Saturday, March 27, 2010

Standing Tall to Take the Long View...(Humane Vitae Part II)

(This is the second part in a series of my reaction to the Universal Health Care Takeover, and what we as Catholics can do about it.  Please read my first post on this subject, "Upon Further Reflection", found here.  Also, if you haven't yet done so, please read the Papal Encyclical Humane Vitae, found here.)

Humane Vitae (Human Life) was written by Pope Paul VI in July of 1968.  It was considered by some to be prophetic, others to be salvific, and still others to be more destructive than Martin Luther to the Church.  No single document in the history of the Church prompted more unconditional dissent from its members.  A flurry of protests fueled throughout the world by Catholic Hierarchy made this document's teachings cumbersome to implement, to put it mildly.  What happened in Humane Vitae that caused such a great scandal amongst members of the Church?  Humane Vitae, for all of its controversy, really did nothing more than reiterate the sacredness of the Sacrament of Marriage.  It recalled the intrinsic evils associated with artificial contraception, both in its application within the bonds of marriage, and its effect on society.  Basically, for all of its broadest concerns, Humane Vitae was nothing more than a recap on 2,000 year old teachings of the Church.  The key to understanding Humane Vitae's reception is not so much in grasping what it says, but understanding the culture in which Humane Vitae was delivered.

1968 was a dark and chaotic time.  The Church found Herself in the throws of Post-Vatican II, as many of those time-tested, age-old religious practices were thrown out in pursuit of a "Mass for the people".  The Catholic Church went from being the Church founded by Christ to just one of another tenet of Christianity.  The concept of "seamless garment" was invented and implemented, making matters of life and death just another issue of social justice equivocal to poverty and a lack of education.  Most Catholics put away apologetics in order to "get along" with their Protestant neighbors.  Secularism was on the rampage as the institutions of marriage, family life, and religion were under constant assault.  The world was in tumult, recovering from the battle stained war  of its second world conflict, and recognizing the great evils of then Nazi Germany. A new war had been initiated against Communist North Vietnam.  More importantly, mankind had become aware of the fragility of its nature, both in his lifespan and his subjectivity.  For the first time in the history of the world, one press of the button, could set off an atomic explosion to annihilate the entire population of a country.  This left all of humanity staring into the unblinking gaze of death and destruction.

The United States was not free from this cultural upheaval.  The decade of the 1960's had seen the promise of the first Catholic President of the United States, John F. Kennedy (although he promised his nervous Protestant politicians to toss his Catholic religion to the curb upon his Presidency).  JFK was assassinated in 1963.  In 1968 both Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were killed.    Racial riots ensued, bringing violence and destruction across the great cities of the U.S. in response to Dr. King's death.  The Vietnam War "Tet Offensive" happened this year, delivering a crushing blow to the U.S. led invasion, and creating distrust between American citizens and their Government.  The youth of America found themselves insecure in the shadows of the greatness of the generation before them.  They experimented with everything, including sex and drugs, questioned all authority, and worked to reinvent themselves in the midst of a free society given them by a post-war/Depression generation.  The youth singularly connected with the rock music culture that flourished during this time.  Church leadership scrambled to keep up with the times both in America and Rome.  Much of the authority of the Church was looked on as obsolete and superstitious, by young and old, Religious and laity alike. 

This was the culture that Humane Vitae was to be born, but more important was her labor and delivery.  In 1960, the first oral contraceptive was made available on the market.  Many Catholic theologians thought this might be an acceptable form of birth control for Catholics as it did not physically interfere with the marital act.  In 1963, Pope John Paul XXIII established a commission of six delegates to study this form of birth control, and to weigh in with their point of view on  artificial contraception in Catholic marital relations.  From 1963 to 1966 this commission deliberated, and in the end a majority of them agreed that birth control should be allowed in the vocation of marriage.  In 1967, the findings of this commission were leaked to British and American press, and stories began that the Church would change her "archaic and oppressive" means of not allowing artificial contraception.  It was in 1968, after all of this atmosphere had been established that Pope Paul XI released Humane Vitae, reiterating that artificial contraceptioin was intrinsically evil and therefore it was not to be used in the vocation of marriage.

Humane Vitae turned out to be an explosive, falling on the makeshift facade of "change" the Church was expecting based on rumors, hearsay, and the most blatant falsity.  Two days after the release of this encyclical, many American Catholic Priests began dissent, led by Fr. Charles Curran.  A majority of these Priests had  not even read the encyclical itself, but knew that it spoke out against artificial contraception, thus spoke against what they had been teaching and implementing in their Priestly office for the past year.  Many argued that this was a reformable document, that the Pope had erred, and that this was against "sensum fidelium" (the sense of the faithful).  A clear message was sent to the Vatican, American Catholic couples have started to contracept, this encyclical needs to be changed or recanted, in order to meet the needs of these couples.  (Notice the mantra of the 60's being injected here *think Bob Dylan* "The time's they are a-changin'"!)

