Wednesday, June 12, 2013


One of the most persistent and off-putting questions in the same-sex marriage debate is "How does it (same-sex marriage) hurt you?"

Traditional marriage defenders usually find themselves scrambling for some sane answer but usually end up stumbling, and for good reason. Marriage is so fundamental that its nature has never been questioned...until now. In short, it has never required an explanation or a defense, thus most don't have one.

The best answer to the question is the return question: "How do you know it won't?" For the real answer is we don't know. Sociological change may take a generation or two before there is measurable impact on the larger society.

Meanwhile, the gay agenda folks are very self-assured with their "how does it hurt you" question, and putting the burden of proof back on them is something they are not ready for.

Here's an article on the subject: "Yes, Marriage will change--and here's how"


In the end, the author succumbs to a solution that contributes to the problem. She thinks that better catechesis will come from better teachers. It will not. Better catechesis will come from better, and better informed, parents. The church's duty is to "assist the parent in the education of the child". Get that? "Assist the parent." Not take the child from the parent. The problem is systemic and the medium is the message.


The sacrament of Confession has made a comeback in recent years. And it is becoming more common to hear of conversion-like stories of Catholics who have rediscovered the sacrament after years - and even decades - away from it.

The hiatus from the confessional was perpetrated by a post-Vatican II positivism which diminished sin - a fact made manifest in the disappearance of the once ever-present (and ever-in-use) confessional booth in most churches.

The re-emergence of the sacrament is due much to its promotion by Pope John Paul II and his personal example of weekly confession, and to a rediscovery of it by a new generation of Catholics to whom John Paul II was a personal hero.

Today, there are many books and audio programs featuring warm stories of how people feel re-born, washed clean, renewed, like a weight had fallen from them, etc. And of course, it's all true, and it's all good.

However, there is a need for a post-confession catechesis. With so many now returning to or discovering the sacrament - often encouraged by the stories of others - there is the potential for great spiritual danger.

The "born-again" experience is powerful -a high. And with highs come lows. The truth is that the warm feelings of that first return to the confessional will be diminished when the penitent finds him or herself back in the confessional needing to confess the same sin in a week or two. With the loss of feeling will come doubt about true contrition, and, without catechesis, the potential for despair and a departure from the sacrament once again.

What the penitent needs to know is that we go to confession to confess our sins not because we feel sorry for them or because we "feel" anything, but because, first and foremost, we have offended God. Personal sorrow is a grace which we pray for and is sometimes granted, but feeling sorry is not a prerequisite for confession.

This is important because the new "hype"- the born-again like confession stories - are, as expected, filled with good feelings. And the business of maturely confessing ones sins must necessarily transcend the initial romance and get on with the business of routinely dealing with a dirty soul.

In fact, contrary to what is so often perpetrated in the new pop-Catholic culture found in books, audios, and seminars, one is probably more prone to an attack of the devil immediately after confession.

What could be more delicious to Satan than felling a fresh soul? 

What a delight to make a penitent, fresh from the confessional, fall within hours to the same sin he or she just confessed! What quicker way to despair than this?

As always, knowledge of the enemy is critical in battle, and in spiritual warfare, the battle never ends. In fact, it intensifies as a soul grows in personal holiness. This is a fact often left out in the education of the JPII generation - a generation brought into or back to the Church largely via the soaring personality of the pope and the surrounding resurgence of things Catholic.

But, as with any romance, it serves only to bring one into a relationship which must necessarily mature and get on with the real business which that relationship is designed to serve, and often without feeling, for truth is beyond feeling - which is why so few go there.

Go to confession....and come out ready for war. For there it starts.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


For the Nine Days of the Novena to St. Joseph, March 11-19...or any time.

To You, blessed Joseph, we come with confidence in this hour of need, trusting in your powerful protection. Your loving service to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and your fatherly affection for the Child Jesus inspire us with faith in the power of your intercession before the throne of God.
We pray, first of all, for the Church: that it may be free from error and corruption, and be a shining light of universal love and justice.

We ask your intercession for our loved ones in their trial and adversities, that they may be inspired by the love, obedience and affection of the Holy FAmily and be to each other a mutual source of consolation and Christian fidelity.
We ask your intercession also for our special need (here mention the grace desired).
Keep us one and all under your protection so that, strengthened by your example and assistance  we may lead a holy life, die a happy death, and come to the possession of everlasting happiness in Heaven. 


Printed in the Pacific Daily News, May 26,  2013 

"Rendering a female consistently infertile for the purposes of commercial sex through traditional birth control is tedious and fraught with forgetfulness and mistakes, and often result in costly abortions. Abortifacients like Plan B will make it much easier to use and abuse girls and women by making it easier for sex traffickers and their customers to destroy the evidence."

Read the full article here or here if the link is no longer active.

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