Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stop moping around!





If you are like me, you've been disheartened by the vote to legalize gay "marriage" in New York.

But tonight I read Thomas Peters' excellent reminder that we Catholics aren't getting nor reporting the full picture. We tend to follow the "mainstream" liberal media's reporting habits, and the media spend far more time touting the few gay "marriage" successes, and not much time discussing the much broader support for true marriage.

For example, did you know that two blue states, Maryland and Rhode Island, shot down gay "marriage" bills recently, thanks to the Democrats? I confess that I didn't! Yes, those and other victories for marriage have been taking place all around us, and we have allowed the defeat in New York to discourage us.

But stop and think about it: We are talking about New York! Remember that New York City is the epicenter of the Culture of Death in America: It was recently reported that a full 41% of NYC's unborn children are aborted. Should we be shocked that that gay "marriage" would eventually come to this place?

New York has dark days ahead if it stays on this path, but most states are not this far gone.

We Catholics need to stay strong ("Be not afraid!" as Blessed John Paul II so often told us), and we must have the courage to fight for traditional marriage in the public square, as Pope Benedict XVI has exhorted us:

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable….
His list includes:
Recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role.  (2006 speech to European politicians)

It is clearly part of our job as Catholics to bring back the understanding that rights are based on natural law (self-evident, inalienable rights, with which we are endowed by our Creator), and to beat back the idea of a "right" as "something you really, really want, and it would be mean to deny it".

And from here on in, I will be much more aware of the media's propensity to give "extra attention" to gay "marriage" victories while downplaying its defeats.

I hope you will too, so that we all have the fortitude to stay in the game.

+++++++

On a personal note, I am beseeching prayers for a friend, the mother of five small children, who has recently been diagnosed with stage 3B Hodgkin's lymphoma. If you could send up a prayer for her healing and her family's comfort, right now, as you are thinking of it, I would so deeply appreciate it.





Sunday, June 26, 2011

Vintage "Little Teachings from the Bubble"






Well, wow, we are still going strong in our discussions on this post from June 22, and I am wiped out! It's been an interesting discussion, and one that has taken us far afield from the original topic.

I feel the need to take a breather, spend some more time fulfilling the duties of my vocation. (Yes, children, you still have a mother! And, dear husband, you still have a wife!) So, for a couple of days, I think I will steer this blog back to the "teaching" mode by providing some links to past "Little Teachings" that may have been missed by newer readers.

Here they are, in chronological no particular order:


Knowing God's will and Catholic freedom


Mary's Perpetual Virginity


The difference between Church Doctrine (unchanging truth) and Church Discipline (changeable rules)


Mortal Sin and Venial Sin


Dissenting Catholics and the question of conscience


Suffering, Catholic style! (The meaning of redemptive suffering)


The Pope is not as powerful as you think


The distinction between a person and his actions


Indulgences: No need to freak out


Subsidiarity: Why haven't I heard this before?


Can non-Catholics be saved?


One more IVF post (thank you, Fr. Tad, the brainiac!)


And, I want to throw in…


Scrupulosity, a little bit of hell



Doctrinal Quiz Show answers, also in no particular order:


Marriage and the Eucharist

Amazing Grace

Communion of Saints

Do we become angels when we die?

Why was Mary immaculately conceived (sinless)?

How many doctrines of the Church are taught infallibly?

Evil

The three stages of holiness

The two types of judgements

Moral Reasoning 101: The Ends Don't Justify the Means

Moral Reasoning 101: The Principle of Double Effect

Sacraments vs. Sacramentals

Church Councils


Salvation History Made Simple
(Or, What I Never Learned in 1970s and 1980s CCD)









If you feel so inclined, please feel free to throw out some ideas for future "Little Teachings" posts. I take requests! (Well, as long as I know the subject well enough to talk about it, ha!)

And on that note, please pray for me as I attempt to take inventory of all the clothing in this house tomorrow. I would almost rather stick pins in my eyes. Almost. ;)





Friday, June 24, 2011

Palate cleanser



Sometimes I need to come back to the center of all things.





For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.  
-- Philippians 4:8





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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Who is obsessed with sex?



