September 17, 2014

Pope Francis: "...Marriage is about a Man and a Woman Walking Together..."

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

Way way back in ancient times, like around 1950, about 22% of American adults were single.  Since the population 'way back then' was about 152.3 million that would mean that about 33.5 million Americans were unattached.  In 2013 the population was almost double, coming in at about 316 million people.  Single adults tipped the scales at 50.2%.  That translates into the fact that more than HALF the population of the United States is now single.  The actual number of the percentage of 50.2% would be 158,632,000.  That is actually more than the entire United States population of 1950.  SINGLES have taken over.  Whatever have we wrought?

What we have wrought, or rather allowed, is a secular induced ambivalence about marriage.  It seems  that since marriage translates to "responsibility" and many of the young people of today have been induced into a state of "Meism", the old cliche, "looking out for Number One" is the dominant standard.  In addition, it seems that our society has encouraged an extended period of adolescence where young adults often stay with mommy and daddy even as they begin to journey into middle age.
 Heck,  even the government  calls people up to 26 years old, "children".  This way they justify their being carried on their parents' health insurance plan.  What's a young person supposed to think.

Of course we also live in a world of "practicalism".  People are more practical today than back in my day. In the "old days" most folks were "impractical".  They dated first, then got engaged, and then, about a year later, got married and a  new family was born.  Then they moved into the apartment they had rented and it WAS their first home.  Then along came little "Jack" or "Jill".  I confess, having been married in 1967,  I was among the vast majority of impractical young people.

Things have changed a bit since the early to mid seventies. In the world of "practicalism" marriage is often looked at the same way one might look at  a new Toyota or a Ford.  The couple want to "test drive" it first.  Meists see many positives to this type of non-commitment:  a) you can have separate bank accounts;  b) you can have your own health insurance and not have to pay for anyone else's;  c) if you do not like sleeping together you can go sleep somewhere else with NO strings attached; and finally, d) if you do not like the "model" you are trying you can simply walk away and look for another model.  There might be some yelling and screaming but, hey, such a DEAL!

Fear not, the Meistic and Practical world of secularism has some detractors.  Listen to Pope Francis in his homily given right before he presided over the marriages of 20 couples in Rome.   The Pope said, "The love of Christ, which has blessed and sanctified the union of husband and wife, is able to sustain their love and to renew it when, humanly speaking, it becomes lost, wounded or worn out.  The love of Christ can restore to spouses the joy of journeying together."

The Holy Father continued , "Marriage is about a man and a woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become even more a woman, and wherein the woman  has the task of helping her husband to become ever more of a man. Here we see the reciprocity of differences."

I love how the Pope used the phrase, "reciprocity of differences".  This simply points out that men and women do compliment each other.  I would venture that up until the late 1960s, marriage was the state of life that most human beings chose to enter.  Marriage is actually instinctive.  It has always (for the most part) been under the umbrella of  marriage that the human race was preserved. The husband and wife formed the family nucleus and they brought forth children and raised them and nurtured them and educated them.  Most of these children  followed their parents and did the same.

The Holy Father said (in the same homily when talking about the family), "It is impossible to quantify  the strength and depth of humanity contained in the family as demonstrated through the mutual help, educational support, relationships developing as family members mature, and the sharing of joys and difficulties."

"Families are the FIRST place in which we are formed as persons and, at the same time, the "bricks" for the building up of society."

The central theme of the Holy Father's homily, was "Marriage is a symbol of life...the Sacrament of love of Christ and the Church, a love which finds its proof and guarantee in the Cross."

Pope Francis is quite wise.  He also said, "There is a cure which God offers to spouses who "have become impatient on the way, and who succumb to the dangerous temptations of discouragement, infidelity, weakness, and abandonment. To them God the Father gives His Son Jesus, not to condemn them, but to save them.  If they entrust themselves to Him, He will bring them healing by the merciful love that pours from the Cross, with the strength of His grace that renews and sets married couples and families once again on the right path."

He said to the couples and these are words all married couples should embrace, "This is the task you share. 'I love you, and for this love I help you to become ever more a woman.'; 'I love you, and for this love I help you to become ever more a man."

Pope Francis has given all people (not just Catholics) a profound and poignant message about the call to the married state.  He recognizes that it is a hard road because two individuals, a man and a woman, are joining together as one. There are differences between them.  But marriage is the ultimate commitment to giving of oneself to another.  A marriage united in the sacramental life of the church has been built on a foundation of solid bedrock.  Its chance to withstand the decades long onslaught from the world around it has been fortified and shielded in the best way possible.  It has embraced the Cross.  Somehow, someway the Church must bring folks back to that reality.  Pope Francis has set the table for this to begin.  He has done the responsible thing.

September 10, 2014

Remembering 9/11/2001: : Not Much Needs to be Written or Said

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The posted picture says it all.  What is in it is no more.  But it lives on in our hearts, mind and souls.


