The 7 Deadly Sins

Catholic Journal, Fr. Joseph Esper:

The 7 Deadly Sins

The 7 Deadly Sins

Once there was a liberal clergyman who became pastor of a somewhat traditional church, and after a few weeks of listening to his modernistic, politically-correct preaching, some of his parishioners came to him and asked, “Reverend, do you believe in the devil and in hell?” The pastor scoffed at these ideas and responded, “No, of course not; those are silly medieval superstitions.” To this, the parishioners said, “Well, then, please resign and go somewhere else—for if there is no devil and no hell, we don’t need you, and if there is a devil and a hell, we don’t want to be led astray by you” (David F. Burgess, Encyclopedia of Sermon Illustrations, #451). The Church has always taught the reality of the devil, and the possibility of being eternally damned along with him as a result of the spiritual warfare he wages against us. For instance, Pope Francis has stated that the devil “exists in the 21st century, and we need to learn from the Gospel how to battle against him,” and also that “the presence of the devil is on the first page of the Bible, and the Bible ends as well with the presence of the devil, with the victory of God over [him].” It is not only mistaken, but also spiritually foolish—and potentially disastrous—to deny or ignore the devil’s existence. He hates each one of us personally, and is always plotting and working against us, seeking our eternal damnation. Only by remaining on guard against him, and by using the spiritual weapons and defenses the Lord provides us through the Church, can we be sure of defeating his attacks and of one day reaching our true home in heaven.

Jesus uses the image of weeds among the wheat to explain why evildoers are to be found in the world and even in the Church. However, it’s also possible to interpret this parable on a more personal basis: namely, Satan is trying to sow his evil seeds of sin and spiritual destruction in our own lives—and it’s our duty guard against this threat. The devil studies us very carefully, taking note of our strengths and weaknesses, our habits and inclinations, and he shrewdly chooses the particular temptations and attacks best suited to overcome us—all the while striving to work behind the scenes without us suspecting anything. Therefore, it’s good to ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us. In this regard, we might ask ourselves: what particular evil seeds is the devil attempting to sow in the field of our lives?

The Church speaks of the “Seven Deadly Sins,” which are anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, and sloth or laziness. Every human being is weak or easily tempted in at least one of these areas, and probably several of them—and so these are usually the focus of the devil’s attacks.

  • In regard to anger, for instance, the devil wants us to nurse grudges and refuse to forgive other people, to become impatient with their failings, and to overreact to the things about them that annoy us.
  • Satan tries to use the sin of envy against us by getting us to compare ourselves with others, to adopt an “entitlement mentality,” and to consider ourselves better than those around us.
  • Because we Americans are, compared to most people, very self-indulgent, the devil has found gluttony to be a fertile field for his evil seeds. He tempts us to overdo life’s legitimate pleasures, to disdain or reject sacrifice and self-control, and to ignore other people’s poverty or suffering.
  • Greed is also a common weakness in our society, so Satan tempts us to want more money and possessions, more technology and convenience, and more luxury and leisure—when we should instead be concerned with storing up treasure for ourselves in heaven.
  • Lust is a particularly fertile field for the devil’s seeds; as Our Lady of Fatima revealed, more souls are in hell for sins against the 6th Commandment than any other. Satan is constantly tempting us to misuse sex, to glorify and expose our bodies, and to treat other people as objects for our own pleasure.
  • Pride is the sin which transformed Lucifer, the greatest of all the angels, into the hideous creature of Satan—and so the devil delights in using this sin against us. He wants us to think, “I’m superior to others, I know what’s best for me, and no one is going to tell me how to live my life”—for such attitudes make spiritual growth impossible, while causing us to reject the God-given authority and saving power of the Church.
  • Even if all these temptations fail, the devil will try to get us to fall victim to sloth, or spiritual laziness, in which we know we have to repent or take our spiritual duties more seriously, but we just can’t motivate ourselves to get started. Instead of striving for holiness, Satan wants us to settle for being good enough—for that may eventually allow him to turn us against God.

