Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Blatant Hypocrisy of Barack Obama

One of the biggest stories in the nation today is that of the tragic killing of 17-year old Trayvon Martin in Florida.  Martin, who was unarmed and was killed by a neighborhood watchman.  This story has escalated into a potential race riot because Martin was black and the neighborhood watchman is white.  The watchman claims he killed Martin in self defense.  He has not been arrested but there is an investigation being done, while "leaders" such as the New Black Panther Party and Al Sharpton are calling for everything from the arrest to the outright killing of George Zimmerman, the white shooter. 

Our President weighed in on this case, calling for a full investigation and then making what I consider to be a very strange statement coming from this most pro-abortion president: 

". . . my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. you know, if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon. and, you know, I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. all right."
This statement is coming from the man who has pushed abortion more than any politician in our history.  When he was a state senator in Illinois, he used all his political might to stop the passage of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, an act designed to protect the survivors of abortion by ensuring they would receive medical care.  Obama said that by protecting survivors of abortion, "it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute. For that purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional."  So Obama is basically saying here, if we protect these children, then we will have to admit that those other babies who are being successfully aborted are also children, and that would be unconstitutional!

Candidate Obama in 2008 made the infamous statement that he would never want his daughters to be "punished" with a baby, and that is why he would always fight to keep abortion legal.  Obama, as president, has pushed to fund abortions around the world, allowed free abortions to members of the US military, and has consistently and strongly supported Planned Parenthood, the biggest provider of abortions in the United States.

I regularly pray in front of two abortion mills which just happen to be in a predominately white neighborhood.  But the majority of women who go into these abortion mills are 90% to 95% African American.  As I have reported elsewhere on this blog, there are 3 black babies aborted for every two live black births in New York City.  That is over 60% of black babies who are being legally snuffed out.  The minority communities are targeted by abortionists, there can be no doubt of that. 



I think that the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida is a very tragic event, and there can be no winners in this case at all.  But does no one care about the thousands and thousands of black babies that are torn apart, burned alive and otherwise killed in their mothers' wombs every day in this country?  Why aren't Al Sharpton and the New Black Panthers marching on these killing fields and demanding that they be shut down?  How many of those babies, who are never allowed to take their first breath, would look like our President? 

The hypocrisy of not only President Barack Obama but all others who look the other way while there is a genocide going on right under their own noses is absolutely breathtaking.  If they do not oppose the killing of babies in their mothers' wombs, they have no right to speak out on this tragic case in Florida.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Feast of the Annunication

Hail Mary, Full of Grace,
The Lord is With Thee,
Blessed Art Thou Among Women
And Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus 

Today is the magnificent Feast of the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to our Blessed Mother Mary.  This is the day that we bow down in gratitude not just to the Trinity, who chose Mary as the ark of salvation, the virgin who would give birth to her own Creator.  We also honor the Virgin herself for saying "Yes" to the incarnation.  She was and is an intricate part of our salvation.  As St. Louis de Montfort said, "Christ came into the world through Mary, and through Mary he must reign in the world." 

This is especially galling to the enemy, Satan.  It was through a woman that Satan brought sin and death into the world, and it is through a woman, through her seed, that God brought salvation to mankind.  Mary, that most beautiful and most perfect creation of God, crushes the head of Satan, as prophesied in Genesis 3:15 - "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel."  And it all starts with her "yes" to the angel Gabriel, as told in the first chapter of Luke:
26 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.

31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.

33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?

35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren:

37 Because no word shall be impossible with God.

38 And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.



Here is a wonderful explanation of the meaning of true devotion to Mary from Father John Hardon, S.J. 


St. Louis de Montfort
Apostle of Mary for Today

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Great Catholic Books Newsletter
Volume I, Number 6
On the occasion of the second millennium of Mary's birth, Pope John Paul II emphasized the importance of a true devotion to the Blessed Virgin. He singled out St. Louis de Montfort as a prime example of what this means.

He proposes consecration to Christ through the hands of Mary, as an effective means for Christians to live faithfully their baptismal commitments. I am pleased to note that in our own time, too, many manifestations of this spirituality and devotion are not lacking.

If there is one feature of the present Pope's pontificate, it is his emphasis on the need for devotion to the Blessed Virgin to stem the tide of global secularism in the modern world. It is easy to dismiss the Pope's Marian spirituality as a pious eccentricity. But Pope John Paul II is too intelligent and too experienced not to know that only supernatural means can halt the advance of unbelief in what he calls "the materially super-developed nations" in Western society. In one conference after another, in one document after another, the Pope insists: only a renaissance of Mariology in thought and practice can restore once Christian nations to their original commitment to the Son of Mary.
It is in this context that we should look more closely at the Marian teaching of St. Louis de Montfort. What needs to be underlined is what de Montfort calls the True Devotion to Mary.

