Monday, December 24, 2012

O Holy Night...

Wishing you a most blessed and peaceful Christmas Season. We have received the best, most precious gift in the history of the world- the Son of God, born for us on this day. May we receive this newborn child ever more deeply into our hearts and souls.

Merry Christmas-

Nativity Scene at the Vatican 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Spirit of Herod and the Innocence of the Lamb

The following is a timely and compelling article written by our General Superior,
Sr. Anne Marie Walsh. 
 
 
The Spirit of Herod and the Innocence of the Lamb

This December 14, 2012, the spirit of Herod brutally intruded upon our world, upon a people in festive excitement and preparation for Christmas, many anticipating the birth of Our Savior and King.   In a little town in Connecticut, at a gradeschool where the approach of Christmas gave the children there special light and anticipation, 20 children and 6 adults trying to protect them, were suddenly and mercilessly mowed down for no discernible reason.  Just as the death of the Holy Innocents in Jesus’ time  must surely have involved the death of adults as well, mothers and fathers desperate to save the lives of their children, so in Newtown, 6 adults gave their lives to do the same.

Jesus comes into our darkness this Christmas, into a world shocked by its own violence and yet blinded to some of the deepest violences embedded now in its own way of life.  A question perennially present once again breaks through the surface into our anguish to demand an answer:  Where does this violence come from?  Is it situational?  Is it cultural?  Is there a hereditary predisposition to it?  Why does this keep happening?

This problem reveals itself at the beginning of time when Cain first raised his hand and spilled the blood of his own brother.  It comes down to a simple premise.  What rules our lives!  There are only 2 answers here.  We choose self-rule or we allow God to order our lives according to His wisdom. 

Our first parents chose self-rule and left us the inheritance of that choice:  shattered relationships, disharmony, weakness, toil, excessive self-love, the loss of divine gifts, a tendency to be enslaved by sin, the flesh, evil, violence and finally, death. 

This is a choice we all make.  We choose either self-rule or God’s wisdom, God's way.  This is a choice we must make as a people as well.  And our choice will determine our future.

History shows that self-rule is a seed bed for many tragedies.   The first to suffer under the tyranny of self-rule?  The weakest, most vulnerable and innocent: the unborn, children, the disabled, the elderly, the poor.   All those who cannot defend themselves against the lust for self-seeking power that self-rule generates in man’s soul are at risk.  (Note:  the use of the term self-rule here signifies something different than self-control or self-mastery.)

At the same time, those we marginalize are a reflection of the greatest marginalization of all-God.  God is the most marginalized in our world today.  We push Him out of public life, our government, our schools, out of our personal lives, and now there is even an attempt to regulate God in the confines of His own House, telling Him He must be subject to the government in His dictates to us. (see HHS mandate)

This is a marginalization that began with the Fall and is perpetuated everytime we choose ourselves over Love.  We live in a society that has chosen again and again to proclaim self-rule over God’s wisdom.  And this is deadly.  Self-rule as a principle for a people, will always degenerate into barbarism, for self-rule, infected as it is by selfishness, rarely is able to exert itself in the discipline of Christian virtue.  It is unable because the practice of virtue requires denying oneself for a greater good, a good beyond self.

Jesus shows us how to choose Love as the rule for ourselves this Christmas, even in our deepest darknesses.  He shows us how to choose Him by His own example of continually choosing us, no matter the level of depravity we sink to.  The witness of the children and teachers slain in Sandy Hook is a witness of this kind of love:  innocent love in the children and  it’s  mature counterpart, self-giving love in the adults.  If we want more adults who are self-giving, one thing is for sure, we have to stop destroying the innocence of our children. 

This kind of love is the only thing capable of conquering the separation, isolation, selfishness and violence that is born of our narcissistic self-rule.  Our hope and our faith reside in the Gift that comes to us this Christmas, that precisely in our deepest darknesses and even though we marginalize Him to the stable, God comes, He still comes to us…in the pure, selfless, innocent love of a Baby Who hides within Himself the glory of the Divinity’s  desire to save us, to heal us, to take away our tears, to restore our hearts and to gladden us with His presence. 

