on the masses the funding of such “moral evil” as abortion (Catechism 2272). In fact, they have made it their crusade to impose the funding of abortion with their promulgation of Obama’s health care plan.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Christ, the Fairest of All Men (With a Video)

Upon venturing on my sixth post up to date, I figured I should not only instruct, but also delight my reader with some meditative insights into a wonderful book in the Bible that often goes ignored or unnoticed, the Song of Songs.

The Song of Songs is a tiny book that consists of 8 chapters, yet every page is saturated and overflowing with the love of God to the apex of creation, the human.  The book is attributed to King Solomon, who wrote it to one of his wives.  Solomon’s love for his wife prefigures Christ’s love for his Church.  This relationship between God and his people, which resembles that of a bridegroom and his bride, is not a novelty introduced to us in the New Testament.  In Isaiah 54:5, God says, “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts.”  This by itself speaks volumes of God’s love for us.  I ask all the faithful husbands out there, how dearly do you love your wife? To what extent would you defend her (especially when she cooks a nice meal for you)?  That love that you have for your wife is a tiny shadow of God’s love for us. 

Having said that, it would not be apt to read this book in a literalistic manner that deprives the text from the richness of its figurative sense.  Due to the space that I have here, I will not attempt to decipher all the 8 chapters of the book.  Instead, the first three verses in the opening chapter will suffice. 

1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine;
3 your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you.

Before stating anything about the content of these verses, please note the poetic form in which they are written.  The book was meant to be a poem, and the name Song really means that the textual portion of it, is nothing else other than a poem. Just like all poems, one must understand and give precedence to its figurative meaning over its literal sense.  Nonetheless, it is very important that we understand what is happening at the literal level before we can comprehend its figurative meaning.

In this short excerpt, we find that all 5 classical types of imagery (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Gustatory, Olfactory) are invoked to rouse the reader’s 5 senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell).  However, as discussed above, the senses are nothing more than a pathway or a conduit leading to the deeper abode of the spirit.  Indeed, this is the natural progress of human understanding.  It begins at the literal/sensual level, but progresses deeper into the figurative/spiritual realm.  The first imagery invoked is an auditory one.  Immediately at the start of the poem, the reader is told that this is a “Song.”  This classification instantly rings a warning bell in the reader’s ear, which hints at the romantic nature of the book’s content.  The next imagery used is a visual one, the image of a bride who is experiencing a powerful surge of longing towards her absent lover and the fervent “kisses” of His “mouth.”  In the first half of the same verse, a kinesthetic imagery is invoked by using the word “kiss,” to engage the reader’s sense of touch.  In the second half of the verse, the kinesthetic imagery is exchanged with a gustatory one as the “taste” of love is compared to the “taste” of “wine.”  Finally, this literary device is carried through to the next verse.  The imagery turns into olfactory, awakening the reader’s sense of smell.  The “anointing oils” of the lover are “fragrant” and bear a pleasant odour, which delights the bride.  Of course, this sensuality speaks of a higher truth or a deeper end.  To this effect, Our Lord asked His Disciples when they were lacking in faith, “Do you have eyes, but fail to see? And ears but fail to hear?” (Mark 8:18). The senses begin absorbing Christ’s divinity at the primordial level, through nature.  Once the senses are freed from the lower appetites, faith in Christ, namely in His divinity, begins to stir inside a soul, conjuring the most fulfilling and satisfying reaction, which not only rouses spiritual consolation, but also satisfies the five senses as well.  The bride speaks of this life-changing experience in this short excerpt through the extensive use of imagery.

1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.

The first verse states the book’s title in a superlative mode, Song of Songs, meaning that this Song is not just any song.  It is unlike the rest of the songs ever written; it is set apart and separated from all the other songs; it is consecrated, sanctified and made holy because this Song is not directed towards just any lover.  Rather, the subject of this song is the best of all lovers, the “fairest of all men,” Christ Jesus, whose love for mankind is complete, authentic, and unconditional (Psalm 45:2). It is the “Song of songs,” the ultimate poetic expression of love and tenderness.  No other song can surpass this one in meaning and significance.  It is an original image that acts as a model that is to be duplicated, resembled, and imitated.

