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Pornography and Marriage

24 Feb

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Let us start with the very basics – sex is not just about a biological drive especially for husbands! Husbands see sex as an affirmation of their worth as human beings, a confirmation of the love of their wives, and the sexual act as proof that they are still loved and desireable. Any honest husband will not deny this. Guess what, the vast majority of the wives see it the same way. While we are vastly different in the nature and mechanics of our physical needs from our spouses – our emotional and spiritual needs are the same.

I want you to stop and think, remove the idea of one person being a victim and one person being an aggressor in this whole debate. Married couples are one flesh – so the couple is essentially one person hurting itself. Blame neither solves the problem, nor does it improve the odds for a successful resolution. Second, we need to understand that you cannot change another person’s behaviour by force or coercion of any kind and have any real or lasting positive effect. Third, we need to accept the truth that love is a choice we have promised to make every day as part of our sacramental matrimonial vows.

Most men and women who feel driven to this are longing as much for the emotional and spiritual side of the marital act as they are the physical release it brings. Unable to obtain what they really need – they often start with substitution by self-pleasuring. Husbands are especially prone to this because their emotions become volatile – not because they feel pent up sexual need, but in reality because the sting of the rejection by their spouse they feel. Do not think women are immune – in the long course of writing this blog and in my personal experience and observation I have seen more wives needs ignored, than I have husbands needs ignored. If your wife needs your undivided attention, your love, and your acceptance – you turn off the Super Bowl and give it to her. Let her know that she is important and desirable. Not in your words, but in your actions. If you are choosing a game, Facebook, or a television show over intimacy with your wife then what are you saying to her about your love or her importance?

Wives, the same applies to you. Imagine how you would feel if it took two hours of begging or badgering to get him to agree, now hold that thought. Whatever that would do to your self esteem it does the same to him because a man in a sacramental marriage is not expecting every woman in the world to love him – and yes, find him desirable. He is hanging a great deal of his self-image and self-esteem on your response to him. If you want a husband who is bold and confident then you need to build him up and not tear him down with rejection or criticisms. Too many times I hear things like “He just needs to deal with it”. I think it is time for women who think that way put on their big-girl panties and deal with their issues preventing them from committing to love their husbands every day without laying all the blame and responsibility on him. This commitment both parties must make every morning to love each other is imperative because Love is a Choice. It’s long past time for both men and women to discover the joy of lighting up another person’s face, or making their day with a kind word, romantic gesture, or enthusiastic intimate affirmation. This would be in contrast to doing what is necessary only to fill our own desires as the need builds, which focuses only on what we want and is not service to another – but rather is use of another.

Rejection is the next phase. This is where the husband or wife has now tried repeatedly, even if unclearly, to initiate intimacy and failed or been rebuffed. Each time the rebuff happens without a clearly stated and valid reason, a piece of your spouse’s self esteem is torn away. Even worse are situations where one spouse submits half-heartedly or less, which often leaves the other spouse feeling used and dirty. Husbands are as susceptible as wives to this feeling, and it cannot be fixed with any words afterwards. Further, it does lasting serious damage to the marital relationship. It leaves husbands feeling filthy like they just had sex unfaithfully with an unenthusiastic gum chewing prostitute, or worse have just raped their wives. Women end up feeling either raped or used and dirty. When sex is not a gift to your spouse given out of love, such results are inevitable. The self esteem of both parties is diminished, and the intimacy dies little more with each passing day. Until one day nothing remains of it.

When the rejection becomes more than they think they can handle – they will withdraw. At this point the spouse that has withdrawn will either lash out in anger, and/or turn to masterbation and pornography in a misguided belief that it is less harmful than adultery. It is adultery, Jesus was clear about that. When they withdraw they will cease to initiate intimacy because they cling to the idea that if they do not allow themselves to be rejected again that there is still some vestige of the intimacy they can later salvage. It is of of course a self-defense mechanism and not an attempt to hurt their spouse. It is a thorny problem to solve when dealing with husbands, as too many wives will watch the spiral and refuse to initiate intimacy boldly enough to convince the husband they truly want to unite with him and that they do not act out of a sense of pity or duty (as some husbands also do to their wives gravely damaging their self-esteem). No self-respecting husband wants just sex, nor does he want just sex under those circumstances. For that matter, no spouse would want the other to consider intimacy an unpleasant chore or duty. To reach such a point is to admit there is no love left between you and in sacramental marriage that is a terrible and devastating thing to be faced with.

Once both sides have rejected each other long enough, and torn down their spouses self esteem in the process, they leave each other vulnerable to outside temptations. While the spouse pulling the trigger is responsible for their actions, there was a great sin against them done by the spouse who helped to load and hold the gun that shot both of them in the head. Both of them are inevitably deeply or gravely wounded. The children are deeply wounded and will bear scars from that wound their whole lives. What is even sadder is that the marriage rarely recovers, even if the couple is later reconciled. If they are not, a divorce simply leaves both parties unhappy and in relative poverty dragging any children along on the downward emotional and financial spiral. I find that the end results are generally horrific for both parties and any children involved. Of course – if one spouse rejects and disparages the other being overweight, some facet of their appearance, or other superficial physical attribute; Then the need for that spouse to find validation, acceptance, and desirability comes much more quickly because their self esteem has been ripped apart much more quickly and directly. Regardless of their gender, infidelity follows almost invariably as the disparaged and rejected spouse seek to confirm their desirability with a member of the opposite sex, or to find the intimacy lacking at home with a person outside their marriage.

The solution is easier said than done. Always make a choice each morning when you first wake to love your spouse, body and soul, without reservation. Always speak well of your spouse, to them and to others. Build your spouse up, as they will rise to meet your expectations if praised honestly and spoken to kindly. Always be affectionate with your spouse. Always remember you cannot fix your spouse – but you can inspire them to greatness. Always accommodate your spouse when they initiate intimacy or explain why you cannot and set up a rain check so they do not think it is a rejection of their person – then keep the rain check with joy and enthusiasm to remove all doubt.

Give it some thought. It costs nothing to make time for intimacy, but you must make the time and the effort so that your spouse feels wanted and desired. Make a point of giving you spouse a gift when and where you can. Remember that not only will it create a much deeper bond between you, but it will also ease so many other facts of marital life and communication. You may even find a joy in each other long forgotten when sex stops being driven by biology, and begins to be driven by love – and no man willingly trades a woman who loves him for his hand and a wrinkled magazine or dim computer monitor, nor does any woman trade a husband who loves her for a harlequin romance novel and a massaging shower head.

Pax Christi…

Carrying A Spouse – Hard Truth about Marriage

18 Jan

 

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It will happen to you. That is just a fact. At some point in your marriage you will either carry your spouse, or be carried by your spouse. In reality – you will probably both spend a good deal of time carrying each other.

All to often today we see this as a major imposition. When we marry we do not think too deeply about the “in sickness or health, for better or for worse” part of our vows. Then when a spouse needs to be carried any significant period, we think it’s ok to tell ourselves “this isn’t what we signed up for”, or the even more nefarious “I deserve better than this”. I’m telling you now – this is exactly what you signed up for, and your spouse deserves better if you think you can come up with an excuse not to carry them.

Most of the time, it is not just physically – but emotionally that we must carry each other. It is in those times that the need for God in your marriage becomes the most obvious, followed only by a willingness to sacrifice everything for your wife or husband for as long as it takes.

For my wife it was several years of carrying… recurring tumors in my head, and then neurosurgery, radiation, chemo drugs, medical complications, and strokes that accompanied them made her life a living hell. She nursed me back to health when the doctors sent me home to die, she changed my bedsheets, bathed me, helped me every time I needed to use the bathroom, and worked with me for long hours each day – long after the physical therapy coverage had run out. All of this while I had mood swings, depression, and massive memory loss.

