The following comes from a December 19 story on the website of the Catholic News Agency.
As the nation mourns the loss of life in the Newtown, Conn. shooting, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver is saying that goodness and respect for human dignity are the best responses to evil.
“We’re most often the victims of evil when we become objects — used for someone’s else’s purposes — instead of treated with the inherent dignity that comes just from being a person,” the archbishop wrote in a Dec. 18 opinion column for the Denver Post.
“Evil is not defeated by policy. Protracted policy discussions on gun control and school safety are necessary and will be forthcoming, but they will not solve the problem,” he said.
“Goodness — sheer and unabashed goodness — protects and promotes human dignity. Evil is defeated by love and love alone,” he insisted.
Archbishop Aquila’s penned his column in response to the evil experienced last week when a gunman killed 20 children, six adults and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The experience, the archbishop said, reminds us that “evil is real,” and that there are moral absolutes.
“In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary murders, all of us can look with certitude and declare that evil exists.”
He also pointed out that evil is a perennial problem in the human condition, noting that Homer’s works of nearly 3,000 years ago also grapple with the problem.
Archbishop Aquila reminded his readers that beside the shocking acts of objectification of people such as Sandy Hook, there are also daily instances of injustice and objectification that have deep effects on society.
He mentioned undocumented immigrants who are made objects of xenophobia, poor people who suffer from the greed of others, and children who are made objects of “convenience, or neglect, or rage.”
“And,” he warned, “we can easily get in the habit of using people, rather than treating them with the inherent dignity God bestows on every human being.”
The archbishop upheld the Jewish concentration camp survivor Victor Frankl as someone who discovered that love is the answer to the problem of evil.
In keeping with the responding to evil with love, Archbishop Aquila encouraged the celebration of Christmas, because love is “encapsulated” in Christmas’ “message and truth.”
“Many will not be in the mood for Christmas this year, but there has never been a time when we need that message more.”
To read original CNA story, click here.
“Goodness — sheer and unabashed goodness — protects and promotes human dignity. Evil is defeated by love and love alone,” he insisted.
his words remind me of the AMISH response to a similar killing spree…no cries for blood and vengeance and “off with their heads” but staying the course with faith in GOD.
The overwhelming goodness of 20 children certainly stopped the evil, right?
Yep, max, the Amish response, thank God, is protected by the military might of the US government, the State of Pennsylvania, and the county sheriff where they reside.
I was thinking the same thing, Max. It is so hard to do, but frees the soul.
Please read my reply to Ska below, though. I am not a pacifist. Prevention is better than having to forgive after your children are murdered.
Goodness would have shined had it put a shot string right above the neck of Adam Lanza as he entered the admin building and began his slaughter. Twenty children would not have died, and most or all of the teachers would have lived as well. A point made by a friend, who is a retired sheriff deputy, is that there is a critical difference between sworn police officers and rent-a-cops; so, when the public decides to staff more schools with armed defenders, they need to deploy actual cops and not the armed security guards that would cost less. Most middle and high schools in the region I’m in have permanent cops on campus. These cops are assigned from local police departments or the sheriff’s office. They carry their full complement of “tool”, such as badge, gun and sometimes multi-shot pepper spray “guns”. These cops cost about the same as teachers … so what difference in adding one cop to a school of dozens of teachers … additional drop in the financial bucket. They save the districts money anyway by cutting down on the law suits that would stem from out of control fights, gang fights, and shootings and bombings. Yes, they find guns and deal with bomb threats. Without these cops on campus … some schools have several permanent assigned cops I think … the law suits would easily overwhelm any amount a cop would cost a school.
Our woodstove made the fire alarm go off at 4 this morning so here I am blurry eyed at the computer and what a wonderful gift reading this wonderful message. The perfect Christmas gift is love, always!
Love drove the money changers out of the Temple by using violence.
This article is good to be reminded to keep love in all we do. We must not forget though, is that losing a loved one in this kind of tragedy is never good, and people have the right to let out their grief, in a positive way of course, as they know how. Especially since they lost innocent children…I think that people who give their opinion down right on how people should act can sometimes be insensitive because unless we personally have gone through this, we will never understand the pain and shock that they are having to endure.
Love also means to prevent, to protect society from those who want to harm some more, like the death penalty would be great to keep in place as a tool of deterrence. People feel this more because we lost 27 people to this shooting, but we must not forget that there are countless of victims who lost a child to rape, murder by repeat offenders. So our call is to be just and keep in place laws and even consequences that will help stop these things, especially if a parent has a child who seems out of place, it would be nice to have church or support else where to help out more. God have mercy and God help those affected by these shootings, for it will be our great loving savior who can comfort them better, in what is truly within them, what they really need. I support anyone who wants to carry a gun as a protection tool, I especially think that woman would benefit in learning properly how to handle and use a gun for protection! True love moves us to use precaution and to learn various ways to protect not only ourselves but also others.
Maybe the Church today envisions its Great Commission as being to convert the world into good pagans instead of the difficult conversion to Catholicism.
oh, SKAI, how wonderful of you to find something to attack even in an article that encourages CHRISTIANS to embody “goodness and respect for human dignity.”
you must be loads of fun to live with…
What, max, about the bishops is not open to just attack? They fail to stop abortion, sodomy, and all manner of sin, and they do it because they refuse to become holy as the Pope has commanded them to become. It is holiness, and not milquetoast, that wins souls.
Skai, Bishop Aquila was writing in the Denver Post to a secular audience for the most part. It was necessary to include other faiths or philosophies that also promote love and forgiveness that unites us all in promoting life, in protecting our children and in being united against the forces of evil. Hatred and revenge only promote more violence as attested by those that now are blaming the NRA, for example. If these people want to point fingers at the real source of violence their time would be better spent shining a light on Hollywood and how these dark and misguided profiteers disguise their war against families, morality and especially ‘real’ love by pretending to have higher motives than their pursuit of money at any cost mentality really is. The last massacre was in a movie theater showing a brutally dark and evil film where the killer mimics the protagonist in the movie. Anyway, be careful Skai of becoming what you hate. It’s natural to want justice, but the only way we’ll ever see hope for our children is put God back in our schools and expose the truly insidious agenda of the left. Read a recent interview with that scary friend of obama…the radical (didn’t he blow up some homes and try to kill someone?) and politically insane Bill Ayers. These people are just filled with a lust for power and they hate for the rest of us to have any voice at all. How do we defeat them? Jesus tells us to LOVE them, pray for them…and though I’m always struggling with that and will til the day I die, at the end of the day, I’m always faced with that command “Love one another as I have loved you”. I still believe exposing these people is really important though and doing what we can to defeat them. Bringing in armed guards and more guns into the schools is going to have the opposite effect I think…it will alienate the very students they were meant to protect and bring on even more violence, don’t you think?
I want to add that while love may not stop bullets love does stop the c
Love stops the corruption of the soul which is evils goal. Evil can destroy our bodies and end our earthly lives at will. But we choose whether or not to allow evil into our soul.
