Friday, April 26, 2013

Quick Takes: About that slippery slope...

Yikes, as I go to hit "publish", I realize that this is a terribly depressing Quick Takes! You might want to skip this one if you are having a bad day. (Although you shouldn't miss #6 and #7!)

1)  Sexual "progressives" have no natural stop, no identifiable point at which sexual "progress" is complete. Despite this fact, we are told that there is surely no slippery slope leading from gay "marriage" to the acceptance of other types of disordered sexual relationships. Yet amidst these denials, other minority sexual orientations are busy walking the legal and social trail that's been blazed for them by gay activists:

Consider three articles that I ran into on the same day.

First, Slate runs a serious plea for the acceptance of polygamous marriage:

(Polygamy, by the way, is more naturally ordered than any gay sexual pairing; I'm not sure why gay unions are embraced while polygamous marriages are vilified? I think polygamy stands a good chance of winning approval, eventually, especially if folks are serious about "marriage equality for all". I mean, why not?)

Next, German proponents of bestiality protest a law that they claim discriminates against zoophiles:

The zoophiles claim that they are "born with" their sexual orientation and that their sexual expression should be seen as normal, acceptable behavior that can be exercised responsibly. These particular zoophiles are advocating in progressive Europe, but American zoophiles are looking to follow the course that gay "marriage" proponents have taken here in the United States.

The third article opens a path for human/animal "marriage" someday, the way I see it. Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer is to be featured at a Yale conference promoting -- I kid you not -- "non-human personhood":

Hey, if animals can be declared persons (a designation denied human beings in the womb), then couldn't (and shouldn't) marriage rights follow? After all, Peter Singer and others see some forms of bestiality as a positive good, and we are told that it is much more common than we know (I believe that). Yale recently held a conference at which students were taught to be more sensitive to "sexual diversity", including sex with animals.

As to pedophilia, we've talked about the ripening conditions for its acceptance here, and pedophile advocacy groups continue to operate both here in American and in progressive nations

If it all seems too far-fetched, just remember that gay "marriage" used to be unthinkable -- even a few years ago. I actually hope we slip down the slope quickly enough to shock all the boiling frogs and snap us back to reality. Nothing is inevitable, and any society can right itself again if it chooses.

2) This is one of the saddest stories I've ever read, and we as a nation are guilty:

This is the very situation -- leaving babies who survive abortion to die without medical care -- that Barack Obama voted more than once to legally allow. Oh, to hear one Obama supporter, or one abortion supporter, denounce Obama's votes as evil. And today comes word that as Obama stood before an adoring Planned Parenthood crowd, he invoked God's blessing upon them. The bloody, broken bodies of the millions of God's children Planned Parenthood has killed were the proverbial elephant in the room.

And the irony of invoking God's blessing continues: Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, established her organization under the motto of "no gods, no masters". So, exactly which god should bless PP's work?

Interesting that Obama never once used the word "abortion" in his fawning speech to the nation's largest abortion provider.

Yeah, I'm rambling, but since we are talking about the evils of Planned Parenthood, how's this:

The leftist New York Times and Washington Post rejected this ad as being "too graphic" and "shocking" for their adult readers, yet Planned Parenthood endorses these materials for children as young as ten years old. Why are we giving hundreds of millions of dollars a year in taxpayer money to this corrupt and violent organization that sexualizes our kids, and why is our president its biggest champion?

3) Logic, logic, logic:

It is not hard to understand. It is not "complex". It is simple truth.

There are not different degrees of humanity. Either we are all human, or none of us is. And no one member of the human family gets to determine the humanity of any other member of the human family. Not allowed.

4) Oh, my goodness. I had no idea until today:

As dozens of victims were sprawled across Boylston Street, many of them in danger of death, Catholic priests came running to the scene—and were turned away. 
Doctors and nurses were welcome at the bombing scene. Firefighters and police officers were welcome. But Catholic priests, who might have offered the solace of the sacraments, were not.
Jennifer Graham captures the problem well: 
"But it is a poignant irony that Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who died on Boylston Street, was a Catholic who had received his first Communion just last year. As Martin lay dying, priests were only yards away, beyond the police tape, unable to reach him to administer last rites…" 

Where are we? What have we become?