I was frustrated, angry, and often downright belligerent. I had trouble speaking – much less speaking clearly, and when I did I had trouble finding the right words. Even when I did find them – they came out wrong, word salad and endless stuttering were some of the joys of brain surgery. I was in and out of the hospital time and again – and always she was by my side and holding my hand.

She was infinitely patient, and though I am sure she sobbed herself to sleep many nights, and prayed all night on others. All I saw was an angel sent by God, ministering to me every day with infinite love and patience. She had a developed a glow about her, as if lit from behind with soft light.

I’m telling you this because of the effect it had on me. It made me wonder even in the deepest recesses of my soul what I could have possibly done to deserve her love and dedication. The kinder she was, the more loving and tender, the harder it was to hate myself for my inability to do common things. The more difficult it was to even think of letting go, and the more I really loved her. I’m ashamed to say that I did not love her in the way I had loved her before she carried me, as that was so much more superficial and pedestrian than this and I had no basis for comparison beforehand.

I fell in love all with her over again and resolved myself to love her as she loved me – which was the closest reflection to the love of Christ I had ever been personal witness to. I’m still not there. I strive everyday just to be worthy of her – but I keep trying. It changed everything for the better, in the midst of tragedy God worked a miracle on my body and mind, while working the most amazing miracle on my heart – and He did it through her, and her love.

The next time you encounter a time when you must carry your spouse through a bad patch (no matter the reason), especially an extended one… It is not a truly a burden, but an opportunity for your spouse to see Christ in you, and add a whole new dimension to the agape, storge, and eros love in your marital relationship. It will also deeply bond you together in new ways you cannot yet even imagine.

Pax Christi

Colin

The Sorrow of Ashley Madison and How to Fix It

19 Aug

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I know many of you have heard the news that Ashley Madison’s entire client list was hacked and published. That sheer number of people involved is staggering at 37 million! I find myself at a total loss to describe the level of failure the the replacement of Sacramental Matrimony with civil marriage has been. Clearly people are not happy, and clearly people (especially children) are being harmed by this abusive and destructive behaviour. The saddest part – there is an easier path to marital happiness.

While I can do nothing about what is happening on a national level – You can. Start with yourself, and pay it forward. I would like to relate to you a true story about what HAS HAPPENED that I was personally involved in many years ago. It even has a happy ending.

Almost 20 years ago I was working remotely on a job and was travelling quite frequently. One of the men under my direction was clearly having trouble with being away from his family and began to flirt with a waitresses. He was firmly rebuffed – being an engineer without the good looks, charm, or social graces necessary to entice a waitress to divulge her phone number after dozens of failed attempts. Yes I admit – I laughed about a few – and you would be rolling on the floor if you had witnessed some of the ludicrous and inept attempts. One evening he came to me, trying to set up an account on a website for cheaters but frightened to death because he didn’t want for his wife to see the credit card charge. There was a look of desperation in his eyes. His marriage was hurting with their first child recently delivered, a wife with no sleep and alone at home time, and the sexual rejection he thought he was receiving at home because he was too selfish to think past the end of his wee-wee and realize both of them were in the same exhausted boat.

When I found out the child was being bottle fed thanks to his mewling, I had an idea – and it didn’t involve helping him hide a credit card charge. With some help from his coworkers we got together and hatched a plan. I called the father in law from his phone left behind at dinner. I explained the plan, and got his support (seems the wife was feeling very down as well – and he loved the plan). Next we pitched in to buy the wife a round trip weekend ticket ($39 on southwest – like I said years ago) to be picked up at the airport, and then arranged for a dozen roses to be delivered with a note including the flight information Friday morning. I scheduled myself that weekend in his place to give him Friday night through Sunday night off. One of the guys also made a reservation at a romantic and moderately priced restaurant for him with a gift card to cover dinner, another pitched in a set of movie ticket gift certificates from the theater around the corner….

Friday morning and he didn’t know anything yet, on our way in to work I handed the hotel concierge the envelope with the dinner and movie things and explained why it had to be “hush hush”. Come dinner Friday night I ordered a large Guinness, and about 90% finished said, “Oh my lord, look at the time! I have a VIP to pick up at the airport!” I grabbed him and said, “I need a favor, you have to drive me to the airport to pick up the VIP. I can’t let a bigwig even think I would drink and drive!” He said, “Sure, my weekend is shot stuck here with you lot again… so whatever.” I stayed composed, openly fretting about whether I smelled of the luscious creamy stout I had downed, while we waited for our VIP at the gate (You could actually wait at the gate back then!)

When she came out of the gate, he almost knocked me off the seat running. Grandpa and Grandma had the baby for the weekend, and he had no idea she was coming. Surprise, joy, even kissing and hugging involving lifting people off their feet (not me).

I dozed in the back seat on the hours drive back to the hotel hoping and praying he would have a good weekend, and his wife too. When he got to his room the key didn’t work, he had to go back to the front desk – only to find out the concierge had moved them to a luxury suite for the weekend at no charge (including all his things), and thrown in a fruit basket and champagne. In all fairness we had almost lived in that hotel for most of the year – but this was above and beyond even for them. We didn’t see them until after lunchtime when they headed out for coffee, a walk, and a movie before dinner. Sunday night when it was time to take her to the airport, I drove them as they whispered in the back seat and held hands. He kissed her goodbye and put her on a plane. We went back to the car.

It was the trip home, amidst his gushing thanks – that I reminded him that only a few days ago he was willing to risk his marriage and his relationship with a woman who clearly loved him and thought he hung the moon – for a waitress he didn’t know, and then a stranger on a website. It hit him like a ton of bricks… his face fell and he started sobbing. I stopped in a parking lot and explained to him that he just learned the most valuable lesson a man can know at his age without actually screwing things up, and for that he should be profoundly happy that he had dodged that particular bullet. I also pointed out that the cost and effort to make such arrangements was trivial for someone at his salary level and he needed to focus on just putting a fraction of the effort into wooing his wife as he did trying to find some woman to provide sex. I told him truly that if he would do that he would have all the sex he could handle, and a wife that would never look at another man the way she looked at him.

2 Years later – The grandparents were still helping out with the kids (yes they had another) and the wife was living her dream of seeing the world, as the husband uses his frequent flyer miles on companion tickets and free flights for her to visit him in countries across the globe. Instead of being estranged, they are still like two teenagers in love.

Many years later – We run into each other on a large job where he is working under me again. After the others filtered off after dinner, he waited behind to thank me. He told me, “I could never repay what you did for me and my wife, so I am doing it for others.” I think I had some beer foam in my eye and I had to wipe it away, but I thanked him and wished him a very long, prosperous, and happy life and marriage.

If you somehow missed the moral of this true story – and no, it has nothing to do with having a stout with dinner. It is that if you would put half the effort you put into attracting other women’s attention, and directed it instead into your wife and marriage then everything changes. It’s a matter of priorities. When you invest in your wife and your family you always come out way ahead, and you simply can’t lose because there are never any regrets when you act honorably.

Pax Christi,

Colin

The Riots in Baltimore – An Opinion

27 Apr

The Baltimore Riots highlight something for me. America does not suffer as much from fiscal poverty as it does from Moral and Spiritual Poverty. So many have watched the changes in America in the last two decades with a sense of loss and shock that such anthropological regression could happen here. It is, but how do we stop it?