Exactly what the Pope has called for, starting with the bishops becoming holy … that is the way the Church has always demonstrated the love of God, and which converts the world to Christ.
Bishops need to make the Gospel known, and let the rest of the world act accordingly. Trying to pull puppet strings on non believers is rankly ridiculous, Dana. A leading cardinal in the Vatican announced to all bishops to stop with their administrations game playing and move up to being bishops. Go and read the holy bishops of Church history … amazing difference between them and the common lot we have today.
Dana excellent comments!
Thanks Abeca. How are you? You said you had a tragedy recently so I’ve had you in prayer…hope you have a very healthy and happy New Year, as I wish to all of you reading this! May God richly bless you through the coming time, fraught with who knows what or why or where we’re headed and when, but through it all we know God is Lord of all.
Dana yes a terrible tragedy. Thank you for your prayers….God knows the details and I thank you for praying for us. We are taking it one day at a time….prayer and some natural sleeping aid has helped me get some much needed sleep,
Arming school staff could help; however, at some point the importation of suicide bombing instead of suicide shooting will kick into gear … unless the nation turns from its evils and this can only be done by the bishops becoming holy.
Skai you make sense, the more liberal this society becomes, the more dangerous it is becoming…so I recon that the best solution is to get rid of the liberal control mind. Bring back God, family values and more traditions rich in faith. : )
Goodness and respect for human dignity are the only options for those of us who love being Catholics and want to live our lives in imitation of Christ. But unless we share this message with others and work to spread it throughout the world, we will always be the victims of people who choose the opposite of goodness and respect for human dignity. The importance of evangelization, something we Catholics are not well schooled in, is only now being recognized in the Catholic world. We must wear our crucifixes, mention God, the Holy Family, and the saints, as well as our attendance at Mass, etc., at every possible appropriate opportunity in casual conversation, live our lives in ways that will attract others to the faith, and always show charity toward others in fulfilling our Catholic duty. If we do not share our faith well with others, it may be in our hearts fully, but the message we could be sharing with others who need to hear it, or hear it reinforced, will accompany us out of this world when we die.
Maryanne, many, many thanks
Recently someone, an anti-Catholic, asked me on the Internet if I knew and loved Jesus; I answered that person thusly: “Yes as a matter of fact, I received him this morning at Mass”.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
KENNETH, what a terrific answer!
GOD bless your coming year!
I appreciate your sentiments. However I think close examination would show that the lack of “Schooling” for Catholics in evangelization is a post Vatican II and mostly American problem.
Actually, AnnAsher, that’s not really the case. I was raised in the Catholic Church and educated in Catholic schools and was a married adult by the time Vatican II came along, so I feel confident in telling you that the closest I ever came to being taught or even to evangelize was being challenged to sell a lot of subscriptions to a Catholic magazine, knocking on doors of our entire neighborhood, including Protestant households. That’s it. The pre-Vatican II years found us pretty insulated in our Catholic world, but so many families were having so many babies back then, that the growth of our Catholic population was expected to be virtually guaranteed by our faithful habits of following whatever the Church said to do, including regarding not practicing birth control. I must report from the front that this is no longer the case, post-Vatican II..
A great and good response barking out the business end of a police on campus shotgun would have cut down the number of dead 7 year olds, maybe even before the zoner reached their classroom.
Although I do agree with Max above, I also think there should be trained people with weapons at schools, even if it is a principal. Once it happens the Amish way is good for the soul, but preventing such things happening is even better. The people who want to murder know that most school employees and the children are “sitting ducks”. That is not good. I think it is an open invitation to the demented to “come get us”.
I like the idea of teachers and principles of school to learn to use a gun for protection….pretty good idea
Abeca Christian, I agree with you on this as well as with your Dec. 26, 11:35 am post. The Catholic church has always stated that one has a right to protect oneself as well as one’s fellow citizen.
I can’t remember where, but I recently read an excellent article pointing out how airline pilots are now armed.
There is a current youtube interview with an air marshal.
I think they should have at least two people on campus who are trained in weaponry. They should not tell the public who they are unless there is an incident, and it should not be a person with a uniform that gives them away. Only school employees need to know whom to contact. That should stop a lot of this evil right now. That and start going back to basic teaching and keep the sex lives of people out of the curriculum, etc.
What am I saying! I used to pray for the intercession of St. Michael and St. Nicholas for the safety of the children with whom I worked and not one was seriously injured when I was with them. Evidently, it worked, but of course St. Michael is the patron saint of police officers, so I did have their protection surrounding me.
Concerning my above post, the two people trained in weaponry should be for larger schools.
Tracy and Anne T I agree….thanks for understanding my point as well. God bless you always!
Too many of today’s clerics prove incapable of making good decisions and so they substitute indecision. St Thomas Aquinas crafted the just war defense showing how it is mandatory to defend with violence against violence. Jesus showed this at Sodom and Gomorrah, and countless other times and places. The Church never has believed it wrong to stop violence with violence. St Michael the Archangel uses violence against the devil. Jesus turned His cheek once, but not twice; also, He turned His cheek for a specific reason at a specific time and in a specific place. The Vatican and Holy See have Swiss guards armed with M-16 fully automatic rifles and other violent weapons. This particular archbishop should show his holiness by going to some hotbed of violence and walking around unescorted and unarmed and with a big smile of peace on his face.
I am no pacifist; however you are totalling missing the point of the Archbishop’s message.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Kenneth, isn’t his point the same “soma” that we read about in Orson Wells’ “1984”?
Jesus warns us about soothsayers, Kenneth. Don’t let them put you to sleep.
That’s George Orwell (aka Eric Blair, his real name) and soma was in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Frankly, I think we’re moving closer to Mordor than any other literate location.
Mordor indeed, and Sauron is alive, and the shire is in danger. God save us from the RING.
Dana, I should have written Sauron and Golem are alive as their are many Golems out there siding with Sauron, and I do not mean “golem” in the Jewish sense of the word, a hero. Actually there are several Saurons out there too. One I think is just a puppet of the other, but who know.
Ok, Dana, so Orson Wells broadcast the War of the Worlds, and scared everybody … Soma has been around for a long time; for example, Jason’s Argonauts imbibed of its equivalent and forgot all their worries … which worried Jason. This tale type appears on many stories, notably in Heartbreak Ridge, when Eastwood beats his slack R&R Marines back into shape. The bishops ought to get something going like this instead of indulging everyone in the “soma” of our time.
Skai, it looks like you have been reading JLS’s posts. Jesus wasn’t at Sodom and Gomorrah, you are adding to that story. Interesting how some people ignore the words of Jesus in the gospels but throw him into Old Testament stories.
Mark, He was in many of the Old Testament Stories…like the fourth person in the fires of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel. He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, and was there at the making of the world, as He will be at the end of all things…just as He is with us now.
The Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) was at Sodom and Gomorrah, which included Jesus Christ BEFORE his New Testament incarnation, although the early Church Fathers mentioned the Son of God being incarnated when the three men (creatures from heaven) talked to Abraham, so the Son of God actually came as a man before the New Testament incarnation according to some of them. The Catholic and Orthodox church and many other Christians have an icon of the three men who were talking to Abraham sitting at a table. It has been a Christian symbol of the Holy Trinity since early Christianity.
Heretic PA once again: Jesus always exists, or didn’t your inerrant nuns teach that to you? It was either the Father, the Son or the Holy Ghost who smote Sodom and Gomorrah, PA. The Trinity is in perfect union. Thus Jesus was part of the action that utterly destroyed the pervert cities.
Speaking of JLS, where is he, we haven’t read any of his wonderful comments. God bless JLS!
JLS was working for the salvation of a couple of souls awhile back. Maybe he’s investing his time in converting sinners? I’m reading “The Cure’ d’Ars’ by George Rutler right now, and it’s so full of wisdom for our own time. I wish everyone would read it! It’s implied that the French Revolution is the outgrowth of luke warm bishops. I’m simplifying some profound truths he brought out, but basically because the Church failed its people did they turn on the Church and become radically opposed to it. The Jensenists are so much like the liberals of our day. Anyway, this is an incredible and inspirtational book.
That you for the info, Dana. Fr. Rutler is an excellent writer.
Frankl never saved any of the Nazi victims with his “goodness”; he found a way to survive himself, but so did countless other Jews and Catholics in those situations. The real question brought up by this archbishop is this: Are we a Catholic Church or a Jewish religion?
Skai ~ We are the Catholic Church which is a Jewish religion. Founded by a Jew and based on the Torah.
C&H the Catholic Church is Christian! Christ made us Christian….stop with all this heretical stuff…yes our roots are Judeo Christian if that is what you are really trying to say?
The Catholic Church is universal, and therefore, yes, it is, as is sometimes stated by critics intending it as an insult, a Jewish religion. Just so, it is also an American religion, an African religion, an English religion, and yes, even a religion of the Near, Far and Middle East, Greenland, Russia . . . you name it!
…and let’s not forget LIECHTENSTEIN and LUXEMBOURG, where the ARCHDUKE took a stand against euthanasia”:
On 2 December 2008 it was announced that Grand Duke Henri had stated he would refuse to sign into law the act on euthanasia that had been voted on earlier in the year by the Chamber of Deputies.
I have recently been to Europe and found that they are ignorant of the freedoms we have in the USA. They continue to perceive themselves as kind of like serfs, even those of means. The thought occured to me that not many at all immigrate to Europe, other than those from Islamic countries and who do not merge into European cultures probably for good reasons.
Nonsense. Try again.
One thing good to note in the Archbishop’s speech is his discovery that evil exists. This knowledge may be a rarity among clerics today.
Noting in his pitch that the poet Homer of about 2800 years ago, 800 BC, an era corresponding the the age of the great Jewish Prophets, dealt with the problem of good and evil. Homer tells graphically how good won, and how it did so through violent force against evil. Why the Archbishop did not elaborate on how Homerian tales showed the triumph of good through martial arts is an interesting question. But then too many clerics try to balance contradicting pressures, and end up with nothing but lukewarm water … a problem explained by Jesus in the Book of the Apocalypse.
Skai, martial arts are very popular in Japan and the Far East but they are not really Christian. You seem to glorify violence in your statement of Homer telling how good wins through violent force against evil. This is the opposite of the message of Jesus in the gospels. Jesus said that those that live by the sword shall perish by the sword. His holy life was an example of non-violence. The attraction to and admiration of violence is a big problem in today’s society. Witness the attraction that violent video games, violent movies and firearms have for many.
Martial arts are indeed Christian, PA. Jesus told His apostles to retain two of the swords they carried among them. He Himself used a whip to beat evil money changers in His Father’s temple. St Michael is depicted with a sword. Jesus is fully God, PA, and also fully man; man is martial among other traits, and wisdom is given man to use his martial arts according to the will of God. God has never ever forbidden the use of weapons by His saints. If you teach otherwise, PA, then you once again teach false doctrine.
SKAI, you are so…interesting.
all your defense of “martial arts” and such reminds me that the word itself comes from the roman god MARS, god of war.
so there we have it…a roman god being glorified right here on CCD!
max, your use of the word, “glorified”, makes you a worshiper of Gloria Allred, the abortion lawyer.
So if one has the name Martin, the name of some great saints such as Martin of Tours and Martin de Porres, one worships Mars, Max? Many Christians had and do have what was once or are pagan names. They is even a St. Bacchus who was in the early church, named after Bacchus the god of wine and debauchery. Did St. Bacchus worship Bacchus? No! not after his conversion, but most were allowed to keep their pagan names in the early church when they converted to Christianity.
PA, I do not glorify violence, but you freak out at the mere thought or image of it. Why do you believe you should preach paralyzing fear and moral defeat instead of courage and victory?
Well, Skai, perhaps it is my nature. In all of school I never hit another child or got into a fight. I remember in 1st Grade I threw a snowball and got yelled at by a nun. My brother told my dad and I ended up getting spanked for this. (I remember as I almost never got spanked as a child.) Well, I never threw a snowball again.
ooops once again it wasn’t non violence it was violence
PA, did you know that the Pope retains a group of highly trained martial artists around him. These men are deployed with automatic firearms and other weapons. The Church has always approved of martial arts for Catholics.
Well, I just learned something from you, Skai. I was not aware that the Pope’s bodyguards are deployed with automatic firearms.
PA, you must have fallen off the same Twenty Mule Team wagon that max fell off of … Did you think the Pope’s Swiss Guard is armed only with halberds or muskets?
max, google up “swiss guard” on wikipedia and click on “modern weapons”. The Vatican Swiss Guard is equipped with sub machine guns, assault rifles, and various semi-automatic pistols and carbines. So, next time you and your cronies argue that the popes are totally against the death sentence, you can try to rationalize this fact.
“the triumph of good through martial arts”
SKAI, the ninja!
Saint Louis IX, France’s only canonized king, took part in several crusades. Obviously, then, the Church approves of violence when needed.
Goodness is indeed a worthy pursuit, for its own sake.
However expecting goodness to stop the finger of a crazy person intent upon murder is asking too much of it.
I don’t see how traditional Catholic orthodoxy should be incompatible with the concept of a vigorous and if need be, violent, exercise of self defense.
In the best of all possible worlds, twisted people like this shooter would be getting the psychiatric care they require.
In this world though, about the best we are going to get is having the ability to resist the efforts of murderers and other violent criminals. If it requires armed guards who shoot to kill….so be it.
Christians are not sheep, we do not go to the slaughterhouse willingly. Do we value the lives that God gave each of us so little that fighting to stay alive at all times is not the proper course or action?
Personally I refuse to accept the proposition that Catholicism is a pacifistic religion. If that were so then Pope Innocent, when he organized the Christian princes of Europe to defeat the Ottoman Turks and push them out of central Europe was grievously in error and I do not think that was the case.
