Today’s question: How do you know that God is real?

saints

Question: How do you know that God is real?

Answer: Many years ago, I decided to take some time off and devote two full years to the study of all world religions, after which I chose to be Catholic.

Then, I spent another ten years studying the faith while working in Catholic parishes; teaching, doing social work and heading up various offices and initiatives, just to see how things actually worked.

Today, I answer questions on-line and operate a Catholic website: http://www.askmeaboutgod.org.

I know God is real because he reveals himself to me in many different ways; particularly through study, worship and sacraments, through fellowship with other Christians and through occasional miracles of various kinds.

Once you come to know God it’s a fairly simple matter to pray without ceasing; staying in constant touch with the Almighty, in a very intimate, complete and powerful way.

The power of that relationship extends also to my friends and family; some of whom are not yet believers. I trust that, by the grace of God, all soon will be.

To sum it all up:

God answers my prayers.

God provides for all my needs.

God speaks to me when I need to hear from him.

God blesses me beyond measure.

God gives me hope.

For my part, I do my best to know, love and serve God,

every way I can, and to give him the thanks,

praise and worship that he is due.

In light of all the scandals oppressing today’s Catholics, a query that needs to be addressed…

Q: Often, we hear about what’s bad within the Catholic church and its history. Tell us of the good you’ve seen within the Catholic church.

A: Peace beyond all understanding and freedom from the fear of death, along with genuine faith, hope and charity, writ large and long, the world over, courtesy of our Savior Jesus Christ, who remains the head of the Catholic Church, the Holy Spirit, who remains its constant Advocate/Spirit of Truth and God the Father, whose inestimable power, love and grace makes it all possible, in spite of rampant, human corruption and sin.

(Posted today on Yahoo Answers)

Because he was not open to God’s will, Satan is entrapped in a lower existence, imprisoned in currents of unredeemable chaos below this world.

 

SatansNo

Satan’s “NO” to God
Non serviam – Latin for “I will not serve”

Saint Hildegard sees how the Ancient Adversary is at work to lure and coerce into this same pit all those whose lives he invades and touches.

Obedience begins with the realization that one cannot bring into completion the work God has begun.   The ambiguity surrounding this life is beyond human capacity to understand or master, and left to ourselves, we are always at risk of being mastered by it.  Following our own whims is not enough because even the whims of the heart are subject to this confusion.  Our dignity, our integrity, our existence require firm ground on which to stand, or they all fall.  This understanding, this saving truth is found somewhere beyond our natural capacities, from Someone above us, who comes down to us, who calls to us and who waits for us to welcome Him.

Rather than allowing oneself to be consumed with the confusion of doing what one wishes, we only begin to redeem the ambiguity of life by searching out the most appropriate way of serving the Lord who reveals Himself to us.

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Archbishop’s homily: Hope is the grace to trust that God is who he claims to be…

Over the past 41 years, the prolife movement has been written off as dying too many times to count.  Yet here we are, again and again, disappointing our critics and refusing to die.  And why is that?  It’s because the Word of God and the works of God do not pass away.  No court decision, no law and no political lobby can ever change the truth about when human life begins and the sanctity that God attaches to each and every human life.

The truth about the dignity of the human person is burned into our hearts by the fire of God’s love.  And we can only deal with the heat of that love in two ways.  We can turn our hearts to stone.  Or we can make our hearts and our witness a source of light for the world.

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My dad abandoned me, and I’ve struggled with alcoholism my whole life. But now, I see what I see through Catholic eyes…

I was thirteen years old when I lost my father to divorce. One of my most poignant memories of this time is sitting in the window, watching him drive away down our long driveway. I waited for him to come back for what felt like an eternity. He never did come back, and I remembered very little about him after that until I was much older.

As the years passed with little contact with my father, I lost trust in him, and my mother too. She was lost in her own pain and abandoned me emotionally, leaving me to raise myself from then on, facing each challenge that came along alone with no guidance. Until six years ago, I never tried to heal that breach of trust. Afraid of being let down again, I placed few demands on anyone, man or woman, as long as they showed up.