I think the solution lies in restoring a moral and spiritual base to the American people. You feed their bodies, but without feeding them morally and spiritually they will never feed themselves. You become and enabler of their anthropological regression which has enslaved them instead of leading them to freedom and self-respect by weaning them from government dependance. We must work to restore people dignity and their hope. What you are seeing in Baltimore is the incoherent misdirected rage of hopelessness. Their spirits are broken and shackled by their utter dependence on government, and their souls are lost from decades of progressive attacks on religion. Their bodies are broken by AIDS, drugs, violence, homelessness, and hunger. Most importantly, the very formation of these young men and women is damaged by the notable absence of stable two parent families. There needs to be a father in the home, or the thug culture that has captured so many young minds will be inextinguishable.

Today though, thanks to “Uncle Sugar,” a husband has become a disposable commodity. Enshrined into law by no-fault divorce, the marriage contract is only as good as the whim of one’s spouse. While women will say they take the brunt of the damage, I have seen too many men deeply financially damaged and emotionally shattered through no fault of their own to accept that women are the only ones hurt and the men are fine. In the inner cities, it has often been generations since the majority of households had a father and mother in a stable marriage in the home. This is possible because if a woman decides to leave her husband, no matter what her reason, the government offers support to her and any children. The husband gets a child support judgement and a shattered soul. It does not take long before this results in men unwilling to commit to marriage and women being used in a marital fashion and bearing children from multiple men without a husband. They raise these children on welfare at the taxpayers expense and receive larger payements for each child they bear out of wedlock. The Government, in effect, encourages immoral behavior. These children grow up in a multigenerational welfare family with no hope because the help they needed was not provided, nor did they have a successful role model to emulate. As Americans, we all too often get the idea that money can solve all problems, and, if it doesn’t turn out the way you expected, more money will make it better. That is arrogance. We all pay the price when these children grow up uneducated, violent, and socially disruptive just as we pay the price for the system that makes them that way.

How to fix it? What would I do? I’d bring back SHAME. Yes SHAME. Shame is a good thing. It reminds us when someone has broken the moral rules of our society, and a people without shame are a people without any moral compass. I would ban no-fault divorce because it is destructive to families and teach that civil marriage is a binding social contract, the breaking of which brings shame on the family. I would put the adultery criminal statutes back on the books. Too often, I have to read in the news about a man who catches his wife with another man and kills her or both of them. I read similar stories about women. On this issue there is no legal justice available to the aggrieved spouse. Civil and criminal penalties will offer a man recourse to restore his stolen honor and see the guilty punished. It will slow the rate of the murders of errant spouses, eventually seeing it end as people obey the morality requirements of the marital social contract. For those that find this reprehensible, I suggest never to marry and never to have sex with another person’s spouse. Society needs marriage as an anchor. Marriage is a crucible that forms men, creating a need in them to put their family before them, and focuses them on their home and family instead of what gets them the most pleasure for the least amount of effort.

Next, we need to give people hope. I worry less about wether it is Catholics, Sikhs, Buddhists, Protestants, or Mormons that bring spirituality, morality, and hope to these aggrieved people than that it is done. The churches must supplant the state in caring for the morally and spiritually poor. To truly give hope, we must teach them the value of work and help provide a viable path to self sufficiency.  This means education, apprenticeship, and job training programs instead of simple welfare payments. Anything less, is nothing more than continued slavery and subservience to the state. It robs them of their dignity, and we must help them get their dignity and hope back.

The stakes are too high to ignore this problem.  The alternatives are to help them in this way now, incarcerate them, or keep them on the dole for life. I would hope we chose to help.

Pax Christi –

Colin

Sweet Cakes – A Christian Family Under Attack by Evil.

25 Apr

Sweet Cakes by Melissa as a business is gone, close, shuttered by the state. The $135,000 fine is against a family of 7 with no business anymore who now stand to lose everything they own and their childrens home for refusing to bake a gay wedding cake because it would constitute a great sin to facilitate or participate in a homosexual wedding.

The Gay people still had a cake and wedding from another baker. What they are doing here is nothing less than hateful and evil. This is about destroying families that stand up for the Christian faith.

We CAN make a difference. We CAN make them whole if everyone who reads this gives a small amount, we can change this tragedy into joy for this family.

If we are the Body of Christ – then he are his Hands, and we should be healing this family.

DONATE HERE: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/christian-couple-faces-135000-fine/

GoFundMe killed their Campaign – claiming it was somehow “illegal”, but then claims it is going to give them the finds previously collected? When their own policy says all funds in such situations should be refunded. All I can see in this is more LGBT Bullying. This the move to Samaritans Purse, where the LGBT lobby has no power. Lets make this family whole. A few dollars for each of us together will make a huge difference for this faithful family.

From: The Daily Signal

An Oregon administrative law judge recommended today that the bakers who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding should be fined $135,000.

“[T]he forum concludes that $75,000 and $60,000, are appropriate awards to compensate [the same-sex couple] for the emotional suffering they experienced,” wrote Alan McCullough, administrative law judge for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries in his proposed order.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa located in Gresham, Ore., say the fine is enough to potentially bankrupt their family of seven.

The dispute began in January 2013, when Aaron denied Rachel Cryer a wedding cake after learning there would be two brides in her wedding.

…………
One of the women, whose name was redacted to protect her privacy, listed 88 symptoms as grounds for compensation. The other, whose name was also redacted, listed 90.

Examples of symptoms include “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”

Harmon, the Kleins’ lawyer, told The Daily Signal that during the hearing “there was no expert testimony.”

The witnesses at the hearing were the two women who were requesting a cake, one of their mothers, one of their brothers and another family member. There was no doctor, there was no psychologist, no expert testimony at all.

In collecting the fine, Harmon said the state isn’t just pursuing the Kleins’ business assets, but their personal livelihood as well.

“An important thing to understand about the damages the state is claiming in this case is that the [fine] isn’t going to come from liquidating business assets,” she said.

Their business is gone. They don’t have business assets so when we talk about [the fine], it’s personal. It means that’s money they would have used to feed their children that they can’t use anymore.

In September 2013, after facing public backlash, the Kleins had to close their bakery.

From Sweet Cakes by Melissa’s Facebook Page:

The gofundme account that was set up to help our family was shut down by the administrators of gofundme because they claimed it was raising money for an illegal purpose. We have told gofundme that the money is simply going to be used to help our family, and there is no legitimate breach of their terms and conditions. We are working to get the account reinstated.
However, in the mean time, if you would like to donate, you can do so here:http://www.samaritanspurse.org/…/christian-couple-faces-13…/
For all of you who gave to the gofundme account before it was shut down, we so appreciate your love and generosity. Gofundme has told us that we will still receive those funds.

Sincerely,

Colin

Clarifying the RFRA Disinformation

30 Mar

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On the RFRA – so many are missing the point. This is not about hate.  Baking a wedding cake for a gay wedding is an act of facilitation or participation in an invalid sacrament, namely a gay wedding, as is catering, photographing, floristry. That is the core objection. It is not about their gayness, it is about the grave mortal sin of participation in an INVALID SACRAMENT of Marriage. This whole debate is so distorted by off topic rhetoric that it’s gotten ridiculous.

This is no different than it being a mortal sin to facilitate or participate in an abortion – meaning if you even if you just provide gas money or loan the car to transport someone to an abortion then you committed grave mortal sin.

If I was a baker I wouldn’t bake a wedding cake for a divorced couple marrying without annulments in place either. No Christian pastor should marry them either unless he bases his religion on his feelings, rather than the direct teaching of Christ.

Luke 16:18
Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.

This should not be hard to understand. There is no prohibition on selling them most any other things, or providing services that don’t cross the line (IVF and Abortion being examples of a service that crosses the line – because of the Doctrinal Teaching in Humane Vitae). This does not mean Catholics are going to refuse to serve them lunch, save their lives in a hospital,  sell them a stereo, or allow them to use a laundromat.

