Many people claim to not know what truth is. Or they claim to be following their consciences. Or they claim there is no such thing as truth or a conscience either. I run into these people on Twitter and other places and the conversations are always stunning. Not stunningly beautiful but stunning to my mind. They make my brain hurt. So I’m posting this video below by Dr. J. Budziszewski at the Acton Institute, Natural Law and the Revenge of Conscience. J. Bud, as he’s often known (understandably) is the author of The Revenge of Conscience and also What We Can’t Not Know. See links at the end of this post.Continue reading “Revenge of Conscience, What We Can’t Not Know”
I’m in the midst of editing and updating some of the pages around here (about time!). Made some additions tonight including some new resources on the Life Issues page, more about the HHS Mandate (including the false claim made by the Vice President during the VP debate and the USCCB’s quick response to it– breathtakingly fast!). Made a couple of changes on the Year of Faith and the Vote pages. Comments are welcome and thank you for reading. God bless you and peace be with you.
[Brief list of voting guides at the end of this post and on the new Vote page.] People have told me here at the blog, in emails, on forums, in conversations, that being Catholic has nothing to do with politics, has nothing to do with choosing a candidate, has nothing to do with any part of life except one hour on Sunday. Most of these people are not Catholic or they would realize many of us don’t go to Mass just that one hour on Sunday; many of us go during the week, too, and some go every day of their lives and always have. Even so, being Catholic is not just about what we do at Mass, no matter how many times a week we attend.
And voting as a Catholic is not merely a matter of prayer and reflection, but prayer and reflection on the teachings of the Church, listening to the priests and bishops giving guidance concerning the teachings of the Church, and doing our best to live as faithful Catholics abiding by the teachings of the Church. Yes, we have to follow our consciences. But first —FIRST–we have to FORM our consciences! And how do we form our consciences? By listening to our priests and bishops, the Chief Bishop, and studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the marvelous teaching documents written by the Popes (including but not limited to the last two Popes, the late Pope John Paul II and the current Pope Benedict XVI).
There is absolutely no excuse for any Catholic old enough to vote not to know his or her faith. You can read the Catechism of the Catholic Church (here or here or here) and/or study the Catechism and the documents written by the Popes and the documents of Vatican II, and much more, all on the web and all for free. The bishops of the USCCB have been trying to teach people for some time now and the “faithful” blithely ignore them and say they can follow their own consciences. Without forming them!
Yes, some bishops are less than stellar examples. So don’t follow their examples! But do as they say, the same way Jesus told the disciples to do what the Pharisees said do. But He told them not to do as the Pharisees did! And besides, a good many bishops are wonderful shepherds and I pray for them every day. They do not have an easy job. Shepherding Catholics is like herding cats. Everybody wants to be his own Pope! Well, there’s only one Pope and he’s in Rome!
So form your Catholic conscience and THEN follow it! Read Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life) and Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life). Study them (study guides to Evangelium Vitae and Humanae Vitae). I’ve been told that the Church has yet to rule on abortion being a sin. Newsflash: The Church has taught that abortion is a grave sin since the time of the early Church, in the Didache (in chapter two, really the second paragraph)! And we know that taking it upon ourselves to take an innocent life is prohibited by the Ten Commandments.
So right there, before we go any further, we can see that if a candidate wants to do everything in his power to promote and support abortion and cram it down the throats of the people and refuses to do anything that would limit abortion, which is an intrinsic evil, which means it is always and everywhere a serious and grave sin, then, guess what? A Catholic may not vote for that candidate and say that he is following his Catholic conscience. Because he would be demonstrating that he does not, in fact, have a Catholic conscience!
We can vote for someone who does not share our idea of the intrinsic evil of abortion IF–IF IF IF–we have reason to believe that that person would act in such a way as to limit abortion more than another candidate would. And we do have just this case in our political landscape as I write these words. We must vote in such a way as to limit evil. If you vote for the candidate who has put into positions of authority numerous people formerly connected with the largest abortion provider in this country, then you are not voting to limit evil, you are voting in support of evil. You are voting against a Catholic conscience, which you would demonstrate by your action, by your vote.
This is a grave scandal and for the life of me I cannot understand anyone not understanding this issue or thinking that any issue at all could ever take precedence over LIFE! If you don’t have life, I ask you, then what, pray tell, do you have? Nothing! The economy doesn’t matter if we are happy to ignore the slaughter of millions to get that economy. And the economy certainly doesn’t matter to those who we slaughter! So stop saying that pro-life people are “one issue voters” and then proceeding to say that you are voting on the issue of the economy. Hello! Isn’t that being a “one issue voter”? Isn’t that what you just said we shouldn’t do, reduce our vote to a vote on just one issue? Well, at least, if I “reduce” my vote to “just one issue”, I “reduced” it to the ONE FOUNDATIONAL issue–LIFE ITSELF!
Yes, other matters matter. But Life is the one matter that matters most. Without it, the rest of the issues are empty talk and chatter.