Other snares of the devil include poisoning our relationships, distracting us with this life’s concerns so that we’re always too busy or preoccupied to pay attention to God, making us afraid to do what’s right because of what other people might say, inflating our egos by appealing to our natural desire to be popular and praised by others, and trying to discourage us by convincing us we’ll never overcome our faults and that holiness is beyond our reach.

Farmers use weed-killers or pesticides to prevent or remove weeds in their fields, and fertilizer to nourish the crop and bring about the greatest possible growth. The most potent weed-killer against Satan’s evil seeds of spiritual destruction is humility. The more we humble ourselves, the more God’s grace can be at work within us, helping us overcome our faults and grow in holiness. In particular, frequently examining our consciences and regularly receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation will ensure the devil will not gain a solid foothold in our lives. As far as the spiritual fertilizer we need, worthily receiving Holy Communion each weekend is the single greatest thing we can do to be made ready for eternal life in heaven. Other valuable means of tending the field of our souls include reading the Bible and other worthwhile spiritual books, setting aside time for prayer every day, seeking God’s guidance in all our decisions, learning more about our Catholic faith, submitting to the authority of the Church on moral and religious issues, praying for the conversion of sinners and for the souls in purgatory, and cultivating a loving relationship with the Virgin Mary, our guardian angels, and our favorite saints. Satan is real; he is hate-filled and dangerous, and is conducting spiritual warfare against each of us personally. However, the devil is doomed to fail—if we take our faith seriously, and if we make a loving relationship with Jesus our highest priority.

Satan, Diabolical Nicety and You

Sword of Truth, by Fr. Nathan Siray,

In a short span of time, St. Peter went from being proclaimed  the steadfast Rock on which Jesus Christ would built His Holy Church to being rebuked as having the spirit of Satan within his
heart.

A false image of Satan.

When Christians hear the name Satan, they tend to think of the  devil as we commonly depict him: some sort of a red fiery goat creature with a pitchfork, pointed horns and in all honesty not all that frightening as he looks more like cartoon character than the Prince of Darkness. But the Jewish people thought of Satan in a different manner, based on the meaning of his name in Hebrew. The name Satan can be best translated as the accuser. They understood Satan to not be a fiendish centaur-like monster but instead a fallen angel who was the adversary of God but who was nonetheless permitted by God to act as an accuser against humanity.

In both the Book of Job and the Book of the Prophet Zechariah, we read how Satan was permitted to stand before the Throne of God, surrounded by the angelic court, and act as an accuser against the actions of humanity. God permitted His servants to undergo temptation and satanic manipulation and they proved to be faithful to God when put to the test.

Our Lord made frequent references to the activity and influence of Satan throughout His ministry, Himself undergoing temptation from the Evil One, and revealing how this adversary of God even tried to accuse Jesus of failing to act as God’s Son by not using His divine power to give himself bread to eat or to show how God would save Him from harm.

In rebuking St Peter and calling him a Satan, our Lord was showing a loving concern for the newly appointed leader of the Church in helping St Peter to realize that he, like the Devil, was acting as an accuser, by trying to dissuade Jesus from undergoing His Passion and regarding the coming of God’s Kingdom in all too human terms. St Peter had fallen under the influence of the cunning serpent and rightly needed to be rebuked by Christ, dispelling whatever satanic manipulation St Peter had undergone by once again saying Yes to the will of His Heavenly Father in accepting the royal road to the Cross and Resurrection.

If St. Peter, the Rock on which Christ built His church, was able to fall under the dark spell of the Evil One and become both an adversary and accuser against Christ, even if only for a passing moment, than we should not be surprised that Satan will look to deceive and manipulate other men and women in leadership positions and have them cause grave evil in the world.

Often, the machinations and deceiving influence of the Devil appears as actions that are seen as praiseworthy and good for society yet beneath these words and actions are what one could call “diabolical nicety.”