2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine;

The entry into the poem is an invocation or a supplication by the beloved, the bride seeking the “kisses” of her lover’s “mouth.”  This intense overflow of emotions, which is communicated by a powerful desire for a physical gesture, is an expression of a passionate love.  Literally, this act expresses the love between a husband and a wife.  Figuratively, the invocation or the supplication of the bride (the Church, or the individual soul) is expressed in a prayer.  In essence, prayer is an act of love between two lovers, Christ and the Church or the individual soul.  In the same intense passion with which a kiss between husband and wife is exchanged, so prayer must be raised and given to Christ.  Otherwise, if the kiss is lacking passion, it is fake and not genuine.  Naturally, the response of a lover to a fake gesture of love made by his beloved is sadness and melancholy.  The lover becomes sad and melancholic at the indifference, apathy, and even deception to a certain extent, expressed in a fake gesture of love.  This is precisely how Christ feels when a prayer that lacks fervor is offered to Him in indifference.  Please note another aspect of this invocation.  The lover is mentioned using the third person pronoun, “Him.”  The reason behind this is twofold.  First, it demonstrates the level of respect and reverence the bride has for her lover.  Second, it signifies that while the lover is absent physically, He remains present in her heart.  Likewise, Christ is in the heart of His bride, the Church and/or the individual soul who has been “betrothed” to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2).   

The verse goes on into a comparative mode, “your love is better than wine.”  The comparison between “love” and “wine” is apt because both objects produce pleasure.  However, the pleasure of “wine” is a fleeting one, which passes away momentarily after the effect of alcohol is gone.  On the other hand, the “love” of Christ is a joy that sustains a soul for a lifetime and retains it in that disposition for all eternity.  The effect of “wine” on the body of a human being is intoxication and deliriousness.  Conversely, the effect of Christ’s “love” on a soul is an overwhelming joy and ecstasy.  “Wine” can be destructive; Christ’s “love” is always constructive.  Elsewhere in the Scriptures, this exact comparison is made but in different terms.  St. Paul tells us not to get “drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).  Note how “wine” leads to “debauchery,” whereas the constructive alternate to this “mocker,” (Proverbs 20:1) the antidote for this “debauchery” is to be “filled” with the “Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9).  In effect, no one has ever experienced God’s “love,” that love which is “better than wine,” except he who has the “Spirit of Christ” in him.  Nobody has every tasted this “love,” which the bride prefers over “wine,” except he who has tasted Christ’s love.

3 your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you.

The bride declares her lover’s “anointing oils” to be “fragrant,” and that His “name is oil poured out.”  Those “anointing oils” are none other than those oils received at the Sacrament of Confirmation.  In this Sacrament, the faithful receive the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.  This is further solidified in the Book of Ezekiel, when God says to his beloved bride in the Old Testament that He “bathed” her, “washed” her “off” her “blood,” and “anointed” her “with oil” (Ezekiel 16:9).  Note the order. First He “bathed” her, which is Baptism.  Then, He “anointed” her, a clear reference to Confirmation. The bride’s exhilaration at this act of love from her lover is evident in the declarative statement that she makes.  When She receives the “anointing oils,” She is rejuvenated and given the strength to witness and testify.  Likewise, those who live their vocation in the Church and are faithful to the sacraments, upon receiving the “anointing oils” of the Sacrament of Confirmation are given the strength and vigour to witness and declare to the entire world how “Wonderful” is the “name” of their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6).  The “virgins” in this verse correspond to the “wise” ones in the parable of the Ten Virgins, whose “lamps” were full of “oil” when the bridegroom came to fetch them (Mathew 25:2, 4).  Included with these five Virgins is everyone who recognizes the true value of Christ and accordingly, has given his life over to Him, who, “while we were sinners, [He] died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Christ, “the fairest of all men,” the best of all lovers is calling on your heart, inviting you to share in the blazes of his loving and passionate fire.  Refuse Him not; reject Him not.  Open the door and embrace Him.  Watch this video below, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Joy of Holiness

Throughout our day, we are constantly bombarded with all sorts of messages.  Some of these messages are conveyed to us in the form of advertisement of some new ‘life-changing’ product; others are suggested to us underhandedly with some God-forsaken, sly intention in hopes of winning some political, economic or social battle.  Be that as it may, these messages always attempt to shape our Will and our Desire in a way that will control and manipulate our character. 

