Paul VI offered libido as one way Satan, the “malign, clever seducer” undermines man’s sexual morality with his “sophistry.” The Devil’s strategy here, as the Pope cautioned, is “eminently logical.” He approaches man with what amounts to a false reason in his mind, which, if dwelled on, can influence the will by rousing him to do something evil which seems to be good. Deceit is basic to his strategy. How exactly is this reality observable in our culture? I can find no better demonstration than the NY Post piece on how the Evil one is attacking American teems here, here and here..
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Monday, February 15, 2016
As men, God calls us to be strong and virtuous leaders, providers and protectors in every area of our lives. We cannot do this if we are enslaved to anything. The dark world of pornography has enslaved many men, preventing them from being the men God has called them to be.
One way that pornographers lure men into viewing pornography is by presenting female porn stars as modern liberated women who are choosing “adult entertainment” for their careers. In porn, they appear to be happy, healthy and having a great time. They are glamourized. It’s easy to see how men can be fooled into thinking there is nothing wrong with porn. However, the way that female porn stars are portrayed is an illusion. For those who believe that female porn stars are healthy women who are choosing to be in porn, I have one question: Where are their fathers?
What loving and protective father would ever want his little girl to be a porn star? The answer is no one! The fact is that many female porn stars come from very abusive homes. As teenagers many run away from home to escape the abuse. Living on the streets the only way they can survive is to turn to prostitution. From prostitution many move on to work in strip clubs and then into pornography. The pornography industry preys on these wounded and vulnerable young women. They are easy targets. Once in porn, the industry continues to use and abuse these women. When they are finished with these women, they simply throw them out into the street. It’s no wonder that the average life expectancy of a porn star is only 37 years. Between the drug abuse, physical abuse, alcoholism, sexually transmitted diseases, abortions and suicide many don’t make it to their 40th birthday.
In the Forward to Matt Fradd’s book, , Jason Evert wrote that the best way to combat the pornography industry is to love the porn stars. By this he means that we need to protect their dignity by refusing to view pornography. When we do this, we refuse to support an industry that is abusing, exploiting and ultimately killing women. We need to pray for porn stars that they will find a way to get out of that dark and evil industry and find God’s healing love. Former porn star Shelly Lubben helps these women through her Pink Cross Foundation.
These women may not have loving and protective fathers, but we as strong, virtuous Catholic men can protect them by not supporting the porn industry and by praying for them every day! By refusing to support an industry that exploits, and eventually kills, many women, we can be the strong leaders, providers and protectors God has called us to be. If every man did this, the demand for pornography would disappear and no woman would ever be harmed by this dark and evil industry.
I encourage all Catholic men to take a stand against pornography. Make sure it doesn’t enter your life or your household. Pray every day that any victims of pornography would find freedom, healing and new life in Christ.
- See more at: http://thosecatholicmen.com/articles/where-are-their-fathers/#sthash.bcmGjrHw.dpuf
Friday, February 12, 2016
Saturday, February 6, 2016
To study the history of the early Church is to experience the history of the gradual articulation of her identity. First, there was the controversy over the admission of the gentiles. Then came the battle with the Gnostics over the primacy of love over knowledge. Eventually Marcionites and Valentinians dropped away—they tried to differentiate the God of Jesus and the God of the Old Testament, creation and redemption, personal religion and the public, institutional life of the Church. Of course too there were the Christological controversies surrounding Docetism, Monarchianism, and Arianism, in which the Holy Spirit guided the Christian understanding of God as Trinitarian.
Because of the historical reality of the Resurrection, the Catholic faith came under the discipline and guidance of Apostolic tradition and authority. In the early Church, obedience to the eyewitness of those whose experience authorized them to set the tradition was of overriding significance. The truth was what they said it was—they were the authoritative witnesses to the whole reality. It was not a new doctrine up for debate, but a teaching which had to be received. The New Testament brims with concern for unity of faith and life based on reception of the Apostolic tradition.
Yet Catholicism was open to and had the wherewithal to assimilate people of different experiences, absorbing what was greatest in their spiritual cultures. This was because the Church early on saw that she had a universal mission.
Nevertheless, Catholicism is not a syncretistic religion, but one always seeking to bring forth something new as she learns from interactions with every culture and religion. Because it is Catholic, it does not wish to overlook anything in other traditions which is good and touched by grace. (Cf. Luke 9:50) It enters into cultures and seeks to preach the Good News to all peoples through their own language and cultural forms.
Yet we note that in this openness the Church discriminates what it assimilates in accord with its own identity. The student of Church history reads of how the Church assimilated Roman law, Barbarian feasts and mythologies, and Arabic philosophy--but transformed them. It was the Church's fusing energy that led it into dialogue with Hellenistic thought. St. Augustine and Pseudo-Dionysius absorbed Neo-Platonic spirituality, and fashioned a Christian understanding of mysticism. St. Thomas Aquinas engaged Aristotelian philosophy, and developed a synthesis of theology which remains a dominant source of spiritual and theological insight and practice.
The bottom line is that synthesizing and syncretism are fundamentally dissimilar. A syncretistic religion has no identity of its own, whereas a synthetic religion has a clear identity. What the Church absorbs, it transforms, and enhances. Catholicism never puts its own identity and self-understanding in question or regards herself as on par with other traditions, nor understands herself as open to absorption into something higher; she sees herself as that which can absorb the best in other traditions.
At Vatican II the Church recommitted itself to learning from all that is good in other religions, notably the great religions of the East. Perhaps new syntheses will emerge, as the New Evangelization, while recognizing the distinct value of other traditions, uses the culture's own symbolic terminologies to convey the Good News of Jesus Christ, for she possesses a distinctive understanding of the human situation and of how it can be healed, which enables it to discriminate the truth or value of other ideas and practices, and select from them. That which guards the Church's identity is commitment to the risen Christ as the definitive Savior of the world, as He is made known to us through Apostolic witness, Catholic doctrine, and the sacramental life. Lose this, as many seem to be doing today, and all that remains is maudlin syncretism.