Catholic Values in a Hostile Political Climate

26 Sep

A message that may have come from St Paul but uttered by an anonymous pastor in New Orleans.

I came across this homily which was given to parishioners shortly after the November 2009 elections across America. As readers of this blog will know, I have long been befuddled by the number of Catholics and other Christians that vote for candidates that openly support anti-Christian practices. This anonymous pastor expresses some realities that apply not only to those who vote for these candidates but also for the rest of us who are lukewarm in our faith and lacking in a Christian lifestyle.

Please read this homily over and over until it has an effect. Don’t let the length stop you; there is nothing more important than absorbing this message, for your immoral soul and for America .

The following is a homily given by a New Orleans pastor the Sunday after election day. It is reported that his congregation listened in stony silence and were moved to give him a standing ovation.

I want to begin today by thanking those of you who went out on Tuesday and voted for the sacredness of human life. Just as the widow’s deed in our 1st reading will never be forgotten as long as the Scriptures are read, be assured that no righteous deed that we ever undertake will be forgotten by Almighty God.

This past Wednesday, the day after the election, I received a message on my phone at the parish office, from a gentleman who didn’t identify himself by name but who said he was a parishioner. And in this message, this gentleman ranted for several minutes about Tuesday’s election results. And here were the first words out of his mouth, “You lost Father; you lost!” Well, the first thing I want to say about Tuesday night’s election results is that I didn’t lose. On Tuesday night our entire country lost!

Now, having said that, I know that there are several of you who have just decided to tune me out, or you’re now burning up with anger at me because of what I just said and you can’t wait to give me a piece of your mind. But let me say two things in this regard. Number one, I am a priest of Jesus Christ, not because of any merit of my own, not because I’m any better than anyone else. God probably chose me because I am nothing and He wants to make something out of me. But I have been anointed and consecrated by God to preach His truth. And so, you can tune me out, but be warned, you do so at your eternal peril.

Second, if you’re angry because you read into my words that this homily is going to be about one elected official that you probably voted for, you’re wrong. What I have to say today goes far beyond just one elected official. What I have to say is about the overall trend that was put on display in Tuesday’s election results.

Did you know, for instance, that on Tuesday several states voted by popular majority to legalize the recreational use of marijuana? Did you know that a plan to legalize physician assisted suicide was barely rejected in Massachusetts? Did you now that for the first time in our country’s history several states, by popular vote, chose to legalize gay marriage? Did you know that two of these states are run by “Catholic” governors who actively encouraged their constituents to vote in favor of same sex unions? Did you know that in Florida, a ban on tax payers funding of abortion was rejected by the people? Add to all of this the fact that some who were elected in Tuesday’s elections are pathological liars, people who have been exposed in their lies numerous times. Apparently, a majority of Americans now condone lying, or perhaps worse, for them the lie has become the truth, evil has become good. Now can you begin to see the trend?

In the days after the elections all the talking heads in the media have been trying to explain how this all happened. But not one person in the mainstream media has gotten it right. You see, these election results are not about one party’s marketing advantage over another. Ultimately, they’re not about the appeal of one person over another, nor are they about one party being more up-to-date while the other is behind times. What we saw on Tuesday night IS about the moral decline of our nation.

Tuesday’s voting results are a mere confirmation of a choice that a majority in this country made, some as far back as 50 years ago, to reject God and to embrace evil in one form or another! And who’s to blame for this choice? Well, ultimately, each individual is responsible for his or her choices. Those who chose to vote with evil are to blame for their own choices, and they’ll have to answer to God for the way they voted. But the reality is I don’t think any of us can take ourselves completely off the hook on this one. Why? Because one of the worst contributing factors to the moral decline of our country has been the lukewarmness that has plagued the Catholic Church for years all the way from the Bishops down to the people in the pews. Pope St. Pius X once said that “All evil in the world is due to lukewarm Catholics.” Think about that for a second, “All evil in the world is due to lukewarm Catholics.”

Well, I have to be honest with you. I’ve seen this lukewarmness in every church parish at which I’ve served. But you know where else I see this lukewarmness? I see it when I look in the mirror; I see it in myself. And if we’re honest with ourselves I think all of us would see one or more area of lukewarmness in our own spiritual lives.

