Jan 162017
 

Having made it just over two weeks into the new year 2017, perhaps the time has come to make a second (or third) attempt at fulfilling those New Year’s resolutions. What difference, after all, does an arbitrary date on the calendar have to do with making a change in our lives? If a change needs to be made, why wait? And if the secular calendar gets in the way, you can always turn to the Church’s liturgical calendar.

After four weeks in the Advent season preparing for Christmas, and a slightly unusual Christmas season ending on a Monday, the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church has finally entered Ordinary time. The time between Christmas and Lent, Easter and Advent. The time when Sundays are simply designated by number in order – ordinary time.

But nothing is mundane about Sundays in ordinary time. Each is a celebration in and of itself of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. And there is nothing mundane or ordinary about the weekdays in Ordinary time, either. Each is a gift to be savored and celebrated, an opportunity to do good – or bad. To heal – or hurt. To bring together – or push apart.

As I write and publish this, it is the 16th day of the new year 2017. It is also the first Monday in Ordinary time. A first Monday seems like as good a time as any (and perhaps better than most) to try and make a new start.

So if you have fallen behind on a resolution, take heart. Tomorrow is a new day. It might be an ordinary day in ordinary time, but there is no reason it can’t become an extraordinary day.

Nov 072016
 

Election Eve 2016 is a time of choosing, and I have made my choice after reaching the following two conclusions: (1) I do not want Donald Trump to become President of the United States; (2) I do not think Hillary Clinton should be President of the United States.

However, given the choice between the two – and we all know the next President of the United States will be either Donald or Hillary – I can only vote for Donald Trump. For me, preventing Hillary Clinton from becoming President is that important.

I understand other people think the exact opposite. There are many valid reasons not to like Mr. Trump and not to want him to win this election. But the reasons to oppose Mrs. Clinton far outweigh those for opposing Mr. Trump.

hillary_clinton_official_secretary_of_state_portrait_crop Evidence clearly demonstrates Hillary Clinton used her position as Secretary of State to enrich herself, selling favors to foreign powers and businesses in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation, exorbitant fees for speaking engagements, or positions on boards or as consultants. In this, her husband, former President Bill Clinton was an accomplice.

The Clintons have a history of such behavior. On Mr. Clinton’s last day in office, he granted a pardon to a nefarious corrupt businessman on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. Marc Rich had fled to Switzerland to avoid prosecution after illegal dealings with the Iranians while they held Americans hostage, the North Koreans, South Africa, Cuba and other embargoed regimes. Rich’s ex-wife was a well-known fund-raiser for the Clintons. Even the New York Times condemned the act.

No, Mrs. Clinton does not deserve the office of President. She and her husband have too often betrayed this nation’s trust. She only wants the office for the power and the money it will make her. Mr. Trump might also want the power, but he made his money the old-fashioned way – he inherited it.

donald_trump_august_19_2015_croppedDonald Trump was not exactly born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he was no pauper’s son either. To be fair, he took advantage of his father’s wealth and built a financial empire far exceeding what he was given. To be charitable, he seems ready to pass his empire on to his children and give something back to his country. Perhaps it is only right and just he do so.

This contrasts with Hillary Clinton, who seems to think she deserves to be President. She speaks and acts as if she is entitled to be President. Her often smug and condescending attitude communicates not only a superiority over the American public, but a disdain for the majority of Americans.

But the biggest mark against Hillary Clinton for me is her violation of the five non-negotiables: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, and so-called same-sex “marriage”. The Catholic Church teaches these matters of moral law are intrinsic evils that can never be voted for or supported in any way. Mrs. Clinton supports them all, and has indicated she endorses punishing those who do not accept her views.

Given the next President of the United States – either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton – will appoint at least one if not two or three members to the Unites States Supreme Court, and those justices will influence life in this country for at least the next twenty, thirty or even forty years, and their decisions could have a permanent impact on the future of the country, I feel I must do my part in preventing Hillary Clinton from winning tomorrow.

I do not want Donald Trump to become President of the United States, but I will be voting for him tomorrow. Please join me.

Sep 192016
 

If you can read this, thank a teacher. We’ve all heard that one. We’ve likely all read it it. If you were born – and who reading this wasn’t? – especially if you were born after 1973 and post Roe vs. Wade, thank your mother. If you are home schooled, thank your mother for both.

If you value freedom, you should thank a veteran. All veterans. That is to say, any veteran. Any one who served deserves our thanks. Any one who fought, and especially anyone who fell, should never be forgotten.

Surely someone taught us to read, so we should thank those who teach others to read. Undoubtedly we are all here because our mothers bore us. Thank you mothers. And if veterans had not been willing to fight and die to preserve our freedoms, we would not still have those freedoms. Never forget.

There is another slogan similar to those above. If you ate today, thank a farmer. But that doesn’t seem right at all. We don’t owe a debt of gratitude to farmers if we ate today, we owe them a debt of gratitude if we have ever eaten. At all. At any time.

Without farmers, we wouldn’t have our daily bread. But we need our daily bread every day. That’s why it’s daily bread and not just today’s bread. It isn’t just bread, either.

It doesn’t matter if you are vegan or a paleo carnivore. A gourmet or a gourmand. A fast food aficionado or gluten free. All natural, no preservatives, no artificial flavors and no preservatives or a connoisseur of overly processed snacks. If you eat, it’s because a farmer raised it.

Even babies who are breast fed wouldn’t eat without farmers. Moms have to eat, too.

I suppose if you are completely self sufficient, growing all of your own food in your isolated bunker where you hope to live out the coming zombie apocalypse, market meltdown, energy crisis, alien invasion, nuclear attack or what ever paranoid doomsday you fear, you can just thank yourself. But you probably are off the grid, off line, and will never see this anyway.

For the rest of us, Winston Churchill’s words uttered in a different context come to mind. Never was so much owed by so many to so few. Of course, he was referring to the Royal Air Force and their efforts in the Battle of Britain and an unprecedented situation in the history of conflict, not a basic necessity of human survival.

I’m certain Winston Churchill never imagined the agricultural conditions of early twenty-first century America, where a sizable percentage of the population thinks food comes from the grocery store just electricity comes from the light switch. A place where zero-order thinking prevails.

Hopefully, you are not one of these people.

Who do you think of for your daily bread? When next you express thanks and bless your food, think of those who, by the help and grace of God, provided it, and bless them as well.