Voting as a Catholic: Live Your Faith, Vote Your Faith!
These links are also on the new Vote page added tonight. I’ll add more as I find them.
- USCCB Faithful Citizenship
- Voting Guide App: Confraternity of Catholic Clergy
- CatholicVote App: CatholicVote.
- EWTN, Brief Catechism
- Catholicity, Brief Guide
- Catholic Answers, Vote Your Faith
- CatholicVote Guide: Download this Candidate Comparison as a printable flyer in Black & White, Color, or in Spanish.
- Priests for life: Political Responsibility. Scroll down the page for several guides and comparisons between candidates and platforms and guides on issues.
- Vote Pro-Life Coalition: Downloadable flyers, guides, list of links to websites of many organizations in the coalition.
To Help You Form Your Catholic Conscience:
How many times have you heard the lie that we must keep abortion legal to save women’s lives? I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard this monstrous lie. And that is just what it is. A monstrous lie. A fabrication. An absurd and false claim that is nothing but a ridiculous attempt by some people to rationalize the destruction of those who they consider to be unwanted or inconvenient. It’s a lie often told by those who pretend to be rational, upright, responsible and–this is my favorite–compassionate.
Well, I never believed it. And doctors in Ireland don’t believe it either. (See video below or on YouTube.) They have testified in a court of law that abortion is never medically necessary to save a pregnant woman’s life and that life-saving healthcare is never denied to a pregnant woman in Ireland either. In fact, despite the ban on abortion in Ireland, it’s one of the safest places in the world for women to have children according to the United Nations. (Well, perhaps it’s because abortion is banned; it’s pro-life!) So next time you hear someone lying about how abortion is necessary, speak up. And tell that person to admit that he or she is pro-choice, that choice being the death of an innocent child in the womb.
From the story at LifeSiteNews:
“Abortion is not needed to treat cancer. In fact, it’s not needed to treat any medical condition arising in pregnancy.” Those are the opening lines of a powerful and important new video message from the Life Institute, which brings good news for mothers and babies.
That good news has been confirmed by medical experts, and is borne out by Ireland’s experience in maternal healthcare. The demonstrable, verifiable, and certain truth is that abortion is not needed to save a mother’s life. The only purpose of abortion is to kill a baby.
Yes, I heard the news. No, I’m not surprised. Neither am I throwing up my hands in despair. The battle over religious freedom (and freedom in general) is on and it has only just begun. I’d like to quote a newsletter I received today from Eric Scheidler. I think it will help to clear up some of the misinformation which is already flooding the airwaves now that this decision has been handed down. We have a long way to go, folks. Get educated. Do it now.
THE SUPREME COURT DID NOT UPHOLD THE HHS MANDATE TODAY.
Our opponents will try to claim we’ve lost our fight against the HHS Mandate because of today’s ruling. That is simply FALSE.
The Supreme court did not address the HHS Mandate issue in their ruling today. Nor did they declare the whole 2700-page Obamacare law to be constitutional.
Today’s ruling only addresses the constitutionality of a few pages of that law, on completely different issues from the HHS Mandate.
Provisions of Obamacare like the HHS Mandate could still be struck down in the future. In fact, I’m sure it will be when the scores of lawsuits against the HHS Mandate reach the high court.
But I’m not willing to wait that long — not when religious freedom is on the line. …
As I said, I’ll be nailing down specific plans for future action against the HHS Mandate soon. Meanwhile, visit the Stand Up website to see what you can do RIGHT NOW to fight the HHS Mandate:
So don’t lose heart.
Yes, today’s Supreme Court ruling is a disappointment. But in the end it will only INCREASE the urgency of our protests and inspire MORE people to join us out onto the streets!
The fight to stop the HHS Mandate will go forward with zeal — in the courts, in Congress, on the streets and on election day!
Yours for Life,
I plan to write more about this at some point but right now I’m linking to the USCCB‘s Fortnight 4 Freedom site. My current novel-in-progress focuses on this very issue of freedom and faith, and the writing has taken over my blog time and pretty much the rest of my life. (After much struggle and a long dry period, having the writing take over my life, at least part of it, is a good thing and I am loving it.)
“The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.”
For information, bulletin inserts, web graphics, pdf’s and more: http://www.fortnight4freedom.org
Dear Friends, I just heard from Shawn Carney and David Bereit of the national 40 Days for Life leadership team, and I am VERY excited about what they shared with me:
In 2012 — the 40th year of legalized abortion in America — we have unprecedented opportunities to save lives, impact eternal souls, and restore our nation … And you are invited to attend a one-time-only teleconference and web simulcast event this Tuesday night, April 24, at 9 PM Eastern (8 PM Central, 7 PM Mountain, 6 PM Pacific) that will reveal how the rest of this year can be a DEFINING MOMENT for our efforts to end abortion. During the FREE event (which you can attend by phone or via the web) you’ll discover:
The stunning results of this spring’s 40 Days for Life — the most successful campaign EVER — and how these accomplishments point to even bigger victories in the months ahead … Why the rest of 2012 is crucially important, and how the pro-life movement is positioned to achieve massive, life-saving success on multiple fronts … The groundbreaking strategic initiatives about to be unleashed to help mobilize more people, change more hearts and minds, and save more lives than ever before … How YOU can help make a profound impact on ending abortion, right in the community where you live … and some exciting surprises!
