Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Priest Stands Up to Sean Hannity

Page with a Link to Video of Sean Hannity vs. Priest

I used to like Sean Hannity during the 2004 election. But now he goes after a priest on the issue of birth control and the sex scandal? Look at the video which for the moment is up at the right hand side of the screen (I couldn't link at it directly). It's disturbing. Big props to the priest; I think I'm done watching Hannity. For everyone concerned about the priest, his website is: Human Life International. And this is an article that the priest, Father Thomas J. Euteneuer (what is it with awesome priests and "J" as their middle intial? ) wrote on the subject.

If you'd like to email Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, his email is If you'd like to email Sean Hannity, you might go to the website for his show, which is right here. That's enough links for now, lol. Enjoy.

UPDATE: This is a more permanent link to the video in question

Friday, March 09, 2007

Deep roots to a prime matter

From Notre Dame's campus paper, James Matthew Wilson addresses a crisis in today's Catholics. Have Catholics forgotten their identity and how to live the Catholic faith in the world? Or is it deeper? Is it that Catholics don't even know, or perhaps even care, about what the Church teaches and have in its stead taken up what the world teaches?

The Death of Catholic Culture

A Wiki Fraud

Guilty of using Wikipedia for a quick answer to your burning question about Catholicism?

You may regret that now.

Wikipedia's "Catholic Expert" exposed as a fake!

Pope Benedict XVI Talks about the Media

Courtesy of Drudge:
Pope Discusses Role of the Media

Pope Benedict Says Bob Dylan was a False Prophet

Ummm...maybe on second thought we should hold off on the Bob Dylan Videos lol

I've never listened to Dylan, so I can't say, but I would be interested to hear what some Dylan fans might have to say about this.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Return of Emily Byers

Emily Byers comes back from hiatus with a strong column arguing that the difference in the sexes means that a woman should not be president.

Presidency is not a job for women

Woman Awakes from 6 Year Old Vegetative State

We're quickly approaching the anniversry of Terry Schiavo's murder. As we've done so much for the pro-life cause on the issue of abortion, it's important to note that the culture of death is busy seeping into other legal avenues as life continues to be degraded. This is a good story as it serves as a powerful testimonial that these people still are in fact alive and deserved to be respected as human beings, not human burdens.

The Story

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

They Don't Believe Us

When Catholics apply the slippery slope argument to things like contraception and homosexual marriages, we're often told that we're being extreme and trying to incite unreasonable fear. That loosening the sexual code does not lead to a complete neutrality on issues of sexuality.Unfortunately for them, we were right.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

#9 Screwtape Letter: Pleasure and Dealing with the Law of Undulation

Screwtape continues advising Wormwood of how to deal with the patient in this rough period. He recommends that Wormwood look first to pleasures of the flesh, particularly sexual ones. He tells Wormwood:

The attack has a much better chance of success when the man’s whole inner world is drab and cold and empty. And it is also to be noted that the trough sexuality is…much more easily drawn into perversions, much less contained by those generous and imaginative and even spiritual concomitants which often render human sexuality so disappointing…You are much more likely to make your man a sound drunkard by pressing drink on him as an anodyne when he is dull and weary than by encouraging him to use it as a means of merriment.

What Screwtape is getting at here is that when we are happy, truly happy, that is because in some way we have experienced God so that when it’s accompanied with pleasures of the flesh like drink it’s simply a complement, not the focus. Screwtape wants it to be the focus and that’s more easily done when we’re unhappy. Using the example of pornography, Screwtape sees showing it to a happily married couple as far less fruitful than to showing it to the lonely man who just broke up with his sweetheart. In times of drought, it is God we are to turn to. If Screwtape can replace that with food, sex, or anything material that is not Christ, then Screwtape’s won the battle because any time we suffer we don’t get the redemption of God. Besides, many say that we are most truly who we are when we are down and out. Screwtape, accompanied with an idea that a world without joy is most real, wants us to think that what is most real is the material object with which we have replaced God instead of God himself.

Screwtape recommends caution however in playing with the pleasures:

Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul with pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made all the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but pleasure in moderation (to put it in Aristotelian terms) is good: food, drink, sex, etc. It’s all designed by God. I believe somewhere in Mere Christianity Lewis talks about how God likes pleasures because He created them. It’s important, especially with sex, to keep in mind that pleasures properly understood can in fact enhance our ability to enjoy life and come closer to God. A drink and a fine meal can encourage fellowship which strengthens our community for instance.

After the pleasures, Screwtape advises Wormwood to start messing with the patient’s mind:

Do not let him suspect the law of undulation. Let him assume that the first ardours of his conversion might have been expected to last, and ought to have lasted, forever, and that his present dryness is an equally permanent condition.

