Tuesday, January 27, 2009
When Satan (that bastard!) wishes to disturb and destroy someone that is on the path to perfection, he does so subtly and by appealing to that soul's good desires to serve God."
- My saintly boyfriend (ala St. Ignatius)
I realized last night during some light spiritual reading (Swimming With Scapulars, a must read for cradle Catholics) that it has literally been months since I've even given a second thought to the evil one. It sounds so quaint and Protestant to reference him that way, but sometimes the simplest descriptions are the most apt.
In forgetting about the one who hates me more than anything, who hates my mother and hates our Father... I've been doing myself a grave disservice; namely, by focusing exclusively on the existence human evil and sin in the world... forgetting that there is actually someone out there who wants us to fail.
Actually, it's worse than that: he wants us to die.
Putting down my book, I reclined to ponder this reality, whispering a St. Michael prayer as I drifted off to sleep. How is it that I've gone so long without thinking about the devil?
Because that's exactly the way he wants it.
Not to give the guy too much credit, but apparently one of his best tricks is to convince us of his non-existence (Try CS Lewis' Screwtape Letters for a fuller treatise).
And I've been had. So preoccupied have I found my mind these past few months, with politics and various and sundry anti-life legislation and personal spiritual struggles, that I've rarely given hell, sin, or the author of sin a moment's consideration.
Not to imply that we ought to be focusing on hell and on escaping damnation as the chief motivating force behind our Christian zeal. That's a fine example of the tail wagging the dog. But we ought to give the occasional cogitation to the existence of a super intelligent, immortal enemy who is unwavering in his hatred for us.
This wasn't the most comforting bedtime meditation I've ever engaged in, but I believe it was worthwhile. For a couple reasons.
First, because today has been hard... which leads me to believe I'm doing something worthwhile in the spiritual realm. The resistance provides me with a pretty good indication that I'm headed in the right direction.
Second, because it's humbling. It's helpful to appeal to an exterior source of humiliation to remind oneself of one's utter dependence on God. Because without Him, there's very little I can accomplish on my own. There isn't actually anything I can accomplish on my own... which I tend to forget when life gets busy/interesting/joyful/sorrowful/stressful, etc. (Notice a pattern?)
It might not be a such a bad idea to start out every day with a prayer to St. Michael. To make a brief, daily informal renewal of your baptismal promises, to acknowledge that yes, we live in a world at war, and there are only two sides... and we've got to pick one.
Every day. Not just on that last day, at the end, if we're blessed with a moment to reflect... but every day.
St. Catherine of Sienna was (perhaps mistakenly) quoted as having issued the following charge: "Be the kind of woman (or man) that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says to himself, oh sh*t, she's awake."
I don't think these were Catherine's original words, but I appreciate the sentiment nonetheless. I hope you do too.
Monday, January 26, 2009
You're worth more than the $50,000 some scumbag businessman would submit via pay pal to secure a night of virginal sex with you.
You're worth more than the 1.4 million hits your website has garnered since you first published your offer of self for sale.
You're worth more than all the stares and whistles you've ever received in your whole life, combined.
You're worth more than the esteem of the world, and even if the world esteemed you more than all the celebs and starlets in all of Hollywood... you would be worth still more.
You're worth fighting for. You're worth sacrificing for. You, my dear, are worth dying for.
Nothing that you believe about yourself and your worth being intrinsically tied to your looks, to your sexual prowess, to your desirability... is true.
You have been fed lies, and because you are so hungry - because you are starving - you've swallowed them. And they are killing you.
You may not feel like it now, but you're dying. The garbage you've ingested might look and taste like solid food, but I assure you it is poison, and it will kill you.
Don't accept the best the world has to offer. One day you will wake up and you will be middle aged. You will have wrinkles, sagging skin, and thinning hair. Your body will no longer be beautiful in the same way that it is now; because of this, the men who admire you today will despise you tomorrow. They will find a younger, hotter, tighter version of your body, and they will toss you aside.
Until that day comes, you may very well never lack for male companionship. You may never "feel" lonely. But in the pit of your stomach, in the soul of your psyche, in your deepest subconscious awareness ... you will feel the loneliness.