Take for example the recent actions of a prominent world leader, one that was baptized Catholic and has spoken of himself as being a practicing member of our Church in his own estimation. This world leader sent out a message on twitter recently congratulating Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States and elsewhere in the world, on their 100th anniversary and looked forward to their next 100 years, using the hashtag #100yearsstong. This tweet contained no words of profanity or overtly satanic references, but these words, as nice as they might sound, are sheer evil as this world leader gave thanks for 100 years of killing more than 100 million unborn children and hoped that the slaughter of the silent innocents will continue for another century. This is but one example of diabolical nicety, using politically correct language and appealing words like human rights, tolerance, progress, reproductive health and others to disguise and give praise for what is evil in the Lord’s sight.

Satan will not hesitate to use the powerful, elegant, attractive,  influential and ambitious of our world to continue the work of being the adversary and accuser of both God and His People. When a man or woman of incredible gifts and talents have not given their hearts to God and seek to serve first His kingdom and glory, than those gifts and talents can so easily be used by Satan, but more often than not disguised behind a smile and elegant words that sounds appealing and caring but in truth reek of evil and lies of hell.

Since the days of the Roman Caesars, who did not hesitate to kill God’s Holy People, both young and old, our Church has taken it upon herself to pray for men and women in positions of leadership. Be they political, religious, economic or media leaders, we, as God’s Holy People, must pray for the conversion of countless individuals who are carrying out the work of Satan in our world, most especially when these individuals are totally blind to the demonic influence that is compelling them to speak and act in a spirit of diabolical nicety. In addition to prayer and penance for these individuals, we  must also be courageous in acting out against the lies that they proclaim. We must make our voices heard when evil is promoted as good. We must manifest our faith for others to see and realize that doing so will cause people to hate us. We must give voice to those who have no means to speak. In all things, we must drown out the evil of this world in an abundance of good.

St. Peter might have allowed Satan to deceive him and cause him be become a momentary accuser and adversary of Christ. But we know he was reconciled to the Lord and remained faithful to Jesus, dying crucified upon on upside down Cross under the orders of the Emperor Nero, who is an example of a leader who had become a pawn of Satan.

Let us ask the Prince of the Apostles to intercede for all men and women of influence and power who have become adversaries of Jesus Christ, that they will recognize the evil they are doing and seek to repent and be reconciled back to Heart of Jesus Christ lest they face His dread judgment for their wicked and evil deeds.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Guardian Angel

The New Theological Movement, by Father Ryan Erlenbush:

I am sure that most of us have many questions about our angel and how he works in the world – but where shall we ever find answers? At this point in our journey, rather than becoming discouraged or running off to many other sources, it would be best to place ourselves at the feet of the Angelic Doctor and hear what he has to tell us. The following question and answer study of the guardian angels is based on the Summa Theologica I, qq.50-64 (angels in themselves) and qq. 106-114 (angels in relation to creatures). ST I, q.113, is particularly enlightening, since it is a question devoted wholly to the guardianship of angels over human beings.

Guardian AngelDo I have a guardian angel? Yes, every human being has a guardian angel.

When did I receive my angel guardian? At the moment of conception. Your angel was given to you even before the graces of baptism! This is because angels are given to human beings on account of our reason, not on account of baptismal grace.

Was my angel someone else’s guardian before mine? Probably not. Every human being receives one angel. It is, however, theoretically possible (though not at all likely) that an angel could be re-assigned if their first human was condemned to hell.

Will my angel guardian be with me in the next life? If you go to heaven, your angel will be with you in glory as an eternal companion and friend. If you go to hell, your angel will leave you and you will receive instead a demon who will torment you forever.

Did my guardian angel know me before I was born? Yes. Not only by a natural angelic knowledge, but also by a special knowledge given by God – your angel has known you from the moment of his entrance into heaven after his creation.

Is my guardian angel an archangel? Almost certainly not. It seems that guardian angels are all chosen from the lowest choir of angels, which is called “Angels”. The Archangels are above this choir and seem not to be employed as angel guardians. It is possible that a guardian angel would receive help and guidance from archangels, or even seraphim.

