Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Going Back

I’m going back to my GLACC roots. The important thing I’ve learned about having a blog name, is that it reflects at least some part of you. Even this though this blog’s title totally reflects my view that I am always in need of God’s help, I do have to pause when…I can’t even say the darn word.

Yep, that’s right folks, I can’t really speak Latin. I just play a Latin speaker on blogger.

Seriously though, I do miss the fun I had back when I originally wrote GLACC. I even miss writing my GREAT AMERICAN LOONEY TUNES pieces, as crude as they could be. So, I’m moving. New blog (for the third? Fourth?…time), same knuckle dragging, blue collar, know nothing Catholic in search making myself a better follower of Christ.

And having a little fun in the process.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Our Lord, Adoration, and...Fabric Softener?

I had my first hour of adoration yesterday morning at about 4 am. It was the first time I had been alone with out Lord in that sort of setting. The experience was humbling. Nothing like it. There is a powerful sense of fulfillment praying before our Lord in the wee hours of the morning.

I can’t say I’ll ever be the type of Catholic that hones in prayer and contemplation like a well calibrated laser beam. Despite all my attempts to master my ever wondering mind, I couldn’t help but think about the strange banners hanging from my Church’s ceiling. “They look like large…purple….sheets of fabric softener” I thought to myself before mentally slapping myself on the wrist. More discipline next time. Hopefully those silly banners --Holy Fabric Softeners--will be taken down by that time. I’m sure it makes…somebody…think of the holiness of Lent. Makes me think of non static laundry.

Lord give me discipline and a sharp mind!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lurking Monsters

No, nothing under the bed. Nothing in the closet. Nothing hiding in the dark. It’s a common conversation you have with your kids. Children seem to have the greatest sense that monsters lurk in the shadows, just waiting to pounce. As parents, we role our eyes, pat them on the back or give them a hug, and tell them there are no such things as monsters. The boogey man is a thing of legend. We’ve been fooling ourselves.

Do I mean the devil? In a way, I think that evil bastard may have something to do with it. Not directly, but in a way I think he has his hands in it all. What I’m talking about are the cowards who prey on our children. Monsters waiting till it’s dark to strike on the most vulnerable.

Cowards.

Almost every month there’s a new story of child abuse on the news networks. Child taken by a convicted child rapist and murdered, baby brutally tortured and killed by her homicidal parents, missing girl found after being abducted and raped for years, boy seduced and raped by his teacher.

Child…missing…never to be found.

The news is chalk full of these stories. Each one, a nightmarish horror. Who could possibly prey on a child. A CHILD! These countless news stories are just the tip of the iceberg. All to common are the stories never reported. The kid who’s too scared to tell anyone that he or she is being raped by someone they know. Kids beat to a living pulp by drunkard parents. We live in a society that preys on it’s children. We live in a society where even the most vulnerable, the sweet child dependant on his or her mother inside the womb, is thought by ‘progressive’ thinking people to be an acceptable loss as long as the mother and/or father find comfort in it. If that is progressive, than I want to be backwards.

I’m in a funny mood. Just watched this video.

I can’t remember feeling much rage for any news I’ve heard in my life. Maybe I’m desensitized…maybe we all are. The one news story that did make me howl in rage and hit my steering wheel was the recount of how Jessica Lunsford died. Clutching the small stuffed animal that her father had given her while she tried to free herself from the plastic bag that she was placed in. She suffocated. Suffocated so an animal--not a man--could have his evil pleasures. I yelled. I hit my steering wheel. If that man was in front of me, I would have killed him with my bare hands. God help me, I would have.

I’m sick of it all. Sick of little kids being victims. Statistically, one of my four girls is supposed to be a victim. For what? What the hell did they do to anybody? They were born? Do I have to wait till one of my girls are preyed upon? I have a friend who’s already going threw that nightmare. How she has her sanity, I have no idea.

There are monsters, folks. Like most, they prey upon only those who can’t fight back.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Legacy of Senator Ted Kennedy

No matter what we say about Ted Kennedy, it always has to be said that it is only threw the grace of God that anybody finds their way toward Him rather than away from Him after death. We will never know, until perhaps we too pass, whether or not Senator Kennedy deserved God’s final reward. He was a man, and like all men, was a slave to sin. To proclaim that he could not find favor with God in his last days is to deny God’s mercy.

That being said…

Senator Ted Kennedy was one of the most powerful voices in the most powerful country in the world. While some would claim leadership of the Democratic Party, it was often his powerful voice that laid the tempo for Democrat support or opposition to various policy issues. Unlike most men and women, his moral choices, his opinions, and his discrepancies, spoke for millions. Call it a burden of leadership….call it whatever you want. For many, he was an example. That’s a fact.

So, it is only right to scrutinize the kind of legacy he left behind.