Because every human being longs for real love. Longs to be seen and to be loved for who (and not what) one truly is.
You can deny the longing for a time... but you cannot extinguish it. And nothing the world can offer will slake your thirst for real love, for authentic intimacy. Not money. Not fame. Not even a fully-financed college education.
So hold out. You're worth it. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
(click on the post title for a link to the story I'm speaking to)
Friday, January 23, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I've exercised modest restraint in my (public) commentary, allowing space for civility in discussions with unalike-minded friends and former classmates. That's more than I've been offered from some of the same, but this being a seminal moment in history, passions are running hot and heavy... especially in cyberspace.
Today that restraint ends - sort of.
Today is a momentous day in American history. A man of mixed racial heritage is our Commander in Chief... and so we celebrate the step forward, out of the shadows of the past that continue, in some cases, to cast darkness over people's lives. If we are truly living in a "post-racial" America, then let me be the first to beg for a cessation of the endless chatter about color and creed that has polluted our airwaves during this entire electoral process. It's boring, it's backwards, and it's irrelevant. That being said, the little ditty about "black in the back" and "white must do right" uttered during the inaugural benediction was absolutely crass... and utterly out of place.
So moving forward, America, what are we going to focus our energies and attentions on, in this brave new world? We have come to a crossroads of sorts, a moment poised to usher in great change, charged with a hope spanning generations. The question remains: what will we do with what we've been given?
President Obama delivered a stirring oration this morning, speaking in the shadow of that great fallen man whose resolve carried America through the greatest national crisis in her history. Today we face a human rights issue equally divisive; its outcome equally grave.
The President vowed in his address to "end the slaughter of the innocent," promising continuing freedom for "every man, woman and child." I wanted to insert the word "wanted" as a modifier to each noun, so perplexed was I by his doublespeak.
You see, the President's record for dealing with "unwanted" men, women and children (small men and women) is less than stellar. You can view the full report here, but suffice it to say that the newest denizen of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue isn't any friend to the preborn.
So henceforth, from day one of Obama's presidency, I'll be waiting for him to prove me wrong. Because anyone (speaking from profoundly personal experience) can have a conversion. And looking at the beautiful faces of his little girls on television this morning, I could think of at least two reasons why his hardened heart might be softened.
So Mr. President, I'm watching, and waiting. Hoping you'll prove me wrong, but prepared to speak the truth about evil and its effects, should you let me down and prove me right.
God bless America.
Monday, January 19, 2009
MLK would have been 80 years old this past week, and had he lived to see tomorrow's historic events, he surely would have had some profound commentary to offer.
He was silenced before his time, though. Along with millions of other African American voices who never had a chance to speak their piece.
This says it all.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
For those lucky two children, whether meticulously planned or resultant of the "oops" inducing factor of breakthrough ovulation,* life is good. They have an unlimited supply of mom and dad's attention, an incredibly high salary cap on their allowances, and a myriad of opportunities and privileges denied to those less fortunate, sibling-laden peers.
At least that's the argument.
I've had many discussions with friends who are "planning" their families, certain that their will is the way to go... in some cases, even confident that their will is God's will, as well.
"Any more than two children," the argument goes, "and quality of parenting suffers. There just isn't enough time/money/love/resources to spread around."
The funny thing about infinitely valuable resources, however, is that quality and quantity don't necessarily operate on an inverted scale. Love, for example, can either expand or grow cold and die. It is not finite, nor does it reach a point of exhaustion if stretched too far. It is the strangest thing, this human capacity to participate in something infinite (love) even though we as human beings are ourselves finite.
God understands this - heck, he created us this way - and so he gives a unique gift when he invites us into creative collaboration with Himself (read: parenthood). In our participation with His creative power, we open ourselves up to the infinite possibility of being able to give more than we are actually capable of holding ourselves.
Thus the curious phenomena of additions to a family bringing with them additional love, both in their own person and in the capacity of their parents to love more deeply, and in a way they were previously unaware and incapable of!
Anyone who has ever been in love understands the sometimes painful and always rewarding process of enlarging the heart in order to accommodate the completely new thing that didn't exist before the beloved came on the scene: your love.
