Because I said so…

Picture this.  You’re watching a football game and in the middle of a play some yahoo, frustrated with his team’s performance, jumps from the stands and runs on to the field.  He manages to take the ball from the quarterback and runs into the end zone.  He spikes the ball and declares that he’s such a great football player.  Meanwhile, his drunken friends in the stands are also cheering him on by telling everyone just how great of a football player their friend is.  However, that fan’s shenanigans ultimately do not mean anything. His touchdown wouldn’t count for either team, and his effort would not go down in any official record book.  And no amount of cheer leading or yelling from either him or his friends would change the fact that he is not an actual football player that has an effect on the outcome of the game.

English: Caroline Kennedy speaks during the fi...

And so we shift from football to the Democratic National Convention.  Here we have Obama and other Democrats cheer leading for their base.  Many people who spoke basically said, “Look at us! Look at how compassionate and pro-life Obama and the Democratic party is!”  But like the yahoo who ran onto the football field acting like a football player (and his drunken friends who echoed that claim), simply proclaiming you are compassionate and pro-life doesn’t make you so.

For example, we heard Caroline Kennedy say how a women’s reproductive health care is under attack because of the stricter abortion laws passed in many states.  She said that her Catholic faith would not allow her to support such laws.  I don’t know what theology class she took or what priests she consulted, but the Catholic Church is definitively against abortion in all forms.  Implying that the Church supports abortion in any way is a gross distortion of the truth and is scandalous because it misleads other Catholics who aren’t educated in their faith.

But the real woppers came from former congresswoman, Kathy Dahlkemper.  She went one step further than Caroline Kennedy and actually tried to make the argument that Obama is pro-life and that ObamaCare is the most pro-life piece of legislation ever passed in the Unite States.  Her words were:

So when people criticize Obama for his record on abortion, she continued, “you can turn on them and say, ‘He is pro-life.'”

Well that settles it.  There is no more debate.  Obama is pro-life because someone said so.  Never mind any of the hidden abortion funding in ObamaCare, the HHS contraception mandate, federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, the cancellation of federal funds for adult stem cell research, and the attacks, blackmail, and extortion from the federal government towards any state that tries to restrict abortions or defund Planned Parenthood.  Never mind the glowing endorsement Obama got from Nancy Keenan, president of National Abortion Rights Action League Pro-Choice America (NARAL), at the start of the DNC.  Never mind what Obama and the liberal left do, they are pro-choice, pro-life, whole-life, no-life, and whatever else they want you to think they are… because they say so.

Our Lady's Island Church of the Assumption Eas...

The twisting of facts and the outright lies at the DNC regarding contraception, abortion, and the teachings of the Catholic Church remind me the importance of the Fourth Glorious Mystery — Mary’s Assumption.  We remember in this mystery that Mary calls us to forge a deeper relationship with her son, Jesus Christ.  Part of forging this relationship is coming to know Jesus as the Truth and not distort it to fit our wants and desires.  But this is an understanding we only receive when we pray, read the Bible, learn the Catechism and tradition of the Catholic faith, receive the sacrament of Reconciliation, and receive the Eucharist.

There will be many people and groups that will try to confuse you and distort the truth in the upcoming weeks.  The Caroline Kennedys and Nancy Pelosis of the world will try to use their twisted view of the Catholic faith to serve their political ends instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them in making wise decisions.  It is so important to make an effort to learn and understand your faith so that you won’t be swayed by anyone’s empty words, promises, and distortions.

I think it’s fitting to end with a small prayer:

Oh Lord, be with us now in this time when Your Word is so distorted or ignored in this world.  May we seek the guidance of Mary, the Holy Spirit, and the angels and saints to understand Your Truth and find the energy to follow it.  We pray for the conversion of those who choose to speak in Your Name to solely fit their personal ends instead of humbling themselves to truly listen and follow You.  Amen.

