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Showing posts from June, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom Reflection Day 10

To view the PDF click here.

Finally, government is to see to it that the
equality of citizens before the law, which is itself an
element of the common welfare, is never violated for
religious reasons whether openly or covertly. Nor is
there to be discrimination among citizens.

It follows that a wrong is done when government
imposes upon its people, by force or fear or other
means, the profession or repudiation of any religion,
or when it hinders men from joining or leaving a
religious body. All the more is it a violation of the will
of God and of the sacred rights of the person and the
family of nations, when force is brought to bear in any
way in order to destroy or repress religion, either in
the whole of mankind or in a particular country or in a
specific community.

Declaration on Religious Liberty
(Dignitatis Humanae), no. 6
December 7, 1965

Reflection for Day Ten

Because all human beings possess equal dignity, value,
and worth, the government is to ensure that this
equality is maintained both for…

Fortnight for Freedom Reflection Day 9

To view PDF click here.

The protection and promotion of the inviolable
rights of man ranks among the essential duties
of government. Therefore, government is to assume the
safeguard of the religious freedom of all its citizens, in
an effective manner, by just laws and by other appropriate
means. Government is also to help create conditions
favorable to the fostering of religious life, in order
that the people may be truly enabled to exercise their
religious rights and to fulfill their religious duties, and
also in order that society itself may profit by the moral
qualities of justice and peace which have their origin
in men’s faithfulness to God and to His holy will.

Declaration on Religious Liberty
(Dignitatis Humanae), no. 6
December 7, 1965

Reflection for Day Nine
Once again, the Council Fathers turn to what they
consider a very important issue. It is not simply that
governments should not deny or impede the religious
freedom of their citizens, it is also of the utmost
importance that they positivel…

Fortnight for Religious Freedom Reflection Day 8

To view PDF click here.

Since the family is a society in its own original
right, it has the right freely to live its own domestic
religious life under the guidance of parents. Parents,
moreover, have the right to determine, in accordance
with their own religious beliefs, the kind of religious
education that their children are to receive.

Government, in consequence, must acknowledge
the right of parents to make a genuinely free choice of
schools and of other means of education. The use of
this freedom of choice is not to be made a reason for
imposing unjust burdens on parents, whether directly
or indirectly. Besides, the rights of parents are violated
if their children are forced to attend lessons or instructions
which are not in agreement with their religious
beliefs. The same is true if a single system of education,
from which all religious formation is excluded, is
imposed upon all.

Declaration on Religious Liberty
(Dignitatis Humanae), no. 5
December 7, 1965

Reflection for Day Eight
The Council Fath…

5-4

Today in a an unprecedented move the Supreme Court  by the slimmest possible margin (5-4) decided to erode our civil liberties. 

When I was tempted to despair this bible passage came to mind, "In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

Still I am deeply saddened for the fate of our great country.

On a much brighter note.  "Archbishop Fulton Sheen Declared "Venerable."

Fortnight for Freedom Reflection Day 7

To view PDF click here.

Religious bodies also have the right not
to be hindered in their public teaching and witness
to their faith, whether by the spoken or by the written
word. However, in spreading religious faith and in
introducing religious practices, everyone ought at all
times to refrain from any manner of action which might
seem to carry a hint of coercion or of a kind of persuasion
that would be dishonorable or unworthy, especially
when dealing with poor or uneducated people.
Such a manner of action would have to be considered
an abuse of one’s own right and a violation of the
rights of others.

In addition, it comes within the meaning of religious
freedom that religious bodies should not be
prohibited from freely undertaking to show the special
value of their doctrine in what concerns the organization
of society and the inspiration of the whole of
human activity. Finally, the social nature of man and
the very nature of religion afford the foundation of the
right of men freely to hold meetings …

The Church Lady with the Smokers Voice

Today at mass the Lord decided to teach me a powerful lesson.

