Archive for December 12, 2010

About once a month Fr. Bob decides to have a seat and Deacon Sal gives the homely at St. Anthony of Padua. Today was that day and he reflected on the Gospel and an interesting question from it.

The full Gospel is here but the relevant part are verses 2 and 3

When John heard in prison of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”

Deacon Sal talked about how all his life he has been one to ask questions. So the question came to him: “Since John baptized Jesus and saw the Glory of God, why did he need to send his disciples to ask if Jesus was the one to come?”

Sal’s idea was that John’s sent his disciples not for the sake of himself but for their benefit so that they would come to believe.

I’m not so sure myself, I think it is entirely consistent with Biblical precedent, Catholic tradition, and reality for even people who have seen to doubt.

Consider the children of Israel, they saw the plagues, they saw the Red Sea Parted, they saw God come through for them over and over again and what was the result? They doubted and rebelled over and over again.

And of course over and over again they repented and God forgave them. The cycle of faith, falling, repentance and forgiveness is not only repeated but is prophesied.

Consider Peter: He saw a miracle at his first meeting with Christ, He saw Christ walk on water and then lost faith and started to sink himself. After seeing everything that happened he denied Christ three times yet became the leader of the Apostles.

And during the time of persecution as tradition tells us Peter was fleeting and only turning back when he encountered Christ, asking “Domine Quo Vardis?” (Lord where are you going?) and getting the reply “Eo Romam iterum crucifigi.” (I go to Rome to be crucified once again.) Rising, failing and trying again, Peter was in the same boat as the rest of us.

As her diary tells us even Mother Theresa had her doubts on occasion, yet she continued to work through them and even in death reminded the world of the difference between fame and faith.

And of course it reflects the Sacrament of Confession, we fall, we repent, we are forgiven and we rise again.

And so we are back to John the Baptist. John after spending a lifetime serving God and preaching repentance finds himself in jail and destined for death. This is his lowest point, how strange would it be for him to despair (Remember Christ himself asked for the cup to be taken from him if possible). If a disciple like Peter who was with Christ every day could still have doubts, how odd would it be for John to have the same particularly at his lowest point?

And this is where verse 11 comes into play:

Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Why is this true? It’s true because the least in the Kingdom of Heaven has completed the trial of life, they have completed the race and stand before the glory of God.

Our atheistic friends would love to make our doubts define us but for centuries some of the most educated and greatest minds man has seen went through the same circular process only to arrive back home to faith.

John the Baptist was simply doing what we all should, when faced with doubt asking Christ for reassurance. May we always follow his example.

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Stacy McCain while writing on the subject of Frank Rich’s column ( a painful task always since it involves reading it) accidentally or on purpose crystallizes the difference between Radical Islam and mainstream religion that Pam Geller made points about yesterday on my show.

Rich decries the pulling of a taxpayer-funded Christmas exhibit that had ants crawling over a crucifix and called those who demanded it be removed bigots and homophobes.

Stacy’s take-down of the self-righteous Mr. Rich should of course be read in full but it is this sentence that is of interest to me.

That article prompted William Donohue of the Catholic League to send suicide-bombers to maim and murder innocent women and children ask Catholics to call the museum and complain.

And herein lies the difference. Roman Catholics call and complain, radical jihadists don’t.

By an odd coincidence an even better example of this difference became apparent yesterday. Another person acting on behalf of a different religion that Mr. Rich doesn’t deign to critique decided to voice his objects to a set of cartoons in a slightly different fashion as reported by Mr. Rich’s own paper:

One man was killed and two other people were injured when two explosions hit the heart of Stockholm’s city-center shopping district on Saturday evening, the police in the Swedish capital said. The country’s foreign minister called the blasts a terrorist attack, and an e-mail to news organizations minutes before the blasts seemed to link them to anger over anti-Islamic cartoons and the war in Afghanistan.

Although many right leaning bloggers decided to condemn this act of barbarous terror Mr. Rich has however decided to courageously spend his time critiquing American citizens who object to their tax dollars being used to offend them and decided to peacefully exercise their 1st amendment rights to make their objections known.

Mr. Rich, as an elite journalist of the left, has the courage to see beyond mere murder to locate the real danger to our society.

Plus he knows Catholics won’t harm him for criticizing them.

Any questions?

The latest of our series of the Advertisers of Christmas:

The ladies at Sharp Designs are excellent they will make you look just even sharper than they made me. Gift Certificates anyone?

Question: Why do I keep pushing Hallie Miller for the Savvy Magazine contest?

How do I come to this conclusion? Consider, this is a chance in a lifetime for this young lady. She is currently right on the edge of making her goal that she has dreamt about. So naturally one would think that she would do all she can to not only promote herself but to discourage voting for those behind her.

You would think wrong:

And by the way, there are over 1000 of us trying to get to those top ten positions. I would urge you, if you don’t think I am top ten material, to scroll through the small icons to the right of mine and pick one of those ladies! One little click of your finger can help make somebodies dream a reality!

Ask yourself, would you be willing to put up that sentence if you were in her place?

I wish her father was here in Massachusetts, I’d like to shake his hand and buy him a beer. This is exactly the type of young lady I’d like my sons to end up with. Lots of women have beauty, how many today have honor?

Go vote for her every day once a day here.