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A collection of short, inspiring Catholic faith videos

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Visit the site

Hope and the “magical” negro

The babe in the manger is a girl named Hope.

Joseph (er, “Jose”) is an illegal immigrant looking for a job in the U.S.

Mary (“Maura”) is a teenage runaway who fled her Connecticut home after her parents became upset upon discovering her pregnancy. The Angel Gabriel, nicknamed “Gabe,” is a homeless black man.

The reinterpreted Nativity, its characters hewn by chainsaw artist Michael Higgins, stands in Tiverton Four Corners, Rhode Island. The unconventional display was conceived by Bill Sterritt, pastor of the Amicable Congregational Church. Sterritt envisioned the Christmas story in modern times. In his model, the Magi are a Buddhist, a Muslim and a Hindu.

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And more

 

When evil was allowed to do its worst, even to the point of wearing itself out … only to have God step in and restore all that had been lost!

What is perhaps the oldest book of the Bible grapples prophetically with Satan … the “Mystery of Iniquity” … suffering … human failings … the will of God … redemption … restoration … faith, hope and love.

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Barack “the messiah” Obama beseeches supporters, “Keep believing in me!”

Three and a half years later, the only HOPE that remains is a complete and profound CHANGE … of leadership!

ABO 2012 ! ! !

(Anyone BUT Obama in 2012 ! ! !)

Link

A story of faith, hope and love: “Do you believe in Easter?”

THE STORY OF EDITH BURNS…

Happy Easter!

Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio , Texas . She was the patient of a doctor by the name of Will Phillips. Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as people. His favorite patient was Edith Burns.

One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was because of Edith Burns. When he walked into that waiting room, there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly talking to a young mother sitting beside her.

Edith Burns had a habit of introducing herself in this way: “Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” Then she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people would be saved.

Dr. Phillips walked into that office and there he saw the head nurse, Beverly . Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking her blood pressure.

Edith began by saying, “My name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?”

Beverly said, “Why yes I do.”

Edith said, “Well, what do you believe about Easter?”

Beverly said, “Well, it’s all about egg hunts, going to church, and dressing up.” Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Phillips said, ” Beverly, don’t call Edith into the office quite yet. I believe there is another delivery taking place in the waiting room.

After being called back in the doctor’s office, Edith sat down and when she took a look at the doctor she said, “Dr. Will, why are you so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?”

Dr. Phillips said gently, “Edith, I’m the doctor and you’re the patient.” With a heavy heart he said, “Your lab report came back and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you’re not going to live very long.”

Edith said, “Why Will Phillips, shame on you. Why are you so sad? Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I’m going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!”

Dr. Phillips thought to himself, “What a magnificent woman this Edith Burns is!”

Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips. Christmas came and the office was closed through January 3rd. On the day the office opened, Edith did not show up. Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would have to be moving her story to the hospital and said, “Will, I’m very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here next to me in my room who need to know about Easter.”

Well, they did just that and women began to come in and share that room with Edith. Many women were saved. Everybody on that floor from staff to patients were so excited about Edith, that they started calling her Edith Easter; that is everyone except Phyllis Cross, the head nurse.

Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith because she was a “religious nut”. She had been a nurse in an army hospital. She had seen it all and heard it all. She was the original G.I. Jane. She had been married three times, she was hard, cold, and did everything by the book.

One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick. Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot.

When she walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said, “Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I have been praying for you.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Well, you can quit praying for me, it won’t work.. I’m not interested.”

Edith said, “Well, I will pray and I have asked God not to let me go home until you come into the family.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Then you will never die because that will never happen,” and curtly walked out of the room.

Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith would say, “God loves you Phyllis and I love you, and I’m praying for you.”

One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith’s room like a magnet would draw iron. She sat down on the bed and Edith said, “I’m so glad you have come, because God told me that today is your special day”

Phyllis Cross said, “Edith, you have asked everybody here the question, “Do you believe in Easter but you have never asked me.”

Edith said, “Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me to wait until you asked, and now that you have asked.” Edith Burns took her Bible and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter Story of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Edith said, “Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?”

