On the Mystery of Iniquity and the Stubbornness of (we) the Stiff-Necked

Let’s consider a short text from Proverbs to illustrate the grave and mysterious problem of “anomia,” of being lawless, of being stubbornly impenitent and persisting in disregard and even contempt of God’s Law:

He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing. (Prov 29:1)

Consider this text in three stages (with acknowledgment to Rev. Adrian Rogers who preached a sermon on this I’ve never forgotten. The alliterated structure here is his, the content is mine):

1. Spiritual Direction– Note how the text describes us as being often reproved. God sends us endless messages always urging us to repentance, to, to turn toward Him, to call on Him, to learn obedience, and to rejoice in the salvation he offers. He whispers, he urges, and he calls. No one who ever went to Hell, went there without being “often reproved.” The Hebrew word is תּוֹכֵחָה (towkechah) means chastisement, correction, refutation, proof, argument, reasoning, rebuke, or reproof. Well, you get the idea, God is pleading with us to come to him, to accept his Kingdom and the Kingdom values that underlie it. He does this in many ways…

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Jews are probably amongst the most devout abortion supporters in America.

American Jews are probably amongst the most devout abortion supporters in America.  Those Jews who vote on the abortion-ticket like to point to a very old rabbinic tradition holding that, if a woman is dying during labor, it is acceptable to kill the child, provided that the child has not yet seen the light of day.  Later rabbinic thought expanded this holding to place the child’s life over the mother’s at all times.

These were always narrow exceptions, though.  Pragmatic considerations had to be balanced against God’s injunction to “choose life” and to “be fruitful and multiply.”  Also, in pre-modern times, abortion was both unpopular and risky, and medicine limited a physician’s ability even to assess the risks a pregnant woman was facing.  The early Jewish philosophers were dealing with anomalies that justified abortion, not with Planned Parenthood clinics in every neighborhood.

Although the rabbis wouldn’t recognize abortion today, modern Jews rely on ancient and narrow rabbinical strictures to embrace an ideology that allows abortion, not only in life and death situations, but at all points in time during the pregnancy, and for all reasons.  I grew up, therefore, in a very abortion-friendly milieu.

I also grew up in a Holocaust milieu.  Without exception, all of the older Jewish people whom I knew when I was growing up had a connection to the Holocaust, whether they’d escaped it or lost people to it.  The Holocaust was a defining backdrop to my childhood.

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Pope Sends Out His First Tweet – New Vatican Site Launched


VATICAN CITY –  Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet Tuesday, typing it himself on an iPad.

The Vatican had confirmed the pope’s inaugural tweet, announcing the launch of news.va, a Vatican news and information site.

He added, “Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.”

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Diaz: The problem with the Christians and pastors, is that they pray too much and act too little.

“Gov. Cuomo, when he was running, said if I get elected, I will push for gay marriage. But pastors and brothers and sisters campaigned for him and voted for him. So we cannot fully blame Cuomo,” said Diaz.

“Pastors and religious leaders are supposed to remember that we are supposed to be Christians before being Democrats or being Republicans. Our responsibility is with Jesus and not with Democratic Party or Republican Party.”

He added that party affiliation is always secondary to one’s Christian faith in political decisions. Regardless of whether a political candidate is Republican or Democrat, Christians should support and vote for whomever shares their values.

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We lost the New York gay ‘marriage’ battle decades ago

The Catholic Church has been largely missing in action since the death of Cardinal O’Connor. In the fight over Bill 371, there was one priest who showed to give testimony to the New York City Council, Father Peter Pilsner. No religious brothers or sisters. At a rally in Harlem over the bill, there were a few priests who turned out, and that was it. There was no mention of the bill by any bishops in Brooklyn, New York, or Rockville Centre, in the five months of fighting, until a joint statement by Bishop DiMarzio of Brooklyn, and Archbishop Dolan the night before the City Council vote.

To their credit, those missing in action over Bill 371 turned out to fight the gay marriage proposal. However, it was to little, too late. Catholic clergy have been loathe to engage these issues from the pulpit. “Too political,” is the mantra. It wasn’t too political for the Holy Spirit and His partner, Blessed John Paul II, who gave us all the tools we need to reclaim an authentic Christian civilization. Yet, I have never heard a priest discuss any of JP II’s teaching in any substantive manner from the pulpit, or in any adult education program. The disconnect has been breathtaking.

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A war is playing out within the city walls of the Vatican.

Nobody was more acutely aware of the anti-papal forces within the Vatican than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who watched his fellow cardinals quietly assail and undermine his beloved friend Pope John Paul II. So it was Cardinal Ratzinger who ratcheted up the battle when he became Pope Benedict XVI.

(DICI) – These are the words from the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “But you know, it’s the priests, it’s the bishops, it’s the Catholic universities: they are full of heresies!”

That’s what the the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith told us in June 2009!

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Corapi’s religious order had been trying to get him to come back and “live in community”

CORAPI AND COMMUNITY LIFE

The bigger focus for many now, surrounds his life within the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. There were changes to the constitution in 1994 and they wanted him back in community. In the first interview you will hear Joan Frawley Desmond, who interviewed Corapi’s superior explain that in the beginning, when the founder permitted him to live in solitude and to preach, the arrangement was not for him to live in his own home. I am not entirely clear on how long SOLT has been trying to get him to live back in community, so if someone catches that, please drop it into the combox, and cite the source. Watch that interview to hear it explained by Desmond. This move to live in a home was a later development that he apparently took on himself, and may not necessarily have been what his community desired.

In the end, we learn that attempts to bring him back into community life did not get anywhere. This would not have meant giving up preaching as seems to be the assumption in some writings online. We see members of other communities like the Fathers of Mercy traveling all the time to speak, as well as members of the Dominicans, among others. What it would have meant was giving up the assets: the money, the ranch, the sports car, the business, personal possessions, and perhaps the most difficult of all, the power to do what he wanted, when he wanted, and how he wanted. I suspect media produced would have been more in line with what we see out of other religious orders.

This goes directly to the vow of obedience and I offer this most especially for those who are discerning a vocation. If a founder or religious superior makes a promise to a member, a future superior is not bound to honor that agreement. Rather, it is the other way around.

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