Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's The Greenest

I guess with all the immense talk going on about the health care mandate, it may seem like a dead horse is being beaten. Even though I can do a whole other blog about the injustice it is, I'd rather segway into something a little more happy. Enter St. Patrick's Day. I'm so happy about this day for more reasons than just being from a place where the Patron Saint of the Diocese is green Saint. It makes me think about the Boston story. Our history. I know I'm not a townie. But as a practicing Catholic and an Immigrants descendant, there is plenty to say about his town and the people in it.

I'm glad it's this time of the month(hmm... might want to change that for the ladies), I'm actually going to post a link about Saint Patrick. This isn't a wikipedia article I was pondering it but nah!

You know it really makes me proud to be hear. The Arch Diocese is the 4Th largest in the U.S. Imagine that from such a small state like this. Out of all the places that can be to it's us. I get a lot of hope from that. No matter how bad things are when I look and what is going on in our community. When I see all that people are dong for those less fortunate, those that really need our help, especially the youth that is stepping up to the plate. It's really a light on a dark street. We as a state didn't even start out Catholic.

We all know the stories. The pilgrims, the settlers. Nothing in our early history hinted we would be a state, or a city with one of the biggest patches of Ireland this side of the Atlantic. Irish really didn't start coming here until the 1800's. Holy Cross Cathedral kind of stands out huh? Among all the town hall churches, comes a true to heart style Catholic Church, maybe taking a page or two from St. Francis' Abbey in Kilkenny. You would assume New York, and the Bowery, but time changes things. Even before the Kennedy's Boston was an Irish town. Remember the know nothing party. Well more over when you come down to it. It was more than just bias against Catholics it was bias against immigrants our of fear that they would loose the offices, the stations of politics. Well, here, that kind of happen. But the Church took well too it. Look at our priest's and clergy. See a trend?

Even with not being Irish, it's something you just grow up in. Even though we celebrate our own customs, it seems that St.Patrick's day is a Boston holiday. The day where every body's Irish. It's in our DNA, it's who were are from where we live. For Catholics it's like a double holiday. So cheers, and salute on the greenest of day's

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Happening Things

I wish I had the oratory skills that Abraham Lincoln had. I wish I could speak on a pod-cast like the now Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and be able to stir hearts with what I write. But I am neither one of the best Presidents we ever had, nor am I the Cardinal of one the of the biggest cities in the world. I'm just a kid from the Merrimack Valley, trying to not get lost in the sea of relativism and the status-quo.

What I write about today is something that has been a big talking piece by every one out there. Even though I am a little late to the party what I have to say is basic, not going into a lot of detail, but with the hopes that I can give those who lend eyes a morale boost.

We all have heard about the HHS mandate, the "Accommodation" by the POTUS, and the uniting of Bishops. Which by the way is an unprecedented show of unity. Now more so than ever we can do things on our side of the fence to help revoke this attack on religious liberty. This isn't about health, this is about being able to stand up for what you believe in and not getting thrown in jail for it.

We have these things called inalienable rights. One of those fundamental of rights is our right to practice our Faith openly and freely. I ask you to look back at the influx of Irish immigrants in the late 1800's. When the Church of England became well the government and the church, persecution began. Irish were run out to the fields and executed. look it up if you don't believe me. Even more so than the famine, people have always been drawn to America because here your religion will not be struck down on sight.

I feel as if today you have to hide being Christian, any type that is. Even if your a Lutheran, when someone asks you you tend to just say Christian. This upsets me not because of the fact about political correctness being thrown in there but the fact that it's now almost as if a black cloud is being hung over your head. The worst part is is when tenents of your chosen faith are mixed in with other ones. We're put into to one cloud, and then proceeded to be mocked.

What I ask is that you pray. No matter what I do or what we can do to tell people about the intricacies of our Faith, we can't put a conversion drop in their soups. Most of the time to our anger takes over us, and we tend to be hostile towards others. The greatest thing we can do is to walk the walk and talk the talk as Christians. But we must also be able to stand up for the love that we have for others.That's why we stand up to stop HHS, it's why we march on Washington during the march for life. We are in it to save lives because life is a precious thing. We are not being mean or repressive, when we want people to be responsible, nor are we oppressive to women when we say we want better things for them. What women can do naturally is not a disease and it shouldn't be treated as one. We as Catholics don't want women to be objectified. They have their own built in forms of birth control. You take medicine when your sick, but being pregnant isn't a sickness.