Little was done in this time to call these dissenters into obedience, and to reassert the Teaching Authority conferred by Christ on the Pope.  We see this effect in our Church today, where a mere 4% of all Catholics marriages are open to life, as opposed to those who use birth control (including those who abuse NFP).  More than 1 in 2 marriages today end in divorce (this includes Catholic Marriages).  There have been over 40 million abortions since Roe v. Wade.  Homosexual marriages and Priestly vocations have run rampant, and are accepted in our culture as the "societal norm".  Men continue to view women as sexual objects, leaving single mothers alone to face the challenges of parenthood without support or regard for the consequences of their own sexual actions.  Co-habitation is regarded as the standard for relationships.  The destruction and devastation of the Priestly Scandals in the Catholic Church over the last 10 years and more, aside from being hyper-inflated by the serpent media, speaks for itself.

Basically, the utter disregard and contempt harbored by those in authority in the Church led many Catholics astray.  What's worse, we've not been led astray into the green pastures of Psalm 23.  No we as a culture have been led into the pool of death.  We've eaten its fruit and got drunk on its wine, and now the only way of this wicked path is death.  And yet, God has given us this remarkable grace - this turning point in history.  All signs have shown the way, how he's built us a bridge to cross over to ways of goodness and plenty.  We'll examine this blessed encyclical Humane Vitae in the next post, how to live it, and how to use it to evangelize for our Church, for the culture of life, and inevitably for the future of the citizens of 'God's City', and, in the meantime, for the future of our country.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Upon further reflection...(Humanae Vitae Part I)

I've had a few days to think this through, and while still in the midst of the chaos and the confusion from the massive vote on Sunday, I feel compelled to clarify a few points.

What a great and exciting time to be a Catholic!  Look at this point in History.  Our nation, our very democracy is at a cross-roads between life and death.  We fight for our very lives, the lives of our brothers and sisters, our Church, the unborn, the ill and the elderly.  This should send rivets down your spine, thrills of excitement.  Like Joan of Arc, looking helplessly on the field of battle, and yet with the God inspired grace of a determination to help.

I was that fired up in High School.  Having the grace of the Eucharist literally in the heart of our Motherhouse's  dear Chapel, I could feel its effects on the school.  I had discerned a religious vocation, and ardently loved the order that taught me.  I felt the call of a Lover God, and could hardly resist Him.  I was inhibited from joining after High School due to my mother.  "Education first", she said, "and then we'll see."  I vowed to my Lord that I would enter the world for Him, that I would live for Him, and love for Him.  That I would show the world His love through my ways and actions.  I had some high points of grace - converting a young man to the Faith.  Leading my closest friend back to the Sacraments after he had left them for Xen philosophy.  Watching him and praying for him, until he began dating his would be bride, who together would join in a Holy and Catholic marriage. 

But like all things, I lost my way.  I fell from grace and became completely lost.  In coming from that distorted past, it took enormous amounts of grace; and my husband to help me crawl my way back to the Faith.  And its taken until now for me to realize that I was completely wrong in my intent, or more directly I was completely wrong in my direction for this "missionary purpose" I had right after High School.

Yes, the world needs love.  And I love and admire the Missionaries who deliver it, even to the point of their Sainthood (Mother Theresa of Calcutta is a stunning example).  In getting to this point though, I have to realize, and get it through my heart still that the world will not be transformed by our love - whether that love is centered in God or not.  We are completely incapable of transformation, for transformation is a power that rests solely in the Divine.  No, it is the grace of God, and that grace alone is what can change the world.  We have plenty of Brothers ans Sisters out there in Missions throughout the world (mostly Protestant) with the witness of the love of God as their purpose to change the world.  But this is misguided.  Only the Church, the Bride of Christ, the Steward of His Grace, can transform the world.  We can love and laugh and smile and serve all we want.  And this is what Christ wants for us, but not what we are called to do namely.  We are to seek out His Bride, to unite ourselves to her, to rest our heads upon her breast and learn of Her greatness, to live it, to live in the grace of God through Her ways, through Her Sacraments.  For this reason, it will be the Catholic Church that will lead the world to redemption - not for the love of man one to the other, but because of the grace of God - given to the Church to sanctify the world.

We don't just need another lover of God in the world, then, is my point, we need good Catholics.