Mary knows what Her child is destined for; she receives the prophecy of the sword that hangs over her own heart.  But She also knows the victory that Her Son, Love Incarnate is destined to win.  Her faith holds us fast while in the dangers and evils and violence of the present age, the darkness is surely and definitively being banished away. 

We mourn with the families of Newtown, like Rachel mourning her children because they are no more, though we know they are safe now with the Lord.  But we know too with firm conviction, and without passing judgment, that the spirit of Herod, Herod whose self-indulgence led him to madness and a worm-eaten end, is vanquished by the love of the innocent Child whose promise of a restored inheritance is ours if we have the wisdom to choose it, an inheritance where:  “…the lowly will ever find joy in the Lord…for the tyrant will be  no more and the arrogant will have gone; and all who are alert to do evil will be cut off.”  Isaiah 29:  19-20

In the Heart of Our Blessed Mother,

Sr. Anne


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Imagine Sisters...

here is the link to the website, Imagine Sisters, that is referred to in the video below. What an awesome movement this is!

Their motto is: One Sister Can Change the World.

check it out:

http://imaginesisters.org/


Girls Just Wanna Be Nuns....

someone just sent this to me! Very cute!


Saturday, December 01, 2012

Fr. Mark Toups' New Prayer Study Program

I want to HIGHLY recommend a brand-new series produced by Ascension Press called Oremus.

This particular series on the study of prayer and living a passionate and life-giving relationship with God our Father is hosted by Fr. Mark Toups. Fr. Mark is an outstanding, holy and humorous priest from the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Check out the series here:

http://ascensionpress.com/t/category/study-programs/catholic-prayer/oremus

Here's the promo-


Friday, November 30, 2012

Dr. Miriam Grossman Launches New Website

Check out this incredibly important new website by Dr. Miriam Grossman.

After seeing brokenhearted students come into her office due to the misuse of their sexuality, Dr. Grossman became an outspoken critic of the failures of current "sex education" offered to children at schools and in society at large. She also speaks about the dignity of the human person and the need to tell the entire truth about sexuality to young people without caving into "political correcteness."

her website is found here:

http://www.miriamgrossmanmd.com/



Whatever You're Doing, It's Something Heavenly

Heard this song this morning. Really liked it. How beautiful.


Fortifying the Faithful...

check out this supercool new blog titled "Fortifying the Faithful" by my friend Becky.

She covers current events and lives of the Saints in a fresh and timely way.

Here's the link!

http://www.fortifyingfaithful.com/

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Sisters the Saints...

If you are looking for a good book to read, I HIGHLY recommend a new memoir by Colleen Carroll Campbell titled, My Sisters the Saints. 

My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll CampbellThe book chronicles the spiritual journey of Colleen as she investigates her own college "liberated" lifestyle the doesn't bring happiness, only deep emptiness. She begins to challenge the popular idea of femininity and discovers what it really means to be a woman. She finds deep hope and friendship with several  women saints.

It's an honest and excellent read for you, your daughter or women who are dear to you (perhaps a great Christmas gift!)

Read more here-
http://www.amazon.com/My-Sisters-Saints-Spiritual-ebook/dp/B0083DJXQI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1353602025&sr=1-1&keywords=my+sisters+the+saints

Colleen's website:
 http://colleen-campbell.com/books/my-sisters-the-saints/


While You Were Sleeping....

I heard this song this morning and found this video that was made a couple of years ago. Obviously it is still as true today as it was then, even more so.

How often in our "slumber" we forget why we are here and that the greatest gift God has bestowed upon the world is life. He is the Lord of Life. It's easy to get distracted and forget, all the while getting sucked into secular thought that bears death, not life.

This is a very perceptive song by Casting Crowns. I love how through everything the human person faces, generation after generation, God is always faithful and true. He never gives up on us and He never leaves us. He gives His people freedom to choose. He is the author and finisher of life.

