April 4, 2000
volume 11, no. 67
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CATHOLIC PewPOINT editorial for Tuesday, April 4, 2000

Sackcloth sure beats rocksalt!

        The Holy Father has just completed the major leg of his historic "Jubilee Journey" in retracing Salvation History from Abraham to the Apostles. And in reflecting on his phenomenal Papal Pilgrimage we are moved tho think of Abraham. Poor Abraham. He tried. He begged and cajoled God to spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. But God, in His Mercy, had to be just. They had been warned over and over by the prophets of their times. Today's prophets face the same ridicule as the populace continue on their merry way, scoffing at the warnings and those religious fanatics who are trying to alarm the people and put a damper on their good times, their immoral lifestyles, and their total disregard for the value of human life - the Sanctity of Life. How dare they? They dare because most do not care. This is evident by the political bent of many Democrats and northeastern Republicans who consistently vote the pro-abortion line which only contributes to the culture of death agenda, made so prevalent during this sorrowful Clinton administration.

        Tomorrow the House of Representatives will once again bring up the Partial Birth Abortion Ban (Act HR 3660). In yesterday's issue we urged readers to call or e-mail their congressman or congresswoman and senators in hopes of influencing them as the right thing to do. But let's face it, the only way we're going to stop abortion, the only way euthanasia will go the way of the dinosaur is through Prayer! The Blessed Virgin Mary has reiterated this so often over the past five hundred years beginning at Guadalupe when she came to stop human sacrifice. Today, the numbers of Aztecs that were slaughtered is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the murderous numbers of aborted babies. While the children of the Covenant have complained long and loud over the six to seven million Jews killed in the horrible Holocaust during World War II, those numbers also pale in comparison to the Holocaust of the Womb where ten times that number have been mercilessly slaughtered for the sake of political correctness, greed, lust and selfishness - come to think of it - for all the seven deadly sins.

        But those who strive to follow the teachings of Christ are often the ones who feel more like Job. Take a quick gander at the front page of your city's paper, the incessant sound-bites on the local or network news, the on-going topic of conversation at work and in coffee clatches, including the trendy Starbucks, across this fruited plain. Ask yourself how many times have you been accused of "going off the deep end in your 'religious fanaticism'"...just in striving to live the Gospel? It should be enough to realize those striving to live the Word are all Abrahams in these trying times. Those who truly believe and are committed know, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, what others don't want to admit: That Christ will come again and before He does, the Father will render His Mercy and Justice. Yes, the Father must pass judgment on this generation.

        We are not speaking of the generic generation, but this generation...the very ones who live and breathe in 2000. When the great hour of Justice comes, will God find fifty just men and women? Will there be only forty? With the multi-billion population in today's miniaturized world, it would seem bizarre to use those minimal figures, but there's an underlying message to what the Almighty is trying to tell us. Will we be worthy of His Mercy? Were the Sodomites and Gomorrans worthy of His Mercy? One look at Lot's wife answers that very quickly. I don't know about you, but we'd rather be on a salt-free diet and opt for sackcloth as the Ninevites did when Jonah admonished them! So then, we have a choice of either following the example of Ninevah - to put on the sackcloth and repent of our wicked ways and do all we can in expiation for the sins of the world, or discard this pious pablum for the pleasures of this fleeting world.

        Holy Mother Church in her wisdom, pleads for us to opt for the former by giving us the wonderful, soul-cleansing season of Lent to emphasize our vulnerability to the evil one's lures. Even Christ Himself was subjected to this as documented in Matthew 4: 1-11, Mark 1: 12-13, and Luke 4: 1-13. After the Son of Man rejected satan's deceitful ploys, would you think ol' 'horn-head' would just disappear? Au contraire! He returns with a vengeance; his goal: to wrest away as many souls from God as he can. Unfortunately, he's doing a damn good job of recruiting the damned. Pun intended!

        For loyal Catholics, this remaining time of Lent is the opportunity to climb out of that comfort zone - that belly of complacency - and, like Jonah, make a commitment to shout from the rooftops - "Deliverance is from the Lord" (Jonah 2: 10). Only through our intercessory prayers, reverence, commitment to God, and obedience to His Holy Church will God shed His Mercy on those who do not know Him, do not worship Him, do not revere Him, do not love Him, and do not trust Him. We must trust totally in His Mercy to steer us and those we pray for through these finite land-mines so we don't end up in the fiery salt-mines!

        With these times of a growing acceptance by the world of the homosexual agenda of which Sodom derives its name, with these times of growing apathy toward the sanctity of marriage, with these times of a growing disregard for human values in the areas of justice and peace, with these times of the growing cancer of greed, lust and power infecting the entire world, with these times that Our Lady has said is worse than the time of Sodom and Gomorah. For those few just people left, Lent provides a time of healing, and, through Sacred Scripture, the Sacraments and the Catechism detailing the teachings of the Church, God has given us the perfect prescription for healing. We pray the world will subscribe to this remedy for salvation. Though sackcloth may itch, it's much better than the alternative...because a pillar of salt is not our idea of a lasting legacy. After all, sackcloth sure beats rocksalt!

Michael Cain, editor

For previous editorials this year, go to PAST CATHOLIC PewPOINTS

April 4, 2000
volume 11, no. 67

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