Friday, January 29, 2016

Quote of the Day

“God does not remain silent before the suffering and cries of His children, nor does He remain silent before injustice and persecution: He rather intervenes and gives, by His mercy, rescue and salvation. God uses patience with the sinner to induce him to conversion, and he searches for the lost sheep, for ‘[God] will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth' (1 Tim 2:4).”

--Pope Francis

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Quote of the Day

"For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control."

--2 Timothy 1:7

Thursday, January 21, 2016

T-Minus 365 Days and Counting

Just under one year from today, President Barack Hussein Obama will finally be compelled by law to leave office once and for all. I will freely confess that I can hardly wait for the remainder of his awful presidency to be done and over with. It has been a living nightmare for our country that seems to drag on and on without end. At the First Family's official departure from the White House on January 20, 2017, the curtain will fall on what historians may rightly judge to be the most financially corrupt, economically disastrous, fiscally irresponsible, politically correct, morally hypocritical, ethically bankrupt, and radically secularist administration in American history to date.

Elected in 2008 as a Washington outsider on a platform of hope and change, our first African-American chief executive quickly became part of the corrupt D.C. establishment, revealing his true colors as a radically secularist career politician determined to "fundamentally transform" the United States of America in accord with his socialist philosophy. In March of 2010, callously brushing aside the opposition of two-thirds of the American people, he applied his signature to the appallingly misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, informally known as ObamaCare--a massive piece of pork-barrel legislation for Planned Parenthood and the big pharmaceutical and insurance companies disguised as healthcare reform that has doubled the size of the federal government, repealed the longstanding Hyde Amendment ban on federal taxpayer funding of abortion, raised taxes, hurt our struggling economy, widened the gap between rich and poor, sent our national debt skyrocketing to unheard-of levels, and trampled on our Constitutional rights. Not surprisingly, millions of angry American voters reacted by joining the Tea Party movement, electing a new Republican majority to the House of Representatives and choosing new Republican governors later that year. Undeterred, President Obama continued moving forward with his radical agenda, refusing to substantially alter ObamaCare, explicitly denying our traditional identity as a Christian nation, openly declaring his support for legal recognition of homosexual relationships as "marriages," and using the FBI, the Justice Department, and the IRS to spy on and harass political dissidents.

In January of 2012, as it had illegitimately empowered itself to do through the PPACA, the Obama administration issued its infamous HHS mandate that required anti-life abortifacients and contraceptives to be included as healthcare necessities in virtually all healthcare plans, regardless of moral or religious objections to the distribution of such items. Although I and many other observers felt certain that such an egregious and unprecedented attack on natural law, religious liberty, and the rights of the unborn was political suicide for the administration, we apparently underestimated the depth and breadth of public outrage over this issue, as well as the ability of our government and the mainstream media to effectively communicate their inaccurate spin on the whole matter. Thanks to a combination of the administration's deceitful rhetoric, an insufficiently conservative Republican establishment challenger named Mitt Romney, and widespread voter fraud in more than 250 counties in twenty-seven states across the nation, President Obama unfortunately managed to snag a second term.

Two years later, as the PPACA began to take effect, the stark realities of ObamaCare--higher costs, fewer choices, more taxes, tax penalties, and lack of health insurance for low-income individuals--finally began hitting home for millions of Americans, reinvigorating the Tea Party movement and precipitating another, more dramatic Republican landslide in the 2014 elections. Pledging to repeal ObamaCare and reduce the national debt in line with voter demands, Republicans gained control of the Senate and expanded their strength in the House. Unfortunately, corrupt establishment leadership in both Houses guaranteed continued compliance with the Obama agenda, including further taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare as well as for unconstitutional amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants through executive fiat, all of which continued to inflate our national debt even further. Growing pressure from frustrated Americans finally secured the resignation of John Boehner as House Speaker this past autumn.

If the Bush administration was foolishly misguided when it came to Middle Eastern foreign policy, the Obama administration's shocking policy in this area has for the most part been a study in criminal irresponsibility and utter madness. While President Bush illegally and unwisely invaded Iraq and deposed a secular Arab regime, destabilizing the region and leaving a yawning power vacuum for Islamic fundamentalists to fill, President Obama has helped to fill that vacuum by arming, funding, and training the ISIS terrorist guerrillas who now control large portions of Syria and Iraq in an attempt to bring down the only other secular regime in the region, that of Bashar al-Assad. Thanks to this unbelievably immoral and recklessly dangerous policy, hundreds of churches and several mosques, many of them centuries old, have been destroyed; thousands of Christians have been abducted, cruelly tortured and killed; millions of Muslim and Christian refugees have been forced to flee their homelands; and the world is a more dangerous place. For what he has done, President Obama should be arrested, tried by the International Criminal Court, and sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity.

I do support and approve of the administration's nuclear agreement with Iran, since that country is not the hostile power it is often inaccurately portrayed. Iran has clearly demonstrated by its actions in recent years that it has no intention of developing nuclear weapons. When it comes to the normalization of relations with Cuba, I believe the administration did the right thing for the wrong reason. While President Obama clearly hoped that this rapprochement would allow more Communist influence from Cuba to spill over into the United States, clearly it is having the opposite effect as the winds of freedom are now blowing more abundantly into Cuba, which will help to further undermine the Communist regime there.

Thankfully, some of the worst effects of the Obama administration's immorality, injustice, irresponsibility, arrogance, dishonesty, and corruption have been mitigated through various channels. Due to overwhelming public pressure, the terrible Freedom of Choice Act, which would have demolished all state restrictions on abortion and which President Obama had pledged to sign, never made it to his desk. New gun control and Internet tax legislation have failed to pass Congress. Numerous court challenges to ObamaCare have been successful, resulting in temporary injunctions from the HHS mandate for various religious institutions that have rightly refused to comply with it. And two or three federal court rulings have struck down parts of the PPACA as unconstitutional.