Inside every human being, there exists Desire.  This Desire is the driving force in our life.  In and of itself, it is not a bad thing because it moves us to find partners (husbands or wives) with whom we can start family units and share with God the act of creation to produce new life on earth.  However, when it becomes corrupt, human wretchedness increases and multiplies.  This is especially true, when Desire is left to its own devices, to be free to control our life as it pleases i.e. to make us eat whenever or whatever it tells us, to engage in any sexual act with whomever it commands us, or to sleep, watch television, or speak whenever it decrees us.  This is wretchedness in all sense of the word, for how loud does the voice inside of us scream at times wanting to be freed from this slavery, and yet we find ourselves incapable of achieving this freedom?  How many times have you wished to stop smoking that cigarette, and yet you found yourself unable to keep that cancerous roll away from your lips? How many times have you wished to look at the other way when an attractive person passes by, and yet you found yourself not only taking a second look, but also flying into a world of fantasy where shameful things that occur in our mind cannot even be mentioned?  How many times have you wanted to do the good thing, and yet you found yourself doing the evil that you did not want to do?  As a result, we find that there exists a conflict (a gap, a rift, or a schism) between our Will (the good which we WANT to do) and our Desire (the inclinations which control our Will).  On the one side of this conflict, there is our Will which knows and wants to do the right thing; and on the other side, our Desire is there to quell down, control and silence our Will to enslave us and make us act in a manner that is contrary to our Will.  The result of this great conflict is great wretchedness and misery.  Think of all the great acts of evil in this world.  The perpetrators always have some sort of a defense for their gruesome acts.  In essence, this defense is really nothing more than their wish to act contrarily to the evil they’ve committed; yet, the agency to act contrarily is completely removed from them because of some excuse or another.  This excuse is what we know to be Desire.  The question then is how can we overcome this wretched conflict and become free?

Before we answer this question, first we must distinguish between joy and happiness.  Joy is a chronic, interior state of being that accompanies us regardless of exterior hardships and difficulties that surround us, whereas happiness is a temporary feeling of satisfaction that is dependent on the convenience of exterior elements.  Joy speaks to the soul, but happiness addresses the body.  Joy nourishes both body and spirit, but happiness only momentarily satisfies the body.  Joy belongs to Will, but happiness to Desire.  Joy is achieved by obeying the Will; happiness is attained by obeying our Desire.  This is precisely why often times we see people who are miserable in life, and yet they obtain a moment of happiness through some rebellious act of escapism such as drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or engaging in some act of sexual promiscuity.  So far, I’ve remained descriptive.  So far, I have not yet been prescriptive.  The question remains, how can we achieve joy in our life?

To answer this question, the solution lies in resolving the conflict and making our Desire conform to our Will.  In effect, this reverses the condition I described above where Will conforms to Desire.  However, this is impossible for human beings to do alone.  It is impossible to find a person in this world whose Desire conforms to his Will at all times through his own powers and strength.  Instead, this is a gift from God, which we call ‘grace,’ or the love of God that was revealed to us in the birth, life, crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus.  Christ, the love of God revealed to humanity, moves our Desire upwards.  Once Desire is directed upwards towards God, no longer will it seek the lower appetites.  No longer will it rebel and wage war against our Will.  A human being can lie down in peace and conformity.  The war against pride, greed, envy, hatred, lust, gluttony, laziness is then won.  God has won this battle for us.  In turn, we too have a role to play.  We have a part to take in this fight.  Our role is to submit our Desire and our Will to Christ, who then takes over us and begins to be active in us.  Our part is to surrender ourselves completely and without any reservations to Christ, who then defeats all the forces that wage the fierce and deadly battles inside of us.  Then, both, Desire and Will, praise and glorify our Maker, whose love for us made Him take on a human form and die for us on the cross.  The fight is now won.  What is then achieved is not some fleeting, fraudulent moment of happiness.  Rather, it is joy, a persisting state that will reside inside of us even in the midst of the most turbulent and chaotic situations that life deals us.  It is the Joy of Holiness. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Homosexual Activism: Hatred for Religion and Free Speech

Well folks, I guess by now the news is getting old.  Damian Goddard, a television anchorman for Rogers Sportsnet has been fired for making his views on marriage public on Twitter. 