My brothers and sisters, each one of us has a moral obligation to do all that we can to try to reverse the moral decline of our nation. And the first place that we have to begin is within ourselves. We have to begin by responding to that vocation which is common to all of us, what the Church calls the universal call to holiness, the call from Jesus to each one of us to become a saint!

In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul says, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” How many of us, each day, tremble as we strive for holiness?! How many of us live with a lively fear of hell, a place that is real and a place where souls go for all eternity?! Or have we instead accepted mediocrity in our spiritual lives? “Oh, I’m too busy to pray Lord; I just don’t have the time… I’m too tired to pray; I’ll get to it tomorrow… Oh, I don’t like that teaching of the Church, I am not going to do that, who do they think they are coming up with this stuff… Well, I think I’ve done enough for God; what more do I have to do for Him…”

In one of His parables Jesus poses an important question that we would all do well to ask ourselves. “Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion?” Well, what cost is Jesus talking about? He’s not giving construction advice to builders and contractors. The context of that Gospel is the cost of discipleship, what it costs to be a saint, ultimately what it costs us get to Heaven. But all too often we act as if that cost is cheap! “Well, I go to Mass on most Sundays. I’m a good person; I haven’t murdered anybody. Of course I’m going to Heaven!”
Jesus dealt with this kind of cheap discipleship in the Gospels when He said, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” On the day of judgment many will say to Jesus, “Well, didn’t we go to Mass fairly often on Sundays and didn’t we put some money in the collection basket? Didn’t we accept at least some of the Church’s teachings? Besides, as I said before, I’m a good person; I didn’t murder anybody.” Then Jesus will declare to them, “I never knew you; go away from me you evildoers!”

My brothers and sisters, in ordinary times lukewarmness in our approach to salvation is deadly. But we are not entering into ordinary times. We are not moving forward into ordinary times. There is a great battle brewing; in fact this battle is already upon us, a battle in our country between good and evil and I can feel this battle in the very marrow in my bones. If we are not striving for holiness with every fiber of our being we will not have what it takes to pay the cost of discipleship, we will not have what it takes to get to Heaven! As Jesus says near the end of Matthew’s Gospel, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no one would be saved…no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”

It’s clear from the trends that we see in Tuesday’s election results that people of faith in this country are going to be attacked relentlessly over and over again by one wave of evil after another. And so we must be sure that we have included these attacks in our calculations. A lukewarm faith will never survive the attacks of an army of evil that is Legion. We must become saints! And do not wait for tomorrow to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for tomorrow may be too late. Today let us resolve to root out all sin from our lives! Today let us resolves to remove all evil from our hearts! Today let us double our efforts at prayers! Today let us pray that Mary, the Mother of God, our Mother, will once again crush the head of Satan, and intercede for us the grace of perseverance!

Today, let us resolve to take up our cross and be a disciple of Jesus Christ! Christ, who in the words of the Servant of God Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, “will restore within us moral indignation, Who will make us hate evil with a passionate intensity, and love goodness to a point where we can drink death like water!”

The final message that I received from that gentleman’s call on Wednesday was that I need to stop preaching the way I do. I need to stop telling people how they ought to live their lives, what teachings of the Church they need to follow. “If he wants to support gay marriage I just need to shut up and give him a choice.” Well, sir in answer to your request I give you a choice: You can either come here to this Catholic Church and listen to the Word of God and to the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church or you can leave and go somewhere else!

Father received a standing ovation from his congregation.

06 Aug

How did morality get politicized?

In Todd Akins new book “Firing Back” he speaks of how those who modify cultures by subverting the meaning of words. He tells of being in a church in 1985 where a speaker by the name of Tomas Schuman was explaining how the Soviet’s subverted their culture;

They sold these bad ideas by a technique that Schuman called “word pollution,” an Orwellian devaluation of a moral tradition by redefining it. For instance, you may think you are pro-life, but to the opposition you are “anti-choice.” If you favor traditional marriage, you are said to be a “homophobe” who opposes “marriage equality.” If you recognize that men and women are different, you are a “sexist” who denies a woman her “reproductive rights.”

