[A post for the Year of Faith.] Was I surprised by what happened on Election Day? Nope. Am I depressed or in deep despair over the results? No way. I saw it coming in 2008 and I saw it coming in 2012. Do I think we have a huge and serious problem? Oh, yeah, I do. But I think our problem stems more from the fact that we live in a fallen world and the fact that we are a stiff-necked people, much like the ancient Hebrews of the Bible, than the failing of one political party or another. No, the failure was ours. We the people. More particularly, we the Catholic people.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul, in my life I will praise the Lord: I will sing to my God as long as I shall be. Put not your trust in princes: in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation” (Ps 146: 2-3, Douay-Rheims Bible).

We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten Whom we serve. We have forgotten that we are here, not to be comfortable and in control, but to suffer, sacrifice and serve.

May God forgive us for forgetting what we are about. May we take this reproval to heart. May we repent and change our ways and be truly converted, truly turn back to our One Only Lord and Savior. May we get down on our knees this time before we are brought any lower next time…and then by force. May we remember that Yours are the heavens and the earth, O Lord, and all that exists does so by Your command.

Two ways He set before us and as for me, I still choose to serve the Lord.

Peace be with you. And, please, do not despair and do not be afraid. Put on the full armor of God and get ready, warriors. We lost one skirmish but the battle has only just barely begun!

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.“Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God)” (Eph 6:10-17, Douay-Rheims Bible).

Methinks the study leans a little to the left!OSV has published an article that exposes the flawed reasoning behind a study that was designed, not to evaluate the situation and see what steps were needed to deal with it, but to support the HHS Mandate. The “study” is a flagrant display of bias and pseudo-science.

Authors of the study said they devised it to mimic what they believed would happen if the Department of Health and Human Service’s contraceptive mandate were in place and women would have free access to all forms of contraception, including IUDs and hormone implants, which have upfront costs of more than $500.

The goal of the study was to increase the number of women using IUDs and implants because they “are more than 20 times more effective at preventing pregnancy” than other methods. [Emphasis mine.]

Excuse me, but the goal of the study was to influence behavior and not to study actual behavior, not seek to find and understand patterns? Not to see if a remedy suggested itself but to have a “remedy” in mind at the outset and mold the study to produce the desired result? How is this science? Lunacy! I’m happy to post the link to the article here to help expose the idiocy that masquerades as knowledge and science in our day.

Read Critics: Study designed to support the HHS mandate flawed.

The election grows nearer but I still hear some Catholics say that they have not yet decided who to vote for. So I put together a short page of resources to help you vote your Catholic conscience. Sadly, many have not yet formed their consciences, and many Catholics do not even know what that means. The Vote page will help you begin. First, start learning your faith (this is the Year of Faith, after all)! Then live it. Everywhere. Yes, in the voting booth, too. If we don’t do everything as Catholic Christians, then our faith is so much wind, as in, hot air.

Resources to Help You Form and Vote Your Catholic Conscience so you can LIVE your faith.

[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.

To Help You Form Your Catholic Conscience:

Camp NaNoWriMo August Session 2012 WINNERI’m amazed, quite frankly, that I managed to do it. Finish Camp NaNoWriMo, August session. I’m not happy with it, not by a long shot. In the end I ended up typing whatever I could think of — well, really, it’s been that way all week long. Just typing anything to get something typed. I don’t feel like I have written, I feel like I have typed. All my plans and hopes for this NaNoWriMo got zapped into nowhere after my dad wrecked his car during week three and everything turned upside down. Bless his heart. Things are upside down for him much worse than they are for me. I can only imagine what he is going through, losing a substantial portion of his independence and mobility — not only is he now without a car, but he sustained physical injuries that give him pain and keep him from being able to do what he’d like. Nothing major… if you’re a teenager. It’s a little different when you’re in your 80’s.

And speaking of 80’s, yes, I saw Clint Eastwood during the RNC. And yes, I actually enjoyed his performance. I have always been a huge fan of improv, whether of the musical or the acting kind. And I thoroughly enjoyed the empty chair bit. Did I notice that he struggled a little when he spoke? Yes. Did it bother me? No. Does the barrage of criticism hurled at him bother me? Yes.

Because so many of the people criticizing him are not criticizing what he said but the fact that he looked and seemed so old saying it. Or he seemed frail. Or he seemed to struggle with his words. Ooh, how dare he?

I say, so what? When I’m 82 like Clint Eastwood, I hope I even know what year it is, what the Convention is about and why it matters, who’s running for what office, and where I even AM. I think he did great, the bit he did was funny, he said what no one else could or would say, and as far as I’m concerned, more power to him! He — wait for it — made my day! He made a lot of other folks’ day, too. That crowd was having a good time. What’s wrong with that? Nuthin’.

Seems to me a lot of folks — especially Democrats and “Liberals”, you know, the “oh-so-tolerant” crowd — need to kick back and loosen up and learn how to take a joke. And we the people need to kick a certain joke of a loser out of Washington and get on with making America great again. Before it’s too late.

As for the criticism that it took attention off Romney, I say, it wasn’t the Romney Convention, it was the Republican Convention. It’s bigger than Romney, and it’s bigger than Romney plus Ryan. It’s even bigger than the Republican Party. All of us — Republicans, Independents, men and women of good will, even Democrats with a lick of sense, if there are any of those left remaining on the planet — need to work together to get the most pro-abortion pro-culture-of-death president we’ve ever had out of office in November. His socialism and Saul Alinsky goals and methods are transforming America, alright. Into a place I don’t recognize and I sure don’t like.

If a famous and legendary Hollywood figure wants to be part of that with us instead of donating millions and millions of dollars to causes and people diametrically opposed to everything this country has traditionally represented, then I welcome him. I’d rather hear him than the so-called “eloquent” Obama any day. Surely people are being sarcastic when they say that. Eloquent? Are you kidding me?! Did someone change the definition of “eloquent” when I wasn’t looking?