What this does mean is that no Catholic business owner will be sued for refusing to facilitate or participate in an invalid sacrament or a mortal sin like IVF or Abortion. If only we could get those protections to employees.

This law is not about Christians in particular. This law will also protect a Jewish or Muslim butcher from having to slaughter a pig – which is a grave mortal sin in both religions.

These laws are already in place in 40% of states, and most of them have been since the Clinton administration for many of them. Bill Clinton (D POTUS) signed the federal version of this law, and Chuck Schumer  (D, NY) (another liberal) was the one who sponsored the bill. So it confuses me as to why liberals and Democrats would be angry over a law that their own like minded people championed.Professor-Marci-A.-Hamilton-RFRA-State-Map-October-2014-MEDIUM

I’m filled with a combination of sorrow and disgust that people just don’t seem to get it, and keep banging on the “Hate” drum without even knowing what they are talking about. There are days I wish people would read the Catechism cover to cover before delving into public debate about Catholics, or what they believe.

Pax Christi –

Colin

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Cardinal Burke is the Archbishop Sheen for our times

8 Mar

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A PRIEST’S CONVERSION – “I GET IT NOW!” (Reblog)

8 Mar

 

I saw this and had to share:

A few days ago, I encouraged the pest control guy (while he was setting traps in my house) to come and check out the Mass on Sunday morning. Just yesterday, I said the same thing to the checkout guy at Kwik Trip. Both of these guys had admitted that they had left the Church years ago.
Two days ago, I was standing in someone’s kitchen with a couple of guys, and I got talking about how Confession is so amazing and, with that simple prayer of absolution, we get “do-overs;” we are made a brand new person. They both admitted they had not gone in decades and, two minutes later, we were stepping into the next room to celebrate that Sacrament. They both emerged with HUGE smiles on their faces and, I believe, a new incentive to get back into their faith. I’ve been doing stuff like this a lot lately.
Something is happening in the Church and in the world today. And, I know something is happening with me. I can’t recall many times (any?) in my priesthood that I would unabashedly – with great confidence and joy – invite people on the street to these amazing sacraments. Instead, I guess we priests felt that, “if you build it, they will come.” But, build what?

Continue Reading this Amazing Story at http://www.romancatholicman.com/a-priests-conversion-i-get-it-now/

Pax Christi,

Colin

 

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CARDINAL BURKE!

7 Mar

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!!

A Message from Cardinal Burke inviting you to the Holy League:
In these troubled times, many are asking, “What can we do?” The Holy Catholic Church has, and always will have the prescription – the strategy for defeating evil and building the Kingdom of God. Listen to Cardinal Burke, and join the movement!!!

Read More at ROMANCATHOLICMAN.COM

PLEASE “LIKE” AND “SHARE” so that this message may reach every Catholic Man Christendom and beyond.

 

Pax Christi,

Colin

Be Inspired!

6 Mar

Holy League Holy Hour – Be inspired by the beauty and grace of a holy hour….

Learn More at “Roman Catholic Man” on Facebook

or by visiting Roman Catholic Man’s comprehensive website where you can find a plethora of resources to help you grow in the faith and locate, or found, communities of faithful men you can participate with in fraternity.

 

Pax Christi

Colin

 

Catholicism is Countercultural

22 Feb

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In St. John’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” Jesus also reminds us that we will be hated for following him – so we should never bother to pursue the worlds adoration and acceptance. What we should do is adore God and do as Jesus commanded, “If you love me, follow my commandments”. He did not say to do what pleased the world or to do what is popular, but to do as he commanded. This is a lot harder than it sounds.

You should understand that it is not in being easy that it holds great value. Instead, it holds great value and appeal because it is hard to follow Jesus. It is difficult to be bound to a separate set of morals and ethics from the people and the society in which you must exist. It is trying to be invested in obligations like Sacramental Marriage, that the world around you cannot even comprehend since they have only the palest of analogues in what they also call Matrimony. They will even think you crazy or daft because your understanding of the marital obligation is so far out of phase with theirs.

Yes, to be Catholic is Countercultural. It sets you apart from the world. It leaves you heading in one direction while the world heads another. It very often leads you in opposition to the world and social norms around you. From things as simple as not eating meat on Fridays (at least in Lent – if not year round), opposing abortion, refusing artificial birth control, to things as complicated as refusing to participate in an invalid marriage (Divorced and remarried without an annulment, Catholics marrying outside the church without dispensation, gay marriages, etc…) even when family are involved. It means running to an adoration chapel instead of the local bar when you have seemingly insoluble problems.

It is a life of sacrifice and service for those of us called to marriage. However, with that sacrifice and service also comes the greatest fulfillment and joy a human can feel. While at times the obligations of the faith can seem to weigh you down and expose you to all manner of ridicule and degradation – it is those moments when it lifts you to heights you never imagined that stick in your mind and set your soul ablaze. The rewards of following His commandments can be beyond your capacity to imagine, especially when you come from a social system that thinks you simple or worse, deluded for not following them in their defiance of God. You see the unhappiness, and the misery they suffer with daily for choosing against God and yet still they persist. They become like a man banging his head into a brick wall until he passes out from the pain and falls bloodied to the ground.

You have a choice – choose fulfillment or emptiness. Oh, you may think the other life is full – but it’s nothing more than an illusion. Some of us have to take that path a long time before we learn that there is no real fulfillment there, but many of us have already figured that out. If you’re ready, it’s time to try something new and different– something that goes against the grain and all progressive logic. Be countercultural and live the Catholic faith in your daily life. It will not be easy. It will not draw the worlds accolades, but it will fill you to overflowing from the inside out with both purpose and joy, even through the pain in your life.

Pax Christi,

Colin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give up SELFISHNESS in your Marriage for Lent

20 Feb

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To understand what marriage is – we must first understand what it is not: It is not dependent on romantic love, it is not dependent on your spouse doing their fair share, it is not dependent on your spouse not making mistakes – even grave ones that wound you deeply.

What marriage is about: a vow you took before God when you bestowed freely the sacrament of Marriage on your spouse and gave yourself to her in service until your death, marriage is about forgiveness, marriage is about loving even when that love is not returned, marriage is about remaining faithful even when your spouse is not, marriage is about doing whatever is best for your spouse instead of what you think is best for you, marriage is about putting your spouse above everything else save God in your life.

By now you are likely angry. Obviously, you have not stopped reading. Let me explain as Jesus did in the beatitudes – to become first, we must make ourselves last; To become the master, we must become the slave.

What that means in practical terms is that marriage is not about YOU. It is a vow of perpetual service, and when that vow is practiced by both parties simultaneously unfathomable joy and love bloom like roses in the desert. You should also be realistic and understand that any marriage will have it’s ups and downs – some very severe. In order to achieve those joys one must often endure hardship and even sorrow with dignity and commitment. There will be times when nothing but your commitment to your promise and Christ himself carry you in your marriage.

Let your marriage be a reflection of the Love of Christ for humanity. For if you cannot love your wife, how can you hope to love God, much less the world.

Your impediment to doing this is SELFISHNESS. For Lent, please consider giving it up in your marriage and see the difference it can make in 40 days. Then stop and imagine the difference it can make over a lifetime.

Pax Christi,

Colin

Natural “Self-Selection”

8 Feb

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This is all about abortion, contraception, and LGBT combined with the destruction of families. Where to begin…

Lets start with the basis of the biological imperative coded into our genome which is to reproduce. Whether or not you believe in God even – when you contracept and abort you reduce or dramatically limit the amount of your genome passed on to future generations. For what greater monument to your time on Earth can you leave than children well raised.

