Archive for category Personal Holiness

A Renewed Reverence For The Holy Name of Jesus

You are waiting for a bus, and another person waiting complains about waiting and uses the Lord’s name in vain.  Or you are at a sports game and the home team blows a play prompting another fan near you joins along with his expressed frustration the taking of the Lord’s name in vain.  You might be at work and deadlines and pressures lead a co-worker to let off some steam that includes some profane words directed at the Lord.  It’s so common to hear that it may have a diminished shock value to many of us.


The name of the Lord is so hallowed that respect for the name is the Second Commandment of the Ten God gave Moses on Mount Sinai.  Christians, bearing the name of Christ, are called to give honor to the name they bear in all that they do.  Catholic Teaching proclaims that there is power in the name of Jesus.  This power includes the power to gather angels to protect and defend.  There is also power in the name of Jesus over the demons who will flee at the utterance of His name.  His name brings hope and fortitude to the despairing and weak.


Catholics have a tradition of nodding in reverence to the name of Jesus and even to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s name.  It is a means to give honor and glory to our God that can be joined with an expression vocally or silently of, “Praise the Lord.”


There are times that publicly, and there are even instances where  privately, any effort to correct another who profanes the name of the Lord will fail.  Correction and amendment to do better is the goal we seek and if one approach may embarrass the one who profanes from correction, then you may have to simply lift it to God with your own praise.  One can actually use the prompting of another’s profanation of the Lord’s name as a cue to reverence the Lord with a simple nod accompanying an expression of, “Praise the Lord.”


It is fascinating that if you use this approach in a circumstance where you don’t have other recourse, know that it can work in the changing of hearts.  In time,  you will notice the diminishment and abandonment of such abuse of the name of Jesus.  It may take some time, but it is compelling when you see that the abuse diminishes and in turn your reverential praising also diminishes because there are fewer promptings to offer that reparation.  You may even have the feeling of emptiness that can only be filled with your praises prompted out of a deeper love for the power and care of Jesus through His Holy Name.

Perpetual Adolescence The Most Serious Consequence?

Part I  of II


Today, July 25, is the 45th anniversary of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae.


This may be the document represents the Catholic Teaching that is our present day fault-line.  The practice of artificial contraception has brought the cultural divide between Catholics and others right into the Church itself.


Along with widespread dissension in practice has come a serious abuse of the teaching and understanding of following one’s informed and truth-searching conscience.  It has always been true, in part that the Church has taught that you must follow your conscience.  But it is wrong to suggest that this alone represents the Church Teaching on matters of conscience.  The Church and your salvation require you to seek truth always and remain open to the truth when you find it.  Has the truth of Church Teaching on contraceptive been so elusive to those who claim to be following their conscience, or has the truth been rejected in order to pave the way to satisfying an urge that is far less understood than the Teaching?  How many people are controlled by their sexual urges, rather than demonstrating a true mastery over the urges?  Whatever one does not master will only serve to enslave.


Relying on artificial contraception is an easy and deceptively flawed alternative to self-mastery.  Giving one’s responsibility over to dangerous and faulty technology is reflective of both human nature and an era where we have been conditioned to question God existence and man’s purpose, but to welcome technology as the savior of life and the quality of life.


Artificial Contraception has posed a formidable challenge to responsible sexual relations within marriage alone by giving a false illusion that one can safely and surely evade the consequences associated with a reproductive act, namely reproduction of the human species in the form of a baby.  Such deception leads us to what may be the most serious consequence of artificial contraception, that being the deception of evading consequences of one’s actions.


Dr. Theresa Burke, Founder of Rachel’s Vineyard has explained that when one has sought to evade a responsibility, particularly one as serious as matters of reproduction, pregnancy and a new life, the person’s psychology can be affected in relation to all responsibilities.  In further explanation, she spoke of a child being dependent on an adult.  An adult is one who, in addition to taking care of one’s self, can take care of others.  An adolescent is growing from that childhood stage to adulthood, but hasn’t yet attained adulthood.  The adolescent has begun to take on responsibilities for self, but has not yet fully embraced the responsibility of caring for another.  To think one has successfully  evaded the consequences of one’s actions will stop the emotional maturation process until the individual returns to assume the responsibilities of the matter or consequences earlier evaded.


The maturation process can be stopped while the person continues to grow chronologically and in knowledge.  It is the maturation of the psycho-emotional aspect of the person that suffers the stagnation.  This is all particularly pronounced when the responsibility is evaded during adolescence.   Thus, we have chronological adults who are emotionally in their adolescence.  If responsibility for one’s actions is never assumed and shouldered, the individual may live a life of perpetual adolescence where responsibility is actually sought to be passed onto others for other matters.  It is a form of dis-integration of the person from one’s actions.


Both contraception and abortion can have perpetual adolescence as a consequence.


Part II will be made available late on July 26, 2013.

Structures of Sin Can be Undermined and Destroyed

In yesterday’s blog posting, there was a reference to Blessed John Paul II’s explanation of “Social Sin” or rather “Structures of Sin.”  Blessed John Paul II, in his Encyclical, “On Social Concern,” went beyond just saying that these Structures of Sin will only be undermined and dismantled through personal holiness.   In short, this statement is true, but is also an incomplete exposition of all that Blessed John Paul II had written as the means to rid society of a Structure of Sin.


Blessed John Paul II had written of three specific elements necessary for each person to pursue and put into regular practice in order to take down Structures of Sin.  The first is personal holiness supplemented with solidarity with the victims of the structure(s) of sin and then followed with personal choices that reflect concrete practice of virtue overcoming temptation to contribute another sin to the already accumulated sin.  The latter two certainly grow from personal holiness that will also fortify the solidarity and personal choices.


A devotion to the Preborn Christ opens up all sorts of possibilities in terms of solidarity with those who are dependent, the defenceless, the confined,  and the threatened among so many others whose very existence and dignity remains unrespected and unprotected.


A devotion to the Preborn Christ is dependent on a touch of grace that overcomes so many cultural prejudice that first needs the opening of one’s eyes to Jesus in the womb.  Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. John 20:29

Let’s pray for all of us who are blind that we too may see the Preborn Christ as Elizabeth did when filled with the Holy Spirit during the Visitation.  May her words of exclamation then be ours too, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”  Luke 1:42