5) Some more interesting reading I've done this week:

(Hat tip to Dr. Stacy!)

Giving the Addict His Due
(This really convicted me!)

And, finally, perhaps the most disturbing and inspiring thing I have seen in a while:

6) I have been meaning for so long to tell you about my friend Marcus Daly, who is a master craftsman, a devout Catholic, and owner of Marian Caskets, a family company which has so incredibly impressed me! Marcus and his wife Kelly live a life of beautiful simplicity with their six children on Vashon Island, WA, and his handcrafted natural wood caskets, inspired by the life and death of Pope John Paul II, are carved with the prayers of the Divine Mercy and inlaid with a Marian Cross. Truly awesome!

I never thought that caskets could bring supernatural comfort, but these do. Check them out.

Oh, and a bonus! Because of the family's commitment to the sacredness of life, a portion of all proceeds goes toward the purchase of ultrasound machines for pregnancy care centers, "so that pregnant women in crisis can make informed choices about the futures of their babies".

7) Won't someone go and scoop up Justin and take him home forever? He has been waiting so long. And his grant just jumped by several thousand dollars, all of which can be used toward the cost of his adoption. I know a very special advocate who would be thrilled to work with any family who commits to bring him home. ;)

Justin as an infant
Getting to be a big boy!

Click here for more info on this precious little guy!

Thank you, wonderful Jen, for hosting!

And next time I will try to be more upbeat! :) :)


Monday, April 22, 2013

Harried moms: Don't feel guilty if you do a split shift! It's okay!

I am seeing a proliferation of blog posts today about babies and toddlers at mass. It's an interesting discussion, and I am a big proponent of little ones in the pews -- bring 'em on! 

However, when I saw one blogger (whom I admire!) mention that it's actually an "injustice" to leave a small child home (or take him to church child care, I am guessing?) and a "serious impediment" to his or her spiritual development, it crossed a line for me. I do not want frazzled, guilt-ridden moms to have one more reason to beat themselves up, so I am reposting my "I don't bring my babies to mass" post from last year. 

With docility we must obey what the Church in her loving wisdom requires, but beyond that, each family is free to determine what is best.


I don't bring my babies to mass.

Yes, there, I said it!

Before I explain, here is the necessary disclaimer:

For all of the wonderful moms and dads who bring their babies and toddlers to mass every week, I salute you. No, I applaud you. No, I pretty much worship you! (Okay, I don't worship you, but only because that would be a sin.) You are amazing and incredible, and I mean that with full sincerity and from the bottom of my heart. In no way is this post meant to suggest that you should leave your children at home, because I truly love seeing little ones at mass, and it's a joy to watch them grow through the seasons. Keep bringing them!

But, I can't do what you do.

I used to think I should, and I used to wonder if I was wrong not to, but about a decade ago, I made peace with the way we do things in the Miller family.

I am not able to deal with fussy babies and active toddlers at mass. We've already clearly established that I am not supermom, and that my having eight kids is only possible through a tidal wave of God's grace combined with a delicate logistical balancing act that I keep recalibrating. For my personal sanity, I must keep things as easy as possible in order to make the "Leila has a ton of kids" thing work. There might be a few other moms out there who are like me, and to them I simply want to say that you are not alone, and it's really okay.

On and off over the years (the last two years being "on"), my husband and I have done split shifts for mass, which amounts to Dean taking two or three kids to an early morning mass nearby, while I take the rest to our regular parish later in the day. Any babies or toddlers simply stay home. As a result, mass is peaceful, calm, and prayerful. Since my life is not that way otherwise, I need it for an hour or so on Sundays. I mean, I reeeaaaallllly neeeeeeeed it!

Some questions might spring to mind:

Do you miss being at mass with Dean and all the kids together? Sure, but not enough to make me want to take the two-year-old. And, I know from 20+ years of parenting that "this too shall pass", and there will come a time when we'll go to mass together as a family again. But now is not that time, and we're all okay with that.

Why not use the cry room? Well, we do -- but only when absolutely necessary. For example, recently, Dean took some of the kids out of town, and I had to bring the littlest guy, Benevolent Destruction, to mass. No way that kid can sit in a pew without putting on the baby equivalent of a Broadway show, so while my older kids stayed with the congregation, I traipsed off to the cry room with the little man. That experience reminded me why I love the split shift.

