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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Christ, the Fairest of All Men (With a Video)

Upon venturing on my sixth post up to date, I figured I should not only instruct, but also delight my reader with some meditative insights into a wonderful book in the Bible that often goes ignored or unnoticed, the Song of Songs.

The Song of Songs is a tiny book that consists of 8 chapters, yet every page is saturated and overflowing with the love of God to the apex of creation, the human.  The book is attributed to King Solomon, who wrote it to one of his wives.  Solomon’s love for his wife prefigures Christ’s love for his Church.  This relationship between God and his people, which resembles that of a bridegroom and his bride, is not a novelty introduced to us in the New Testament.  In Isaiah 54:5, God says, “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts.”  This by itself speaks volumes of God’s love for us.  I ask all the faithful husbands out there, how dearly do you love your wife? To what extent would you defend her (especially when she cooks a nice meal for you)?  That love that you have for your wife is a tiny shadow of God’s love for us. 

Having said that, it would not be apt to read this book in a literalistic manner that deprives the text from the richness of its figurative sense.  Due to the space that I have here, I will not attempt to decipher all the 8 chapters of the book.  Instead, the first three verses in the opening chapter will suffice. 

1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine;
3 your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you.

Before stating anything about the content of these verses, please note the poetic form in which they are written.  The book was meant to be a poem, and the name Song really means that the textual portion of it, is nothing else other than a poem. Just like all poems, one must understand and give precedence to its figurative meaning over its literal sense.  Nonetheless, it is very important that we understand what is happening at the literal level before we can comprehend its figurative meaning.

In this short excerpt, we find that all 5 classical types of imagery (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Gustatory, Olfactory) are invoked to rouse the reader’s 5 senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell).  However, as discussed above, the senses are nothing more than a pathway or a conduit leading to the deeper abode of the spirit.  Indeed, this is the natural progress of human understanding.  It begins at the literal/sensual level, but progresses deeper into the figurative/spiritual realm.  The first imagery invoked is an auditory one.  Immediately at the start of the poem, the reader is told that this is a “Song.”  This classification instantly rings a warning bell in the reader’s ear, which hints at the romantic nature of the book’s content.  The next imagery used is a visual one, the image of a bride who is experiencing a powerful surge of longing towards her absent lover and the fervent “kisses” of His “mouth.”  In the first half of the same verse, a kinesthetic imagery is invoked by using the word “kiss,” to engage the reader’s sense of touch.  In the second half of the verse, the kinesthetic imagery is exchanged with a gustatory one as the “taste” of love is compared to the “taste” of “wine.”  Finally, this literary device is carried through to the next verse.  The imagery turns into olfactory, awakening the reader’s sense of smell.  The “anointing oils” of the lover are “fragrant” and bear a pleasant odour, which delights the bride.  Of course, this sensuality speaks of a higher truth or a deeper end.  To this effect, Our Lord asked His Disciples when they were lacking in faith, “Do you have eyes, but fail to see? And ears but fail to hear?” (Mark 8:18). The senses begin absorbing Christ’s divinity at the primordial level, through nature.  Once the senses are freed from the lower appetites, faith in Christ, namely in His divinity, begins to stir inside a soul, conjuring the most fulfilling and satisfying reaction, which not only rouses spiritual consolation, but also satisfies the five senses as well.  The bride speaks of this life-changing experience in this short excerpt through the extensive use of imagery.

1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.

The first verse states the book’s title in a superlative mode, Song of Songs, meaning that this Song is not just any song.  It is unlike the rest of the songs ever written; it is set apart and separated from all the other songs; it is consecrated, sanctified and made holy because this Song is not directed towards just any lover.  Rather, the subject of this song is the best of all lovers, the “fairest of all men,” Christ Jesus, whose love for mankind is complete, authentic, and unconditional (Psalm 45:2). It is the “Song of songs,” the ultimate poetic expression of love and tenderness.  No other song can surpass this one in meaning and significance.  It is an original image that acts as a model that is to be duplicated, resembled, and imitated.

