Happy Valentine’s Day!–by Cameron Daly

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I know some people think of Valentine’s Day as little or nothing more than a cheesy and commercialized “fake holiday” as one guy put it. While I won’t deny that people have commercialized it, I will ask–what legitimate holiday HASN’T been commercialized to some extent? Because keep in mind, Valentine’s Day DOES have a legit origin in St. Valentine himself!

“St. Valentine of Rome (c. 270) was a priest who lived in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Little is known of his life with certainty, except that he ministered to Christians who were persecuted and imprisoned for their faith, and died a martyr. One account has it that the emperor banned all marriages and engagements in Rome, believing this was the reason Roman men were unwilling to serve in the army. Valentine defied this unjust decree and continued to perform marriages for lovers in secret. He was arrested, and while in prison he restored sight to his jailer’s blind daughter, causing the jailer and his entire extended household, forty-six people in total, to immediately convert to Christianity. Upon hearing this, Claudius ordered Valentine’s execution. St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended, and signed it “From Your Valentine.” He was beheaded on February 14th. St. Valentine is the patron of many causes including bee keepers, betrothed and engaged couples, lovers, love, happy marriages, and young people. His feast day is February 14th.” (Quoted from The Catholic Company’s emailed Morning Offering.)

See? Told you Valentine’s Day was a thing!

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For Those Mourning the Deaths of Loved Ones

I know a number of people who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Please take a moment to watch this clip I took of the movie “The Encounter: Paradise Lost,” where Jesus is talking to a man whose son has died (and keep in mind that this makes no claim to depict a real event like a private revelation or anything). May the hope of seeing our loved ones again help spur us to put our faith in Christ–and may we know what it truly means to do that: (see this Facebook link, since I apparently can’t upload a video here without upgrading my WordPress plan:¬†https://www.facebook.com/cameron.daly.9/posts/1196313520455725)

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“For we all seem to give our lives away/ Searching for things that we think we must own”–by Cameron Daly

Here’s a good song to think about this time of year (by one of my favorite bands–Trans-Siberian Orchestra). Try to pay particular attention to the line “I think I would be alright if on this Christmas night/ I could just find my way home.” What does this mean, and why is it set apart from anything else “we think we must own”?

Here are the lyrics, for those who have an easier time understanding the whole song by reading it:

http://www.songlyrics.com/trans-siberian-orchestra/find-our-way-home-lyrics/

 

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Scandal Among Clergy vs. the Incorruptibility of Christ, the Church, and the Sacraments–by Cameron Daly

Some people have a hard time getting around scandalous clergy members. They kind of blame the Church herself–and I can see why they’d think to do that, since the clergy basically represents the Church. But it’s important to keep in mind that not every representation is perfect or even good. As the Church teaches,

“This presence of Christ [as head of the Church] in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister’s sin cannot impede the fruit of grace, in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1550).

Should people blame police brutality on the law that forbids it? Of course not–the police who commit such crimes own their own actions. Should they any more blame the scandalous behaviors of some clergy on the Church who is against hypocrisy? Anyone can draw a bad picture; anyone can misrepresent what they supposedly stand for. But no matter how bad their representation, THEY CANNOT CHANGE THE REAL TRUTH OF THE REAL THING THEY REPRESENT! No matter how bad a minister a person may be, or how bad a person a minister may be, his actions do not take away from the goodness and truth of Christ, the Church, or the sacraments.

The Ghost of Christmas Present uses similar reasoning:

“Hear me, Scrooge.
There are some upon this earth of yours
who claim to know me and my brothers,
and do their deeds of ill will
and selfishness in our name.
These so-called “men of the cloth”
are as strange to me and my kin
as if they never lived.
Charge their doings to them, not us” (quoted from the script for Disney’s “A Christmas Carol”).

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VOTE FOR LIFE!–by Cameron Daly

I remember reading recently–maybe on a Priests for Life site–about voting in the long term, keeping in mind future consequences of what you wish for today. Beware a society that doesn’t intrinsically value human life; how easily it could turn on you in your own old age, or through a disabled child you might one day have, seeing that both such circumstances might make a person “worth less” to such a society.

What point is there to society if it doesn’t care for its own citizens? What is the good of humanity without the good of humans?

And for those of you who are Christians, you should recognize your own duty toward those who are defenseless against those who seek to kill THEM. Put yourself in their shoes.

“[W]hatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40, NABRE).

“[W]hat you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me” (Mt 25:45).

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The Necessity, Yet Insufficiency, of Existence in Itself–by Cameron Daly

Existence itself must be the first thing to exist; for nothing else can exist without it. Thus it obviously exists, because other things exist. But at the same time, existence in itself is not a sufficient reason for other things to exist; existence could have existed just as easily without them. Since other things do obviously exist anyway, there must be more to existence–that is, that existence must have the power and will to cause other things to exist.

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True Church Teaching on Homosexuality and Homosexuals–by Cameron Daly

For those who would like to know what the Catholic Church (from the Catechism of the Catholic Church) actually¬†teaches about homosexuality and those who tend towards it (which might be different from what you’ve been lead to believe is Church teaching), see the following. (I added in brackets what was originally end/footnoted.) Please note the compassion, equality, and respect the Church teaches we should have for such persons:

“2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,[Cf. Gen 191-29; Rom 124-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10] tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.'[CDF, Persona humana 8] They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

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