DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     April 26, 1999     vol. 10, no. 81


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE
          Pat Ludwa, a committed lay Catholic from Cleveland, has been asked to contribute, on a regular basis, a lay person's point of view on the Church today. We have been impressed with his insight and the clear logic he brings to the table from his "view from the pew." In all humility, by his own admission, he feels he has very little to offer, but we're sure you'll agree with us that his viewpoint is exactly what millions of the silent majority of Catholics believe and have been trying to say as well. Pat puts it in words that help all of us better understand and convey to others what the Church teaches and we must believe.

          Today Pat shows how we are now reaping what we have sown as he uses the examples of Kosovo, the Denver tragedy, the assisted suicide issue and abortion to prove the fulfillment of what Our Lord prophesied to the women of Jerusalem not to weep for Him but for themselves and their children as Pat points out in his column today We have met the enemy. He reminds us of what Our Lady said at Fatima and many of her apparition sites over the years to Pray! Pray! Pray for the conversion of hearts and a sincere return to her Divine Son and His teachings.

We have met the enemy

          For awhile now, I've been trying to figure out how to address the madness that seems to have engulfed the world. Ethnic cleansing, bombing as a foreign policy, assisted suicide, abortion, children killing children.

          One could go into the socio-political issues involved in Yugoslavia. We could review history to see similar occurrences and their impact. But the bottom line, the pain found in the world, the spiritual hole in the 'soul' of the world which cries to be filled. So we try to fill it with sex, money, and power, but neglect, or refuse, to see (and accept) the consequences of our actions.

          The Serbs don't 'see' the consequences of their claims of sovereignty in Kosovo. We don't 'see' the consequences of our bombing of Yugoslavia.

          We don't see, or accept, the consequences of telling our children, both implicitly or explicitly, that they have to look to themselves first. So we shouldn't be shocked that some take to violence to ease their pain inflicted by others. We always want to place the blame on someone else, never on ourselves.

          There was an old cartoon strip called "Pogo" which had a phrase, "We have met the enemy, and they are us."

          Christ said it best though, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man" (Matthew 15:19-20).

          In their hearts, the Serbs are only reclaiming what is theirs. In their hearts, NATO is only defending the powerless. In their hearts, the two boys were merely giving back what was deserved. In his heart, Kevorkian is acting in mercy. I've heard sociologists blaming the young victims for 'driving' the two boys to such measures. It's called blaming the victim.

          But we encourage people to seek 'empowerment'. So is it any wonder that people who feel 'empowered', or some who are deprived of power, use power so evilly?

          When we see people being taught that it is a viable option to kill the sick and elderly, to terminate an 'inconvenient' pregnancy, why is it that we are surprised that the value of human life is regarded as nothing?

          Yes, to use a line from a song, we have taught our children well. But not in the way of Christ. Where Christ taught "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24), we teach our children, "Empower yourself, removed obstacles and inconveniences, and follow your heart and desires."

          Where Christ taught, "For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25), we teach our children, "Take care of yourself first. Remove anything that hampers that."

          And where Christ taught "For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?" (Matthew 16:26), we teach our children, "Try to gain the whole world, strive for success through money, power, whatever it takes."

          We have sown the wind and are reaping the whirlwind.

          "Woe to them! For they walk in the way of Cain, and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error, and perish in Korah's rebellion. These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they boldly carouse together, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, carried along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars for whom the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved for ever" (Jude 11-13).

          "Our Lord said to the women of Jerusalem, '.... weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us'; and to the hills, 'Cover us.' For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?'" (Luke 23:28-31).

          If this can happen when things are good, when we prosper, what will happen when adversity comes, when times are hard? What will our chidlren do?

          Weep, and pray. For alone, we can do nothing. We must follow the admonition of our Lady at Fatima and elsewhere, we must return to the Lord in repentance and humility. If we don't, a worse 'war' will befall us.

      Pax Christi, Pat

April 26, 1999       volume 10, no. 81


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