Monday, November 30, 2009


We have come to the end of a liturgical year. The cycle is complete and once more a new Liturgical year opens with the season of Advent, a word from Latin origin meaning “coming”. And for us Christians of course this is the coming of the Lord, the miracle of the incarnation, another Latin word meaning to take on flesh. This is because the awesome act of God, the creator of the universe, of all that is visible and invisible, who stands outside his creation in unlimited freedom and power, taking the form of a human being, sharing with his creation the frailties, weaknesses and humble condition of the flesh.

Imagine that! To give us an idea of the immensity of God’s act is to think of a human being taking the form of an ant and sharing with the ants their anthill. Except that in the case of God the difference is incomparably and infinitely greater than the between the ant humans. At least we and the ants share a carbon based, genetically encoded fleshly constitution. God is spirit and his greatness is so vast that is unfathomable for us humans. Think of it, God created the universe, trillions and trillions of stars, galaxies in which our earth is less than a grain of sand in the beach. This same God created the genetic code; governs the atoms, quarks and other infinitesimal particles. This is power and greatness in an unthinkable scale.

Just like a play writer or a novelist creates his work, so God did create our destinies. And yet He chooses to come down, to humble Himself to become a human, a man born of a young girl in a specific time and place. He who is outside time and space enters these dimensions in the form of a man. He who has complete and absolute power will be limited by a human body that will be hungry, tired, limited in scope of action. He who has no beginning and no end, who was there present at the Big Bang and will be there present when the universe ends, eons and eons of existence, He became mortal in the flesh and blood form of a the man Jesus.

Why did God choose to do this? That is a mystery. But we know that God gave us freedom and that He will not force His will on us. I guess He could have thundered and announced His presence (well actually He did at Mount Sinai and yet the Jews rebelled any way). He could have intervened directly in our affairs (well actually He has done this too, repeatedly). But we are such a stubborn lot that none of this things will suffice to make us choose what is good. Jesus recounts in one of his parables how Abraham tells the rich man in hell who begs him to raise the dead so they can warn his brothers of their impending lot, just like his, in hell forever; And yet Abraham tells him that they already have the Law and the Prophets, surely they will not even listen to someone rising from the dead. So God sends Jesus, to announce God’s Kingdom of mercy and love. Jesus enters humanity to form a group of frail, weak humans and send them like yeast in the dough, to ferment the whole batch and transform the world. Jesus, God’s own son, indeed God in the flesh, enters history to transform it. And yes, he even rises from among the dead knowing full well that many will not even believe this.

God’s redemption through the death of His son is another great mystery. But we are told in God’s word that this death paid a debt owed by all humankind. The heavy debt of our sins paid in full so that from now on it will only take an act of the will; repentance and faith in Jesus to obtain God’s mercy. By entering into space and time, God in Jesus will now take us out of space and time into everlasting life. Just as He became low, suffered and died and then rose, so he allows us now to be exalted, to be taken up into a new dimension where death no longer will exist, where suffering will end. Just as He became a human so now he will make us into gods. Not gods in the idolatrous sense or to be compared to God, but gods in the sense that once redeemed and entering this new dimension, our bodies will become new, full of life, eternal, outside time and space. All we need to have this is Jesus himself, having faith in Him and living for him. Our small sacrifice here on earth has already been paid in full by Jesus to ensure our entrance in the glorious dimension of what we know as “heaven”.

This season of Advent when we re-live the time of expectation that Israel had for the coming of the Savior, we need to reflect, to think hard about our lives. We need to measure our faith, our behaviors, and our response to God. In times past Advent was actually a “small lent”, a season for austere recollection and sacrifice, a time to give and to give up. The Church, that group of people left here on earth by Jesus to transform it, reminds us that in this season of expectation and anticipation we need to think about those others who have less than we do and invites us to give them some of what we have more. Advent is a time for quiet expectation and thoughtful judgment of our shortcomings so that when the time comes we can rejoice in the coming of our Savior.

As this New Liturgical Year starts, may we think about our sins, repent, change and live for our Lord in those he entrust to us. And then when the time comes, may we rejoice in his coming and the Great Good News of his birth among men.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Bishop, The Conressman and Catholic Teaching

There has been a controversy in the last few weeks between Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Rhode Island and Congressman Patrick Kennedy who represents the same state in the U.S. Congress.

The controversy at issue has escalated because of the Congressman’s public and harsh criticism of the Catholic Church for not supporting abortion in the Health Care bill initiative initially in the U.S. House of Representatives and now in the U.S. Senate.

In view of Patrick Kennedy’s public criticisms and responses, Bishop Tobin has answered the accusations publicly, even when the initial request from the bishop from the congressman to refrain from communion was originally issued privately in 2007. Kennedy chose last week to divulge this request from the bishop publicly.

The basic issue is that Bishop Tobin has asked Representative Kennedy to refrain from taking communion because of his support for abortion in general and in particular his push to have it inserted into the healthcare reform and funded with taxpayer’s money. In addition Representative Kennedy supports other legal initiatives in favor of homosexual marriage, embryonic stem cell research, cloning and other stances that in direct opposition to the doctrine and beliefs of the Catholic Church.

The issue here is not weather Rep. Kennedy or any other elected politician should obey any religious leader’s order to vote one way or another; the issue is that if the congressman chooses to vote for abortion or any other issue at odds with his Catholic faith he in all effects breaks communion with his Church and commits a grave sin in accordance with Catholic doctrine and law. Patrick Kennedy is free to vote his conscience, but he is not free to do so and still consider himself a Catholic in good standing and partake of the Lord’s body and blood in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Catholic doctrine teaches that a mortal sin precludes one from the privilege (and communion is always a privilege and not a right) of communion. In order for the person to come back for communion he or she needs to repent, that is change their course, make a confession (which is the external expression of penance and contrition for the sins made and the lawful authority of the Church to forgive). Procuring an abortion, helping someone get an abortion, cooperating in the sinful structure of power that has legalized and supported abortion are all mortal sins that automatically set the person apart from communion.

In the end the person alone is responsible to make the decision to abide or not by the commandments and instructions of his or her faith. No power in the United States is going to make Mr. Kennedy or any other politician vote against his or her own conscience. Yet at the same time they should not expect to have the cake and eat it too. If you choose to vote against the teachings of your Church, do not expect this same Church and indeed Christ, to take you back without condition.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


How shocking! A Catholic bishop that actually upholds Church teaching, see the note from Channel 5 in Cincinnati:

"CINCINNATI -- A volunteer religious teacher has been dismissed in Cincinnati after writing a letter to the editor backing a Roman Catholic nun ordered to stop teaching for supporting women priests.

Dr. Carol Egner said she has been told she can longer teach her Old Testament class to sixth-graders at Our Lady of Lourdes parish.

The archbishop of the Cincinnati Archdiocese recently banned a nun, Sister of Charity Louise Akers, from teaching at parishes and institutions after 40 years because she supports the ordination of women as priests. Akers says she refused to renounce her support of women priests as a matter of conscience.

Egner's pastor said his decision is not part of a crackdown on dissent. Rev. David Sunberg said parish teachers must follow church teachings. "

Well, the gall of the bishop by requiring a member of his teaching stuff to abide by the Church’s magisterium and teaching.

Art and the pope

From the BBC today:

“The Pope has announced plans to hold a summit later this year with around 500 international artists.

The move is believed to be an attempt by the Vatican to mend relations with the contemporary art world.

It's being seen as an overture by the Vatican to mend relations with the contemporary art world after Pope Benedict XVI condemned a sculpture by German artist Martin Kippenberger of a crucified green frog. "

“Mend relations with the contemporary art world” What kind of contemporary art world any way? The note from the BBC is tendentious as usual because it implies that the pope is virtually asking the “contemporary art world” (whatever that means) for forgiveness. The art world in our days is a wilderness where there are a few precious examples of beauty but where nihilism, vulgarity, mediocrity and plain hatred of our Church are manifested.

Frogs crucified, crucifixes submerged in urine, a portrait of the Virgin Mary smeared with excrement, portrayals of men performing oral sex on our Lord Jesus, a naked Virgin; that is the contemporary world of art. Not that all modern art is corrupted but a vast majority of what goes for art these days is just ugly and mediocre expressions of so called artists that have a deviant mind.