We are blessed to have oodles of big families and many young children at my parish, and the cry room is just like my house a mad house. Frankly, Miller boys make it worse. There has been many a child o' mine who could not be contained even in the cry room, including the one son who had to be carried out of there by Daddy all the way into the far parking lot, where mortified Mommy (and the rest of the worshipers, including the priest) could hear his unrelenting shrieks and wails.

So, we've never seen the cry room as a good regular option.

Why not church child care then? Actually, I am a huge fan of church child care! We have used that wonderful option over the years, and we will undoubtedly use it in the future. Not every parish is blessed to have such a ministry, and our parish's child care (we call it "church school") is fabulous. The kids are kept busy with good stuff: They learn their Faith, pray the Rosary, sing Bible songs, talk about Jesus, celebrate feast days and the liturgical year, do arts and crafts, have snacks, watch videos, etc. But at this moment, my youngest is not ready to be foisted upon the lovely ladies who run the child care; I wouldn't do that to them. Also, I know that if I did leave him there, I would be sitting at mass just worrying. So for now, split shift is our norm.

The biggest question is probably this: What about teaching your kids to behave at mass by taking them consistently from their infancy? My answer is simply that it's never been a problem for us. When my children reach a certain age -- or rather, a certain level of self-control -- we start bringing them to mass regularly. And for child after child, they've adapted just fine. They sit through mass quietly (as quietly as little kids can), and we all have a peaceful hour of worship. So for me, the whole thing is just a wait-it-out-till-they-are-mature-enough situation. At about age four or five, they suddenly become mass-goable. It's like a dream, and it works for us.

And to put another worry to rest, I have living proof -- in the form of tweens, teens, and even a couple of adults now -- that children do not grow up and leave the Church because they missed mass as babies.

Parenting little children is hard, and much of that difficulty cannot be avoided. But if a split shift eases the difficulty, if it helps keep you sane for the rest of the week, if it affords you that bit of tranquility you need, if it works for you, then do it, and be at peace.

That's what I do.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Quick Takes: I'm Going Green!

1) No worries, I'm not going green like this. I'm going green to support a company that has the guts to fight Obama's HHS mandate and is now paying the price:

"A principled, 45 year independent manufacturer of natural food, offering 300+ authentic, organic, traditional, 
kosher, pure and purifying foods."

It all started when I read this piece, from Simcha Fisher:

Well, we keep hearing about all the health benefits of eating clean, pure, organic food. I guess we can add "extreme flexibility of intellect" to the list of benefits of all that clean eating, because a large portion of Eden Foods' clean-living clientele is flipping out over [CEO Michael] Potter's decision to sue the government over the HHS Mandate. Yep, organophages are twisting themselves into mental pretzels:  they love, love, love to make sure that everything they put into their mouths is clean, clean, clean, and that their lifestyle does nothing but good, good, good for the environment . . . but they hate, hate, hate the idea that Eden Foods refuses to pay for the very hormones that pollute the waterways and cause cancer.
Read it all, here.

I spent part of the day on Eden Food's facebook page, not only learning more about their yummy-looking food, but jumping into some lively debates. The boycott by the left is in full swing, and the writer for who started this crusade against Potter has gleefully followed up, hopeful that the company may now be in deep trouble. All Catholics (and any lover of religious freedom and rights of conscience) should consider patronizing Eden Foods. Do what I did and use this store locator to find out which grocery stores near you carry the Eden line.

Please also sign this quick and easy statement of support (and look how aesthetically pleasing it is! I'd love to know who set that up!).

Finally, pray that all the many companies and organizations suing the Obama administration prevail in court.

2) I don't have any profound words to say about the horror that we witnessed at the Boston Marathon on Monday. It hit a lot of folks close to home, including me. I spent four years in Boston for college, I have an eight-year-old son like one of the victims, and I have a nineteen-year-old son like one of the murderers.

Evil is a privation of good. The human heart is made for goodness, but goodness cannot stay where it is not willed and welcomed. I am heartsick about the evil we saw play out, but I am not sure that I'm shocked anymore when evil happens. The human condition has not changed. Human nature has not "evolved". Sin is as prevalent and as ugly as ever, and the bloody murder of innocents has been with us since Cain killed his brother Abel. We need to stop being shocked that evil lurks in the hearts of men, including our own hearts. The counter to evil is to fill the privation with sanctity, virtue, love, truth, and beauty. We need grace and goodness and self-sacrifice. We need offered suffering. We need the witness of more saints.