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The Story of St. Mary of Egypt

Thursday, April 1 is the feast day of St. Mary of Egypt. I came across her story of forgiveness and redemption on EWTN News and thought I would share it with you since it ties in so nicely with many mysteries of the rosary. Mary of Egypt was born in 344 A.D. and worked as a prostitute for 17 years. She joined a pilgrimage to Jerusalem so that she could sell her services to those travelling to venerate the relic of the True Cross. Upon arriving at the church where she intended to lead many into sin, a mysterious force prevented her from entering with the other pilgrims. After trying several times she gave up, went into a small courtyard, and began to cry in remorse. Upon seeing a statue of the Virgin Mary, she prayed for permission to enter the church promising to give up her sinful ways. Mary granted her permission. Changed by the experience and touched by God’s mercy Mary of Egypt lived as a hermit in the desert for 47 years.

desert
Image by Wolfgang Staudt via Flickr

Thursday, April 1 is the feast day of St. Mary of Egypt.  I came across her story of forgiveness and redemption on EWTN News and thought I would share it with you since it ties in so nicely with many mysteries of the rosary.  Mary of Egypt was born in 344 A.D. and worked as a prostitute for 17 years.  She joined a pilgrimage to Jerusalem so that she could sell her services to those travelling to venerate the relic of the True Cross.  Upon arriving at the church where she intended to lead many into sin, a mysterious force prevented her from entering with the other pilgrims.  After trying several times she gave up, went into a small courtyard, and began to cry in remorse.  Upon seeing a statue of the Virgin Mary, she prayed for permission to enter the church promising to give up her sinful ways.  Mary granted her permission.  Changed by the experience and touched by God‘s mercy Mary of Egypt lived as a hermit in the desert for 47 years.

I find this story inspiring in this last week of Lent.  As I said in my earlier post about Holy Week, it is not how you start but how you finish that counts.  We see this theme played out in Jesus‘ parable of the workers.  Each worker received the same wage regardless of when they started working.  Similarly, we all receive the same grace no matter what time in our lives we start to follow Jesus.  Or look at the parable of the Prodigal Son.  He left his family and squandered his inheritance.  And yet his father welcomed him back with open arms.  And even a prostitute of 17 years not only found redemption, but was ultimately exalted by becoming a saint.

So you haven’t been as vigilant as you would have liked for Lent.  Maybe you didn’t abstain from meat on Fridays, fast, or keep your Lenten sacrifice.  But if Mary of Egypt’s example is any indication, there is always time to turn around and embrace the way of our Lord.

Mary of Egypt’s story fits into many mysteries of the rosary.  Here are some meditation ideas the next time you pray the rosary:

  • The First Joyful Mystery — Like the Virgin Mary,  think about how God is calling you in your life.  And like Mary of Egypt, God often calls those who seem the most unlikely and unworthy.  Maybe sometimes you feel like someone undeserving of God’s grace.  But He calls you all the same.  You just have to have the courage to say yes to God’s plan for you.
  • The Fifth Joyful Mystery — I talk about how it is never too late to look for God in your life.  Mary and Joseph could not find Jesus for three days.  Mary of Egypt “lost” Jesus for 17 years as a prostitute.  And yet she found her way back, received forgiveness, and lived in God’s grace.
  • The First Luminous Mystery — John the Baptist called all of us to repent and make way for the Lord.  That is exactly what Mary of Egypt did.  It is no coincidence that after being allowed into the Church, Mary of Egypt travelled to Jordan and received communion at  a church dedicated to St. John the Baptist.  Her healing and coming back to God started by renouncing sin, receiving forgiveness, and making room in her life for God.
  • The Second Luminous Mystery — At the wedding at Cana, Mary instructed the servants to do whatever Jesus asked of them.  Mary of Egypt also did whatever Jesus asked of her which meant living out her life alone in prayer.  That could not have been an easy life.  But it shows that when we put our faith in God, miracles do happen.  What miracle did the Lord give Mary of Egypt?  The gift of grace and the solitude for her to fully embrace it.

Mary of Egypt’s story relates to many more lessons in the mysteries of the rosary such as doing God’s will, receiving forgiveness, and never giving up on God who never gives up on us.  Remember, it’s not how you start, but how you end that counts!  And I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Easter.

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