This is the great news we’ve been waiting for, and there’s no charge to attend — however there are limited spaces available, so REGISTER NOW at:
On that page, you’ll also see a short, three-minute video that Shawn and David made for us at the U.S. Supreme Court, explaining what’s about to happen. This is going to be GREAT, and I hope you can join me on the teleconference or web simulcast Tuesday night!
Planned Parenthood has their own version of 40 Days for Life, well, not for Life. I guess it’d be 40 Days for Aborting Life. What I really want to know is…who do they pray to? :/
So much has happened in the last few weeks, even the last few days (including the air conditioner in my car konking out yesterday–thank the Lord the dealership was able to repair that this afternoon and for far less money than I’d expected). I’m hoping now to get some work done for the blog, which has been sadly neglected during 40 Days for Life. I started several posts and they’re sitting there in my poor little also-abandoned writing app, waiting, waiting, waiting for me to get back to them and write more than a the barest outline of a draft of a note and get them posted. I’ll be picking up this week where I left off in Cardinal Wuerl’s book, Seek First the Kingdom (see other posts); finishing my write-up for the rally for Religious Freedom (see part one); sharing some thoughts (with photos) on the wonderful pro-life film, October Baby (see other posts, only mentions so far); writing an account (also with some photos) of a trip I took with friends today to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville; and working on some other projects that are still in the idea stage.
May your observance of Holy Week bring you closer to the Lord and fill your heart and mind with grace upon grace. Peace be with you. See you soon. :)
On Monday and Tuesday of this week two parishes had adopted the days so the sidewalk outside the abortuary was covered with a blanket of prayer. A veritable shield of prayer. I think there were two saves that day and I witnessed one of them. Since we had so many there, volunteers were able to talk with the couple while others prayed, and a few minutes later were able to lead the couple all the way to a place where they could get real help without leaving the vigil site unattended. And did we pray! We were filled with joy as we watched the cars pull away heading to a place that welcomes and cares for life, leaving that place of darkness behind them. Praise God! We all knew that He was working mighty works before our eyes. God is so good!
Tuesday was quieter while I was there. There was a moment when a police car came up. Two girls had gone in together (one was very young and the other was older, but I’m so old now that they both looked young to me), and the older one kept coming back outside then going back in. Finally the girls came out and the police did, too. We don’t know what was going on there but we need to definitely keep both of those girls in our prayers and any other life that may be in the picture.
Later a sour-looking woman drove up, probably in her fifties, maybe older. A. approached her with a brochure and the woman told her that she was there to make a contribution to Planned Parenthood and was going to contribute every day that we were out there. A. told her very pleasantly that she was going to continue contributing to God. (Good on ya, A.) We prayed for her and I’ve added her to my ever-lengthening list of folks who show us kindness and who show us hostility during the vigil.
Wednesday was quiet the whole time I was there. One couple drove down the street slowly and parked around the corner and went in while I was walking up the street with my back to them and without me speaking to them. When I realized they were out of their car, they were nearly to the door. I felt so bad about not speaking up that I prayed that they would come back out really soon, for any reason at all, just come back out real quick and I said I promised that I would speak to them and offer them the brochure with the ultrasound coupon in it. As I prayed for them, I grabbed some brochures from the cooler.
Then, almost as soon as I finished this prayer, the door opened and they came out and walked down the steps. “Here goes,” I said. I had promised, after all, and God did send them back outside. So I offered the brochure to them but the man said, “We’re good.” So I continued praying for them. They got in their car and sat there talking for a long time. I kept walking up and down the sidewalk, praying the rosary, and sometimes I would nod in their direction, sometimes not, as I reached the corner and turned to walk the other way. They sat there a really long time and I prayed for them the whole time, pleading for them to choose life and not to have anything to do with Planned Parenthood.
At last the engine started up and the car backed out and they drove away. I don’t know what choice they were facing. But I know they left that dark place. And I know that several people are praying for them tonight because I texted some prayer warriors about them, but please keep this young couple in your own prayers, too. May they choose to welcome life into their hearts and their home, now or whenever God so pleases to grant them this gift. And may they be drawn closer and closer to our precious Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, in Whom we all move and live and have our being. Amen.
Peace be with you. You and I may not see each other out on the sidewalk but we can keep each other in our thoughts and prayers. And please pray for the couples I mentioned (and all others like them) that they may resist any pressure from those around them and the temptation to reject the beautiful gift of life! May Christ Who is the Light of the world enlighten their minds and fill their hearts with His love and joy. Forever. Amen.