None of that can come without God. The only answer to the massacre is the Person of Jesus Christ. There is ultimately nothing else and no other hope. But that's okay, because He is the only hope we need. He more than suffices.

"The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." -- John 1:5

3) In the last post, I included a heartbreaking photo of a beautiful little boy who was viewed as so much garbage and brutally cast off. In this post, I am including a breathtaking photo of a child who is just like the other boy (except for "wantedness", of course).

As you can see, this child is still in his amniotic sac (an incredibly rare situation) and at the moment this photo is taken, the baby is still completely dependent on his mother, not yet having taken his first independent breath. He is quite comfortable, unaware that he is even outside of Mama's body.

Seems an ethical dilemma for abortion advocates. Since he is still fully attached to his mother, even receiving oxygen from her body, is he a human person yet? Does he have the right to remain alive and unharmed? Some would argue no. But we all know better. Heck, even the abortion defenders know better. That's what makes the debate so chilling.

Photo posted at Online for Life

4) How about some comic relief? If you have seen the Dove Real Beauty Sketches for women, you will really want to see the one for men!


5) If you're like me, you want to sit at the feet of virtuous intellectuals and soak up their wisdom (while looking at a really elegant-looking blog!). To that end, you really need to be reading and sharing The Public Discourse.

Here's what they're about:
Public Discourse is an online publication of the Witherspoon Institute that seeks to enhance the public understanding of the moral foundations of free societies by making the scholarship of the fellows and affiliated scholars of the Institute available and accessible to a general audience.
Guys, keeping this nation moral and free depends on an educated citizenry. Add this to your blog roll, and read it! Yes, there are a lot of smarty-pants who write for it, but they make it easy to understand. We need to be taught well, and we need to teach our children.

6) An atheist commenter on this blog once implied that must be embarrassed about the Church's teaching on the reality of Satan. I assured him that nothing could be further from the truth. I know that Evil One is very, very real, and I am not ashamed to say it. Neither is Pope Francis:

Satan has a sneaky way of enlisting folks who deny his existence, and the Holy Father is not about to let the Prince of Darkness slip around unannounced and unnoticed. Thank you, Papa!

7) I am sure you all remember Carla and her beautiful family. Our hearts broke when their precious Henry went to Heaven on November 28, 2012.

But now by the grace of God and surely Henry's intercession, they are going back to Henry's country to adopt this beautiful sibling group!

In Mama Carla's words:

It started with Henry. We brought him home in September of 2011 at the age of 1. He was very sick and had a much more severe and rare disability than was originally thought. We loved him through ICU admissions and surgeries and therapies and learning how to eat and clap and laugh. He was our precious youngest of 7 and the treasure of our entire family.

He died on November 28, 2012, a few months after his 2nd birthday.

We grieved. We knew his short life made a difference from the hundreds of emails and cards and Facebook and blog tributes to him. We knew he changed us.

Now God has shown us our next adventure. Not to replace Henry. Never that. But to give AND receive love and family in a different way. To a sibling group that DESERVES to stay together…with a baby girl who needs a little extra help, and for us to figure out exactly what help she needs.

We are up for the challenge and we know Henry is cheering us on from heaven. Thank you so much for your prayer and financial support to help us bring ALL THREE home.

Follow their journey on Carla's blog, below, and please use the yellow "Donate" button on the top right to support them in bringing this precious sibling group into their loving home! 

Bringing Henry Home


On to another orphan update, this time a sad one:

The Russian ban on American adoptions has devastated many of my friends (some of whom, like Malcolm's committed family, had already traveled and met their child). After some initial hope for a diplomatic solution, it now appears that there is no road open for those families to reach their children. The grief is great, and there is nothing more to do but pray for a miracle. 

Meanwhile, Kara -- who still fiercely loves but now has to let go of precious Nico -- is committed to adopting Colton, from another Eastern European country. Please consider helping her by entering the amazing "Happiest Place Giveaway"!