                      World Trade Center, New York City - aerial view (March 2001).jpg
TWIN TOWERS pre September 11, 2001

"Say 'NO' to death, to hatred, to violence , to error to evil, to degradation.

Say 'YES' to the good, to the beautiful, to truth, to justice, to responsibility,
to life, to peace and to love.

SAINT JOHN PAUL II






September 8, 2014

Secularism Conquers the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade: Cardinal Dolan Should Clarify

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

We are up to our waists in the muck of secular quicksand and slowly but surely it is trying its best to suck us all deeper into its godless abyss.  This insidious secularism has permeated so much of our lives it has become the norm for many, especially the Millennials (those born from 1980 and after). Marriage has been relegated to an afterthought; after living together, having sex together and having a baby together then MAYBE marriage is considered.  The Affordable Care Act has gone so far as to demand that we Catholic/Christians leave our faith and morality inside the church door and shed it when we leave.   Once outside of church we MUST accept abortion and contraception because they are now LAW and therefore we cannot reject them.  What our church teaches matters not. Is this NONSENSE?  Nope, it is the law of the land. 

In New Orleans,  the Louisiana Supreme  Court reversed a lower court and has ruled that a priest  can be be “made” to testify as to what he was told in the confessional and violate the "seal of confession", something a priest can NEVER do.  The court also empowered the trial court to DECIDE  “whether or not a sacrament took place”.  Imagine the hypocrisy of a court that rejects the very Constitution it is sworn to uphold and determines that it can decide when a Catholic sacrament is or is not a sacrament.  

These few examples are the tip of the iceberg.  Who needs to be defended are all of those Catholic/Christians standing tall and speaking out against the attacks against the faith.  Many of them are being stifled as Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech are being shoveled into the secular trash cans that are filling up with the freedoms that we so recently took for granted as we lived our lives in the greatest country ever founded.  I want to mention one Catholic priest in particular. Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C.  

Monsignor Pope has been a Catholic blogger for some time and his clear explanations and teachings and defense of the Catholic faith have been a refreshing joy to many.  However, the other day Monsignor wrote a column criticizing Timothy Cardinal Dolan and his defending the gay agenda being accepted into  New York City's  annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The powers to be did NOT like it and Monsignor Pope was forced to remove the blogpost.  Today, September 8, the church celebrates the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Today, I did NOT see a post by Monsignor Pope.  I hope and pray he has not been pushed off  the cliff  by the PC Gendarmes simply because he told the truth.  That would be a shame because he is a true and honorable defender of the Catholic faith which he loves so much.  We need Monsignor Charles Pope and more people like him.

My non-theological explanation of church teaching on this topic is this:  Homosexuals are permitted to be in full communion with the church...but they must remain celibate.  This also applies to single men and women engaging in sex whether living together or not..  This is NOT new.  This is how it has always been.  It will not change.  Embracing a sexually active homosexual lifestyle is NOT permitted.  The fact is, Cardinal Dolan, standing as the Grand Marshall of the parade, will be giving credence to the lifestyle of the "gay agenda".   It will appear that the LBGTQ lifestyle is acceptable to the Catholic Church.  It is NOT.  End of story.

When you are a "parent' there are times you MUST stand firm and say to your children "NO!"  Cardinal Dolan is the spiritual parent of the Catholics  in the New York Archdiocese.  In addition, his name recognition is worldwide.  He must teach, guide, nurture, and protect his children, especially from the forces of secularism.   He also must stand tall and set an example for everyone beyond his diocesan borders.   As a parent I know that often times saying "NO!" is hard to do.  But it comes with the territory and you are obliged to do so or you are failing in your responsibility.  Right now I, too, am very disappointed in Timothy Cardinal Dolan.  I am praying that before the parade in March he clarifies his stance and explains Catholic church teaching to all concerned.  


September 4, 2014

Salem Matti Kourk: Hated and Murdered by ISIS; Loved by God and God's Mom

IT  MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

I guess there is nothing like the  shocking beheading of a live, innocent, helpless person by gutless, yellow-bellied devil lovers dressed in black pajamas to garner world attention.  The high-profile, barbaric murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff  have done just that.  Their murders have been emblazoned across the print headlines and media air waves giving Satan's favorite "crew", ISIS, the publicity it sought.

James Foley and Steven Sotloff have been introduced to all of us as individuals.  We saw their photos, we learned about their background and their families.  They could have been any one of us.  It became personal for us and we can feel some of the horror and pain these young men must have felt as death approached them.  Yet so many thousands have been murdered in this modern day genocide. We recoil at the numbers but the individuality of all those executed evades us. The Holocaust claiming six million Jews is not the same as hearing the story of Anne Frank or Maximilian Kolbe.