Akin, Todd (2014-07-15). Firing Back (Kindle Locations 374-377). WND Books. Kindle Edition. .

This is exactly how this same ideology is subverting our culture today. This process is well down the road to taking America down the same dead end road that Russia and the Soviet Union followed. Most Americans were lulled to sleep by the fact that the U.S. had defeated the Soviet Union in the cold war and the economic war; however, most of us have failed to realize that those who promote this sick ideology have far from given up. The enemy is far more devious than we have realized and they are now winning the culture war in America.

They have successfully in the minds of many Americans, changed moral issues such as abortion and homosexual acts into political issues. This has advanced throughout Europe and Canada and is now gaining speed here in America. In the news today we hear that these forces have reached an agreement with our own IRS to begin monitoring speech from the pulpit. Now when a priest or preacher speaks of the evil and immorality of these issues they are no longer preaching the gospel according Jesus Christ, they are now engaging in political speech. This has advanced so far in some areas that those who are following the command of Christ to take His word to all people in all nations are being charged with hate crimes. Diabolical and as evil as evil gets, but it is working. We all need to be aware of how this is working and begin to use you voice to stop it. It must be done now while we still have a voice. There are groups and individuals; both those who are the perpetrators and those who are following blindly who want to take your ability to speak out away.

Unfortunately, I believe that there are some of us alive today in America who will face the same challenges that the martyrs of the Church in earlier days faced.

03 Aug

This should be a teaching (learning) moment

For all the liberals who do not understand; there is such a thing as a just war. The attack on Israel should be a very clear example of this. There are groups and individuals who believe they have a right to exterminate their enemies and will not settle for anything less. You do have a right to defend yourself. Israel is in the untenable position of having to politically walk on eggs to maintain its necessary relationship with the United States and its currently unfriendly administration because of mis-guided world perceptions and its need to defend its people. How long would the U.S. or any nation allow an enemy to rain missiles on their country without attempts to stop it? This is a classic example of a just war; yet liberals all over the world (except in Israel) are demanding that Israel show restraint. Hamas places its rocket launchers in schools and residential neighborhoods in Gaza so that when Israel takes the very necessary steps to eliminate those rocket launchers it will necessarily cause the injuries and deaths of innocent civilians as planned by Hamas so they can then plead to the world how Israel is killing innocent women and children. How ruthless and diabolical can you get? And unbelievably much of the world falls for it.

Liberals seem to live in this theoretical fantasy land where everything is or should be perfect. Perfect does not exist in this world; evil and its perpetrator the devil is alive and well in this world and he seems to have many people on his side. We all know the end result of this war on earth; it has already been won by Christ for us. Why would we ever want to join the losing side?

Although, in the end, it makes no difference because we know evil will be defeated; let us all be on the side of right. The political world is so intent on their own wants and desires that they are willing to let the innocent suffer for their own gain. Our own U.S. diplomats seek a cease fire so they can look like heroes to the world; never mind that the cease fire is only temporary and will encourage further aggression from the perpetrators of evil. When one side in a conflict openly states its goal is the total annihilation of the other side and will negotiate nothing less; the other side has two options; to either accept their annihilation or attempt to stop them. Which would any government of the people do? Endless cease fires will do nothing to stop the conflict. Some liberals are so nuts that they even have proposed that Hamas should be given “Iron Dome” missile defense to make the conflict “more fair”. HUH?

