Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt: Family as the foundation of culture.

Dear friends in Christ,

Since the beginning of man’s life on earth, the family has served as the cornerstone of society.  The integrity of the family set the standard for society from the beginning of time as the underpinning of our civilization, reflecting the beneficial differences between men and women and the complementarity of their hearts, minds, and bodies.

Aristotle argued that the natural progression of human beings flowed from the family via small communities out to the polisThe state itself, then, as a natural extension of the family, mirrors this critical institution.

Inspired by Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas writes, “man is by nature a social being since he stands in need of many vital things which he cannot come by through his own unaided effort. Hence he is naturally part of a group by which assistance is given him that he may live well.  He needs this assistance with a view to life as well as to the good life.”[1]  And Pope Leo XIII develops Aquinas’ thought further, recognizing that “man’s natural instinct moves him to live in civil society, for he cannot, if dwelling apart, provide himself with the necessary requirements of life, nor procure the means of developing his mental and moral faculties.”[2]  Indeed, just as our communities and the state itself imitate the structure of the family, our economy is also modeled after oikonomia—the Greek word for household management.

Read more

Editor’s note: This is a fairly long piece, but it is worth a read. This is what good Catholic bishops are supposed to do – teach!

The “Fornication Pride” movement preceded the “Gay Pride” movement by about 40 years

The heterosexual equivalent of the “Gay Pride” movement occurred a generation or two ago in the so called sexual revolution of the sixties and seventies. The “free love” movement, epitomized by such cultural icons as Woodstock and Haight-Ashbury was as fundamentally challenging and shocking (if not more so), to the moral sensibilities of the Church and larger American culture when it occurred, as the “Gay Pride” movement has been more recently. Certainly it was at least as much a frontal attack on traditional norms and values.

Consider how quickly and thoroughly this revolution occurred. In the space of a few decades, America was transformed from a country where Elvis shaking his hips on TV created a national scandal to a country where TV shows like “Friends” depicted serial fornication among “friends” as harmless fun, indeed, as a charming and even hilarious indoor sport. And now it has gone to another level with shows like “Desperate Housewives” and “Mistresses.” What this shows I would suggest is that the “Fornication Pride” movement succeeded with extraordinary efficiency decades ago and is now so deeply woven into the fabric of our culture that we hardly ever notice it even occurred.

Read more

Women Being Driven by Their Image of Men

Because of Roe – one court decision – abortions were somehow now acceptable. Any obstacles that stood in a woman’s way of getting her education or starting her career were fair game for destruction – even her children. Because after all, a women should be just like a man in every way. She could go to school like a man, have sex like a man, go to work like a man, and not have to carry children like a man.

Yet in this drive to be just like men in every single way, someone forgot that women are uniquely designed to give birth to the human race. We are women for a reason. We are nurturing for a reason – it’s simply a matter of design. Several recent editorials have voiced the view that women ought to realize their right to be mothers and the need for them to be just that.

Read more

Here’s how the little known and often ignored Catholic principle of subsidiarity works – and why it’s so important in today’s world.

hsshenail

by Doug Lawrence

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

For want of a horse the rider was lost.

For want of a rider the message was lost.

For want of a message the battle was lost.

For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

From the Catechism:

Consult section 1878 – 1896

IN BRIEF

1890 There is a certain resemblance between the unity of the divine persons and the fraternity that men ought to establish among themselves.

1891 The human person needs life in society in order to develop in accordance with his nature. Certain societies, such as the family and the state, correspond more directly to the nature of man.

1892 “The human person . . . is and ought to be the principle, the subject, and the object of every social organization” (GS 25 § 1).

1893 Widespread participation in voluntary associations and institutions is to be encouraged.

1894 In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, neither the state nor any larger society should substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and intermediary bodies.

1895 Society ought to promote the exercise of virtue, not obstruct it. It should be animated by a just hierarchy of values.