Anne was a youngster we could relate to because, like all of us, she had a name, a family, siblings, a home, ambitions and desires.  Plus, she left behind that most famous diary.  We can identify with her because she was not just a statistic, she was a real person, the same as James Foley and Steven Sotloff.   Maximilian Kolbe was a Catholic priest who offered his own life so that  a Jewish husband and father might live.  His request was granted and the Nazis starved him to death. We can be inspired by the courage and selflessness of such individual acts of brotherly love.  Maximilian Kolbe was canonized a saint  on October 10, 1982 by Pope John Paul II.  And only last April, Father Frans Van der Lugt, a Catholic priest who had worked in Syria for 50 years, was dragged from his church by agents of ISIS.  They beat him unmercifully and then shot him in the head twice.  Father Van der Lugt was 75 years old.  Three died because of their love of God and two died because they were Americans.

There are so many thousands that have been brutally executed by the ISIS maniacs. So many whose names we shall never know or hear.  So many who were brutally tortured and murdered because of their Christian faith.  So here is one of those with a name, a person we can identify with.  He was not famous or well known.  He was, for the most part, just like the rest of us, unknown.  His name was Salem Matti Kourk.  He was 43 years old and was an Orthodox Christian.

In early August, the Islamist State "Christian haters", aka ISIS or ISIL,  had taken control of Mosul,  the second largest city in Iraq.  Thirteen miles east of Mosul is the town of Bartella.  ISIS had also secured that town.  We  are well aware of how Mosul, the oldest Christian city in the world, has been overrun and how the city's ancient churches were destroyed while almost the entire Christian population had either fled or been killed.  Over in Bartella similar atrocities were taking place.  Salem Matti Kourk, a Syrian Christian, had a heart condition.  He could not flee with his family and friends because of his disability.  So they stockpiled food and drink and other supplies for him and he remained behind, hiding out in an abandoned apartment.  The days came and went.

Three weeks later the food and water had run out.  Salem became a bit desperate and eventually decided to leave his hiding place in search of food and water.  Sick and weakened, he did not get far.  ISIS "swine" discovered him near the Church of the Virgin Mary.  They demanded he renounce Christianity and accept Islam.  They screamed at him and kicked him and bludgeoned him with clubs and rifle butts. The kept at it until Salem's battered body could not withstand anymore.

Salem gave up his spirit and his body rolled over dead.   The Satan "lovers" left him in front of the church and walked away laughing.  Salem Matti Kourk had died a martyr's death.  He was alone, terrified, and surrounded by thugs that hated him.  Yet, through it all,  he refused to renounce his belief in Jesus.  But maybe, just maybe, he was not alone.

I like to think that being in front of the Church of the Virgin Mary, our dearest Mother stood nearby waiting for him.  I like to think he saw her waiting.  I have a profound feeling Salem walked away from that place with his Mother's arm around his shoulder.  I can see her leaning over and kissing his battered forehead.  Salem was smiling.  He will smile for all eternity.

August 28, 2014

SATAN: the Supreme Commander of ISIS

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

At 12:30 p.m. on August 31, 1939, Adolf Hitler made a decision.  He issued the order that was to plunge the entire world into its bloodiest war ever:  This is the order that started World War II
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SUPREME COMMANDER OF THE
ARMED FORCES
MOST SECRET

Berlin, August 31, 1939: Directive No.1 for the Conduct of the War;
1) Now that all the political possibilities of disposing by peaceful
means of a situation which is intolerable for Germany are exhausted, I
have determined on a solution by force.
2) The attack on Poland is to be carried out;
Date of attack: September 1, 1939.
Time of attack:  4:45 a.m. *
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The order was signed by Hitler and for the next six years the world would experience an unimaginable evil  that would cause such brutality, carnage and death it gave a complete new meaning to a heretofore biblical word.  That word was Holocaust.  (I view the words Holocaust and Genocide as synonyms.)

During the 20th century Genocide(s) claimed the lives of tens of millions of people.  Joseph Stalin, the brutal Soviet dictator and our "ally" during World War II, probably killed more people than Hitler and his primary means of execution was starvation.  Yup, "old Joe" was quite the guy.  Between 1932 and 1933 alone, Stalin actually starved over 7,000,000 of his OWN people to death.  By the time he died he had killed 25,000,000 people.  Now we are in the 21st century. What has changed?   Genocide continues in the most brutal fashion.  From North Korea to the Middle East to the African continent, genocide is claiming the lives of men , women and children by the thousands.  And God help us all,  most of the current human butchery is done under the banner of virtue:  "Praise Allah".   How sick and evil is that?

I just used the word evil.  When I use that word I am not simply referring to something morally wrong or harmful or basically wicked.  When I use the word evil I am referencing Satan, the devil himself.  He is known by other names such as Lucifer, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Leviathan, etc.  I must be clear so make no mistake; I believe (as do millions more) that Satan does exist and that he is spreading his unending and incomparable vitriolic hatred all over the world.  He is also cunning enough to use modern day communication techniques to advertise his  demonocity.

