Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the short-lived, but potentially very dangerous Gulf War. It was a time when churches were packed as a nation turned to God in their plea to keep our young men and women engaged in Iraq and Kuwait safe. It was the era of scuds and patriot missals, the era of wall-to-wall coverage on TV where Saddam Hussein was a party to American strategy just by tuning into CNN. It was a bizarre time that united a country. It was a time before the world ever heard of Bill Clinton.
There's a saying, be careful what you ask for, you might get it. Millions fell on their knees asking for peace and peace was attained for so few lives were lost during the entire war. Indeed many more Kurds and Chaldeans died after the war from hunger and the cruel effects of the unfair embargo placed on Iraq, one that Pope John Paul II has long called wrong and counterproductive to the welfare of the people of Iraq. It didn't hurt Saddam, only his people, who, he didn't then and still doesn't care about, just as Hussein's US counterparts Clinton and Al Gore have clearly illustrated that they don't truly care about America or its soul.
Looking back a decade ago, did America turn back to God in the aftermath of the Almighty answering our prayers? The answer is sadly: No! Rather they turned against Him by voting out of office President George Bush; this despite the fact Bush had an approval rating of nearly 90% immediately after the war. Yet he saw it erode over the next several months when he had no choice but to raise taxes. Indeed, war comes with a price. For this one necessary deed, because he had uttered the famous "Read my lips. No new taxes" he was expunged from the ranks. It was all about the pocketbook, forget the soul. Temporal possessions were more important. Because of that America opted for the most immoral man to ever hold the distinguished office of President of the United States.
Even with war, even with the slightly higher taxes President Bush was forced to raise, we were better off spiritually. Why? Because our soul was still not entirely smudged. We had turned to God, but like the Israelites of the Old Covenant, we soon forgot our promises, our commitment to Him in gratitude and returned to our old ways. In other words, folks, we deserved what we got.
We all know over the last eight years how far America has fallen and how immune we all are, even Catholics, to the moral malaise. What used to outrage us and shock us, now is common place and sadly we accept it as commonplace with nary a rebuttal, nary an outcry of protest. Decency has taken a holiday.
And decency could take a permanent hiatus if we allow the pro aborts to have their way in their total personal destruction of a good and decent man in John Ashcroft, the nominee appointed by Bush's capable son President-elect George W. Bush. The latter has kept his campaign promises to carry out a strong Pro Life platform, evident in his selections in key cabinet posts. Now it's our turn to support him and his picks by doing our part on our knees.
Remember back ten years ago. Recall if you didn't say extra prayers and pay more attention to what God wanted for you. Recall also that since that time well over 12 million innocent unborns were slaughtered in the womb. Compare that with the less than 150 soldiers who lost their life during the Gulf War! Recall that over 32,000 were butchered in the third trimester thanks to the abominable partial birth abortion act Clinton, the pro-abort Democrats and the pro-abort Republican congressional contingent from the Northeast pushed through despite the AMA's strong objections. Hey, it's a law, live with it, the babies sure won't! They won't that is, unless we return to the same sincerity, fervency and dedication we exhibited a decade ago when lives were in peril.
It was personal back then, and it should be even more personal now. After all we're family! as in children of God, as in the Mystical Body of Christ! These innocent holy innocents didn't have the opportunity to pray, they didn't even have the chance to be baptized outside the womb. That is another reason it is so important to pray for the unborn and each day ask Jesus to preserve them in His Merciful and Sacred Heart. You can baptize them conditionally in Our Lord's Precious Blood by saying, preferably during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass when we pray for the living and the dead, "I pray for all those who will be aborted this day and I name each one Mary or Joseph and I baptize him/or her conditionally with the Precious Blood of Jesus, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."
Besides this prayer, offer up your Masses and Rosaries, your daily prayers, your actions for the success of Bush's Pro Life agenda which begins with the confirmation of Ashcroft as Attorney General. Believe me, unless you've been living as a hermit, you know the pro-abort forces are out to destroy Bush and his people and will stop at nothing. Satan works that way you know. Therefore, I refer you to Dr. Frank Joseph's excellent column from last week, The Scribes and Pharisees are out to discredit a decent man of God for tomorrow they begin their deadly volley during the confirmation hearings. Also, this coming Wednesday Dr. Joseph will carry a column daily through the week leading up to the March for Life in Washington D.C. on Monday, January 22nd, the 28th anniversary of the insidious Roe vs. Wade decision. The grass-roots campaign Lepanto Rosary Crusade, begun a few months ago by Toni Whittaker and her family, have raised over 880,000 pledged Rosaries and counting. That helps and we encourage you to add your Rosary to this list. Just e-mail her at Lepanto Rosary Crusade and add your bouquets to this massive prayer wave. We need every Hail Mary possible to offset the forces of the evil one who prowls the earth seeking the ruin of souls.
If Hillary Clinton can make a political statement in a Catholic church in New York during a Mass, then I can speak out here on something that, at its roots, is not political but a moral issue. If I don't speak out, then I'll have to answer to God on why I didn't. That's why we are so committed to upholding the Sanctity of Life. That is why Dr. Joseph writes so passionately on behalf of the innocent unborns. There's a greater agenda: Eternal Life... and no finite power can trump that.
The Gospel tomorrow from Mark 3: 27, refers to the Pharisees trying to trap Our Lord because His disciples were gathering grain on the Sabbath. Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." So also, God's Laws, especially "Thou Shalt Not Kill" was made for man, and not man for God's Laws. We have our priorities askew and unless we straighten them out, we're all heading for the threshing floor, to be swept up by His winnowing fan of Justice and thrust into the eternal furnace.
Today's Gospel speaks of old and new wine skins. Clinton is the old wine skin, Bush the new. Just as Bush is striving to pour refreshing new wine of decency and trust into our country, he cannot do so by playing bi-partisan and cowtowing to the pro-aborts. He hasn't and we can't afford to let it happen. We will be guilty if we do not return to the same intensity we showed ten years ago when America was in peril from terrorism and the threat of Saddam. Whether you believe it or not, we are in far greater peril today and we cannot afford to allow the wine-skins of our souls to be ruined. Christ said it in Mark 2: 22. Now it is our turn to respond so that more innocent blood will not be spilt. It's time to pray for new, decent beginnings. "New wine must be put into fresh skins"