1896 Where sin has perverted the social climate, it is necessary to call for the conversion of hearts and appeal to the grace of God. Charity urges just reforms. There is no solution to the social question apart from the Gospel (cf. CA 3, 5).

Editor’s note: If everybody understands their own order (mission) in life, along with their rights, responsibilities and their own particular vocation and talents under God … then … acting with charity (love) … for the common good … every part of society … beginning with the individual and the family … illuminated by the Gospel and suitably empowered by God’s grace … might reach its’ true potential … according to the dignity of the human person, who is created for good, in the image and likeness of God.

Evil doers, deniers, exploiters, usurpers and shirkers introduce deadly weaknesses and harmful anomalies into society, resulting in various forms of immorality, human suffering and social injustice.

The church and its’ members are called to help remedy these ills by means of authentic Gospel values … primarily charity and truth … embodying a genuine respect and personal concern for the fundamental rights and essential needs of every human person.

This is to be considered a direct and personal responsibility … one child of God helping another … and whenever possible … such duties should not be entrusted to third parties, government bureaucracies, or other far-flung, impersonal organizations.

In short: There’s always plenty of good, charitable work to be done, one-on-one, right in your own back yard. Relying solely on government and/or other third parties to accomplish this great and important work often deprives both the donor and the recipient of the corresponding spiritual and corporal rewards. This, along with the distinct absence of any real personal connection, results in significant losses to society, at virtually every level.

While he still walked the earth, Jesus Christ never asked anyone how much money they gave to some nameless, faceless, charity. He said this:

And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before him: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.

Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry and fed thee: thirsty and gave thee drink? Or when did we see thee a stranger and took thee in? Or naked and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison and came to thee?

And the king answering shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.  (Matthew 25:31-40)

Occasional, impersonal actions, accomplished at substantial distance are better than nothing, but they simply do not carry the same “weight” as personal acts of charity and kindness … one child of God to another … for either the donor or the recipient. Today’s world is a far colder, darker and scarier place, as a result.

Related reading:

RERUM NOVARUM – ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
ON CAPITAL AND LABOR
 

CENTESIMUS ANNUS – ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
ON THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF RERUM NOVARUM

CARITAS IN VERITATE –  ENCYCLICAL OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
THE PROCLAMATION OF TRUTH AND LOVE IN SOCIETY

Weigel: The days of Recreational Catholicism—Catholicism as a traditional, leisure-time activity absorbing perhaps ninety minutes of one’s time on a weekend—is over.

The challenge can be defined simply: Throughout the Western world, the culture no longer carries the faith, because the culture has become increasingly hostile to the faith. Catholicism can no longer be absorbed by osmosis from the environment, for the environment has become toxic. So we can no longer sit back and assume that decent lives lived in conformity with the prevailing cultural norms will somehow convey the faith to our children and grandchildren and invite others to consider entering the Church.

No, in our new situation, Catholicism has to be proposed, and Catholicism has to be lived in radical fidelity to Christ and the Gospel.

Read more

2-minute video explains why marriage between one man and one woman is unique, critically important to society – and totally non-discriminatory.

marriagevid

Watch the video

Our Deviant Society

Much of today’s language usage demonstrates a desire to be nonjudgmental. People used to shack up; now they cohabit or are living partners. Few young women of yesteryear would have felt comfortable to publicly declare they slept around. Unmarried women used to give birth to a bastard; later, this was upgraded to an illegitimate birth or a nonmarital birth. In many instances, unwed mothers proudly hold baby showers celebrating their illegitimate offspring, and the man, if known, who sired the baby is referred to as “my baby’s daddy” or sometimes as “my baby daddy.”

Homosexual marriages, which are not a basic human survival trait, were unheard of; today, in some jurisdictions, homosexual marriages have legal sanction. To be judgmental about modern codes of conduct is to risk being labeled a prude, racist, sexist or a homophobe. People ignore the fact that to accept another’s right to engage in certain peaceable, voluntary behavior doesn’t require moral acceptance or sanction.

Read more