Friday, May 29, 2009

Chesterton on Marriage and Fidelity

"Keeping to one woman is a small price for so much as seeing one woman. To complain that I could only be married once was like complaining that I had only been born once. It was incommensurate with the terrible excitement of which one was talking. It showed, not an exaggerated sensibility to sex, but a curious insensibility to it. A man is a fool who complains that he cannot enter Eden by five gates at once."

— G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pray For America This Memorial Day

Remembering today the American soldiers who lost their lives fighting for us. Examples of combat deaths include:

American Revolution... 8,000
U.S. Civil War (Union)... 140,000
World War I... 53,000
World War II... 290,000
Korean War... 31,000
Vietnam War... 47,000
Gulf War... 148
Iraq/Afghanistan... 4,200

Without debating the just cause of any particular conflict, it is unmistakable that America has been blessed by wise founders and Providential success, and we remain humanity's best hope of democracy and freedom.

But, we have our problems. We are still wrestling with the aftermath of legalized human slavery, even after a civil war which claimed over 200,000 lives including a President. Those wounds in fact are not healed, and the scab is continuously scraped off thanks to a dysfunctional welfare state that has destroyed the Black family unit in America. It is obscene.

And, there is abortion.

Abortion (1973-present)... 50,000,000

Since Roe v Wade, the number of abortion deaths in the U.S. is nearly 90 times the number of wartime deaths cited above, and within the next decade it will top 100 X. According to the Guttmacher Institute (an arm of Planned Parenthood and thus no friend of the fetus), 22% of all pregancies in the U.S. end in abortion. This is horrific and disheartening.

I will tout the greatness of America with the slightest provocation. But, we are squandering this capital as we turn away from God and the Church. In a recent video publication, Father John Corapi asserts that America will "get nothing right" unless and until we eradicate abortion. I believe he is correct.

God, bless America.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rest In Peace, John Kortuem

Last week a friend of many in St Michael passed away, John Kortuem. He was a huge man, 6'8" and three and a half bills. Father Michael gave a touching and poignant homily at the Funeral Mass, recounting John's life, faith, size, strength and his occasional foibles.

I was in John's CRHP group, and was honored to have been a pall bearer at his funeral. And, John's son is a key reason I finally took the Tiberian plunge and joined the Church. John's gentleness and faithfulness, and his devotion to the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin, were undoubtedly passed on to his children.

And so I know if it weren't for John Kortuem, I might still be lost.
Pray for John's soul, and for the comfort and consolation of his family.




Saturday, May 2, 2009

Without swords, without guns, without conflict ...

If you listen carefully, you can hear what remains of the West strain under the weight of its own selfishness. No longer supported by a once solid foundation, its collapse seems all but certain. It would be a mistake to say this collapse is inevitable, but without something short of divine the writing is on the wall.

Today we in the West have for the most part built our lives on the beautiful value of selfishness. People now refuse children knowing that it would mean having to share what they have; home, money, future, time, life, etc. Parents today were born to parents who wanted – and did – give them everything they wanted, and they have no interest in giving that up.

The arguments are over where in the “game” you should be allowed to make sure the children are never born - contraception and abortion. The fact that they shouldn’t be born is a given. In our country the native population has a fertility rate of 1.8. It’s sick to think that with the acceptance of abortion and even late-term abortion that the .8 could be barbarically accurate. How much credibility can people with 1.8 kids possibly have when they speak out against abortion? Seriously.

In this climate, marriage fades away as husbands and wives see each other less as spouses and more and more as sexual playmates. They soon realize that when they’re not having fun, it’s easier to take your toys and go home than it is to actually make a home.

It’s not uncommon to hear people talk about how God is going to punish the United States. “If God does not judge America He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah” is a phrase attributed to just about every religious leader in the last 50 years. Will this great chastisement be a tsunami? An earthquake? A nuclear weapon detonated by a terrorist?!?! Maybe, and in the end something like that just might drive people back to God and to faith.

Unfortunately, I think the chastisement may come in a form not so easily recognized. An external catastrophe has a way of turning people’s eyes from themselves outward to others. Illuminated by the light of charity, the person now can see the world in a new light – the way it really is. But when the chastisement is for God to hand people “over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies”, people are allowed to continue in their selfishness to the point of death. The person who is themselves the object of their own desire is a truly vile and miserable creature. We in the West are loving ourselves to death.
Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Romans 1:20-25
To borrow from T.S. Eliot (The Hollow Men):
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

The Western world that is.

Islam doesn't need swords, guns, or conflict - they can destroy the West with children.