Go Patriots!

Today is a great day.

Tomorrow not so much.

Pray for the overturn of Roe v. Wade


How a Christian Confronts Evil

One of the most important elements of Jesus's kingdom ethic was, accordingly, the praxis of forgiveness: "If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; anf if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give him your cloak as well... Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:39-44). As Walter Wink has pointed out, these recommendations have nothing to do with passivity in the face of evil; rather, they embody a provocative but nonviolent manner of confronting evil and conquering it through a practice of coinherent love.
- The Priority of Christ, Robert Barron, pp. 112


Ron Paul is not "the most honest politician"

“I voted for Ron Paul because he is the most honest politician I have ever known,” Ann Buckman, 27, said outside Ward 11's Gossler Elementary School.
Not true, says I! Ron Paul has been caught on numerous occasions manipulating or distoring the record of other candidates. Furthermore, he is guilty of a type of manipulation that can only be called hypocrisy. Ron Paul has the nice benefit of saying he's voted against everything - because he has. However, Ron Paul the politician knows that his no votes often mean nothing, because no one else agrees with him. Ron Paul does not care about the common good, which requires the careful application of prudence in pursuit of the best course of action. Ron Paul effectively abstains from making these types of decisions, opting to point to revolution instead. This can rightly be called selfish. He is a hypocrite, because while voting "no," he nevertheless participates in earmarking bills with benefits for his district. He still cooperates with the beast and takes money when he can get it so he can stay in office. He has it both ways, and this is a sign not of man who acts with no concern but for his principles, but of a careful, calculating politician who wants to get re-elected, just like everyone.


A Good Essay on Discernment


A taste:
But such popular talk of one’s “calling” also betrays a crucial misunderstanding of discernment, a cardinal error that is entirely foreign to the great tradition of the Church...

The confusion is rooted in the oft-overlooked sin of presumption. For when a Christian goes to prayer with the expectation that God will reveal to him a personalized plan for his life, he presumes that God will make him the recipient of a miraculous private revelation. Now, our Christian history has seen numerous instances of his doing exactly that, particularly with some of the Church’s most venerable mystic saints. But God is under no constraints to act in this way, and far be it for me to deem myself worthy to receive so extraordinary a message from Our Lord.


Naive Young Catholic People Who Believe and Practice the Church's Teachings

In the latest issue of Commonweal, the editor Paul Baumann recounts his mother's story of the period of her life when she practiced adherence to the Church's teachings about sexuality. During this time, his mother was pregnant 7 times and had 2 miscarriages. She suffered severe endometriosis and "the deliveries were not always easy". It does sound like his mother had some serious trouble with her pregnancies, and it is clear from the story that an inability to control or regulate pregnancies was a source of great suffering for her mother. This is a serious story that deserves a serious response.

The primary ethical point of his storytelling is that the Church's teaching on the impermissability of contraception is inhumane and immoral. Mr. Baumann believes his mother had no choice but to suffer through the pain and suffering of perpetual pregnancy in the absence of birth control. It is clear he thinks there are no alternatives, and that her life could not have been lived in a different way, if she wanted to remain faithful to the Church. But surely some part of him knows he is ignoring some obvious things.

First, his mother and father could have avoided getting pregnant by practicing abstinence. Abstinence is indeed possible and is guaranteed to prevent pregnancy! His father, if he was cognizant of the health issues his wife was suffering, should have acted in her defense and they could have cooperated to avoid pregnancy when it would cause serious harm. This is likely perceived by many to be yet another "inhumane" suggestion, because our culture views self-denial as something of a vice, especially with regards to sex. And if one rejects abstinence, then the Church would recommend NFP. NFP is, when used properly, effective. It's just difficult, and people don't like that either. But the suffering that comes with NFP is surely better than risking one's life for a pregnancy (a baby).

If these options are not good enough, if we are incapable of joyfully living the teachings of the Church, then I believe that the Church must not teach the truth. If the Church is wrong about human sexuality, and specifically the claim that contraception is immoral, the Church can be wrong about anything morally. And if the Church can be wrong about anything morally, then She really doesn't teach with the authority of Divine, Omniscient, and Perfect God.

Baumann says he tells the story so that young people might hear it(although if that's the case he shouldn't be writing it in Commonweal). He says: "this is an all-too-familiar story for Catholic women of a certain age, and I think it should be better known, especially among younger, more fervent Catholics whose idealism [emphasis mine] - and naivete - is pandered to by the current emphasis on the Theology of the Body." OK, duly noted, Mr. Baumann. I'd rather be naive than believe in a God who isn't perfect.


On the Feast of The Holy Family (A Message from the NEW New Hampshire Bishop!)

NH has a new Bishop, and it seems he has a willingness to preach the Gospel! This is great news for our diocese. This Sunday is the Feast Day of The Holy Family, and the Bishop uses this as an occasion to call for a restoration of our understanding of marriage. The whole article is worth reading, but check this part out:
Plea to Strengthen Marriage and Family

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” I do now add to this prayer: help us to rediscover and strengthen the bonds of marriage and family. Human attempts to replace or redefine marriage do not respond adequately to the present situation of isolation, grief, and confusion. The wisdom of many millennia of human experience is not to cast aside truth, but to uphold it if society is to prosper and find peace.

In this regard, I am encouraged that the New Hampshire General Court will have the opportunity in this coming year to vote to restore the traditional understanding of marriage, and I sincerely hope that the General Court will accomplish this important task. And if such will be the case, then we must, as a people dedicated to the common good, “be there” as our young people say, for married couples and their family bond. May the year 2012 be a year in which we recapture the age-old knowledge of the place of marriage and the family as the foundations of society.