When will we stop celebrating death?

October 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yet another human life has been snuffed out unnaturally, and, worse yet, it has ended with the express support of the United States. Moammar Qaddafi, long-time ally-enemy-ally of the United States, has been killed by CIA and NATO-supported rebels in Libya. Just a few weeks ago, a US citizen was murdered, with no trial and no right to defense. Before that, Usama bin Laden was murdered by US troops, and before that, a US-led coalition killed Saddam Hussein, at least bothering to give him a mock trial first. And with every death, Americans cheer and celebrate. What have we become?

We should rightly celebrate when justice is done, or when a war is ended, or when a dictator is deposed. But Americans, indeed all Christian and moral people, should never celebrate the end of a life. When bin Laden was announced dead, there were parties in the streets. When a US citizen, alleged to be a terrorist, was killed in Afghanistan, with no public trial or evidence given other than the word of “somebody” in our government, Americans shrugged their shoulders at best, or happily celebrated at worst. One can only wonder if these people do not see the dangerous precedent set by these actions of our ever more corporate-controlled government. “When they came for the ‘terrorists’, I said nothing…” But what happens when they all you a terrorist? What happens when the Occupy Wall Street protestors are called terrorists because they threaten the profits of those who control the government? And don’t they see, are they so blind that they cannot see, the odd coincidence that all the terrorists happen to be in oil-rich nations who just happened to deny American and allied governments the right to build pipelines through their territory, or to buy their oil? Do they not realize that in an industrial nation, oil is more valuable than gold?  Can’t they see the blatant fakery, stageing and propaganda on the news and television? Don’t they realize that behind every war in human history, were the interests, usually monetary, of a relatively few already wealthy and powerful people? But we are to believe that so many men, once called reliable leaders who were doing great things for their countrymen, were suddenly dictator terrorists who hate freedom- as soon as they refused to sell their oil to us or otherwise kowtow to the Company?

All that aside, can’t they see what amazing hypocrites they have become, when they claim to be pro-life, moral, responsible Christians- all while celebrating death on a daily basis?

Interim

August 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve been almost as busy as the devil this summer semester, and I think I still failed a class, anyway. But it’s the interim now, I have three weeks off and I can finally get back to blogging and reading! The devil, unfortunately, has been extremely busy lately. First and foremost, I am still reeling over the fact that Father Corapi has left the priesthood amid quite a scandal. Father Corapi’s radio catechism lessons were invaluable in drawing me to the Catholic Faith. After a while, I even started playing his talks at full volume while working at the evangelical church I converted from, hoping some of my fellow Christians would be as amazed as I was by the perfect sense the Catechism made. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I heard that Father had been accused of sexual and financial misdeeds. I do feel that he made the right decision in stepping down from the priesthood- I was never aware of the fact that he didn’t live in community, but rather in an expensive home with many expensive possessions. That is no way for a religious to live, and it pains me to say that Father Corapi, sound as his teachings to other Catholics might have been, might not have had the right spirit and vocation for religious life. I wish Father Corapi well in his lay ministry, and hope he has a change of heart that leads him to seek Christ rather than monetary gain.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, nuncio to the US, has passed. Let us pray for the soul of this man who has served the Church Militant for so many decades. The death of any priest reminds us of the importance of youth, and the need for vocations. That is why World Youth Day, which kicks off in a couple of weeks, is so important. Let us also pray for vocations, and let’s pray that those who are called are truly called; let them never participate in any “abuses” (child molestation, etc.) and may they help guide the Church back to a more traditional stance, recalling a time when priests were trusted.

That’s about all I have for right now. I hope to read some more and give another Catholic book review for everyone. I accidentally ordered a book I already had from Aquinas and More, so I have to send it back and wait for the next one. Sorry! In the meantime, I am working on some other reading that I hope to share.

Ah, Americans…

June 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

This Catholic News Agency report about American morality does not come as much of a surprise. According to a Gallup poll, a majority of Americans find divorce, premarital sex, stem cell research, and the death penalty morally acceptable. It’s not surprising to me for the reason that I have always seen American media at the forefront of the fight to demoralize and secularize our citizens, especially young people. It’s also not surprising that, while a majority still sees abortion as morally unacceptable (thank God and the Blessed Virgin), that same majority sees the death penalty as acceptable. This hypocrisy seems to also stem from the media, who glorify crime and punishment, and seem to advocate a culture of death in everything they do. This culture of death was seen recently in the celebrations shown across the country at the news of the murder of Osama bin Laden. Many have a right to feel relieved at the thought of a dangerous criminal facing justice, preferably with a trial, but to celebrate murder is something Americans used to be too good to do. We used to celebrate the end of wars, not the death of those responsible. But when our leaders tell us that the ‘war’ we are involved in will never end (anyone ever read Orwell’s classic, 1984?), I guess the death of one of our enemies is the only thing we have to celebrate.

One way for Americans to stop the culture of death and immorality from spreading is to turn off the television and educate themselves and their children. Catholics especially need to pay more attention to the Church’s teachings on these areas, and accept those teachings as the word of God.

Pray for Japan

March 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

I was unaware of what fertile soil Catholicism has found in Japan, until reading about St. Maximilian Kolbe’s trip to the island nation for the purpose of founding a “City of the Immaculata”, called Mugenzai no Sono (Garden of the Immaculate). More than three hundred years after the martyrdom of the first Catholic (Franciscan) missionaries to Japan, three Franciscans, this time led by Friar Maximilian Kolbe, set out to try to bring Christ to Japan one more time, through Mary. The locals laughed when St. Max placed his monastery on the wrong side of the mountain- how unharmonious! They didn’t laugh after the atomic bombs fell, leaving the sheltered monastery undamaged. God’s provision of His mother’s “garden” was confirmation that the friars of Mugenzai no Sono were to be successful in their mission to spread the Gospel to the people of Japan.

So far I have had no word on how Japan’s City of the Immaculate has weathered the recent quake and tsunami, but it seems that no news is good news. With many Catholic missionaries in Japan, and Japanese converts joining the Church daily, this catastrophe can be an opportunity for all Catholics to pray for Japan, not only for those suffering the effects of the devastating tsunami, but for Catholic missionaries who have been serving the people of Japan for these many years. Prayers and charitable giving are most needed right now, and this season of Lent is the perfect time to make a sacrifice for the people of Japan. Catholic Charities, via Catholic Relief Services, are currently taking donations to be put to immediate use in Japan. So let’s continue to pray for Japan, and if the Spirit moves you, why not make a donation to Catholic Relief Services, too. Our brothers and sisters in Japan need us now, let us take the example of Kolbe and other Japanese missionaries, who risked life and limb to bring Christ to the Pacific. We might especially ask Our Lady of Akita for her prayers during this tumultuous time.

Leadership issues for Caritas Internationalis

February 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

According to a Catholic News Service story, the Vatican has prevented the secretary-general of Caritas  Internationalis, Lesley-Anne Knight, from seeking a second four-year term, denying her the “nihil obstat” necessary to seek another term. It doesn’t appear that the Church has anything in particular against Ms. Knight. Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican’s charity promotion agency and its liaison with Caritas Internationalis, told reporters that the organization simply faces  “new challenges” include revising the Caritas statutes, strengthening its Catholic identity and working more closely with the Vatican, challenges which they feel would be better faced by an individual other than Ms. Knight.

I hope Ms. Knight finds a fulfilling role in the organization, and that Caritas Internationalis continues to do Christ’s work in the world. Many years ago while living in Austin, Texas, there was a stretch of about two years where circumstances forced me to take advantage of the organization’s services. Caritas in Austin primarily runs a soup kitchen, which serves a hot meal to several hundred people, five or six days a week. I thank God for the charity shown by this organization, charity that their very name invokes, and which literally saved my life. Besides the soup kitchen, Caritas in Austin offered employment services, counseling, referrals to several different specialty agencies, and other services, many of which I took advantage of and am eternally grateful for.

The charity practiced by Catholics and the Church cannot be outdone by any other Christian organization. It is the catholic Church which is the largest organized force for good in this world, and the caring, selfless service of the many fine staff and volunteers at organizations like Caritas Internationalis not only provided me with life-saving help in my time of need, but also helped lead me to “swim the Tiber” so that I might be a part of such a wonderful Church. I pray that Caritas might continue to be such a blessing in the world, and that they might help lead more souls to Christ by their works in this world.

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