We've heard so many times that the Catholic Church is simply obsessed with sex. It's conventional wisdom.

My two-minute google search turned up ample evidence of the sentiment, including:

"Why is the Catholic Church so obsessed with just about everything sexual?"

"The church's obsession with sex is a cancer that threatens to tear it to pieces."


"[The Catholic Church] is obsessed with sex, absolutely obsessed."


"The [BCC'sSunday Programme… [asked] the question 'Is the Catholic Church obsessed by sex?'" {To which someone who had watched the show responded: "There's a poll too. 66% thought the church was obsessed with sex."}

This obsession with the Church's supposed obsession makes me scratch my head, for two reasons.

First of all, because I went to mass every Sunday of my life for my first 18 years, and I don't recall ever hearing a homily about sex. Hmmmm….

And secondly, as a political and social observer (and just a regular old citizen!) for the past couple of decades, I do believe it's the "other side" that's obsessed with sex. In fact, it seems to be all they think about and want to talk about. And they want the rest of us to think about it and talk about it, too.

From raunchier and more explicit TV sex to ubiquitous movie sex to infinite internet porn sex to teen and preteen sex and taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood talking to our kids about sex, sex, sex, and non-stop discussions about the goodness of homosexual sex, and sex in the city and sex with housewives and sex in the fast food commercials (my gosh, can't they just advertise the burger?) and full-on sex in music and sex on videos and simulated sex as dancing, and every variation of sex in the hook-up culture, girls and boys gone wild about sex, sex, sex, sex, sex! And even on this blog, we have even had commenters proclaim, quite seriously, that they could not live without sex!

Obsessive? Methinks.

And then we have the Catholic Church, plodding along through human history, saying the same thing about sex that she always has.

The Church, after all, has taught these truths for 2,000 years -- along with all the other moral truths she still holds today. The moral law doesn't change, the virtues don't change, and chastity is simply one of the virtues. It happens to be the one virtue that a sex-obsessed culture does not appreciate, but a virtue nonetheless. Always has been, always will be. Just as marriage is a holy institution established by God. Always has been, always will be. Sex is a privilege of marriage, for the good of the spouses, of the children produced, of the family, and of society. Nothing new here, move along....

But wait, there is something new here, and the secular left can't move along: They want a new sexual paradigm, where anything goes (between "consenting adults", of course!) and there are no moral judgements. The campaign is on, full-swing, to change the very nature, meaning and use of human sexuality. They want to redefine marriage and family to mean things they have never meant before, and they don't want anyone to tell them no. They are so close to their goal that they can taste it, but at least for now, they remain frustrated. Something is keeping them from genital carte blanche.

The one thing standing in their way?

The Church. That's all. No armies, nothing. Just the Church, speaking the same old truths she has spoken for twenty centuries and will speak for twenty centuries more, or until no one is left to hear her. The Catholic Church is the one moral authority who lovingly, carefully, firmly proclaims, whether anyone is listening or not, that sex has a meaning and purpose that cannot be discarded without violating our human dignity.

Despite the utterly predictable, clearly unwavering (and sometimes too-quietly stated) teachings of the Church, her opponents are often violently emotional in their quest to change her mind or silence her voice or run her out of existence. Though they would like to claim an oppressor/victim model here, it's really more like a classic parent/teen showdown. "Give me my way and let me do what I want or I will scream at you and call you obscene names and tell you you are power hungry, irrelevant, out-of-touch, full of sin yourself, and just plain mean!"

And the Church, as a good Mother does, looks on her children with love and concern, even sadness, but stays steadfast, consistent and confident. The rules of life don't change. Truth does not change. Love does not change.

As the sex-obsessed voices get louder and angrier, the Church has tried to raise her voice above the din. She's begun to speak a little more boldly, a little more clearly, stating her case again, in new ways, for a very confused generation. Because responding with love and truth to the prevailing sins of each age is pretty much the Church's job description, and it's what we can expect her to do from now till… well, eternity.

And that's not obsessive, just faithful.














Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Heartbreaking, inspiring....



If you read one thing today, make it our own Stacy's amazing conversion story, here.

It's true that we can never know what another soul has endured, and I am so grateful to Stacy for her courage in telling a difficult tale.

