Saturday, May 12, 2012

God Save The King!

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way."  I Timothy 2:1,2

I am grieving, as I know are many others, over the public position our President has taken to sanction open sodomy.  I am sure there are many who are offended that I use that term rather than the more PC homosexuality.  But that's the thing with sin.  It's venom is not lessened by calling it something else.  I am not speaking against anyone who finds themselves wrestling with same sex attraction but who are waging a battle of chastity to combat it.  I am speaking about those who have thrown aside all restraint and plunged headlong into the depravity of sodomy.  

As I was saying, I am grieved that our President has chosen to be so vocal in his support of such immorality.  I am not surprised.  I am grieved.  Our President has unfortunately chosen to walk the road of fame, fortune, and popularity and embrace the evils that are being called for by so many in our society.  It is unprecedented to have someone in his position do such a thing.  

I am not writing this in any spirit of anger.  Rather, I realize that our President is placing his immortal soul in grave danger and he is encouraging our nation to do the same.  It reminds me of when St. John  the Baptist rebuked Herod for his adulteries.  It cost John his life.  One wonders how far away such things are here.  

There has been much written on the statement of President Obama.  And there has been much that has been said about it.  But I believe we need to pray for our President as never before.  Not because we want him to enact different policies and not because we're afraid of what he'll do if he's re-elected.  But rather we need to pray for him because virtually his every decision betrays a depravity and arrogance that can hardly be imagined and will not likely be changed apart from the supernatural power of God's grace.

Our President has made a policy of mocking God and then attempting to convince people that this is part of some struggle or evolution of conscience.  It isn't.  The whole thing is orchestrated.  Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life, (Gal. 6:7,8).  

My friends, those of you who fear God, I beg your prayers and intercessions for our President.  Storm heaven with your intercessions and beg that God's grace will be poured out on our President.  And while you're at it, pray for our nation who in many ways has lost its soul.  God have mercy on us! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Precedent of Council

Today the Mass readings begin to cover the story of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15.  We see that when a dispute arose in the early Church they gathered in council so they could compare the Tradition they had received.  At this stage most of the apostles were still alive and able to relate how they understood the Gospel entrusted to them by our Lord.  This incident set the precedent, followed ever after by the Church, of calling a council of the leaders of the Church when a dispute arises that has not been settled at a lower level. 

This whole story reminds me that as Catholics we look to the Church to guide us as we believe that the Holy Spirit was given for just this purpose and that when we hear the voice of the Church, we are hearing the voice of our Lord (cf. Luke 10:16).  Unlike our Protestant brothers and sisters who ask, "What does the Bible say?" we ask, "What does the Church say?"  Protestants find this terribly unnerving to say the least, but it is as it should be.  The Church is the author of the Sacred Scriptures and has been given the authority to interpret them.  When we listen to the Church we understand both what She has taught in writing (Sacred Scripture) and by word of mouth (Tradition) (see 2 Thess. 2:15).  When the apostles and presbyters met in council in Jerusalem we do not find them asking what does Scripture say, but rather we hear them discussing the Tradition as it was handed downt to them by our Lord.  Each person who testifies is telling of how he understands that Tradition. 

The last time the Church gathered in such a council was in the early 1960's at the Second Vatican Council.  Unlike most councils, there was no major issue of dispute.  Rather, the fathers of the Council recognized that things in the modern world were rapidly changing and the Church needed to keep up without compromising any of Her teaching.  I began reading the first document they released which deals with the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium).  I've read this document on other occasions.  But this time I wanted to take it slowly and prayerfully.  I was not disappointed.  There is so much beauty in the depth of thought with which the document opens.  The various teachings of the Church are all interwoven to such an extent that they cannot be separated.  Salvation history comes alive as the Church discusses the need to make certain changes to the liturgy while retaining the essence of what it has always been. 

One thing that might be surprising to many people when they begin reading Vatican II documents is what they don't say.  So many people think everything changed with this Council.  But that's not true.  To read the documents themselves rather than to listen to what people say is very helpful.  If you haven't already done so, and you want to know what the Council actually said, I encourage you to read the documents themselves.  You will hear a great deal of wisdom and see the continuity between this Council and those that have preceded it.