Listen to the Thought for the Week
Alleluia, Alleluia. He is risen, as He said He would!
Dear readers, God bless you this Easter and throughout the year. By His sacrifice, we are cleansed and reborn, to do His work, in this world and the next. Is His sacrifice in vain for you?
One of my favorite Masses is the Easter Vigil. I like to see the newly minted Catholics, enthusiastic in their welcome to the faith and their rebirth in Christ. I also like the renewal of baptismal vows. A vow is a sacred and unbreakable pledge. More than a promise and more than a commitment. A vow is an absolute pledge, a promise to God, unto death and regardless of one’s personal feelings or consequences.
You know the words:
“V. Do you renounce sin, so as to live in the freedom of the children of God?
R. I do.
V. Do you renounce the lure of evil, so that sin may have no mastery over you?
R. I do.
V. Do you renounce Satan, the author and prince of sin?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered death and was buried, rose again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do” (1).
That is all pretty clear. Nowhere does it say, “I renounce Satan, but abortion is a choice between a woman and her doctor.” It also doesn’t say, “I believe in the holy Catholic church, but gender is fluid and love is love.” So, when you repeat these vows, are you a butCatholic?
We have often pointed out the butCatholics. They preface a heretical (and usually ridiculous) position with, “I’m Catholic, but…” Is your Easter vigil just a long series of church calisthenics, sit, stand, kneel, stand, sit, stand, kneel, etc.? Are your vows mouthed thoughtlessly for show, until MSNBC tells you otherwise? Do you just like long services, incense and the melody of the Litany of the Saints? (By the way, as a Ukrainian Catholic, I do like long services and incense and it is a nice song, but there is a lot more to the Easter vigil than that.)
I was recently in the Middle East, having spent a few days in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The Islamic holy month of Ramadan began during my visit and it was fascinating. They say Ramadan is a bad time for travel in the region, but I disagree. I submit it is the best time and highly recommend you make the trip, if able.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. They cannot even drink water or chew gum. The purpose is to concentrate on God and the duty to one’s fellow man. Most restaurants are closed until sunset, and it is poor form for even non-Muslims to be seen eating or drinking outside of one’s hotel room (although this varies from country to country, with Saudi Arabia on the conservative extreme and the UAE on the liberal). As was explained to me, fasting imparts a feeling of hunger, thus demonstrating to the faithful the experience of those who live in poverty and constant hunger, increasing one’s compassion, empathy and charity. Additionally, the thought is, if one can control hunger, one can control anything, specifically his conduct and relationship with God. After sunset, everything opens and people celebrate the breaking of the fast with large and festive meals. Many mosques and homes set out tents and provide free meals for the less fortunate every night. This is all accompanied by decorations, lights, retail sales, family gatherings, and nightly celebrations.
It is a lot like Catholics’ Christmas if Catholics actually took their faith seriously.
That gentle readers, is what strikes one about the Middle East. They take their faith and the rule of law seriously. It is why Dubai looks the way it does and Portland, Oregon looks the way it does. It is why you can leave a wallet on a bus bench in Doha and find the wallet, untouched, a week later, but you can’t walk a block safely in downtown Los Angeles, where Walgreens now must lock up the lipstick and nail polish. It is why the Catholic faith is shrinking, while Islam is the most rapidly growing religion in the world. Yes, Sharia law is harsh, but that, in and of itself, does not account for an entire society refraining from stealing. It similarly does not explain the universal hospitality and treatment of visitors and strangers as one’s family. It is cultural; it is the knowledge of who you are and what God expects of you. Now, I am not Pollyanna and ignoring the excesses of radical Islam, but there is a lot to admire here, and we could learn a few things from them.
In Catholicism, we are rotting from within. Our faith has largely become a cafeteria menu of what one chooses or chooses not to agree with. Recently, we discussed trigger phrases. One of these phrases is “I’m a good Catholic, but…”. Whenever you hear this, you know the next words out of the butCatholic’s mouth are going to be some sort of heretical nonsense, justifying some sin or perversion. I speculate that there are not a lot of butMuslims in the world.
The Catholic church is a curious thing. It is very, very hierarchical, with a clear chain of command, from the Holy Father, down to the parish priests and deacons. And yet, our faith seems to be unable to unite in the principles of Catholicism and enforce those principles throughout the hierarchy. If it could, there wouldn’t be a bunch of German heretics taking synodal votes on the blessing of same-sex marriage, gender fluidity, and women in the sacramental diaconate, there would just be a lot of excommunicated former German priests and bishops. (What is it with the Germans anyway? Does that country just lose its collective mind every so often?) Islam, on the contrary, is completely nonhierarchical, yet its adherents seem to be in fairly strong agreement on the basic tenets of the faith. Shia, Sunni and Suni sect differences, aside, they are all very similar on issues that the butCatholics can’t agree on. I haven’t seen an organization called “Muslims for Choice” project pro-abortion messages on the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. I didn’t see any multicolored LGBTQ+ flags flying in Qatar.
As we have previously discussed, I am still waiting for the Catholic Church to officially speak out against sin and perversion, and take direct action against those who use the faith as window dressing. For every Bishop Strickland, we seem to have a hundred James Martins. Why haven’t Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi been excommunicated? Why is Georgetown allowed to call itself a Catholic university? Why haven’t the professors at Norte Dame who advertise helping students find abortion pills been fired? Why aren’t Catholic clergy rioting in Canada, against Trudeau’s murderous regime? Why hasn’t the Holy See severed diplomatic relations with Iceland? Why haven’t the homicidal “Catholics for Choice” been sued out of existence?
And what does any of this have to do with medicine? As you know, we are currently developing the nation’s ONLY pro-life and pro-family medical school. The Saint Padre Pio Institute for the Relief of Suffering, School of Osteopathic Medicine, will be the most faithful Catholic medical college in the US (and likely the world). The nine existing US Catholic medical schools are “butCatholic,” each trying to be more woke and gender-inclusive than the next. The genocide of the unborn, mutilation of people in pursuit of “gender affirmation” and the murder of the elderly and infirm by euthanasia, were all accomplished by the ready, willing and able participation of physicians. The butCatholics are their accomplices.
We are actively going to take back the culture of death in this country.
We will, at maturity, graduate over 150 new physicians a year who will say no to medically sanctioned murder and who will stand for the life and the dignity of men and women, as created by God, from conception to natural death.
We know who we are, and what God expects us to be.