This is a dark hour in our nation's history.  It might be akin to the time on the British Aisle, as Hitler's plains kept coming, night after night, across the British Chanel to bomb the city of London.  Days were spent making artillery and munitions, nights were spent in make-shift bomb shelters in the subway.  Sleep was not found, and food was scarce.  There was work and then hiding.  These must have been dark days of the war, when the British felt alone and apart from the world.  From a League of Nations 'hesitant' to go to war and help their ally, from a Fascist dictator who had repeatedly lied and invaded surrounding European countries and now controlled everything except Britain.  I think the Conservative movement in this country might feel this way after the Socialist Universal Health Care became the law of the land.  Alone and apart from our countrymen who sit cheering, not knowing their own destruction and the demise of their country.  Separated from the Church who have long been advocating "Universal Health Care" and doing little to promote pro-life measures in the bill (case in point: How many homilies were delivered on the protection of life this past weekend?  The weekend before?).  It is a bleak time for the Patriots of this country.  It is a time of searching, of pondering, of reflection.

Some may ask, what is the final result of this bill going to mean for me and my family?  Afterall, won't we still have health care.  Well, the long and short of it is, yes, you will still have health care.  The difference is, the health care you receive will be paid for by the United States Government.  A government that has long seen you not as a person, but as a figure, a sum, a dollar amount.  So what?  As long as I have my health?  What does it matter who pays for it in the end.

To that end, I must ask first: What are the differences between a healthy man and a sick one?  One simple answer: Independence.

A healthy man is allowed the freedom to live as he wishes.  He can work, rest, move about, as he pleases.  He can carve out his own lot in life, his own work, his own future plans, his own vocation and avocation.  A sick man, on the other hand, is at the mercy of his fellow men to care and provide for him.  He has limited ability to work, he needs more care and attention due to his illness.  He is not able to function as well in society as he would if he has his health.  To Catholics, this sick man is a means for our charity.  To the Government, this man is a waste of money.

Abortion is in this bill.  Everyone realizes it, pro-life as well as pro-death groups.  Obama offered a falsified and empty gesture to Senator Stupak.  And Stupak bought it for 30 pieces of silver.  It won't be there at first - due to Obama's "executive order", but it will be there.  When?  When the funds run out, and our health care needs go "over budget".  Then we will begin to ration.  The voiceless first, those who "don't count" those "blobs of tissue" who "aren't wanted".  The unborn first.  Abortion will become funded as a means of "controlling costs", as even Democrats have argued with Stupak about.  It's clear the slippery slope this will provide.  Then what about the chronically ill?  They have long term health care that is so costly, and they provide little to nothing back to society in the way of taxes.  They will be next.  And then there will be the elderly, again in need of long term care.  Silenced in the name of utilitarianism.  And the biggest problem is that we, the American people, can do absolutely nothing.  We will stand by powerless while some beaurocracy destroys the lives of our mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters, the very lives within our wombs - ALL IN THE NAME OF COST.

I know the retorts have been "Well, that's what you get when you live in a Capitalist society who's only goal is profit!"  WRONG - abysmally wrong!  Correctly, this is what happens when you take the will of the people to live their lives as they please, and place the means to do so healthily in the hands of a single government.  All decisions will come from the Health and Human Services Secretary - Kathleen Sibelius.  She is not an elected official, her office is not one of election, but rather appointment from the President.  Therefore, she is only answerable to the President for her decisions.  No problem, right?  Well...The only person who is more pro-death at this point in American History than Kathleen Sibelius is BARACK OBAMA.  And he will appoint a committe headed up (the infamous "Death Panel" that's been floating around on the net) by Kathleen to "control costs".  Again, no immediate intervention from the people in their own health care choices and decisions.  So much for "choice and competition" right?

It's a dark time, my fellow Americans.  The sun is setting on our democracy.  In the darkening twilgiht I can see the hands of death tightening the choke hold on our liberties, on our very lives, and the future lives of our children, their children, and their children's children.  Death is all around us, our past, our present, and our future, shed by the blood of the innocents we will kill with our own tax money.  It's a bleak time.

What can we do?  We are powerless.  But I believe that God has brought us here to this point for a reason.  There is nothing more we can do to rally the cause of life.  Our voices have been silenced, our democracy is dying.  We have no more rights and freedoms given us by God, no, they must be passed through the Government first - our new American god.  I think this a time of powerlessness to be felt through to our core.  For "when I am weak, then He is strong".  I think God wants us to be able to do nothing, nothing except to be able to turn to prayer.  This radical time in our history, is a time of an even more radical means of grace.  But where can that grace be found - the Church is the answer.  It's time to call forth one of her greatest gems, and hope that it's seeds of wisdom can restore and regrow our nation.  American Catholics, its time to take on the call, once and for all, of Humane Vitae.  To let this teaching of our most Beloved Church take root in our hearts, in our marriages, in our homes, in our Churches, in our societies, in our nation, and in our world.  The world needs transformation, and this can only be brought about by God's grace - the grace that is found in the teachings of Humane Vitae.

More on this in a later post.

