Wednesday, December 7, 2011

St. Nicholas, pray for us!

This from the "Canterbury Tales" blog is TOO GOOD NOT TO SHARE!  St. Nicholas, zealous for the honor of Christ and our Blessed Mother, Pray for us!

Monday, December 5, 2011

On "Altar-ing" our Nation and Government

Long live Christ the King! These were the last words of Blessed Fr. Miguel Pro before he was executed by a government firing squad in Mexico on November 23, 1927. This season of preparation for the advent of our King become all the important in our day since it reminds us that we are, in the words of Great Britain’s great martyr, St. Thomas More, “the king’s good ser-vant, but God’s first”. In our country I suppose it would be more proper to say “the constitution's good servant, but God’s first”. In any case, the point is that we are called to loyalty to our country, but we are most loyal to our country when we follow God’s providential plan for His creation, in which our country, and every country, resides.
A little over a week ago we gathered with family and friends to give thanks for many things on our national day of Thanksgiving. As we read about conflict and civil unrest, natural disasters and persecution in so many parts of the world we are reminded of how very fortunate we are to be Americans. We have a constitution that guarantees certain freedoms, particularly the right to free expression, assembly, and religion. We have a culture that allows nearly anyone to achieve nearly anything. We also have, when compared to so many places in the world, a generally safe environment in which to realize our dreams.
These things CAN be swept away very quickly, how-ever, if we are not vigilant. We have seen of late unmistakable attempts to unreasonably limit our freedoms. We have even experienced the complete reversal of some founding principles. These I have written and preached on frequently and so I will not rehash this here except to remind all that the first of these founding prin-ciples is the right to life.
It is proper, of course, that we focus on this founding principle in a particular way since without life none of our other rights have any meaning. And yet, the highest court in our land peered in between the lines of the Constitution and found a right to kill the unborn. This is why the Church in the modern era has seemed to some to be so sin-gularly focused on the defense of life. This is not, as some have supposed, to the exclusion of defending other rights. It is however, in the words of both our Holy Father and our bishop, our necessary focus so that all other rights may be seen in their proper context.
Our Declaration of Independence states that governments rule legitimately when they protect these rights and if they fail we have the right to alter or abolish that government. Two weeks ago we had one chance to alter our government when we were given the opportunity to vote. Next weekend, as we begin the season of Advent and begin again to prepare for the coming of our King, we will be given a chance to altar our government - presenting it in all its brokenness to God in prayer.
Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, and Bishop Callahan have called on us to enter into a special time of prayer for the protection of nascent life, that is – the unborn. We are asked to imitate Mary in saying “yes” to new life and to commit ourselves to the defense of that life.
I would ask all who can to join the Holy Father, our bishop, and myself as we begin this season of grace by saying “yes” with Mary to God’s invitation to welcome His Son into our hearts and lives, along with all nascent life into our lives and into the world. Long live Christ the King!