Is my guardian with me always? Yes, your angel always watches over you because God always guides you with his providence. An angel is locally present when he acts as a complete and immediate cause on a body; thus, at times your angel might even be locally present to you. In any case, your angel is always spiritually present to your soul; unless you are condemned to hell after death.

Do my sins make my angel sad? Not really. Your angel enjoys the perfect vision of God and so cannot be sad; for all who see God are perfectly happy.  Just as God wills to permit you to sin, so too your angel permits your fall – this does not make him sad, for takes joy in God’s plan. Still, it is likely that your angel experiences a general displeasure at your sins.

Does my guardian angel fight with demons in my behalf? Of course! Consider the book of Tobit; Raphael saved Tobias from the demons tormenting Sarah.

Can my guardian angel work with other guardian angels to accomplish something great? Yes, indeed. Padre Pio regularly sent his guardian angel to work with other’s angels. The angels rejoice to work together for our greater good.

Does my guardian angel contend with other guardian angels? Yes, in a certain sense. The various guardian angels work on the most immediate level of guiding the human race. Thus, though all the angel guardians are wholly devoted to God’s plan; it is possible that there would be temporary or partial contrary movements in the way this plan is actually carried out. St. Thomas offers this as an interpretation of the division between Gabriel and the angel of Persia in the book of Daniel. As the Angelic Doctor says, “Angels are said to resist one another; not that their wills are in opposition, since they are all of one mind as to the fulfillment of the Divine decree; but that the things about which they seek knowledge are in opposition.” (ST I, q.113, a.8)

Can my angel guardian affect the physical world around me? Yes. St. Gemma Galgani would regularly ask her guardian angel to mail letters for her – many letters were sent back and forth to her spiritual director while he was in Rome.

Can I name my guardian angel? Perhaps, but we must keep in mind that it belongs to a superior to name an inferior. Thus, it seems unfitting that a human being should name an angel.

Does my angel have a name? Most certainly, God has named all his angels – or perhaps the higher angels have named the lower ones.

How do I find out my guardian angel’s name? You could try asking. But it is also possible that it will not be revealed to you immediately. I should think that in heaven, we would all know guardian angels’ names.

Is it possible to get too devoted to your angel? So long as you keep in mind that your angel is an expression of God’s love and providence (and not a being to be considered in isolation), there is no danger in having a very strong devotion to your guardian angel.

Did Christ have a guardian angel? Yes, like every other human, Christ had a guardian angel. It is likely that his angel guardian was the highest of all the angels in the lowest choir of angels.

Will the anti-Christ have an angel guardian? If he is a human being, he will have an angel guardian. Even though he will be a great enemy of God, the Lord will still love him – the expression of this love is the gift of a guardian angel.

How many angels are there who could be potential guardians? There are incomparably more angels than human beings. Thus, even though angel guardians are only chosen from the lowest choir of angles, it is likely that that choir has far more angels in it than the number of humans who have been, are, or will be. The only limit to the number of angel guardians is the number of humans, not the number of angels.

Do have a question about your guardian angel that isn’t listed? Ask it in a comment!

All you holy angel guardians, pray for us!

October 2nd, The Feast of the Guardian Angels

Slight editing.

Who Knew? A Courageous Canadian Bishop.

A Pro-Life Letter by Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland,P.C., M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
[email protected] 
[email protected] 

Dear Minister,

Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI

Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI

I am writing to express profound concern with your speech on Canadian Foreign Policy, which you gave in the House of Commons on Tuesday 6 June 2017, and on which Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau further elaborated on 9 June. In it, you equated women’s rights with the right to abortion and “sexual reproductive rights” and said “[t]hese rights are at the core of Canadian foreign policy.” You went on to say that these were also human rights and that they would set Canada’s current and future foreign policy agenda. While the Catholic Bishops of Canada share your concern for advancing the respect and dignity of women – an issue to which the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholics give great importance – we feel the need to point out, with all due respect, that your statement above is erroneous, confusing, and misguided.

