Archive | September, 2013

Thank God for Normal

20 Sep

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It was a normal morning—for just a little while.

Peg and I were on our way to Mass. When we turned east off Longwood’s Sabal Palm Drive onto Hwy 434, it ceased to be normal.

There, displayed in the distance, was a panorama of color as I’d never before seen in a sunrise. There were layers of golden orange, here and there a touch of red, and streaks of a rather dull blue-gray—and to the left, hovered a huge, soft-blue cloud with a brilliant white lining on its crest. Off to the right was an “uncertain” cloud, sort of grey in color, with no distinct shape, just sort of stretched out as though reaching for or away from the sun.

Every time we headed east, there was that glorious gift from God.

I wonder how many people noticed it.

I wonder whether God gives us such beauty just to remind us that all is well, that we are important to him, that indeed every cloud has a silver lining.

I wonder whether God is telling us that there is, behind that cloud with its silver lining, a brilliance that suffocates sadness, calms anger, soothes grief, enlightens minds and heals wounded souls.

Thank God for normal.

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PC vs. Faith

8 Sep

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Nothing was so terribly wrong with that “ole time religion” when God was God and his people knew him as Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. But today, it seems too many  people have decided to “create” God in their own image.

The evening of September 6, 2013, I caught part of the Sean Hannity’s hour on Fox News. He had a group of students from various universities as his interactive audience. There were both Democrats and Republicans. The young adults were very open and honest about their opinions.

I was impressed with their ease of expression and their convictions.

But I was dismayed by those same convictions: Abortion is all right and gay marriage is okay, overwhelmingly so. There was also discussion about high taxes – but I’ll leave that discussion for another time.

Where have we gone wrong? When is violation of the right to life okay? How can it be that sexual sin is now okay?

Of course, these young people, for the most part, have bought into the “politically correct” lie that what’s in the womb is not a baby but only a fetus, as one bright-eyed young woman put it. Well, that “fetus” as she calls it has the entire DNA it needs to be called a human, a baby, a child. And that “fetus” will not be born a puppy or a kitty – it will be born a human baby, a human being.

Pope Paul VI, in his unpopular encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” reaffirmed the Church’s traditional stand against contraception. But he did much more. He affirmed human life. He also warned that a contraceptive mentality would lead to an acceptance of abortion – and he was right. (If you haven’t read it, why not do so?)

On the issue of gay marriage, one student said that gays should be allowed to marry so they can help rebuild strong families in our country. A family is a married man and a woman and their children. Until homosexual couples can have babies without outside help or adoption, they are not family.

Oh, yes, that’s the old-fashioned, traditional notion of family. Yes, you’re darn tooting it is, and it is what God instituted in creating humanity and it’s what God still intends for humanity.

I used to bristle when someone said that our country was in a post-Christian era, that our nation was no longer Christian (if it ever was truly Christian).

No longer do I bristle. Rather, I mourn the spiritual death of so many of our nation’s young people and the apparent spiritual defeat or apathy of many of their elders.

Secularism and materialism somehow are more attractive than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to find out why and correct whatever is wrong. Perhaps “political correctness” has made Catholics a bit timid and fearful of offending.

Sensitivity and concern for the feelings of others show good character. Sensitivity and concern are important to help people discover the truth. But you can’t help people discover truth by ignoring it or explaining it away or watering it down.

Down with Political Correctness and up with Prophetic Courage!