The note also reflects the thought of the media and liberal Catholics who think the Church should change to accommodate the world and not the other way around.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Santa Muerte, the Cult of Death and the Drug Wars in Mexico

You can see many when walking along the curious shops of Avenida Juarez in Juarez, Mexico. They come in all sizes and materials, from crude plaster to refined gold, from small pewter crudely made figurines to golden and gaudy pendants from thick necklaces. In all of its forms and sizes the figure remains basically the same, a skeleton dressed in a black robe a sickle with a long handled held in one of the bony hands. It is basically the equivalent of the Grim Ripper in American lore, with the void eye sockets of the skull peering in macabre fashion from inside the hood. There is one for any price range and they may include pamphlets or booklets with prayers dedicated to the grim figure. This is the "Santa Muerte" or "The Holy Death". Yet the name does not express the traditional Catholic concept of dying a "good" or "holy" death by being ready to meet the creator through a good life and receiving the Catholic sacraments during the final hour. No, the concept of this figure is that of Saint for those many that raise prayers to it and expect favors and protection. Perhaps a better translation would be "Saint Death".

Saint Death has a wide and devout following in Mexico, most of all in the northern border cities. But to say that this personage is identified with other traditional Catholic Saints is a mistake. Of course the official Catholic doctrine is that only God is to be worshiped. Saints receive reverence as exemplary people who led a Christian life. The Church says that prayers can be directed to these Saints for intercession. Any miracles or "favors" are the work of God and not the Saint. But Saint Death is, clearly, not a Catholic Saint. The Church has condemned the cult of the sinister "Saint". But this does not discourage millions of Mexicans who pray, ask for help, seek protection, elevate curses and offer sacrifice to the Santa Muerte.

Devotees of this grim character offer "gifts" to the figure. Most offer tobacco, a smoking a cigar spreading the smoke towards the image, some offer alcohol or even food or money. The figurine is either kept in a household "altar" or wore as a pendant on a neck chain or both. Candles are lit, incense is burnt and prayers said to ask the grim character to attract a lover, get a job, protection from death or misfortune. The prayers are usually adorned with Christian words, but the true element is pagan, asking this figure for favors and protection. The prayers can also be curses, directed against enemies, gang rivals, and former lovers. These curses can ask for vengeance, for constant unrest for the victim, even for death. Clearly no Christian Saint is going to intercede for such horrible prayers.

Some sociologist, anthropologist or enthusiasts of Mexican native mythologies (many very hostile to Christianity and to the Catholic Church) see the Santa Muerte as a reinvention of the Aztec gods and goddesses. Some of the most enthusiastic apologists of the practice declare this a "people" religion in opposition to the Christian deity and to Christ. In truth the cult of the Santa Muerte is syncretistic since it uses Christian imagery and words, similar to the Voodoo cult.

The cult is widespread and in the last few years has been adopted and propagated by drug traffickers. The Santa Muerte has become a cultural and religious expression of the most violent. With drug money the Santa Muerte has now even chapels where the idol is worshiped. And not only the gang members worship there but also their families and many other people not even related to the gangs who have also adopted this strange "Saint" who in reality is a pagan god of the most dark kind.

What is revealing is that the Santa Muerte cult rise coincided with the increase in violence in the Mexican side of the border with the U.S. We can say that the cult to the dark idol took off almost simultaneously with the drug violence. This violence has reached the most horrific levels of cruelty and wantonness. Since late 2006 to date more than 15,000 people have died in Mexico in the drug wars. Ciudad Juarez, the eye of the storm in this horrific wave of lawlessness has left anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 victims in 2008 and this year looks to be even more bloody. Is the emergence of the worship of "Death" and the horrific violence coincidence?

Santa Muerte has a faithful following of millions in Mexico, most of all in the northern Mexican states and in cities like Juarez that are plagued by violence, murder and lawlessness. But who is the Santa Muerte? Death of course is nothing. It is the lack of life. Spiritual death is the condemnation of the soul to eternal separation from God a conscious form that negates life. Death came into the world through sin and in the last days, according to Sacred Scripture, death will be vanquished and thrown into the fiery lake with Satan and the Antichrist. So in effect the devotees of Death are worshiping an empty idol. Death cannot offer anything but only the negation of life. Praying to the "Santa Muerte" is like praying to a shadow or a void, it is trusting in something that is nothing and will be nothing. Faith in death is faith in that which lacks life and can offer only corruption, darkness, emptiness and hopelessness.

But who is really behind this macabre idol? The actual statue or figurine of course means nothing; it is mute and blind and cannot do anything in itself. But there is a dark spiritual power behind the worship of this thing. It is the power of the prince of this world and his minions. It is the power of hate, murder and violence. A power that despises all that is human, good and godly. It is the power of the destroyer of life who in his rage seduces people to worship this false idol and captures them in the web of evil that it produces. Santa Muerte is Satan. And we can see his horrible work in the thousands of murders and slaughter that have bloodied Mexico, in the degradation of young people who become cold blooded killers and embrace a life of sin. Santa Muerte offers sex, power, money, drugs. But of course because this is the work of the Devil and he is a liar and a murderer from the beginning, the "benefits" the idol are also a lie and a trap for those who follow it.

As Christians we need to pray to the one and only true provider of all that is good. To God through His Son Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, we need to reject to worship of this horrible idol. We need to direct our young and our families and all those who we know to never pick up such horrible practice and if they have taken it up, to abandon it immediately. Those who have these idols in their houses or possession need to destroy them, and renounce this superstition. As we said, the actual physical idol has no power, but putting our faith on this dark spirit is a rebellion against God.

Ciudad Juarez and many other cities in Mexico are the grip of a spiritual chokehold. We need to pray so that the spiritual powers that have brought the violence leave. We need to dedicate our lives and our families to the good, to Christ. Family by family is how the battle is won. Our weapons are not bullets but prayer. Our alternative should not be hate, violence and empty lawlessness but love according to the love of Christ.

Dear Lord Jesus forgive us our sins, restore our holiness and show us the way of truth. Help us reject the evil idol known as Santa Muerte and free our nation and cities from this instrument of the Enemy. In particular we pray for Ciudad Juarez, that the violence and wickedness brought by the unseen spiritual realities of the evil one may be driven away by the prayers of the faithful, here on earth and in heaven. We pray for our youth who have been corrupted by the influence of Satan. May your Holy Angles protect us and may your Holy Spirit drive to repentance those who are trapped in the circle of violence and murder. Dear Jesus Christ, Only Son of the Father, be the King of Ciudad Juarez and Mexico and vanquish this idol in chains to hell where it belongs.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Hoy se celebra la fiesta de San Lorenzo, diacono y mártir del tercer siglo.
En la Roma Imperial el aborto era común, el infanticidio practicado constantemente, la eutanasia por medio del suicidio era el recurso de los que se sentían acorralados por el sistema imperial. Famosos emperadores como Nerón practicaban el homosexualismo abiertamente y querían imponer su desviación en toda la población del Imperio. Un imperio global imponía su tolerancia a todas las religiones siempre y cuando le rindieran culto a Cesar y con esto los habitantes del imperio podían gozar del libre comercio, los medios de comunicación, y el entretenimiento para las masas en el circo. Pan y Circo. Por más que cambian las cosas más se quedan igual.
En esta época el imperio atravesaba por una de sus crisis financieras y el emperador Valeriano necesitaba los recursos para seguir financiando sus programas públicos como la compra de trigo para la distribución cotidiana a los ciudadanos sin empleos, pagar por los juegos gladiatorios de gran envergadura y satisfacer su lujuria por la riqueza y el poder. Como una solución a su dilema el emperador decidió iniciar una persecución de los cristianos ya que estos se negaban a ofrecer el sacrificio obligatorio de lealtad al emperador, ofrecer una pizca de incienso al altar del ‘dios’ emperador y llamarlo señor. Los cristianos solo tenían un señor: Jesús Cristo.
Pronto la persecución cobro sus víctimas, entre ellos el obispo de Roma Sixto y sus sacerdotes y diáconos. El emperador pedía que se le revelase donde estaba el oro y la plata de los cristianos. Lorenzo, diacono en Roma ofreció al emperador mostrarle el ora y la plata, los tesoros de los cristianos. El emperador le dio tres días para reunir los tesoros y traerlos al foro. Al final del plazo Lorenzo se presentó con una multitud de pobres en harapos, esclavos, sirvientes, lisiados, viejos, huérfanos y otros que para el imperio eran lo peor de lo peor. Cuando el emperador pregunto a Lorenzo en donde estaba el tesoro, este le mostro la multitud de pobres “aquí están los tesoros de la iglesia”.
El emperador furioso ordeno que Lorenzo fuera torturado, para lo cual se eligió asarlo vivo sobre un fuego lento en una parrilla. Dice la historia que cuando su cuerpo estaba totalmente quemado por la espalda el santo dijo “ya está bien cocinado, ahora volteadme para quedar bien”.
San Lorenzo se negó a conformarse a la imagen del imperio de este mundo y decidió recibir el martirio en el espíritu de Cristo conformándose a la imagen de Dios.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Catholic Life is Lived through the Sacraments

When I was finally confirmed in the Holy Catholic Church at the age of 35 our RCIA (Rite of Catholic Initiation of Adults) instructor gave us his final recommendation "practice your faith" he said.