Many perform sex selection to weed out daughters – this is a fallacy. A son may carry your name, but a daughter carries your genetic legacy and passes it on more effectively. We can trace all people on earth to a common genetic mother “Mitochondrial Eve“, but have no information on the father.

By self-selecting yourself for elimination from the gene pool – one might consider this a form of suicide. Since it is occurring at the macro level we can not help but see a Malthusian mechanism at work.  We thought we had outsmarted God, and here it is – God suprising us. This applies if you contracept, abort, or engage in same sex or gender bending relationships. Your line ends right here. It goes no further. You have been “Self-Selected for Extinction”

From a perspective of natural biology, you become a failure since you do not reproduce. The results of that failure are being felt strongly in Japan, Russia, China, Denmark, and even in the United States. The links provided are quite informative and from mainstream respected news sources – not some tin hat online magazine. They are quite enlightening. *The Danish public service advertisement video is risque and direct, but not vulgar.

You see, our economy will never recover without workers to work – and consumers to buy things. Our aging population is a recipe for euthanasia and disaster, especially when combined with a birth rate well below replacement level. There simply arent enough young people coming up to maintain the services already in place – much less to expand them as more people in the generation ahead of me retire.

Social Security is a ponzi scheme collapsing because we turned the pyramid upside down (not just because congress robbed it). That too will be an issue – without stable monogamous marriages averaging 3 children or better for several generations and men earning a living wage that will support that family and allow them the time to maintain the marriage and raise the children then we are doomed. Doomed by our greed and arrogance to crash and burn as a society and be replaced anew by a society made up of the children of parents who did not contracept and abort themselves into extinction.

The legacy of the future belongs to those who reproduce. If you want to save America, what America needs to save itself are well raised children from stable nuclear families. The non-viable mutations will die off shortly as nature intended and are of little consequence.

Pax Christi,

Colin

The Friday Abstention – Why I do it

28 Jan

kippers

I’ve been seeing this come up a good bit in social media lately. I think my favorite comment about it is when people say “How can it be a penance! I love seafood”. To be honest, whenever I see that I think the person has missed the point. Given how pervasive that seems to be, an explanation is in order.

I keep the Friday abstention from meat as a penance. Abstaining from meat that day is only part of it though, the other part for me is the prayer that goes on that day apologizing to God for my shortcomings in the week and the reflection on how I can do better. So why skip the meat, you can pray anytime! What difference does it make what you eat?

Let me explain further – it is not for me so much about what I eat as being always mindful the entire day of every action and forcing me to ask myself “IF” I should do something like eat a sausage McMuffin when I am dashing off early. Being mindful reminds me I should NOT do that and instead choose another menu item or go with a cup of coffee and a potato cake instead. This is important because I consider the Friday Abstention a spiritual exercise more than a discipline. I have been using it for many years to train myself to consider my faith always before acting.

I know. I know. That sounds crazy. If you think it’s an easy thing to do, then try keeping a meatless Friday yourself. About the time you think you have it made or get distracted, you will slip up. Don’t worry it happens to the best of us. This is a learning experience about self discipline and Catholic spirituality you can do yourself. It’s not nearly as easy as it sounds either. It is a penance for me in that I am repenting what I have done wrong the previous week, and stay focused on God the entire day thanks to this discipline.

The road to holiness is long, and I am not as strong as I would like to be. There is a feeling of accomplishment and joy at being able to accomplish just morning and evening prayers and make it to the following morning without having broken the fast. The purpose is not to mortify the flesh, but rather to mortify the soul and build up my mindfulness of God. In that sense it has been more successful than I had hoped and more trying than I anticipated. I do not do it because I expect some heavenly reward – but rather because the discipline brings me closer to God in a way I can feel. It can also draw you closer to the confessional when you reflect on yourself more often. Imagine if you had such mindfulness in everything you did all week long, not just in what you ate. Imagine applying it to your thoughts, speech, actions, and interactions. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying.

Please consider this before denigrating people who keep traditional practices. There is great joy and wisdom to be found in many of them, if we just stop to look.

Pax Christi,

Colin

The Tea Party and Catholicism are Incompatible

24 Jan

Gadsden-FlagMany Catholics have felt alienated and betrayed by both the Republicans and the Democrats for many years now. This is not just an observation, but a fact. However, we learned a lesson yesterday about the Tea Party that should give every single one of the practicing Catholic supporters serious pause enough to re-evaluate whether a practicing Catholic can support the Tea Party.

Stop for a moment and rethink your position if you support a party that is not committed to supporting life, but rather is more concerned with changing the movements of small green pieces of paper. Why do they have that focus? Because we let them have it, by voting for them even though they did not declare their support for life as the primary objective.

Tea Party is not PRO-LIFE, and never have been. They take “no official stand” on social and moral issues. They are happy to let you mislead yourself in irrational exuberance if you are Pro-Life. You need to understand that they cannot win without Pro-Life support. However, they are Pro-Abortion as far as I’m concerned and my concern was proven yesterday.

I’m much more worried about human lives than the unhappy movements of little green pieces of paper. Further, if you are not against abortion, then you are not for life. You are just a moral coward refusing to take a stand. If you had told me before yesterday that a Republican (and Tea Party Congresswoman from NC) would be the new face of “Abortion Barbie” I would have laughed at you. I thought they understood. I was sure one look out their windows or congresses doorway at the hundreds of thousands (650,000-800,000) marching and praying from across the country on a weekday would send a message they could not ignore. I thought the fact that a large majority of the marchers were women and young people would make a statement. Guess what – they did not understand – and they refused to face the music with Abortion Barbie running after the vote. They marginalized our faith in God, in Moral Truth, and in their promises – and reneged on the passing of the bill at the last minute.

There was no rioting, looting, or threats. Complete order was maintained and the March for Life continued. In 2 years when the elections are held, do not think for an instant that this moment of betrayal will be forgotten. Just because we are not violent or disorderly does not mean we lack conviction. What it does mean is that we have discipline and deep conviction. This betrayal was a mistake to be dealt with at the ballot box at each and every election.

“But they passed another bill stopping funding…”

Yes they did, that same restriction has been in place since Ronald Reagan in the 80’s. More importantly – no matter what they passed the president is going to VETO it. We knew that going in. We wanted a statement about the sanctity of LIFE and the DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON. What we did not want was a statement about reducing “funding”…. That was not the point.

The Republican Party itself showed extreme disunity and disorganization on this key issue of LIFE which IS part of their official platform. It is the fault of pro-life people who do not confirm the pro-life credentials of the representation they elect. It is also the Catholics and other Christians who allow their concerns about small green pieces of inanimate paper to trump the concern for the life of a child.

Think about it, pray about it, and remind your elected representatives that human life is more important than financial goals. Remind them that we must see real effort, not last minute moral abdication. Remind them that the bait and switch tactics on legislation will be remembered at the next election and followed through on.

We threw the last set of congressmen out of office in the elections sweep – we can do it again in 2 years, but only if we are a force to be reckoned with who are willing to put human life above all other considerations. Together we can do great things. Disparate and passive, we are reduced to an inconsequential demographic that will be pandered to at election time. Test our resolve on Protecting Life, and you will fail.

Keep Praying, and remember that PROTECTING LIFE trumps everything when it comes time to vote.

Pax Christi,

Colin

 

About Big Expensive Weddings

14 Oct

Cutting the Wedding Cake as one

Like all of Marriage, How symbolic is the act of cutting the cake together. Showing that everything we do going forward will done by two working as one in purpose.

I have noticed of late that weddings are getting bigger and bigger, as well as more expensive. Shockingly people are starting their lives together in debt to finance live bands, open bars, lavish food, pricey venues, and other frivolities. On the flip side, so many seem to think that if they are too poor to afford these things then they are too poor to get married.