For Democrats, you couldn’t get a better advocate for what the party stood for than Senator Kennedy. Towing the party line, his thunderous voice in the senate chambers shook many opponents. His penetrating personality championed his convictions.

And that’s where we come to an impasse.

For Catholics, a mixed message. Said about Senator Ted Kennedy was his work for the poor. For his work of the ’little guy’. For his opposition to unjust aggression. Yet let us not forget his advocacy for the right for children to be terminated by their parents.

Abortion.

Senator Kennedy wasn’t just silent about the issue, he was a proponent of a barbaric practice that has killed millions upon millions of little babies. How could you be for the poor, as Mother Teresa called those in the womb ‘the poorest of the poor’, when you discriminate those without any kind of wealth? How could you be for the ‘little guy’ when your for the death of those without a voice? How could you be for the opposition of unjust aggression when your for the unjust mutilation of the most innocent beings in our world?

I don’t know what he said before he left this Earth. I don’t know the conversation he had between himself and his confessor. But his legacy? Justification of those who call themselves followers of Christ yet, are not only for the brutal killing of infants, but are strong advocates of it.

May God have mercy on his soul, and may he rest in peace.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

ELCA chooses. No to Christ. Yes to world.

And so it’s done. After a majority vote, the ELCA has decided to stop being a denomination following Christ in order to be an organized mob celebrating the world. Yes, as promised years before by the leftists who were outraged that they didn’t get their way when this came up in the last major synod vote, time was on their side. I truly think the leadership of the ELCA has betrayed it’s flock.

You might be thinking that because it was a synod council vote, that the vote was a direct reflection of the faithful. I disagree. I’ve always held church councils made up of congregants (lay people) suspect. It seems to be an attractant to dissenters, ‘progressives‘,and people with an axe to grind. Faithful servants of the Lord seem more reluctant to attain that sort of status. I’m not saying all councils are full of unfaithful leftists--and there are some holy people in some councils--, but in this case I think the deck was stacked. It’s only been a couple of years since the last vote, and I’m sure hearts and minds weren’t changed by that large of a margin in that short of time.

Interesting article by Deacon Keith Fournier on the matter.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Why I Care About The ELCA

So, why do I care so much with what happens to the ELCA concerning…anything? Why not wave goodbye to a dying denomination and hope for the best for those who have an honest relationship with Christ? I can not, in good conscience, wish for the destruction of the ELCA. It’s one thing to see a vast liberal church entity from a distance as just a corrupted organization who’s ideas barley qualify as the intent of it’s long dead founder. It’s another thing to have met and worshiped with the actual people in an ELCA affiliated congregation.

When I came to St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church, I barley knew a thing about Jesus Christ. I guess you could say I was an agnostic. Lutheranism was the faith of my father and his parents. At the time my dad and his parents went to church, they belonged to an American Lutheran Church congregation. Eventually the ALC, along with other Lutheran church bodies, merged to form the ELCA. Because I wanted my kids to grow up in a church that meant something to my own people, I had decided to give St. Mark a try. I think I choose pretty good. It was a great, welcoming place to worship.

Unlike the ‘new church’ banners, it wasn’t just about being ‘welcome’.

Some of the most profound and eye opening moments in my life, aside from discovering the Catholic Church, came from Pastor Rick’s bible studies every Sunday evening. They weren’t your average, protestant bible studies. It was more like diving deep into the depths of theology. Rick was a great guy, who opened my eyes to a lot of things. It seemed to me that Pastor Rick was more concerned with truth in Christ rather than pampering people’s egos. He, along with the friends my wife and children had made, made it a gut wrenching move to progress toward Catholicism and leave the church we came to love.

So, I can not wish the destruction of faith on the folks at St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran. Before I left, there was already talk of splitting if the then vote on ordination of openly homosexual pastors passed. Now the issue has come up again, and I’m sure feelings are pretty much the same at St. Mark. More and more, the ELCA isn’t standing for anything remotely Christian. Faith in Christ is second to political correctness. The ELCA leadership would say that they are acting out of love, yet wouldn’t acting in love also mean correcting in love? Love doesn’t have a thing to do with it. No, it’s not acting in love to cower to leftist political interests. It’s a sign of cowardly self preservation. I don’t want to see the people of St. Mark scattered… the ELCA couldn’t give a flip. The less bible believing folks in the masses, the less they may have to stand up for any sort of teaching.

In closing, here’s a letter from the late Fr. Neuhaus explaining his leaving the Lutheran Church to Catholicism, addressed to Lutheran friends and clergy. May God help the faithful of the ELCA. And if they are to scatter, let us welcome them with open arms.