As to the Bishop’s comments regarding illegal aliens, I simply fail to see any scriptural support for the position that border security is immoral or that expecting people to follow the law is in any way un-Christian.
Re the poor, it seems a bit silly to claim that they are suffering the greed of others. Having more wealthy people does not require an equivalent increase in the number of poor, there is simply no logical link between the two.
Of course the poor should be helped by individual charity, clothed and fed if necessary, but arguing that greed causes poverty is a Marxist concept, and Marxism is in diametrical opposition with the Judeo-Christian ethos.
William, thanks for mentioning the illegal aliens or rather ” undocumented immigrants”. I also did not see the suffering of the illegals as equal to the suffering of children in the womb or those who were mowed down at Newtown. When you come to a country on your own volition and are willing to take risks with your safety and possible deportation it is your decision. There are people all along the way who will take advantage of you and yes some of them die in their efforts, but there are charities and government programs to address you needs when you arrive. That principal was a gutsy woman and I have every belief that she would have used a gun to protect those kids. Love will not work with deranged leaders of countries or deranged individuals. Some are called to be martyrs in the faith, but laying down arms should be an individual decisions and not one made for you.
William, excellent post!
Wishing Christmas blessings and peace to all. God bless.
Yes, Merry Christmas to all, and a holy, blessed New Year.
Thank you, Mark, and God bless you and your family too.
Thank you Anne and Maryanne, my family and I can surely use your blessings.
PA, hopefully you received a Peacemaker for Christmas, a Colt Peacemaker, that is.
” – “Evil is not defeated by policy. Protracted policy discussions on gun control and school safety are necessary and will be forthcoming, but they will not solve the problem,” he said.
“Goodness — sheer and unabashed goodness — protects and promotes human dignity. Evil is defeated by love and love alone,” he insisted. ”
This is worth repeating. It reminds me of the student who wrote a note to God.
Why do you let these shootings take place in public schools?
A concerned student.
Dear concerned student,
I am not allowed in public schools.
Goodness and Love will never be acheived without God’s help.
MIKE AMEN! For God is the author, the Alpha and the Omega!
hmm…uh, MIKE…i think the LORD GOD goes pretty much where HE pleases, not caring whether a government likes it or not.
look back to that glorious year when we received a polish pope, JOHN PAUL II, in spite of communism’s attempt to squish religion thourghout the east bloc.
and now we have a german pope, BENEDICT XVI, who survived his country’s near destruction because of an anti-GOD nutcase named hitler.
they can take down the crucifixes from the walls, and remove the bible from the rooms, but they can never keep GOD out of schools, courtrooms, prisons, hospitals, or hearts…
max, God has been banned in our public schools. Kids can’t pray or read the Bible on school property.
God does not go where He is not wanted.
ANDY, you must be kidding!
anywhere tests and quizzes are administered, children are praying…
False, again, max. When kids take tests, they do not need to pray any more; they simply google up “answers.com” on their ipods and smart phones, or text their friends for the answers.
hahaha. That’s where I must have gone wrong, max. I never thought to pray before a test even thought I used to carry my Bible to school with me. I always thought I failed because I didn’t do my homework. (I was probably afraid if I prayed I’d want to do my homework and that had to be avoided at all cost)
Andy that is very true
Mike, we learned that God is everywhere. Students can pray silently in schools also. If parents want religion taught in school, they can send their children to Catholic schools. The biggest states for reading the Bible and praying were in the South in areas that were overwhelmingly Baptist, so the religion that those children were exposed to was the Baptist religion and they read the King James version of the Bible. So actually, the Catholic Church did not really want religion taught to children in public schools in most places.
Mark from PA, where did you get the information that the Catholic Church does not or did not want prayers said in public schools or other public places?
Please provide us with your documentation so we can check it out.
Otherwise apologize for spreading untruths about our Church.
In addition to apologizing Mark from PA, you don’t know the Bible very well.
The non-Catholic King James version has the same Books as the Catholic version in the New Testament.
Protestant bibles are 7 books short in the Old Testament.
(Footnotes/interpretations can vary.)
Andy, I looked into it further and read that the Church was actually opposed to prayer and Bible study in public schools in the US because it was introduced by protestants who wanted to deCatholicize Irish (and other Catholic) immigrants and introduce them to protestant teachings. This is why many American bishops were so strongly in favor of Catholic schools for our children. In Catholic countries, priests taught in the schools and the Church of course was in favor of this.
Andy, the Church was at one time specifically opposed to strictly Protestant prayers and anti Catholic teachings in public schools, but it had no problem with prayers and teachings that were not against Church teaching. For a long time there were prayers said in public schools by ministers and priests, prayers that did not offend any Christians or Jews. One could say in the name of Jesus at the end of the prayer to oneself or cross oneself at the end. Now, though, some radically, heretical “minsters” are saying some pretty immoral “prayers” at some college graduations. My daughter and I were offended by one, Somehow some people insist on always getting comments about sexual orientation and so forth into the picture as if such things even need to be said in public prayers and cannot be kept private. Some people have no common sense at all, but must always be pushing their agenda.
In other words, one “minister” just had to add “thank you God for our various sexual orientations” when he was listing blessings in a public prayer. He could not just keep his mouth shut but insisted on adding it which cause many people to stop praying and start talking., so I can see why some people do not want certain “ministers” to pray in public. They just do not know how to keep it truly ecumenical.
I remember in the fifties, it was definitely a Protestant era, and I can see how pressure was exerted against Catholics in my own school. Mark brought up a very valid point. We didn’t have prayers in our schools but we had some very strict principals who maintained a taut ship. So much of the violence in schools can be traced to weak and effeminate principals. One of the very worst examples I saw personally was in a jr.high where I was teaching, where students were throwing chairs and overturning tables in study hall, throwing food in the lunch room, etc. and when I had sent a student to the principal’s office for disrespect in my classroom I had gone to the principals office to see what was being done and I actually heard this principal tell this spoiled brat that he didn’t want to be the bad guy, that he wanted to be the kid’s friend and to try to cool it with his teacher! I didn’t stay at that school very long. ugh! The role of the principal in a school is as important as that of the father to the family. The shooter at Newtown hadn’t seen his father in two years! It’s imperative that men step up as leaders and sources of strength in this world, and they’re not doing it! They’re so afraid they’ll offend someone. Look at the heat this dear bishop is taking on this web site just for writing a loving letter in a newspaper!
While I made a couple replies above … As I’ve reached the end of the comments I am deeply disappointed that the point of the article – to Guard and Heal hearts and souls with Love. The focus has benn taken off of those hurting and heroic families in CT and instead placed on one commenter’s attack on the Church.
On December 7, 1941 most defenders of the USA were already partying up for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Had they all instead been hammered and lounging around the wood stoves, then even more Americans would have died that day, and even more American war ships, perhaps the four carriers just out of Honolulu would have been found and sunk; then what? So, it is critical to always have part of society standing on the social fringe with eye open and mind clear. There is a reason the Church likens its pastors to shepherds … because shepherds are responsible for beating the wolves to death with their staffs. For errant shepherds to urge their flocks to ignore danger and trust in some abstract idea is not Catholicism. Eventually we will begin to see truly holy shepherds and then it will become obvious to all how terrible the current batch of them are. Holy shepherds are not in league with secular governments, and do not serve as their spokesmen.