I write under the masthead of  IT MAKES SENSE TO ME.   It follows that what I write does, in fact, "make sense to me".  I am a Catholic man and my faith is part of my very being.  Much of that faith is reinforced by what is called  Natural Law.  Natural Law is part of who we are.  It is (in my opinion) part of our genetic makeup.  It cannot be seen or touched or examined under a microscope.  It cannot even be proven.  However, "common sense" tells us it does exist.

Natural Law is what we all, as human beings, know to be right or wrong.  Some of us call it "our conscience".  An example of Natural Law at work is when a mother asks her small child, "Did you eat that cookie I left out for your sister?"  The child, with crumbs and chocolate on her face answers, "No, mommy."  She knew it was wrong  to take that cookie so she made a choice.  She used her "free will".  She answered , "No".  That is Natural Law at work.

Angels are God's creations just as people are.  The bible references angels in many places.  It also references the evil angels.  These are the angels that, upon the moment of their creation, were so filled with their beauty and grandeur, that they decided they were greater than God Himself.  In that moment they lost everything.  Every last ounce of hope that might have been was gone forever.  Unlike mankind, who lives and has many chances, in the angelic world, this could not be.  Filled with an unimaginable hatred and loathing and unable to attack God and the Good Angels, Satan and his followers have focused on the ones with free will, the ones filled with pride and envy, the human race.

Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Saddam Hussein and Pol Pot are high profile followers of Satan.  But there are countless millions more who these demons  have been able to recruit and induct into their evil army.  Just the other day we all saw one of Satan's followers  behead James Foley, an American journalist.  For full effect the grizzly execution was performed on camera, for all the world to see, including the Foley family.

How evil is this angel known as Satan?  How evil are the angels that followed him into hell?  The depths of their  hatred for God and all that is Good is incomprehensible.  These creatures were the brightest and the highest among all  others.  Now they are lower than  the lowest sinner because even that sinner still has hope for redemption.  The "fallen angels",  filled with their own enormous pride and bursting with envy, are silently screeching and wailing as they skulk around the world seeking new followers.  Sadly, they have been very successful.

One of Satan's greatest pupils had great success early on in his morbid career.  His name was Adolf Hitler.  He destroyed  millions.  In the end he and his followers were relegated to the ash heap of history.  ISIS and all those that are following Satan will suffer the same fate.  The cost might be very high but they can never ever win their ignominious war against God.  And that is exactly what they are waging, a war against God.

By the way, the greatest weapon at our disposal in this war is PRAYER.  Here is one written by Pope Leo XIII back in 1884. The Holy Father's purpose back then was to combat the "father of lies".

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the Divine Power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.


 *"The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" (abridged edition) by William Shirer  pg 117

August 24, 2014

From Missouri Slave to Catholic Priest to "Servant of God": A Shining Star for ALL Americans

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME



by Larry Peterson

This is not about the Ferguson, Missouri of 2014 but it  is about the Missouri of the 19th century.  This is about a black man who I wish that not only the people of Ferguson would learn about but also the rest of Missouri and all of America.  This is about a man whose goodness shined like a brilliant star inspiring others by his gentle and caring example.  Say "Hello" to Augustus Tolton.

On April 1, 1854, Peter Tolton paced nearby as his wife, Martha Jane,  gave birth to her second son. They   named him Augustus (after his uncle) and the baby was baptized soon after in St. Peter's Catholic Church in Brush Creek, Missouri.  Mrs. Savilla Elliot stood as Augustus' godmother. This was a situation a bit out of the ordinary at the time.  That was because Mrs. Elliot was married to Stephen Elliot, who happened to be the "owner" of Augustus' mom and dad.  The Tolton family were slaves and their three children, Charley, Augustus and Anne, were born into slavery.  Slave owners and their slaves, all Catholic. It was a unique situation, especially in the mostly Protestant south.

Augustus was seven years old when  Fort Sumter was attacked and the Civil War began.  Stephen Elliot permitted Peter Tolton to head north and he supposedly was able to join the Union Army.  A bit later, Elliot gave Martha and her children their freedom too.  They headed north and with the help of Union Soldiers crossed the Mississippi River and entered Illinois which was a "free" state.  They settled in the town of Quincy.  Martha and her oldest boy, Charley, were able to get jobs at the Harris Tobacco Company which made cigars.  Augustus looked after his little sister, Anne.  He also began spending a lot of time standing across the street from St. Peter's Church which was not far from the rooms they lived in.  Augustus Tolton's life was about to change.

The pastor of St. Peter's was an Irish American priest, Father Peter McGirr.  Father McGirr had noticed a shabbily dressed African-American boy spending an inordinate amount of time near the church.  After several days had went by Father walked across the street and introduced himself to the boy. After a brief conversation Father asked him, " Well now lad, do you go to school?"