All the same, however, this administration has been nearly a total disaster for our country, and I am now counting the days until we can bid farewell and good riddance to Comrade Obama and his disturbing presidency will finally blast off into the history books. In the meantime, I will continue praying for his conversion and begging God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to send us a good and wise, humble and honest, devoutly Christian president who will repair some of the damage this one has done, who will heal and unite our land, and who will return our country to greatness in the early twenty-first century on the rock-solid foundation of our traditional Judeo-Christian religious and moral principles.

Go Ben Carson!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Quote of the Day

“Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.”

--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929--1968)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Signs of Hope: A Transcendent Perspective

A blessed and happy New Year to all of my readers, Catholic and otherwise! As we leave the Year of Our Lord 2015 behind and embark on A.D. 2016, it's a good time to step back a bit from the daily frenzy and turmoil of national news and world events as brought to us 24/7 by the radically secularist mainstream media machine and put these temporary passing things within a broader historical context, as well as to view them from the transcendent perspective of God and eternity.

While it's undeniably true that we live in an era of great turmoil and confusion, injustice and deception, materialism and hedonism, violence and conflict, destruction and upheaval in which many bad things are happening that seem to portend a dark future for our planet and its inhabitants, we must keep in mind that there are also many good things happening that represent signs of hope for a brighter future--seemingly insignificant things that are often hidden and go unnoticed by the proud and the great, the rich and the powerful of our time, things that are either minimized or entirely overlooked by the worldly mainstream media, just as the birth of Jesus Christ to a humble Jewish girl in a Bethlehem cave-stable more than two thousand years ago escaped the attention of the elite rulers of ancient Rome. In the six thousand years of recorded human history to date, we have been through many dark periods when hope for the future seemed faint, yet with the help of God, our loving Creator and merciful Redeemer, we survived those dark periods and emerged from them into the light of justice and peace, development and achievement.

Indeed, it is very often when things are darkest that the seeds of a brilliant future are quietly being sowed and their growth carefully nurtured, just as the Benedictine monks of the Dark Ages in their scattered monasteries sowed the seeds of learning and culture that triumphantly burst into full flower during the Middle Ages. No matter what dreadful and evil things may happen on this earth due to the sin and wickedness of fallen humanity, Almighty God is still the sovereign Lord of the world and its history, and nothing bad happens unless He allows it to happen as a mysterious part of the unfolding of His plan for the universe. In His masterful divine wisdom, which is far above our limited human thinking and reasoning, He knows how to bring good even out of evil, and His Spirit is constantly working in the hearts of countless men and women of good will to inspire a remarkable diversity of good works and initiatives, all of which contribute harmoniously to the renewal of this planet of ours, the jewel and masterpiece of His planetary creation. If you want proof that this is happening all over the world right now, just step outside the box artificially created by the mainstream media and start looking around carefully for yourself. You'll discover signs of hope everywhere, even in the most unlikely of places.

We also know that, whenever the end of this passing world comes, Jesus Christ our Lord will return to earth as the glorious Just Judge of all humanity to raise the bodies of the dead and pronounce final judgment on all of human history. Those who have died or met Christ in friendship with God will be rewarded with eternal life in the unimaginably magnificent City of God in Heaven, while evildoers who died or met Christ without repenting will be punished with eternal death in the unimaginably horrific dungeon of the damned in Hell. Every single human being who ever lived will ultimately find a permanent and irrevocable home in one of those two places based on the choices freely made in his or her life and the state of his or her soul at the moment of death or the moment of Christ's return. Thus it behooves us to spend our short earthly lives well, preparing as best we can for admission to Heaven in the next life by doing God's Will and striving to grow in union with Him here and now.

It would be well for us to keep these truths in mind as we continue to be bombarded by the deafening clamor of the incessant drumbeat of bad news churned out by the radically secularist mainstream media outlets. It's not a matter of burying our heads in the sand like ostriches and pretending that nothing bad is happening, or of attempting to insulate ourselves completely from the suffering and misery of our innocent brothers and sisters in the human family. Rather, it's a matter of viewing things from the correct perspective, the perspective of the Almighty and Eternal God who holds the universe in His hands and providentially guides the course of world history, the One in whom we can safely place our full trust, our Creator and Redeemer and Sanctifier with whom we are meant to share perfect happiness for all eternity in the world to come.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Epiphany Reflection

Adoration of the Magi, Fra Angelico & Filippo Lippi (15th century)

"Here it is the important point that the Magi, who stand for mysticism and philosophy, are truly conceived as seeking something new and even as finding something unexpected. That tense sense of crisis which still tingles in the Christmas story and even in every Christmas celebration, accentuates the idea of a search and a discovery. The discovery is, in this case, truly a scientific discovery. For the other mystical figures in the miracle play; for the angel and the mother, the shepherds and the soldiers of Herod, there may be aspects both simpler and more supernatural, more elemental or more emotional. But the Wise Men must be seeking wisdom; and for them there must be a light also in the intellect. And this is the light; that the Catholic creed is catholic and that nothing else is Catholic. The philosophy of the Church is universal...It is the realisation of this truth that gives its traditional majesty and mystery to the figures of the Three Kings; the discovery that religion is broader than philosophy and that this is the broadest of religions, contained within this narrow space. The Magicians were gazing at the strange pentacle with the human triangle reversed; and they have never come to the end of their calculations about it. For it is the paradox of that group in the cave, that while our emotions about it are of childish simplicity, our thoughts about it can branch with a never-ending complexity. And we can never reach the end even of our own ideas about the child who was a father and the mother who was a child."

--G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man, 1925 (Ignatius Press, 2008, pp. 178-179)