Catholic Patriotism is Real Patriotism

America the Beautiful!

Fr. Bill Kuchinsky
It is fitting we celebrate Independence Day; the Birthday of our Nation!

We give thanks to Almighty God who in His Loving Providence raised up a Country which has long shone as a light of hope to the World.
The greatness of our republic stems from the sound foundation on which She was built: in accord with the “laws of nature and of Nature’s God.” The Declaration of Independence proclaims the key truths upon which our nation was established and by which it might long prosper: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Thomas Jefferson questioned: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?”
Another signer of the Declaration, Charles Carroll, recognized: “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure . . . are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”
As grateful Americans let us secure the survival of our Nation by being faithful to the Commandments and the Eternal Word. We must also ensure that Godly men and women in public office govern in accord with the “laws of nature and of Nature’s God.”
I share with you some words of a man who deeply admired the people of our beloved homeland and saw in us hope for the good of the entire World.
John Paul II on a visit to the U.S. said: “America, you are beautiful and blessed in so many ways … But your best beauty and your richest blessing is found in the human person: in each man, woman and child, in every immigrant, in every native-born son and daughter… This is the dignity of America, the reason She exists, the condition for Her survival. Yes, the ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless ones. The best traditions of your land presume respect for those who cannot defend themselves. It you want equal justice for all, and true freedom and lasting peace, then, America, defend life! All the great causes that are yours today will have meaning ONLY to the extent that you guarantee the right to life and protect the human person.”
Please remember the freedom God has granted to us is not a freedom to do as we want, but to do as we ought. Let us choose to serve the Lord, and in His Strength, we can hope to keep America the Beautiful.

Barbara Kralis Jesus Through Mary Foundation Avemaria@earthlink.net

Why be a Marian Christian? (in other words, why be Catholic?)

A truly Catholic Christian is a Marian Christian; a believer in the Trinity of Father Son and Holy Spirit who stands in relationship to the great cloud of witnesses, the Body of Christ in heaven and on earth, and thus also in relationship to Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. In short, the Marian Christian is one who imitates Christ not only in prayerfully submitting his life to God, not only in denying himself and daily taking up his cross, not only in loving God with all of his heart, mind and strength and his neighbor as himself, but also in loving Mary as Christ does.

One mark of a Marian Christian is a deep understanding of the virtue of purity. In recent years the ideal of purity, especially sexual purity, has been more publicly defamed than ever before. Not only are young people bombarded by a culture that promises the reward of sexual fulfillment without the responsibility of child-bearing, but countless well-funded pro-gay lobbies have raised their voices to establish a climate in which any voice but theirs will be tagged as hateful, bigoted, and thus, immoral and finally illegal. With each victory in the press and in the courts they wax bolder and more aggressive.

As the sexual confusion of the western world threatens to spiral out of control, no one has made a more cogent case for the traditional Christian view of the sanctity of marriage than John Paul II in his Theology of the Body. He builds his case on a strong philosophical foundation as he approaches the biblical texts with both freshness and reverence. His is a remarkable point of view, like all things genuinely Catholic, forever young and new, yet always ancient and old.

A marked decay is observable in Protestant teaching in this area. At my college I am surrounded by colleagues who are convinced Christians must support gay rights. And I observe an increase in confusion and a sort of amorphous helplessness amongst my more conservative Protestant friends.

I would submit that one of the reasons that Marian Christians understand these issues best (along with the other issues related to human sexuality-abortion, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, artificial birth control, etc) is precisely because they are Marian. There is something about taking her out of the picture, as Protestants do, that leaves only two options: cave in or be angry.

The Marian Catholic has more spiritual resources and a deeper understanding of what purity means. Thus, the Marian Christian is better at being pro-life without being angry. I think there are good reasons for this and suggest that the non-Marian Christian should think about them.

Perhaps it’s time to think about coming home.

Mary, Mother of Our Lord

And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Luke 1:42-44

Except for salvation, there is no single Catholic teaching more troublesome to Protestants than the veneration of Mary. I did not feel any differently than most Protestants. I had been taught from the very beginning of my Christian walk that Catholics worship Mary; that all the time and effort they spend talking to her, praying endless Rosaries, and participating in pilgrimages to Marian shrines, was all time and effort that should have been spent worshipping Jesus.

Through my studies up to this point I had begun to see not only good sense, but also a compelling cohesiveness in the fabric of Catholic doctrine. At the same time, Catholic teachings on Mary represented an insurmountable obstacle to my ever fully embracing the Catholic faith. I had read, talked, and prayed my way most of the way into the Catholic Church, and all along the way I had been surprised at how wrong Protestants were about many things. I was willing to be docile, to listen to what the Church teaches through the Doctors, Fathers, Saints, Popes and Magisterium; but I was not going to become an idol worshiper! Catholics had been misled into a devious form of idol worship—my job as a Christian was certainly not to join them in that idol worship, but to lead them out of it.

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