Praise God, the Author of Life and all that is good.





Sunday, June 19, 2011

What I Never Learned, Part III: The Trinity





Years ago, I sent out some "catechesis emails" to interested friends and family. They, like me, never really learned much in Catholic religious education and CCD classes (I was catechized in the 1970s and '80s). What I wrote was pretty basic stuff, and I thought some of the Bubble readers might like the overview. Part one of this series can be found here. Part two, here.






Today is the Feast of the Holy Trinity, and that seems a fitting time to talk about, well, the Holy Trinity! 

The Trinity is the trickiest thing in the world to try to explain, because it is impossible to explain the unexplainable. The Trinity is the greatest mystery of all. But let's go over the basics of what we can know.

The fundamental belief of all Christians -- both Catholic and Protestant*-- is that God is a Trinity. 

The Holy Trinity consists of three Persons in One God. Not three Gods, but one God. Yet in the one Godhead, we have three Persons, all co-equal, all co-eternal, and all with the same divine nature. 



  • The first Person of the Holy Trinity is the Father 
  • The second Person of the Holy Trinity is the Son
  • The third Person of the Holy Trinity is the Holy Spirit (sometimes called the Holy Ghost)



There has never been a time when one of these Persons existed without the other two, and there is not one Person who is “superior” to the others. They have existed together from all eternity, they have always been equal in power and glory, they share the same divine nature, and yet the Three are still distinct Persons. 

The big question, of course: Why is God a Trinity? Why isn't He just one Person?


Answer: Because of the nature of love.  


Remember, God is perfect truth, perfect goodness, and perfect beauty. Most of all, He is perfect love. But think about the very nature of love: Can love be solitary? Can love be one person, alone? No. By it’s very nature, love must have an object. There must be someone to receive love, or else it isn’t love.  


If God weren’t a Trinity, if He were solitary, then God would, in a sense, just sit around "loving" Himself. But think if you just sat around, alone, "loving" yourself. Can you imagine this being the icon of "true love" or a compelling "love story"? Of course not; such a scenario is not an image of love at all.  


Love must go out, go forth to another. And in the case of perfect love, it goes out, is received and accepted by the other (who is the object of the love), then returned in fullness to the first lover.  


It is an endless cycle of love that is given out, received fully and returned, and given out, received fully and returned, in perfection, in fullness, for eternity! 

So, wait…. Then why isn’t God a Duo, instead of a Trinity? Why not just two divine Persons? 


Again, we go back to the nature of love: Love is, by its very nature, generativefruitful, and life-giving.  


True and perfect love cannot be contained even between the two Lovers! The love between the Father and the Son is so powerful, true, perfect and good that it overflows in an abundance of Life! And this Life is so real that He is a distinct Person. We call Him the Holy Spirit.

So, we can take tentative steps to understanding: The Father’s love is poured out for the Son; the Son receives the Father’s love and returns that perfect love back to the Father; and the Holy Spirit, then, is the overflowing, the outpouring of that love, which cannot be contained, which is spinning forth from the Father and the Son. Catholics acknowledge this every Sunday, when we profess in the Nicene Creed that The Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son”.

Because we humans are finite, and because we exist in space and time, we tend to want to think that the Father preceded the Son, and the Holy Spirit came after the other Two. In fact, however, none is more important than the others, none was there “first.” 


It helps to remember that God exists outside of time and space. God actually created time and space, and since time and space are creations, they do not have any bearing on Who God is. Time and space mean an awful lot to us humans, however, and so as we sit here in time and space, we can talk about the ways that the Persons of the Trinity have been revealed to us, or manifested: 

The Old Testament of the Bible is the part of “the story” which came before Christ. It covers the important points of salvation history from the time of Creation to just before the time of Jesus. The New Testament is the part of the Bible that covers the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and the early Christian Church. 

We see God the Father revealed to us in a profound way in the Old Testament, in all that history before the coming of Christ. We see Him creating the world and all its inhabitants, we see Him interacting with Adam and Eve, promising a Savior when they fall from grace. We see Him making covenants with His people: He had relationships with Noah, Abraham, Moses and all those other wonderful Old Testament biblical figures.