2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine;

The entry into the poem is an invocation or a supplication by the beloved, the bride seeking the “kisses” of her lover’s “mouth.”  This intense overflow of emotions, which is communicated by a powerful desire for a physical gesture, is an expression of a passionate love.  Literally, this act expresses the love between a husband and a wife.  Figuratively, the invocation or the supplication of the bride (the Church, or the individual soul) is expressed in a prayer.  In essence, prayer is an act of love between two lovers, Christ and the Church or the individual soul.  In the same intense passion with which a kiss between husband and wife is exchanged, so prayer must be raised and given to Christ.  Otherwise, if the kiss is lacking passion, it is fake and not genuine.  Naturally, the response of a lover to a fake gesture of love made by his beloved is sadness and melancholy.  The lover becomes sad and melancholic at the indifference, apathy, and even deception to a certain extent, expressed in a fake gesture of love.  This is precisely how Christ feels when a prayer that lacks fervor is offered to Him in indifference.  Please note another aspect of this invocation.  The lover is mentioned using the third person pronoun, “Him.”  The reason behind this is twofold.  First, it demonstrates the level of respect and reverence the bride has for her lover.  Second, it signifies that while the lover is absent physically, He remains present in her heart.  Likewise, Christ is in the heart of His bride, the Church and/or the individual soul who has been “betrothed” to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2).   

The verse goes on into a comparative mode, “your love is better than wine.”  The comparison between “love” and “wine” is apt because both objects produce pleasure.  However, the pleasure of “wine” is a fleeting one, which passes away momentarily after the effect of alcohol is gone.  On the other hand, the “love” of Christ is a joy that sustains a soul for a lifetime and retains it in that disposition for all eternity.  The effect of “wine” on the body of a human being is intoxication and deliriousness.  Conversely, the effect of Christ’s “love” on a soul is an overwhelming joy and ecstasy.  “Wine” can be destructive; Christ’s “love” is always constructive.  Elsewhere in the Scriptures, this exact comparison is made but in different terms.  St. Paul tells us not to get “drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).  Note how “wine” leads to “debauchery,” whereas the constructive alternate to this “mocker,” (Proverbs 20:1) the antidote for this “debauchery” is to be “filled” with the “Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9).  In effect, no one has ever experienced God’s “love,” that love which is “better than wine,” except he who has the “Spirit of Christ” in him.  Nobody has every tasted this “love,” which the bride prefers over “wine,” except he who has tasted Christ’s love.

3 your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you.

The bride declares her lover’s “anointing oils” to be “fragrant,” and that His “name is oil poured out.”  Those “anointing oils” are none other than those oils received at the Sacrament of Confirmation.  In this Sacrament, the faithful receive the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.  This is further solidified in the Book of Ezekiel, when God says to his beloved bride in the Old Testament that He “bathed” her, “washed” her “off” her “blood,” and “anointed” her “with oil” (Ezekiel 16:9).  Note the order. First He “bathed” her, which is Baptism.  Then, He “anointed” her, a clear reference to Confirmation. The bride’s exhilaration at this act of love from her lover is evident in the declarative statement that she makes.  When She receives the “anointing oils,” She is rejuvenated and given the strength to witness and testify.  Likewise, those who live their vocation in the Church and are faithful to the sacraments, upon receiving the “anointing oils” of the Sacrament of Confirmation are given the strength and vigour to witness and declare to the entire world how “Wonderful” is the “name” of their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6).  The “virgins” in this verse correspond to the “wise” ones in the parable of the Ten Virgins, whose “lamps” were full of “oil” when the bridegroom came to fetch them (Mathew 25:2, 4).  Included with these five Virgins is everyone who recognizes the true value of Christ and accordingly, has given his life over to Him, who, “while we were sinners, [He] died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Christ, “the fairest of all men,” the best of all lovers is calling on your heart, inviting you to share in the blazes of his loving and passionate fire.  Refuse Him not; reject Him not.  Open the door and embrace Him.  Watch this video below, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Joy of Holiness

Throughout our day, we are constantly bombarded with all sorts of messages.  Some of these messages are conveyed to us in the form of advertisement of some new ‘life-changing’ product; others are suggested to us underhandedly with some God-forsaken, sly intention in hopes of winning some political, economic or social battle.  Be that as it may, these messages always attempt to shape our Will and our Desire in a way that will control and manipulate our character. 

