Little Elian Gonzalez has been delivered to us to test the collective conscience of souls everywhere
In this weekend's editorial, we equate the events unfolding this week in Miami and Washington D.C. with echoes coming from Havana and Rome, all surrounding the plight of the Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez with events that took place nearly 2000 years ago which we commemorate this weekend and all next week. We show how the modern Scribes and Pharisees who first hailed Christ and then turned on Him, are doing the same with little Elian who, like Our Lord, has remained silent through this entire ordeal. Now the President has sought the intervention of the Holy See to see this through to its conclusion and one thing you can be sure of, unlike Pontius Pilate, the Holy Father will not wash his hands of the affair but exhibit the wisdom of Solomon and for this will be reviled by many. For this weekend's editorial The Resurrection of Right Resolve! , see CATHOLIC PewPOINT
Flash back two years ago to when another who emulates Christ in everything - His Holiness Pope John Paul II arrived in Havana. He was hailed by the people and tolerated by the Pontius Pilate of modern times - Fidel Castro who, in reality, has washed his hands of responsibility for the poverty of his country that has suffered under the suffocating and now-outmoded hammer and sickle in the aftermath of the coup that ousted Cuban dictator Juan Baptista forty years ago. Meanwhile, the Scribes and Pharisees - the modern secular media as the former and the Clinton administration representing the Pharisees continue to clamor that someone be sacrificed for the "sake of justice." "Release Barrabas!" Attorney General Janet Reno cries as she musters Federal troops to take Elian by force if necessary. Meanwhile the Clinton administration supports an effort to remove the Holy Father's influence from the world by endorsing UN initiatives promulgated by Planned Parenthood and the gay agenda forwarded enthusiastically by Democratic presidential hopeful Al Gore.
Just as the Sanhedrin called Jesus before them, America has called for the Holy Father to intervene in the Elian Gonzalez dilemna. In a story from Catholic World News today, Clinton has asked the Holy See to make a neutral site available for negotiations and possible an exchange to take place. That is a key word for, whether they realize it or not, the United States has the hammer and could exact a measure of compensation from Castro by cooperating and releasing little Elian to his father, a man who has been accused of being merely a puppet for Castro and whose parenthood qualities have come into question considering he divorced his first wife who drowned in seeking the promised land of Miami last year.
To use another analogy, like Jonah, little six year-old Elian was preserved from certain death. Jonah was saved in order to make the power of God known to the world and convince the Ninevites to repent of their evil ways or else! Did you ever wonder if the reason for little Elian being miraculously saved from the depths of the ocean was to be an instrument to help save millions of souls from the fathoms of hell? Like Jonah, God is using Elian indirectly to demonstrate once again the sacred importance of the family and the direction society needs to alter before the collective world is swallowed by the whale of no-return, regurgitating them into the bowels of hell.
While the upper hand America could use is to ask for the release of political prisoners in Havana in exchange for returning poor Elian, the country and its leaders should take stock of the sins we have individually and collectively committed and, like the inhabitants of Ninevah, turn back to God with all our hearts and souls. Then America would truly have the advantage - one that cannot be measured in finite terms. In the meantime, we forsake sackcloth and ashes for the pride of power and self-righteousness at the expense of a little boy and millions of souls. Talk about someone caught in the middle of a tug-of-war, we're appalled at how the Clinton administration waxes poetic about the importance of children and that this program, or that program are designed for the "sake of the children." Hillary Clinton is one of the biggest hypocrites parroting this mantra while the entire administration energetically works to promote more abortions worldwide...for the "sake of the children?!?" Give us a break! Think about it, here is one child who has won the hearts of America and Cuba - a heart being pulled both ways, and yet millions upon millions of children are mercilessly slaughtered for the sake of "the right of a woman to make her own choice!" Just as Jesus called the Pharisees "Serpents, brood of vipers," so also we can equate Clinton, Gore, Reno and the rest to those who "traverse see and land to make one convert; and when he has become one you make him twofold more a son of hell than yourselves" (Matthew 23: 15). Just as Our Lord says "You blind fools! ...Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but within they are full of robbery and uncleanness" (Matthew 23: 17, 25), the Clinton administration is full of robbery and uncleanness while posing as "whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness" (Matthew 23: 27). While Caesar sits in the White House, his modern day Caiphas Janet Reno tries to rationalize their stance, totally ignoring Christ's further words in Matthew 24: 34-35, "Therefore, behold, I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synogogues, and persecute from town to town; that upon you may come all the just blood that has been shed on the earth..." That just blood is the blood of the holy innocents - the aborted children.
The Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo has been asked to intervene and provide a neutral site, possibly the papal nunciature in Washington D.C. Just as we said earlier that America has the upper hand with Cuba, this is an ideal opportunity for the Church to "bargain" with the Clinton administration beginning with a committment by the latter to back off on the abortion issue and not veto the Partial Birth Abortion ban when it comes before Clinton's desk in the near future. It's a start, but for the Vatican, which believes in family and has stated that the boy belongs with his natural father, simply being an ally with the US in furthering public relations for Clinton and his cronies would be a big mistake. The Church has a golden opportunity to deal from a position of strength since Clinton has come to the Pope with hat in hand asking for help. Jesus said in Matthew 23: 37-38, "How often I would have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but thou wouldst not!", but because of this administration's perpetuation of abortion and the promotion of immorality through the gay agenda and illicit affairs, "Behold, your house is left to you desolate" (Matthew 23: 38) Finally, the Holy See can echo Our Lord's words in Matthew 23: 39, "For I say to you, you shall not see Me henceforth until you say, 'Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
The Papal Nuncio comes in the name of the Lord; Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin, who has been a matronly host for relatives to visit with Elian in Miami, comes in the name of the Lord as well, and, along with the aunts who truly care for little Elian's welfare, represent the holy women who remained with Christ through His terrible agony and last walk up Calvary, while the men either cower in fear or clamor for the blood of those who would persecute all who stood in their way. But, as Our Lord admonished Peter at Golgotha when he drew his sword "Put back thy sword into its place; for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matthew 26: 52), so also the Church is admonishing all to keep their cool in this heated battle that now involves the Justice Department vs. the Federal Court System and Miami Cubans passionate resistance vs. the arrogance of Castro. Into this midst comes the Church to cheers of Hosannah on this Palm Sunday 2000. The Holy See is looked upon as the trusted wise mediator in the fashion of Solomon to settle this thorny problem that evokes emotions and reasonable rationale on both sides of the issue. Right and wrong mean nothing anymore. We have to start by examining our own conscience to reestablish in ourselves the distinction between right and wrong, truth and justice as established by the Supreme Judge of all. When we have come to that conscious knowledge of right and wrong it makes an impact on the collective conscience of the world. This is the legacy Pope John Paul II is leaving to the entire world in inviting all to cross the threshold of hope with Christ.
The greatest crime of all time was the death of Our Lord on Good Friday for political reasons. The names and the dates have changed but the crime scene remains the same. Good people are still being persecuted and sentenced and, like Christ, young Elian has remained, for the most part, silent as others determine his fate in the name of 'social justice,' which is pride - pure and simple! Few truly have Elian's best interests at heart except those who truly love him and the Vicar of Christ, who, in his compassion and wisdom, has already said the child belongs with his father for the sake of the family in perpetuating the Sanctity of Life. Everyone seems to be suffering over this ordeal, most of all little Elian, who, reports say, wants to stay with his relatives in Miami. But what better time to suffer with him and to offer up our own sacrifices and suffering than Holy Week for in the plight of a small Catholic boy rests the spectrum of what Our Lord suffered for the sake of all His children from Adam to Elian and beyond. The Hosannahs of Havana have transformed into the Passion of Pity, Poverty and Politics. We can only hope and pray that, through the Church's wise intervention, the Crucifixion of Crisis, in which Elian Gonzalez is being offered up to maddening crowds on both sides, will result in the Resurrection of Right Resolve!
In her column this week, Sister Mary Lucy Astuto reminds all of the healing catharsis of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is mandatory during the time from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday which is called the "Easter Duty" but if one only goes to Confession and Communion during that time then many other sins will mount up, one - missing Mass on Sunday comes to mind. As Our Lady at Medjugorje suggests, all should go to Confession at least once a month, weekly if possible. Sister points out the basics of what constitutes a mortal sin and also offers a few short preparatory prayers while we make our examination of conscience before entering the confessional. She also emphasizes what Christ said in John 8: 11, "Go thy way, and from now on sin no more" and reminds us to keep this resolve in our hearts For her column, Pray! Pray! Pray! see GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Please let me proffer some ideas that may help you make a good confession.
First, begin by calling on the Holy Spirit to enlighten you. The following prayer may be helpful.
I usually add a prayer to Our Blessed Mother.
After a sincere prayer from your heart, such as the above, then examine your conscience. This would be made over the Ten Commandments and the Precepts of the Church, mostly. Hopefully, on the pamphlet rack in the back of your Church, there are some helps with this. If not, your local Church Goods store should be of help. If you do not have one of those, then look through the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you don't have one of those, search on the Internet. The Catechism can be found there. One of the best sites for this is www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm.
Remember, that ALL mortal sins, without exception and the number of times they were committed MUST be confessed. (You may confess on the average of ____ times a week, a month, a year.) To knowingly and willingly hide or refrain from confessing any serious sin, would be another mortal sin called a sacrilege. Why pour more sins upon another?