Full disclosure here – I was married in a small church, including the dress my wife and her mother made the wedding and reception cost under $1000 for everything. When we married we did not need fancy gadgets, expensive crystal or china, or any of the commemorative knick knacks (save the one person who did a wonderful framed wedding announcement for us). It was a family affair, but most important we were there to get married. We were not there to get drunk. We were not there to cater dinner to dozens. There was no booze, light refreshments, and wedding cake.  Our wedding gifts were practical things – study serviceable towels, pots and pans, kitchen utensils, recipe books, and from her parents a honeymoon cabin in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We were there to get married and start a lifelong journey together.

I do not feel I missed out or was slighted. All the other trimmings of the wedding are gone – but my wife remains. Her companionship for life as my spouse was the only wedding gift I wanted. Young love would grow and mature over the years – and the path would be rocky, even seemingly impassible at times. The truth is  – if you are going to throw a party to celebrate something, why not wait until you have an accomplishment together to really celebrate?

“If I ran the zoo”, said Gerald McGrew, “I know Just what I’d do!” – and Seussian rhyme aside, I do!

I’d celebrate big anniversaries with aplomb!
The 20th one would be quite a bomb!
The 25th would be a muted and private affair,
but the 30th would certainly include dancing bears.
40 and 50 seem so far away,
Big numbers they are,
so big bands will play.
By 60 and 70 we’ll just be glad to be there,
and watch the great grandchildren from our tandem rocking chair.
While old and decrepit our bodies may be,
By then a shining example of marriage,
to them we will be 🙂

Think for a moment about what is truly important, consider what is truly an accomplishment? Is is really appropriate to do a victory dance at the beginning of a marathon? Or is it more appropriate to dance a little jig and let out a whoop at each major milestone along the way. My thought is to set your own milestones – a long journey is taken one step a a time. Use your anniversaries to rededicate yourselves to your marriage and celebrate you successes thus far. Because in the end, the marathon never ends – and the real joy comes from happy memories and success which are celebrated on the journey.

Pax Christi,

Colin

Tail Wags Dog!

1 Aug

I don’t whether to laugh or cry that so many have been led so far astray from the faith that they now think the Catholic Church is a “Democracy” led by the will of the mob instead of guided by the Holy Spirit. Thinking that Holy Doctrine on Faith and Morals is molded by society, rather than society being molded by Infallible Doctrine. I guess I missed the part of the bible where Jesus asked the crowds what he should say or do and then catered to their whims in order to be popular. This is the worst kind of tail wagging the dog I have ever seen. This should be a call to arms for every priest and bishop to start attending their own Catechism classes (teaching them personally if necessary), to start Catechising from the pulpit every Mass, and to start stressing to the faithful that Moral Truth is NEVER determined by a majority vote.

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

In the Spirit: Petitions with more than 20,000 signatures to be delivered to Bishop Robert Morlino

Read more: http://host.madison.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/religion/in-the-spirit-petitions-with-more-than-signatures-to-be/article_d89014d3-94b9-58b8-ad5f-82b2120357e4.html#ixzz39C7y2syt

Pax Christi,

Colin

#DefendMarriage

25 Jul

I spend alot of time talking about marriage and its importance. This is a cause I believe in wholeheartedly, and without reservation. If we do not take a stand now then marriage as God himself instituted will be lost to our society. Many of us are faced with the choice of talking or acting. This is an action everyone can take. This petition is important – and it provides a peaceful and democratic way to ensure our voices are heard and our numbers counted on this issue. If ever there was a time to step forward and be counted – this is it. Do it for your wife or husband, do it for your children and their children, but just do it. Take 3 minutes out of your life and sign the petition.

We will never be heard unless we speak aloud with one voice, in deafening solidarity.

After you have signed the petition – I would ask those of you so inclined to please share this post far and wide on social media and email. Bloggers are encouraged to Re-Blog this post.

Then do any or all of the following:

  • Go to your church and have a mass said for the intention of Sacramental Marriage
  • Add it to your intentions in Eucharistic Adoration
  • Pray the Rosary for this intention, or better yet form a rosary group to continue praying until Sacramental Matrimony is secure in America.

Click Here for the petition:
http://www.lcaction.cc/674/petition.asp

Pax Christi.

Colin

Following up with Kathryn

5 Jul

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A while back I asked for your prayers to support Kathryn Gardner. Many of you responded enthusiastically. Kathryn survived against the odds and through great adversity and is finally on the mend. The picture of her above is with her mother recently. You can look back through my old posts to see how amazing her change in appearance has been. She is getting better, but still needs your prayers as she is having a very rough time emotionally with her recovery. This is something I have experienced personally. Please consider adding her to your prayer list for emotional healing and comfort through her continuing recovery. You can follow her on facebook here (G-Force is an organization locally put together to support the Gardner family through this tragedy)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GForcePage/?fref=nf

Here is the latest update from her mother:

Happy 4th of July everyone. The Gardner Girls are back from their Texas Tour – they had a wonderful time. Thank you so much to our family and friends who shared their homes and time showing our kids a great vacation. Having her sisters home has greatly lifted Kathryn’s spirits. She has been in a “funk” as of late. You see, before the Bone Marrow Transplant Kathryn was just to sick to want to do anything. Her mental condition was compromised by all the medication she was on and suffered from what is called “chemo fog”, meaning she was not clear of thought. Her body was failing and she was so weak and sick that she did not want to do anything but sleep. She was very docile to whatever was asked of her – taking medicine, receiving her treatments, etc …. Now that we are peeling back on her medications and she is starting to feel better – the isolation and restrictions are warring on her emotionally. The “chemo fog” is gone – she is now clear of thought and the reality of her situation has hit. As the “fog” is lifted she has more time to think about all the restrictions she lives with. She now wants to go outside – like her sisters are, she wants to visit with friends – like before she got sick, she wants to go on vacation like her sisters did. She wants to go out to eat or to a movie or to swim – but realize that she can not. It reminds me that she is still a 14 year old teenager wanting to do normal 14 year old teenager things. As much as we remind her that this is all temporary – it is for now and it hurts her heart. We have been told that these feelings are all a normal part of the process and as the restrictions are lifted it will get better. Medically she is doing fantastic, but struggling emotionally at this time.
The first 100 days are considered critical post transplant – we are day 61, so we are 3/4 of the way there – this last stretch is a lesson in fortitude.

Thank you for sending the pictures – we enjoy seeing them. We thank you all for your prayers, well wishes, cards, donations and gifts. We pray daily for all of you – we pray a blessing back to all those who are praying for us.
At this point all we can do is pray and wait ….. Blessings to All, Kathy

Thank you all and God Bless,

Colin

Human Sacrifice is Alive and Well

1 Jul

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It’s not a baby, its a “Clump of Cells” according to the liberal left. This baby was a human being that was sacrificed on the altar of:

  • Financial Security
  • Greed
  • Convenience
  • Career
  • Education
  • Adultery/Infidelity
  • Fornication
  • Fear
  • Irresponsibility

I could go on – but in short, this Baby was a human sacrifice. Murdered to obtain something of comfort or value in this life at the price of an unthinkable sin against God. We all know murder is wrong – so we tell ourselves it’s not a person. Look closely at the picture above and tell me that’s not a baby. Tell me it’s a clump of random cells in a blob. Yeah, that’s what I thought – It’s a baby human. A gift from God and some mother to whose care it was entrusted murdered it before it was born. This is how far our society has fallen.