On this Thanksgiving day, may we spend time in thanksgiving and praise to God, the Father of all. We don't thank Him just because things go our way or because we get what we want. We thank Him and praise Him for who He is, in His fidelity and love. May we open our hearts to the truth of who He is and who we are. May we awake, arise and praise the One who loves us eternally.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Remind Me Who I Am....

We all need a reminder of who we really are. We are not what the world says we are or a compilation of other people's opinions of us. We find out who we truly are when we turn to God and ask Him. He is delighted to tell his children who they truly are--deeply loved and cherished.

Heard this song today- thought you might like it--


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Strength and Grace

I had to write about a beautiful image I saw today.

While at Mass this morning, I noticed a police officer in full uniform who had his son sitting on his lap. His son was turned and facing him and the officer eyed his son with deep delight and delicacy. While listening to the homily, his son was tracing the outline of the police decals on his father's shirt with his little hand and was lost in the strength of his father's protection and gaze. It was a tender and beautiful sight.

I was thinking of how this man, bearing authority in his full uniform, sees some of the worst of humanity. He has probably seen things he would rather forget and this man most likely puts his life on the line very often to protect the safety of the community. And yet in all his strength, he gazes upon the son in his lap and holds him so tenderly and with great love.

It reminded me of God our Father. Our Father, the Creator and Ruler of all, is not far and distant in His authority. He created each of us with great tenderness and delight. As we sit upon His lap, He gazes upon us intently with love while he holds us in His arms. We are always welcome there in His lap. He is never "too busy" for us.

May we always find our resting place in the Father, from whom all blessings flow....

Happy Sunday

Dream.....

A beautiful new song by Catholic artist Audrey Assad-


Friday, November 16, 2012

Beautiful Blogs by Beautiful Moms...

Here are a couple of blogs that are written by beautiful, young, dynamic and faith-filled women who have embraced their vocations as wife and mother.

Do you have any favorites? Let me know and I will pass them along-

Enjoy!

http://teamdaunt.wordpress.com/


http://hiseyeisonthesparrowmom.blogspot.com/2012/02/bub-bee-friends.html

Need Some Cake?

this made me laugh!!! :)

An adult discussion on cake, pancakes and pies....


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Day After...

Perhaps many of us are still shocked over America's choice to re-elect President Obama. I still can't believe it. I can't believe America would willingly chose the agenda that he and his administration are implementing . But now we have made our bed and we will get to lie in it. All of us. It breaks my heart more than I can even describe.

Life will not be easy. Difficult times are ahead of us, my dear brothers and sisters. Nothing will be the same.

In the words of Thomas Paine written December 23rd, 1776:

THESE are the times that try men's souls. 

The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. 
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. 

Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. 
Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER" and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. 
Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.
God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent. 

 In the fourteenth [fifteenth] century the whole English army, after ravaging the kingdom of France, was driven back like men petrified with fear; and this brave exploit was performed by a few broken forces collected and headed by a woman, Joan of Arc. 
Would that heaven might inspire some Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment! Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. 

But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered. In fact, they have the same effect on secret traitors, which an imaginary apparition would have upon a private murderer. 
They sift out the hidden thoughts of man, and hold them up in public to the world.

For though the flame of liberty may sometimes cease to shine, the coal can never expire.

Those words are so powerful--written by Thomas Paine on a cold day when defeat seemed certain and hope seemed lost.

Yet, in all of what is happening and what is to come, God does not abandon us. Our Blessed Mother does not abandon us. God has a plan in all of this and darkness never wins.

We must be faithful to Him no matter what the cost. Let us pray for the grace of courage and fidelity. Let us pray and pray some more.

Let us choose Him.


Here are some articles you might find interesting:

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/hope-in-god/


http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/catholic-leaders-call-on-obama-to-respect-life-liberty/

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Contradeception...



The following article was written by a beautiful friend of mine who has six young children and who is passionate about bringing the dignity and beauty of woman to the forefront of our hearts and minds.