Skai, Wow! What a great image! I will have to commit this one to memory.
‘There is a reason the Church likens its pastors to shepherds … because shepherds are responsible for beating the wolves to death with their staffs.’
do you think SKAI meant the staff members, or the stick?
The wolves, max, and you know whom I mean, don’t you?
God doesn’t “allow” anything. He gave us free will and what we do is solely attributable to you and me.
God doesn’t give 3 year olds terminal cancer. It’s merely part of life, obviously tragic but then that’s how things go somethimes.
So please don’t pester God regarding school shootings, it’s our collective problem to solve.
“Assault Weapon” bans won’t work either, Connecticut has probably the most stringent firearms laws in the nation and the shooter didnt seem to be bothered by breaking the law.
Think about it, if you are insane or evil or whatever enough to want to kill a bunch of kids do you really think that the law means anything to that person?
The answer is easy, have armed guards on campus. You have armed guards at banks, in and around Congress, the White House, protecting Hollywood stars so dont our kids deserve the same?
The Second Amendment is an individual right and no one has the right to deprive citizens of their right to own firerarms, including ‘assault rifles’ [a term which i challenge anyone here to define].
Have you noticed that the cities with the most stringent gun laws, Washington DC, Chicago, Oakland CA, etc. have very high firearms related homicides?
Why is that?
Answer, criminals dont obey the law, thats why they are criminals.
If psycho killers like Adam Lanza can’t obtain “assault rifles”, then they’ll make bombs. If they make bombs, then they’ll either toss ’em over the fences or drive ’em through the walls. They’ve been doing this for more than a century in some parts of the world, having in recent decades reached high levels of efficiency, such as in Irag and Afghanistan. That technology is not exactly difficult to export. The real question should not be dwelling on the means of last defense against attacks, such as school cops, but first line defense such as creating a society that does not produce mass psycho killers. Fully automatic and semi-automatic combat firearms have been easily available to the American public for almost a century (The Bonnie and Clyde team of the thirties used a machine gun known as a BAR), but these mass killing sprees have only arisen in the since the big cultural change of the past couple decades. What is the cause? Why are the bishops not dealing with the cause, instead of the effect? Stop abortion; stop sodomy; stop the stuff that the Church slackers have been hiding under their magic carpets for several decades. Bishops get holy … How is it that this solution is not obvious? Jesus: “Seek first the kingdom of God and then all else shall follow”. It is up to the bishops, as it always has been. When they get holy, then society will follow. When has it not happened like this? Firearms are the last and often the most critical means of defense. In that the NRA has called for universal school cops, this organization is seeing that religious and political leadership has failed and we are a society now that finds itself at the critical last line of defense, the organized use of violence to protect itself until worthy leaders arise and replace the garbage sacks of today.
This is truly a beautiful Christmas, I too had my own tragedy happen to our family this Holy days season but what kept me strong was focusing on the birth of Jesus…when we went to Midnight Mass for Christmas, they had baby Jesus right up in the middle of the alter, baby Jesus had his arms reaching out, I almost imagined/felt His arms reach out to me.
How can we not fall in love with Christ the child, Christ the King, Christ our everything? With all the grief, tragedy’s in our life’s, it was Christ that helped us endure. Some of us were wondering, why did we have to have this happen to our family now during these holidays? Then after much reflection, it was actually great timing, because it is Christ’s birthday that is helping me endure. I found strength in His good news, in His birth! So even though the popular view would have been “not during these holidays.”…after much reflection and spiritual growth, I found it a perfect timing. Although those causing the tragedy, are offending Christ…but it is the faithful that look to His birth for greater comfort and joy….and it is through His birth that the sinners will repent someday…that is the HOPE that Jesus’s birth brings.
Praise be Jesus Christ!
Lets face it folks…..there are bad seeds. As much as we try to find answers, there are always bad seeds. I never understand it when people say that good creates good fruit….really then how do we find that even within good holy devout Catholic families there is always a bad seed, a child who just puts a family to shame, who embarrasses their family and their good name. It is something I can never comprehend. Hugh Hefner had a father who was a pastor, it was said that they were a very devout Christian family and look at the filth he managed to empire with the evil one at his side giving him the worldly crown to porn…disguising it as classy sexy playboy.
I also hold society responsible for the great evils that are committed today. It’s sick how they were trying to pin the mum of this lad as well, wondering what she did to produce such a child. There were countless of folks that knew her as a good mum who desperately needed help but didn’t get any support. Maybe her mistake was to allow him to play violent video games and to allow guns near him knowing that he had issues but I wonder if she thought that it would help him get his aggression out by going to shooting ranges or something. I don’t know what went through her mind but I can only sense she was a desperate poor soul who needed help but couldn’t find it….who knows what sort of trash talk this young man would of said about his mum, maybe her love and sacrifices she made to care for him were left unappreciated and unnoticed by him enough to move him to goodness. Maybe she yelled a lot at him because she was being placed in a corner with no support….well it doesn’t matter now, she is dead and so are many more innocent children and teachers….society wants the easy way out by blaming someone or something but it forgets that it was a failed society that lacks God that may have produced this monster’s actions.
Abeca, it’s called free will. The human soul cannot be programmed to make only the right choices; each point of decision can be fraught with temptations. Nor does anyone of us have “omni-vision”; people would flock to St Padre Pio to have their hearts read for confession … because we are not always able to see our own hearts well enough. Even if we could, perhaps many of us would fall over in traumatic shock at what we see. Too bad the monastic system has all but disappeared. Used to be a soul could go to one of these remote places of penance and accomplish some major contrition. These days instead of this holy work, souls hop aboard party trains, planes, buses and cruise liners, night clubs, emo networks, video game networks, etc. Maybe a soul spends all of a few minutes or an hour in the confessional line … not quite the same as spending a week in a monastery cell located far away from city and town. Even the Bible talks somewhere about quieting one’s soul so as to commune with God. God likes to visit with us and He does this through His Son Jesus who cleans us up in the process; He turns our sadness into joy.
Skai you are correct. I feel so traumatic right now. What we are having to endure is so sad to even deal with, I once had good priests to minister to us for guidance and strength, but they have been moved to other far away cities or states and now we are alone, not knowing who we can trust with our personal tragedies. I am having to cling on to Christ the child this Christmas season for strength. I don’t know who to trust, our family don’t know who we can turn to for moral support at this time. Even a wonderful young priest, that was home schooled all his life, may not understand how to minister with the troubles that devout families face today trying to remain holy. There isn’t many good traditional and holy priests and if there was one, to begin that trust and to know who, is hard.
Some of our priests are not trained to handle family crises.