Inside every human being, there exists Desire.  This Desire is the driving force in our life.  In and of itself, it is not a bad thing because it moves us to find partners (husbands or wives) with whom we can start family units and share with God the act of creation to produce new life on earth.  However, when it becomes corrupt, human wretchedness increases and multiplies.  This is especially true, when Desire is left to its own devices, to be free to control our life as it pleases i.e. to make us eat whenever or whatever it tells us, to engage in any sexual act with whomever it commands us, or to sleep, watch television, or speak whenever it decrees us.  This is wretchedness in all sense of the word, for how loud does the voice inside of us scream at times wanting to be freed from this slavery, and yet we find ourselves incapable of achieving this freedom?  How many times have you wished to stop smoking that cigarette, and yet you found yourself unable to keep that cancerous roll away from your lips? How many times have you wished to look at the other way when an attractive person passes by, and yet you found yourself not only taking a second look, but also flying into a world of fantasy where shameful things that occur in our mind cannot even be mentioned?  How many times have you wanted to do the good thing, and yet you found yourself doing the evil that you did not want to do?  As a result, we find that there exists a conflict (a gap, a rift, or a schism) between our Will (the good which we WANT to do) and our Desire (the inclinations which control our Will).  On the one side of this conflict, there is our Will which knows and wants to do the right thing; and on the other side, our Desire is there to quell down, control and silence our Will to enslave us and make us act in a manner that is contrary to our Will.  The result of this great conflict is great wretchedness and misery.  Think of all the great acts of evil in this world.  The perpetrators always have some sort of a defense for their gruesome acts.  In essence, this defense is really nothing more than their wish to act contrarily to the evil they’ve committed; yet, the agency to act contrarily is completely removed from them because of some excuse or another.  This excuse is what we know to be Desire.  The question then is how can we overcome this wretched conflict and become free?

Before we answer this question, first we must distinguish between joy and happiness.  Joy is a chronic, interior state of being that accompanies us regardless of exterior hardships and difficulties that surround us, whereas happiness is a temporary feeling of satisfaction that is dependent on the convenience of exterior elements.  Joy speaks to the soul, but happiness addresses the body.  Joy nourishes both body and spirit, but happiness only momentarily satisfies the body.  Joy belongs to Will, but happiness to Desire.  Joy is achieved by obeying the Will; happiness is attained by obeying our Desire.  This is precisely why often times we see people who are miserable in life, and yet they obtain a moment of happiness through some rebellious act of escapism such as drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or engaging in some act of sexual promiscuity.  So far, I’ve remained descriptive.  So far, I have not yet been prescriptive.  The question remains, how can we achieve joy in our life?

To answer this question, the solution lies in resolving the conflict and making our Desire conform to our Will.  In effect, this reverses the condition I described above where Will conforms to Desire.  However, this is impossible for human beings to do alone.  It is impossible to find a person in this world whose Desire conforms to his Will at all times through his own powers and strength.  Instead, this is a gift from God, which we call ‘grace,’ or the love of God that was revealed to us in the birth, life, crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus.  Christ, the love of God revealed to humanity, moves our Desire upwards.  Once Desire is directed upwards towards God, no longer will it seek the lower appetites.  No longer will it rebel and wage war against our Will.  A human being can lie down in peace and conformity.  The war against pride, greed, envy, hatred, lust, gluttony, laziness is then won.  God has won this battle for us.  In turn, we too have a role to play.  We have a part to take in this fight.  Our role is to submit our Desire and our Will to Christ, who then takes over us and begins to be active in us.  Our part is to surrender ourselves completely and without any reservations to Christ, who then defeats all the forces that wage the fierce and deadly battles inside of us.  Then, both, Desire and Will, praise and glorify our Maker, whose love for us made Him take on a human form and die for us on the cross.  The fight is now won.  What is then achieved is not some fleeting, fraudulent moment of happiness.  Rather, it is joy, a persisting state that will reside inside of us even in the midst of the most turbulent and chaotic situations that life deals us.  It is the Joy of Holiness. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Homosexual Activism: Hatred for Religion and Free Speech

Well folks, I guess by now the news is getting old.  Damian Goddard, a television anchorman for Rogers Sportsnet has been fired for making his views on marriage public on Twitter. 