This article is more great affirmation that the Holy Spirit is speaking deeply to women and is speaking about their great role in bringing peace and life to this broken world.



Contradeception

 

“Why ain’t a boy in a hundred gets to whitewash an illustrious fence like this one,”
The infamous Tom Sawyer spoke intently, baiting the first of many friends who passed by his lousy post, convincing them to exchange their prized possessions for an opportunity to do his dirty work.

 Author Mark Twain narrates, “He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it -- namely, that in order to make a man or a boy, covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.”

 The rapidly approaching presidential election reflects this dark principle of human nature. By exploiting a cause, one can run on an appalling record and still influence votes. After all, in order to make a girl or a woman covet a thing, it is only necessary to tell her a man can do it.

Our Commander-in-Chief, during the debate on domestic affairs, pledged to do all he can to afford woman the same opportunities as men. He asserted, woman in our country and around the world have been subject to grave injustices. Woman like Lily Ledbetter who worked many years making less money than her male equivalent without justice and well deserved recognition had top billing.

The media conversation in the days following the debate centered on what they called the war on women. Hearing the countless horror stories on the news of so many nameless women who have been denied pay, protection and sadly, dignity, are impossible and impermissible to ignore. We grieve that women in our own backyard have starved to feed their families, have been objectified and abandoned. War has been waged and Americans know they cannot sit idly by. America needs a pro-women candidate and Barack Obama is confident he is the guy.

His bold response to the inequality:  More contraception:  mandatory coverage for all. Stopping at nothing to ensure every prescription is filled and every womb empty because all of our womanly woes obviously stem from a lack of available contraception.

As woman we have suffered many fates at the hand of this illustrious pill. Yet, our government wants us to open wide to swallow yet another dose of deception. Is this the revolution American women have been longing for? Do we need protection from our threatening reproductive systems, our broken bodies that every month do this crazy thing called ovulate. Are we really that naïve?

The pill our president peddles is not only detrimental to our health but to our society at large. Over the last century our country has endured a rapid moral decline; one that not-so-coincidentally coincides with the wide-spread availability of the pill. American women are smart enough to understand the correlation but sufficiently terrified of their own femininity to ignore it.

The readily available statistics of the abuse and objectification of women and families in America are staggering. Is it not enough that more than half the women in America are without spouses, half the children live without at a father or a mother in their home, and millions of innocent children are ripped from their mother’s wombs when the cure-all first line of defense fails?

There is war on women. Femininity is being assaulted by those that claim who we are made to be as women, is simply not good enough.

Take a look in the mirror, ladies. Seriously take a long, deep, gaze at your bare outline. 

Now take a second look, beyond the shame and unrealistic expectations about what the world tells you your femininity ought to resemble. This time, what do you see?

Behold, the glorious feminine frame, curves, breasts and the intricate lines that cover our most captivating capacity- our ability to nurture life. You are beautiful!

Femininity is not a disease, it is privilege. We don’t need a cure, or the hollow and dangerous promises that come at a devastating cost to our very nature as women. We do not want to hand over our most prized possession, the truth of our femininity, to partake in a dirty agenda. We can no longer pretend to be something we are not. Who we are is undeniably etched in our existence. We are worth infinitely more. Why ain’t every girl in a hundred liberated by this truth.

C.D. 2012
 

 

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Call To Political Responsibility

I am posting the link to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' document on political responsibility. As the election draws near and voting commences, we need to know what we are really doing when we cast a vote.

You may also want to prayerfully consider some form of extra prayer and fasting in the three days before the election on Nov. 6th.

As Queen Esther prayed and fasted for three days before approaching the king, her courage opened the king's heart and her people were spared from certain destruction.

May our prayers to God be heard and may the grace from our sacrifices overflow to open the hearts of the American people.

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/upload/Forming-Consciences-for-Faithful-Citizenship-2011.pdf



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Michelle Obama Calls Partial-Birth Abortion a 'Legitimate Medical Procedure' While Taxpayers in Indiana Still Fund Planned Parenthood...