This led me to find a way to practice the faith. Of course prayer, bible reading, getting involved in parish life in different endeavors, but as the years progressed many of these activities ran their course. After several years together my small community disintegrated, the result of people moving to other cities, others getting occupied in their lives, still others went into other groups and areas to serve the Church. Other activities like that of lector (reading the biblical passages that are part of the mass), catechist, evangelization, etc., they all ran their course. In a lapse of almost fifteen years I have moved from my original city.

Another way I looked for a constant refreshment of my faith and commitment to the Church was through reading. And reading I did, dozens, hundreds, thousands of books that accumulated into a rather large collection for a private home. Finally my 6,000 book collection lost about half of its volumes when I moved again from South Texas to Massachusetts. You don't really want to know how much it costs to move boxes loaded with books.

Other friends and Catholic acquaintances have suggested serving in food lines. Give alms to the poor, volunteer in other activities. All of these are worthwhile and necessary ways to live your Christian life, but in the end these also can become stale, routine and with time all things pass. In fact many committed Catholics have found that they can be involved in so many activities that they end by over committing, neglecting their families and jobs.

But then I remembered something I read while preparing to teach pre-baptismal instruction to parents. In one of those old mimeographed copies of a typed manual for baptismal class instructors there was a whole lesson on "Sacramental Living".

The Sacraments provide the true way of living a Catholic life providing the roadmap for a lifetime relationship with Christ and His Church. Rooted in the ministry of Christ and instituted by Him, these are the means to partake of God's grace and guide us in our pilgrimage in life, from birth to death. By exercising our duty and privilege in partaking of these gifts of grace we can always maintain a close relationship with God, Christ and His Church. Even in times when prayer is dry and our faith seems small and God may seem far, the Sacraments are always available, always active in giving us a lighted pathway in what can be the darkness of life.

There are, of course, seven Sacraments instituted by Christ and ministered by the Church. These seven Sacraments are the road markers that show the way of a Christian's life and are intimately related to our life cycle. From the moment of our spiritual birth at baptism to the end of earthly life the sacraments are always present and available to give God's gifts to His people. And the greatest thing is that we do not have to engage in any extraordinary activity. The sacraments provide a constant source of transformation, conversion, repentance and rebirth.

What is a Sacrament? The Church magisterium has said in the past that a Sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace. God uses those things that our senses can see, feel, perceive to indicate that He is always present and lovingly giving us His free gift of fellowship. He uses water, fire, oil, salt and words to indicate that His awesome transforming power is working within us to make us into what He wants. Through the road of our lives the Sacraments are the map if you will, the charting course to unite us with God, to make us his sons and daughters, to purify, to cleanse, to strengthen, to consecrate us into our vocations in life.

This is the way to practice the faith. Each day we can partake of God's Sacraments, and even those that are only given once in a lifetime (Marriage, Holy Orders, Confirmation, and Baptism) provide the character of our vocation as persons and point to the direction of our lives. The Catholic can find a route marked by God and given by His Son to lead a holy life. The Sacraments provide this route and help us to enter into holiness by way of conversion and transformation. We do not have to reinvent the wheel in order to have a relationship with Christ, the Sacraments point to the way and gives us the necessary grace.

Baptism, Penance, Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick (also known as Extreme Unction) are the seven signs of God's grace. In further blogs I will touch on each one as the wonderful markers of the life of faith, the fount of holiness and the way to a close relationship with the Triune God. If we partake of these we will live a Christian life.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

President Obama and orthodox Catholics

Here is a moderate (well I think so) personal evaluation of our relation with our young president. I have tried to be charitable and moderate in my tone. Of course I did not vote for him and would not vote for him in the future. But I want to understand where so many Catholics are coming from as supporters of the president and having voted for him. I sincerely long to at least feel he respects us and that he will not impose on us the values of the secular world.

Where the current administration both differs and can find common ground with Catholic doctrine:

I) Main areas of divergence:

a. Abortion: The president is a staunch supporter of abortion rights all the way to the last weeks of gestation. As a senator he voted against a ban on partial birth abortion (a particularly cruel method of killing the fetus just moments from birth). The president has publically declared his goal of reducing abortions, at this is a laudable objective. Jet his way of coming to a reduction of abortions is by further promoting contraceptive methods and sexual education that directly contradict Catholic moral theology. How can we work with president Obama on this area? The president has a right to disagree with Catholic doctrine, but as he is aware, abortion is a tragedy and for faithful Catholics there can be no compromise in the killing of innocent life. We can work as Catholics to promote life choices within our legal framework and to evangelize. The president can respect this and help by not forcing medical personnel and Catholic medical facilities to provide abortion services that are against Catholic morals.

b. Stem Cell Research: The president supports embryonic stem cell research and seems to have embraced the idea that this type of research is the only hope for illness like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and others. We need to work with the president by trying to convince him that this type of research has been superseded by adult stem cell research and also about the moral dangers of promoting the use of human embryos as research material for experiments. It is a slippery slope that easily takes us into moral landmines and the real possibility of evil.

c. Contraception: The president, as most modern Americans, accept the use of contraception as perfectly natural way of controlling population and regulating family planning. As Catholics we can not impose our moral ideas on the rest of Americans, but we can work towards convincing the president that as parents we have the right to know when medical personnel at schools and other organizations prescribe and give contraceptives to our children under 18 years of age. The same goes to providing abortion to teens and not notifying parents of the intention and the accomplished fact. As a family man the president can relate to this (even though he has expressed that if his daughter would conceive out of marriage he would agree to an abortion).

d. Sexual Education: As Catholics our children must not be forced to receive sexual education that is against our doctrines and moral ethics. We can work with the president by comparing our situation as Catholics with the situation of Muslims. Just as Muslims demand respect for their customs so do we as Catholics.

e. Homosexual Unions: The president is a staunch supported of so called “gay rights”. Yet to his credit he has refused to redefine marriage and supports the concept of marriage as between a man and a woman. Yet his administration is clearly sympathetic to gays and lesbians and so called transgendered persons. Again, as Catholics we can not impose our morals on the general population, but we can ask the president to respect our beliefs and not view and call them as “obsolete attitudes” as he has done recently. We also need to ask the president ensure that the federal government will respect the freedom of Churches and Church related institutions not to hire gays in areas that affect our doctrine or extend benefits to homosexual couples as if they were married.

f. End of life: The president agreed with the decision by Terri Schiavo’s husband to withhold water and food from her, starving her in a painful period a several days. This seems to indicate that the president agrees with those who judge a life according to “quality”. As Catholics we consider innocent life sacred from the time of birth to the time of death.

II) Areas of Agreement

a. Social Justice: The president has a strong social justice sense that may irk some more right leaning Americans. Yet the truth is that Catholic social teaching has no quarrel with favoring the poor, providing health care to people, etc. America is a very prosperous country and even today it provides people with freedoms and opportunities that are undreamt in other parts of the world. We can work with the president in including the poor and the working people in achieving the American dream for as many people as possible.

b. Health Care: The president’s aim to provide universal health care is a point where we as Catholics can agree or disagree. Providing health care to the poor, the handicapped and the elderly who can’t afford medical care to buy medical insurance is a worthy goal. We can work on a plan with the president that allows choice of health providers does not stifle competition and ensures that Americans get the best care possible.

c. International Coexistence: The president has declared his intention to promote pace, respect to other countries sovereignty and cooperation in international initiatives. As Catholics these are worthy goals and we can work with the president as our own conscience dictates.