I am sure people who decide to use the pill for the most part can find a good intention in it. I do not want people on our fence to say that they are monsters for using it. We can't look down on them but have to hug them , and just try to let them know that the lie they have been fed is only hurting society, moreover themselves. When there is NFP there is choice. Couples choose when they are taking a chance and not Pfizer. For us in college, don't you think you do enough damage to your liver then.

As an aside, I would like to point in a few directions so you can decide for your self. One is a website called GetReligion. Which covers the Religion side of news. The other is a site about a study on NFP, which even though was done in 2007 there are sure to be recent ones. Science Daily. After that I'm sure a web search for resources about NFP, will come up with good results. In the end our greatest weapon is the hope that is in us. We do this not for ourselves but for others.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gifts Unopened

With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We barley get a chance to slow down and breathe. Each day a form of the other. We have our chores, our rituals, our every day pacing out of the world we live in. Weather it's catching the latest company to shoot up in the market. Weather it's the local mail man, the home town mechanic, to the suit and tie manager, and blue collar engineer. Every where in between, we all have our To Do's.

For students, especially in college, school doesn't end at the last block of the day. Lab reports, test, exams, papers, they crowd our after hour pleasantries, and in stead of running out to the green fields, we are yet moved to yet another seat with another task. Through it all things slip unnoticed under the radar. So now all we have in our vision is Section 1-2, or Roman Law. Here we do not have parents, or friends, we romance with a text book, instead of channeling our inner Shakespeare.

I do not mean to say that these things need to be gotten rid of. For the inner beauty of this toil is lens it gives us to see what really matters. IT gives us a glimpse of the reason behind the struggle, the meaning behind the little cross we carry. We should reflect on the Cross, that no matter what amount of Kirchhoff law we need to get down, it wasn't anything to the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we can copy the reason for that most beautfiul sacrificial. Love.

It reminds me of an episode of White Collar. The main Characters Peter, and Neil are sitting at a table, talking about life, when Peter tries to relate and bond with Neil, and how he thinks Neil should turn to the good side, and stop running and being a thief. Neil asks why Peter doesn't go for it, "it" is the high life living and rush Neil gets from being a thief, and winders why Peter chose the life.

Peter then says something that was in my mind, seeing the gifts unopened. The gifts God has given us despite our imperfections, that fill our lives with ever more meaning . He says to Neal, that he was home at night lying next to his wife, she was reading and he was watching the game with Sach the dog at his feet and he realized, he is the luckiest guy in the world.

God doesn't give us things we can't handle. Everyday is something new, along the road of life. Those times where it is though, let us look to Heaven and lift it up to God. Whatever it is he'll take it. For it is nothing compared the the Cross. When we stumble he's there to lift us up. To help us move those mountains in our life.

Like the Joker says in the Dark Knight. "It's all part of the plan". Indeed it is. For what would life be without, well it's life-ness. Those gifts, whatever they me be are there, don't pass them by but work for them. In my own life God has given me many things, things I do not deserve, but He has willed it. Those things keep me going. Weather they are your own talents, or maybe a winning scratch ticket. Here and there and everywhere we are given something that says "I love you". This is life, the play of the Human Condition, we are the actors, and God is the Director.

And in those in between moments, the moments we savor, we should look up and say Thanks. Those times with those we care about, are there for a reason.  The love we feel , the sounds we hear, the air we breathe. The smell of the morning on the White Mountains, or the sun rise on the Berkshires. Yes we are loved that much. We our loved so much we have the blessing to feel love, to look at that one person on this earth that lights us up on the inside. We take those moments, the moments in between and hold on to them. For among the good and the bad they make up our life.

Today I spent time with the girl in my profile picture. For those times I know even better God loves me, for even in my unworthiness he brought us together. He didn't have to but he did, and when I have those moments, when I spend time with Her, between the chaos, between the hustle and bustle. I know the world is a pretty great place. That life is a pretty amazing thing and someone's got my back. So my heart smiles like an Irishman on a Friday during those times with Her, and I say cheers to the Lord for I am surely blessed. So ask yourself. What makes your heart smile? For God has not left you alone or abandoned.

