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.