In his speeches the president has adopted a reasonable tone and seems to adopt moderation in some of his policies. Yet there are profound areas of disagreement between the president and Catholic doctrine. We can not ignore these areas. Furthermore, the president is at the forefront of a philosophical movement that sees religion in general as something from the past and somewhat an impediment to progress. The president believes in the unbounded capacity of the government to provide a road for the happiness and progress of the people. Yet experience shows that governments in themselves become the problem and that a philosophy that ignores the relationship between God and men and even acts in hostility towards it violates one the most profound needs and experiences of men, the religious experience and the reality of a personal God in the life of people.

Can we hope to have respect and understanding from president Obama for our Catholic believes? I hope so. The United States is still a country where we can practice our faith in freedom in all of its ranges from ultraconservative to ultraliberal. This is a precious freedom and something that the president can protect and encourage. Yet the cultural and political trends to curtail, minimize and make our faith irrelevant by indoctrinating our youth in the secular philosophy are undeniable. We can’t hope and it would not be realistic to expect America to become a Catholic country. It has never been so and probably never will, but we can ask from our young president respect for our beliefs, freedom to practice them and the ability to live it in the public arena without hostility, derision or discrimination.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Honduras: Celaya, Hugo and Obama

Tiny and poor Honduras kicked its Chavez’ puppet president for violating its constitution and wanting to start his road to tyranny in imitation of his master in Caracas. In a swift move the Honduran army carried out a mandate by the country’s Supreme Court to remove Mr. Celaya from office. Of course the tyrants in Caracas and Havana were furious and are demanding the reinstatement of Celaya. The one mistake the Honduras made was to let Celaya out of the country into exile; they should have arrested him.

Celaya is the dear political ‘child’ of Hugo Chavez, the most dangerous buffoon in Latin America. In ten years Chavez has demolished democracy in Venezuela, systematically removing all opposition, silencing the free press, taking over the economy, brutalizing any opponents and installing a gorilla tyranny of the lefty kind. Chavez is megalomaniac that considers himself to be the man to lead Latin America and has exported his brand of communist tyrannical regime to other Latin American countries like Bolivia and Ecuador. While the Bush administration ignored the region Chavez has undermined democratic regimes and is looking to convert it into a huge Cuba like paradise.

But we live in strange days since in the White House now sits one of the most staunch socialists around, Barak Obama. Immediately the Obama administration moved to condemn the so called “coup” and call for the return of Celaya, in unison with the thug Chavez and the geriatric and eternal dictator Castro. The U.S. is now enforcing obedience so that we all become good, well behaved socialists. Strange indeed!

The Hondurans have paid with blood the price of communist ambitions in the region for years. They know that the clown Hugo Chavez revolution is just another version of the military gorilla dictatorship by another name. They know better, and despite their deep problems they know that the so called “Bolivarian” way is a much worse avenue. Today the may be poor, but they are free, with Celaya as a puppet of Chavez they will not only be poor but also subjected to a leftist dictatorship.

Shame on Obama; but we knew all along were his sympathies lie; with the leftist thugs in Venezuela and Cuba. Heck, he is even very well advanced in his few months in power in turning America into a socialist paradise, where all will be equally miserable under the stern nanny state.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Verano en Nueva Inglaterra

Los días de nieve han pasado a pesar de que por algún momento pensé que nunca terminarían. Ahora que puedo reflexionar a manera un poco más distante sobre los días de invierno en Nueva Inglaterra puedo decir que a pesar de su inconveniencia para la vida moderna, hay muchas veces que son bellísimos. El espectáculo de la blanca nieve contrastando con el verde intensamente oscuro de los pinos y abetos recargados por la acumulación es algo digno de verse. Claro que para el tráfico de vehículos no es tan solo una inconveniencia, sino un real riesgo. Pero la nieve y los árboles estaban aquí mucho antes que las carreteras y los automóviles, y seguirán aquí mucho después que aquellos desaparezcan en la historia.

Pero al fin, a finales de abril (¡abril, lo pueden creer!) el invierno finalmente decidió soltar a esta tierra de sus gélidas manos y se fue a dormir hasta la siguiente visita. Poco a poco los árboles de hojas caducas empezaron a brotar botones de un tierno verde y para mediados del mes de mayo la naturaleza se desbordo en una sinfonía de color. Los cerezos y otros árboles explotaron con matices rosas, rojos, blancos y tierno verde. Las auroras extendieron sus dedos rosas sobre la tierra cada día más temprano y la temperatura empezó lenta pero seguramente a subir sobre el punto de congelación. La primavera aquí fue algo que nunca había experimentado; el gozo de la resurrección después de los fríos y oscuros días de un largo invierno. No puedo describir la sensación de felicidad al ver el sol y la naturaleza retornar a la vida. La ansiedad de salir y tomar el sol, de disfrutar de los días más tibios y de la naturaleza resurgente es casi irresistible.

Ya entramos en el verano y los colores tiernos y nuevos de la primavera han cedido su lugar a los verdes profundos y a las frondas expansivas de las plantas. Todo se cubre de verde y las lluvias llegan para regar el jardín que esta región. Confieso que en este verano bostoniano extraño el sol de suroeste americano. Aquí la vegetación es exuberante, y lo es por que llueve de manera constante. No es una lluvia como las que tenemos en El Paso y Juárez, de esas que caen como diluvio pero en media hora ya se extinguieron y no vuelve a llover hasta después de otros seis meses. Aquí la lluvia no es tan dramática, pero es constante, llueve todos los días, día tras día, toda la semana, por semanas. Hay días que el sol no brilla, cubierto por la cortina de nubes. Es una tierra fértil y templada, podríamos decir que sana hasta cierto grado por que no hay los extremos de sequía del desierto o el ambiente malsano del trópico, pero por otra parte es austera, sombría hasta cierto grado. Por algo le llamaron Nueva Inglaterra a esta región que incluye a Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire y Maine. Comparten con la vieja Inglaterra el clima húmedo, las neblinas tan típicas de Londres, la constante lluvia.

Este clima produce una población con marcadas características; poco amables, parcas con los extraños, no muy cultivada en el trato, algo cortante. Por aquí no hay sonrisas al caminar por la calle, bueno por el mall, por que ya nadie camina por las calles. Cuando le abro la puerta a alguien, cuando sonrío a la mesera o a la cambista, cuando digo gracias, muchas veces la gente se me queda viendo como bicho raro. No están acostumbrados a las amabilidades. Y es que estos inviernos largos y brutales, con veranos llenos de días nebulosos, no es sorprendente. Hasta los hispanos que viven por aquí desarrollan este humor corto. Los días son increíblemente largos, creo que se debe a que estamos extremadamente al norte del hemisferio. A partir del 22 de junio los días empezaran a acortarse nuevamente, pero por lo pronto para las 3:45 de la mañana ya se anuncia el alba y la luz no se va hasta las 9:00 de la noche. Esto produce días larguísimos, pero no siempre muy llenos de sol.

Pero por otra parte, la mejor parte, la tierra aquí nos ofrece tanta belleza que es un regalo para los ojos. Hay lagos, ríos, colinas, bosques y todo a escasa distancia de cualquier parte donde uno se encuentre. El río Merrimack en Andover, el Sant Charles en Boston, ofrecen una vista increíble para mis ojos acostumbrados a las escasas corrientes del Bravo. Hay lagos placidos, mecidos entre las colinas frondosas, dignos de una pintura y que en días de sol ofrecen un solas para el alma de tan solo verlos. Hay iglesias blancas, de torres altas y columnas de tipo griego que fueron construidas por los colonos ingleses hace mucho tiempo. Las casas de los nativos neo-ingleses se esconden entre los árboles y en los caminos aldeanos y son una belleza con sus patios de césped recortado y sus alegres flores de todos colores, sobre todo los hermosos tulipanes que tanto se cultivan aquí, rojos, violetas, amarillos.