"No sir."

"Would you like to go to school?"

Augustus jumped into the air and yelled, "YES Sir, YES!"

Father McGirr and Augustus headed to St. Peter's.  The priest's move was very controversial and most of the white parishioners did not want a black student being taught along with their children.  Father McGirr held firm and insisted that Augustus study at St. Peter's.  He got permission from Augustus' mom, who was shocked that this had happened to her son.  Augustus Tolton's life had been placed on the road to his destiny.

Father McGirr may have been moved by the Holy Spirit because he saw something in Augustus that others did not.  Within one month the boy had moved on to "second reader".  Father approached Augustus and asked him if he would like to receive his First Holy Communion.  He did, and by the summer Augustus was the altar boy for the 5 a.m. Mass.  After several years Father McGirr asked Augustus if he would like to become a priest.  He told him it would take about 12 years of hard study and dedication.  Augustus said, "Let us go to the church and pray for my success."

Father Augustus Tolton
After graduation and with the unwavering support of Father McGirr, Augustus attempted to get into a seminary.  This was the 1870's and prejudice was almost taken for granted.  Augustus was rejected by every American seminary to which he applied.  Augustus did not despair, lose hope, or begin to get bitter.  On the contrary, he continued to pray and his prayers, combined with the undaunted determination of Father McGirr enabled him to gain admission to St. Francis Solanus College (now Quincy College) in Quincy, Ill.

Augustus proved to be a brilliant student and upon graduation was accepted into the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome.  Founded by Pope Urban VIII in the 17th century, this was a training ground for missionaries.  It was here that Augustus became fluent in Italian as well as studying Greek and Latin.  In 1886, at the age of 32, Augustus Tolton was ordained to the priesthood in Rome.  He was the first black Roman Catholic priest in the United States.

Newspapers from across the country told the story of the former slave now ordained as a Catholic priest.  When Father Tolton arrived back in Quincy he was greeted as a hero.  A brass band played and Negro spirituals were sung as thousands of  people, both white and black, sang together, lined the streets together and held hands together as they waited to catch a glimpse of the former slave boy who had been ordained a Catholic priest.

Father Tolton walked down the avenue dressed in his cassock and wearing the biretta.  When he arrived at St. Boniface Church, hundreds were crowded inside wanting to receive his blessing.  His very first blessing went to Father McGirr who was still by his side. The next day Father Tolton said his first Mass at the church which was once again packed inside while thousands of others stood outside. For these few days prejudices in Quincy, Illinois, were non-existent.  They had been replaced by love of God instead.

Father Tolton remained at St. Boniface's for five years.  He did meet with stiff resistance as prejudice once again reared its ugly head.  But Father persevered and managed to start St. Joseph's Parish in Quincy.  In 1892  he was transferred to Chicago and headed a mission group that met in the basement of St. Mary's Church.  This led him to develop the Negro National Parish of St. Monica's Catholic Church.  He was such a kind, caring man that he came to be know as "Good Father Gus".  The church grew quickly and soon had over 600 parishioners.  His next plan was to oversee new construction at St. Monica's which had begun  to accommodate the swelling numbers of parishioners.  He would not live to see it.

Father Tolton had been ill for quite some time and had never told anyone.  On a steaming July day in 1897, with the temperature at 105 degrees, Father Tolton was returning from a retreat in Bourbonnais, Ill.  When he stepped from the train he collapsed.  Taken to the hospital, he died a few hours later from sunstroke. The heat wave had killed him.  He was only 43 years old.  His community was shocked.  They had lost a dear friend.  Father Tolton was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery near Quincy.

On March 2010, Cardinal George of Chicago, announced that he was beginning the cause for canonization for Father Tolton.  On February 24, 2011, the Catholic Church officially began the formal introduction of the cause for sainthood. Father Augustus Tolton is now designated officially as "Servant of God".

 If 125 years ago white people and black people could join hands in song to honor a black Catholic priest, why could something like this not happen again?  We need to ask the Servant of God, Father Augustus Tolton, for his  intercession  to help us now with our own individual prejudices.  Maybe instead of the animus displayed in Ferguson, Missouri we could once again join in prayer and remember people like Father Tolton, a slave who persevered and became a Catholic priest.  Maybe instead of a Ferguson, Missouri we could have a replay of a Quincy, Illinois circa 1889.  With God, anything is possible.  Maybe a new Augustus Tolton will step from the shadows  and unite us all in brotherhood.

August 20, 2014

Evil Infects All of History: James Foley was Murdered because He Represented Goodness

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The brutal murder of journalist, James Foley, had nothing to do with James Foley.  It had to do with the fact that the man represented Goodness.  Satan, in complete charge of his conquered souls, has had them inflicting horror and terror and barbaric acts of murder and cruelty on, not only men, but on women and children as well.  This evil has been with us since time immemorial.  Let us travel back a mere 71 years and meet a sweet and kindly lady by the name of Sister Maria Restituta.

