Showing posts with label justice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label justice. Show all posts

16 Nov 2017

What Christians Can Learn From Malcolm X

I have been reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X and I am very impressed with the man. I was interested in reading it after someone mentioned how reading changed his life (I am all about promoting literacy and education.) I learned a lot about how things were during his life and also how things got to be the way they are now. It seems to me that a lot has improved since his time, but a lot is still very much the same. His message to his black brothers was for them to love and respect themselves, do for themselves, and demand justice for themselves–this is hard for me to disagree with. Malcolm is still thought of today as a divisive and angry figure, unlike the inclusive and inspiring Martin Luther King, but there are many things we can learn from the life of Malcolm X.
1. Through self-discipline, Malcolm found freedom. While in prison, his family was trying to get him to follow the teachings of Elijah Muhammad–they started by telling him to give up pork and cigarettes and that they would help him to get out of prison. He began to decline the pork as it was passed around and also the cigarettes. I believe this was the turning point where he began to see that he was something other than a victim of injustice with no power over his life–he began to see that even in prison, he could make choices for himself, giving up the sensual and temporary pleasure for something greater. As Christians, we practice this same discipline during Lent and Advent, and (we ought to be) Fridays as well. Denying ourselves some worldly goods can strengthen us for the spiritual fights we must face.  

17 Sep 2017

"Raving Politics"

Quite a few parts of the Bible don't talk about forgiveness. But quite a few do, and they're not just in the New Testament.

This morning's second reading doesn't mention forgiveness directly, but the verse right after it does.

They all say why forgiving is a good idea.

It's enlightened self-interest, in the long run....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

14 Jun 2017

The U.S. Flag: What Virtues Does It Represent?

Today is Flag Day! Happy Flag Day to all my fellow United States citizens. Today in America, we celebrate what the U.S. flag means to us all. With that in mind, I thought I would hone in on some virtues, for which I think the U.S. flag proudly represents.

Virtues of the U.S. Flag

Courage: The U.S. flag is a symbol of courage. Many men and women have given their lives in defense of our freedom and democracy. It represents all the blood, sweat and tears shed, so that we might enjoy our freedom accorded by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Acceptance:

19 May 2017

Ammonites, Dinosaurs, and Us

Today's world is remarkable for a lack of dinosaurs. Big ones, anyway. Those critters would have been among the first things someone would notice here for upwards of 200,000,000 years.

Then, about 66,000,000 years back, something awful happened. The only dinosaurs left are those little tweeting, chirping, and cawing critters we call birds.

Ammonites had been around for even longer, but whatever finished the 'thunder lizards' wiped them out, too. We showed up much more recently, and are learning that there's a very great deal of our past, and Earth's, that we don't know. Not yet....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

10 May 2017

Seeking Justice: My Time on Jury Duty

In the United States, a person is presumed innocent, until the State can prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the person, charged with a crime, is guilty. I got to see the wheels of justice turn, first-hand, during the last week in April, while serving on  jury duty. A husband/father was accused of assaulting his wife and daughter; hence two counts of assault.

The trial was fascinating, especially the jury selection part of the trial. I thought, for sure, I would be dismissed for two reasons:

  1. I have many years of training, as an auditor, where my job was to ascertain whether someone was telling the truth. Whichever side was planning to present sketchy information, I would surely figure it out.
  2. I have a Masters in Theology, and I teach morality. If I’ve learned anything over the past six years of study, it is that you do not draw a black or white, yes or no conclusion of a moral act, without considering intent and circumstances.

For these reasons, I felt certain that either the Prosecution or the Defense would dismiss me. But no, I became Juror #9. Read more...

28 Nov 2016

Hate, Justice, Forgiveness

Islamic centers in California got hate mail recently. At least one of the letters was addressed "To the Children of Satan," and started with "You muslims [!] are a vile and filthy people...."1 Details are new, but the attitude is all too familiar.

Hating Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Catholics, or other 'outsiders' may be easier than coming to terms with personal issues. I don't know why those letters were sent.

I also don't know why a Somali refugee drove into a crowd at Ohio State University and hurt some folks with a knife this morning.2 He had been a student there, and now he's dead. I'm not happy about that, but I think he shouldn't have attacked those folks.

I do not think we should deport all Somalis, lock up college students, or ban knives and automobiles. I'll talk about what I think would make sense, after explaining why I'm not upset about Americans who don't look and act exactly like me.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

28 Sep 2014

Reforming the World — We Must Try

'Kids these days! Nobody takes responsibility! Back in my day, nobody tried blaming the other guy!'