As my wife and I were sitting at mass, a woman walked in late and sat directly behind us.  I don't know what it was, but everything she did seemed to get under my skin.  I was annoyed by her raspy, smoker's voice, her Queens NY accent,  her distinct, floral (I hate floral perfumes.) perfume, her incessant coughing, (while not covering her mouth), and the impulsive way she responded to the mass parts 3 seconds before everyone else.  In my judgmental mind I began imagining what type of woman she was:  I imagined her as that rude driver who constantly cut off people, as that person who wouldn't respect a person's boundaries, as a person who no one could live with. All of this was based on a raspy voice, a New York accent, and a cough!

When I settled down and began to focus on the mass I realized what was really going on.(Let me rewind first.)  Last night my wife and I heard a teaching which spoke about how peac…

My Uncle and The Red, White, And Blue Bike

In light of yesterday's Supreme Court decision regarding the Arizona Immigration Law I would like to share with you a personal story, about my uncle which speaks to the core about the immigration issue.

I came from a family of 5. My parents were both immigrants. My mother was a legalized immigrant from Slovakia while my dad was from Italy. I was the oldest and I had two younger brothers. I remember as children we loved to ride bikes. (which kid didn't.) We especially loved riding our bikes in the lazy afternoons of summer.  We knew that we would be discovering new streets, new parks, new territories on our bikes.  Bikes represented freedom to us, a tiny slice of the adulthood pie.  Bikes were to us what cars were to adults.  So when our bikes were destroyed that one fateful day our idyllic summer ended before it had even begun.

Accidentally one evening my father, returning from work crashed into our 3 bikes in the garage, destroying all of them.  All that remained were the man…

Fortnight for Freedom Reflection Day 6

To view PDF click here.

The freedom or immunity from coercion in
matters religious which is the endowment of persons
as individuals is also to be recognized as their right
when they act in community. Religious bodies are a
requirement of the social nature both of man and of
religion itself.

Provided the just requirements of public order are
observed, religious bodies rightfully claim freedom in
order that they may govern themselves according to
their own norms, honor the Supreme Being in public
worship, assist their members in the practice of the
religious life, strengthen them by instruction, and promote
institutions in which they may join together for the
purpose of ordering their lives in accordance with their
religious principles.

Religious bodies also have the right not to be
hindered, either by legal measures or by administrative
action on the part of government, in the selection,
training, appointment, and transferral of their own ministers,
in communicating with religious authorities and
commun…

Fortnight for Freedom Reflection Day 5

To view PDF click here.

There is a further consideration. The religious
acts whereby men, in private and in public and out
of a sense of personal conviction, direct their lives to
God transcend by their very nature the order of terrestrial
and temporal affairs. Government, therefore,
ought indeed to take account of the religious life of the
people and show it favor, since the function of government
is to make provision for the common welfare.
However, it would clearly transgress the limits set to its
power were it to presume to direct or inhibit acts that
are religious.
Declaration on Religious Liberty
(Dignitatis Humanae), no. 3
December 7, 1965

Reflection for Day Five

What the Council Fathers teach in this short paragraph
is very important. They previously stated that
governments should not deny religious liberty. Here
they state what governments should positively do
with regards to religion. Since people, through their
religious beliefs, direct their lives toward God, governments
are positively to t…

Fortnight for Freedom Reflection Day 4

To read the entire PDF click here.

On his part, man perceives and acknowledges
the imperatives of the divine law through the mediation
of conscience. In all his activity a man is bound to
follow his conscience faithfully, in order that he may
come to God, for whom he was created. It follows
that he is not to be forced to act in a manner contrary
to his conscience. Nor, on the other hand, is he to be
restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience,
especially in matters religious.

For, of its very nature, the exercise of religion
consists before all else in those internal, voluntary, and
free acts whereby man sets the course of life directly
toward God. No merely human power can either command
or prohibit acts of this kind.