First, to state that abortion, inter alia, is “at the core” of Canadian foreign policy is simply not the case. There is no precedent to support such a claim in fact. Indeed, you yourself offered many examples in your speech of a tradition of Canadian foreign policy marked by the goals of international peace, just order, free trade, foreign aid and global stability. There are, of course, many women’s issues that actually ought to have been raised as legitimate points of international engagement, but these were passed over in silence. They include Canada’s economic partnerships with countries in which female infants are murdered for not being male; those in which women earn less than men for the same job or where they do not enjoy the same privileges under the law, including the right to education or protection from rape, physical violence, and other forms of abuse. Canadians recognize these as grave violations of human rights – indeed, as heinous crimes in certain instances – far more readily and unanimously than opposition to abortion and artificial contraception. If we add to all of the above the fact that abortion and certain kinds of contraceptive technologies carry profound risks for women, including psychological and emotional harm, sterility, and even death itself, it is difficult to comprehend how the policy agenda you have advanced truly represents the interests of women, particularly those that are already at risk.

Second, to state that abortion, inter alia, is a Canadian value, is also incorrect in principle. How could such a statement be made in Parliament when the Supreme Court of Canada itself held in R. v Morgentaler (1988) that there was no constitutional basis in the Charter for the right to abortion on demand? An examination of the ruling by former PEI Supreme Court Justice Gerard Mitchell in his 2014 letter published in Charlottetown’s newspaper The Guardian pointed out, contrary to the popular belief, that in actual fact all seven judges of the Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn! 1

The attempt to insinuate abortion advocacy in Canadian foreign policy, predicating it on a very particular understanding of feminism, also runs against the thrust of your overall argument. It contradicts the very idea, as you yourself stated, that “it is clearly not our role to impose our values around the world. No one appointed us the world’s policemen.” Such a desire cannot be easily reconciled with the rationale you offered for Canada’s pursuit of a two-year term on the UN Security Council, namely our “wish to be heard” and to “lead” by imparting our “broadly held national values” on others. What ever happened to Canada’s longstanding tradition of respect for cultures, values, and histories, including different religious and moral traditions? What happened to the acute understanding that in confronting global challenges listening is just as important as being heard? How is this consequent to your own words that “the path we choose must be one that serves the interests of all Canadians and upholds our broadly held national values”? More specifically, with respect to a foreign policy based on abortion advocacy and “sexual reproductive rights,” has Canada forgotten that for a considerable population (both within Canada and abroad) the unborn child is regarded as a human being created by God and worthy of life and love? This moral position can be found among Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Orthodox Christians, a number of Protestant Christians, Roman and Eastern Catholics, in addition to many other people of good will, including non-believers. We question whether it was wise or responsible to claim abortion advocacy and “sexual reproductive rights” as the core of Canadian foreign policy – as national values with which to enlighten others – knowing full well that they are not only legally contentious but completely contrary to the deeply held convictions of many both within and beyond Canada’s borders.

In these uncertain times, when Canada’s voice and leadership do matter on everything from climate change to global peace, political ideology cannot be allowed to dictate foreign policy and to override common sense and our humanitarian responsibilities to those in dire need. We saw this last March when the Prime Minister used his personal commitment to feminism to justify a public pledge of $650-million to facilitate abortion advocacy and sexual reproductive rights on a global scale. This amount contrasts sharply with his government’s response to the severe food shortages in South Sudan, Yemen, northeast Nigeria and Somalia, for which it had only pledged $119.25-million – a difference of $530.75-million. The UN, meanwhile, was already calling the situation in these regions the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, with 20 million people at risk of starvation. Should this unfolding disaster not have prompted the Prime Minister to prioritize relief and aid over politicking at the lavish expense of hardworking taxpayers in Canada? Unfortunately, even the Government’s recent announcement to match 1 “Clarifying facts on Canada’s abortion law, or lack of” private donations 1:1 is too modest in light of what is really needed and of what Canada is capable of delivering both in terms of humanitarian aid and example.