Monday, March 22, 2010


And tell him that he's taking with him every member of the Congress that voted for his con artistry health care legislation.  That's right Obama, now you'll have over 500 people in a community to organize.  You'll have to provide them jobs, health care, and housing.  I would say that all of these cronies should stand trial in the highest courts of the land for their crimes against the Constitution, but I fear that Capital Punishment might be put on the table, and I'm not for that.  Although if anyone feels like deporting Obama back to Africa, I'll be happy to fund the boat...A one seat row boat...Have a great trip!  And his little community of corrupt politicians?  They can go too!  Start swimming!!!

And for those who may be reading this blog entry who might describe themselves as a Democrat catholic, I have one word of advice for you: take little Bart Stupak on your knee and try to teach him that the term "pro-life" never meant "protecting and preserving your own at all costs."

For any who are artistic I have a sponsorship for you.  I'd like to see a political cartoon drawn up, with Obama dancing in front of The Statue of Liberty who has her hands tied behind her back.  He's got three daggers, and She's got a dart-board over her heart.  He throws the first dagger labeled "Stimulus" and it misses.  He throws the second dagger labeled "Bailouts" and it misses.  He walks up to this Lady Liberty, and tapes a copy of the health care legislation on the bulls-eye, walks back, aims, and throws.  DIRECT HIT!!

For any business entrepreneurs out there, I've got the perfect idea.  If you take this idea, that's great!  But all products must be manufactured in the US (my only stipulation).  Make a stuffed peach (akin to, but not quite the "Haircut Peach":)  Across his chest stitch "I'm Peach Obama".  Grassroots efforts can sell these peaches for $2 each until we've enough to ship them down to Washington and line the White House lawn with them!  Or we can buy peaches from an American Orchard and label them accordingly "I'm Peach Obama" and start shipping them to the White House attn: Pres. Obama.  I'm sure with her concerns on poverty Michelle won't let them go to waste.  She can fry them up as a fritter and serve them to those poor public school children.

Alright alright, back to the Rosary for me.  But thanks for reading my vent!  But know this my fellow Americans.  This isn't just the promise of death for many of Americans citizens, her sick as well as her bound to be sick.  No this legislation signals the bell of the death toll for our entire country.  And if I sound bitter this morning, I believe I am on that very most point.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sarah Palin?

Well, I just finished reading Going Rogue, and I don't want to pick on this former governor, but she has no business writing books.  She is an amazing orator, but her text is rambling and nonsensical, shifting between past debates in which she was victorious and sunk a lot of ships, or whining like a wet cat when she lost.

The most glaring thing I found about this woman was how much she had changed in 10 months on the campaign trail.  The strong, independent woman capable of leading Alaska to great economic prosperity and political purification had melted away by the time John McCain's campaign "headquarters" was through with her.  It was painful and pathetic to read through her treatment on the campaign, although it did answer a lot of questions.  Why did many doubt her capabilities as a leader on the national front?  Well, point blank, because she never took the stance to show those capabilities on the campaign trail.  I was waiting for Sarah Palin to tell Katie Couric to shove it on the first interview, let alone granting this leech to have the rights to a second interview.  I was waiting for Sarah Palin to tell the Biggies on the trail that she was not going to change to fit a broken mold, and was going to campaign in her way, and in her time.  I was waiting for Sarah Palin to get out there and hit the streets in much the same way she did in Alaska.  To stand up for her then pregnant daughter, and her mentally retarded son.

As a matter of fact, I'm still waiting.  Why did it take Sarah Palin losing the VP chance to finally strike back?  I have my guesses.  I believe that she was the only one who could muster votes for a failing from the gate campaign for McCain.  He was no conservative, he had sat in on corrupt practices under the Bush presidency as a Republican, he was promoting a war in times when people were focused on putting food on the table.  Palin was the answer to his failure. But I believe that the campaign cringed inwardly (and outwardly towards the end) at her conservatism.  But really?  Who were they going to put up against the most radical liberal we've ever seen on the Democrat ticket?  They needed Sarah Palin, they despised her too.  Why did she just sit there and take it?  Any mom who can tell me how much it hurts when her family is attacked, and just sit there and wring her hands, has no business have control of the nation's security.  She couldn't even get media outlets under her heel, why would I trust her diplomacy in Iran?  North Korea?  The Democratically controlled houses?

When all is said and done, I like Sarah Palin.  I could identify with her as a wife and a mother.  But as a politician, her trip to the Lower 48 was a disappointment, when it should have been a shining moment.  And that moment, had she mustered her grit, could have lasted through at least 4 years.  So either Sarah Palin is a fake, which I doubt after reading her memoirs, or she became spineless.  And if she's going to have a go at it again, she needs to either regrow that spine, or she needs to keep it firmly planted in Alaskan soil.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Those Perfectly Ordinary Days

Wow, just wow *wipes away a tear*...Enjoy!