On Tuesday May 10, Damian tweeted his support for Todd Reynold, Burlington’s hockey agent.  Reynold voiced his disagreement of New York Rangers’ Sean Avery for filming a television ad in support of gay marriage. 

Reynold’s radical views of marriage being between one man and one woman did not go unnoticed.  CBC ran a segment of Q’s Sports Culture that debated whether hockey is “homophobic.” Instinct Magazine called for a petition to be signed by its readers and forwarded to Uptown Sports “to apologize and let Todd know” that he is “intolerant homophobic bigot hater.”  The list of reaction from leftist media is too long to be enumerated in this humble blog space.  Suffice it to say, if you are an advocate of traditional marriage in Canada, then please slam shut your door, fasten all your locks, and sleep with one eye open.  You’ll never know when you’ll be found out.  Should you happen to utter one word to express this crazy, dangerous, and bigoted notion that marriage is only true when it is between one man and one woman, then man o man.  A tsunami will hit the social media; hurricanes and earthquakes of ‘equality supporters’ will flood the blogosphere to protest the awful injustice. In short, you might just find the police knocking on your door.

Nonetheless, the object of this blog is not really Todd Reynold.  It is actually Damian Goddard’s case, Free Speech, and Religious Freedom.  Damian has a twitter account just like the rest of approximately 190,000,000 people who are subscribed to the social network.  In his personal twitter account, he decided to express a thought he had in his head using the 140-character status bar.  This thought is empty of violence. It is empty of any type of any call for any violent act.  The next day, Damian Goddard lost his job for revealing this thought.  By now, I’m sure my reader is dying to know what exactly was it that Damian wrote that caused all this commotion? Here it is…

The next day, after the Internet and other media outlets went wild over Damian’s stance on marriage, Rogers Sportsnet signed his release forms.  Folks, this is not Pakistan or Iran that we’re discussing here. This is Canada.  A man was fired from his job for making his personal views known.  Naturally, the two questions that beg themselves are: to what extent are we free to express ourselves here in Canada, and what sort of religious freedom do we have here.  The best place to look for an answer to these questions is the recent history of Canadian record on handling Religious Freedom and Free Speech.

In the last two decades, a pattern in the way free speech and religious freedom are treated in this country has become very noticeable.  Canada is constantly moving further to the left.  Traditionally, leftist libertarianism always seeks to value individual freedoms over any institutional or communal agency (I blogged about this before).  In Canada, libertarianism has gone so far to the left, that it has made a full circle (considering the earth is round) to find itself right next to Benito Mussolini.  It is willing to take any measure to silence its opposition.  In this sense, neo-liberalism has taken on a hypocritical façade.  It always presents itself as a champion of tolerance and respect for the other, and yet it shows the least of tolerance or respect to any voice of opposition.  I ask all my liberal friends here, where is your tolerance and respect for the other?  I mentioned that there is a trend that is emerging which clearly demonstrates this fact.  I would like to solidify this assertion with a couple of examples. 

In January 2005, Bishop Fredrick Henry wrote a pastoral letter to the Roman Catholic diocese of Alberta.  He outlined the problematic nature of same-sex ‘marriage’ and the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens from this evil act.  Any rational enterprising defender of same-sex union would simply write, publish, or voice his/her opposing opinion over this matter.  Instead, what happens after the publication of the good Bishop’s letter is a strange phenomenon that could be dubbed as the first in the history of Canada.  The Bishop was summoned before the Human Rights Court to further explain the statements he made, which only mirrored the 2000-year-old teachings of the Church.  The simple fact that a Bishop of the Church was summoned to a court for teaching authentic Catholicism speaks volumes of the state’s treatment of Freedom of Speech and Religion.  This is nothing short of harassment.  The Supreme Court of Canada has declared that Religious Freedom is “jealously guarded” by the Canadian Charter of Rights (Factum of the Intervener Ontario Human Rights Commission, at para. 53).  Where is this protection when a Bishop of the Catholic Church cannot so much as openly declare the authentic teachings of the biggest religious group in the country?    We still need to deal with the issue of freedom of speech.  The Bishop, just like any other citizen of Canada, is entitled to his views and opinions.  Harassing the Bishop by means of state intimidation is reminiscent of Nazi Germany or Communist Russia.  I wish it stopped there. Things get worse.