How does one know if they committed any mortal sin? Three things must be present:
If anyone of these elements is not present the person has not committed serious sin. If, after an honest examination, you have not committed any serious sins, then acknowledge 2 of 3 venial sins of which you have the habit of committing. It would be good, also, to state why you commit them. For example: "I have the habit of getting impatient with my husband and children because of my own deep-seated selfishness."
After you have made a good examination of conscience and before you enter the confessional, pray an Act of Contrition. Remember that part of good contrition is a firm purpose of amendment. Then go confess your sins to the priest and accept the penance he gives you. Before leaving the Church do your penance, if possible, lest you forget. Also, spend a moment thanking God for having given you the gift of this Sacrament.
At the basis of every sin is pride. Confessing your sins takes some humility, the opposite of pride. That is why confession is a necessary part of our growing spiritually.
Whatever your sins, remember, that if you had the courage to commit the sins, then have the courage to acknowledge them. Also remember that there is no shame in falling. The only shame is in failing to get back up and resolve to not sin.
Confession is good for the soul. I pray you will take advantage of this good sacrament.
God bless you!
Today Michael Vincent Boyer, a well-respected Catholic insider expert on what's happening in the entertainment industry, reveals that the President of the Motion Picture Association of America Jack Valenti who has eschewed morals and ethics by denuding the ratings of any decency, is considering retirement. That's good news to all. But, as Michael points out, it's like going from the frying pan into the fire because his replacement could be none other than Bill Clinton...not the kind of moral leader you would want in charge of the direction of the powerful medium of motion pictures and entertainment. For his column, Good News: Valenti talks Retirement! Bad News: Clinton could replace him! , see HOW HOLY WOULD HELP HOLLYWOOD
The very thought of America's most corrupt president in history replacing one of the most morally corrupt leaders of the film industry should send shivers down the back of Americans eagerly waiting for a positive change in the direction of American entertainment.
Clinton Deputy Press Secretary Jake Siewart tried to dodge the question when he replied, "The president sleeps better knowing that Jack Valenti is still at the helm." A typical Clinton response; he doesn't answer the question, and while he "sleeps better" knowing that Valenti is still at the helm, most Americans are "sleeping better" knowing that someday Jack Valenti will no longer be at the helm. But the prospect of Clinton as replacement is not a prescription for better sleep, but a "Nightmare on Elm Street!"
Writer Thomas says, "...while some studio execs on the west coast are keen on the idea, their counterparts back in Washington aren't sure its what the MPAA needs right now." There's no doubt that studio execs on the left coast are keen on the idea. The reason Valenti has been in place for 34 years is because he carries the dirty laundry of the industry while pretending to clean the laundry for the public. Hollywood feels a certain amount of debt to the one feeble man who caved in and abolished the code of ethics for the motion picture industry. With his retirement looming, the industry needs an equally deceptive, lying, and morally vacant individual who will maintain the status-quo of sleaze, and perhaps even allow the industry to sink deeper into the moral abyss. Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg have bent over backwards to groom Clinton for a Hollywood future by inviting him to their homes for vacation, contributing thousands to his legal defense fund, and hosting million-dollar fund-raisers - knowing fully that he has corrupted the office of president, co-opted the national security of the nation, convicted of perjury, committed rape, and is the only elected president in American history to be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives - just the kind of person Hollywood needs at the helm of the Motion Picture Association of America as their chief lobbyist in Washington to make sure key decision-makers impacting the industry are paid-off and well-greased.
Clinton's reputation for intimidating critics and smearing their reputations sits well with Hollywood's top brass who wants nothing less than total influence over government actions concerning entertainment. As recent as late January, Clinton was back in Hollywood again on Air Force One as the guest of gay-rights activist David Geffen and appeared at Golden Globe Award film festivities.
If anyone thinks that Valenti is hesitant to fully endorse Clinton as his replacement, Dana Thomas of the New Yorker adds, "Nevertheless, Valenti thinks that Clinton would be great for the job." She says Valenti's voice filled with enthusiasm as he added, "The movie business is a dazzling, fascinating, unpredictable world - like politics - and naturally Clinton is drawn to that ...if you're in the insurance business or run the New York Stock Exchange, you're not around beautiful women every day." God, save us!!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".
"Most of us live out our lives with a false picture of ourselves which we will not surrender; we dread the pain of finidng ourselves less noble than we like to believe. We strain reality through a sieve of self-love, keeping out whatever truth would hurt us."
NOTE: We respectfully recognize and accept the final authority regarding apparitions, locutions and prophecies presently being reported around the world rests with the Holy See of Rome and the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church to whose judjment we humbly and obediently submit.
"Dear children! Pray and make good use of this time, because this is a time of grace. I am with you and I intercede for each one of you before God, for your heart to open to God and to God's love. Little children, pray without ceasing, until prayer becomes a joy for you. Thank you for having responded to my call."
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