May 1, 1894, was a happy day for Anton and Marie Kafka.  Marie had just given birth to her sixth child and mom and her daughter were doing fine.  The proud parents named their new baby, Helena.  Devout Catholics, Anton and Marie had Helena baptized  into the faith thirteen days later at the parish of The Church of the Assumption, in the town oh Husovice in Austria.   Due to financial circumstances, Anton was forced to move his family to the big city of Vienna.  Helena was barely two and she and her siblings would remain in Vienna where they would all grow up.

Helena was a good student and worked hard.  She received her First Holy Communion in May of 1905 in St. Brigitta Church and was confirmed in the same church one year later.  After eight years of school she spent another year in housekeeping  school and by the age of 15 was working as a servant, a cook and learning to be a nurse.  She became an assistant nurse at Lainz City Hospital in 1913.  This was when Helena  first had contact with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.  She immediately felt the call to become a Sister herself.  On April 25, 1914, Helena Kafka, joined the Franciscan Sisters and on October 23, 1915, she became Sister Maria Restituta.  One year later she made her final vows and began working solely as a nurse.

SisterRestituta.jpg
Blessed Maria Restituta
When World War I  ended, Sister Maria  was lead surgical nurse at Modling Hospital in Vienna.  She and all other Austrians had never heard of Adolf Hitler and could never have imagined that one day their beloved nation would be annexed into the German Republic because of this man.  On March 12, 1938, a successful coup d'etat by the Austrian Nazi party took place and the Nazis, under the now feared, Adolf Hitler, took control of the once proud Austrian nation.  Things would never be the same.

Sister Restituta was very outspoken in her opposition to the Nazi regime. When a new wing to the hospital was built Sister hung a Crucifix in each of the new bedrooms.  The Nazis demanded that they be removed telling Sister Maria that she would be dismissed if she did not comply.  She adamantly refused and the Crucifixes remained on the walls.  One of the doctors on staff, himself a fanatical Nazi, would have  none of it.  He denounced her to the Nazi Party and, on Ash Wednesday,  1942, she was arrested by the Gestapo as she exited the operating room.  The "charges" against her included   "hanging crucifixes and writing a poem that mocked Hitler".

Sister Maria Restituta, the former Helena Kafka, loved her Catholic faith and, filled with the Holy Spirit, wanted to do nothing more than to serve the sick.  The Nazis promptly sentenced her to death by guillotine for "favouring the enemy and conspiracy to commit high treason".  The Nazis offered her freedom if she would abandon the Franciscans she loved so much.  She refused.

An appeal for clemency went as far as the desk of Martin Bormann, Hitler's personal secretary and Nazi Party Chancellor.  His response was that her execution "would provide effective intimidation for others who might want to resist the Nazis".  Sister Maria Restituta spent her final days in prison caring for the sick.  Because of her love of the Crucifix and for the Person who was nailed to it and died hanging on it,  Sister Maria was sent to the guillotine and was beheaded on March 30, 1943.  She was 48 years old.

Pope John Paul II visited Vienna on June 21, 1998.  That was the day that Helena Kafka, the girl who started off in housekeeping school and became a servant and then went on to be a nurse in the Franciscan Sisters of Charity, was beatified by the Pope and became Blessed Maria Restituta. She had learned how to serve extremely well, always serving others before herself.

Let us ask Blessed Maria that she pray for the repose of the soul of James Foley who was murdered by the forces of evil because he, too, represented Goodness.  We ask her to remember his family and friends as they deal with this terrible abomination done to their loved one.  We also ask Blessed Maria and all the saints to pray for us all.
                                                                                                             

August 16, 2014

Hey Atheists--Why Can't You Leave Us Deists Alone?

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The FFRF (a snappy little acronym for the "Freedom From Religion Foundation") was in the news again.  Their latest inane protest demanding the U.S. Navy  get rid of all Bibles at guest hotels  had been granted.  NEXCOM (a pronounceable acronym for "Navy Exchange Service Command") decided in favor of FFRF and agreed to remove Bibles from 34 Navy locations and 24,000 Navy Gateway Inns and Suites guest rooms on Navy bases around the world.  Hey man, they did not even have to go to court and argue before a judge.  No sir, the Navy just agreed to it.  That was in June.  Ah, but hope triumphed and a wee bit of good old-fashioned American common sense finally prevailed.  The United States Navy has ordered the return of all Bibles to the hotel rooms.  This is just one example of FFRF's intrusiveness into the lives and practices of the millions of Americans who believe in God.  Whatever is their problem?