I've been hearing variations on that complaint for more than a half-century now. I started wondering if it was true in my teens. By now, I'm pretty sure that it's not: partly because now I remember the 'good old days:' and like I've said before, they weren't.

One of 'Those Crazy Kids:' Five Decades Later

I was one of "those kids" in the late '60s and early '70s.

Some of us were lazy bums, and others were only too eager to blame our parents, the government, or anyone else, for our problems.

But others were "irresponsible" only in the sense that we wouldn't accept the status quo.

That attitude didn't appeal to folks who believed in buying stuff they didn't need, with money they didn't have, to impress people they didn't like.

We thought we could reform the world: and certain that we had to try.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

7 Sep 2014

God's Wrath.

Today was a rough one.  But I knew it would be, I had been warned ahead of time. 

I went to Holy Mass and as usual, I stay after and pray.  This situation is ideal, because no one sees me.  This is important.  If you are truly seeking the good of another soul in your petition to God, and nothing for yourself, then your petition, ideally, should just be between you and God.  Hidden from the eyes of everyone.  No guile, no hidden agendas, just you and God as you plead to Him for His mercy on those He has chosen you to pray for.  (Oh yeah, you usually don't get to pick whom or what you pray for.) find out what happened when praying the stations, CLICK HERE!

20 Jul 2014

"Those Who are Just Must be Kind"

(From John Martin, via WikiMedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
('Now that I have your attention ....')

God is occasionally presented as violence-prone, with serious anger management issues.

Some folks who describe the Almighty this way seem to think that we should worship God because the alternative is getting squashed like bugs. Others claim that God is a make-believe bogeyman, invented by charlatans to frighten people.

I think both claims are missing an important point.

God is just, God is merciful: and sometimes God has to get our attention.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

14 Jul 2014



I was afraid to write some of the posts I have posted lately.  Part of me didn't want to write them, because of what they could cost me.  Yes, I have written the truth, I will not deny that, ever.  And I was commanded to write.  He said, "You MUST write."  "OK I will." And write I shall. 

The truth I tell could cost me dearly.  It has already begun to cost me, but because of my love, I will be obedient.  The Mathematics I love, may be only a dream, a certificate on the wall.   I may never get to use it.  Not my will but yours.  When you know the truth, any pain of any loss is small compared to the pain of the state of souls in the world. ....READ MORE.

13 Jul 2014

Vengeance, Anger, and Looking Ahead

"The avenger of blood may execute the murderer, putting him to death on sight."
(Numbers 35:19)
I ran into that bit from the Pentateuch in "Judas on a Pole," an episode in the second season of Bones. The writers used an 'Olde Englishe' translation that many Americans perceive as 'Biblical,' and that's another topic.

If someone murdered a member of my family, I would be very angry. There'd be something wrong with me if I wasn't.

Anger, Sin, and Getting a Grip

Anger is a "capital sin," a sin that's particularly serious because it leads to other sins. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1866)

That doesn't mean that I've committed a sin every time I experience anger. I'm human, so I experience emotions. Emotions aren't good or bad by themselves. What matters is what we do with them. (Catechism, 1767)

If I hang on to anger, let it build into a desire to harm or kill someone else: that's where it becomes a sin. (Catechism, 1762-17752302-2303)

Many Americans seem to feel that God has anger management issues. After Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," followed by 273 years of hellfire lectures: that's understandable. (December 1, 2013)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

25 Dec 2013

An Unexpected Christmas Gift

A religious acquaintance of mine recently told a friend of mine he didn't think I should waste my time trying to alter the direction of our local public schools because even if this latest problem were solved, another problem would crop up. 

The thing is, God calls us to do His work of justice and mercy, places outside church doors. Sometimes, the work we do unexpectedly helps to draw those we encounter back to Christ. That's God's doing, not ours. This was today's Christmas miracle at the 11 a.m. Mass for me.

21 Dec 2013


I am at war.  Although I may not look like it, trust me I am in a great war that never ceases around me.  I fight a battle everyday for the souls in purgatory and the lost souls that fall into hell everyday.  The loss of souls is one of the greatest tragedies in the universe.  Because God's justice is perfect, lost souls are in hell of their own volition.  There is nothing more heartbreaking to realize that this sentence is for all time.  Those that are falling into hell right now will still be suffering there 1 million years from now, and 100,000 x 100,000 million years and so on..

