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Showing posts with the label justice

The Beatitudes: Jesus' Way Requires Virtue

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In today’s Gospel reading from Matt 5:1-12, we hear Jesus teach about the Beatitudes. I am quite partial to the Beatitudes, as they embody virtue. As you all know, virtue is my “thing.” When we look at each one of the Beatitudes, we see that they are actually God’s gift of grace. That is because, to master the Beatitudes, we must embrace virtue. To embrace virtue, we need God’s grace. The Beatitudes – Jesus’ Way!To be poor in spirit, one must embrace and exemplifyhumilityIf you are one who mourns, you arecompassionateMeekness is obvious. Yet to bemeek, one requires great strength (fortitude).If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you embodyjusticeMerciful is obvious, like meekness. However, to bemerciful,to the extent necessary, one must be ready to alsoforgive... Read more... 

Murders, Life and Death

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Mass murder at a Florida high school is in the news again.

Someone has been accused of killing 17 students and staff on February 14, 2018. He's being tried and may be executed.

I'll be talking about him, one of the dead students and why I think human life matters. All human life....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Molly McBride and the Party Invitation – Book Review

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Molly McBride is back! I was so excited to see Molly McBride and the Party Invitation, by Jean Schoonover-Egolf hit the shelves. This is Egolf’s third installment, in the Molly McBride series. I’m a big fan of Molly McBride, as I love her spunky attitude. I’ve enjoyed reading all three books, courtesy of Egolf. You can read my review of the first two books here.

Molly McBride and the Party Invitation Now, let’s talk about Molly McBride and the Party Invitation. In this installment, Molly’s birthday is about to occur, and of course, we must have a party! Yet, Momma says that ALL of Molly’s classmates MUST be invited to the party. That includes that mean boy, named Sam. If Sam comes to the party, he’ll ruin it! What is Molly to do? How can she have a great party, AND make sure that Sam doesn’t come?

What ensues is a tale of... Read more...

What Christians Can Learn From Malcolm X

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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…

"Raving Politics"

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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.

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

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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: Read more...

Ammonites, Dinosaurs, and Us

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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.

Seeking Justice: My Time on Jury Duty

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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:

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.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 Prosec…

Hate, Justice, Forgiveness

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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 Amer…

Reforming the World — We Must Try

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'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.

Mor…

God's Wrath.

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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.) ....to find out what happened when praying the stations, CLICK HERE!

"Those Who are Just Must be Kind"

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(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.

All...

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All...
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.

Vengeance, Anger, and Looking Ahead

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"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…

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.
Read more here...

War

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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,…

Mercy: Only While We Live.

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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 Mar…

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

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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 i…

Infinity over Infinity or why Jesus Has to be God.

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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 …

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

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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.
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