On Tuesday May 10, Damian tweeted his support for Todd Reynold, Burlington’s hockey agent.  Reynold voiced his disagreement of New York Rangers’ Sean Avery for filming a television ad in support of gay marriage. 

Reynold’s radical views of marriage being between one man and one woman did not go unnoticed.  CBC ran a segment of Q’s Sports Culture that debated whether hockey is “homophobic.” Instinct Magazine called for a petition to be signed by its readers and forwarded to Uptown Sports “to apologize and let Todd know” that he is “intolerant homophobic bigot hater.”  The list of reaction from leftist media is too long to be enumerated in this humble blog space.  Suffice it to say, if you are an advocate of traditional marriage in Canada, then please slam shut your door, fasten all your locks, and sleep with one eye open.  You’ll never know when you’ll be found out.  Should you happen to utter one word to express this crazy, dangerous, and bigoted notion that marriage is only true when it is between one man and one woman, then man o man.  A tsunami will hit the social media; hurricanes and earthquakes of ‘equality supporters’ will flood the blogosphere to protest the awful injustice. In short, you might just find the police knocking on your door.

Nonetheless, the object of this blog is not really Todd Reynold.  It is actually Damian Goddard’s case, Free Speech, and Religious Freedom.  Damian has a twitter account just like the rest of approximately 190,000,000 people who are subscribed to the social network.  In his personal twitter account, he decided to express a thought he had in his head using the 140-character status bar.  This thought is empty of violence. It is empty of any type of any call for any violent act.  The next day, Damian Goddard lost his job for revealing this thought.  By now, I’m sure my reader is dying to know what exactly was it that Damian wrote that caused all this commotion? Here it is…

The next day, after the Internet and other media outlets went wild over Damian’s stance on marriage, Rogers Sportsnet signed his release forms.  Folks, this is not Pakistan or Iran that we’re discussing here. This is Canada.  A man was fired from his job for making his personal views known.  Naturally, the two questions that beg themselves are: to what extent are we free to express ourselves here in Canada, and what sort of religious freedom do we have here.  The best place to look for an answer to these questions is the recent history of Canadian record on handling Religious Freedom and Free Speech.

In the last two decades, a pattern in the way free speech and religious freedom are treated in this country has become very noticeable.  Canada is constantly moving further to the left.  Traditionally, leftist libertarianism always seeks to value individual freedoms over any institutional or communal agency (I blogged about this before).  In Canada, libertarianism has gone so far to the left, that it has made a full circle (considering the earth is round) to find itself right next to Benito Mussolini.  It is willing to take any measure to silence its opposition.  In this sense, neo-liberalism has taken on a hypocritical façade.  It always presents itself as a champion of tolerance and respect for the other, and yet it shows the least of tolerance or respect to any voice of opposition.  I ask all my liberal friends here, where is your tolerance and respect for the other?  I mentioned that there is a trend that is emerging which clearly demonstrates this fact.  I would like to solidify this assertion with a couple of examples. 

In January 2005, Bishop Fredrick Henry wrote a pastoral letter to the Roman Catholic diocese of Alberta.  He outlined the problematic nature of same-sex ‘marriage’ and the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens from this evil act.  Any rational enterprising defender of same-sex union would simply write, publish, or voice his/her opposing opinion over this matter.  Instead, what happens after the publication of the good Bishop’s letter is a strange phenomenon that could be dubbed as the first in the history of Canada.  The Bishop was summoned before the Human Rights Court to further explain the statements he made, which only mirrored the 2000-year-old teachings of the Church.  The simple fact that a Bishop of the Church was summoned to a court for teaching authentic Catholicism speaks volumes of the state’s treatment of Freedom of Speech and Religion.  This is nothing short of harassment.  The Supreme Court of Canada has declared that Religious Freedom is “jealously guarded” by the Canadian Charter of Rights (Factum of the Intervener Ontario Human Rights Commission, at para. 53).  Where is this protection when a Bishop of the Catholic Church cannot so much as openly declare the authentic teachings of the biggest religious group in the country?    We still need to deal with the issue of freedom of speech.  The Bishop, just like any other citizen of Canada, is entitled to his views and opinions.  Harassing the Bishop by means of state intimidation is reminiscent of Nazi Germany or Communist Russia.  I wish it stopped there. Things get worse.

