Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Of many things

     As I arrived at church this morning for Mass, I found others arriving who were bundled up and lamenting the winter weather.  Even though we had no snow today, the temperatures have dropped into the frigid range.  Trying to be optimistic, at the end of Mass I recommended that they be careful of the cold during this "heavenly" weather.  To the strange looks coming my way, I explained that the temp registering in my car as I arrived was 7 degrees ... and I pointed out that this is traditionally seen as the Lord's number, the most perfect number, and thus heavenly.  Personally, I like it a heck of a lot warmer than 7 degrees (without wind chill added on).

     Later on this sunny day the temp rose to 14 degrees.  It reminded me of the song in the movie "Grumpy Old Men" - "We're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave ... ".  I have a friend on Face book that continues to remind her friends the date of Spring!  Thanks, Donna.


     Today is the 40th anniversary of Roe vs Wade, the United States Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in this great nation.  On that date this nation took another, and very disastrous step, away from the Law of God, away from the accepted principles of science and society, and away from generally accepted morality.  In the last forty years the statistics show that there have been over 50 million legal abortions in this land.  For those of us of faith, this represents over 50 million unborn human lives destroyed.  This culture of death which has continued to expand in our society has progressed from a tragic but necessary decision brought about by crisis to a question of "rights", placing higher value on one right over another right.  The right of the unborn person gives way to the right of the woman.  Even when the woman's desire is less than selfless, this injustice defies logic and denigrates human life itself.  If our once great society is to survive, we must get on our knees and repent, we must insist on a moral stance that is rooted in the Law of God, and we must protect life.  Our founding documents express this clearly: that we hold these truths to be self evident ... that all men are created equal ... that we are endowed by our Creator with certain rights ... first among those is LIFE, then liberty, then the pursuit of happiness.  Life is first and primary right.  And yet our law denies that right to those who cannot defend themselves.  Something is dreadfully wrong with this picture.

     We are in the midst of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, begun originally in 1908 by the Graymoor Friars of upstate New York.  It has since developed into a global experience of prayer that has very little consequence at the local level.  It is an awareness of the division in the Body of Christ that is a hindrance to the lived power of the Gospel message in our world.  The week begins, traditionally, on January 18th and ends on the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul on January 25th.
     Much progress in ecumenism has been made in the upper levels of the various Churches.  There is generally much more tolerance, mutual respect and working together on the local levels.  Our understanding of the things that unite and the things that divide is clearer.  But a real desire for unity is sorely lacking in most of our congregations.  We have a long way to go ... but at least there is movement toward the understanding that we must be "one in the Lord".

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