"Offer the sacrifices of righteousness Put your trust in Yahweh. Many say, “Who will show us any good?”Yahweh, let the light of your face shine on us. You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and their new wine are increased. In peace I will both lay myself down and sleep,for you, Yahweh alone, make me live in safety". Psalm 4: 5-8

Monday, January 23, 2012

Today For LIFE

I just want to take this time to say how proud I am of all you attended the March For Life. I can't tell you how much of a morale booster it is to keep fighting for those who can not fight for themselves. Among th emany that were there there were also themany that stood in solidarity with the crowd over the waves of the internet. As can be seen from Twitter #MarchforLIFE, and numerous FaceBook accounts across the globe. Many of whom came from far and wide from Anchroage Alaska and all corners north, south, east and west.

Since I was regretably unable to attend I tried my best to keep up over Twitter. That and also over C-Span which I think was the only station that acually broadcasted it. Even with 300,000+ people there, no main stream media attention. There was many well spoken speakers at the event. One of whom was Congressman Landry's.

I know my fellow Merrimack College students, attended this event, and I thank those WarriorsForLife. I know Cardinal Sean O'Malley was present along with 500 others representing Boston. For this I thank God on High from the bottom of my heart.

We each have a gret part to play in his redemptive mission. As much as the fight still rages on, I do not feel any need to stop, or any need to not profess, at the top of my lungs the great reverence for life we as Catholics, as Christians and as men of good will are called to have. I see hope in the turning of the tides for each person who marched today, my hope is two fold.

God Bless you all, and grant you his precious gift of peace.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The YouTube Heresies Pt 2

Heresy 3: Scientism –

This third heresy is consistently encountered on you tube. As I also may add I see this to. This scientism is the reduction of knowledge to the scientific way of knowing. Through the roots of Descartes and Bacon European academics were urged to turn their academic energy away from theology and abstract metaphysics. People have understandably come to see the scientific way of knowing as the only true way.

Time and again it is said the only forum of truth is that which is a result of the scientific method is.  Fr. Barons retort is that it is good for empirical phenomena , but useless when it comes to questions of  a more philosophical nature such as determining the morally right and wrong.  Also scientism in itself hold a contradictory element; For the claim that all knowledge is reducible to scientific knowledge is not itself a claim that can be justified scientifically.

A few things to keep in mind the instigator of modern genetics was a friar, and the formulator of the Big Bang Theory of cosmic origins was a priest.  Also, unless the universe was understood as fundamentally intelligible, no scientist could get his work under way. You couldn’t test for gravity or anything involving gravity unless the constant of gravity was there. You couldn’t drop an apple to see how it falls because if there was no order then the apple could turn into Elvis. All schools of science basically need to take for granted the assumption that the aspect of the world they go out to meet is endowed with intelligible structure. 

Heresy 4: Religion and Violence-
This is really deep seated. We remember September 11th. It stirred up the enlightenment era that religion is invariably violent precisely because it is irrational. Fr.Baron sees that condemners of the faith are only too acquainted with the example of violence and misbehavior in the history of the Church, like the Crusades, the inquisition, the Witch hunts, the persecution of Jews, and most recent the Clergy abuse scandal.

In it’s sacraments, it’s liturgy, it’s apostolic governance, it’s scripture and essential teachings, and in the lives of the saints the Church is the font o f living water and the untainted bride of Christ, but this does not preclude the possibility of Church people doing stupid and violent things.
Also be reminded, and Catholics and Christians and other folk of good will should not fail to remind secularist critics that the worst violence with the highest amount of casualties in human history, perpetuated by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, pol pot in the last century was not the fruit of religion but of fierce secularist and anti-religious ideologies.  

Christ slain on the cross is the whole key to the entire scope of salvation history. If you don’t look at it through that lens, It’s the fundamental logic. When Christians survey the bible they do so through the lens of the lamb any other way counter to that central logic is illegitimate.
Another way to approach the text is that God is slowly and gradually educating the human race, and adapts himself to the times to the current modes of human understanding. One of the most important ways to read it is that violent passages in the bible ought to be read as spiritual metaphors. We can see this in practice in 1 Samuel 15:33 the line “hewed agag in pieces”. If you just take this literally it sounds brutal, but when you look at it metaphorically and spiritually its depths open up.  Literalness is a real killer of getting the rue message, and it’s something even our detractors seem unable to get. It’s one of the nicest responses as Christians we can have toward the sting of secularism. Let kindness prevail. That we may shine a new window for those who have yet to see.