Dios ha sido generoso con estas tierras y tienen su belleza muy particular. No me puedo quejar al vivir rodeado de tanta belleza natural. Pero siempre pienso y suspiro por mi desierto, por los panoramas vastos y abiertos, por las montanas doradas y las arenas amarillas, por los cielos azul turquesa y el abundante sol. My familia paterna ha vivido en la región del norte de Chihuahua y lo que hoy es el suroeste americano desde hace casi trecientos años. El amor por esa tierra recia y árida corre en mis venas. Nueva Inglaterra es mi amiga, pero el desierto de Chihuahua es mi madre.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Juarez, Mexico

Unfortunately the lull on the drug violence in Juarez was short lived. Here in the U.S. newspapers like the L.A. Times and the Washington Post have special sections dedicated to what it is now know here as the "Mexican Drug War". FOX, CNN and all other media outlets are reporting periodically on the Mexican violence. There have been exclusive long articles in Rolling Stone Magazine, Times, Newsweek, American Spectator, etc., all focusing on the issue. And of course guess what city is the most reported on? Ciudad Juarez now labeled the most dangerous city in the world. Not only that, but news agencies in Spain, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, Australia, China, etc., routinely report on Juarez. I think there is more news and news detail about the Juarez violence on this multiple sources than there is in the Juarez papers themselves (fear goes a long way, no?).

According to different sources there are now something like 700 - 900 killings in Juarez this year so far including innocent bystanders and children (this weekend a 12 year old girl and a 14 year old boy were killed in a vehicle in the Valle de Juarez).

Mexican reporters, politicians, businessmen, are leaving the border for the U.S and even Canada (there are several articles about some reporters now living in El Paso, Los Angeles and Canada). It seems that the brief period of peace on the wake of the Mexican Army surge has ended and the violence has spiked again to dozens of deaths every week (some times every day!).

I know that the decent people of Juarez (and El Paso) have no way of doing much about this horrible situation. Businesspeople are fearful of the naegative business impact on Juarez. But what in the heck can be said of a city where close to 8,000 people have died in violent murders in three years? The casualties of the Drug War are now higher than those of the American army in Iraq? Where is it all going to end?

One of the great problems is that Mexico and specially the State of Chihuahua and particularly Ciudad Juarez, lack any semblance of an effective Law Enforcement . The SEMFO has excellent labs and professionals, but once it gets into the hands of the "investigators" it just goes to virtual crap. 99% of the homicides in Chihuahua (and I think it goes for the whole country in Mexico) go unsolved. There is no punishment, no justice, no system that can threaten the criminals. This is the legacy of 70 years of lawless, "corporate" rule by the PRI and their legacy of dealing with groups and people not by the rule of law but by the rule of cronism.

There is a spiritual sickness in our souls. We are the drug dealers and the killers and by this I mean that we all know members of our family, friends, relatives, acquaintances that are involved in the illegal drug traffic. It is our society that is sick. When a country can produce bastards that take human life (even innocent children) with the ease these monsters do, there is something awfully wrong. We have abandoned decency, morality, goodness and have exchanged it for moral corruption. Even the Church takes "anonymous" donations from the criminals. Our culture, the "Culture of Death" with its stupid music, movies, TV programs, with its degradation of women and children have produced this moral vomit, the Culture of Death. We need to change, each one individually, otherwise there is no hope.

An then there is our gringo side. Americans who use drugs (our pampered university students, Ivy leaguers, Hollywood types, etc., etc.) are stupid fools who are consuming the blood of Mexicans to satisfy their stupid habit. Americans snort, inject, shoot up, even rub drugs by the tons each year in an insatiable thirst for mind bending trips.

This just yanks my chain, most of all to see innocent children killed and a city submerged in fear, with people acting like ostriches, burying our heads in a hole in the ground pretending nothing is wrong. Of course if you keep quiet, low profile, if you don't talk, don't express your outrage, if you shrug your shoulders and think this is just the drug trafficker’s problem, maybe if you do that, then you will be OK. FAT CHANCE.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Body of Christ

Yesterday Sunday June 14 we celebrated the feast of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Latin name of the celebration is Corpus Christi (Body of Christ). This feast is a remembrance to Christians, especially Catholics that the Lord Jesus gave himself in a very special way to us.

It is an absolute belief of the Catholic Church, a creed of dogma that requires our complete acceptance that the Lord in the night that he was betrayed, when he came together with his disciples to celebrate the Pasch he instituted the Eucharist. He did this by offering his body and his blood when he said “Take this and it, for this is my body” and immediately later when he said “This is my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant”. Some Christian denominations deny this teaching, but it has always been the teaching of the Universal Church that the bread we eat and the wine we drink in the Eucharist is the real blood and body of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is his body we consume in a mystical but very real sense.

It is the Catholic teaching (shared by our brethren in the Eastern Orthodox Churches) that when the priest pronounces the formula of consecration, the Holy Spirit acts in a special way transforming the wheat and the wine into the body and blood of our Lord. According to our Mother Catholic Church this is not a symbol, not a spiritual transformation, neither is subject to the presence of the people, but is a real transformation. The wine and the bread become the REAL flesh and blood of the Lord.

Now, according to our Catholic teaching, the bread and the wine conserve their “accidental” form (a philosophical term coined by St. Thomas Aquinas from Aristotelian terminology to describe what happens at the time of transformation). This means that the bread looks tastes and smells like bread and so also the wine. But even though the accidents remain the substance has changed. We believe literally in the words of the Lord during the Paschal feast (the Last Supper) when he said “this IS my body”, “this IS my blood”.

This is of course hard teaching. In the Gospel according to Saint John we read how many rejected the Lord because this teaching "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood; you have no life in you.” John 6:53 (NIV), many of those following until then left, scandalized by this statement saying “"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” and so many today reject him by the same reasoning.

In a mysterious way the Lord is with us forever, now veiled in a sacramental form but present nonetheless. And so we as Catholics should approach this tremendous sacrament with awe, reverence and humility. It is Jesus in person that we approach. It is his body in a mystical form we consume. What great miracle! What a tremendous and awesome experience that the ONE who is God should come to us individually in such an intimate way. We become actually and really one with him! What a wonderful miracle.

In the mass the priest offers to God the most pure and perfect sacrifice. The Jews used to offer the blood of bulls and lambs for the sins of the people. And the Lord would recognize that sacrifice and every Yom Kippur each year the sins of the people would be atoned, forgiven by God. How much more is now the Lord pleased with the sacrifice of the real and only Paschal Lamb? It is no longer the blood of animals that achieved atonement every year, but the blood of Jesus, the Christ, the sinless perfect offering of God to God. The old sacrifices used to be imperfect, a temporal covenant with a particular people. Now the sacrifice is perfect, offered for many, a New and Everlasting Covenant, never again to be null or void but fore ever acting in mysterious grace, a free gift in atonement for ALL the sins of humanity.

We give thanks to God in our sacrifice at Mass for this tremendous act (Eucharist comes from a Greek word that means to give thanks for a Good Gift). Some object that we are sacrificing Jesus all over again, but that is not so. Mother Church teaches that each Eucharistic sacrifice is not a reenactment, but the actual sacrifice at the cross all of those years ago. A great mystery just as the great miracle of the Transubstantiation (another term used by Saint Thomas Aquinas to describe the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ) is that at the instant of the Mass we are present at Calvary across time and space in that very day and time when the Son of God gave up his life for the ransom of humankind. The same sacrifice happens but now his blood is really present in the wine and his body in the bread. The work of human hands becomes the Body of Christ. This is the perpetual sacrifice, given once and for all for the sins of men.

If we eat his flesh and drink his blood we will have eternal life, and even though we die (physically for is appointed to all men to die once and then the judgment) we will live forever with him, united for all eternity with the Giver of Life. All is required from us is to believe! To come in faith and humility to the table of sacrifice and to believe that Christ’s promises are real and trusting his loving word. And that belief has to be translated in a real transformation of our lives, to be transformed in the renewing of our minds, to give our very own bodies as a perfect and living sacrifice to God (in the same way that Christ gives his own body) to witness to all that is perfect and desirable to paraphrase the great Apostle Paul.

"I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood; you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." 59 John 6: 53-58 (NIV)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Other Mexico ( a positive perspective)

Someone suggested I post this article about Mexico by Linda Ellerbee: I am a native Mexican even though I have lived in the U.S. for most of my life now; but I think Mexico and Mexicans deserve a better look; This article is I think on the mark.