This is why it's impossible to accurately predict your capacity for love without having encountered the person, the other, whom your love is to directed towards.
I've heard from parents who marvel over the births of their fourth and fifth children, wondering where on earth that extra love came from. That's just the thing; it's not from earth.
It's from Him. And when we give God room to work in our lives, He does big things. The tricky part is, He's not usually satisfied with half sized portions or partial offerings of self. I mean sure, He'll work with what we give Him, but ultimately, He wants all of us.
Including our fertility. Our ability to say with total freedom to our spouse, "I give you all of myself. I'm not holding anything back, from you or from God." Let me reiterate here that while not every single sexual act is designed to result in conception, (this is physically impossible) every sexual act is designed to result in complete cooperation with your spouse and with God.
That means being totally open, totally vulnerable... and totally available to participate in His plans, which are not necessarily our own. This kind of openness lends itself to a general shift in attitude, an openness of heart that allows you to love your existing children better too.
Kids who are born to non-contracpting parents start out with a natural advantage: they were always, unequivocally wanted. Older siblings who see younger ones welcomed into the family are assured of their own worth and value in mom and dad's eyes. All in all, it's not a bad system... and one that's been in place for thousands of years with a decent rate of success.
Look around at today's families. Are they happier? Are marriages more fulfilling and longer lasting? Are children turning out more accomplished and better adjusted? Has the ability to take matters into our own hands and alter reality, tailoring it to our own selfish needs, brought more joy or goodness into this world?
* Breakthrough ovulation rates vary by the form and the dose of the OC used. With OCs, breakthrough ovulation is more likely with lower doses of estrogen and with imperfect rather than perfect use. Perfect use of OCs implies taking them consistently and correctly (ie, in the correct order, on time, each and every day, and without other medications that might diminish the effectiveness of OCs). Typical use is described as the full range of usage patterns for OCs that actually occur in women. While some smaller studies that evaluated small numbers of women for 6 or fewer cycles have reported breakthrough ovulation rates of near 0, studies that evaluated women for at least 6 cycles demonstrated ovulation rates ranging from 1.7% to 28.6% per cycle. For POPs, reported breakthrough ovulation rates range from 33% to 65%. http://www.polycarp.org/larimore_stanford.htm
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Check out Kit's blog at http://euphoricreality.com/ for more like this, and proceed with caution; your blood pressure is going to skyrocket.
My Predictions for the Obama Presidency
By Kit Lange -- Nov. 28, 2008
(Note the date of this essay, the third (highlighted) paragraph, and what's currently happening in Israel..)
Now that America has shown us all that affirmative action even works in politics, I've compiled a list of things that you can probably expect to happen. These predictions are 80% gleaned from information I have access to, and 15% gut instinct based on many years of research, historical study, and being glued to current affairs. The other 5% is just anger at my countrymen's stupidity-I admit it.
Websites and mass emails offering "free grants," courtesy of the government and "Obama's wealth redistribution." Actually, this one's a freebie, because I have an email with a date and timestamp of literally 7 minutes after Obama was declared the winner, offering exactly that.
Israel will understand this election was the end of any type of assistance, military or otherwise, from the U.S., and will stop holding back their defense at the request of the American administration. Look for a first strike on Iran soon, as well as increased activity by the Israeli military in general.
Look for Iranian retaliation-against American targets. That goes doubly for other terrorist organizations. We just elected a man with the full endorsement of every major terrorist group in the world as leader of the free world. It's the political equivalent of hiring a child molester to babysit your kids while you leave for the weekend. Not only is HE going to have fun with your child, but he'll probably sit and watch while his friends come over and do it too.
Look for far-left justices appointed to the Supreme Court, effectively tying up the entire government in a trifecta of liberal humanism, the buzzwords of which remain empty platitudes like "hope and change."
Military cases of troops being tried and convicted for killing the enemy in combat will continue to rise-and the conviction/plea-bargain rate will stay at nearly 100%, as the government seeks to use the best men and women this country has to offer as sacrifical lambs on the altar of global appeasement.