15 Jul

Todd Akin and the cowards that threw him under the bus

It is no wonder that we Christian conservatives cannot adequately defend our position on abortion. Admittedly, Todd Akin made a clumsy attempt at defending the pro-life position when he espoused a medical opinion about the odds of women becoming pregnant as a result of rape, however, this does not excuse so called conservative republicans throwing him under the bus for their own political futures. Where Todd made is mistake was in allowing himself to be drawn into this particular issue. Liberals have long used the “rape” card to justify abortion and this gave them another golden opportunity to play on the sympathies of everyone for rape victims. Those who live according to Christian moral principles and try their best to demonstrate through their actions and speech these principles, realize the devastating effect rape has on its victims. We also, unlike our pro-abortion opposition realize the devastating effect abortion has on its victims; the woman having the abortion, the baby, and all of the families involved. The way the pro-abortion advocates use rape victims as a means of justifying abortion is totally unjustifiable and this is where Todd Akin was coming from. The number of abortions that would be required to kill the babies that resulted from a rape would be infinitesimal compared to the million plus abortions in the United States every year. Add to this situation the fact that the rape victim is victimized again by society pushing, cajoling, encouraging, her to undergo another totally unnatural act by having an abortion. This does not even consider the fact that the totally innocent baby has to pay the ultimate price of his or her life. A truly compassionate and caring society would offer care, concern, help with psychiatric and physical medical care plus adoption services if the victim chose that path. Millions of childless couples would welcome the new life and the victim’s long term health and well-being would be preserved. There are plenty of good people walking around today who are very happy that their mothers who were rape victims chose life. I doubt if any of them would be throwing Todd Akin under the bus. The down side? Planned Parenthood and its bloody business would go out of business. No, Planned Parenthood does not provide healthcare. At best they provide referrals to others who are legitimate health care providers. Regardless of what the pro-abortion crowd claim; Planned Parenthood is in the abortion business period. In another time they would have been labeled what they are “perpetrators of genocide”. Statistically, African Americans and other minorities suffer abortion at a much larger rate than the general population (Minority women constitute only about 13% of the female population ages 15 to 44 in the United States, but they undergo approximately 36% of the abortions). And in fact the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger an admitted Eugenicist is credited with many extraordinary quotes on her objective to kill babies whom in her opinion because of race or economic conditions are unworthy of life.

The liberal pro-abortion lobby has one objective and one objective only to keep our society open to adultery without guilt so the people who make large sums of money off of this dirty business can keep their industry going and growing.

It is unfortunate that people like Todd Akin who truly believe in the value of human life are cut down by those who give it lip service, but when the rubber meets the road and it may hurt their political ambitions, they cut and run, and destroy the one with the high moral ground. I can fully understand those who support abortion dumping on Todd Akin, however, the Karl Roves, Mitt Romneys, and numerous other so called pro-life people who threw him under the bus rather than risk their political futures have much to answer for. Why is it that liberal democrats find it so easy to defend the immoral actions of a Bill Clinton but conservative Christians cannot find the courage to defend the moral actions of a Todd Akin? It is a sad commentary on our Christian nation; this was not the case prior to the 1960’s.

I have great respect for Mike Huckabee who at great personal risk to his political career wrote the forward for Todd Akin’s new book “Firing Back”, he is one of the very few who has the courage to confront those who would sacrifice Todd Akin’s career for their own. On the other side is Katie Pavlich’s new book “Assault and Flattery”. Although Katie’s book goes a long way in exposing the hypocrisy of the pro-abortion crowd, she also throws Todd Akin under the bus with her comments about his stupid comments regarding rape. This can only be caused by her lack of understanding of the true pro-life position and where Todd was coming from. In spite of her understanding of the liberal agenda she has also obviously fallen prey to their (and the establishment republicans because he threatens their positions of power) propaganda in regard to the attacks on Todd Akin.

The Catholic Church has given us the answer to our problems and have taught this solution for centuries; however, to accept this solution we would have to admit that adultery is still a sin and would have to give it up. Apparently our culture and even many who espouse they are pro-life are not ready to do this. Saint John Paul the great’s Theology of the Body is a detailed description of God’s plan for human life and sexuality, Has the liberal left provided any type of explanation for their opposing view and why humanity should follow their plan rather than God’s plan? If any liberal would dare to attempt such an undertaking, that document would have to sound like the most selfish plan ever devised.

26 Jun

The establishment power base in Washington is destroying America

I recently wrote about the need to change our haphazard way of voting in America. Stop listening to the big money campaign ads and educate ourselves about the candidates then vote wisely instead be being led by the media. We lifelong conservative republicans and democrats; even though a majority in America are being shut out of the political process by the powerful strategist of both parties.