One Journalist’s View By Linda Ellerbee
Sometimes I’ve been called a maverick because I don’t always agree with my colleagues, but then, only dead fish swim with the stream all the time. The stream here is Mexico. You would have to be living on another planet to avoid hearing how dangerous Mexico has become, and, yes, it’s true drug wars have escalated violence in Mexico , causing collateral damage, a phrase I hate. Collateral damage is a cheap way of saying that innocent people,some of them tourists, have been robbed, hurt or killed. But that’s not the whole story. Neither is this. This is my story.
I’m a journalist who lives in New York City , but has spent considerable time in Mexico , specifically Puerto Vallarta , for the last four years. I’m in Vallarta now. And despite what I’m getting from the U.S. media, the 24-hour news networks in particular, I feel as safe here as I do at home in New York , possibly safer. I walk the streets of my Vallarta neighborhood alone day or night. And I don’t live in a gated community, or any other All-Gringo neighborhood. I live in Mexico .. Among Mexicans. I go where I want (which does not happen to include bars where prostitution and drugs are the basic products), and take no more precautions than I would at home in New York ; which is to say I don’t wave money around, I don’t act the Ugly American, I do keep my eyes open, I’m aware of my surroundings, and I try not to behave like a fool.

I’ve not always been successful at that last one. One evening a friend left the house I was renting in Vallarta at that time, and,unbeknownst to me, did not slam the automatically-locking door on her way out. Sure enough, less than an hour later a stranger did come into my house. A burglar? Robber? Kidnapper? Killer? Drug lord?

No, it was a local police officer, the “beat cop” for our neighborhood, who, on seeing my unlatched door, entered to make sure everything (including me) was okay. He insisted on walking with me around the house, opening closets, looking behind doors and, yes, even under beds, to be certain no one else had wandered in, and that nothing was missing. He was polite, smart and kind, but before he left, he lectured me on having not checked to see that my friend had locked the door behind her. In other words, he told me to use my common sense..

Do bad things happen here? Of course they do. Bad things happen everywhere, but the murder rate here is much lower than, say, New Orleans , and if there are bars on many of the ground floor windows of houses here, well, the same is true where I live, in Greenwich Village, which is considered a swell neighborhood ­ house prices start at about $4 million (including the bars on the ground floor windows).

There are good reasons thousands of people from the United States are moving to Mexico every month, and it’s not just the lower cost of living, a hefty tax break and less snow to shovel.. Mexico is a beautiful country, a special place. The climate varies, but is plentifully mild, the culture is ancient and revered, the young are loved unconditionally, the old are respected, and I have yet to hear anyone mention Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, or Madonna’s attempt to adopt a second African child, even though, with such a late start, she cannot possibly begin to keep up with Anglelina Jolie.

And then there are the people. Generalization is risky, but­ in general ­ Mexicans are warm, friendly, generous and welcoming. If you smile at them, they smile back. If you greet a passing stranger on the street, they greet you back. If you try to speak even a little Spanish, they tend to treat you as though you were fluent. Or at least not an idiot. I have had taxi drivers track me down after leaving my wallet or cell phone in their cab. I have had someone run out of a store to catch me because I have overpaid by twenty cents. I have been introduced to and come to love a people who celebrate a day dedicated to the dead as a recognition of the cycles of birth and death and birth ­ with the same joy.

Too much of the noise you’re hearing about how dangerous it is to come to Mexico is just that ­ noise. But the media love noise, and too many journalists currently making it don’t live here. Some have never even been here. They just like to be photographed at night, standing near a spotlighted border crossing, pointing across the line to some imaginary country from hell. It looks good on TV.

Another thing. The U.S. media tend to lump all of Mexico into one big bad bowl. Talking about drug violence in Mexico without naming a state or city where this is taking place is rather like looking at the horror of Katrina and saying, “Damn. Did you know the U.S. is under water?” or reporting on the shootings at Columbine or the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City by saying that kids all over the U.S. are shooting their classmates and all the grownups are blowing up buildings. The recent rise in violence in Mexico has mostly occurred in a few states, and especially along the border. It is real, but it does not describe an entire country.
It would be nice if we could put what’s going on in Mexico in perspective, geographically and emotionally. It would be nice if we could remember that, as has been noted more than once, these drug wars wouldn’t be going on if people in the United States didn’t want the drugs, or if other people in the United States weren’t selling Mexican drug lords the guns. Most of all, it would be nice if more people in the United States actually came to this part of America ( Mexico is also America , you will recall) to see for themselves what a fine place Mexico really is, and how good a vacation (or a life) here can be.

So come on down and get to know your southern neighbors. I think you’ll like it here. Especially the people.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When the World is Against Us

God acts in mysterious ways. It may sound trite but is true. God indeed acts in mysterious ways. Look at his work of redemption for the world. After mankind rebelled against God and fell from grace, by His mercy God did not abandon us to our self deceit and our unwarranted rebellion. In time He sent His Son in the form of a human to teach us and to save us. But when Jesus the Son of God, God in the Flesh was born he did not choose to come among the powerful of this world. He could have chosen to be born in power and privilege, in a palace, perhaps to be the son of a Roman emperor or an oriental king; He could have been born to one of the high priestly families in Jerusalem. In fact many of His fellow Jews expected a conquering Messiah (the Anointed One, the Chosen), riding in a white horse, mustering armies and defeating the hated Romans in the battle field and reigning over an exclusive Hebrew Kingdom.

Instead He chose to be born in exile; to a family of modest means, to a young virgin and a local craftsman. His parents were indeed of royal blood (of a line more ancient and noble than that of the tyrant Herod or the Roman Augustus), but they had no political, economic or social power. They lived in the periphery of the Hebrew society of their day, residing in an obscure village in the countryside of Galilee, a region despised by “politically correct” Jews. The Creator of the world, the God of the entire universe, the wonderful Word made flesh came to earth as a modest craftsman who for many years of His life worked with his hands to earn His bread. He that was originally in the presence of the Father, in majestic glory and splendor, He who lacked nothing and had absolutely everything emptied himself of all to share in our humanity. He worked, suffered, tired, hungered and became one of us even shedding his immortality to taste death. Jesus was an unlikely man to change the world, and yet He did.

And in His mysterious ways the Lord chose twelve fallible men to start His Church. One betrayed Him and the others deserted Him for a time after His arrest, trial and crucifixion. And yet these men later went throughout the world boldly spreading the message of the Gospel of their Master. This bunch of unlikely fishermen, tax collectors and zealots founded a movement that now spans two thousands years of history. And later the movement they founded of pacifists, slaves, and humble followers from all walks of life, who had renounced the power and glory of this world, shook everything. They ware killed, executed, exiled, despised, denounced and persecuted. With no weapons or worldly power they in the end conquered the conquerors. The mighty Roman Empire became Christian. Throughout history of Christ’s grace and salvation these people come from the most unlikely places. Jesus Christ acts through a myriad of witnesses who in their majority are weak vessels according to the rulers of this world. From the early martyrs passing through saints like Catherine of Sienna, Francis of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, Theresa of Jesus and many, many others, the Church survives in the weak and the poor.

For a while the Church had great worldly power, a dispensation given by God to allow the spread of the Gospel, but today we are again in the fringes; in America today to be faithful to the Gospel of Christ and his commandments means to be persecuted and despised. The road to persecution has started already and will only get worse; it is still mild but the signs of the times are now evident. Today if you do not espouse the ideologies of the world (The New World Order would say some) you are exiled from polite company. To be against abortion, euthanasia, legalized prostitution, homosexual activity and so called gay marriages, to fail to be “tolerant” means that you will not be tolerated.

A momentum is gaining in our society to criminalize any action that will “offend” the accepted orthodoxy of the world. Feminists, homosexuals, atheists and all others will have their day in the sun. We as Christians should not fret. We should not stop loving these people by telling them that their lifestyles are leading them in the road to perdition. We should realize that when the Church looses all temporal power, when it is persecuted, when it is despised, when it sheds the blood of the martyrs, that is when the Church is more powerful than ever. The One who will come at the end of the age is with us and His are the victory and the glory and the power forever, amen. They may choose one day to kill our bodies but our souls will live forever in Christ and one day we will return with Him when He brings justice to the universe. The field of salvation is watered by the blood of the martyrs.

Let’s not fret our loss of “social status”. Let’s not regret that our bishops are not invited to the circles of power. Let us count as nothing the rubbish of worldly power and success. Let us not even regret that there are many wolves devouring our sheep dressed in sheep skins and let us not fret that there are thieves among the Lord's flock. Let us rather be faithful to Christ and his Church. Let us work with much tears and trembling for our salvation. Let us be at peace knowing that our discomfort on earth is nothing compared to our eternal destiny with Christ. They can keep their universities, their congressional seats, their position of power of influence and their billions of dollars. They will not take one cent to heaven. Social status and power will count as nothing in the justice court of His Eternal Majesty. Let us pray, let us be strong in our weaknesses. Let us lead the lives that our martyr ancestors did, let us look upon the saints, upon the example of Mary and most of all, let us look upon our Lord Jesus the Christ, the only one and true King of the Universe.

