Friday, August 5, 2016

What Makes You Happy Tells a Lot About You



Happiness, it’s all the rage with the human race. We’ve always been quite infatuated with the idea of happiness – after all, it’s only human right? But what makes you happy? Have you ever really stopped to think about it? And on what level does happiness apply to your wishes for satisfaction? Is it something as simple as a good meal or the carefree giggle of a child? Or does your happiness depend on something deeper? Does it, perhaps, lead to spiritual joy?

Earthly Happiness


There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be happy, even in superficial ways. After all, God created us and gave us an amazing world in which to live. Happiness can be the silly giggle of a child when you dance to the Chicken Dance with her – while sitting in your computer chair - with the audience of an intrigued one year old. It can be knowing that your husband is in the kitchen, concocting a scrumptious meal – even though it’s meatless Friday and you’d rather have a steak. Gardening and creating and planning our dream cabin makes me happy – as does looking deep into the endless depth of one of our 9 grandchildren's soulful eyes.

Eternal Happiness


There's also a deeper type of happiness - of a more Eternal nature. One form of happiness doesn’t preclude the other. We can find happiness – even spiritual joy – from our faith life. From knowing that you’ve delved into something that is difficult to discern and yet have come to a solid decision. Happiness is walking out of the confessional and knowing Jesus has just listened to and forgiven your sins. My happiness also hinges on the knowledge that someone I love is making good, moral decisions. Praying for those I love (and those I don’t) also brings me happiness – even joy.

What can you tell about me from my sharing? What makes you happy – earthly or Eternal? Share your happiness and let it grow exponentially as we join our happiness together.

(stop)

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Here we are again, joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday #fmf - a fun way to participate in timed free writing with other bloggers.

Today's #fmf prompt is 'happy'. Follow the link to check out some truly inspirational entries.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Not Voting For Hillary (or Trump): A Moral Dilemma


Last week I wrote an article for Catholic Stand Entitled 10 Reasons I Can Not Vote for Trump (or Hillary). In the ensuing days I've been called a few names, told I don't know my faith, and have been accused of shilling for Hillary Clinton. It has also been stated, in no uncertain terms, that all of my research of sources from various positions - mainstream media, pro-life sites, Catholic voters guides, and actual video footage - is based on hearsay and devious editing.

My opinion of Mr. Trump was formed long before he became one of many Republican candidates and rebirthed himself from his lifelong pro-abortion, Democrat views. Yet the accusations (against me) and the defensive measures (for Trump) continue.

Yes, I weighed the (supposed) consequences. I just don't believe Trump when his newly minted persona says he will appoint pro-life justices (after he just said his pro-choice sister would be an excellent addition to SCOTUS).

Yes, I know that the various moral choices Catholics have include voting for 'one who will do less harm'. Yet, still, here I am exercising one of those moral choices presented by the Church, reached with much soul searching, prayer, and a fully formed conscience. I don't expect to change the minds of the blindly supportive Trump supporters (just as I doubt they can change mine). What I am attempting to do is to give some solace to those who, like me, get a greasy, queasy feeling when thinking of all that a Trump presidency could very well entail.

Here, then, are my ten reasons for not voting for candidate Trump (or Hillary). For the details, refer to the Catholic Stand column.

  1. Trump is a Political Chameleon 
  2. The Lessor of Two Evils (Or the one who would do less harm) Isn’t a Valid Reason 
  3. He’s a Loose Cannon 
  4. Having Abortion Exceptions Makes Him Pro-Choice 
  5. Trump Is In It for Himself 
  6. I Am Only Accountable for My Own Vote 
  7. No, Refraining from a Trump Vote is Not a Vote for Hillary 
  8. He’s a Democrat in Republican Clothing 
  9. One Presidency Cannot Repair the Damage That Took Decades to Create 
The only Savior this world has ever seen – or will ever see – is Jesus Christ. The faulty thinking that seeks to justify a vote for Trump is impossible to realize in real life. The litany of problems faced by our nation – healthcare, terrorism, financial ruin, loss of religious liberty, commercialization of women and sale of unborn baby parts – will take decades of righteous leadership to undo. Donald Trump is not the person to begin the pilgrimage down that path.

