In the cultural crisis

Had a good chat with my friend Linda H. this morning. Linda’s active in politics in one of the states south of me, here, and we talked about the corruption and exclusivity that has come to mark the political parties controlling county and state process.

She made what I think was an astute observation, which is the point of this post. We both agree that we MUST have a solid and assertive set of candidates to choose from in the primary, next year. President Obama has already begun campaigning for his second term – and God knows, we cannot survive another four years of this incompetence.

She said, and I agree, that the nation could be heading toward another civil war if things aren’t turned around. BUT – she stressed the spiritual nature of the combat at hand.

And she’s right. The coming battles are those of character and principle and not of personality cults or even agendas. The current political arena is an exclusive old-boys’ club where too often the people with the concerns and the intelligence to DO something about them are locked out. Nepotism abounds – and that’s bad for the nation and for our communities.

We must prepare. We must begin with prayer, with regular, disciplined prayer that transforms us and leads us where we need to go – not the sort of prayer that attempts to dictate to God what we will and won’t have from Him, thank you very much.

And we must understand. Our public schools have been depriving us of understanding for more than forty years, now; we must educate OURSELVES to understand what the principles are, what they mean, how they affect us.

We have a tremendous responsibility. Privileges carry with them responsibility; I believe our rights carry even greater responsibilities. We are, we will be accountable for how we have lived as citizens and sojourners in this world.

After all – it is our mandate as Christians to bring true Gospel values into the world. True ones, not the politically correct ones that ignorant people have been persuaded they have to embrace – ones that even a rudimentary understanding of the Scriptures would show are soul-damaging. To take the Gospel into the world, to infuse the world with gospel values…

We have to begin with prayer.

(to be continued)

Final word on death: Prayer of the Faithful

I think (hope!) this will be my final observation on the deaths of Nora and Uncle Theo, but it is a story I think others would profit from reading.

I mentioned in my reflection on Nora’s death how people were changed by the caring for her. I am seeing in Uncle Theo a similar change – and from people who never heard of him until last week, and who never laid eyes on him in this world.

News of Uncle Theo’s situation spread through the internet rapidly. Several bloggers picked up the cry, and I myself shared the need for prayer with the 150 or so people on my email prayer group, some of whom also posted on their blogs, on Facebook, on other venues. The outpouring of prayer was immense.

Several of us have found renewed vigor in standing firm for the sanctity of human life as consequence of this.

But one of the most beautiful things I found – I’ve got to share this with you.

I’m a member of the Catholic Writers Guild,  This past week was our very exciting Writers Conference Online – begun each morning at 8:30, half an hour before the first chat conference, with Morning Prayer, led by… yours truly.

I mentioned the need for Uncle Theo on the very first morning after I found out his plight. It is the only time during the conference I initiated any mention of him – because thereafter, conference participants were intitiating the queries – “What’s the word from Uncle Theo?” – “Have you heard anything?” –

Chats were interrupted when I would sign in late – “Laura, have you heard anything?” followed by an explanation to the Presenter and those participants who had missed prior word. Others initiated prayer for Uncle Theo before I could have time to mention him, myself.

Even after his death, Friday, by legal euthanasia (he was in Holland, remember), the Guild members continued to hold his soul – and the souls of family and the medical personnel responsible for promoting this heinous act – in prayer.

We ended the conference last night with a “party,” of sorts – an open chat room. And one of our leaders said, “We need to take a moment to pray…” and it began with prayer for Uncle Theo.

The Communion of Saints – and saints-in-the-making – is a mighty powerful force.

In life we are in death… and in our unity of prayer, then we are very strong.

Amen.

Corpus Domini nostri JesuChristi..

I knelt yesterday for the first time at a Communion rail to receive the Precious Body of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the priest approached me, making the Sign of the Cross with the Host and intoning the ancient words in Latin…

I felt dizzy.

This really is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Creator of the Cosmos!

I read through the prayers of the Mass from the 1962 Missal (a must-have, even if you don’t attend an Extraordinary Form Mass), and was simply awed by the beauty, the richness of the language.

Even if we did the 1962 Mass in English, it would be so much more reverent and beautiful than the ridiculous ICEL/NAB twaddle we have to suffer through now. People would have a far greater sense of the depth and height and magnificent beauty of this Church and of Her Lord –

Remembering Michael Dubruiel, who was a friend to some of my friends. According to his wife, Amy Welborn, Michael collapsed at the gym this morning and could not be revived.

While the Catholic world, particularly the blogging world, is stunned, and even Pat Madrid spoke of being “devestated,” I’m a bit envious. The man was called Home. His family and friends will miss him terribly – but he’s been Graduated.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and may Perpetual Light shine upon him.
May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed,
by the mercies of God,
rest in peace. Amen.

The First Sorrowful Mystery: Christ’s Agony in the Garden

Albrecht Altdorfer: The Agony in the Garden, from the monastery of St. Florian in Enns (Linz), Austria

The Agony of anticipation, knowing what was just ahead, knowing that being God would not protect him from the physical sufferings – Might He have been tempted to doubt His own identity, His ultimate victory over death in those hours of praying, alone, in the Garden, while His closest friends, who, loving Him, still did not understand, slept?

Suffering so intense that he sweated blood – yet His thoughts in those final moments before His arrest and tortures began were for us! He prayed for us in the Garden – not only “If it be Thy will, let this cup pass from me!” but also, “Be with them – make them one as we are One… Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth…that they may all be one, even as thouh, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe…”

The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation

I love this painting. When I meditate on the First Joyful Mystery, this is the image that comes to mind.

… and (the angel) came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of hsi father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” …
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”  – Luke 1:26-38