On Saturday, September 8, 1990, the Nativity of Mary, I was received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. In the months ahead I will be preparing to enter the priesthood of the Catholic Church. With the full support of my bishop, John Cardinal O'Connor, I will continue to serve as director of the Institute on Religion and Public Life and as a member of the Community of Christ. This decision is the result of many years of prayer, reflection,study, conversation, and, I firmly believe, the leading of the Holy Spirit. Especially over the last five years, I have resisted with great difficulty the recognition that I could no longer give an answer convincing to others or to me as to why I was not a Roman Catholic. Over the last 20 years and more, I have repeatedly and publicly urged that the separated ecclesial existence of Lutheranism, if it was once necessary, is no longer necessary; and, if no longer necessary, such separated existence is no longer justified. Therefore, cooperating with other evangelical catholics who shared my understanding of the Lutheran destiny and duty according to the Augsburg Confession, I devoted myself to the healing of the breach of the sixteenth century between Rome and the Reformation. This meant and means ecclesial reconciliation and the restoration of full communion with the Bishop of Rome and the churches in communion with the Bishop of Rome. That is a consummation for which I continue to pray, and to which I earnestly hope my present decision will contribute. At the same time, I have been brought, reluctantly but surely, to the recognition that this understanding of the Augsburg Confession and the Reformation has been rejected--in institutional fact, and frequently in theological principle--by the several jurisdictions of the Lutheran communion. With respect to the Evangelical Lutheran Churchin America of which I was a pastor) the evidence compelled me to the conclusion that its operative understanding of the Church is in formed not by the ecclesiology of the New Testament, nor by that of the Fathers, nor that of the Augsburg Confession, but by American denominationalism. I can no longer persuade myself that Lutheranism is an evangelical catholic movement of Gospel reform within and for the one Church of Christ. It now seems to me that Lutheranism is a Protestant denomination among Protestant denominations, and is determined to remain so. I have always understood that, as I was baptized into Christ, so was I baptized into His one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. It was therefore my desire and duty, as a western Christian formed by the Reformation tradition, to be in full communion with the fullest and most rightly ordered reality of that Church through time. I am persuaded that that reality subsists in the Roman Catholic Church. I can readily attest that, in the words of the Second Vatican Council, "many elements of sanctification and of truth can be found outside the Church's visible structure." Lumen Gentium continues, "These elements,however, as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, possessan inner dynamic toward Catholic unity." The inner dynamic of the catholic substance I knew in Lutheranism has compelled me to become aRoman Catholic.I know well the claim of some Lutherans that separated ecclesialexistence is necessary for the sake of the Gospel--as the Gospel is understood in terms of justification by grace through faith because ofChrist. I beg such Lutherans to consider that the Gospel can be proclaimed today in the Roman Catholic Church, and in fact is so proclaimed. Moreover, it is by no means evident that the Lutheran denomination of our time does, as a matter of fact bear witness to that Gospel.The Reformers rightly insisted that the Church lives from the Gospel and for the Gospel. Lutheranism, however, has not understood that the Church is an integral part of the Gospel. The Church is neither an abstract idea nor merely a voluntary association of believers, but a divinely commissioned and ordered community ofapostolic faith, worship, and discipleship through time. "I delivered to you what I also received," said St. Paul (I Cor.15). Under the guidance of the Spirit promised to the Church, apostolic Scripture is joined to apostolic order in the faithful transmission and interpretation of revealed truth. The Gospel is the proclamation ofGod's grace in Christ and His body in the Church. It is for the sake of that Gospel, and the unity of the Church gathered by that Gospel, that I am today a Roman Catholic. I cannot begin to express adequately my gratitude for all the goodness I have known in the Lutheran communion. There I was baptized,there I learned my prayers, there I was introduced to Scripture and creed, there I was nurtured by Christ on Christ, there I came to know the utterly gratuitous love of God by which we live astonished. For my theological formation, for friendships beyond numbering. for great battles fought, for mutual consolations in defeat, for companionships in ministry--for all this I give thanks and know that I will forever be in debt to the church called Lutheran. Most especially am I grateful for my 30 years as a pastor. There is nothing in that ministry that Iwould repudiate, except my many sins and shortcomings. My becoming a priest in the Roman Catholic Church will be the completion and right ordering of what was begun 30 years ago. Nothing that was good is rejected, all is fulfilled.

Richard John Neuhaus

Monday, August 17, 2009

More Troubles For the ELCA

A new controversy is heading toward the ELCA by liberal change agents. I’m glad I left when I did. To be honest, I’m not sure what has kept the slowly dying mainline protestant churches alive for as long as they have. The problem with CORE’s argument is that when you rely on sola scriptura, it isn’t simply a matter of what biblical truth is as much as who’s perspective of biblical truth has the most votes in the next synod meeting. There are some good, very faithful people in the ELCA. They deserve our prayers and support.