Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thoughts At the End of 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, I find it interesting to look back on the year.  Let's take a look first of all at the country I call home - the United States of America.  Things were not good at the end of 2010 - high unemployment, people losing their homes, the dollar and the entire economy threatening to collapse, the survival of the family threatened with legalization of same sex marriage and general immorality, high abortion numbers, high numbers of kids failing in schools, threats of war everywhere - it just wasn't good.  But there was promise in the air - the nation had just elected large numbers of tea party candidates to the House of Representatives, and we were assured that things were going to change.  John Boehner, the new Speaker of the House, would stand up to Obama and turn this country around.  Good days were coming!

It is now 12 months later.  What has ensued during that time?  Well, we've been involved in yet another war - oops, I meant a "kinetic military action" in Libya.  President Obama didn't bother to get congressional approval for this "kinetic military action".  A few Republicans grumbled about that, but most didn't seem too upset and they certainly didn't do anything about it.  We were involved in overturning our long time ally in Egypt (very dangerous to be an ally of the United States - the US will turn on you every time); and we are now threatening to get involved with both Syria and Iran.  Hmmm, that doesn't sound too good. 

Our economy continues to spin out of control.  The national deficit at the end of 2010 was $13.5 trillion.  It is now $15.5 trillion, and is projected to be $16.7 trillion in 2012.  Well, this doesn't seem to be going too well, either. I guess this was a bit too much for those tea party Republicans in the House to handle as well, even though they promised us that this wouldn't happen.  And Pres. Obama has just asked for another $1.2 trillion on top of the $1 trillion spending bill that was just passed on December 17. What do you think the chances are he will get it?  Judging by the past track records, pretty darn good! 

Same sex marriage is now legal in six states  Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, plus Washington, D.C. and Oregon's Coquille and Washington state's Suquamish Indian tribes (aren't they the lucky ones!).  Ah yes, my own wonderful state of New York, with the tremendous help of our Catholic governor, Andrew Cuomo, is the largest state to pass this law.  And President Obama has assured us that he will do nothing to defend the law of the land, the Defense of Marriage Act, even though he swore to uphold all laws when he was sworn in.  But the Republicans don't seem too concerned about this, either. 

The Republicans were quite busy in working with the Democrats to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, which effectively strips all Americans of their constitutional rights, in giving the military the right to detain anyone, even Americans, on American soil that they deem to be a threat to the country.  Why, they don't even need to give a reason or charge us with anything.  They can just swoop right in and take us off to indefinite detention in an undisclosed place.  How great is that?  Thank you, Republicans, for working so hard with President Obama and the Democrats. 

Abortion continues along unabated, with the 39th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision in just a few weeks.  All of those "pro life" Republicans just seem completely powerless to stop it.  There were some promising events, some states passing strong laws to limit abortions, but here in my very own city, New York City, our abortion rate holds steady at 40% of all  pregnancies ending in abortion, and the Black community is aborting 3 babies for every 2 who are actually born here.  Republicans seem to have more important things to worry about.

I could go on, but suffice it to say, the end of 2011 in the US certainly seems no better than its beginning, and things do not bode well for 2012. 

The state of the world is not pretty to look at.  Things are literally threatening to blow up in the Middle East, there are countless wars in places such as Africa, the Euro is near complete collapse in Europe, there are natural tragedies everywhere such as the horrific earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which caused a nuclear meltdown far worse than Chernobyl ever thought of being, and which the MSM has so conveniently forgotten about. 

That's about all I can take of looking at the condition of the US and the world in general.  Let me look at the condition of the Catholic church, the arbiter of morality and the vessel through which Christ has chosen to bring salvation to the world.  Here in the English speaking world, we did have corrections made to the Novus Ordo liturgy to bring it more in line with what it is actually suppose to say.  That was good news of a sort.  But it is still the Novus Ordo Mass, and even the corrections can only do so much to improve it.  There were the stories of the celebrity priests who flamed out, such as Father John Corapi and Father Thomas Euteneuer.   A good majority of Catholics still tend to pick and choose what they want to believe of the Church and throw out the rest, e.g. artificial birth control, attending weekly Mass, etc.  The church is relegated, at best, to a small corner of many, many Catholics lives.  Far too many Catholics are much more interested in who is going to win American Idol than where they are going to spend eternity.  More and more churches are being closed, the pedophilia scandal still scars the church and the effectiveness of the preaching of the Gospel is deeply hindered by this.  One can only guess and shudder at how many souls are being lost because the Catholic church cannot do the job she was commanded to do by her Founder. 

From Blessed Elena Aiello, a message from Our Lord:

‘Oh! how sad is My Heart to see that men do not convert (or respond) to so many calls of love and grief, manifested by My Beloved Mother to errant men. Roaming in darkness, they continue to live in sin, and further away from God! But the scourge of fire is near, to purify the earth of the iniquities of the wicked. The justice of God requires reparation for the many offenses and misdeeds that cover the earth, and which can no longer be compromised. Men are obstinate in their guilt, and do not return to God’.
I don't know what 2012 has in store for any of us.  I have to be honest and can only say that it does not look good.  We must pray, and pray always that people will repent of their sins and turn to God.  That is our only hope.  There is no salvation in any politician or any human being.  We need to learn that lesson and learn it fast.

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