God the Son was certainly right there with the Father when all those Old Testament events took place, but He was not yet revealed to us. We see the Son revealed to us in the New Testament. God the Son took on a human nature (this is known as the Incarnation) and from the time of His Incarnation, we call Him Jesus Christ. The four Gospels in the New Testament (the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), tell us all about His birth, life, and teachings, the establishment of His Church, His death, resurrection and ascension into Heaven. 

God the Holy Spirit was also with the Father and the Son all along (after all, He is the one Who “has spoken through the Prophets” as we say in the Nicene Creed). After Jesus Christ left this earth (forty days after His resurrection), we begin to see more clearly the action of the Holy Spirit, Whom Jesus sent to the world to ensure that we would “not be left orphans.”  The Holy Spirit descended upon the young Christian Church at Pentecost, and He has been guiding and sanctifying the Church ever since, especially through the sacraments.


So, first the Father was revealed to us, then the Son, then the Holy Spirit. How each was revealed helps us know the Persons better, thus bringing us closer to our goal: Union with God.


Untold volumes have been written about the Holy Trinity over the past two millenia, and yet this legend of St. Augustine might be the most illustrative of all:


The scene is the seashore, where there is a small pool, a little boy with a seashell, and a sandy beach on which St. Augustine, clad in his episcopal robes, is walking, pondering with difficulty the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. 


“Father, Son, Holy Spirit; three in one!” he muttered, shaking his head.


As he approached the little boy who was running back and forth between the sea and the pool with a seashell of water, Augustine craned his neck and asked him: “Son, what are you doing?”

“Can’t you see?” said the boy. “I’m emptying the sea into this pool!”

“Son, you can’t do that!” Augustine countered. 

The boy replied: “I will sooner empty the sea into this pool than you will manage to get the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity into your head!”

Upon saying that, the boy, who was an angel according to the legend, quickly disappeared, leaving Augustine alone with the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.




*Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are not technically Christians, because they do not believe in the Trinity. They have a completely different understanding of God the Father, of Jesus, and of the Holy Spirit. Although they do not accept the traditional Christian understanding of God, these groups do consider themselves to be Christian.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Quick Takes are getting sorta fun!!

Ever since I got Evernote (thanks for the suggestion, Jen!), Quick Takes have been fun and easy: I just jot down ideas on Evernote whenever they come up!



1. I am so thrilled to recommend a new book by my friend and fellow blogger, Devin Rose. The former atheist turned Protestant turned Catholic has a fresh new approach to discussing the Protestant/Catholic divide. If you like big-picture logic as I do, you'll love If Protestantism is True. (The Kindle version is only 2.99, by the way!)

2. Speaking of books (and you know how I love to give them away and mail them around) if anyone has not had a chance to read Abby Johnson's Unplanned yet, please email me and I will have the "traveling copy" sent to you. littlecatholicbubble@gmail.com

3. I just really like this quote from Pope Benedict XVI, given on the Feast of Pentecost:
From the beginning, the Church is one, catholic and apostolic... The Church does not derive from human will, from reflection, from man’s ability and organizational capacity, and if that were so it would have become extinct a long time ago, like all human things. 

Any non-Catholics have any earthly explanation for why the Church and the Papacy are still around and going strong? It's unprecedented, you know.


4. Headline at Yahoo: 

Excerpt from the article:
"When in God's name are the conversations going to begin?" asked {notorious dissenter} Joan Chittister
Is it wrong that I laughed?

I mean, really? Do they still not know that the Church does not change doctrine? Do they really not know what the Church is?

5. I love Elisabeth Leseur. She and her husband Felix were upper-class Parisians who were deeply in love. However, Felix was a devout atheist who openly hated his beloved wife's Catholic Faith. 

Elisabeth and Felix Leseur, 1910


Elisabeth did not let their differences poison and destroy their marriage. She stayed quiet and simply loved Felix and prayed for him, keeping a diary of her thoughts, pains and hopes. She offered her many sufferings and untimely death for his conversion. After she died, he discovered her diary, the contents of which led to his conversion. Felix ultimately was ordained a Catholic priest. It's a love story like nothing you have ever read, and Elisabeth's cause for canonization has been opened.