The Catholic Bishops of Canada would agree with your statement that “seventy years ago Canada played a pivotal role in forming the postwar international order.” There can be no question that a new century presents us with new challenges and that the “unique experience, expertise, geography, diversity, and values” gleaned in recent times can help us in confronting them. But whatever our efforts, they will be deeply compromised if we neglect the obvious reality that moral traditions shape people’s perspectives, that perspectives therefore differ, and that it is not a failure of the other person if her or his views do not map onto your understanding of “Canadian values.” The idea that everyone can somehow just agree that abortion and contraception are universal human rights is neither convincing nor credible. Indeed, even here at home, where we live side by side with peoples of so many different backgrounds, moral and religious traditions, the belief that there is universal agreement on a single set of Canadian values is itself contrived.

If Canada’s foreign policy needs a stable ground it cannot possibly be abortion advocacy and “sexual reproductive rights.” And if the dignity of women is to have a universal moral foundation it cannot be based on principles that override the rights of the unborn child.

Sincerely
Douglas Crosby
(Most Rev.) Douglas Crosby, OMI
Bishop Of Hamilton and
President of the Canadian Conference
Of Catholic Bishops

Proud Parenting, a Pro-LGBT Blog, Endorses Jefferson City Diocese as a Pioneer

Bishop Gaydos’ Diocese is the Leader of LGBT Incusion

The following comes from Proud Parenting, a pro-LGBT blog.

Bishop Gaydos

“The Catholic diocese in Jefferson City, Missouri is a pioneer among other U.S. dioceses when it comes to crafting guidance on inclusion of students from families headed by LGBT parents. The diocese oversees 37 Catholic elementary schools and three high schools, with about 7,000 students in communities throughout Central Missouri.

“We probably are in the lead,” Sister Elizabeth Young, the diocese’s superintendent of Catholic schools, remarked how she views the diocese as a forerunner among other U.S. dioceses when it comes to crafting guidance on inclusion of students from families headed by LGBT, unmarried or divorced parents.

The diocese’s guidance, titled “A Pastoral Process of Accompaniment and Dialogue: Addressing Children and Youth in Relation to Gender Concerns and Non-traditional Families,” was presented May 9 to priests who have schools in their parishes, then on May 11 to the principals of those schools.”


In an “internal document only” letter, Bp. Gaydos endorses the “development and presentation” of this program. He further claims the program “promotes our Catholic moral teaching and supports the role of the pastor to act in the best interests of the people of his parish.”

Stay up to date at 30 Pieces of Silver.

Here is a copy of the internal document.

 

Please stop what you are doing right now and contact Bishop John R. Gaydos; Mr. John DeLaporte, Coordinator of Youth Ministry; Sr. Elizabeth Youngs, SCL, Superintendent of Catholic Schools; Fr. Joseph Corel; Sr. Julie Brandt, SSND, Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools:

Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City
2207 West Main Street
P.O. BOX 104900
Jefferson City, MO 65110-4900

(573) 635-9127

We also strongly encourage you to contact the metropolitan,  Archbishop Robert J. Carlson:

Cardinal Rigali Center
20 Archbishop May Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63119

and

Archbishop Christophe Pierre
Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America
3339 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008

Evangelizing Priest Goes Viral

Fr. David Jenuwine Evangelizing at a Music Festival

By Mary Rezac, EWTN News:

“I think too often we get tied up in planning, planning, planning. But when the Spirit moves, go with Him! No excuses.”What’s a good way to reach a lot of young people all at once?

Plant yourself at an entrance of a popular music festival with a sign, some free stuff, and a smile.

That’s what Catholic priest Fr. David Jenuwine did last weekend, at BottleRock Napa, a three-day music festival with roughly 30,000 in attendance.