Look for the slow but steady erosion of rights you have enjoyed for your entire lives-all the while being told it's "for your own good." Restrictions on gun ownership, home schooling, encouraged dependence on the ever-growing federal government. More nanny-state provisions will be put into place to protect the "disadvantaged" and the "poor," (read: lazy, uneducated, unwilling to better themselves) even while groups like the unborn, the mentally handicapped, elderly, and terminally ill are slowly pushed toward euthanasia. Of course, this will be done with feel-good phrases like "death with dignity," "not wanting to be a burden," and "merciful release from suffering," all of which ignore the basic fact that we are killing people without their consent for the "good of the people." Before you tell me I'm crazy, let's just remember that Barack Obama was the ONLY senator in the Illinois state senate to vote against providing medical care for babies who were inconsiderate enough to survive an abortion. Also, look for taxes to go up. Yes, they'll go up.
You think the economy is bad now? Just wait. You'll have the most expensive "free" health care ever. Bread lines aren't just for Russians anymore.
We have traded experience for color, freedom for slavery-and the irony is that the average American sheeple thinks their vote somehow righted an ancient wrong, somehow ENDED the spectre of slavery and ushered in some beautiful era of liberty. In reality, we are about to be less free than you ever thought possible.
I watched the faces of those crowded into the mob (excuse the pun) in Chicago. They stared at Obama like he was a god, an idol, a panacea to their every want and need. We have truly failed as a nation if we are at the point where we feel we must look to one man to take care of us all, to be our father figure and our sugar daddy.
The eyes of Obama and McCain were also telling. McCain acted with class and grace in his concession speech, offering the most honorable response I've seen yet. I don't agree with all of McCain's positions, but it cannot be denied that the man has served his nation-at permanent and severe detriment to himself-for half a century. His eyes were clear and sincere, honest. His speech underlined the very reasons why, of the two men offered, he was hands down the best choice.
Conversely, Obama's eyes were cold, calculating. His manner was smug and still carried the arrogance he has always had. His facial expression was one of barely disguised disdain for everything people like me believe in. His body language was smooth, polished-too much so. He is charismatic to those who don't know what to look for, and he is inspiring to those who cannot or will not think for themselves. However, too many who voted for him are guilty of the most dangerous kind of hypocrisy. You see, we are told daily that we must not see color, just mankind. (We are all family, you know-or so we're told.) And yet Barack Obama was handed the White House on a silver platter by a fawning media, a bevy of foreign donors (who, to this day and in violation of U.S. election laws, remain nameless and unaccounted for), and a populace who voted based on color instead of right and wrong-even in the face of the most damning evidence against a Presidential candidate in many years, perhaps ever.
It is said that the people receive the government they deserve. Sadly, I fear that's correct. We have become complacent, unwilling to see the writing on the wall, content to frolic in the warm water without bothering to notice that it's been getting hotter by the minute.
So enjoy your victory. Jump around. Have a party, and make fun of those of us who fought to make sure your "messiah" didn't get access to the most powerful position in the world. Just remember when it all comes crashing down: You own the White House, the Congress, and soon the Supreme Court. You'll have no one to blame but yourselves.
As for me, I'm buying my handguns this week.
Monday, January 12, 2009
"The first thing I'd do as President is to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)" - Barack Obama, July 2007
I'm a little suspicious of the validity of this statement, uttered as it was to a roiling crowd of Planned Parenthood cronies at a fund raising event. But nevertheless, if he goes through with FOCA, or the Freedom of Choice Act, then President elect Obama will be the first Commander in Chief in US history to begin his administration by bulldozing state's rights and federalizing a "hot button social issue" (read: loosely regulated murder) against the will of the people.
It's going to be a long 4 years...
Friday, January 9, 2009
The truth being that real masculinity - the desire to provide and protect and to sacrifice for a greater good, to extend beyond one's self - is alive and well.
Authentic, God-given masculinity is one of the most beautiful and powerful reminders of God's love and of His nature. After all, the God we knew as the Carpenter in Nazareth was rugged, hardworking, self sacrificing, uncomplaining, unselfish... and deeply masculine in his human lifetime.
The site exists, I surmise, to encourage men in the pursuit of masculine ideals, as well as to promote (often times tongue in cheek) masculinity to the culture at large. A culture that is largely, well, hostile to the idea of men being (gasp!) men.