On November 30, 2007, Rev. Stephen Boissoin was banned from “publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet” his views on homosexuality.  This was in response to a complaint forwarded by Lund Darren, a homosexual activist, to a Human Rights Panel of Alberta (the title can be deceiving to say the least, seeing how the “panel” who passed this sentence consisted of a single judge, Lori Andreachuck).  Boissoin wrote a letter to the editor of Red Deer Advocate, in which he expressed his views on homosexuality.  Aside from the prohibition Rev. Boissoin received, he was also forced to write a letter of apology, in which he was to retract his statements made earlier.  Realizing that this sentence was sheer buffoonery produced by a kangaroo court, it was later overturned in December 2009.  Nonetheless, after having been dragged through the mud, after having been bestowed with all sorts of derogatory titles and deprecating epithets, after having suffered censorship for seven years, Boissoin’s request to have his legal costs remunerated was rejected.  Where is this “freedom of religion” that is “jealously guarded?” Where o where is the “jealously guarded freedom of religion” in a country that prevents its citizens from publicly defending a major tenet of religion, the sanctity of marriage?  Where is the Freedom of Speech in a country that prevents the other side of the debate on homosexuality to publish or make known its views?

Restricting freedom of speech has always been the hallmark of fascism.  Damian Goddard, just like Bishop Henry and Rev. Boissoin, expressed his personal views that are strongly informed by the religion that he practices.  This religion is not some back alley contrivance that has only recently surfaced on the face of the planet, nor is it some strange and new worldview that has just arrived to Canada from some remote and distant land.  This is Catholicism, the religion that 43.2% of Canadians follow according to Canada Census 2001.  Damian, of course, is not the one who is really being attacked here.  It is Free Speech and Religious Freedom.  I ask my readers, what are your views on this? Worry not; I will not press any charges against you, even if you disagree with me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

From Malta to Hungary, Change is the Common Theme

Living in a global village forces us to face certain facts.  One fact that we must all confront is that our world is changing.  Global demographics are being scrambled around, principles that have governed societies for years are now being deserted, and the French soccer team for 2010 World Cup consisted mostly of players with darker complexion.  However, the most important change that is now taking place is the re-formation of family.  The current legislation of European states speaks volumes of attempts being made to redefine family.  This change is evident in the transformation currently taking place in two European countries, Malta and Hungary, both of which are members of the European Union.

Malta is a country that is very dear to my heart.  It is one of the last strongholds of Catholicism that has survived the vicious assaults of secularism in modern Europe.  It is nearly impossible to go anywhere in the tiny island without being reminded of the Catholic culture that encompasses all aspect of life.  Most importantly, it is the island where St. Paul’s wreckage landed him nearly 1,950 years ago.  The Holy Spirit attests for the generosity and loving nature of the islanders when the Scripture says the Maltese “showed unusual kindness.  They built a fire and welcomed [escapees of the shipwreck]” (Acts 28:2). The generosity and kindness of the islanders have only intensified since they embraced the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ.  To this day, they continue to welcome all sorts of refugees and offer them much help with a most commendable Catholic spirit.  I have personally spoken to people who have experienced these traits of the Maltese people.  Perhaps some of them are reading this post now and can testify to what I am writing here.

Unfortunately, Malta is about to undergo a tempestuous change.  The front where the war is being waged is the building block of civilization, the family.  Up till now, divorce was illegal in the island.  The law only permitted annulment or separation.  In the case of annulment, a marriage is deemed invalid under special circumstances, such as an undisclosed sickness or an uncommitted partner.  Separation is only possible if there is adultery involved.  In the latter case, no one is permitted to marry again.