I agree with you, that is why I support when possible retreats for adults and for our youth. But I don’t think we have enough quality ones. I once attended a Miles Christi St. Ignatius Spiritual exercises retreat, it really was good for me, I would like to attend again but usually those retreats are not affordable even though they do charge a fair price, they are fair but for me, right now, is hard to afford. My good friend who has 9 kids, told me that she felt that retreats where for the wealthy because she certainly couldn’t afford them especially since she had a big family. We live today, the reality is that we don’t have a St. Padre Pio in town with us, we are facing persecution for trying to raise our children with convictions in Christ, this society is crooked in it’s values, so we clash with them.
Skai just a few days ago, I had to give encouragement and support to a family who are still broken due to having a sibling come out of the closet. They live with a guilt that is so strong. That if one wrong word is said, if they feel criticized or if they feel that your judging their sibling, they get very defensive and hurt. Its a touchy subject. I helped one of them cry it out and finally release their pain, I had to tell them that they needed not to carry their brothers sins anymore. I had to reassure her that it was not her fault, that he had free will. I had to remind her that her brother was not gay (knowing the details of their situation, since I know them and I won’t go into details here, but I went on with what I knew about this family.) that he was taken advantage by that older man. Well there is more to their situation but I know that what this family needed was to be told that they had no fault, they needed to release whatever guilt they felt because truly, that guilt was only one that was unjust. They did not play a part in leading their sibling to that sinful lifestyle. They also needed to hand it over to Christ. This society adds unnecessary guilt to Christian based families for not wanting to accept sinful lifestyles, the pressures to cave in are great! I told her that her brother had free will and just because he chose to leave his Christian faith does not mean they had to too. They felt that they had to compromise what they were raised with in Biblical values in order to have a relationship with their brother. I said no. Actually it was him who left not them, so why should they change just because he changed. I think it lifted a lot of burden out of this one sibling.
Skai this is worth repeating:
This society adds unnecessary guilt to Christian based families for not wanting to accept sinful lifestyles, the pressures to cave in are great!
Real retreats are done at monasteries which are self sufficient and do not require payment. These are rare today, if they exist at all. I call it slothe. The monks want the easy life. You read their fliers and see that they all work at something, but further inspection shows that they require you to send them money. I know of none of them that provide their own food, shelter, clothing, etc. But in times past many of them did just this. Today, they have given up self sufficiency because networking for money is easier. But networking for money requires a whole lot more mental activity than plowing a field, tending animals, and so forth. The Benedictines created something great for a thousand years or more by not only being self sufficient but teaching Europe the same thing. It has all blown away in the winds of time today. The bare hint of that great Catholicism is found in the “retreats”, as you point out, which are really for rich people. These are feel good retreats, but are called spiritual retreats. I recall some of them, and yes they have their benefits, but only for those who have hardly any religion in their lives beyond the feel good stage. How many stories today tell of rich men who gave it up and became holy as Christ’s servants? What? None? Gee, but we can read of these men of the past. Guess man has evolved and does not need to be holy but only to feel good and were a smile and a spring in his step.
Wow, Abeca, I didn’t know that about Hefner. I agree with you about bad seeds! But often these seeds will begin to show true to their upbringing if given enough time. Sometimes young people just have to assert themselves and find out who they are. It drives everyone crazy, but people should never give up on them. I’ve seen some real amazing answers to prayers. If we give it up to God all will someday be well. It happens all the time. Everyone points to St. Monica and St. Augustine, but there are so many throughout history, and everyone one of us here has seen it happen.
Hopefully, Abeca, your family recovers from the tragedy, and even also hopefully the victim(s) and instigator(s) recover in the Christian sense especially.
Thank you Skai, I appreciate your prayers….some situations just want to make us run away or wake up because it feels like a nightmare.
Nightmare? My alcoholic brother has been all but kicked out of his last life long friends care … he gets so incorrigible that no one can put up with him for more than a year more or less. He is coming tomorrow to look through some of his stored stuff for what he might need as he wanders in the night … ’cause he ain’t stayin’ here no more. He’d end up causing a bloody fight with a renter, and the both would be hauled off to jail, or what might remain of them. He’ll have to live in homeless shelters … but to do so means he’ll have to give up being drunk, which is the problem he has not wanted to give up. Family and friends have given him every possible thing but total poverty, and now he faces this spectre. Many go there and give up and die; it will be up to him now. He is 60 years old. Giving him the boot is not easy. His life long friends and his siblings have tried everything known to mankind and to God to help him. Even one sibling, our sister, is a former professional psychological counselor for alcoholic families … we know everything there is to know about how to deal with such people. Long ago my late Dad told me my way to penance would be to paddle a surfboard from LA to Hawaii … He was only making a point; now we have to make a real statement to this brother, and that is an incredible bummer. If I had forty acres, I’d let him take the far corner of the plot with a tent to live in. But he gets obstructive and destructive because he gets so drunk daily. None of my siblings or cousins has died yet, and this one brother could possibly be the first one to go; it depends on him, and he’s hardly the oldest. No doubt there are readers who have had to do even more difficult decisions regarding those under their rule, command, family guidance … We simply have to trust God. I trusted God when there was no one else to trust, and He pulled off the work of salvation, even though it remains ongoing. That was in my day with no knowledge of sacraments or of much of anything else, simply a basic “hey, everyone is misguiding me and I also am going in all the wrong directions … so I turned to God, and He came through in amazing style. My brother is there but does not trust God, and rather rejects God. These stories always boil down to the same thing … if we do not trust God, then we are doomed; but if we trust Him, then He will save us. The mystery of iniquity versus the mystery of faith.
Skai I am sorry about your brother, I will pray for him. How did your family deal with his choices when he first started having issues? I only ask because it must have been hard, people probably blaming someone or maybe there was guilt coming from some where? Of course I am total agreement with you in trusting God in everything. That is the best way to deal with such things.
hey, let’s not stop at arming teachers, let’s also make our priests and bishop pack heat.
there’s nothing like a celebrant at MASS with a 45 strapped to his belt to keep people from misbehaving…!!!
and the nuns also — they should choose appropriate firearms to deal with anyboyd making any dumb nun jokes.
don’t get me started…this brilliant idea is so exciting…
your humor is sick max….there is no logic there, just sarcasm that is demeaning and does not encourage people to reason well.
We are heartbroken for the many innocent life’s that were lost through this tragedy. I started to reflect, how is this different than when somewhere out there, there are the same mum’s who have had numerous of abortions. We grief about this tragedy because these were wanted children murdered so cowardliness with great evil but us pro-life folks have been grieving for ages as the number of abortions are growing.
It’s just something to think about. I’m not making this less by mentioning the above but it surely can give us some open door to a little bit of comprehending these evil times we are living in.
ah, ABECA, it’s not just my humor that is sick, but the reality of what’s going on.
just today we read about school teachers in utah being trained how to shoot.
just what we need — more guns around children.
reminds me of that protestant pastor who asked all his parishioners to come to church with sidearms — and they did.
“just what we need — more guns around children.”