Of interest to the IF bloggers: Elisabeth and her husband suffered the great heartache of infertility, and she was never able to conceive.

If you have never read their story, you should consider it: The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur: The Woman Whose Goodness Changed Her Husband from Atheist to Priest.


6. I totally forgot that the reason I launched into a discussion of Elisabeth Leseur is because I love this quote from her:

Those who seem to be spiritually dead are not always those least accessible to the divine Word; when wood is dead, it needs only a spark to set it afire. 

7. In the "What a Welcome Return to Common Sense!" department, Catholic University is going back to single sex dorms. I will refrain from asking what bozo decided coed dorms were a good idea (or more likely, what committee), and just praise God for this decision. Sometimes progress requires making a U-turn.

(Can I throw in a #8? Don't tell anyone!)

8. The comments on the last post (about excuses for sin) were positively amazing. Anyone who hasn't read them, please don't miss out. Lots of honesty, lots of wisdom.


Have a great weekend, and thanks to Jen for hosting!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What was your excuse?



I guess this is a "Just Curious" of sorts, but only relevant to those who believe in sin, have lived a life of sin, and who now strive to live in a state of grace.

If that's you, I am curious about your excuses at the time.

When you were in your sin, what mental exercises, justifications, rationalizations or philosophies did you use to continue on in your sin?

Here's mine:

In my life, I never tried to justify or deny sin. From a young age, I knew right from wrong, virtue from vice. I got that part pretty easily. But once sin was habitual, my will was not prepared to go along with what my head and heart always knew. It was too hard to change, and I was living a happy life, after all.

It might seem a strange place to be. I never claimed my sin was not sin. I didn't try to make my sin look like it was virtuous, or even regrettably necessary. If someone had told me that what I was doing was sinful, I would have been the first to agree. I never used the "my sin isn't sin" excuse.

Nope, my particular line was: "But I'm a good person! Yes, I am definitely sinning. But God understands. He knows me."

Maybe that's the worst disposition of all: To know without doubt that one is sinning, yet to keep on.

In my short, perfunctory prayer every night, I asked forgiveness for all my sins (literally, this: "God, forgive me for all my sins. Amen."), but never did I think to approach a confessional. I'm sure I knew that a sacramental confession would require me to give up my sins, and since that was not in my plan, I simply confessed "straight to God". Because He understood me, unlike some pesky priest who might call me out and expect me to amend my ways. God and I were buddies, after all, our own secret little clique (though I barely talked to Him), and my sins weren't nearly as bad as all those other people's.

I was sinning in full knowledge and believing I was "special" enough to be given a a big, fat pass.

Yep, it was the sin of presumption, and it's as awful as it sounds.

Okay, your turn*: What was your excuse? Did you deny your sins were sins? Or did you justify them (make them seem "just")? Or rationalize them? Did you declare that they served a greater good (i.e., the ends justify the means) so that you were allowed, or even morally obligated, to commit them? Did you normalize them by choosing a crowd which sinned in the same way? Did you pretend that God didn't exist? Or that He didn't care? Or maybe you really, truly never knew that your sin was sin?

I'm interested.



*Feel free to post anonymously if you feel more comfortable.
-

Monday, June 13, 2011

No food or medicine, but plenty of contraception and coercion.











This is long, but bear with me.

Ever since I became active in the Church sixteen years ago, I've read countless disturbing stories of the Western world (us!) imposing unethical and even brutal "reproductive health" policies on the world's poor. What upsets me most is how pro-abortion agencies with money and power -- including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and America under the Obama administration -- put out the lie (happily supported by a pro-abortion media) that these poor brown folk "need" birth control and abortion to escape their bleak conditions. We've even had commenters on this site echo that leftist line, one of whom said of a (hypothetical) starving girl in Africa:

"Oh, I know, religious nonprofits will bring her rice, but they won't give her birth control! Because it would be monstrous to prevent her from bringing 8 children she can't support into the same environment, right?"