I am so bewildered with this atheist thing.  Okay, you want to be an atheist, knock yourself out.  Sit under a tree and caress a falling leaf.  That is your American right.  Just remember, we deists do not care.  I can guarantee you that we will not try to stop you from snuggling and  honoring your fallen leaf.  But--why do you CARE that there are billions of your fellow human beings who do  believe in God?  If you do not believe in God can't you just be happy leaving us alone?  Oh, I see, you are offended?   Well, if that is the case, it is time you got over it. Grow up and thank the God you do NOT believe in for the very freedom that allows you to mock, belittle, disparage and continually tear down the rest of us.

 Look my friend(s), you are hypocrites and do not even know it.  You live in a country that gives ALL of us the FREEDOM to worship God.  If you have a problem understanding this, let me explain:  freedom does, in fact, include all of us deists.  Amendement One says,  'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING the free exercise thereof."  Therefore, it follows, that you guys want to use your freedom to PROHIBIT us God believers from enjoying our freedom to believe.  That, my atheist, nontheist friends, makes you all  hypocrites.  And you call yourselves, "Freethinkers".  Well, may I please ask, are not the rest of us allowed to think freely or have YOU decided that we should not enjoy that freedom?

How would you like it if there was a group called "You Must Accept Christianity" or YMAC.   In their zealousness to save all souls they decided that all atheists must be baptized in the Potomac River.  They go to court and quote George Washington who said, "The adoption of the Constitution will demonstrate as visibly the finger of  PROVIDENCE as any possible event in the course of human affairs can ever designate."  Incidentally,  the word PROVIDENCE, has often been used as the "name of God".

Okay, now what if they found a judge who ruled that Washington's quote proves that the US Constitution is indeed, founded with belief in God as a basis.  Then the same judge  rules it is illegal to NOT worship God on Sundays.  How would that work out for you?   Are you not doing exactly that but in reverse?  Are you not weakening the Constitution that was put in place by men who strove so hard to protect the Americans of the future?   If you lived in Iran, China, North Korea, and so many other places you could NEVER get away with protesting the way you and so many others do in America.  Why in the name of all that is GOOD, do you want to strip that freedom away from others?

I shall finish with this.  The United States of America  is still the most formidable bastion of freedom on this planet.  You are weakening this nation with your silly and preposterous  attacks on those who hold a different belief system than you do.  I wish you all would step back and think about what you are really doing when you try to strip the rights of those you disagree with away from them.  You are promulgating government sponsored atheism. By the way,  China leads the world in having the most atheists.  They have almost a 50% atheist population.  The United States only has a 5%-9% atheist population.  Something you all might think about because if you get so overly offended by all of America's religions you do have options.

August 12, 2014

Meet Little "Christy": She was Murdered by Satan's "Mad Dogs"

WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS (RAW) - ISIS begins killing Christians in Mosul, CHILDREN BEHEADED
NO WORDS CAN DESCRIBE THIS
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The picture to the right is beyond description.  It may be the most depraved picture I have ever seen.  Yes, that is a baby, maybe  12 to 14 months old.  Yes, the "mad dogs" who were about to kill her took the photo before doing so.  They wanted to use it to instill fear in others they also hate.  So they posted it wherever they could.  For me the picture is absolutely haunting  because it seems you can actually sense a desperate pleading spread over the innocent face of this beautiful child.

I do not not know her name but, since she was a Christian child,  I have named her Christy.  Satan, using the blackened souls in his possession, had Christy murdered.  The depraved savages doing his heinous bidding  made that choice.  They did not have to but they did.  They embraced Satan and allowed him to turn their souls into nothing more than excrement.  They actually  laughed as they murdered little Christy. Yes, they laughed.  Christy probably was just aching to be held by her mom who had already been killed.  (I wish that I could reach into that photo and yank her little body out of there, give her a bottle, a hug, wrap her in a blanket and bring her to her mom.)  Damn!

We Americans are so blessed to be citizens of the greatest country there ever was.  We are a unique nation, a nation comprised of  people from all other nations.  We are the true "melting pot" and because of our diversity we are connected to each other.  We have many freedoms, freedoms that are based on a Natural Law which is derived from our Judeo-Christian foundation.  Our natural resources are  abundant and our soil is dark and rich and provides food not only for us but for millions around the world.  We are, as President Reagan said, "that shining city on the hill".  (There are those that think not but, indeed we are.)

Along with that lofty place on the world stage and having been blessed with so many natural resources and freedoms comes a responsibility.  This responsibility is for the less fortunate around the world.   We have an obligation to the persecuted and downtrodden, to the hungry and the poor, to the sick and elderly, to the children and their future---to babies like Christy.  "God shed His Light on Thee and Crown Thy Good with Brotherhood".  How often have we all sung those words?  How often we have left rivers of our American  blood and priceless American treasure behind while being "brotherly"?  In our own imperfect way we have tried, over and over and over and we should be proud of our efforts.