On November 30, 2007, Rev. Stephen Boissoin was banned from “publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet” his views on homosexuality.  This was in response to a complaint forwarded by Lund Darren, a homosexual activist, to a Human Rights Panel of Alberta (the title can be deceiving to say the least, seeing how the “panel” who passed this sentence consisted of a single judge, Lori Andreachuck).  Boissoin wrote a letter to the editor of Red Deer Advocate, in which he expressed his views on homosexuality.  Aside from the prohibition Rev. Boissoin received, he was also forced to write a letter of apology, in which he was to retract his statements made earlier.  Realizing that this sentence was sheer buffoonery produced by a kangaroo court, it was later overturned in December 2009.  Nonetheless, after having been dragged through the mud, after having been bestowed with all sorts of derogatory titles and deprecating epithets, after having suffered censorship for seven years, Boissoin’s request to have his legal costs remunerated was rejected.  Where is this “freedom of religion” that is “jealously guarded?” Where o where is the “jealously guarded freedom of religion” in a country that prevents its citizens from publicly defending a major tenet of religion, the sanctity of marriage?  Where is the Freedom of Speech in a country that prevents the other side of the debate on homosexuality to publish or make known its views?

Restricting freedom of speech has always been the hallmark of fascism.  Damian Goddard, just like Bishop Henry and Rev. Boissoin, expressed his personal views that are strongly informed by the religion that he practices.  This religion is not some back alley contrivance that has only recently surfaced on the face of the planet, nor is it some strange and new worldview that has just arrived to Canada from some remote and distant land.  This is Catholicism, the religion that 43.2% of Canadians follow according to Canada Census 2001.  Damian, of course, is not the one who is really being attacked here.  It is Free Speech and Religious Freedom.  I ask my readers, what are your views on this? Worry not; I will not press any charges against you, even if you disagree with me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

From Malta to Hungary, Change is the Common Theme

Living in a global village forces us to face certain facts.  One fact that we must all confront is that our world is changing.  Global demographics are being scrambled around, principles that have governed societies for years are now being deserted, and the French soccer team for 2010 World Cup consisted mostly of players with darker complexion.  However, the most important change that is now taking place is the re-formation of family.  The current legislation of European states speaks volumes of attempts being made to redefine family.  This change is evident in the transformation currently taking place in two European countries, Malta and Hungary, both of which are members of the European Union.

Malta is a country that is very dear to my heart.  It is one of the last strongholds of Catholicism that has survived the vicious assaults of secularism in modern Europe.  It is nearly impossible to go anywhere in the tiny island without being reminded of the Catholic culture that encompasses all aspect of life.  Most importantly, it is the island where St. Paul’s wreckage landed him nearly 1,950 years ago.  The Holy Spirit attests for the generosity and loving nature of the islanders when the Scripture says the Maltese “showed unusual kindness.  They built a fire and welcomed [escapees of the shipwreck]” (Acts 28:2). The generosity and kindness of the islanders have only intensified since they embraced the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ.  To this day, they continue to welcome all sorts of refugees and offer them much help with a most commendable Catholic spirit.  I have personally spoken to people who have experienced these traits of the Maltese people.  Perhaps some of them are reading this post now and can testify to what I am writing here.

Unfortunately, Malta is about to undergo a tempestuous change.  The front where the war is being waged is the building block of civilization, the family.  Up till now, divorce was illegal in the island.  The law only permitted annulment or separation.  In the case of annulment, a marriage is deemed invalid under special circumstances, such as an undisclosed sickness or an uncommitted partner.  Separation is only possible if there is adultery involved.  In the latter case, no one is permitted to marry again.

