Money, Sex & Power
Before any decision is handed down from the Supremes on the HHS mandate, I just wanted to go public with the fact that my business will NOT be offering any such health care that includes requirements against the Catholic Faith. If they fine us-so be it.
Saints Cardinal John Fisher, Thomas More, John the Baptist and all others who have suffered persecution by those civil “leaders” who claim authority over the Church are not simply historical heroes of our Faith. They are role models for contemporary Catholics. It is our turn. Our time.
If the High Court, in God’s providence, rules justly and constitutionally, then many of us can rest-for a while. I sense this is just the opening skirmish of what will become a more protracted erosion of rights for people of faith and good will.
Thursday we will hear their decision. Friday, I will stand with thousands of other Catholics in my Kansas state capital with my Archbishop and three other Kansas Bishops, a faithful Catholic governor to publicly make our faith known.
Pray for us St. John Fisher, Thomas More, John the Baptist and all you saints in heaven!
As we enter this Easter season with such hope and joy in the face of a deeply troubled nation and world, I can only imagine those first disciples facing much the same. The joy of their risen Lord among them must have been the most exciting, hopeful and joyful of times. Yet, they found themselves surrounded by a religious community and a foreign occupation that would attempt to thwart them at every turn.
It seems the Resurrected life in Christ has always, and will always, find itself in the midst of serious and sometimes perilous challenges. The real question then is…what now? I think, like the Apostles, we must heed the words of Christ to prepare for the Holy Spirit to be sent. That is where we find ourselves today-awaiting the Holy Spirit this Pentecost.
Knowing the supernatural impact of that first Pentecost makes it is easier for us to envision Jesus’ plan for us in the New Pentecost. An outpouring of The Spirit to embolden, comfort and animate our faith in the risen Christ to a whole new level, that we might be his ambassadors and witnesses to a wounded, frightened and confused world.
The real question is- are we ready? Are we totally committed to Christ right now? Are we prepared to be filled with the Holy Spirit and His power, so as to take the Gospel into every area of our lives? …
For lo these many weeks of Lent I have attempted to practice a good Lent. For the most part, it has been successful and deeply satisfying experience. But it must be said that the contemplative, reflective nature of Lent is particularly difficult during March Madness.
For one thing, homilies calling for charity remind of the “charity line” in basketball. Hope-another blessed virtue-is the stuff of collegiate basketball at this time of year as well-although the object of the virtue and the game are significantly different to be sure. Faith, as scripture recounts, is the assurance of things hoped for but unseen-need I say more?
As we entered Holy Week I couldn’t help but offer up an intercessory prayer on Palm Sunday for my beloved, underdog Kansas University Jayhawks. Tonight’s final game promises to be quite a passionate affair. However, after we win, I will enter ever more deeply into this wonderfully sacred week. If we lose, all the more evidence that Satan is alive and well.
All in all, I am a blessed man.
As the HHS mandate continues to ring alarm bells and engender ridiculous and bogus efforts like Sandra Fluke and the “war on women” by politicians, there is another mandate that might perhaps be of a more challenging nature-the mandate of the Gospel to remain in solidarity with the poor and suffering.
While concerns about our freedom of religion are a front burner issue, we, as people of faith, had better begin considering the ramifications of Catholic social service providers remaining true to our Faith. If even a fraction of the Catholic hospitals, support services and related entities should, correctly, refuse to embrace the HHS Mandate, the burden of those who will find themselves in peril remains our concern and our responsibility. No secular government can relieve us of our Christian duty to others.
To simply fight this political battle and “hope” things turn out alright for those who are affected is unacceptable. It seems that with our clear and unambiguous challenge to the government we must embrace a radically more personal response-to personally care for the sick, the aging and the poor. We must, in preparation, begin planning to provide resources-both financial and social-for the purpose of assisting those most vulnerable. We must, truly, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and care for the sick.
This mandate, not from any government, is from God himself. It is perhaps, in a strange way, an opportunity for us to get back to what has historically not been just a corporate or organizational approach, but a very personal taking of responsibility to engage in the corporal works of mercy in a much larger and individual way. …
As our saintly pastor intoned the importance of practicing a “good Lent” in Mass recently I did a quick review of my past Lenten observances and their success/failure ratio. It didn’t take long to recognize the problem-my wife.
At the end of the first week of Lent, my pastor/spiritual director reviewed both my current plans and past issues with me, he suggested a new approach. Perhaps, he counseled, I should reconsider my commitments of impacting the world and target my childlike (perhaps he said childish) efforts a bit more domestically.
Now this sounded suspiciously like my wife had been in to see him prior to my arrival-a suspicion I have had before when both she and I attended reconciliation together- and she always insisted on going first.
I have secretly harbored the distinct impression that both her confession and her time with our joint spiritual director routinely included discussions about my being success-challenged. “Bless me father, for my husband has sinned” kind of thing. Not that there weren’t valid grounds for such conversations. I was hardly a “Lenten Poster Child” in domestic life. I frequently thought how much less time consuming and more honest it might be if she simply drew up my list.
Regardless, I found myself at the end of my spiritual direction session with some goals significantly altered from my global ambitions of converting the western world single- handedly. I must admit that “taking out the garbage without being asked” seemed a bit specific-amazingly clairvoyant really-as it was included on my daily Lenten discipline list. …
Recently my wife and I had dinner with a very faithful, traditional college-educated couple who were lamenting the state of things in the world, especially the recent attack on religious liberty by the Obama administration
Somewhere between the salad and entrée, one member of our dinner companions mentioned that she thought we were in the final days-as in, the END OF THE WORLD. Perhaps it’s just me but I have sensed an increasingly loud drum beat by Christians of late expressing this position. I took the opportunity to discuss a bit more about this fear of the “end days.”
Now I am no biblical scholar and have no inside knowledge of the Almighty’s plans for the final roll up of time, but I can safely say I am a skeptic of such hand-wringing. But still, the opportunity was so fortuitous that I didn’t want to miss the chance.
My first thought was quite obvious—do you really believe this is it? If, indeed, we see no way out of the current social upheaval without Our Lord himself returning, I followed by asking what again seems to be the most obvious of questions, “If we really believed this, wouldn’t we sell everything immediately?”
Well, as it (predictably) turned out, our assets were not for sale or being given away any time soon.
And speaking of the apocalypse, a word frequently used by those anticipating the end of time, I wondered if everyone really knew what the term actually meant? …
While HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius continues her anti-faith pronouncements, many Catholics are finding the most recent decisions to be a “final straw.” The positions taken by the Obama administration does one thing quite clearly: it drew a line in the sand. It calls people of faith to finally, publicly to choose a side.
The pronouncement finally lays bare the fiction of a President and administration who claimed their support for “people of faith”. The stark clarity of the decision to ignore the cry for a conscience exception in the legislation calls every Catholic, indeed every liberty loving person of faith or no faith to see this two-faced administration for what it is.
I say, game on. The ball is now in our court and I pray the Church leadership and faithful amass in a crescendo of voices to reject the mandate and its unconstitutional actions.
Recently I was interviewed on a secular radio program for my thoughts on the mandate and I mentioned that there were at least four non-religious reasons all people should reject this mandate:
1. The mandate assumes that the abortion causing chemicals in some birth-control (a misnomer if ever there was one) products addressed in the mandate are not available for sale/distribution in a myriad of other locations. The idea that a woman is entitled to such products and would suffer undo harm without access is completely bogus.
2. The unconstitutionality of this mandate is patently obvious.…