However, the social nature of man itself requires
that he should give external expression to his internal
acts of religion; that he should participate with others
in matters religious; that he should profess his religion
in community. Injury, therefore, is…

Fortnight for Freedom: Key sermons which inspired the founding fathers

For the past several days in lieu of the Fortnight for Freedom, I have been writing and sharing material about religious freedom.  In yesterday's post I wrote about St. Thomas More.  In today's post I will be sharing several revolutionary era sermons which greatly influenced several of the founding fathers. Here is a snippet:

"Today is the first Sunday of the Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week celebration of religious liberty in America. Church leaders, and preachers especially, have played an important role in our nation’s struggle for and preservation of this “first freedom.”In 1833, the American Quarterly Register articulated the important role that ministers played in the American Revolution: “As a body of men, the clergy were pre-eminent in their attachment to liberty. The pulpits of the land rang with the notes of freedom.” To read the rest of the article click here.

A great part in reclaiming our religious liberties is realizing that the cause of liberty was …

Fortnight for Freedom Reflection Day 3

To view the entire PDF click here.

Further light is shed on the subject if one considers
that the highest norm of human life is the divine
law—eternal, objective, and universal—whereby God
orders, directs, and governs the entire universe and all
the ways of human community, by a plan conceived
in wisdom and love. Man has been made by God to
participate in this law, with the result that, under the
gentle disposition of divine Providence, he can come to
perceive ever increasingly the unchanging truth. Hence
every man has the duty, and therefore the right, to seek
the truth in matters religious, in order that he may with
prudence form for himself right and true judgments of
conscience, with the use of all suitable means.

Truth, however, is to be sought after in a manner
proper to the dignity of the human person and his
social nature. The inquiry is to be free, carried on with
the aid of teaching or instruction, communication, and
dialogue. In the course of these, men explain to one
anoth…

The Infamous 7: The George Soros Catholics

A couple of days as I was writing about the Fortnight for Religious Freedom I was disturbed to discover that their were certain prominent Catholics who were orchestrating a counter campaign to oppose the bishops in their opposition to the HHS mandate. To make matters worse this group was believed to have been funded  by ultra left mastermind George Soros. To read the article click here.  To read the entire memo detailing the strategy of this nefarious group click here.

I also thought that it would be fitting to include the names of these phony Catholics who are acting in concert with George Soros.

Nicholas Cafardi (once at Duquesne)
Terrence W. Tilleyu (chair of the theology department at Jesuit-run Fordham)
Lisa Sowle Cahil (theology prof at Jesuit-run Boston College)
M. Cathleen Kaveny (prof at Notre Dame)
Fr. Tom Reese, SJ (ousted editor of Jesuit-run America)
John Gehring (writes for Fish wrap and Huffington Post)
Paul Lakeland (Fairfied University)

There is nothing worse then Cat…

St. Thomas More & Religious Freedom

Yesterday was the feast day of one of my favorite saints and patron of this blog, St. Thomas More.  St. Thomas was imprisoned and beheaded by King Henry VIII for opposing his unlawful marriage to Anne Boleyn. St. Thomas gave his life for the cause of religious freedom. As part of the fortnight for religious freedom I thought that it would be appropriate to include this part of the letter which St. Thomas wrote to his daughter, Margaret while imprisoned:

"And finally, Margaret, I know this well: that without my fault he will not let me be lost. I shall, therefore, with good hope commit myself wholly to him. And if he permits me to perish for my faults, then I shall serve as praise for his justice. But in good faith, Meg, I trust that his tender pity shall keep my poor soul safe and make me commend his mercyAnd, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let you mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world. Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sur…

Fortnight for Freedom Reflection Day 2

To view the PDF click here.

Reflection for Day Two

The Council Fathers note that it is precisely because
human beings are “endowed with reason and free
will” that they naturally seek what is true and good
and also, then, have “a moral obligation” to search
for the truth. This is especially the case of seeking
religious truth. Moreover, the truth they believe
they have come to know binds them to that truth.
Even if the “truth” they believe is not actually true,
yet, because they believe it is true, they are bound to
follow their conscience. As long as what they believe
does not infringe the just rights of others, they cannot
be coerced into giving up or changing what
they believe.

Moreover, the Council states that in order for
human beings to fulfill their obligation to seek the
truth and live by it, they must be free to do so. No
one or no authority is to force them to believe something
to which they themselves have not freely given
their consent.