>> Exactly. Pointed at the psycho killers.
Let’s make it a law that every school- not just the ones Obama and Feinstein and the rest of the Demoncrats send their kids to- has armed security.
But that would make too much sense, of course, to those who insist that guns should only be around children……
when they are fired by psychos.
max, your gun toting clergy and nuns would at least be able to stop a mad bomber entering the building, right? Might save some lives. I know of a story, where an off duty cop in the pews was able to use his pistol to stop a mad shooter during the service. Go to youtube and look at the postings where citizens used their concealed firearms to stop violent bad people from doing harm. Seldom do bystanders get injured, and far more people are saved from injury by concealed carry permittees, way far more.
That’s right, Ska. I do not own a gun nor do I know how to shoot one, but I am surely glad that other good citizens do. My husband had a hand gun when he was a part time guard, and we kept it in a portable safe when he was not using it, so the grandchildren would not get it. My grandfather had a rifle, and most of the men and boys in our neighborhood had rifles or be be guns. One does need to keep the bullets away from youngsters, though, I almost hit a bullet with a hammer when I was a child until my grandfather stopped me. I could have lost a hand or received facial injuies. So keep the ammunition in a safe place away from children who have not been taught the proper use of such weapons, or are not old enough to use them.
Israeli teachers are armed. max, when is the last time you heard of school violence in Israel?
max, countless homes have dogs living in them, and these dogs provide early warning as well as defense against violence in many cases. Why should school children feel less secure in school than at home? With all the school lock down drills, don’t you think the kids tend to get the picture that they are defenseless and that no one cares enough about their safety to provide them a safe learning experience? If the school kids know they have an armed guard keeping bad people from attacking them, seems to me, max, that they’d all be emotionally way more capable of focusing on their studies. Probably a whole lot less social problems among them as well, or would you disagree? Even the tough characters around my neighborhood tend to have pet pit bulls … because they are inclined to want safety in their homes and neighborhood. It feels good when cop cars cruise through the streets once in a while. A few miles from here it is different; even a school there has not only lockdowns when fights break out, but being in gang turf, the cops sometimes will put three helicopters overhead and several “layers” of cop cars around the school up to a mile away. That heavy show of armed force brings peace and stability back to the school, and keeps the gang wars from erupting in or at it. Without that much force, that school would not be able to continue; its existence keeps violence prone kids off the streets. Good feelings, a smile on the face, spring in the step and whistling a sweet tune simply don’t cut it. It only works because of the armed police presense. But, max, the Sandy Hook school is in a high dollar neighborhood instead of the one I described, and it is the one that got whacked. Run the numbers, so to speak, max: The bottom line is that all the schools, both rich and poor and those in the middle need the feeling and the reality of safety. Do you think the kids are dumb to this growing insecurity? Do you know what chronically anxious kids do when teachers are trying to teach, max? It affects their focus on the education. It’ll likely get worse, and the educational focus by the students will continue to fall away. Bishops seem to get these happy face theories … well, who knows why? It really defies reality.
Wrong, max. Packing heat requires responsibility and maturity. Which bishops and priests do you think would pass muster on this?
The evil rulers of this nation, such as Sen. Feinstein of Calif, use these tragic events to call for measures to be taken against millions of law abiding citizens. Now she wants to finger print every gun owner. How abjectly stupid is this in terms of preventing slaughters?! Senator Feinstien is nothing less than a retard.
Bishop Blaire and his USCCB Committee have gone off the deep end again.
He and his committee (of 2 others) are publically supporting gun control so the weaker will fall prey to the unjust aggressor.
What do we have to do to have a Bishop recalled from a Committee?
His own Diocese needs help and he is spending his time trying to dictate to the entire Country.
In 2011, 32,367 persons were killed by auto.
Should the government ban autos, and make everyone take the bus ?
Fifty years ago there was less than half the number of vehicles on the road, and twice the number of fatalities. It simply is not the number of cars or guns that kill, but the disposition of people that leads to killing. Cars are safer today, of course, but so are guns, as they began to put safeties on them fifty years ago and also tighten up the gun ownership rules with more education, and now they are required to be locked up. Same with cars … used to be they did not need to be locked and the keys could be left in the ignition switch … not so today. All these measures point to people, not to things. Why are there suicide killers now and there were none then, except in other nations? Has the USA now become somewhat like these other nations? When is the population of Constitution loving and abiding America going to exile the politicians who keep imposing foreign laws on us?
Lost in all the rhetoric over this school shooting is that violent crime and the murder rate are sharply DOWN since the 80’s. We have LESS violent crime. Less rapes. Less murders. We should give ourselves some credit for doing something right. We should hesitate to correlate our pet issues to whatever we like or dislike in society. All we do is reveal our biases and the ugly parts of our soul when we do so. For example, I could point out that society has become increasingly secularized and acceptance of gays have also risen in the last 30 years, obviously leading to the decline in violent crime. Or, I could point out that non-denominational churches and people opting out of religion have skyrocketed, and attribute the decline in violent crime to that. Equally, I could say that Catholic theology has become increasingly conservative in Rome, which is why we have less violent crime. Or, I could say that traditional church music is less prevalent than in the past, leading to fewer crazed individuals assaulted by offensive verses resorting to violence. Usually correlation is specious without clear causitive links.
JonJ, if those statistics are accurate, that violence is down, then it would correlate with the huge increase in firearms owned by citizens, especially the so-called “assault” rifles the restrictions of which were freed up about six years ago. Now with the latest “craze” in buying up such firearms so that the manufacturers are now backordered, the violence should plummet in the next decade. But the public will be more ready to grapple with the suicide bombers that may arise in the USA, as they have in various other regions of the world. Easier to stop a suicide bomber with an assault type rifle from a distance than with a knife face to face, wouldn’t you agree? What if they start bombing school buses like they have off and on for decades in Israel? But maybe that sort of terrorism takes organization, as opposed to the one man psycho squads that annihilate groups of people? A dude in Japan did it to kids with a sword. Another did it to commuters with poison gas. Taking away the public’s capability to defend itself is the stupidest idea ever to come down the pike.
Jesus to His disciples : “When I sent you without purse and scrip and shoes, did you want anything? But they said: Nothing. Then said He unto them: But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip: and he that hath not, let him sell his coat and buy a sword. For I say to you that this that is written must yet be fulfilled in Me. And with the wicked was he reckoned. For the things concerning Me have an end. But they said: Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said to them: It is enough.”
And for the discussion on bishops a quote from a letter by Alexander Solzhenitsyn to a Soviet bisphop: ‘Why are communications which come down to us from the highest level of the Church so conventionally serene? Why are all church documents so benignly placid, as if published among the most Christian of people? While one serene epistle follows another, might not the very need to write them vanish in some stormy year: there will be no one to address them to, no flock will remain outside the Patriachate’s Chancellery.’ (from Fr.Rutler’s book)
Pope Benedict’s “Porta Fidei” (Year of Faith) starting with paragraphs #11, is very strong in stating we must study the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”.