Yesterday’s primary elections around the country should be a wakeup call to constitutional conservatives of both parties. Once again big money and the political insiders won huge victories against those of us who want a less intrusive big spending government that serves the powerful and continues to keep the poor and middle class citizens under their thumbs.

The personal ambitions of long time politicians who have driven this country into the sorry state it is in cling to power via political strategist that plan and find methods of winning elections by any means necessary. Honor, justice, and morality be damned; they will stoop to any dirty trick, lie, or means to slander any opponent; apparently now even members of their own party if they threaten their grip on power. This is what happens when we forget that we are not immortal and there is a higher power to which we will have to answer when that inevitable day comes.

One glaring example that came out of yesterday’s elections was the race for a republican candidate for the Senate from Mississippi. Long time Senator Thad Cochran has apparently won the primary over Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel by some of the slimiest tactics ever used against a fellow party member. The republican establishment is so afraid of the conservative movement within their own party that they have joined forces with the democratic party to defeat members of their own party. The republican establishment in Washington ran ads in Mississippi that sounded very much like liberal democrat ads supporting pork barrel spending, food stamps, and government give away programs to get democrats to vote in the republican primary against a Tea Party favorite.

We constitutional conservatives find ourselves without a party and (at least for the time) unable to form a third party. Well, so be it; but we will continue to fight. I urge all likeminded constitutional conservatives to STOP funding the republican party until this outrage ceases. Donate only to tea party groups until the republican establishment gets on board.

19 Jun

My Theory

I have written before about my theory about why as humans we follow false narratives such as global warming. It appears to me that those involved with seeking answers to issues of all kinds tend to develop theories as to why things happen and project future unknown events based upon their theories. They become so focused on proving their hypothesis that they put on blinders and cannot or will not see truths which tend to disprove their theories. This happens not only in the scientific community but also in politics and virtually every field of endeavor. In the case of global warming I believe science originally developed theories in the early part of the 20th century see recently resurrected article from 1922 about global warming and developed the theory that it was caused by human pollution. Politicians then saw a great opportunity to use this theory as fact to assist them in gaining power by imposing governmental restrictions on all kind of previously free enterprise activities. This was brilliant on their part; it had just enough truth to it that it was initially an easy sell. Most scientist cling to this theory because they do not have better answers and they do not like to be wrong. Politicians cling to this theory because it is a wonderful excuse to passing laws that give them more power. Today, both groups cling to this theory in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

I bring this up again because I believe this same phenomenon is responsible for the current situation in the Middle East and in America. Everyone including supportive Democrats (even though many will not yet admit it) are at a loss as to how the Obama administration can continue to apparently make one bad decision after another in foreign and domestic policy. I believe that Obama came into office with a deep conviction that America was the cause of much of the world problems. He felt that our overwhelming super power status was the reason that many of our allies and enemies disliked or even hated us. He mistakenly thought that if we would power down and make nice with the rest of the world, everyone would love us and the wars and discontent would magically end. Thus his famous statement after his first election in 2008 “We are days away from fundamentally transforming America”. This is the one promise that Obama has kept, however, I don’t believe that even he understood the transformation that would take place. Two examples of which there are probably many; were objectives for closure of Guantanamo Bay detention camp and the pull out of troops from Iraq. Obama felt that these were two of the most damning issues for America and therefore was determined to achieve these (among other) goals. His determination to achieve these two goals in retrospect are obvious; in spite of the backlash, recommendations by military experts, and overwhelming evidence that these two goal were causing more harm than good, Obama was far too far down the road, far too narcissistic, and committed to these goal to admit he was wrong. Eventually, whether Obama ever admits his mistake or not, we the American people will pay the price for electing him in the first place and then doing it again. There were plenty of warning voices, unfortunately, the dedication to political parties interfered with our good judgment and our elected leaders failed us again by protecting their candidate at the expense of America.