Why does the Council stress the need …

The Eye is The Lamp of The Body

"The eye is the lamp of the body.  So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness."  Matt-6: 22-23 It's been said that the eyes are the window of the soul.  If that's the case then one's eyes are an important indicator of one's spiritual and physical state.  You are what you consistently look at. 

If you look at members of the opposite sex lustfully what does it say about your soul?

If you are always looking at the latest gadgets, clothing, or vehicles what does it say about your soul?

If you are constantly watching such programs as The Jersey Shore, The Wendy Williams Show,or MTV what does it say about your soul?

If you are constantly looking at your neighbor trying to find ways to judge them what does it say about your soul?

"The eye is the Lamp of the Body"

A well functioning lamp gives light to…

Fortnight for Freedom Reflection Day 1

To view PDF click here.

The Vatican Synod declares that the
human person has a right to religious freedom. This
freedom means that all men are to be immune from
coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups
and of any human power, in such wise that in matters
religious no one is to be forced to act in a manner
contrary to his own beliefs. Nor is anyone to be
restrained from acting in accordance with his own
beliefs, whether privately or publically, whether alone
or in association with others, within due limits.
The Synod further declares that the right to religious
freedom has its foundation in the very dignity
of the human person, as this dignity is known through
the revealed Word of God and by reason itself. This
right of the human person to religious freedom is to be
recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is
governed. Thus it is to become a civil right.
Declaration on Religious Liberty
(Dignitatis Humanae), no. 2
December 7, 1965
Reflection for Day One
In th…

Fortnight for Freedom Begins Tomorrow

Tomorrow begins the all important "Fortnight for Religious Freedom."  For 14 days until July 4th people from all over the country will be asked to express their gratitude for religious freedom.  All of this will culminate on July 4th at noon where all churches will be asked to ring their bells in solidarity.  This is big. We need to rally as a nation to defend this basic fundamental freedom.  For some simple ideas on how to do this click here.  To read Cardinal Dolan's excellent short article click here.

At the very least if you are busy take time to say these 2 short prayers during the next 14 days:

Litany for Liberty

Prayer for The Protection of Religious Liberty 


Together let's ring the bells of religious freedom.

The McDonaldization of Sex

"The original hope of widespread contraception was that it would help equalize men and women by offering women the power to control when they conceive. It was seen as part of a modern understanding of the equality of the sexes, which was made possible by technology. The hope was that contraception would save women from the burdens imposed by unplanned pregnancies, and it would allow them personal and economic freedom." To read the rest of this article click here.


Do you think that sex is being McDonaldized?

Generation Nothing

"Give Me, Give Me."

This is the familiar cry of a child.  Second to,"Why?"  this is the most common expression in a child's lexicon. For a child there is nothing wrong with this, it comes with the territory, a normal by product of development. However, when the child never grows out of it, then something is gravely wrong.  Unfortunately this is the case for what I like to call, Generation Nothing. (Ages 18-25.)

This is the generation of perpetual whiners.  A group of spoiled, never grown up children;  the crowning triumph of best friend parenting. This is arguably the most entitled generation in history.  This is the same generation that demands a higher salary without experience,  a free college education, without repayment.  Demanding always, "Give me, give me," but never giving back. (At least with a child there is some healthy fear.) 

I came upon this notion during Memorial Day weekend. During that weekend most of my coworkers in that generati…

Moonrise Kingdom: A Cute Movie about Teenage Love

I recently saw Moonrise Kingdom.  I would strongly recommend it. Check it out.  Here's a preview:


Cooler than The Dos Equis Guy

I'm the man.  I'm such a stud.

I'm a Steve McQueen turtle neck wearin, motorcycle ridin, leather jacket sportin, lady killer. I'm the type of guy who throws his cigarette on floor just to watch the bad guys explode. I am smoother than James Bond "shaken not stirred", more interesting than the Dos Equis guy and I have more swagger than Humphrey Bogart. I am so cool that I put the cool in cool hand Luke. 