You can enter without donating (though your odds increase if you do), and you simply must check out the prizes! Click Colton's cute face for details:

Thanks for all your love and prayers for the orphans and their families.

And thanks to Jen -- the new mommy who now has her baby boy HOME! -- for hosting.


Friday, April 12, 2013

The largely unasked question about the Gosnell mass murder case


The question is not: "Why isn't the media covering this huge, newsworthy, made-for-TV, gruesome true crime story?"

Don't get me wrong, that is a great question to present for discussion, and I've been following that angle closely, this being one of the latest responses:

Ultimately, I think all sides pretty much understand why the fiercely pro-abortion media cannot bring themselves to report on this particular case of mass child murder: It might make abortion and abortionists look bad if they did. So even though the media's obsessive protection of the abortion industry in America is ridiculously obvious, pro-lifers (and really all people of good will) are right to press and challenge them on this glaring, disturbing, unprofessional silence.

But the question not asked as often, and not answered the last time I tried, in October 2011, is the following:

...can anyone tell me what the salient, essential difference is between Gosnell's abortion mill and any other? 
I'm serious. What's the difference? 
Sanitary conditions? 
If sanitation's the issue, then this part shouldn't be so horrible to read: 
"According to testimony by former employees, Gosnell and his assistants killed 'hundreds' of newborn babies by severing their spinal cords rather than killing them in the womb…."
Because, severing a baby's spinal cord outside the womb (rather than dismembering a baby or crushing his skull in the womb), can be done sanitarily, I'm certain of it.
So, I'm truly interested in what the big deal is? If they had cleaned the place up (assuming anyone cared about standards for abortion clinics), there would be no moral objections, right?

Fast forward to today, and I am still honestly asking. What is the moral difference between Gosnell and others who make a living killing unborn humans more neatly? What makes the Gosnell case more macabre than this or this or this or this? Why is one late-term abortionist considered a monster for all the blood, ripped flesh, broken bones, and death he caused with his own hands, but these four late-term abortionists are feted and embraced as heroes -- even though the results are the same and mass death was the goal all along? And why are we outraged that the Gosnell clinic babies were victims of infanticide, but don't mind a bit that our own President voted multiple times to let infants born alive from botched abortions die without requiring medical care? Isn't infanticide infanticide, no matter the methods used to ensure the child's death?

A difference of inches or of moments cannot be the difference between a moral, acceptable killing of a child and an immoral, unspeakable one. A man-made law cannot make this little boy's murder moral, even if the killing had been committed a few moments and and a few inches earlier:

So I ask again, what is the salient, essential, moral difference between Gosnell's House of Horrors and the abortion clinic right at the end of your tree-lined suburban street?



Saturday, April 6, 2013

Quick Takes: To stir the soul

Yep, I'm late again! Here are my Friday Saturday Quick Takes!

1) This is love. This is Catholicism lived out. I've no doubt that Father Kapaun's posthumous Medal of Honor will be topped by his future canonization as a saint of the Catholic Church.

Fr. Emil Kapaun

In the cold, barren hills of Korea more than 60 years ago, two teary-eyed soldiers stood in a prisoner of war camp where their chaplain lay dying.

The Rev. Emil Kapaun was weak, his body wracked by pneumonia and dysentery. After six brutal months in the hellish camp, the once sturdy Kansas farmer's son could take no more. Thousands of soldiers had already died, some starving, others freezing to death. Now the end was near for the chaplain.

Lt. Mike Dowe said goodbye to the man who'd given him hope during those terrible days. The young West Point grad cried, even as the chaplain, he says, tried to comfort him with his parting words: "Hey, Mike, don't worry about me. I'm going to where I always wanted to go and I'll say a prayer for all of you."

Lt. Robert Wood wept, too, watching the Roman Catholic chaplain bless and forgive his captors….

Read the rest, here.

2) This also is love. This is Catholicism lived out. It is what every human soul is longing for. I am so moved by this segment, but the part that really gets me is when the young boy, Dominic, wraps his arm around Pope Francis' neck. Just pure love, given, received, and returned. And as we know from the Trinity, of which all human love is a mere reflection, true love is always generative. So, much fruit has and will come.

To see an emotional Megyn Kelly interview Dominic's father, theology professor Dr. Paul Gondreau, go here.