Even if a moral champion was elected, years of Congressional failure would have to be addressed as well. Instead of placing all of our hopes in one candidate, we should address the moral failure of all representatives. Accepting empty speeches and backtracking leaders has been the norm far too long. Every vote should be carefully discerned by moral standards. Hold the feet of our representatives – from dog catcher to president – to the fire of righteous judgment. Isn’t it time to aspire to be led by those who lead us to salvation?

This would be a good to time ponder, “What would we get if Trump won?” Within the answer lies the source of my trepidation. Based on the facts garnered about candidate Trump there are certain conclusions to be drawn. What we get from a Trump presidency will not be like anything we have ever had before – because Trump is unlike any candidate we have ever had. His positions come from a position of power. Morals and ethics are not really given a seat at his table.

How terrible would it be to have the strongest pro-life/moral plank ever in the GOP platform and then have a president wh0 adhered to it even less than any previous one?

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Editor Update 8-5-16:

Alternatives?

"'You shall not murder' contains no exceptions. If there are exceptions made, there can be no equality. Which means there can be no justice. The premises for the rule of law, and any decent claim to liberty, are completely destroyed. What part of this do American Christian 'pro-lifers' fail to understand? The main obstacle to saving our country is not Planned Parenthood, or Obama, it is "conservatives" who don't seem to understand what it is that must be conserved if we are going to survive as a free, secure, prosperous people. I'm sorry if this message is offensive to some, but it's the truth. And it's a truth everyone needs to hear, and act upon in their politics, before it is too late for America and for our posterity."

-- Tom Hoefling

or

"...Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party nominee. His platform is straightforward: the Constitution must be upheld, ALL human life must be protected, the Federal Reserve must be abolished, and national sovereignty must be defended."

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Are We Fertile Ground?



Today's first reading from 1JER 14:17-22 is appropriate as we digest the day's current events.

Let my eyes stream with tears
day and night, without rest,
Over the great destruction which overwhelms
the virgin daughter of my people,
over her incurable wound.
If I walk out into the field,
look! those slain by the sword;
If I enter the city,
look! those consumed by hunger.
Even the prophet and the priest
forage in a land they know not.

Just a passing glimpse at the news of any given day garners a fear, deep in the recesses of our minds. For example, one of the first headlines that met my sleepy eyes this morning stated, ‘Islamic State’ Chanting Attackers ‘Behead’ Priest During Morning Mass In France. What are we to make of a world where such headlines are more and more common? A world where the powerful and immoral forces rule while the faithful are downtrodden or forgotten or worse? 

The answer lies not in our own actions. It does not lie with the promise of a political candidate or the rising up of any human effort. The solution to the 'terror of the night' lies in hearing and heeding the Word of God. It starts with the conversion of one - yourself.

Hearing the Word of God involves more than just the function of the sense of our ears. It means petitioning, 'come Holy Spirit, come' and then waiting and listening. In the silence, our solution will come. It may not be what we expect or even what we think we want, but it will be the voice of our Creator. He will guide us.

Pray always and listen carefully. His answer will come in the whisper of a breeze. Will we be ready when the Bridegroom approaches or will we have left our Eternal preparation up until the last minute?

If we set out purposefully to morally address this life, we will be well on our journey to Eternal Life. That is the only way to find true comfort and solace. Our comfort and joy will come from walking the right path and being the good seeds sown by God - being fertile ground that reflects the goodness of Our Lord.

How fortunate we are, to have an Almighty and Gracious God! Today's Responsorial Psalm speaks our cry of hope and knowledge of the infinite power of our Savior. He, alone, can rescue us. He, alone, can condemn us.

PS 79:8, 9, 11 AND 13R. (9) For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Our choices, however, are up to us. God has given us Free Will. How we discern His Will amidst the turmoil we face will reveal the strength of our faith and the obedience we practice. We can be the good seed, sown by God, or the bad seed sown by Satan. And as the last line of the Gospel according to Matthew sums up the readings today, " Whoever has ears ought to hear.” MT 13

When we hear His message are we listening?