18 Jun

An Open Letter to the American Electorate

Our country is in serious trouble. I worry about what kind of world and country we are leaving to our children and grandchildren. I have watched us over the past 50 years move steadily away from God and our founding principles. We have become a nation too comfortable with the sleaze we see every day on television; in the commercials as well as the programming. We sit and allow our young impressionable children and grandchildren to be exposed to this trash and then wonder why our country is in the sorry state it is in; where even our right to freedom of religion is under attack because it is perceived as a hindrance to our freedom to do as we please. Worse, we have elected leaders who tend to cater to our selfish desires. We have mistakenly come to believe that freedom means we have the freedom to do as we choose rather than the true meaning of freedom which is the freedom to do as we should. This has led us to a point where we elect Presidents and representatives who openly promote ideologies and actions that we know are immoral. We are willing to elect leaders who demonstrate a lack of moral character because they are good public speakers and make promises they cannot or will not keep; they are able to raise huge sums of money to run campaigns and commercials to get reelected and to elect their political allies who follow the same ideology.

Because of the system of government that we have been given by our founding fathers who believed in and followed the principles of our Judeo Christian heritage; we have another opportunity in the upcoming midterm elections and on November 8th, 2016 to elect representatives and a President who will lead our beloved America out of the despair into which it has fallen. Now is the time to begin that process. Let us no longer elect leaders who demonstrate personal ambition and claim to behave in a moral manner but do the opposite. Let us not listen to what they say but watch what they do. Let us ignore all of the TV, radio, and bill board ads and do our own research on the candidates. Let us elect leaders who demonstrate the kind of character we know to be what our country needs, rather than what they promise to give us. Let us reject leaders who openly promote or demonstrate what we know to be immoral actions regardless of our personal opinions on those issues. Let us reject candidates that show a greater loyalty to their political party affiliations than to their constituents. Let us start moving our country back to the principles that made America the most successful, generous, God fearing country we became and reject the ideologies that have been proven to be dead ends by others who have already made those mistakes. Why would we want to emulate the ideologies and policies of the former USSR and Eastern bloc countries?

It is time to throw out our political party allegiances and vote for individuals who exemplify the characteristics we know to be right for America. Both parties have incumbents that have become part of the problem by continuing to promote the status quo. We can no longer afford to live with the status quo; we need major change in our government. Law makers spin their wheel churning out laws after laws that are either enforced with zeal or not enforced at all dependent upon the ideology and mood of the current President. We MUST begin to replace these leaders with new leaders that have the moral conscience to actually obey the oath they have taken to up hold the constitution of the United States. When you see or hear a politician from either party criticize and undermine a new comer to the political process because he or she espouses constitutional principles and does not understand the way the system works; you will know you have found a politician that needs to be removed from the political process.

Polls state that America is 77% Christian. If all Christians vote with a Christian conscience, we can turn our country around and make it one nation under God once again. Let us begin God’s work and start to clean up our corrupt government by learning all we can about every candidate in the upcoming elections and then vote wisely for the future of America.

12 Jun

Hope for the future?

Has the recent election results in Virginia signaled the possibility that the American electorate is waking up to the fact that they still have the power if only they will educate themselves and use it wisely

We the people have surrendered our control of government by allowing ourselves to be indoctrinated (brain washed) by the continual campaign ads we are subjected to during each election cycle. It has become fact that the candidate who spends the most money on TV, Radio, and Bill Board ads wins. This has led to those with the money dictating who wins elections. Those who contribute the most money to winning candidates receive more (favors) from their political representatives. This is NOT how our government was instituted by the founding fathers. It is supposed to be government by the people, for the people; not government for those who have special interests and money to buy government officials. This in a nut shell is how we have arrived at the sorry state of our government today.

It is said you have to hit bottom before you can begin to rise again. Have we reached that point yet? The Virginia election between one of the established officials who have embraced this “money rules” government; Eric Cantor and one of the new Constitutional Conservatives who are fighting back; Dave Brat, indicates that possibly that point has been reached; at least in Virginia. In spite of the fact that Mr. Brat was out spent more than 5 to 1 he prevailed in the election because voters there have grown tired of the government at usual and have stood up against the massive spending to name Mr. Brat as their choice over long time representative Cantor from Virginia and a powerful voice as the majority leader in the House of Representatives. As Mr. Brat stated after his victory, “Money does not vote, people do.” If we can all learn this lesson, maybe, there is still hope for our country.