Through wars and hurricanes and tsunamis and earthquakes and plagues, we Americans have always been ready to help whether it be with food, water, medicine, clothing, money and whatever else, including soldiers, that was needed.  We ALWAYS tried to "Crown His Good with Brotherhood".  That is because we Americans are connected to each other and that connection goes further than "from sea to shining sea".  It moves onward across the oceans like giant tentacles reaching out and latching  onto people all over the world.  This included Christy and I guarantee you that somehow we are linked  to that child.

If I sound a bit like a "pollyanna" I do not care.  I know that it seems that our country has lost some of the respect we had and has been diminished in the eyes of some folks around the world.  Some of our own leaders have belittled our greatness.  No matter, God has shed His Light on us even though some are spitting in His benevolent Face.  But nothing has changed. We Americans still have the greatest country with the most plentiful resources and abundant crops. We still have our great freedoms although slowly some have been infringed upon.  Having been blessed with these gifts it follows that we still have the responsibility to be a 'big brother" to our less fortunate and weaker family members.                    

The "mad dogs" who murdered  baby Christy want to murder each and every one of us too.  As distasteful as it may seem we must always do our best to "Crown His Good with Brotherhood".  We cannot protect and/or save the world but when vicious barbarians with 7th century brains and 21st century equipment start murdering (in the most brutal ways)  men, women, children and babies and these desperate folks plead for the USA to help them, we must.  That is also part of our Manifest Destiny and we cannot ignore it.  It is time we  showed our muscle, acted like a big-brother and  helped smash those cowards to smithereens, using whatever means are necessary to achieve that end.  If Christy has a brother or sister  they need us NOW.
  

August 8, 2014

Depravity in Oklahoma---The Ultimate Denigration of Catholicism: The "black mass"

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

We Catholics have a prayer which we recite and it is directed to St. Michael the Archangel.  Pope Leo XIII wrote this prayer back in 1886 and it was recited virtually every day at all Low Masses from that time until the late 1960s.  Then the  Vatican II reforms began to be implemented and the prayer was more or less discontinued although it was still recited at different liturgical functions.  St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI both encouraged  more recitation of this prayer and it is once again being recited more frequently  in many Catholic Churches.  Here is the prayer:

St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander around the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Why do we have such a prayer.  Many people do not even believe  in Satan or "evil spirits". Many folks, including some Catholics, do not even believe in a place called "Hell".  However, many people do and that includes those who "worship"  Hell's leader, Satan  (he has other names too).  The Catholic Church declares that both Heaven and Hell do exist.  In fact, both places are mentioned in our profession of faith which is recited at Mass.

The point of all this is that the Mass, the most beautiful thing this side of heaven, is the very life, death and resurrection of Christ Himself.  Christ instituted and offered the First Mass on the First Holy Thursday at His Last Supper.  The Mass, with the ordained priest standing in Christ's place,  has allowed  Christ's redemptive victory to continue and  take place at every moment of every day somewhere on this planet ever since.  May I please ask, is there something wrong with that?  If you do not believe it or understand it, why do you care?  How can such a  beautiful thing about Love and Forgiveness offend you?

This magnificent gift that we Catholics embrace as Heaven sent  is going to be denigrated by Satanists who want to hold a "black mass" at the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall on September 21.  (What is a "black mass"?  You can click on the link for detailed info.)  This abomination about to take place is nothing new.  Hatred for Christ and His Christian followers has been going on for centuries.  To prove that point, look what is happening at this very moment in the Middle East.  What is being done to our brother and sister Christians is horrendous and fills the definition of "crimes against humanity".

So,  I must ask another question,  "Are you American Christian haters happy about Christian genocide?  Do you like what ISIS is doing to thousands of men, women and children?  Do you approve of what Hitler and his evil followers did to millions?  Why do you people want to mock us?   What do you get out of it?  You have even managed to get your hands on a "consecrated host" and supposedly have a convicted sex offender ready to do the honor of desecrating it.  Do you really hate us and what we believe so much?"

As far as I am concerned, you few people who have this twisted need to spit in the faces of well over one billion of us Catholics by dishonoring and desecrating the worship we hold so dear to our hearts, are reprehensible.  You have polluted your God given minds with Satan's droppings.  I feel sorry for you.  However, I do have a bit of good news for all of you self-serving misanthropists.  We Catholics will be praying for you and we will be praying the very prayer that appears in this column.  In fact, millions of us will be doing so on Sunday, September 21.

Finally,  If you happen to hear an unusual knock  as your sex-pervert begins his desecration of our Blessed Lord, you might pay attention to it.   You have kidnapped  our Savior and  He is there  under the appearances of a small round piece of unleavened bread.  St. Michael will be the one knocking.  You still will have a chance to stop your nonsense.  God is Love and will always be ready to embrace you.  But that is your choice.  If you do not, you will NEVER get past St. Michael the Archangel and then,  God help you all.