Stepping on the battlefield for lost souls  is one of the most treacherous things you can do in relation to the status of your own salvation.  The reason for this is that you can't do anything for God.  You aren't doing God any favors by your prayers, even if 1000 souls where to be released from Purgatory with your prayer, you didn't do it, God did.   You just asked that the battle be waged, God is the one that did everything.  But in the warriors walk you are at constant risk of the same pride of the demon, thinking that what you may do in prayer is 'needed' by God.  I assure you, it is not.  Your prayer and supplication is for your brethren and for your advancement in holiness while on the earth.  Even your personal holiness should not be for you.

read more>

7 Nov 2013

Mercy: Only While We Live.

God's Justice.  As God is complete in all that He is, we are not able to take away or add to His measure.  Since this is so, then God is whole. If God is perfect then His attributes must also be perfect.  God is one, God is the divine Trinity, the three divine persons in one God.  God is pure, and His purity must be perfect, with nothing lacking.  God is just, and His justice must also be perfect.  So God is pure, just and perfect.  As a result, if God's justice is perfect then His justice must not allow any one who is impure, vile or sinful into his presence, for this would not be just and it would be torture for the soul stained by sin to behold the beatific vision of God.  

God is also mercy, and His mercy, because He is timeless is for all time God's mercy must also be infinite.  The fact of God's infinite mercy has lead souls down the path to the conclusion that no matter what they do, God's mercy is infinite and God will not allow them to go to Hell.  Even Martin Luther fell down this path saying, "Be a sinner and sin boldly."... "No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day." (from the Letters of Martin Luther)  

Not so.  

Read this very carefully... God is not bound by time has infinite mercy, which means that He can show mercy for all eternity to His children that live and breathe on the earth.   He can show mercy 10,000 years from now if there are souls living on the earth.  HOWEVER, we, as creatures bound by time can only be recipients of that mercy in relation to our judgement WHILE WE ARE ALIVE IN THE FLESH.   Two hundred years from now we will not have access to the mercy of God that is reserved for the living, for we will not be alive 
read more>

29 Sep 2013

'At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus . . .' Sunday Reflections, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Dives and Lazarus, c.1595, Leandro Bassano

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                  

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England &Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

Gospel Luke 16:19-31 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)

Jesus said to the Pharisees:

"There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.'

But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.'

And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'

But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'"

Responsorial Psalm (NAB Lectionary)

An Indian Missionary of Charity who was based in Hong Kong for some years told me of something that happened there shortly before Christmas 2009. Yang was what Sister called a ‘street-sleeper’, ie, someone living on the streets. Strictly speaking he wasn’t, as he had a little place where he lived with his mother. Both were Buddhists. Yang was in poor health and couldn’t get a job. He mixed mostly with those who were ‘street-sleepers’.

Continue here.

17 Jul 2013

Infinity over Infinity or why Jesus Has to be God.

To understand why Jesus has to be God, we have to understand the Father also.  The Father is infinite, with no beginning and no end.  Therefore, his attributes are also infinite.  His knowledge is infinite and, most important to us, his memory is infinite.  We were created, and we have a beginning, but with a soul that shall exist forever.  God is the creator of life, and if the angels shall not taste death or annihilation, then neither shall we, to say that our souls face an annihilation is not consistent with the nature of God as creator of life.  We shall be "somewhere" for all time.  A short time, (very short when you think about it) in the flesh, and then eternity either with God or banished from His presence.  

So let's go back to the Father's memory.  The Father's memory is infinite, which means He will remember all things for all time.  (He is actually not bound by time, but that is another blog post) So think about that, what you do in the flesh God will remember for all time.  Every thought, word, or deed is remembered perfectly by God.  Your unforgiven sins are remembered by God forever, and as such unforgiven sins will face another aspect of God, His justice.  The justice of God is perfect and also infinite.  If something is perfect, then it is implemented with perfection, and carried out to it's perfect end. There is no skirting the justice of God.  At the judgment, there shall be no excuse for your sin, for if it is unforgiven and if God's justice is perfect, then you MUST face the consequences of your sin at the judgement.  God, although loving you and not wishing your banishment to Hell or suffering in Purgatory, because of His nature of being perfectly just, He will carry out that perfect justice.  He can be nothing less.  Can the perfect justice of God turn a blind eye to an offense? No.  We will pay every farthing for our sins, either in purgatory or for all time in hell.  