This law mirrors Catholic doctrine of marriage, where a divorce is not allowed because “what God has joined together, no man can separate” (Mark 10:9).  On May 28, the country will hold a referendum to introduce divorce to the civil law.  The dissolution of marriage in Malta is a definite sign that Malta will join the rest of the western hemisphere in its decadence and corruption, especially in hot issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and sexual promiscuity.  Once marriage is undermined, all sorts of wickedness begin to creep into a society.  No doubt, the unmarried will seek fulfillment of desire elsewhere, such as pornography or illicit sexual partnership.  Naturally, unexpected pregnancies will rise, which means that babies who sleep safely in their mothers’ wombs will have to be extracted, first by tearing their limbs apart, and then vacuuming them out and into the garbage bin.  View Catholic anticipates a tumultuous upheaval to take root in Malta.  This change will definitely stain the fabric of innocence that has clothed the tiny island.  Recent history of Europe and North America clearly demonstrates that once marriage, traditional marriage, goes out the window, every type of wickedness under the sky begins to slither and crawl in. 

Approximately 820 miles northeast of Malta, another European country is seeking to abandon this culture of death and join the ranks of jolly pro-lifers.  On April 18th, Hungary approved of a new legislation that bans both Homosexual Union (gay marriage) and Abortion as well.  This legislation has been the object of malicious criticism, namely from the ranks of homosexual activists and pro-choice groups. Hungary was formerly a member of the Soviet Bloc.  Communism, of course, has no regard for family.  Change of status quo in Hungary is a clear sign to modern day leftist revolutionaries that destruction of traditions is not always a welcomed change or a positive direction where the path of natural progress must inevitably unravel.  

With the Hungarian example, an observant analyst clearly sees that change is not always constructive.  With the Hungarian example, one finds an instance where leftist agendas of undermining the family are abandoned and forsaken because they have been tried and implemented, but to no avail.  Having been through this experience, Hungary can stand up and say it plainly and loudly, “Europe, go back to your roots.  Go back to your Christian roots.” 

Both of these two examples deal with change.  One of them is constructive, while the other is destructive.  One seeks to eat away at the heart of human civilization, the other attempts to rebuild and nourish the building block of human civilization.  Malta and Hungary form a perfect paradigm where the dialectic of transformation between old and new is visibly stated and can be unmistakably read.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tyranny of Individualism

Recently, in the Vatican, there has been much discussion revolving around Religious Freedom.  Also, click here for an article on Pope Benedict's review of that discussion. 

A spectrum that has always boggled policy makers is Individualism and Institutionalism.  On one end of the spectrum, stand individual human rights that offer us valuable personal freedoms apart from any restrictions. On the other end of the spectrum is the establishment that has always sought to civilize human rebellious nature with regulations. 

Nowhere was this binary fought out more ferociously than 18th century Europe, when the age of Enlightenment ignited a stream of revolutions throughout the European nations.  The fallout for these revolutions in the western world is quite visible in the western view of religion and its advocates.  Two notable outcomes emerged from these revolutions.  First, is the attempt to banish religion into the realm of private sphere.  The second important outcome is Moral Relativism

As far as I am aware, there is no religion, no philosophy, and no ideology on the face of this planet that does not seek to spread itself through a means of evangelization of some sort. Perhaps some enterprising member of my newly found readership can help me out here.  Is there an idea that you rejoice in, of which you manage to remain mute?  In fact, don’t people everyday take their views to workplace, schools, and even streets, in an attempt to convert people to their cause, whatever that cause may be?  Why is it that when this cause is Christian in nature, public outcries begin to sound and the secular machine goes up in an uproar to silence this voice?

Under the banner if Individuals’ Rights, the religious lot, namely Christians, are always instructed to be “respectful” of others’ beliefs, or worse yet, to keep their religious views to themselves.  Democracy is being replaced with a form of tyrannical secularism or an oppressive socialism.  Suddenly, it is offensive for institutions to display Christian symbols, even in countries that can never divorce their identity from their Christian roots.  Suddenly, it is infringing on individual’s right to wish someone Merry Christmas or Happy Easter.  This neo-libertarian movement has taken on a socialist façade whose sole agenda is to destroy an innate desire within human beings to worship Him who is greater than all. Any attempt by the ‘faithful remnants’ to retain the Christian values that have governed the western hemisphere, are labeled as divisive, inequitable, and even bigotry.  It is okay to erect a statue in the public arena to honour someone like Thomas Jefferson, but it is not okay to honour a man like Moses, whose law has contributed a great deal to the western judicial system.  It is okay to display a crucifix inside a bucket that is full of urine, and pass it off as a ‘work of art,’ but it is not okay to retain a cross originally put up to honour dead soldiers of World War I.  The attempt to constantly push religion out of the public realm is a reality that Christians must endure everyday.  If public display of religion is permitted, then it is constantly moving towards a growing hostility and antagonism. 