To give you an idea how far that fall is we need to examine Roman law that protected the unborn and made abortion illegal. They recognized the innocence of the unborn child and would not even execute a pregnant women. These people had zero respect for life in general and meted out death in a public manner and on a grand scale. They thought up amazing ways to kill people, especially focusing on how to keep them from dying too quickly. Crucifixion comes to mind, since it was a penalty too brutal to use to execute a Roman citizen. They could still kill a citizen by beating him to death though. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out just how badly damaged our moral compass is.

When a woman murders her unborn child – she is sacrificing its life because of her mistake or to make life easier for her in some way. We live in a society where we charge people with crimes for spanking children but we harbor criminals who participate or facilitate human sacrifice through abortions.  When a child with issues like down syndrome is murdered, it is not really concern for the child – it is concern for the time, effort, lifestyle changes, and fiscal costs necessary to care for that child. Let us not fool ourselves any further – dishonesty just compounds the evil.

Women need these fairy tales about how it’s just a clump of cells (No wonder Planned Parenthood doesn’t want women to see their babies on an ultrasound machine first!) to go through the sacrifice without going mad. Men should be ashamed of themselves. They need to start taking full responsibility. Don’t have premarital sex. If you do make sure it is with a woman you are willing to take to wife – because the very second conception occurs your life is forever changed. You now have an obligation to provide and care for that mother and child over any personal aspirations you may have had. To provide a home and family. Men used to be expected to marry young ladies they left in a family way – and treat them as sacramental marriage requires. The pregnancy alone is proof of strong chemistry – and true love develops over time anyway. Now so many men push the women to have abortions with threats and coercion, and failing those being efficacious – use any wrangling they can to get out of supporting their offspring.

The worst part is that those men push Human Sacrifice on the mothers for the same reasons listed above. Then to compound their sin, they induce others to sin. The family is the basis of civilization. Take the chivalrous path, let duty, honor, and sacrifice be things we once again admire. Let women choose young men more wisely making moral character the key quality they seek. Let women practice the Lysistrata defense and demand sacramental marriage prior to coitus. If a man will not make a commitment and wait, then he is not worthy of her anyway.

Stop the Human Sacrifice – you are bartering for things that do not matter (you cannot take them with you when you die – nor will they be your epitaph) and you are trading the most precious gift God bestows. Only one entity would encourage such a bargain – have you ever considered that in performing the Human Sacrifice of your child one might stop and ask themselves “Whom does this serve?” I guarantee “God” will not be the answer.

When the Obamacare demanded Catholic business owners and other persons of moral conscience not only support, but to personally fund this human sacrifice – they went off the reservation. Thanks be to God for the Supreme Court providing a moral compass. Mind you this does not stop all abortions – it just stops Catholics and others with similar religious convictions from having to pay for them. It’s the first step in the right direction in a long time.

Pax  Christi,

Colin

 

 

What the Church really needs IMHO

1 Jun

A meal shared in community after mass. (Local VFW since our parish hall is being renovated)

A meal shared in community after mass. (Local VFW since our parish hall is being renovated)

In a word – COMMUNITY.

I’ve been listening to people that keep espousing tripe like:

  1. Better Bands
  2. Hipper Priests/Married Priests
  3. Nicer buildings
  4. Women Priests
  5. Openly Gay Married Priests
  6. Drop the teachings on… Matrimonial Indissolubility, Artificial Contraception, Fornication, Homosexual Copulation, Homosexual Marriage, Murder and Abortion, Papal Infallibility, The Eucharist, Relic Veneration, Marian Devotion

I’m going to stop there for a reason. For the church to do ANYTHING past #3 it would cease to be the Catholic Church. In essence, most of the proposals I am hearing are superficial or simply out of the question.

Now for a dose of honesty in this conversation. The church teachings are used as an excuse not to come back – but the real reason in my humble opinion is a lack of connection to the Church. The Church is no longer an integral part of the family or the community. Without it families and communities  have fallen apart. The Church is wounded even more deeply by two generations of the poorest quality of catechesis, or lack thereof,  in history. We have too many who claim a lack of participation because they want to rule or govern some aspect of the church rather than humbly submit to her as willing servants and the current structure excludes them from doctrine and policy decisions. The sense of community has been lost. How long has it been since you had a social hour after church before people left? How long has it been since you shared a meal after mass with complete strangers in community (and not as a fundraiser – but one where not a penny was collected nor expected)? When was the last time you performed some act of service for your Church or Parish that involved real work from you – like cleaning the church, mowing the grass, moving things, repairing something — while working as part of a larger group of volunteers. The community must be made of people, not their cheques.

Just as fatherhood in this country has been erroneously abrogated to a monthly support check, so religion seems to have been abrogated to a tithing cheque or pledge. We have allowed both of these to happen. Worse still is a sense of entitlement that has accompanied this change. We have become arrogant and impetuous. Some have decided that because they write a cheque that suddenly they should have a say in Church policy and doctrine. It gets better still when people outside the church think that they too have a say. Acting as if the Church of Christ were a democracy. This represents nothing less than a confederacy of dunces in rebellion against God himself. God who personally founded the Church and set Peter at its helm. At some point it is my hope that we will see though it. Though it will not cure all ills, putting the church back at the center of the community is the surest way to bring people back. We need to have them fully personally invested, and teach the next generation the joys of serving lovingly without expectation or direct remuneration. All while notwithstanding the need for teaching them the faith.

You see the mass isn’t the problem, the doctrine and teaching of the Catholic Church is not the problem, faithful communities disappearing – that is the problem. Without those communities we are left standing alone, against a world which seeks to consume our very souls.  With strong communities we become a rock and the world an ocean, it can dash against us, and cover us, but we remain firm and faithful. Without those communities we are but gravel on a beach at the mercy of waves and tides.

To paraphrase JFK (our only Catholic President), ask not what the Church can do to serve you, but instead what you can do to serve the Church.

Pax Christi,

Colin

The Pope Tweets on Marriage!

9 May

For my readers –
This will sound very familiar. Please share as widely as possible so that everyone might be blessed by this wonderful truth!

Pax Christi,

Colin

A Rash of Unwanted Divorces – Prayers Needed

21 Apr

Recently I have personally witness a seeming rash of divorces by long married couples with wives leaving husbands of 20-34 years. The wives have left without saying a single word prior – and in several cases gutting the couples financial resources just before retirement. The husbands are left confused and conflicted. One thing that has stood out to me is that the husbands all did not see any signs that the divorce was coming – until the day it happened.

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. My wife has pointed out that there is definitely a failure to communicate in many instances and cited some examples for me. I was not shocked by anything she said. I was however shocked that small wounds were allowed to fester to a boiling point before anything was said. Often, these women have suffered in silence for years. It was not generally the size of the wounds which were killing the marriage, but rather the untreated festering infection.

What is the solution? As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. One thing I observed is that some of these women feared their husbands in some way – some even physically. These bother me the most – your wife should never fear being physically harmed by you as her husband.  Others were just averse to conflict. You need to learn to listen carefully, and reply thoughtfully. You can chew your food before you swallow – do the same with your thoughts – chew on them a bit before you blurt them out. Words are the single most dangerous thing we have in a marriage. Be careful with yours always, think before you speak – and speak kindly always. We can blame the wives all we want for what they did or did not do, but it won’t save your marriage from divorce or make your wife happy. The fix requires more than being attentive, it means serious effort on your part. Remember that you cannot change other people – you must accept and love her as she is. Instead change yourself as that is something you do have control over and can change.