Phyllis Cross said, “Oh I want to believe that with all of my heart, and I do want Jesus in my life “Right there, Phyllis Cross prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried out on the wings of angels.

Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, “Do you know what day it is?” Phyllis Cross said, “Why Edith, it’s Good Friday.”

Edith said, “Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. Happy Easter Phyllis!”

Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into work, did some of her duties and then went down to the flower shop and got some Easter lilies because she wanted to go up to see Edith and give her some Easter lilies and wish her a Happy Easter.

When she walked into Edith’s room, Edith was in bed. That big black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible. There was a sweet smile on her face. When Phyllis Cross went to pick up Edith’s hand, she realized Edith was dead. Her left hand was on John 14: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then lifted her face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down her cheeks, said, “Happy Easter, Edith – Happy Easter!”

Phyllis Cross left Edith’s body, walked out of the room, and over to a table where two student nurses were sitting.

She said, “My name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?”

Submitted by Joan H.

How many does it take to a bring a loved one to Christ?

A couple Sundays ago, the Gospel was Mark 2:1-12,

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.

They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?”

Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk?’ But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”-he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”

He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

What’s remarkable is that there’s no mention of the paralytic’s faith at all.

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Editor’s note: This article certainly reinforces the concept of “church” and the importance of the Christian community … and it should be a source of hope for virtually every family.

The efficacious virtue of divine light and grace remains our only true hope for salvation.


by Doug Lawrence

The only church that was ever personally founded by Jesus Christ is the one, holy, apostolic and universal church … known today as Catholic.

The ordinary means of personal salvation in Jesus Christ is through baptism … which is “the door” by which someone typically enters … along with a lifetime of subsequent, faithful participation in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church.

Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. But God is sovereign, merciful, and all powerful … and he can save whomsoever he wishes … for any reason or for none … even in direct exception to the rules of the church, which are necessarily subject to the will of God, in all things.

Yet, anyone God chooses to save is saved only by the effective application of the grace that Jesus obtained for all, on the cross at Calvary.

The Catholic Church itself has canonized only a few thousand saints. Hence, the church claims no direct knowledge of the salvation … or damnation … of the great majority of souls.

In spite of all this, some Catholics maintain
that we can be absolutely confident of the salvation
of other apparently “good” people,
who through no fault of their own,
never became members of the Catholic Church.

Yet we know not of a single one, for certain!

Jesus remains the Blessed Hope of our salvation. Until the moment Jesus, the just judge  personally invites into heaven (or banishes us to hell) the best we can do is depend upon his saving grace, so that we might one day, like Saint Paul, be able to truthfully exclaim:

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:1-8)

St. Paul turned out to be correct, and the Church subsequently confirmed as much, by officially declaring him a saint. Yet we have absolutely no specific knowledge of anyone outside the church ever being admitted to heaven.

But what about St. Daniel the Prophet, St. John the Baptist, St. Dismas – the “good” thief, and the many prophets and patriarchs of old? It remains a complicated subject!

Read Lionel Andrades latest column on this matter.

Reader Paul comments on “Those in danger of death are presumed to be repentant…”

See the original article here:

“Those in danger of death are presumed to be repentant…”

Paul writes:

We are all quite damnable sinners and our life style and actions may be far less than we hope them to be. As death approaches perhaps we should be in terror of our eternity especially if we think about God and his judgment upon our wretched selves.

It is not that I disagree with this point. Indeed it is strangely comforting to remember that God is All Just and everything we do we shall be called to account for. Many wicked people would do well to tremble at this thought and perhaps the fear of eternal damnation may allow grace into their hearts before it is too late. After Death it will certainly be too late to repent and if a soul refuses grace all its life and at death spits hate upon whatever grace is offered its fate may be what it desires. As C.S.Lewis noted; “hell is a door locked from the inside”.

Nevertheless, we should not be afraid of our final judgment. Rather we should welcome it and go blithely to Our Lord. That is not because we are mentally deranged but as Christians we believe in something even greater than Judgment . . . We believe in Hope.