God help us all. Talk about a "war on women". Abortion is pure evil.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/have-you-seen-the-2004-michelle-obama-letter-endorsing-partial-birth-abortion/


http://www.theblaze.com/stories/federal-court-blocks-indiana-from-cutting-funding-to-planned-parenthood/

Bruno Mars is 'Locked Out of Heaven'...Perhaps Because of the 'Young, Wild Girls'?

The young singing sensation Bruno Mars is blazing up the charts with his new hit "Locked Out of Heaven." Why is this song popular?

It's a rather crude but catchy tune about the desire to go out of oneself and enter into ecstatic union with another through the marital union.

If you look closely at the lyrics, Bruno almost imitates the Song of Songs as he sings about becoming one with a woman in a deep way; asking her to "open the gates" so he "can see the light." Deep stuff for a Top 40 song. He sings that her love "could make a sinner change his ways."

Of course, it becomes distorted and crude because he isn't singing about a marital union in a covenant relationship but more likely through a carnal union with whomever is available. Yet, the longing is there in his heart for something more.

It seems to fit with another up and coming tune of his in which he sings about a desire for a wife and exclusive union but that he cant seem to shake the immediate gratification of the young women who surround him. The song is called "Young, Wild Girls" and its a sad ballad about the desire and struggle to break free. He knows that even though they "will be the death" of him, he can't seem to break away from temptation.

Herein lies the enigma of desire and chastity. The marital union is called to be an earthly sign of the deep intimate union with which God loves us. The marital union isn't just some random act that people engage in- it is deep with spiritual, physical and emotional meaning. It means something profound. It's a reflection of something more than this world can offer.

God's love for us eternal, exclusive and life-giving. It doesn't fade when things get tough and it doesn't waver even when we are unfaithful. We all long for this kind of love because that's what we are made for. We desire this kind of union.

It will never be attained, though, through means that are sinful and out of order. The kind of union that Bruno is singing about will only leave a person thirsty and dissatisfied. The kind of union Bruno is longing for is lasting and eternal. He was made for that.

Pop culture is often popular for a reason. So often in a distorted way pop culture reveals the deepest longings of the human heart. May God bless us all on our journey toward Him and may He heal all our distorted desires and the ways we grasp at love. He wishes to come and fill us. May we be open to receive the love that truly satisfies.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Scary Commercial...

Saw this commercial today. Read that it was produced a couple of years ago but deemed "too offensive" for many networks so it was pulled. Maybe we as Americans just dont want to face the facts?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Planned Parenthood Wants To Be Believed...

ah, yes, the people who willingly murder children, cover up rape and work with sex traffickers now want us to believe that Mitt Romney will mislead the American people on the issue of abortion....*sigh*

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/planned-parenthood-president-romney-trying-so-hard-to-mislead-people-on-abortion-stance/

Bad Lip Reading Does The Debate

This group of people who apparently have WAY too much time on their hands have put together their version of the debate from last week.

Bad Lip Reading does voice over work with what it looks like people are saying and it can be completely hysterical and nonsensical. Some of their stuff can be a bit off-color and I am not recommending all their other stuff but this video of the debate made me laugh.

Get ready for a few minutes of entire nonsense (outside of MSNBC)  :)




Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Real "War On Women"

Below is another excellent reflection by our General Superior, Sr. Anne Marie Walsh.

Please pass this on to all the women you know! We as women need to wake up to the lies of society and embrace our true and life-changing femininity.