25 Sep

The fallacy of silence.

My recent discussions have been about the argument of not provoking people by speaking out versus speaking out about Catholic teaching and the errors followed by Catholics and others. I found this sermon by St. Augustine to reinforce my position on this subject.

St Augustine’s sermon On Pastors

Do what they say, not what they do

Well then, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord!” What must you shepherds hear? Thus says the Lord God: behold, I am above the shepherds and I will call them to account for the sheep in their hands.

Listen, sheep of God, listen and learn: God will call the bad shepherds to account for his sheep and for their deaths. As he says elsewhere in Ezekiel: Son of man, I have appointed you as sentry to the House of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, warn them in my name. If I say to a wicked man, “Wicked wretch, you are to die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked man to renounce his ways, then he shall die for his sin but I will hold you responsible for his death. If, however, you do warn a wicked man to renounce his ways and repent, and he does not repent, then he shall die for his sin but you yourself will have saved your life.

You see, brethren? Do you see how dangerous it is to keep quiet? If you remain silent, you die; and rightly. You die for your impiety and sin – it is your negligence that kills you. He who has said, As I live, says the Lord might have found a living shepherd – but since the shepherd was negligent, not warning those he had been given authority over, those whose sentry he was, he will die justly and the sentry will be justly condemned. But if – the Lord continues – you say “you are to die” with one I have threatened with the sword, and he does not avoid the sword and it comes and kills him, he will die in his sin but you will have set your soul free. That is why we must not keep silent – and you, even if we did keep silent, must listen to the words of the true Shepherd in holy Scripture.

Since I raised the question, let us see if he takes the sheep from the dead shepherds and gives them to good ones. I certainly see him taking the sheep from the bad shepherds: I am above the shepherds, and I shall take my flock back from them and I shall not allow them to feed my flock. In this way the shepherds will stop feeding themselves. For when I say to them, “Feed my sheep,” they feed themselves and not my sheep. I shall not allow them to feed my flock.

How does he stop them from looking after his sheep? Do whatever they say, but do not do what they do. It is as if he were saying, “Their words are my words but their actions are their own.” When you avoid what the bad shepherds do, they are not in charge of you any more: when you follow what they say, it is my words you are following and it is I who am tending you.

23 Sep

Opinions on this Blog?

I would appreciate comments on this blog. I try to live up to the blogs title; however, sometimes I may get off track. Dissenting opinions are welcomed. I have recently received a few comments off line but very few in the feedback section.

On occasion, I get a comment suggesting that I should tread lightly on certain subjects like homosexuality and should be more like Jesus. While I welcome the comment, I wonder what some people think Jesus was like while on earth. Somehow many believe He was kind of a pacifist and just an overall nice guy that always got along with everyone. That’s not the Jesus that I know. The Jesus I know was crucified because people did not like what he said. He was always saying things the people of that time did not like.

I do get concerned sometimes that I may not always be 100% in line with Church (Christ’s) teachings, but I am not concerned about criticism of speaking out against obviously immoral actions regardless of who is responsible for them. I like most of us sometimes have trouble separating the sin from the sinner, so I will focus in the future on insuring that I do not personally attack the individual but only their actions.

There has been much discussion lately in the secular and religious press about perceived conflicts between Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI. This again is a reflection on the need to keep the sin and sinner separate in our thoughts and discussions. The sin will always be a sin but as long as the sinner is alive there is hope that they will reform and abandon the sin. I believe that there was and is no conflict between what the two Popes have said. I believe that Pope Francis is correct in not judging the sinner. He is leaving that to God (as does Pope Benedict). That does not mean he does not judge the sin. Pope Benedict was speaking of the sin in his comments about homosexual lifestyles and Pope Francis also believes this.

See the following post about recent comments by Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. I believe like Cardinal Burke that part of the reason we Catholics are being subjected to the unfair bias from our culture today is that we have been too silent in our words and our deeds. The secular culture does not understand Christ’s teaching because we Catholics do not practice it correctly and openly.

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