This virtue comes not from what we do not know but from what we do know.

It is about knowing that God is Love and essentially is revealed by Jesus as a God of infinite mercy and compassion. Hence the thief on the cross asks “Jesus remember me when you go into your kingdom“. The response of Jesus is one of sublime mercy when he promises the thief eternal salvation that very day. It is not that the thief has asked for repentance because he fears final annihilation but because he dares hope that this man crucified beside him so unjustly is a king after all.

And if the Gospels are Good News then we must recall what they are good news about? That Jesus understands us and seeks out the company of sinners rather than condemning us and blasting us into oblivion because of this or that action.

Mortal sin is constantly being re-evaluated by the Catholic Church. We simply do not understand the eternal consequences of any temporal act. There are some actions that are heinous and these are universally abhorred. Yet our understanding of these has and does change in time because we are creatures of time and place. For example, Abortion is a horrible sin but not all people that have had an abortion are of equal guilt because time and sense make the individual culpable or less so. The act is monstrous but individuals take greater or lesser part by their understanding. Again for example, suicide used to be considered always a mortal sin but today we are more gentle in our understanding that we simply do not know the reasoning or intelligence of a person that takes their own life. It would be insensitive and immoral for us to dismiss the hope of paradise because of any action of which we are ignorant of the full story.

Instead we have come to understand that God is not about Judgment but about infinite understanding, kindness, gentleness, mercy. Our hope is therefore that our loving father whom knows us intimately will forgive us more often then we fall, prostrate with our own stupidity.

All people of good will are potentially redeemable and it is the will of Our Lord that we shall be saved and not condemned.

When we see the Sacred Heart of Jesus we are told that he loves us beyond all reason or rational consideration. The Sacred Heart does not require us to offer a prayer in word, a simple longing look for example is enough to bring grace of salvation upon us. We will never earn Paradise but Jesus gives us his everything so that we can obtain it. It is Love that we face at death and it will require us to open before it every window in our soul. We can never escape Gods justice and his final judgment upon us but as Christians we must not be afraid to embrace his Love. If we can do this then we believe that Salvation is assured no matter our faults or errors at death.

To turn from Gods grace is unfortunate and could be disastrous but we must never forget “God is Love” and that should encourage us to go into the light and give us faith to welcome our Risen lord.

Wacky Logic: Planned Parenthood Wants to Abort Us into Prosperity!


The Minions of Satan at Planned Parenthood cling to their erroneous ideas about the value of the culture of death, denying the essential truth: God loves us, and God will most certainly provide for all of our needs.

From this profound lack of faith, hope, and charity proceeds every type of grave sin and monstrous evil.

Theological matters aside, the death-dealers at Planned Parenthood (and their supporters) aren’t even good at basic logic.

Read the latest article from The Population Research Institute.

Submitted by Jerry V.

“Ask and You Shall Receive.” – But there’s a catch …

And Jesus answered saying to them,

“Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be taken up and cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” – Mark 11:22-24

The “Catch”

The virtues of faith, hope and charity are a reflection of the power of God’s grace in our life, and our free will choice to cooperate with that grace … for our own salvation and for the glory of God … all of which are in full agreement with God’s will and his plan.

Should it happen that we ask God for something which is not compatible with his grace, his will, or his plan … then we probably shouldn’t look forward to moving mountains … anytime soon!

Homily from the Holy Father’s Mass for the sick (at Lourdes)

In the smile of the most eminent of all creatures, looking down on us, is reflected our dignity as children of God, that dignity which never abandons the sick person. This smile, a true reflection of God’s tenderness, is the source of an invincible hope. Unfortunately we know only too well: the endurance of suffering can upset life’s most stable equilibrium, it can shake the firmest foundations of confidence, and sometimes even leads people to despair of the meaning and value of life.

There are struggles that we cannot sustain alone, without the help of divine grace. When speech can no longer find the right words, the need arises for a loving presence: we seek then the closeness not only of those who share the same blood or are linked to us by friendship, but also the closeness of those who are intimately bound to us by faith.