Pope Benedict’s “On the Service of Charity” is very strong and even tells us who to report abuses to.
The problems are those Amercian (and other Bishops) who have so much PRIDE that they ignore the teachings of our Pope.
What prideful Bishops do not realize is that if they do not obey “Motu Proprios” from the Pope, then they set the example of disobedience. Then it only follows that some of their Diocese Priests, and their Diocese flocks will feel no need to obey the Diocese Bishop in matters of Faith and Morals.
Our job is to support our Pope, and contact any US Bishops who selectively violate the CCC – without teaching the CCC all in entirety.
If that does not work, contact the Vatican.
Know your Faith. Read/Study the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”. Stand up for the truths of our Faith.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time and study in the CCC, and found it insufficient compared to its references. I continue to view it as an introduction to Catholicism. You really have to read the basic Church documents such as the Bible, and the early Fathers and the doctors of the Church (“doctor” in this sense means “teacher”).
“Senator Feinstien is nothing less than a retard.”
SKAI, i must thank you for elevating the level of discussion in here.
it’s like being back in grammar school…
Glad you found pleasure in repeating the phrase, max.
Lo and behold, I have discovered proof that smiles on faces, spring in the step, and whistling a merry tune will defeat violent enemies. Watch the ending of Bridge Over the River Kwai and see.
Yet with all this talk of guns, we must remember as Archbishop Aquila as much as said and Jean Cardinal Lustiger did say, “The strength of evil can only be overcome with an even greater strength of love.”
Many, many years ago one neighbor of mine in another area who got into witchcraft, and perhaps even Satanism, ask me, “What if the devil is stronger than God?.” I immediately answered her, “I believe God is stronger and will always overcome because love is stronger than hate.” I do not know from whence my answer came except from the Spirit of the Lord. She had given me one of her books to look at, and it had a picture of the Santanic goat, After looking through it, I immediately gave it back to her because I wanted it out of my house. That was the first time I had seen such an evil book with the Lord Prayer backwards.. It was then when we got into a discussion about God and Satan, and I gave her my answer. I visited her and gave her a new sweater that she liked because I hoped to influence her in the right way without getting involved in any evil she did, but others avoided her completely. I pray for her soul and that of her husband and son even now and for their return to the Faith.
On reflection, I think my answer to her partially came from the Biblical verse in the New Testament that says, “God is love.” Of course, the Bible is referring to a pure Godly type of love, not what the world sometimes refers to as love — which quite often is mere lust and a vice.
I guess I should clarify why i stayed good neighbors with this woman. Except for the occult book that she showed me with the Satanic figure, numerology, astrology, backwards Lord’s Prayer etc. and the fact that she mentioned that the man down the street would not let his wife associate with her because he thought she was a witch, this woman seemed to have good morals. She was married to the father of her son, their house was clean and nicely decorated, the whole family dressed decently and did not use bad, vulgar or blasphemous language around my family. Their son was polite, well-mannered and respectful to adults when he played with our oldest daughter and did not fight nor steal, so I thought she probably was just dabbling out of curiosity in something she should not and that there was hope for her and her family. They occasionally had parties to which we were invited but did not attend, and the parties never got out of hand. Although they were renting, as we were, they took care of the house and yard quite well and in all other ways were just good neighbors.
Anne T there are many witches that are just what you described….don’t be fooled.
I think that the man down the street was wise….from what I gather about your posts.
We are not exempt from falling out of grace….it can happen to any one of us, to any loved one….it does happen. We often ask ourselves “how Lord, why did it have to happen?” or we often question “how can anyone do such a thing?” or we look for whom to blame. As often we hear about stories like this, we hardly can relate but when it first hand, personally affects us in anyway, then some of us may not be able to handle the scandal that it caused upon ourselves, sin has different effects on one’s soul, it can either be a positive one or a negative one. When it stays in a rot,in between, it can be frozen there, emotionless, leaving us motionless. God’s graces are what gives us strength and courage etc in His direction. The ability to reason well in honoring God. Even if one has free will, not everyone can be in the right state of mind if sin causes us to lose certain graces to move us in His path. Prayer with love is key.
We are not exempt….although not everyone is capable of committing a heinous crime……but falling out grace, it can happen to anyone. The faith is a gift but yet there are many who still leave….rejecting the gift….many times they do not know or understand why but they do…we need to always pray with humility, asking God help us stay in His graces.
What I meant with sin having a positive effect in some, is that those in the right state of mind, those in God’s graces…can move forward making right by God for the sins of others. It can help others hate sin more because of it’s injustice, mostly because it offends God and it interferes with God’s will. But if sin causes others to sin as well, then that is a negative response, one that should be rejected…we need to move forward with Love, to make right with God, to protect society and to stop the blame game! In order for a society to work hand in hand with God, it must be a society that must fear the Lord, acknowledge His existence not deny it, it must behave in the common good of mankind, it must distinguish the real difference between common decency and indecency.
If scandal shakes us to make right by God…then it shows one’s heart to be of good will but if scandal condones evil, if it desensitizes sin, if in some people it gives them permission to further evil….then deeper away from grace we grow.
God have mercy on us all and may the New Year help us continue to pray for God’s graces….we need them and our loved ones too. For our loving Lord is great and merciful….His graces and love is there for us, just of the asking.
Not everyone can obtain goodness. We often wonder why some are just born rotten, like a rotten egg or rotten apple or why did they later on become rotten. Why is it that some can reason well and some can’t? God’s graces are there for us but if someone is spiritually blind, how can they begin to ask for something that seems foreign to them….why are some better at obtaining God’s graces more than others? Yes we receive some answers to our questions, but some are still hard to understand or hard to explain.
Life has it’s lessons to be learned…perhaps some just need some real hard falls or blows to help them open their hearts up to receive God’s graces. God created us to come with feelings, emotions….with free will but some struggle understanding the reasons, the consequences of their choices.
It’s no wonder we are truly a speck here on earth, how can we understand this human condition…look how not everyone can be so humble….some people see humility as someone who people walk on but nope…humility does not mean we are to be stupid either, we are to reason and reflect.
Some view strong convictions in Christ, in His faith to be rigid and not humble but no not at all, it is actually goodness in God’s righteousness. Everything with Him and in Him is good! For only goodness comes from our Lord. We can be good in the eye’s of the secular, yes, human’s have different ideals, different definition of what goodness is, it adopts their own secular ideals that can be good because most of us have sufficient graces to choose them but real goodness comes from our Lord…that is the one we ought to strive for!
What seems impossible to us or hard to understand….well with God all is possible and with Him nothing is impossible.
I don’t use Explorer for my browser so when I opened it up tonight I found this old CCD web page and wondered what happened to Max, and to thank Anne T for the sweet responses, and to tell Abeca what good comments these were and what were we all doing so soon after Christmas on the internet? haha And how is your brother Skai and JonJ don’t you ever let up? Anyway, sometimes a blast from the past puts things in perspective…like reading what we wrote was by someone else.