Trust is paramount. She has to be sure she can share honest feelings with you without facing retaliation emotionally, verbally, or physically. You have to listen, consider, and find ways to address her concerns in a matter that resolves them to both of your satisfaction. I highly recommend the tactical approach of listening carefully while repressing negative facial expressions or comments, then thinking carefully about how to respond, only after that – do you open your mouth and do so. Peoples tongues are the source of more self inflicted marital wounds than many realize. DO NOT tell her it is her fault, denigrate her, or blame her in your response. Focus your response solely on what you can do to alleviate her concerns and then do it. This is NOT a negotiation, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT say things like I’ll do X if you do Y.

Keep in mind that often women just need to vent their feelings in a safe environment. They do not expect you to necessarily fix it – what they want is for you to listen. Letting her get her feeling out by listening attentively. Act when it is appropriate, and listen and hold her when action is not required.

Your wife might trust you with her life and well being, yet not trust you with her heart. This is where the problems fester and grow. You need to regain her faith in you to counter this, and open deep lines of communication. While you might want to say that telling her to make changes would make more sense – it does not. The only person you can change is you, so work with what you have. Make sure you are attentive to her feelings, emotions, and the little things she says. You won’t get this right most of the time being male, but she will appreciate sincere interest in her and her feelings. For what you have done, and what you have failed to do… Often we hear Catholics say this mantra, but fail to heed it. Have you given your wife cause to think that there are things important to her that she cannot accomplish within marriage – things in keeping with sacramental marriage, of course? Maybe it’s travel, education, learning to play an instrument, learning to ride a motorcycle, learning to hunt/shoot/fish, or becoming a HAM radio operator. Don’t fail her by ruling things out. Don’t put unnecessary impediments or barriers on your marriage. Married life is like a dance, it works best if both parties move together as one. If your wife takes the time to tell you about her dreams and goals – listen and then start working to make them happen. Learn to take a hint, and act on it.  Where such is feasible it is an opportunity for you to grow together – find joy in it. Service to your wife does not have to be a sacrifice – it can be a source of unending joy and discovery for both of you. Don’t fail to make sure your wife knows that there is nothing she can accomplish outside marriage that cannot be accomplished within marriage more easily. Don’t fail to support and work towards her goals as well – after all you expect her to work towards and support yours.

Intimacy is always of paramount importance – I cannot stress this enough. It is through intimacy that the bond between man and woman is strengthened and maintained. Sexual relations are a byproduct of intimacy, not the other way around.  So many marriages suffer from unresolved sexual issues because people refuse to communicate. Do not assume you are “doing it right” – even after years of marriage. Do not ask for a critique of your performance. Instead, do ask your wife what would please her – and then follow her guidance exactly and without hesitation. Too often women are shortchanged here because they are making a sacrifice to protect their husbands ego and self-image. Frustration builds over time, never deny her the marital embrace and accompanying intimacy – ignoring her or refusing her is a rejection. Rejection destroys intimacy at the root.. Give her the opportunity to protect your self-esteem, your marriage, and have her needs met by opening lines of communication. You may find yourself surprised at the changes in your experience when you stop worrying about yourself and focus every fiber of your being on pleasing her. You may also be astounded by the levels of intimacy that can be achieved when she does not feel sex is a sacrifice or worse that she is being used as a repository for your sexual angst. It is that intimacy that will keep your bond both sealed and renewed.

Pax Christi,

Colin

Father Charles’ Reflections

14 Apr

Compline – A Reflection on a major problem in the contemporary Church: “Because each person presumes that he or she knows what best, disobedience and disrespect for Church authority prevails. We should all step back and remind ourselves the reason we are members of the Church; it is to save our souls through prayers and reception of the sacraments.”A major problem in the Church today is the profusion of people who, with neither study nor formation, presume expertise in theological, liturgical, and miscellaneous Church matters. We read one or two blogs on the internet and we presume on having a better understanding of the Church and spiritual matters than the Pope. Everybody has an opinion on how best to govern the Church; on what the liturgy should be or not. At a recent committee meeting someone even suggested that we should include catechumens and first communicants among those whose feet are to be washed on Holy Thursday. But in the Roman Missal it is clearly stated that “MEN” should be invited. In celebrating the liturgy, we priests are bound to do what is typed in red in the Roman Missal and say what is in black; the laity is expected to participate actively, reverentially and prayerfully. Any other thing becomes an innovation or distraction. Today, many Catholics seem to forget that the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is not utilitarian; it is not a Church of opinion polls. Because each person presumes that he or she knows what best, disobedience and disrespect for Church authority prevails. We should all step back and remind ourselves the reason we are members of the Church; it is to save our souls through prayers and reception of the sacraments. If we fail to attain this purpose then we have truly failed in life, and it would be better that we were never born. And the Lord in His perfect wisdom, and knowing the brokenness of man, has made is such that the efficacy of the sacraments is not affected by the sinfulness of the minister. So we have no reason to fail.

3/30/2014 Kathryn Update (By popular Request)

7 Apr

I have had a large number of requests for further updates on Kathryn’s status. She is still in my prayers every day. She remains extremely ill and requires a bone marrow transplant from her youngest sister who is a compatible donor. The Gardeners and her doctors are getting her ready for that. The local community is also sponsoring fundraisers and events to try to help offset the crushing medical bills. You can follow it all on Facebook in near real time here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GForcePage/

Please keep her in your prayers – and join the group on Facebook to show your support (as well as see updates in real time)

Pax Christi,

Colin

** 3.30.14 ++++ MEDICAL UPDATE ++++

This past week has been a little rough for Kathryn. Since they are slowly taking her off of the steroids, she is feeling her body more and more. She is experiencing headaches, and all over body aches so much so that she switched beds with one of her sisters in attempts to get some sleep. That did not work. She is just feeling cruddy.

On Thursday, she received the 3rd of 5 shots of the new chemotherapy. Blood results showed that her Ferritin is back up to 540 but they were told that it may fluctuate some weeks. The blood results from Karlie have not come in yet.

On April 2, Kathryn will have to have 4 baby teeth pulled. Since dental work can pose a bacterial risk, they were waiting for her medical doctor to give her dentist approval for the extractions.

At a recent doctor’s check for Kathy, she was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure (HBP). She was given medicine and told to change her eating habits. She is supposed to record her pressure daily and go in for a followup appointment in 2 weeks. She told me that even on medication her daily pressure is 150 over 100. Unfortunately, caregivers all over are so frazzled, they forget to take care of themselves and this sort of thing can happen. Her eldest daughter, Kassidy who is an EMT, will be taking her pressure daily.

Starting in April, the Gardner’s will NOT need meals for Monday’s and Thursday’s because Kathy and Kathryn will be in the hospital for the bone marrow transplant. What they need during this time will be meals that can be frozen. Meals like Chili, Lasagna, Meatballs, Roast, Beef/Chicken Enchiladas, any type of casserole. Anything that can be defrosted and popped into the oven quickly. Again contact Marianne Bell the food coordinator @ 985-285-5359, if you can help in this area.

Kathy and Kyle have been Eucharistic Adorers for over 20 years. Kyle sits with Jesus every Friday morning from 3am to 4am. and Kathy sits every Saturday from 3am to 4am. While in the hospital with Kathryn, Kathy would like to have someone take her Saturday hour. The weeks we need covered are April 26, May 3, May 17, May 24, May 31, June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28. (9 weeks).

Please contact me if you can cover her adoration hour during this 9 week time frame. My cell is 985.502.6412.

Ideally Kathy would like 1 person to cover the first half of the 9 weeks then a second person to cover the last half. We are hoping that Kathryn will be home by the end of June and Kathy will be able to return to adoration then.

I hope that everyone is getting the word out about our big Dinner/Comedy Night on April 25 and 26 at St. Margaret Mary. It’s going to be a wonderful event and I can’t wait to meet all of you. Tickets go on sale April 1, and the G-Force T-shirts should be arriving by the end of this week.

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