3) A regular reader and friend of the Bubble, Liesl, alerted me the other day to the situation at George Washington University, where homosexual activists are trying to get the university's Catholic chaplain, Fr. Greg Shaffer, kicked off campus. His crime? Teaching Catholicism, namely sexual morality, which offended and disturbed two homosexual men.

But here, in the dozens of testimonials written by the students who support Fr. Greg, who have been loved unconditionally by him, counseled by him, brought back from the abyss by him (Catholic and non-Catholic alike), you will see more of what you've seen in #1 and #2. This is love. This is Catholicism lived out:

May God bless and protect this kind, selfless, and holy priest of God as he is unjustly persecuted for being faithful to His promises, in persona Chrsiti.

4) And here is love in the form of the gift of human life. The newest grade of ultrasound is just breathtaking!

Tell me about that "blob of tissue", Planned Parenthood?

5) Speaking of which, I'm sorry to go from all this love to its opposite, but this simply must be exposed. If you can stomach it, watch the following shocking video of an attorney for Planned Parenthood testifying in front of the Florida legislature about what Planned Parenthood would do with a child, like the one above, who manages to survive a botched abortion at one of their clinics:

The banality of evil, folks.

It dovetails chillingly with the Gosnell "House of Horrors" trial that is, of course, being ignored by the major networks that normally love such gruesome, shocking, serial crimes. And as one commenter noted: “If the pro-life movement were involved in this type of insanity, there would be wall-to-wall coverage from every major news outlet." Does anyone doubt it?

Here is an excellent article on the silence of the media (warning: heartbreaking image), and I would love for a pro-"choice" reader to weigh in and give thoughts on why there is no coverage.

6)  Yeah, so, um, I did this little post for Catholic Exchange the other week, and if you want to check it out, here it is, but just so you know, I long ago lost track of the comments and won't be answering any more, ha ha.

Speaking of love and its opposite, I think I have a love-hate relationship with comboxes, and with facebook and email debates. How did I get myself into this? Oh, that's right! I started a blog. And a couple days ago was my third blogoversary! It's been wild and educational, that much I know! And I have had the pleasure of getting to know some of the most amazing people: YOU. :)

7) Speaking of amazing people, Simon is a special needs teenager from Eastern Europe who deserves the love of a family. When he turns 16 in October, he will have lost his chance to be adopted. He has about six months before his hope for a family is gone.

Click my photo for more info!

Visit my Orphan Report blog for more on Simon, and let's help him find that mom and dad he so desperately needs.

Many blessings for a wonderful Easter Season (that's right, Easter is not just a day, it's a whole liturgical season! Hooray!), and thanks to Jen for hosting, even as she prepares to give birth under extraordinary medical circumstances. We love you, Jen!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Final Sheen post: Easter! So appropriate for today, you'd think he was talking in 2013.

Background and Part I, here.
Part II, here.
Part III, here.
Part IV, here.
Part V, here.
Part VI, Good Friday, here.

Concluding our Lenten meditations on the Seven Last Words and the Seven Virtues, by Venerable Fulton J. Sheen.


Excerpts from his Easter address delivered on March 24, 1940, in the midst of World War II:

One of the greatest needs of our day is authority; for minds are not universally perverse, but they are confused -- they know not what is right. The criterion of right is agreement with a will or intention. For example, an engine works well when it conforms to the intention which the engineer had in designing it; a pencil is good when it writes, thus fulfilling the will of its maker. 


[R]ight for man means acting in accordance with the will of God or the intention God had in creating him. Holiness consists in fixation to that Divine will. It happens that, since God made man free, man may follow another will than God's will; for example, his own will, like the prodigal, or the popular will, like Pilate. Unfortunately, too many in our day choose the second standard and identify right with the will of the majority, or the mood of the masses, or the spirit of the world. 

Conflict arises between these two standards of right, the popular will and God's will, as it did when conscience told Pilate Christ was a just man and the mob told him Christ was the enemy of Caesar; or as it does in our own life when the good, such as fidelity to the marriage bond, is unpopular, and the wrong, such as divorce, is popular. In such cases where we are face to face with two standards of right and wrong -- God's will, the popular will -- we become confused and know not what to choose; we may even find it difficult to believe that what is so unpopular could be good. 

Just suppose you stood on Calvary on Good Friday and saw Him who called Himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life, nailed to a Cross. On whose side would you have been? On the side of Christ or on the side of the government, the masses? If your standard of goodness and virtue is what the public believes to be good and virtuous, then with the mob you would have agreed that Christ was not the Son of God, but an impostor; not the Messiah of the Chosen People, but a perverter of the nation; not the Redeemer of men, but a mock king. There was no doubt that the Crucifixion was popular with the masses, as they chose Barabbas to Christ. 

And when finally the sun had set on Good Friday and the last lengthening shadows of three crosses had silhouetted themselves against a sealed tomb, everything proceeded to go on as normal. The world apparently was so right in its judgment that even those who believed were somewhat shaken in their belief, like the rocks of Calvary. 

But as He appeared among His disciples, spoke to His Apostles, ate with them, prepared a seashore meal for them, remained on earth with them forty days after His Resurrection instructing them in the Kingdom of God, the truth finally emerged. The mob on Good Friday was wrong; the majority had erred. He was in very truth the Son of the Living God, risen from the dead. Truth is oneness with the Divine mind, not the public mind; goodness is oneness with the Divine Will not the popular will. 

The lesson that emerges from Easter is that the world was wrong and Christ was right; that there is a world of difference between an authority on which you rely when it pleases you, and one which you trust absolutely whether it pleases you or not; for what the world needs is a voice that is right not when the world is right, but right when the world is wrong. 

To avoid another Calvary and its colossal error that the majority is always right, the world needs a standard of virtue, truth, and goodness, other than the will of the masses. In those moments when the popular will coincides with God's will there is no need of an external authority outside the mass; but there is need of one when there is a conflict between the two, as there was on Calvary.


The millions of the world who keep their fingers on the pulse of public opinion and follow every theory, every vogue, every panacea, every popular immorality, and who approve the appointment of every anti-moral educator, have no standard of right and wrong. A thing cannot measure itself: A tape measure must be outside the cloth; a speedometer must not be a brick in the roadway; a judge must not be a shareholder in the corporation whose cause he judges. In like manner the judgment of the world must be from outside the world. Such a standard is the need of the hour -- an authority that does not, like some politician, find out what the people want and then give it to them, but which gives them what is true and good whether it is popular or not. We need someone to be healthy when the world is sick; someone to be a stretcher-bearer when the battlefields are freighted with wounded; someone to be calm when the house is burning; someone to be right when the world is wrong, as on Easter when they who slew the Foe lost the day. 

Where is that authority except in the Church of the Risen Christ which in each new generation is condemned by the world and then rises to a new and glorious Easter? At least a thousand times the bells have tolled in history for the death of the Church, but the execution never took place; the coffin is ordered but the corpse never appears; the mourners assist at her burial but she sings a requiem over her mourners; still doomed to death, but fated not to die, she survives a thousand crucifixions and a thousand deaths, and alone has survived the crash of all civilizations, because not involved in their ruin. 

There is often an hour when the world cannot understand the reason the Church gives for her position, but there is never a time when men do not live to see that her judgment was reasonable. 

And now the Church is once more speaking to the world. The present Holy Father [Pius XII] in the first encyclical of his reign warned about a drift to chaos unless men restored "a universal norm of morality," rooted law in "God the supreme lawgiver," healed "the divorce of civil authority from every kind of dependence upon Supreme Being," and restored "religious education of the young." Once more the world brought the nails and the hammer and nailed him to the cross, saying his plan would destroy academic freedom, and -- worst nonsense of all -- lead to the union of Church and State. 

The world has not yet seen how wrong it is in rejecting [the Holy Father's] pleas for peace and a return to the authority of Christ; but it will when the civilization built upon sand begins to crumble and fall. Easter's lesson is ever the same: They who slay the Foe lose the day; men who do not see the Church's reason live to see the Church as reasonable. 

God grant that we may not be stupid children, but may soon come to recognize that authority of Christ living in our day which is right not when the world is right, but right when the world is wrong. Then shall we not despair even in times of war, for it is error and hate which perish -- not Christ and the Church. Despair not -- moments of great catastrophe may be eves of great spiritual renaissance. Easter was within three days of the tragedy of Good Friday, but not within three days of the glorious Transfiguration. 

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Venerable