His sign read simply: Catholic priest. Blessings, Prayers, Confessions, Answers.

Fr. Jenuwine, parochial vicar at St. Apollinaris Parish in Napa, California, told CNA that he had been trying to brainstorm creative ways to reach out to young adults when he heard about the music festival. He said he was inspired after hearing a talk on evangelization a few weeks ago by EWTN personality Fr. Mitch Pacwa.

“My youth minister said well, BottleRock is this weekend, but it’s chaos,” he said.

“And I went, alright, let’s do it!”

Fr. Jenuwine placed himself on one side of the festival, while his St. Paul Street Evangelization team camped out on the other side. They prayed for 20 minutes before the Blessed Sacrament before hitting the streets, “begging for the graces we need and to get ourselves in the zone,” Father said.

Besides prayers and answers, they offered rosaries, prayer cards and miraculous medals. They went fast.

“That first night we gave away every rosary, every prayer card, every miraculous medal we had, but sure enough we found more, so we went out again Sunday,” Fr. Jenuwine said.

They stayed at the festival for about five hours on Saturday, and another couple hours on Sunday.

The responses varied widely, the priest said.

“I pretty much just made eye contact with people and said ‘Hi, how’re you doing?’” Father recalled. “And some people were like, ‘Is he really a priest?’”

Others greeted him warmly: “Hi Father! Nice to see you out here.”

Some were more skeptical. When one of the St. Paul team handed out a rosary, the recipient asked, “Does it come with a lecture?”

“There was one guy who said, ‘What are you bringing this here for?’” Father recalled.

“And I said, ‘We’re here to tell you God loves you.’ And he said, ‘I already know that.’ So I said, ‘Well good! You’re one of the few’.”

Others tried to avoid him by pulling out their phones and pretending to be busy.

“But even in that, if they were purposely ignoring us then we made an impression, because they knew we were out there,” he said.

There were also some people who got blessings on Saturday that came back for another on Sunday.

“There were some people getting out of their Uber and they said, ‘Hey he’s still here! Father, can we get a blessing?’”

“I even heard a couple confessions,” he said, though the confessees were people he already knew.

And although he advertised “answers” on his sign, there was one thing people asked that Father didn’t know: “Where is the parking lot?”

“I said I promised I’d try, but I do not know where the parking is,” Father said, laughing.

His youth minister, Dominic Figueroa, snapped a photo of Father hanging out under his street lamp with his sign, and Father posted it on Facebook. Yesterday, friends started to realize that the post was trending on Reddit. It now has more than 640 votes and nearly 100 comments.

It’s an evangelization experience that he and his St. Paul team are looking to do again. They already have an event scoped out this weekend.

“I think we made a little splash,” Father said. “In a sense, this kind of started something for us.”

The biggest takeaway, he said, was “how easy it was.”

Birth Control and Catholic Priests

By Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Standing on My Head:

That little pill has changed everything.

The effect of birth control and a contraceptive culture has altered our world in ways we could never have expected.

Think for a moment about the effect contraception has had on the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

First of all, if a family has ten kids it is more likely that they are going to be happy for a few of them to pursue the priesthood or religious life. Mothers will quite happily send a few off to the seminary or monastery. If she has ten she can spare a few.

But if the neat and tidy suburban career woman only has two she is going to treasure them that much more. The idea that one would become a priest would be a shocking idea, but there is another more subtle attitude shift beneath this.

When mother and father decided to limit their family to two children by artificial means they usually do so in order for the woman to go back to work. The silent statement is, “What is most important to this family is to have as much income as possible.” and “The career. The career is everything! It comes first. Children? Meh.”

This attitude is then transmitted to the children who also put career first. Will there be any vocations from a home like that? Probably not.

Think further of the effects of this revolution in family life on the question of vocations. Before the invention and acceptance of artificial contraception a young man considering the priesthood would look around and weigh up his option.

