Friday, February 29, 2008

Catholics Come Home

Monday, February 25, 2008

Catholics Can't Support Pro-Choice Candidates

From: The Catholic Knight

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Catholics Can't Support Pro-Choice Candidates
Catholic and 'Pro-Choice.' The whole 'Pro-Choice' argument is a misnomer anyway,
because most women who have abortions feel like they have no choice. Catholicism
demands that every human life is precious and must be protected. Voting for a
candidate that says abortion is "okay" is like voting for a candidate that says
terrorism is "okay." There really is no moral difference when one understands
the teachings of the Catholic Church. So-called "Pro-Choice" Catholics are an
oxymoron. It's like calling yourself a "Pro-Terrorism Pacifist." The only
"choice" these Catholics are making is the choice between Catholicism and
apostasy. Choose the "right to abortion" and you've only chosen to flush your
Catholicism down the toilet.

( - A statement by the Archbishop of San
Antonio, Texas, criticizing Hillary Clinton's speech and rally on a Catholic
college campus because of her pro-abortion stance is being cheered by some
Catholics and dismissed by others.In a Feb. 12 statement about Clinton's
campaign stop at St. Mary's University, Archbishop Jose Gomez, said: "The
Catholic bishops of the United States, in their 2004 document Catholics in
Political Life, affirmed that when dealing with political candidates and public
office holders, 'The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not
honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should
not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their
actions.'""Our Catholic institutions must promote the clear understanding of our
deep moral convictions on an issue like abortion, an act that the church calls
'an unspeakable crime' and a non-negotiable issue," Gomez full story
Catholics cannot support 'Pro-Choice' candidates. So that means no
Catholic can support Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama and still remain a good Catholic.
Simultaneously, no Catholic need support John McCain in this election either.
Granted he is the "lesser of three evils" because he opposes abortion-on-demand,
but he still permits abortion in some cases, and favors fetal stem-cell
research. That means he's not really Pro-Life in spite of his rhetoric. So what
it really comes down to in this election is this. A "good Catholic" really can't
support any of the frontrunner candidates. It might be permissible to
support John McCain, but only by a very narrow margin, and only because the
Democrat alternatives are so bad on this issue. Still, if one supports John
McCain, one is throwing a vote in favor of abortion in some circumstances, and
in favor of fetal stem-cell research. The fact is, "good Catholics" are
disenfranchised in this election. They only candidates we can support have very
little chance of winning. So what's the American message to Catholics this
election season? It's simple. The American message to Catholics this election
season is that the only "good Catholic" is a bad Catholic, meaning one who
doesn't really follow the moral teachings of the Church.
Posted by The
Catholic Knight at 9:16

Friday, February 22, 2008

Psalm 51

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Weight of Holy Water

Expulsion from Paradise* H/T Reader Anthony

The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.The LORD God then called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.”Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me–she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.”The LORD God then asked the woman, “Why did you do such a thing?” The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”

As I’ve written elsewhere, I’m one of those Christians who is completely comfortable linking Creationism and Evolution - whether Adam and Eve found their awareness from a piece of fruit or a God-designed evolution is pointless to carp about. The fact is once Adam and Eve became “aware,” and into human consciousness, the first things they did were to hide themselves and lie to themselves and to God.

I like the question, “who told you that you were naked?” Prior to this consciousness Adam & Eve were happily running around naked, like every other creature in the wild. Then: awareness. And what was the awareness? That their nakedness was “dirty”? Unlikely. That their nakedness was “embarrassing?” Also unlikely. They’d had no example of shame or embarrassment - their fellow creatures were contentedly naked, as they had been.Animals do not perceive their nakedness or try to protect their genitalia, but suddenly, Adam & Eve did. Evolution? Fruit? Whatever. What matters is that suddenly they knew more than they had known, and what they knew - what they suddenly understood - was that they were vulnerable.

Their awareness of their vulnerability might have led to their excuse-making, too. Until that point they had enjoyed a blissful relationship with the Creator - there would have been no reason to fear and yet, suddenly attuned to their vulnerability, they feared enough to hem and haw and blame anyone else around, and aside from the serpent there was only each other.
Was the first sin, then, simple disobedience? That doesn’t really seem likely. Obedience, like anything else, must be learned.

Rather, I think the first sin was humanity not trusting in God but trying to guard themselves by hiding from him; humans covering themselves up both physically and metaphorically - with fig leaves and with the sloughing off of blame onto others - rather than revealing themselves and taking responsibility for their actions.

The taint of Original Sin: God has been trying to get us to trust Him, to reveal ourselves to Him and to be vulnerable (open) to Him ever since.

Perhaps this explains the command by God for the Jews to circumcise the men. The foreskin of the penis affords some protection for the organ - a bit of shelter, a place to hide. When God chose the Jews as His own, he required this symbolic (and real) acquiescence - this willingness to be completely vulnerable and exposed to whatever may come. The unsheathed penis is extraordinarily sensitive and responsive - precisely the qualities God wanted of the Jews. He made a covenant with them; He would be their God, they would be His people, and the deal was sealed in blood. At its shedding, man and God are bonded.

The need to be vulnerable and open to God is part and parcel of having a real relationship with Him, just as it is the necessary component in human relationships. We see the blood covenant and the need for vulnerability and openness mirrored in the relationship between a husband and wife - or we did, when virginity was kept for marriage. The thin membrane of the hymen is a kind of counterpart to the foreskin. In shedding the foreskin the Jew becomes openly vulnerable to God. In remaining a virgin until marriage, the woman becomes vulnerable only (but fully) to her husband, and he - in receiving that vulnerability - answers only to her, gives his deepest self and the sweat of all of his labors to her. It is another blood covenant. At the shedding of that blood, they become one flesh. One entity.

Why do we not know that? Why is it never taught that way? For centuries and centuries virginity was little more than a premium - a selling point for chattel - and even today, in some cultures, that idea remains.

God says, “be my people,” and there is a blood covenant. A man and woman say “be mine” and there is a blood covenant. We have never understood.

So God becomes Incarnate and tries to explain: be opened. I will show you how. I will make myself vulnerable to you. You may have my blood. It is shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.

It is the greatest of the blood covenants, because the blood covers and draws into oneness not a tribe, nor a mate, but an entire creation - for better or worse. The marriage of heaven to earth, God to man.

Looked at this way all of the dogmas no longer seem trite. There was a reason (beyond paternity) for Mary’s virginity. Christ made his first covenant with his mother - the Ark of the Covenant.

God could not make Himself any more vulnerable than to come to us - bursting through a hymen, in blood, then laying in a wooden manger, and to go from us hanging upon the wood of a blood-soaked cross. He rose and said “see, I make all things new - even death cannot separate us. Come to me.”

Christ has opened God to us, through Himself. God does the unthinkable and makes himself vulnerable and says “Come…stop making excuses, stop hiding yourselves, stop blaming others, stop throwing yourself away, stop running from my love. Turn and face me. Ephphatha, be opened, and let me love you, let me give myself to you as you give yourself to me, and this will bear fruit.”

In this Lenten season, let all of our small sacrifices and minor slips render us vulnerable, that we may be opened to Him, the Divine Lover. Let us hear his love-talk, his whispers and his invitation.

Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart…rend your hearts, not your garments and return to the Lord your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness and relenting in punishment. - Joel 2;12-13

The mystery here is that there is no mystery beyond love.

*The Expulsion from Paradise scene - the bronze doors of the Cathedral at Hildesheim…Adam and Eve respond to God’s question by passing the buck…Adam points to Eve, who points to the

by TheAnchoress @ 12:46 am. Filed under Catholicism, Faith, Prayer