Now back to reality...

In reality I am none of the above, but I have had a strange winning streak attracting ladies.  That's right ladies.  I know that I am married and all but lately women have been commenting on my irrestible allure.

That is...elderly ladies in Church.

Recently when I went to mass an elderly woman approached me commenting, "Wow you look so different!" As she was saying this I couldn't help noticing that she seemed out of breath, panting like a teenager seeing one of the Beatles for the first time.  Later on after catching…

June Question of The Month

This month's question is;  Which Political Philosophy is more compassionate?  Liberalism or Conservatism? Why?

If you want to speak more about this feel free to respond in the comments section.  Thanks. I look forward to hearing your responses.

Can A Person Be Good Without God: Follow Up

Last month I posted a poll on my blog asking this simple question: "Can a Person Be Good without God?"  Over 81% answered that they felt that a person could be good without God while 18% answered the opposite. 

Now my response:

Surprisingly I find myself partially agreeing with the majority.  I too feel that a person can be good without God.  History is full of examples of outstanding men and women who didn't believe in God but still did great things for their respective societies.  For example Socrates sacrificed his life to preach the truth.  Plato taught about ultimate beauty. St. Paul even commented on the goodness and religiosity of the Ancient Greeks. (see Acts 17:22)  The Founding Fathers even though possessing a limited enlightenment view of God managed to create a Constitution that was humane and fair.  Surprisingly the Catholic Church even agrees partially with this sentiment.

The Catholic church believes that there are two sets of virtues, the cardinal and th…

The Morality of Conservatism

Recently due to upcoming presidential election there has been much talk about the philosophical differences of liberalism and conservatism.  Despite the fact that this is a worthwhile debate, the public at large has not received an accurate representation of the conservative philosophy.  Much of this is of course due to liberal dominance of the media, but still despite this fact a clear and honest portrayal is necessary of the conservative position.  In light of these reflections I stumbled upon this short, but well written post about the morality of conservatism.  To read the article click here.

I'd like to end with these 2 questions:  Which of the 2 philosophies do you think is inherentaly more compassionate? and Why?

Am I Doing The Right Thing? (The Guilt Problem)

I am generally not a fan of writing about personal matters in my posts.  In fact I have tried for the past year to limit my posts to more general themes and points of interest. Besides I am annoyed by the modern tendency of narcissism which takes its form through endless writing about the self.  I am saying this because I struggle with this tendency. However, as I was looking for a subject to write about  I was inspired by this post to temporarily break my rules. 

In this post I will speak about my personal struggle with guilt.

It is a common thing for me to feel guilty.  Guilty about everything.  Guilty about the way I spend my time, guilty about the way I treat my wife, guilty about the way I treat my family and friends.  In short guilt prevents me from living my life to the fullest, as a free, Christ loving man.

Why do I feel so much guilt?

I have several theories:

Historically I know because of my tumultuous upbringing that I have inherited some tendencies towards feeling this wa…

6 Ways Homosexual Activists Manipulate Public Opinion

I have been a long time believer that a great part of the Homosexual Lobby's success at promoting their agenda comes from their masterful manipulation of the media.  The key to defeating these zealots is through the truth;  the truth being that homosexuality is intrinsically wrong and disordered.  This short article does a great job at highlighting the tactics which homosexuals use to shape public opinion.  Here is a snippet of the article:
"In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector. … The purpose of victim imagery is to make straights feel very uncomfortable; that is, to jam with shame the self-righteous pride that would ordinarily accompany and reward their antigay belligerence, and to lay groundwork for the process of conversion by helping straights identify with gays and sympathize with their underdog status. … the public should be persu…

Famous Historical Figures In Unexpected Places

I stumbled upon this interesting page which shows famous historical figures in unexpected places.  My personal favorites are:
A 6 year old Teddy Roosevelt overlooking Lincoln's funeralA picture of John Wilkes Booth at Lincoln's 2nd inaugural addressNancy Reagan sitting on Mr. T's lapCharlie Chaplin & Helen Keller To see the rest click here.