In fact, what is monstrous is what actually happens on the ground. Let's hear from someone who has been there…

Wonderful blogger Sarah has a friend, Maria, who recently came back from the missions in Central America. Maria has firsthand knowledge of the exploitation of poor women and girls at the hands of the "family planners", and despite the fact that she is a busy (and tired!) new mom, Maria was gracious enough to email me some of her background and what she witnessed:

Hey, Leila!

My husband and I have been to Central America twice, both times with the Missioners of Christ. In the summer of 2009, we were there for 10 weeks, and in the fall/winter of 2010, we were there for 3.5 months. (The second time, we were planning on being there for over a year, but we found out we were pregnant, and the Missioners aren't really set up to handle families with babies...)  

The Missioners of Christ have a permanent mission set up in Comayagua, Honduras, so we spent a majority of our time there. We ventured to Guatemala for language school on both trips -- we were centered there out of a city called Antigua, Guatemala. I can speak more specifically about Honduras, but both countries (like all of Central America) are pretty similar. We spent a lot of time in our neighborhood with the people, who are very poor, as well as time in remote mountain villages. My husband is a carpenter and I am a nurse.

I really hate it when people in the First World try to simplify poverty in the Third World as merely an overpopulation issue. Poverty is a complex issue! It usually involves corrupt governments, food shortages, wars, etc.* But, secular media and Planned Parenthood have succeeded in fooling us into believing that "if they would merely control themselves and stop procreating, they wouldn't be so poor."  Wow... doesn't that shut off our compassion for the suffering poor in the world? It suddenly becomes, in a sense, their FAULT that they are poor. And, in a condescending sort of way, we offer them contraception and abortion as a solution to their poverty.

And -- has it worked? Hahahahahahahaha! (That was supposed to be an evil laugh.)


Of course, I can only speak from my experiences in Honduras and Guatemala -- but I can tell you, there was no shortage of clinics offering contraception to anyone who walked in the door. They were called "Clinicas de Planification Familiar" (Family Planning Clinics) -- wow, sounds shocking similar to "Planned Parenthood", no? Anyway, these clinics are mysteriously WELL funded, when other, general clinics are not.  

So, basically, if a woman wanted contraception, or an abortion, or to be sterilized, she would be able to find a clinic with relative ease, be immediately ushered in to a clean and beautiful facility, and pay almost nothing for the service. 

However, if this same woman had a sick child needing antibiotics, she could spend the day waiting in line outside a dirty, underfunded public clinic, and maybe not even get seen that day. If she did get seen, she would have to pay a fee for the doctor visit... perhaps have to walk across town to the lab for testing (in Honduras the labs and the clinics are frequently not connected) and pay for that service, then return to the clinic, wait in line again to receive some sort of diagnosis and/or treatment, then, perhaps, walk again to a pharmacy for medication, and, of course, pay for that as well. Messed up.

Some missionaries in our group have heard women tell stories about being involuntarily sterilized by "Medical Missions" that we suspect were tied to Planned Parenthood. In one rural village, a woman told a story that she, being pregnant at the time, received an injection from a nurse with one of these "Medical Missions." She was told it was for her unborn baby. Several other women in the same circumstance also received the injection. Within several weeks, all of the women miscarried. In the years that followed, none of them were able to get pregnant again. In rural Honduras, the people are all farmers. They rely on having large families to divide the work… so, when we push our Culture of Death on them, we are destroying THEIR culture. It's such an evil agenda. Horrible.

In town, the public hospitals only receive money from the government if something like 70% of the women who are discharged after having a baby are either on contraception or sterilized. (Makes me wonder where the Honduran government gets those funds…? Hillary Clinton**?) So many women are uneducated in Honduras, and therefore, don't understand what was happening to them at the hospital... or perhaps they aren't even told. Several women have shown up at the "San Benito" Clinic (near our mission, a Catholic facility operated by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal), wondering why they couldn't get pregnant again after having a child at the public hospital. The doctor performed an ultrasound, and found IUDs placed in their uteruses. Each of the women reported not knowing that it had been placed.  

Can you imagine if such things occurred in the U.S.? Talk about a multi-million dollar lawsuit. But sadly, in Honduras, the general public very much have a sense of "shame" about them. They often will humbly and blindly accept whatever an authority figure does without question. While their humility is SO admirable, and often Christ-like, it is SO abused, as you can see.