There is no lack of Marian piety among Catholics today. There is no lack of books, periodicals, pamphlets and brochures on the Blessed Virgin. What Louis de Montfort emphasized 200 years ago needs to be clarified more than ever in our day.

In his treatise on the True Devotion, St. Louis identifies seven forms of false devotions to the Blessed Virgin and the false devotees of Our Lady. I would single out two kinds of spurious devotion to Mary to which, our modern age is especially prone. Says St. Louis de Montfort:

External devotees are persons who make all devotion to our Blessed Lady consist in outward practices. They have no taste except for the exterior of this devotion, because they have no interior spirit of their own. We have still to mention the false devotees of our Blessed Lady who are the hypocritical devotees. They cloak their sins and sinful habits with her mantle in order to be taken by men for what they are not.

Suppose we look at these two forms of Marian devotion which de Montfort called erroneous. They deserve all the attention we can give them if we are to hope for the transformation of the modern world, through Mary, which the present Holy Father is so earnestly advancing.
Interior Devotion
St. Louis warns Catholics against identifying devotion to Mary with outward Marian forms of piety. 
Of course we human beings are a composite of body and soul. We are to externalize our practice of prayer. We are to use our hands and our lips and move our bodies when we engage in the Liturgy and in personal acts of piety. The problem, de Montfort would say, is that devotion to the Blessed Virgin consists in much more than these externals.

Interior devotion to our Lady means many things, but it means especially the imitation of her virtues, and among these especially her unshaken faith, her absolute confidence in God and her utterly selfless charity toward others.

UNSHAKABLE FAITH.  
Mary's faith was immovable from the Annunciation to the Crucifixion. She never doubted for a moment that the Child she conceived was her God. Elizabeth's greeting to her as, "Mother of My Lord" was an expression of Mary's own deep faith in the Divinity of her Son.
How many Catholics who say their rosaries and recite their Hail Marys realize that their most fundamental devotion to Mary is an absolute and unqualified faith that Jesus Christ is literally the Incarnate Son of God.
Reread the letters of St. John the Apostle who took care of Christ's mother after His Ascension. In one verse after another John tells us who belongs to Christ and who belongs to the devil. The one who belongs to Christ is the one who believes that Jesus, the Son of Mary is the Son of the living God. The one who belongs to the devil is the antichrist; he denies the Incarnation and rejects the Divinity of Mary's Son.
As we look at the modern world, we see that this is the heart of the crisis in so many dechristianized countries. Lip service may still be given to the Apostle's Creed. But, in practice, the Christ of the Gospels has been demythologized and become just another religious leader alongside Buddha, Mohammed and Mahatma Ghandi.

ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE IN GOD. Building on her unshakable faith, Mary trusted in God as no human had ever done before or since. Our boundless confidence in God is an essential part of our imitation of Mary.
She never wavered in her confidence that Christ would overcome the bodily death inflicted by His enemies. Since the first century, Saturday has been commemorated as Mary's Day. She alone among the followers of Christ was absolutely sure, during the first Holy Saturday, that there would be an Easter Sunday.
During the fifteen years that Mary remained on earth after her Son's Ascension, she saw the young Church persecuted, rejected and martyred. It was part of God's providence that she should literally mother the infant Mystical Body of Christ by strengthening the early Christians as they shared in the Passion of her Son.

How we need this Marian inspiration today! We are living in the Age of Martyrs with millions dying for their Christian faith, more than ever in the Church's 2000 years of history. Bishops and priests, religious and the laity, the married and the single, the young and the old must either practice something of the heroic trust in God that Mary had or become further casualties in the Christless cultures of the 20th Century.

UTTERLY SELFLESS CHARITY
. It is not for nothing that Mary has been presented as the perfect model, after Christ, of selfless generosity to others. This generosity was deeply interior and was shown especially in her patient cooperation with Jesus in His Redemption of a sinful world.

Charity has many meanings. It has also been cheapened almost to no meaning among people who have made an idol of self. But one meaning of Marian charity had better be understood in our self-idolizing times. If we love someone we are willing to suffer for the one we love and with the one we claim to love. Christ's sufferings were brought on by the envy and malice of His enemies. This, in fact, is the principal meaning of the Passion. It is pain endured from hostile persons, whose hostility is the main source of suffering. What Christ experienced was not only or mainly the physical experience in His Body. His worst agony was rejection by those He loved and hatred by those for whom He was willing to die.