This law mirrors Catholic doctrine of marriage, where a divorce is not allowed because “what God has joined together, no man can separate” (Mark 10:9).  On May 28, the country will hold a referendum to introduce divorce to the civil law.  The dissolution of marriage in Malta is a definite sign that Malta will join the rest of the western hemisphere in its decadence and corruption, especially in hot issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and sexual promiscuity.  Once marriage is undermined, all sorts of wickedness begin to creep into a society.  No doubt, the unmarried will seek fulfillment of desire elsewhere, such as pornography or illicit sexual partnership.  Naturally, unexpected pregnancies will rise, which means that babies who sleep safely in their mothers’ wombs will have to be extracted, first by tearing their limbs apart, and then vacuuming them out and into the garbage bin.  View Catholic anticipates a tumultuous upheaval to take root in Malta.  This change will definitely stain the fabric of innocence that has clothed the tiny island.  Recent history of Europe and North America clearly demonstrates that once marriage, traditional marriage, goes out the window, every type of wickedness under the sky begins to slither and crawl in. 

Approximately 820 miles northeast of Malta, another European country is seeking to abandon this culture of death and join the ranks of jolly pro-lifers.  On April 18th, Hungary approved of a new legislation that bans both Homosexual Union (gay marriage) and Abortion as well.  This legislation has been the object of malicious criticism, namely from the ranks of homosexual activists and pro-choice groups. Hungary was formerly a member of the Soviet Bloc.  Communism, of course, has no regard for family.  Change of status quo in Hungary is a clear sign to modern day leftist revolutionaries that destruction of traditions is not always a welcomed change or a positive direction where the path of natural progress must inevitably unravel.  

With the Hungarian example, an observant analyst clearly sees that change is not always constructive.  With the Hungarian example, one finds an instance where leftist agendas of undermining the family are abandoned and forsaken because they have been tried and implemented, but to no avail.  Having been through this experience, Hungary can stand up and say it plainly and loudly, “Europe, go back to your roots.  Go back to your Christian roots.” 

Both of these two examples deal with change.  One of them is constructive, while the other is destructive.  One seeks to eat away at the heart of human civilization, the other attempts to rebuild and nourish the building block of human civilization.  Malta and Hungary form a perfect paradigm where the dialectic of transformation between old and new is visibly stated and can be unmistakably read.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tyranny of Individualism

Recently, in the Vatican, there has been much discussion revolving around Religious Freedom.  Also, click here for an article on Pope Benedict's review of that discussion. 

A spectrum that has always boggled policy makers is Individualism and Institutionalism.  On one end of the spectrum, stand individual human rights that offer us valuable personal freedoms apart from any restrictions. On the other end of the spectrum is the establishment that has always sought to civilize human rebellious nature with regulations. 

Nowhere was this binary fought out more ferociously than 18th century Europe, when the age of Enlightenment ignited a stream of revolutions throughout the European nations.  The fallout for these revolutions in the western world is quite visible in the western view of religion and its advocates.  Two notable outcomes emerged from these revolutions.  First, is the attempt to banish religion into the realm of private sphere.  The second important outcome is Moral Relativism

As far as I am aware, there is no religion, no philosophy, and no ideology on the face of this planet that does not seek to spread itself through a means of evangelization of some sort. Perhaps some enterprising member of my newly found readership can help me out here.  Is there an idea that you rejoice in, of which you manage to remain mute?  In fact, don’t people everyday take their views to workplace, schools, and even streets, in an attempt to convert people to their cause, whatever that cause may be?  Why is it that when this cause is Christian in nature, public outcries begin to sound and the secular machine goes up in an uproar to silence this voice?

Under the banner if Individuals’ Rights, the religious lot, namely Christians, are always instructed to be “respectful” of others’ beliefs, or worse yet, to keep their religious views to themselves.  Democracy is being replaced with a form of tyrannical secularism or an oppressive socialism.  Suddenly, it is offensive for institutions to display Christian symbols, even in countries that can never divorce their identity from their Christian roots.  Suddenly, it is infringing on individual’s right to wish someone Merry Christmas or Happy Easter.  This neo-libertarian movement has taken on a socialist façade whose sole agenda is to destroy an innate desire within human beings to worship Him who is greater than all. Any attempt by the ‘faithful remnants’ to retain the Christian values that have governed the western hemisphere, are labeled as divisive, inequitable, and even bigotry.  It is okay to erect a statue in the public arena to honour someone like Thomas Jefferson, but it is not okay to honour a man like Moses, whose law has contributed a great deal to the western judicial system.  It is okay to display a crucifix inside a bucket that is full of urine, and pass it off as a ‘work of art,’ but it is not okay to retain a cross originally put up to honour dead soldiers of World War I.  The attempt to constantly push religion out of the public realm is a reality that Christians must endure everyday.  If public display of religion is permitted, then it is constantly moving towards a growing hostility and antagonism. 