Letter to Women: A Word Regarding the Real War on Women

Photo: anonlineindia
  PBS recently aired a documentary on women in 6 different countries called, “Half the Sky,” based on the book of the same name, by Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn.  Countries featured in the documentary were Sierra Leon, where rape as a weapon of choice during the civil war there has now become mainstream; Cambodia, where sex-trafficking brothels are filled with younger and younger girls who are locked up and even caged, made to take "clients" non-stop; Viet Nam where girls, especially from the countryside, are discriminated out of educations and left with little hope for much of a future;  Somaliland where genital mutilation still goes on, causing chronic pain and complications, and where a huge percentage of women die in child birth because of these complications and the lack of medical care;  India, where the caste system and dire poverty still creates a conducive environment for parents to sell their young girls into brothels, traumatizing them for life and where generational prostitution is an entrenched way of life for many women; Kenya where violence against women is so prevalent that women have begun initiatives of education and microfinance to begin to bring change to their situations.  And then there's China, which wasn't mentioned, with its one-child policy that has resulted in forced abortions, sterilizations, infanticide (of girls) and a huge gender imbalance which creates fertile ground for human trafficking.
 
There's another country where women have been victimized by a powerful propaganda that has brought them to be ashamed of their bodies and the meaning of their bodies.  Because of this propaganda, they have sterilized themselves in great numbers and had 50 million of their babies killed in the last 40 years.  All this has been done under a euphemism called "women's reproductive health."  How it is exactly that women’s healthcare becomes synonymous with ending newly conceived life and mutilating reproductive capacity, is the unasked question.  But the underlying falsehood is that women can't be equal to men unless they are able to kill their offspring and sterilize themselves.


 This country of course is the United States of America; and many countries in the West now promote this propaganda.  The hidden lie is that women cannot have control of their destiny unless they can get rid of actually what makes them women.  So they must have free access.

 
People say this is a non-issue in this election, that there is no real war against women in this country.  Yet, if we don't get this fundamental question right, everything else is skewed.  The question of how we understand woman is a question of primary importance because it affects one half of our population and how that population participates in bringing this country to true greatness. 


 Make no mistake about this.  The current propaganda has been just as lethal to women and children in the US as anything that goes on in any country in Asia or Africa or Latin America.  Any man (or woman) who encourages a woman to think that access to sterilization and abortion will make her equal to men, has rejected her womanhood, and therefore has rejected her as a real person.  Are there injustices against women?  Of course.  Are there things that need to change?  Of course.  Do women need support in times of crisis and difficulty?  Without question.  But is this the best answer we are able to come up with?

 
We have the responsibility to vote for the men (and women) who truly support us as women and who do not encourage us to sterilize ourselves and deny who we are as women, expecting us to believe that only this will allow us to participate on an equal footing with men.  Let's vote for those who respect the feminine genius as it was given to us by God and who gladly  and gratefully receive our gifts first in family, and then in every other area of human activity.    We cannot vote for any man, woman or party that rejects us in the very gift of our womanhood. 

In the countries mentioned above, incredible, selfless people, many of them victims themselves, are doing tremendous outreach and helping to change things.  They are women (and men) of real courage.  They are fighting to bring about real change, raising the standard of women’s lives to what they should be.  Some of the answers will need to be rethought.  But the positive movement is there.  As the documentary says: “ women and girls are part of the solution, not the problem.”

In this country, let us shake off the propaganda daze and stand up.  Let us say, “No more” to the  lies that drive so much of the political machine!  We are a gift precisely as women.  Let's take back control over our own destinies and rid ourselves of these deceptions so we can stand in the light of the Truth about our dignity and the greatness of our calling, precisely as women, to the whole of humanity.  And let's embrace the men who understand this and respect it and move with us, not against us, in the great crisis of this hour!

For women who have been used and deceived by this present culture, take heart!  We all have participated in this lie in one way or another.  But the good thing is that repentance and change is a movement of the heart, and women are creatures of the heart.  And once we realize the deception that has been foisted upon us, the lies that have been used for our own destruction can be stripped of their power, and the feminine genius can then be unleashed for the building up of a true civilization of life and love.

 

-Sramw 10/2012

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Wine That Dazes...


Featured below is an outstanding reflection by our General Superior, Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, on "the wine that dazes us."

I think we can all agree that our country seems to be paralyzed in so many areas. What is really going on? Sr. Anne explains the crisis--

May God give us keen insight and awaken our sleeping hearts as this election draws near.