Mary shared in Christ's Passion. This was her compassion, suffering interiorly as only the loving heart of a Mother could participate in the sufferings of her Child.We hear so much nowadays about love. It has become almost a cliché for authenticity and even in Christian circles, a substitute for faith. But love on Marian terms is nothing if not patient endurance at the hands and eyes and lips and thoughts of persons whom we love but do not love us correspondingly in return.
Here especially, True Devotion to Mary is the imitation of Mary's loving patience with the persecutors of her Son. They are persecuting Him still in the person of His followers. And it is our privilege to follow Mary's example of utterly selfless charity in the practice of utterly patient love.

VIRTUOUS SINCERITY. St. Louis de Montfort stigmatizes certain devotees of Mary with hypocrisy. He says they cloak their sins with her mantle in order to be taken for what they are not. A great apostle of Mary, Padre Pio, claimed that the single most devastating sin of modern man is hypocrisy.

True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin dare not be a mask for sinful habits that are covered by a veneer of piety.
As we read the True Devotion to Mary we may be shocked by the strong language that the author uses to describe what he calls hypocrisy. However, we begin to see what he means when we read what Christ said to the Scribes and Pharisees of His day. He was merciless in denouncing their lives of pretense and their sham observance of the externals of the Mosaic Law.

All of this we can apply, with humility, to ourselves. Authentic devotion to the Blessed Virgin must be the expression of a life of virtue. In essence, devotion is dedicated love. Our love of Christ, following the example of Mary, must be real. This means it must be lived in obedience to His teaching and in the observance of His commands. Otherwise, it becomes a substitute for true devotion to Mary which means the true following of Christ.

Marian Synthesis 
To understand the True Devotion, we must see it as devotion to the Incarnate God. Even de Montfort's idea of becoming a slave of Mary becomes intelligible only if it is understood as an expression of one's total consecration to Mary's Son. Our Christian dedication must be lived by "performing all one's actions through Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary, so as to perform them more perfectly through Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ, in Jesus, and for Jesus" (True Devotion, 258). Thus, the act of consecration composed by St. Louis is addressed to the Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom.
The bedrock of the True Devotion is the following of Christ after the example of Mary, as inspired by Mary and made possible by the graces she receives through the intercession of her Divine Son.

There is no surer path to Christ than through His Blessed Virgin Mother, the one who never left his side and never wavered in her faith.  To honor Mary is to honor her Son.  She is the one who intercedes for us before his throne.  She is the one who stays at our side as we carry our cross just as she stayed at the side of her Beloved Son. 

It is impossible to honor Mary too highly, for every honor and devotion we give to her goes directly to her Son. 

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death.  Amen

Mary will walk with us
just as she walked with her Son

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Welcome to Babylon, Tim Tebow!

In a city of 8 million people, we here in the Big Apple have pretty much seen everything and we tend to take it all in stride.  It takes an awful lot to shake up New Yorkers.  But this city has been galvanized by a 24-year old professing Christian named Tim Tebow and the fact that he is now going to be second string quarterback for the New York Jets.  He has been on the front pages of all of the newspapers and the top story in all the rest of the media in New York.  I personally, as a resident of New York City, could not be more thrilled.  As I have posted previously, I am not a pro sports fan.  I couldn't care less who does and does not play for the New York Jets or any other sports team.  It didn't phase me in the least when the New York Giants won the Superbowl. 

But I have made a big exception with Tim Tebow because of his very real belief in Jesus Christ and the wondeful positive message he sends to the world just by being alive.  Even those who have no use for him admit that he is the real deal.  There is nothing phony about Tim Tebow.  And in my mind, his most important message to the world is that of the sanctity of life.  His mother became quite ill while she was pregnant with him, and the doctors strongly advised her to get an abortion because he was going to be severely handicapped.  She refused, and as we can all see, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this strong and healthy young man. 

I don't think it's any accident that Tim Tebow, whom I have called "Gods Answer to Abortion", is now coming to the abortion capital of the United States, where over 40% of all preganancies end in abortion, and where there are approximately 89,000 abortions performed every year.  In the Black community, there are 3 abortions for every 2 live births.  The numbers are staggering.  There is a website devoted solely to the abortions done in New York City called nyc41percent.com

None of what I have read or heard about Tim Tebow has mentioned the abortion issue, but I can tell you without a doubt it is in the back of many liberal minds. 

One of the fairest editorials I have read about Tebow coming to New York City is from . . . . THE NEW YORK TIMES!  Yes, folks, that newspaper that so many revile as being the devil's newspaper, and in far too many ways, it is just that.   But once in a while they will surprise, and I was very pleasantly surprised with the following editorial by Ross Douthat:

Tebow in Babylon

By ROSS DOUTHAT
THE Prophet Jonah was sent to Nineveh. St. Paul was sent to Athens, Macedonia, Rome. And now Tim Tebow has been sent to New York City.