It follows that a world bent on gender-norming and sexual sameness would take offense to the concept of promoting manliness as an art form. So do something radical and go check it out, and encourage the men in your life in their pursuit of the finer things.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The following is excerpted from an article posted today on Cath News (linked through Spirit Daily), detailing the regrets publicly voiced by the co-inventor of modern oral contraceptives, 85 year old Austrian chemist Carl Djerassi:
"The Austrian chemist was one of three whose formulation of the synthetic progesterone Norethisterone marked a key step toward the earliest oral contraceptive pill.
Djerassi outlined the "horror scenario" that occurred because of the population imbalance, for which his invention was partly to blame. He said that in most of Europe there was now "no connection at all between sexuality and reproduction." He said: "This divide in Catholic Austria, a country which has on average 1.4 children per family, is now complete."
He described families who had decided against reproduction as "wanting to enjoy their schnitzels while leaving the rest of the world to get on with it."
The rest of the article is fascinating, and includes commentary by Austria's Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, along with medical experts and Church officials.
For the full text of the article, see CathNews
For another great follow up, see CatholicNewsAgency
Can't imagine we'll be seeing much coverage on CNN...
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Recently I've had opportunities to discuss the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, with individual women in each of the targeted age groups to whom Merck has been aggressively marketing their latest cash cow - a twelve year old, a nineteen year old, and a twenty-four year old recent college grad. All three women were somewhat informed on the vaccine, but curiously the twelve year old was the only one with a real awareness of the possible risks and side effects associated with it.
The other two had been encouraged by their primary care physicians to take the shot as a cautionary measure to guard against the possibility of cervical cancer in the future. Neither women has ever been sexually active, and neither was informed that Gardasil's actual role in prevention extends only toward the possible protection against certain strains of HPV believed to be responsible for cervical cancer if left untreated.
Neither girl was informed of any potential risks or side effects associated with the vaccination, nor were they aware of the unusually high cost of the shot (nearly $400 per administration, according to WashingtonPost.com). One of the young women took the information I shared with her to her next doctor's appointment where she inquired about potential risks associated with the shot. She was greeted with gentle laughter and told "not to worry, the benefits far outweigh the costs." The doctor, however, was strangely reluctant to name any of the possible costs, which I found listed on the same legal site I referenced above:
"Since its approval, there have been at least 3,461 complaints of adverse reactions to the Gardasil vaccine, and there could have been as many as eight deaths attributable to Gardasil. According to Judicial Watch, in several instances, blood clots were reported to have occurred after the administration of Gardasil.
Other side effects including paralysis, Bells Palsy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and seizures were also reported. The Gardasil side effect reports also include 28 women who miscarried after receiving Gardasil. In May 2007, a 24-year-old woman suffered a miscarriage, which an investigator in a report issued to the federal government said, “may have been caused by Gardasil because the patient received the injection within 30 days of the pregnancy.”" - Parker Waichman Alonso LLP
There's more, however. Gardasil contains a nasty little additive which is linked to infertility in mice, Polysorbate 80:
"There are also some concerns that Gardasil may cause infertility. An early version of the Virginia house bill contained a clause addressing liability issues "if a female who is inoculated with the HPV vaccine becomes incapable of naturally conceiving a healthy child carried to live birth or experiences impaired fertility as a result of the HPV vaccine".
Legislators got that idea because the vaccine contains Polysorbate 80, which is linked to infertility in mice. The Merck HPV vaccine also contains sodium borate which is a common roach killer in each of its three doses. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) of the National Institutes of Health notes of sodium borate that it "is now known to be a dangerous poison, it is no longer commonly used in medical preparations." - That'sFit.com, March 2007
More to come in future posts, but ladies and parents, take heed...do your homework before you roll into the doctor's office and roll up that sleeve. There's a reason they're pushing this vaccine so hard, and forgive me for questioning the motives of the tender-hearted drug companies, but I have to wonder what's in it for them, and at what cost to us?
By the way, a "guaranteed protection against HPV" (which is exactly what many girls believe Gardasil to be) is another great rationalization for promiscuity, just in case young people needed any additional encouragement in that arena.