I spoke a little about this last time. Understanding that we are naturally going to rise and fall helps us during the fall to not lose hope and during the rise to be more on guard. The battle is never fully won or fully lost; if we think either one, then the battle’s over and more likely we’re on the wrong side. Unlike many “once-saved” Christians, we believe that conversion is a continual process throughout our lives, and we always need to stay on top of it and be aware of the problems we may face. This however, does not mean that we don’t do anything about the troughs. Screwtape would like us to do either that or too much:

…then set him to work on the desperate design of recovering his old feelings by sheer willpower, and the game is ours. If he is of the more hopeful type your job is to make him acquiesce in the present low temperature of his spirit and gradually become content with it, persuading himself that it is not so low after all. In a week or two you will be making him doubt whether the first days of his Christianity were not, perhaps, a little excessive. Talk to him about ‘moderation in all things'…A moderated religion is as good for us as is no religion at all-and more amusing.

So don’t try to force getting better nor should we accept the trough as the way it ought to be. God wants us to live in joy and that is what we should seek. But we cannot do it by our own will not only because that will ultimately fail, but because that effort puts the focus back on ourselves when to be in joy the focus needs to be on the divine. We have to come to God humbly and ask for His help. We have to turn towards the sacraments for the grace to lift us up. If we persist, the door will be opened, and we will rise out of the trough.

Next letter: Associating with Non-Christians.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Speaking of NFP...

Tonight's LSU Parousian meeting was about abstinence education. One of the things we discussed as critical to a sexual education was educating kids about the problems and success rates associated with contraception as well as educating kids about how NFP works. I think this study would be tremendous in pushing to kids the unneccessary nature of artificial contraception. I saw this on a facebook note first from Andrew Kleiner from Conception College in Missouri so thanks to Andrew for the great info!

Study Shows that NFP is slightly MORE effective than artificial contraception.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Godspy Reviews "The Departed"

Discussion about the Departed and Fatherhood.

Prefect for the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith Speaks Out

Courtesy of "Whispers in the Loggia," Levada Gives an Interview.

#8 Screwtape Letter: The Law of Undulation

The eighth letter begins a few letters in which the patient starts to slip away from God’s fingers and closer to Wormwood. Wormwood is overjoyed by this prospect but Screwtape tells him to get his head on straight and not celebrate too much (apparently the devils have learned moderation?). This falling away, Screwtape tells Wormwood, might not be indicative of the patient’s falling away but instead be a natural part of the life of faith. Screwtape writes,

Humans are amphibians-half spirit and half animal (The Enemy’s determination to produce such a revolting hybrid was one of the things that determined Our Father to withdraw his support from Him.)…This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation-the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks.

I think it’s fascinating that Lewis maintains that the very concept of humans played a role in Satan’s fall. I think a contrast exists between that and Jesus’s willingness to become not only a human but also to associate with sinners. Satan is one of the biggest purists, Lewis is saying, not with respect to orthodoxy but with respect to bringing the sacred to the profane as God brought the spiritual to the material. The desire to withdraw from instead of engaging the fallen culture in a sense is similar to the desire that Satan had. As Parousians, I’m probably preaching to the choir as we’re committed to a sense of faith and culture and engaging in culture in ways that we’ve done the past week (see my post: LSU Parousians Engage the Consuming Fire Fellowship and Planned Parenthood).

The other important thing is, of course, the law of undulation. Lewis is telling us that it is natural for humans to go through ups and downs. In fact, Lewis suggests that it’s necessary for us to approach the constancy which we will fully participate in when we’re outside of time. Understanding the law of undulation is a tremendous advantage for us. Every rise in joy does not mean we’ve finally triumphed nor does every fall mean we’re in a crisis of faith that requires a re-evaluation of everything. Stress and doubt are powerful tools Screwtape can use to discourage us. Screwtape goes more into how the devil can use the law of undulation for his purposes in the next letter, (#9) but he does tell us in this letter how God plans to use the troughs.

Now it may surprise you to learn that in His efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, He relies on the trough even more than on the peaks; some of His special favourites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else…It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayer offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best…Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round on a universe from which every trace of Him has vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.

Is that something we can do? To have little hope of joy on this planet, to see everything good stripped from us and life and see only darkness in the future and to not want to walk on and yet still plunge headlong into the darkness because we believe with no reason that there is a God whose beauty and goodness will eventually shine through? That’s a lot to ask of us, yet it is that which precisely the definition of true faith is. Truth, Beauty, and Goodness may do well to show people that there’s a God, but when we can’t see those things it is then that we’re really called to be a people of faith. It is that moment on which salvation rests.

Why should it though? Why does God look for such things? Screwtape tells us it is this desire for us to choose in the troughs which divides heaven from hell and the demons from the angels.

One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe mere propaganda, but an appalling truth. He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself-creatures whose life, on its own miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills conform freely to His…Merely to override a human will (as His felt presence in any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo. For His ignoble idea is to eat the cake and have it; the creatures are to be one with Him, but yet themselves; merely to cancel them, or assimilate them, will not serve.

So while the devil wants to subvert and eliminate our will, God wants to actualize it fully so that we can be fully with him. The greatest way of actualizing this is by choosing God just for God. When we’re in the trough periods, there’s nothing else. Our love for God seems to have no benefits and only pains. An unrequited love is quite painful, yet to continue in it demands great nobility on our part and even greater love for the beloved in order to persist. It is that love of God only for Him that most pleases God, and the choice by us to love God in that way is what will set us free.