I could probably go on... but I'm on baby-duty today :-)

God Bless!

Maria

After I read Maria's words, I went downstairs to fix breakfast. As I stewed over the injustice done to the world's poor in the name of "helping" them (and often with my tax money!), I providentially picked up a random magazine in my kitchen and started flipping through it. It was a Knights of Columbus magazine, Columbia, and inside there was an article by Steven Mosher, which you can read in its entirety here. For over three decades, Mosher has chronicled the unspeakable human rights violations wrought by "population control" advocates around the globe. His article amply confirmed Maria's experiences and included this quote from Dr. Stephan Karanja, the former secretary-general of the Kenyan Medical Association:
Our health sector is collapsed. Thousands of the Kenyan people will die of malaria, the treatment for which costs a few cents, in health facilities whose shelves are stocked to the ceiling with millions of dollars with of pills, IUDs, Norplant, Depo-Provera, and so on, most of which are supplied with American money.
As an American, that makes me sick.

The article goes on to say that when "reproductive health" money pours into the Third World through the UNFPA and IPPF, the doctors in those poor countries (who have their own families to feed!) "abandon primary health care in favor of 'family planning.' Clinics are transformed into 'family planning' stations, where the only readily available medical care involves contraception, sterilization and abortion."

Shame on the wealthy West for promoting and financing this evil! But then again, how would the average American know that the poorest of the poor are being manipulated, exploited, deceived and violated? Unless we are plugged into pro-life sources, how would we ever hear? Most of us only know what we learn through the lens of the left, usually in the news or in the classroom where we are taught that "reproductive health" (widespread contraception, sterilization and abortion) is the key to ending poverty.

It's overwhelming to consider the scope of the lies that are sold and believed around the world. And it can seem ridiculous to think that one little blog post can make any difference at all. But I have to live by the words of Blessed Mother Teresa, who served the poor lovingly, unceasingly, never violating their human dignity:

"God has not called us to be successful. He has called us to be faithful."

Amen.



*Read more about the overpopulation myth, here.

**Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously hinted that funds to help save mothers' lives in the Third World might be held up unless those countries signed on to the pro-abortion agenda of the Obama administration! More on that injustice here.

-

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Belated Quick Takes

I missed the official Friday Quick Takes, but I'm just going to pretend. Thanks to Jen for hosting!



1. What we need most in the world is people who will not violate their principles nor justify their sins. Me included. Amen.

2. How do I get NARAL and NOW and all the other pro-abortion organizations to stop pretending that they speak for women? "Women's issues, women's rights, women's oppression" and all that. They do not speak for me nor for any woman I know. They can only get away with it because the lapdog media allows it.

3. It's nice that Michelle Obama's preferred cause is the promotion of healthy eating. However, if she would promote marriage, she would be doing infinitely more good for the children of our nation, especially for the children in poverty. Her unique status as the first African-American First Lady would give her an incredible amount of credibility and clout in that endeavor. I wonder (in all honesty) why the promotion of intact families is not a bigger priority for the Obamas, especially considering the catastrophic breakdown of the black family in America? Talk about something that could truly have an impact!

4. For those of you who have commented on previous posts (many of whom are new commenters), I hope you know how much I appreciate it! If you are new, and do not get a direct response or thank-you from me, please know that I do pay attention and I do mentally acknowledge every single comment. The best way to get a public response is… keep commenting! :)

5. About a billion of you have said you are coming to Phoenix for a blog meet-up. Where are you? Who will be first? Admittedly, summer is not the best time to come, although it is a dry heat….

6. Go to the last post and sign up to received the book. The list is growing! (By the way, I sent the link to Professor B, and got a lovely response! I love having a blog!!)

7. Went to see Les Miserables the other night. My third time. Truly, such a Catholic play! I remember seeing it when I was a lapsed Catholic, and it stirred my soul (as the transcendent themes of our Faith are wont to do). But to see it as a practicing Catholic, on fire for the Faith? Oh.my.gosh. There really are no words. I love being Catholic, and I am so unworthy. I hope all of you get to watch Les Miz with Catholic eyes one day.

Okay, back to the grind. Hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

If you read only one book this year, make it this one.





