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Food for the Poor Godspy.com: Faith at the Edge


Fr. Shawn Matthew, osb

Fr. Shawn Matthew, osb | 0 posts | Member since 04.26.08


RE: After the Pope: Time to Hit the Books?
Having concelebrated at the Papal Mass in DC, I had the exact experience of Pope Benedict that you aptly described. Granted, upon hearing the message of the Holy Father, my interest was piqued, but I was not exactly filled with evangelical fire upon exiting the National's stadium. I knew that, upon returning, I needed to get on line and read his messages, for, having read several of his books and homilies, I am aware that there is much more happening within the text of his homilies than in their delivery. We have been blessed beyond any doubt with the last two men who have sat in the Chair of Saint Peter. The one-two punch that the writings of these two Popes will have in the future of the world will be a joy to watch unfold. Whether that occurs during our sojourn here on earth, or during the everlasting day of the next life, is up to God. This much is certain, the Holy Spirit has boldly spoken through both of them, and He is raising up a new army, a mighty army, from the dry bones of this vast desert waste of Western Culture....Veni, Creator Spiritus!

RE: David Brooks explains the Republican Party’s Catholic problem
Yes, we are indeed a nation that does NOT need a greater influence from the "Mr. Potters" (the evil antagonist from "It's a Wonderful Life"), but from the George Baileys of our Nation. Where are the George and Mary Baileys? Where are those who are willing to put the size of their own checking accounts second and the welfare of the Common Good first? As Catholics, this ought to be our primary concern. However, how many of us, as Baptized and anointed Catholics, are willing to step up the plate and truly offer our bodies as living sacrifices? How many of us are willing to spend at least one hour a day EVERY day in prayer for the healing of our Society? How many of us are willing to offer whatever little or significant sufferings we are called to endure in union with the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ? Yes, we want a better country with healthier workplaces, homes and schools, but are we willing to pay the price it requires? Until our answer is transformed from a very luke-warm maybe into a fervent YES, life, as we know it, is not going to change that much. As the Psalmist says, "Give us help against the foe, for the help of man is vain. With God we shall do bravely, and He will trample down our foes" (Psalm 108:13,14).

RE: David Brooks explains the Republican Party’s Catholic problem
I didn't realize that I was trying to make an argument! :-) The Second Vatican Council, the Popes who have ascended to the Chair of Peter, including our current Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI have concurred in their analyses that the primary need for our society is centered around holiness. And for holiness to transform the human heart, the human heart must be willing to submit him/herself to the One (the Only One, it ought to be stated) who is capable of making the primary and most essential change, that of removing the heart of stone (resulting from sin) and replacing it with a heart of flesh. War, poverty, racism, hatred, division, anger, bitterness, jealousy, all of these ways of using and reducing the human person to a thing to be used and manipulated (yes, even when it is via the Internet) all begin in the heart of single human beings (and Catholics, being those gifted with the truth, ought to be held to the highest degree of accountability - myself at the top of the list) that do not encounter the living God, or when they do, return to their former lives and life as if the Lord Jesus Christ had not sought them, placed them upon His shoulders and brought them back into His fold. Veni, Creator Spiritus!

RE: David Brooks explains the Republican Party’s Catholic problem
Freethinkingtheist, First of all, I have been crunching Biochemistry for the past 48 hours, so I haven't had time to reply to your keen perception. You are right on with your "analysis" of my two above statements. While they exist within a philosophical substratum that forms the foundation of much of my world and other-wordly views, they seem to emerge in a particularly vehement way every four years during the late summer/early autumn months...... could it be.... ELECTION TIME! :-) Yes, it is during the presidential election season (beginning with the primaries) that I find myself increasingly frustrated time and again. As far as I am concerned (for whatever that is worth, not very much) there simply is NO ONE to vote for. Check that: there has not been anyone to vote for many, many moons. I have never voted FOR anyone in a presidential election. I have faithfully voted against candidates each and every presidential election. I voted against Dukakis in 1988, against George I in 1992, against Clinton in 1996, against Gore in 2000 and against Kerry in 2004. In 1992, I was not Catholic. I was Catholic in name only, and so I was completely in favor of change for the sake of change as it was being promoted by then Democratic nominee Bill Clinton. The most dangerous thing that the Democratic party has done over the past 30 years is abandoning the anthropological roots of human society - abortion on demand, homosexual unions, false feminism (Pope John Paul the Great was an authentic feminist). These are NOT religious issues, they are human issues. These are issues that are rooted in the human soul, in the human heart. These are issues that have shaped and formed human culture and societies since the beginning. These are anthropological issues, and to completely undermine them is the undermine one of the foundational principles buttressing the Church's social doctrine: the principle of subsidiarity. One fact that people don't mention very often in the midst of these debates is the fact that in the wake of the sexual revolution of the 1970's, there are more single women trying to raise children who live under the poverty level TODAY than, I do believe have at any other time in the history of our nation. So, what is a voter to do? What is a Catholic voter to do? What is THIS Catholic voter going to do? I'll do what I've done each and every election since I have been approaching the voting booth - I'll vote against Senator Obama. Anyone who is that against the weakest, most defenseless human beings in our nation, simply is not fit to take control of that much power. Because the power will be used (as it always is) against the weakest and most defenseless. 1.4 million a year. Yes, there are many fronts that are calling for Christians at arms. There are many fronts that need to best that Christianity (and humanity, for that manner) has to offer, and we are simply not up to the task. The Republican party may be using the Pro life issue as a way to attract a certain portion of the Catholic vote without any sincere desire to promote the Pro-life cause. The mighty hurricane of sin has been battering the moral levies of our nation for decades, and they are beginning to spring innumerable leaks. The only solution I can see is to try to plug the one leak that I am able to plug, and pray for converted hearts (beginning with my own) to join together and repair these walls before it is too late. When he ran for president in 2000, George W. Bush was asked if he would try to repeal Roe-v-Wade if elected president. His answer: Hearts must first change before this law is changed. The United States is not ready for this change. How right he was, and still is. Transformation of society is not something that can be legislated. It cannot be brought to fruition through this party or that party, but by hearts being opened to the overwhelming truth of God's love. In closing, I forgot that I DID vote FOR someone this year in the Primary - Gov. Mike Huckabee, the Governor of Arkansas. He is very pro family, and also is in favor of implementing social reform legislation that is "too liberal" for the GOP. The result? He got no press time, he was a primary target of the conservative yelling heads like Rush, Sean Hannity and Mike Savage. We in the USA are desperately seeking for someone to lead us in a new direction. It is like the line at the end of Batman, the Dark Knight, after Harvey Dent's (Gotham's White Knight) funeral, as Batman (now the hunted Dark Knight) rides off into the darkness, "Gotham didn't get the hero it needed (Dent), but the hero it deserved. As we have lost our faith and our reliance upon God as our source and final authority, we too no longer see the leaders we need raised up from among our ranks. We simply get the ones we deserve. And the Church says.... AMEN.

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