Pass this on to everyone you know--

The Wine That Dazes Us

Recently, while speaking with a dear friend, I found myself sharing some of my personal experiences of growing up during the 60’s and 70’s.  I lived my grade school, high school and college, during the great movements and turmoil of that time:  the civil rights movement with its urban riots,  massive and active anti-war, anti-establishment activity especially on the campuses, women’s liberation, changes in the Church with Vatican II and shortly thereafter, the exodus of thousands of Priests and Sisters from their vocations.  I vividly recall the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, from the impressionable and uncomprehending  perspective of youth.  

My friend asked me what I thought, out of all that, had had the greatest impact on our culture, our society today.  While there is a case to be made for the progress we’ve made in civil rights, and while I believe the Church  has been tremendously blessed by Vatican II yet is also still reeling from the effect of the thousands who left their vocations, I responded without hesitation that the sexual revolution, to my mind, has had the greatest impact on where we are today. 

Shortly after this conversation, I was praying the Divine Office and was particularly struck by Psalm 60.  Psalm 60 speaks about what happens when God’s people are unfaithful.  In Vs. 5, it says:


“You have inflicted hardships on your people

        and made us drink a wine that dazed us.”

But then it says: 

       

“You have given those who fear you a sign

To flee from the enemy’s bow.”

I was moved to ask what is the wine that dazes us?  In my prayer, it clearly seemed to me that the wine we tasted in the sexual revolution was the wine of sexual permissiveness.  And now we crave this wine.  We, as a people, have become addicted to this wine and over these last decades have brewed some very potent varieties of it.  Some are so potent that they say one taste (pornography comes to mind), immediately hooks you. 

 
In the space of a relatively short time, we have become like the chronic alcoholic who rationalizes his use and denies the devastation and destruction all around him, because he wants free and unfettered access.  Never mind that marriages and families are destroyed, babies aborted, children traumatized and stripped of their innocence.  Never mind that violence against women increases, along with every other imaginable form of degradation and perversion.  Never mind that disease, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, can be directly traced to the devastating effects of this addiction.  We just have to have it.  We tell ourselves this makes us free, adult, normal, uninhibited.  Exactly what the alcoholic says. 

Our denial with regard to what we are drinking, is so strong now, that we are blind to our own enslavement, except when the despair this creates in us sometimes seeps through to the surface.  We can no longer help ourselves.  And because we do not want to be judged, we try to convince everyone else this is a good thing.  “Try it, you’ll like it.”  Thus have we exported the wine of our own lewdness to the nations, or as the book of Revelation puts it:  the “maddening wine of her adulteries.”   (Aren’t we the biggest exporter of pornography in the world?)

This is one addiction that also helps paralyze this country, that makes it passive, indifferent in the face of the grave moral challenges we face.  It’s as though people are collectively saying:  “As long as you leave me free to do what I want, go ahead and do whatever you want.”  That seems to be the thinking of so many.  It accounts for the apathy that exists in place of a vigorous defense of justice and right and all that is good, truly good.  How can there be moral indignation in a people who are not living moral lives?  Could this be why so many people are silent in the face of the gross attacks on human life and dignity that exist in our world today? 

Psalm 60 says that God gives those who fear Him a sign to flee from the enemy’s bow.  Perhaps one sign can be found in the Wedding Feast of Cana.

Jesus wants to give us a different kind of wine, the wine from this wedding feast.   This wine is given to those who are rightly ordered in the gift of their sexuality and who celebrate it in the context in which it was given to us by Our Heavenly Father.  This wine, the best wine, fills us with love for life, excitement at the promise it holds, joy in the divine love it expresses.   It is a wine which is available to all, and which can be had by following Our Lady’s counsel:  “Do whatever He tells you.” 

This is the wine the world truly craves, the wine we were created to drink freely.  This is the wine that will not enslave but will bring all of us into the true freedom of the sons and daughters of God.  May the Most Holy Trinity and Our Lady heal us and bring us to be worthy to receive this wine.

Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT