Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thoughts On The Passing Of Ted Kennedy

As you are no doubt aware, 77 year-old Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy succumbed to brain cancer today; and as expected, news programs have consisted largely of wall-to-wall coverage paying tribute to his career.

I am going to refrain from speaking ill of the dead - especially on the day of the deceased's passing - and will therefore not delve into the many reasons why I do not agree with all the praise that has been heaped upon the late Senator. The fact is, a human life was lost today, one that, like all other human lives, is unique and irreplaceable. I sincerely lament the many personal tragedies that he endured throughout his life - from seeing all three of his older brothers cut down in the prime of life (the oldest during World War II, the others by way of assassins' bullets) to the tragic deaths of numerous younger members of the family to the many scandals that plagued the Kennedy family - and also offer prayers for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family.

Those who have read my blog or spoken with me personally can well imagine my opinion of Ted Kennedy as a person and as a politician. Suffice it to say, I do not think that his political career is one worth celebrating. Throughout his life, Kennedy engaged in personal and political behavior that was a source of tragedy in the lives of others. To those who have been affected in such a way, I can only ask that you also offer prayers for the repose of his soul and the consolation of his family, and recall the value of forgiveness, which is not only a source of spiritual healing, but also (and more importantly) the course of action that is most pleasing to God.

I can only pray that the Senator died in a state of grace, and that by the grace and mercy of God we may one day have the opportunity to meet Senator Kennedy in the eternal Beatific Vision. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Mystery Of Faith Vs. The Illusion Of Control

The likes of Bill Maher, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins constantly assure us that faith is nothing more than a form of intellectual bondage, a false illusion of something unattainable that prevents man from reaching his true intellectual potential. Faith, according to them, is something that man is supposed to outgrow as he matures.

If Maher, Hitchens, and Dawkins are what pass for mature, intellectually liberated minds, then I'm afraid the human race never really stood a chance.

There is a method to the the madness of these so-called "militant atheists." The motivation is really rather simple, in every sense of the word: since they can't discern the existence of a higher power through their senses, nor conclude that there is such an existence through their use of reason (emphasis being on their use of reason, as opposed to man's use of reason), then such an existence cannot be possible.

At least, this is what they tell themselves. That they devote so much of their lives to disproving the existence of such an entity is not indicative of a lack of believe in such an entity. Rather, it is indicative of a desire that such an entity not exist.

That's their dirty little secret: Maher, Hitchens, Dawkins, and those who think like them aren't so much convinced that God doesn't exist as they are in the process of attempting to convince themselves that He does not even as they desperately try to convince others. Why they are trying to convince themselves of this is anyone's guess. It could be that they are unsatisfied with their experience of having believed in a higher power. It could be that they don't like the idea of having to acknowledge a power greater than themselves. It could be that they don't like the thought of having to accept things on faith, which would require an acknowledgment of the limits of their imagined intellectual prowess. It could be any of these things, or it could be all these things, and many other things besides.

What is painfully clear, however, is that self-professed atheists - whether they truly do not believe in the existence of God or simply wished that God did not exist - are left with a void in their lives and in their ideology that they are constantly trying to fill. And in the process of refusing to acknowledge the existence of a higher power that asks us to surrender to His will as a condition for attaining the greatest treasure man can attain (i.e. eternal life in the presence of the Lord), then they refuse to acknowledge the need to surrender to the will of another. This leads to an obsession with controlling one's own life, because as much as man might like to think that life is a series of random events with no greater meaning, human nature still requires that we acknowledge that someone is in charge. In the absence of a higher power than ourselves, then, logic would dictate that we are in charge of ourselves. Holding this mentality, however, requires a great deal of self-deception. Given the inextricable bond between the existence of a higher power and the need for faith, it almost invariably follows that the man who refuses to acknowledge the existence of a higher power will refuse to acknowledge the need to have faith in anybody but one's self.

And yet, faith makes demands of all men, not just those who believe in a higher power. It requires us to trust to things that we simply cannot predict or control (whether we wish to acknowledge such a lack of control or not). Without faith, we'd never turn our backs to anyone, for fear of being betrayed by everyone. Without faith, we would never cross an intersection, because we could never trust that the drivers of other cars will obey the traffic laws that govern safe driving. Without faith, we could never eat food we did not prepare personally, because we would not trust others not to contaminate the food, whether by accident or design. We take so many things for granted, assuming that they will happen in a certain way because they always have happened in a certain way, such as a light always turning on when you flick the switch or a dog who knows you never biting you when you reach to pet its head. And yet, if we really stopped to think about it, as some poor souls unfortunately do, we realize that past experience is no guarantee of future performance, and we would be in a state of constant paranoia about things going constantly awry. Yet, even the paranoid person is forced to accept on faith that certain things, such as the beating of his own heart, will continue to happen, or else he would not be able to function at all.