Who could be more intimate to us than Christ and his holy Mother, the Immaculate One? More than any others, they are capable of understanding us and grasping how hard we have to fight against evil and suffering.

The Letter to the Hebrews says of Christ that he “is not unable to sympathize with our weaknesses; for in every respect he has been tempted as we are” (cf. Heb 4:15).

I would like to say, humbly, to those who suffer and to those who struggle and are tempted to turn their backs on life: turn towards Mary! Within the smile of the Virgin lies mysteriously hidden the strength to fight against sickness, in support of life. With her, equally, is found the grace to accept without fear or bitterness to leave this world at the hour chosen by God.

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From Lesbian Atheist to Stay-at-Home Mother of Six: Quebec Journalist Tells Her Story

I’ve deliberately avoided posting an excerpt from this story because the entire article is so important.

It successfully illustrates the sad state
many of us find ourselves in these days,
yet gives hope to all that we can still overcome
and triumph, through God’s love and his grace,
in cooperation with his church.

If that’s not an authentically Christian inspirational message,
than nothing is!

Read the amazing conversion story

Visit the St. Benedict Abbey Site

Quebec Life Coalition

New York Times sadly notes the strength of the Catholic faith in Poland

The New York Times “damns with faint praise” the faith of the Polish people, and the resilience of the Catholic church there, woefully comparing it to the “norm” in nearby Germany, where things are much more secular and “comfortable” … and where the people have the “guts” to speak out against abuse.

The Times infers that if it wasn’t for the reverence and faith of the Polish people, there would be many more reported cases of priestly abuse there. Then they trot out their own “expert” to make the point again, along with an alleged abuse victim, who is not really identified (or willing to come forward.)

How can the Times know this? They first go to great lengths explaining how Poland is NOT like every other country in Europe. Then they reject their own premise and ASSUME that it must be!

Obviously disappointed, the article closes with : For now, at least, the church still has a refuge in Poland.

As if the Catholic Church needs a “refuge” in Poland … or anywhere else … when we have Jesus Christ!

What the New York Times should do is simply admit that they do not understand the Polish people, the Catholic Church, and the Christian faith, in general. Then, we might be getting somewhere!

Read the article

The rise of Barack Obama and his ilk provides the key to understanding the troubles in today’s Catholic Church


On December 8, 1965, the top leadership of the Catholic Church
set off on an AUDACIOUS quest for CHANGE, in the professed HOPE
of re-making the Catholic Church, in a new image
that was purely their own.

It appears now that their diabolical work
has almost completely succeeded.

Strangely enough, it was the rise of Barack Obama and his ilk
that provided the key to understanding
the Church’s present troubles, since from the events of this past year,
it has become increasingly clear that during the 1960’s and ’70’s,
the liberals, communists, homosexuals, and progressives had taken over
virtually every key leadership position in the Catholic Church,
where they then proceeded, in a systematic manner,
to AUDACIOUSLY uproot and discard,
for their own nefarious purposes,
some nineteen centuries of sacred Catholic Tradition.

“CHANGE” has been the Catholic Church’s
new and overriding tradition, ever since.

It began with the desacralization of the liturgy,
followed by the destruction of the religious orders and seminaries,
and the wholesale demolition of the churches,
beginning at the altar rails.

Next to go was the Catholic school system …
first the universities, then the primary and secondary schools …
and presently, we have the priesthood and the papacy
being regularly, systematically, and publicly scandalized.

Most of these “wounds” have been self-inflicted!

What the Spanish “Red Terror” revolutionaries had begun,
the radicals in the Catholic Church,
along with their willing, secular accomplices,
successfully completed by stealth,
a mere twenty years later.

One must inquire of today’s Catholics,
How’s that CHANGE working out for you?”

Looking back, in light of the rise of the Obama regime,
it’s clear that the changes made
in the post-Vatican II era church
were ill-considered, radical, and destructive …
directed and instigated by the SAME TYPES
of liberal, socialist, progressive ideologues who now intend
to do the same thing to these United States.