A second notable outcome of 18th century revolutionary Europe is the notion of relativism of truth.  For the 21st century western secular, all religions fall in the same category, fantasyland.  Since religion is a private matter of concern, then every individual’s religious view is as good as the view of another.  Consequently, all religions are set on an equal footing.  Not only that, but also all philosophical views, whether they be religious or irreligious, must be viewed as equally valid.  This is a hard pill for a Christian to swallow.  In fact, I cannot see how an American can defend his country’s involvement in WWII to fend off Hitler.  When subscribing to moral relativism, I cannot understand how a U.S. soldier can explain himself when he goes on a far-off land to defeat terrorism.  Aren’t the terrorists entitled to their views as well?  Was not Hitler entitled to exterminate 6,000,000 Jews?  After all, Hitler and the terrorists who perpetrated 9/11 are entitled to their individual views, and these views are every bit as good as those of any civilized citizen of the United States of America.  Moral Relativists are forced to acknowledge the validity of these absurd claims. 

Originally, it was Christianity that found secularism in Europe. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that it was a Christian from the 2nd century A.D. who coined the term “Religious Freedom.”  Despite the endless efforts spent today to quell down religion, or portray truth as a relative idea, the Church will never cease proclaiming Christ’s words, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the Life.” 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dual Heroism of Blessed John Paul II

Blessed John Paul II, what a blessed topic with which I will introduce my blog and myself. Well, I suppose it is only apt that I should say something about myself before I begin with my first blog topic, Blessed John Paul II. 

I am a big fan of the Pope, the previous and the current. Does that tell you anything? It should.  Otherwise, I would have to do a great deal of explanation, especially while operating under a blog called “View Catholic.” During the last four years, I have engaged in some heavy-duty religious blog hounding, online public forum tailing. Conclusion? Why not start my own blog, and this way I get to reflect, mirror, image, replicate, portray, express, illustrate the Catholic view and the Catholic view only, in its most authentic, original, genuine, accurate, real, indisputable, and unadulterated form.  Have fun!

Back to the pope, Blessed John Paul II. What can I say? 1.5 million gatherers assembled. It was definitely a blessed assembly. It must’ve been too difficult to ignore, even by secular, and often anti-Catholic television stations such as the CNN. John Paul II was indeed a hero for both, Catholics and non-Catholics.

During his reign, Karol Wojtyla constituted a formidable foe to any self-ascribed Catholic who challenged the male-only clergy, or the Real Presence in the Eucharist.  Had the Church caved in on any of these issues, no doubt Catholicism, as we know it, would’ve disintegrated into the modern, non-discriminatory landscape of moral relativism.  The identity of Catholics would never survive this blow.  John Paul managed to steer the Church on the proper course every time She faced a challenge from within.

On a greater scale, John Paul did not fail to demonstrate the supremacy of the Catholic faith in his desire, not only to lead the faithful Catholics, but also call for a communion of mankind where channels of dialogue never cease or end. People of all religions attest for his love and humility.  In essence, this proves that it is possible that one can remain a faithful Catholic witness and yet be at peace with members of other religions.  For the past two centuries in the west, religion has been described as a divisive tool that creates nothing but tension and warring factions.  Although the Blessed pope has maintained clear lines of divisibility between the Catholic faith and other religions, peaceful ties and open dialogue have never ceased during his reign. 

Obviously something supernatural was happening at the Vatican on May 1, 2011 for 1.5 million people, from different religions and ethnicities, to come together and honour a pope.  Obviously someone greater than us puny, little humans was at work.  The only direction, towards which one is forced to look, is above.  Thank you Lord. Thank you for giving us Blessed John Paul II.