A second notable outcome of 18th century revolutionary Europe is the notion of relativism of truth.  For the 21st century western secular, all religions fall in the same category, fantasyland.  Since religion is a private matter of concern, then every individual’s religious view is as good as the view of another.  Consequently, all religions are set on an equal footing.  Not only that, but also all philosophical views, whether they be religious or irreligious, must be viewed as equally valid.  This is a hard pill for a Christian to swallow.  In fact, I cannot see how an American can defend his country’s involvement in WWII to fend off Hitler.  When subscribing to moral relativism, I cannot understand how a U.S. soldier can explain himself when he goes on a far-off land to defeat terrorism.  Aren’t the terrorists entitled to their views as well?  Was not Hitler entitled to exterminate 6,000,000 Jews?  After all, Hitler and the terrorists who perpetrated 9/11 are entitled to their individual views, and these views are every bit as good as those of any civilized citizen of the United States of America.  Moral Relativists are forced to acknowledge the validity of these absurd claims. 

Originally, it was Christianity that found secularism in Europe. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that it was a Christian from the 2nd century A.D. who coined the term “Religious Freedom.”  Despite the endless efforts spent today to quell down religion, or portray truth as a relative idea, the Church will never cease proclaiming Christ’s words, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the Life.” 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dual Heroism of Blessed John Paul II

Blessed John Paul II, what a blessed topic with which I will introduce my blog and myself. Well, I suppose it is only apt that I should say something about myself before I begin with my first blog topic, Blessed John Paul II. 

I am a big fan of the Pope, the previous and the current. Does that tell you anything? It should.  Otherwise, I would have to do a great deal of explanation, especially while operating under a blog called “View Catholic.” During the last four years, I have engaged in some heavy-duty religious blog hounding, online public forum tailing. Conclusion? Why not start my own blog, and this way I get to reflect, mirror, image, replicate, portray, express, illustrate the Catholic view and the Catholic view only, in its most authentic, original, genuine, accurate, real, indisputable, and unadulterated form.  Have fun!

Back to the pope, Blessed John Paul II. What can I say? 1.5 million gatherers assembled. It was definitely a blessed assembly. It must’ve been too difficult to ignore, even by secular, and often anti-Catholic television stations such as the CNN. John Paul II was indeed a hero for both, Catholics and non-Catholics.

During his reign, Karol Wojtyla constituted a formidable foe to any self-ascribed Catholic who challenged the male-only clergy, or the Real Presence in the Eucharist.  Had the Church caved in on any of these issues, no doubt Catholicism, as we know it, would’ve disintegrated into the modern, non-discriminatory landscape of moral relativism.  The identity of Catholics would never survive this blow.  John Paul managed to steer the Church on the proper course every time She faced a challenge from within.

On a greater scale, John Paul did not fail to demonstrate the supremacy of the Catholic faith in his desire, not only to lead the faithful Catholics, but also call for a communion of mankind where channels of dialogue never cease or end. People of all religions attest for his love and humility.  In essence, this proves that it is possible that one can remain a faithful Catholic witness and yet be at peace with members of other religions.  For the past two centuries in the west, religion has been described as a divisive tool that creates nothing but tension and warring factions.  Although the Blessed pope has maintained clear lines of divisibility between the Catholic faith and other religions, peaceful ties and open dialogue have never ceased during his reign. 

Obviously something supernatural was happening at the Vatican on May 1, 2011 for 1.5 million people, from different religions and ethnicities, to come together and honour a pope.  Obviously someone greater than us puny, little humans was at work.  The only direction, towards which one is forced to look, is above.  Thank you Lord. Thank you for giving us Blessed John Paul II.