God acts in mysterious ways. And today when the world turns to evil and unfaithfulness He is still at work in His Son and His Church. He will call to account those who today despise and persecute His Church and have rejected Him.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Murder never justified

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” Romans 12:14. These are hard words from the Lord. But they are His teaching nonetheless. Even when we feel that a great injustice has been committed, like abortion, we should not seek to take revenge into our hands or the take life in any instance. The means do not justify the ends. Murder is never justified. If you murder in hatred of injustice you become a siccarii; an assassin in the mold of so many others throughout history. Gunning down and abortionist, blowing up a building, smashing an airplane against the Twin Towers; these actions are never justified even if the justification is battling evil.

The murderer of the abortionist doctor recently slain at a protestant temple succumbed to the same evil that the murdered abortionist was practicing. There is no justification on that and this person has done great damage to the pro-life movement. It has opened the doors for a government clampdown of pro-life activists, already in the government sights (according to a declassified government report on rightwing extremism). It will create a wave of sympathy for the dead practitioner and a backlash against the pro-life movement. And even beyond all of that, a Christian must never take the life of another by murder, never.

The slain abortionist had killed over 60,000 babies in late term abortions according to some reports. He was a practitioner of partial birth abortion, a procedure that allows the baby to be partially born (the head), at which time the killing doctor introduces an instrument into the babies base of the skull and sucks the brain out killing the baby. The unspeakable evil of this has no justification either. The ironic part is that the doctor was at protestant Church when he was shot by the killer on Sunday. Christians are called to love others, but the New Testament also prescribes casting out those obdurate in sin from the congregation. How can any church allow such a person in their flock without any disciplinarian action is flabbergasting, but such is the state of Christianity today.

The doctor is right now being judged by God. He will have to respond for his evil actions and surely there will be a crowd of souls clamoring for justice (all those babies). In all honesty I have no sympathy for the slain physician, but that does not justify murder in any instance. The justice of the Lord has fallen, but it was not for the murderer to be the judge and the executioner. We all die, and in the course of our natural life and death we will end in God’s court. The evil done by the abortionist would have been judged sooner or later and the murderer had no right to take the abortionist’s life, even if in this action he saved who know how many more babies lives.

Friday, May 29, 2009

God is in control

The world seems to be spinning out of control. The world seems to be on fire all the time. War, terrorism, economic disaster, abortion, and so many other evil and bad things and yet this is the opportunity to let go. God is in control, He is merciful and compassionate; He watches over the world and knows exactly all that is good and bad. In the midst of chaos and bad things He is there and nothing happens that he does not see or in His infinite wisdom permits. We are in his hands. He has given us His Son and that suffices for all. All our anxieties, all our worries, all of our frustrations and suffering, Christ is there to take them. He is the safe harbor in a stormy sea. He is the gentle hand that guides when we are lost. Dear Jesus! When the world seems to be hostile, when evil seems to be prevailing we trust in you. Victory is yours and all we have to do is trust in your love. Dear Jesus! Forgive us for our lack of faith and our lack of trust.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The American Dream up in smoke

Your 401 K has evaporated; Your house value is crashing through the floor; Your dollar buys a lot less than it did five years ago; You get a pink slip on the mail; Your bank has gone belly up and its Brook Brothers clad executives are begging with hand out to the government for money; You look for work and all you can find is low paying service jobs like flipping burgers at McDonald's; You go to Church on Sundays and consider your self a faithful Catholic and you find out that your government considers you a right wing extremist susceptible to radicalization and becoming a terrorist; Your taxes will go up; You look at the newspapers and find out your government now owns car companies, investment firms and banks; Good Morning America, the age of Barack Obama has dawned (and of course he inherits the brilliant economic stewardship of George Bush).

If you have a job and pay taxes now you find your self paying to prop up companies that should go broke. You will find that your savings have evaporated because billions and trillions of dollars have been stolen, taken away, evaporated by greed, mismanagement and outright dishonesty. You will see your country become a third world nation in your lifetime. All the good paying jobs went away a long time ago to China and Mexico where our patriotic companies pay .75 cents per hour. You could have worked for Wall Street but then again, they are in the unemployment lines and the smart ones probably sent their money to the Cayman Islands. You could be a doctor, but then again Obama will take care of that with his socialized medicine (even though the insurance companies have already ruined the system so you are not allowed to choose your doctor).

America has been sacked. Trillions of dollars have disappeared along with hundreds of thousands of jobs. GM, Chrysler, GE, and other American icons are going down the tubes and when the government owns Chase and other financial institutions it’s a clear sign that times are indeed changing. An economic coupe d’état of gigantic proportion just took place, transferring wealth to who knows who and destroying the American prosperity. A prodigous magic trick and pooff! all gone. Pax Americana is no more; the era of the American Dream has gone up in smoke along with your 401 K and home equity. Perhaps its time to turn to Christ; He won’t fail.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Women and the workforce

Our society has been reengineered in the past forty years to integrate women in the workplace. It has been tweaked to confront men and women in a competition field that puts them many times at odds with their mutual complementary nature. It has deprived men of better wages by bringing more labor from women and driving them down by sheer volume of competition. It has deprived them of the moral leadership of their families and households. Male father figures have become irrelevant and obsolete when a woman can live without a husband’s support. This may sound horrible to our new reengineered morality, but men have been emasculated and put in competition with women. Under the banner of liberation and equality women have been uprooted from their nurturing role of mothers and household caregivers and have been sent to the workplace as so many more “production units” where family comes a distant third to the company’s interests and the woman’s career path. It is no coincidence that since the so called “women’s liberation” movement and their integration into the workforce, divorce rates have skyrocketed, illegitimacy has become rampant and abortion has become a monstrous grinding mill of death for one million and a half babies every year. The black family has been destroyed as out of wedlock children and single mothers are the norm and Hispanic and Caucasian families are fast on the same track.

Living with one income today is very, very hard, it sometimes seems impossible. The cost of living and lifestyle expectancies demand so much of a household’s money that even between both parents working, sometimes is just enough to “make ends meet”. But if that is the situation, if it is so hard to make a good living with both parents working, what then is the benefit? Why sacrifice the children from the mother’s presence just to subsist in any case? But that is precisely what the social engineers had in mind from the beginning, the rending of the family; the destruction of the self sufficient one earner household. Betty Friedan, Margaret Sanger, Simmone de Beauvoir and their likes despised the Judeo-Christian family model and their goal was not a “better standard of living” but the destruction of the traditional family. Their dream was a world where children are the wards of the state, woman live totally independently from both children and men and where “work” will be the ultimate realization for the “sisters”. Work place integration was also seen as a way to have women become “like men” and share in the same vices and sins of their male counterparts; adultery, fornication, drinking, cavorting and even homosexuality.

The military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower denounced at the end of his presidential term has been implemental in restructuring and reengineering society by allowing woman into military areas formerly restricted to men in combat related occupations. Of course pregnancy is out of the question for a combat soldier so artificial contraception and abortion have to be part of the package. Next World War (and of course there will be one, is just a matter of when) will see the carnage of women probably at the same of level of men’s in past wars. The only question is who will take care of the children when both mommy and daddy are war casualties? The answer of course is Big Brother government. In addition the integration of boot camp and basic training into coed barracks and training environments is part of the radical redefinition of sex roles.

Christ is the head of the Church and men are the head of their household. It is not a “misogynist” or prejudiced stand but the biblical model for the family. Husbands and wives are to submit to each other in a loving complementary relationship, but the male remains the head of his house. Children need their mother’s love and this is irreplaceable by the daddy or anyone or anything else. Mother’s are feminine, loving, nurturing, they impose order and care in the household, and they are relationship oriented. Men are the warrior figures, protective, aggressive in seeking the welfare of their families, breadwinners, task oriented. It is a complementary relationship of sexes.

Of course women have the ability to compete with men in all senses. We are not talking about inferior woman or superior man or vice versa. But the issue is not the capacity of men and women to compete or ability to perform, the question is the redefinition of the family, of the sex roles in the context of the traditional Christian concept of the leadership of men and complementarily of the sexes, against the radical new world of the secularist feminist vision. Women who work and earn money, who take care of their children and love them immensely, who make sacrifices each day by going to work and leave their children to daycare or grandparents or nannies, may be conflicted between their career path and their family. Sometimes it seems that they can have both, but the truth is that in the end the children always suffer and the family has ceased to be one thing and has become something else.