There was a moment last week when it looked as if the trade shipping Tebow from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets might somehow fall through — that Tebow might end up a Jacksonville Jaguar instead, with a guaranteed starting job, a heavily evangelical fan base, and none of the insanity involved in eclipsing Jeremy Lin as the most famous Christian athlete in Babylon-upon-the-Hudson.

O ye of little faith. Did you think that the Lord God of Hosts, having raised Tebow up as a Gideon of the gridiron, would pass up the opportunity to put his faithful servant to the test? Did you think that the angelic screenwriters responsible for scripting last year’s succession of Tebow-related improbabilities had nodded off after the Broncos were dispatched in the A.F.C. playoffs? Did you think that the archons and demiurges who preside over America’s culture war would be content to let Tebow fade into obscurity — some red-state-friendly endorsement deals, a few 6-10 finishes, and then early retirement and a lifetime of under-the-radar charity work?

Above all, did you think that Tebow himself, with his distinctive mix of missionary zeal and “give me the ball” confidence, would duck the Gotham opportunity? That he would pull a LeBron James and take his talents down to Florida instead?

No, this was where the Tebow story was always destined to end up. Denver was his Galilee; New York will be the Roman Colosseum. Or to be pop cultural rather than scriptural: Denver was District 12 in Suzanne Collins’s Panem, and the Meadowlands will be the Hunger Games arena.

New Yorkers are a sophisticated lot, and the Tebow hype will afford them plenty of opportunities for eye-rolling. The sophisticated football fan will tell you that Tebow is a bad-to-mediocre quarterback with a few unusual skills who rode a lucky streak to undeserved fame; the rest is just the standard media fantasy about “intangibles” and “grit” dressed up with spirituality.

The sophisticated atheist will inform you that in a vast and complicated cosmos, there will inevitably be temporary patterns that give the appearance of some divine design. But it would be even more ridiculous for a secular-minded football fan to root against Tebow than for a religious fan to root for him: in a godless, random universe, failure is no more metaphysically significant than success. (Or as Grantland’s Brian Phillips put it: “If you’re against Tebow, you can’t read too much into Tebow’s failures, or else Tebow has already won.”)

The sophisticated Christian, meanwhile, may be a little embarrassed by the whole Tebow business. A sophisticate’s God doesn’t care about trivia like who wins football games. A sophisticate’s theology doesn’t depend on what some musclehead does with the pigskin.

But let’s be unsophisticated for a moment. Why is Tim Tebow such a fascinating and polarizing figure? Not just because he claims to be religious; that claim is commonplace among football stars and ordinary Americans alike. Rather, it’s because his conduct — kind, charitable, chaste, guileless — seems to actually vindicate his claim to be in possession of a life-altering truth.

Nothing discredits religion quite like the gap that often yawns between what believers profess and how they live. With Tebow, that gap seems so narrow as to be invisible. (“There’s not an ounce of artifice or phoniness or Hollywood in this kid Tebow,” ESPN’s Rick Reilly wrote last year of the quarterback’s charitable works, “and I’ve looked everywhere for it.”) He fascinates, in part, because he behaves — at least in public, and at least for now — the way one would expect more Christians to behave if their faith were really true.

But the fascination doesn’t end there. Tebow’s religion doesn’t just promise a path to personal transformation. It claims that every human life is actually a story with an Author, and that a genuinely Christian life should make that divine Authorship manifest.

So in Tebow’s case, the link between faith and football can’t actually be broken. The more that his professional career seems like, well, a storybook — with exciting up and downs, new opportunities and unexpected twists — the more credible his faith in providence becomes.

Note that “a storybook” is not the same as “an inevitable success.” In Christian theology as in young-adult fiction, even the author’s most beloved characters can suffer pain, temptation, failure, exile. The lives of the saints often end in martyrdom. The gentle, brutalized Peeta Mellark is as much the hero of “The Hunger Games” as the indomitable Katniss Everdeen.

So even the most pious of Jets fans shouldn’t expect a Super Bowl title. But if their new quarterback’s story really has an Author, they’re in for a pretty interesting ride.
Ah, Ross, you summed it up beautifully. Despite Cardinal Dolan's protestations that New York City is not modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, it is exactly that.  It can be no accident that the most high profile Christian in the land is now in one of the most secular cities in the world. He needs all the prayers and support he can get, and I intend to support him in any way I can. 

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