If you read only one book this year, I hope it will be:

What We Can't Not Know, by Professor J. Budziszewski

What We Can't Not Know: A Guide


Not only will I be re-reading it myself, it will also be required reading for my older children.

I think I may be obsessed with it.

It takes me an inordinate amount of time to read a book these days, and in the past several months, I have been stealing every spare moment to read this one. I finally completed it. All along the way, I have been wanting to blog about what I have learned, and yet I knew I should finish it before I posted about it.

For years, I have had a vague notion of the natural law. And throughout the year or so that I have written this blog, I have alluded to natural law time and again, each time learning a little more about it myself. But I needed more.

Why?

Well, all the discussions we have had on this blog with our leftist/secular/atheist friends like College Student, L, Miss Gwen, MaiZeke, Michelle and Peter, have left so many of us Catholics frustrated, and even baffled. If you're like me, you have asked yourself a thousand times, "Did I read that right?" "Is that what she really wanted to say?" "He couldn't really mean that, could he?" and "How did we get to this place?"

I have often been kept awake at night, going over some of the positions and arguments of those whom we debate. The overriding sentiment of my heart and mind in the throes of the most troubling exchanges is: "But she knows that isn't right!" and "He can't not know that!"

Professor B helped me make sense of what we see playing out here on the Bubble, and even among our own friends and family. It is charitably written (Professor B himself was once a committed atheist), but clear and honest, pulling no punches. He covers the natural law tradition in a way that is understandable and then applies it to the cultural situation in which we find ourselves today.

It's important to note: The book is written for a Christian audience (or those who are "half-persuaded"), and not for atheists and secularists (although I cannot wait for that book, Professor B!). However, he does invite the secular left to read along if they are interested in how we Christians discuss this subject among ourselves. He says this to those on the other side of the culture war:
[Y]ou are not part of my expected audience. But that does not mean that I want to hide the book from you; you are welcome to be a fly on the wall and listen in. Nor does it mean that I don't want to talk to you; this particular book is not a good vehicle of that hoped-for conversation, but by all means let us talk. But let us be honest too. We are on different sides.
Some people consider it "uncivil" to say so. They think the "culture war" is the fault of people who admit there is a culture war, and that the very use of terms like "culture war" demonizes people on the other side. In their view, we must pretend that we all want the same things. But we don't all want the same things, do we?
No, we don't. And lemme tell you, that type of honesty and clarity is so refreshing in this politically correct, morally confused world. While it can be unsettling and overwhelming to be presented with a true picture of the problem that lies before us, it is necessary to know what we are up against. The book is also balm for my own soul, personally, as it confirms that what we have been doing here in the Bubble has a good purpose.

The book is divided into four main sections:

I. The Lost World 
(includes just what it is we can't not know)

II. Explaining the Lost World 
(includes the "four witnesses" to the natural law and some objections)

III. How the World was Lost 
(this is the section you must read; I'll get to that in a minute)

IV. Recovering the Lost World 
(includes the "public relations" of moral wrong and moral right)

My hope is that each and every one of you would have your own copy of the book to read for yourself and to have available for your children. But, realistically, I know that is not going to happen. So, here is my proposition to all of you busy folks who, like me, find it very difficult to commit (in time or finances) to yet another book. I originally read What We Can't Not Know on my Kindle. However, I recently bought two "real" copies of the book: One for me, and one for all of you.

Here's how I want it to work: I will mail the book to anyone who is committed to reading at least Section III of the book ("How the World Was Lost") in no more than seven days (it should take you much less time than that -- less than a day, actually -- but I want to give everyone a good week to get to it*). Then, your only other task is to mail it to the next person on the list, whose address I will supply to you. If you are interested, please email me at littlecatholicbubble@gmail.com, and I'll take it from there.

Catholics, I think it's that important. Understanding what Professor B lays out really is the key to understanding the morally chaotic world swirling around us. Please get this book. Or email me and I will get it to you.



*Of course, if anyone wants to read the whole book in those seven days, feel free! I just want to make sure the book keeps moving to those who want to read it. And don't be shy if you've never commented before but still want to receive the book. E-mail me!




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