But wait, we have the Blood of Jesus, right?  Yes, but that was 2000 years ago, how does an event 2000 years ago apply to the sins of those today?  There is only one answer, the Cross of Christ is a oblation by an infinite God which can reach through all time.  God is infinite, He took flesh in the second person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus.  Jesus, true God and true Man.  The Infinite God, who came to earth and gave the perfect oblation for all time.  For if God remembers forever and our sin has an infinite consequence, then what can cover a judgement that will be on us for all time?

What can cover infinity? Only infinity. The number 2 cannot cover infinity, nor can the largest known useful number in the universe (Grahams Number) encompass that which is forever and ever. 

The infinite oblation of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man is the only thing that can cover a sin that has an infinite consequence in eternity.  

Infinity over Infinity, the only way to open Heaven so that God can give us His greatest gift...Himself.  For their is nothing else worth trying to attain in this eternity that we face than to see our God in the face.  

For those that say that Jesus was not God, they are either mislead or liars.  If Jesus is not God then the sacrifice He offered was finite and not infinite and only covered the sins of those that were present at the Crucifixion, and not for us. (As humans, we can offer penance and sacrifice to God for the salvation of souls, but only while we are in the flesh, when we are in eternity and have no flesh we can no longer offer sacrifice, so if Jesus was not God, His sacrifice was only while He was on the Earth, and no farther.)  And if this is so then we are still in our sins and facing an eternity without God.  

So, Jesus was God, His sacrifice was a perpetual sacrifice for all humanity from the time of the Crucifixion until the end of time. We can alleviate the eternal punishment (judgement) for our sins by the Confessional and Penance. (Confession sounds pretty good right now, doesn't it?)  Go to confession, go frequently, and do MUCH penance for your sins and the sins of those you love.  Time is shorter than you know.

Here is a very good video about Grahams Number: Click Here! 

1 Sep 2011

At the Market: Encountering a Old Friend Who Is Soon To Be A Prisoner

This afternoon in the tea aisle at an HMart, I spotted an old colleague from behind, wearing his yamulke. I called him by name "Isaac?" (not his real name) He turned around and we smiled at one another and chatted for several minutes. He said he was looking for a certain kind of tea, but he only knew its name in Korean. I found a Korean-speaking employee for him and we figured out it was barley tea he was looking for.

I hadn't seen Isaac, a married father of three, in months. We stopped working together years ago. In March, he was charged with sexually assaulting two teenaged girls.

14 Jul 2011

Because Boys Need Heros: "Green Lantern"

I grew up in a family with three girls and one boy and the atmosphere was weighted toward the feminine: my sisters and I played with Madame Alexander dolls, hosted singing "concerts" in our basement, wore Lanz of Salzburg nightgowns and, when we girls were teenagers, experimented with dozens of brands of shampoo.

Now, I'm raising two sons. The experience is filling out my understanding of childhood. Consider this.
Read more here...

27 Jun 2011

Can Anger be Our Friend?

"Passions are morally good when they contribute to a good action, evil in the opposite case."
                                         Catechism of the Catholic Church  # 1768

All human beings get angry, it is part and parcel of being human. Anger, in itself, is not a sin, it is simply an emotion. Unfortunately, because of our fallen nature it often leads us into sin. We have all heard the expressions: blowing our tops, flying off the handle, or hot under the collar. Anger becomes sinful when we dwell on it and get carried away by it; we fail to bridle our tongue and scream ugly things, yell at our children and act in an unloving manner. Road rage, revenge, and murder....these are all things that begin with anger.

Does anger always have to lead to sin? Of course not. Anger can propel us into positive action, also. It can stir us into taking steps to correct an evil and with God's grace can even be turned into a great zeal for justice. Look at Saint Paul. There are situations where we must, as Christians, use our voices, especially when something or someone is causing physical or spiritual harm to others. This is where anger can turn into a powerful force for good in our lives; when it lifts us from apathy and moves us toward justice. By the grace of God, anger can be a useful tool for positive change. Tempered (lol) with love, it can stir us into speaking up firmly in the face of injustice.

" We ought to speak, shout out against injustices, with confidence and without fear. We proclaim the principles of the Church, the reign of love, without forgetting that it is also a reign of justice."
                                                        Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

Give us a sign