Our modern industrial society values men and women as production units, as clogs in a productive machinery geared towards the production of goods and services for a consumer oriented new morality. In our society be “productive” to “get ahead” to find “fulfillment” in work are the ultimate goals. Of course this view does not even apply to men in the Christian model, much less to women. We can see that the so called beneift programs offered by companies like maternity leave and daycare are just token concessions to the family; what these companies (most of all large corporations and bureaucratic government organizations) require is body and soul and 120% dedication to work that is incompatible with a Christian based family worldview. In addition these organizations require employees to sign on ethical codes of conduct that include acceptance of gay lifestyles, family planning programs and other “ethical” practices in opposition to a Christian and in particular Orthodox Catholic worldview

The integration of women in the work force and the armed forces is the radical revolution of a combined establishment of government, industry, armed forces, educational and activist policies geared towards the eradication of the traditional family. It has succeeded in transforming our society into a brave new world where families have been radically altered and redefined. As the need for the father leadership figure is discarded, other forms of so called “family” have been created; the “gay” family, the “lesbian” family, the “single parent” family, etc. All of them directly opposed to the traditional Christian family model, and even directly opposed to natural law and the survival of civilization, as in gay “marriages” where the infertile and unnatural union of persons of the same sex is offered as an “alternative” to children, where they will two “mommies” or two “fathers” while at the same time hiding the fact that the so called “parents” are engaging in sexually perverted, infertile, unnatural and disordered behavior.

Of course for struggling parents of traditional families, trying to make a living with both of them working, all of the above may sound “sanctimonious” as a someone put it , or superfluous or mean or narrow minded. But the reality is that if, as we said above, we look at the abortions, divorces, suicides, adultery, out of wedlock pregnancies, crime, and unhappiness of our modern society, we can clearly see that something is profoundly wrong, and this is not related to freedom or fulfillment in work place. The reality is that there is a hollow space in the hearts of men and women that only God can fill with his spirit and this can't happen unless we submit to His will.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

An e-mail to a friend discussing the entertainment and media industry:
Entertainment is a big industry, probably one of the last really successful industries still based in the U.S. It makes billions each year in movies, records, videos, TV, news, etc. Also news has become an entertainment media both on its overwhelming liberal side (CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, BBC, etc.,) and also its conservative side (FOX News and radio talk show like Rush and others). Most of the book industry is also "entertainment" and most Americans read inane stuff like self help books, and romance and thriller novels. Sure there are good authors and books out there, but the overwhelming majority of books published and in the best seller lists are trash and propaganda mostly for the left.

It seems that the entertainment industry is the best and most pervasive propaganda tool of all time. It actually molds and educates the masses. Young people (as I did in my youth unfortunately) slavishly follow the latest media trends of the day in music, clothes, attitudes and morals.
Much or of our media in the U.S. preaches a gospel of death, indulgence and effette rebellion (rebellion against what?); if you notice all conflict is resolved by killing, shooting and fist fights in most movies, TV programs and books. Sex is the ultimate good, and in the media the fictional characters have sex outside marriage as a rule (it seems that faithful husbands and wives do not exist in the Hollywood mind). Religion is mostly ignored but when presented is almost invariably Orthodox Christians (Catholic or not) that are presented as the evil bad guys. It seems that the media's marching order is to present true believers as deranged, hypocritical, evil, frustrated, ignorant, obscurantist, paranoid and murderous. Even entertainment that portrays religion somewhat sympathetically, always presents any dogma as "rigid". By the way, have you noticed that conservative republicans are always the bad guys and how the liberal democrats are always the heroes?

TV has completely changed the behavior and pattern of our lives. It is on all the time, invading the mind even when not watched. Apologists of the media will say that it is inoffensive, but why then spend billions of dollars in advertisement on TV if it does not affect people's choices? TV has altered our mentality, it is both a drug for the masses and a medium of conveying the new morality in a very effective and pervasive way.

Most successful actors (and actresses of course) have made a deal with the devil, even if unaware of it. Yes, there are a few good films (sometimes even unwittingly) and a few good actors and directors, but they are often ostracized from the industry, relegated to a few films. Having conservative or orthodox beliefs in Hollywood is an almost sure disqualifier for employment. And these few good actors and directors are very often swallowed by the monster. Megastars like Mel Gibson are not given up by the Devil easily and often will be destroyed or reconverted to the mind of Antichrist.

Liberal Religion, Hollywood and Liberal Politics are the three heads of Antichrist. They just need the person who will become their own perverted and evil "Messiah"; a charismatic person that will bring about the destruction of the Church and the coming of the kingdom of Satan to the world.

Take care


Monday, May 18, 2009


Notre Dame could have invited president Obama to their commencement and though it does show the political leaning of the university in general, that would have been uncontroversial. What is problematic is that they not only invited him but that the university chose to honor him going against the policies set by the Conference of Catholic Bishops. Notre Dame claims to be a Catholic institution and its president is a Catholic priest, Father Jenkins. He should have known better.

President Obama is charismatic and has an ease of speech and presence that makes him very popular and persuasive in a way, but even though he talks about consensus and reconciliation, his talk does not match his walk. He has in the past five months dismantled all of the prior administration checks on abortion and stem cell research. He is a steadfast and strong supporter of abortion and his constituency is the radical feminist, abortionist, gay and other liberal organizations. In choosing to honor the president the university shows that it agrees enthusiastically with of his views.

But this is not surprising since it would be my guess that a large majority of Catholics in the United States are liberal leaning and have very little information as to what the Church teaches. Most Catholics in the United States feel (not think, feel) that they can choose any part of the faith they like and discard the rest. Of course Catholicism is a religion with dogmas, not open to popular vote or debate, but for the vast majority of the American Catholic mind this is just not a reality they choose to accept. American individualism overrules any dogma. We could say that the dogma of American Catholics is that there is no dogma.

American Catholics feel free to disagree with their Church’s dogmas and they do inf fact ignore what they don’t like in areas like contraception, abortion, divorce, weekly mass attendance, etc. They want to be Catholic but have little understanding of what it means. Ask these Catholics what would happen if they choose to ignore the law and not pay their taxes because it somehow would violate their conscience. Of course they would be in a world of trouble with Uncle Sam and could loose their property and even go to jail. That sounds pretty dogmatic indeed. Catholics also like to complain about the authoritarian hierarchy in Rome. But in reality, what power does Rome have? Can Rome send you to jail? Can Rome come into your house and force you to obey? What power does Rome have compared to the power of the American federal government over the life of its citizens?

In honoring president Obama Notre Dame is demonstrating the same kind of thought. Not surprisingly the majority of the students enthusiastically agreed with their leaders and I am sure that many in the clergy were also enthusiastically supportive. But when you choose to ignore your Church teachings on such life and death things such as the killing of innocent life, natural law issues such as the invalidity of any gay “marriage”, fundamental love and marriage issues such as contraception, then you have to ask yourself why you want to be called Catholic in the first place.

The answer is that we are deceived by a contemporary culture steeped in a satanic rebellion against God. But Satan is very clever. He is now assuming the role of an angel of light. Inclusion, tolerance, diversity are the buzz words that the satanic tyranny of the relative is now using and with it has duped a great majority of the world, including, probably a great majority of the Catholic people. A culture of death has taken over with over 40 million innocent lives taken by abortion since 1973 in the United States, with euthanasia and assisted suicide gaining ground and with the gay movement gaining the battle in all fronts of the culture war. The fact is that we are living in an Antichrist culture that has already won the culture wars and it is now in the stage if taking over politically. In a few years, perhaps before Obama’s first term is over, we will see how the Catholic Church will be marginalized, ridiculed and probably even outlawed with hate crime laws. It has already been bankrupt due the satanic infiltration of gay child molesters and weakened internally by so called “dissenters”. The so called “liberal” Catholic wing will establish a parallel “inclusive” church that will water down all the dogmas of the faith, just like the liberal Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. that will be acceptable to the New World Order system already in place. The only thing for orthodox believers is to try to live their faith, persevere, prepare for the worst, pray and wait for the Lord Jesus to rescue its Church.