Among many other things, faith is an acceptance of the fact that there are things beyond the grasp of both our reason and our control, and that we must entrust such things to the providence of beings who can grasp them. Otherwise, society itself would never materialize, as the cooperation between men that is so essential to the proper function of a society would be obliterated by a lack of trust between men. Like it as not, trust is a form of faith.

In a very irrational world, then, there is nothing more irrational than a conscious lack of faith, or its logical extension, which is a conscious refusal to acknowledge that we lack control over every facet of our life.

The only thing we can control is our own behavior (but not its consequences), and the irony is that the people who are most obsessed with the notion of control and who scream the loudest about being allowed to do as they please are the ones least inclined to exercise self-control. Not coincidentally, they are also the most likely to profess a lack of faith. They mistake freedom for licentiousness, and in the process they fall into the most insidious form of bondage imaginable: they become slaves to their own passions, all the while basking in the illusion that they are fully in control of themselves and experiencing true freedom.

Faith, then, is a surrender to the ultimate reality that man has only limited control over the circumstances of his life. In a world obsessed with controlling its own destiny, such surrender is seen as an action of the weak-minded and unenlightened. And that particular illusion is advanced by the likes of Bill Maher, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins, men whose disillusionment with the concept of faith and belief in a higher power has led to delusions of the worst sort in other facets of their lives.

It's their loss. One can only hope that they will seek what they have lost before it is lost to them forever.

To paraphrase Hilaire Belloc, the mysteries of faith begin where human reason finds its limit. When seeking to understand the importance of having faith in our lives, acknowledging that fact - and understanding its implications for the level of control we can truly exercise over our own lives - is not a bad place to start. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Musings On The Assumption Of Our Blessed Mother, Revisited

I shared my thoughts regarding this feast in a blog post dated exactly one year ago today. Please revisit that post for my thoughts. Happy Feast of the Assumption! God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Usual "Catholic" Suspects Line Up In Support Of Obamacare

Courtesy of the always excellent Catholic Key blog.

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.
A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Thus you will know them by their fruits."

- Matthew 7: 15-20

The rotted fruit continues its mad scramble to defend all of Obama's works while chanting "Lord, Lord" to appease those well-meaning souls who do not know any better. Do not be taken in by their deception. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Battle For Life In Health Care Reform: Catholics United Vs. Family Research Council

Link, courtesy of (Catholic Online).

A snippet of the above-linked article:

Chris Korzen, the Executive Director of “Catholics United” lambasted an Ad currently being aired by the "Family Research Council’s" Action arm. He accused the predominantly evangelical Pro-Life and Pro-Family group of “using abortion scare tactics to turn pro-life voters against health reform.” He added that “If the Family Research Council was truly committed to human life it would focus its efforts on ensuring that the tens of millions of Americans who currently lack heath insurance can get the care they need. This attack ad is unhelpful, untruthful, and not at all pro-life.”

Tom McClusky, a Catholic and the Senior Vice President for “FRC Action” would have none of it. He told the Catholic News Agency that “Catholics United” was either deceived or participating in deception on this critical issue, “On the issue of where in the health care legislation is abortion, Family Research Council Action agrees with Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman of the Pro-life Office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,” He cited the letter dated July 29th, 2009, from Justin Cardinal Rigali which insisted that “much needed reform must not become a vehicle for promoting an ‘abortion rights’ agenda or reversing longstanding current policies against federal abortion mandates and funding.”

There is no doubt in my mind, at least, that Catholics United is participating in the deception willingly. Their entire existence has been dedicated to deceiving faithful Catholics into supporting a decidedly un-Catholic political agenda, and to silencing those who dare to call attention to their willful deception. Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot stress this enough: Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good/Catholics United is little more than an outgrowth of the same tired movement of extreme left-wing apostasy that has plagued the Catholic Church for the last four decades, attempting to turn people away from the truth while acting under the guise of faithful Catholicism (the very definition of which they and their relativistic ideological comrades have long worked to obscure). In that sense, there is nothing truly special about them. However, they have warranted more attention of late because of their close ties to the Obama administration - four of their members now work either in Congress or within the administration itself - and the fact that their Marxist message reaches wider audiences courtesy of funding from left-wing zealots like George Soros.

Make no mistake: Planned Parenthood, NARAL, NOW, the so-called "Catholics for Choice," and other agents of the culture of death have endorsed this health care bill. Bear in mind that these groups exist solely to keep abortion legal and to expand the scope of its practice. You can bet that neither they nor any other avowed enemy of the pro-life movement - such as the aforementioned Catholics United - will ever support a political initiative that fails to do exactly that. Continue to contact your Senators and Representative, and make sure they know of the moral opposition to this legislative atrocity. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,