The Catholic Church as we once knew it, is no more …
and if the liberals are permitted to take full control
of the other churches, of the political parties,
the education establishment, the courts, the labor unions,
the media, the U.S. government bureaucracy,
and coming soon … the health care establishment …
there soon won’t be much remaining to fight over!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a “wake up call”
for every faithful Catholic
and every true American patriot!

It’s high time we fixed this mess!

Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Piercing the Darkness – Good Friday

Even a casual observer of American society can tell that there is a certain sinister chaos spreading throughout every aspect of public life these days. Naturally, as it filters through society it finds its way into our homes, families and personal lives as well. The reports of monumental breakups and takeovers, meltdowns, dysfunctions, cutbacks, disasters, protests, catastrophic events, scandals, and just plain moral chaos are, shall we say, legion, and it does not look like there will be any let up in the dismantling of our formerly decent society any time soon. Public officials and the movers-and-shakers of social communications long ago divorced American culture from authentic Christian values, and the result is that modern America has found itself first wandering then running down a very slippery slope to moral and social anarchy. The darkness has settled upon us.

This idea came home to me this week when I attended the 5th Anniversary Mass of Terri Schindler Schiavo at Ave Maria University in FL. How well I remember the horrible killing scene in Pinellas Park, FL in 2005 when the combined efforts of pro-lifers and some political allies were not able to stop the forward motion of such raw evil. From the Florida circuit courts all the way up to the US Supreme Court, the corrupt judiciaries refused to intervene and even ordered her killing, with impunity. The US Congress was almost laughably powerless to help. The utter uselessness of the bishop and clergy in the diocese where Terri was murdered was a microcosm of the Church Impotent rather than the Church Militant. The thousands of calls that the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation now gets in their attempt to stop other similar killings are an indication that this same darkness is now penetrating our society at an alarming level.

Every aspect of American society is touched by this chaos: the pervasive and unstoppable corruption in government, the major media, Hollywood, academia, healthcare, and even within our own churches! All of this corruption is multiplying the shadows over our society and penetrating into every aspect of personal and family life as we speak.

What I find most alarming, as an exorcist, is the spread of truly occult phenomena in our youth culture. It used to be that vampires had to go back into their coffins with the first streaks of dawn. Now handsome young vampires are sullying the covers of every gossip magazine and tantalizing prime time audiences with their evil – and teenage girls are just swooning for them…. Don’t be fooled: the vampire culture is the spawn of the Harry Potter culture that has washed over our youth for a decade and still seduces parents into thinking it is all just “harmless entertainment.” Kids dressing up as sorcerers, blogging about vampires, dabbling in Wicca – it’s just plain seductive and evil. Our Baptismal Promises demand that we “reject Satan and all his works and all his empty promises,” and that includes demons, witches and vampires!

If I were anything other than a Christian, I would probably despair of the status of the culture all around us. Yes, there are movements fighting to take the culture and politics back, but most of these are just about political power and, if they have an effect at all, they will just install another version of corruption in place of the political devils they cast out.

The reason I don’t despair in the face of all this darkness, though, is because I remember that once-upon-a-time Evil had its Hour. I am not talking about sixty-minutes of willowy darkness. I am talking about the worst crime ever committed in history, the blackest deed ever known to man: the killing of the Son of God on Calvary. The corrupt politicians, clergy and laity of the day were all implicated in the crime. Worst of all, the devil was sitting back gloating at his masterpiece of evil.

But much to the devil’s surprise, evil did not win the Day…because at that very moment of deepest darkness, the Son of God did something utterly unforeseen and caught the whole wicked world unaware: He shattered the darkness and rose from the dead! Who would have imagined!

Ever after, those who persevere through Good Friday looking toward the joy of Easter Sunday find themselves immersed in the same eternal mystery of Light. Christ has pierced the darkness and given us Hope! We can sing the great “Te Deum” hymn with the greatest fervor now in every dark hour of our lives: “In you Lord is our hope – and we shall never hope in vain!”

Sincerely,

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer

Human Life International