Let’s say he lived in Philadelphia in the 1950s. He came from an Italian American family. He sees his Dad, his uncles, his grandfather. They are working class. They sweat in dangerous jobs to support their large families. They come home to a little house full of kids. Its a good life, but its a hard life.

The priest, on the other hand, doesn’t have his own wife and family, but he’s in Philadelphia. He gets sent to St Anthony of Padua parish. He’s surrounded by a big extended Italian family. He has status. He’s the priest. He gets an education. Maybe he travels to Rome. He lives in a big house with maybe three or four other priests. They have a nice Italian mama who cooks and cleans and looks after them.

The point I’m making is that, from a human point of view, the young man’s choice is fairer. With a wife and family he will have certain joys and certain sorrows and sacrifices. With the priesthood he will have certain joys and certain sorrows and sacrifices.

You pays your money and you makes your choice.

But think of the young man’s choice in today’s contraceptive culture. To be married and have a family doesn’t seem to require any sacrifices at all. Indeed, it seems like the passport to perfection. You get married. You eventually have two nice trophy children. Your wife continues her education and career. You’re both earning enough money to have everything. No sorrows. No sacrifice.
Of course I know it doesn’t always pan out that way, but that is what seems to be on offer.

On the other hand, for a young man to be a priest? He’s faced with a life of loneliness–stuck in Rectory by himself with onerous duties and little reward.
Again–I know it is not really like this, but this is what it may very well appear to be.

What’s to be done?

I happen to feel optimistic about the problem because I think the pendulum is going to swing back. I think an increasing number of young people are going to reject the contraceptive culture and choose a life giving alternative, and with that will be an increasing number of young men and women who choose a religious vocation, and they’ll be choosing for all the right reasons.
Why do I think this? Because a lie cannot sustain itself. All that is false eventually implodes. It can’t last.

On the other hand, all that is beautiful, good and true will always be attractive. Like fresh shoots on a tree that has been felled, it will spring back.

Breaking News! Jefferson City Diocese Paving Way for Transgender Students

Is Your Diocese Next?

On May 9, 2017 the Jefferson City Diocese held a meeting with all priests to present the new policy for transgender students. On May 11th,  the policy was presented to all Catholic School principals of the diocese.  This Diocesan policy will be the fundamental policy for every diocese with accommodating Bishops.  Don’t be fooled, your diocese is next.

The result will be boys being in the girls bathroom.  To stay up to date on this issue, bookmark 30 Pieces of Silver Blog!

Here is the full document:

 

How bad is the process?  Check out the glossary of terms.

To anyone who has been permitted to read this document, it is apparent that the diocese now plans to join the secular world in questioning the very binary gender system created by God Himself.  Once we begin tampering with redefining what is clear to the naked eye or a simple genetics test, what comes next?  Will biological boys be allowed in the girls’ restrooms?  Will men who “identify” as women be allowed in my church’s restroom?  Will we start entertaining trans-species, trans-racial, or trans-age?  Where will the line be drawn?

If there is no security in knowing what we see, how can we expect anyone, much less these children to come to know God on a personal level?  If there is nothing certain in the physical world, how can a person begin to grasp the truths of our Holy Catholic Faith?  If they cannot even come to know God, how can they come to love God and serve Him?  Ultimately, isn’t that going to worsen our vocations crisis?  If the diocese chooses to “go with the flow” of the secular world, we will become like the fish that go downstream, dead.

Please stop what you are doing right now and contact Bishop John R. Gaydos; Mr. John DeLaporte, Coordinator of Youth Ministry; Sr. Elizabeth Youngs, SCL, Superintendent of Catholic Schools; Fr. Joseph Corel; Sr. Julie Brandt, SSND, Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools:

Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City
2207 West Main Street
P.O. BOX 104900
Jefferson City, MO 65110-4900

(573) 635-9127

We also strongly encourage you to contact the metropolitan,  Archbishop Robert J. Carlson:

Cardinal Rigali Center
20 Archbishop May Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63119

and

Archbishop Christophe Pierre
Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America
3339 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008