Father Corapi in Buffalo, Part Two

Another point that Father Corapi made, which really struck me, was that “no one” can take your faith away from you. I understood that to mean, for example, that you shouldn’t allow the actions or in actions of Catholics who don’t seem to live like they believed in either Jesus Christ, or the teachings of His church, weaken your faith in Christ and His Church. You may find scandals, sins, weakness, paltriness, and mediocrity all over your local parish, your diocese, or even the world-wide Church

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A conference by Father John Corapi

In the mid-August, I went to a conference in Buffalo. The conference was by Father John Corapi, who gave a series of about talks – I can’t recall if it were five or six talks – on the Holy Spirit. Of the many important points he made I recall his stressing that pride leads to disobedience, and disobedience leads to death – not just, or mainly, the death of the body, but even more so the “death” of the soul, i.e. eternity in Hell. By contrast, he noted that humility leads to obedience, and obedience leads to life, i.e. true life with a capital “L” as in an eternity in Heaven with God. I think this linkage is confirmed by the experience of many Saints and spiritual writers, as well as many of the rest of us, all of who have noted – to one degree or the other – that people who have a habit of sin, or habits of many sins, are truly blind to spiritual truths. For example, people enslaved by the sin of lust often can’t “see” the truths of the faith even if someone as brilliant as Pope Benedict, or someone as holy as Mother Teresa, were to teach them about it.

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A Sovereign state?

Recently, I read a newspaper editorial which contained this sentence: “Rhetoric that neglects ‘the common good of the national family’ in favor of that of ‘the universal human family’ ignores ‘the reality of a sovereign state.’ “  But, I thought to myself, couldn’t Adolf Hitler have made the same proclamation? After all, he never let the notion of a “universal human family” get in the way of the German Reich.
Indeed, if  someone really thinks that their state has “Soverignity”, which means the absolute and indivisible authority to declare what is right and what is wrong and upon which political power is founded, then they are ignoring God, who is actually the absolute lawgiver who indicates what is right and what is wrong, and is Father of a universal human family and, therefore, is the true source of a political power! In other words “sovereignity” – as defined above – doesn’t reside in any state or human entity, because only God can exercise such an absolute authority and power.

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The Prince of Darkness as a reporter

Although his memoirs are entitled “The Prince of Darkness“, Novak’s truth-seeking and truth-telling reportage, which he engaged in even if it meant stepping on the toes of pols he liked, made him a man who shed alot of light upon what was going on in our nation’s capitol while he was around to report on it.

The Prince of Darkness, R.I.P.

One of my favorite very recent reading expereinces was the late Bob Novak’s memoirs entitled The Prince of Darkness. He writes about his fifty plus years as a reporter, mostly in Washington D.C. 

He also discusses his conversion to Catholicism.  Novak wrote that he was “blessed to have become a Catholic communicant” in 1998 at the age of sixty-seven. He had been a secular-minded Jew, but the pro-life activities of his wife eventually got him attending a Catholic Mass. But he didn’t join the Church and apparently had no plans to do so. Indeed, his recent death particularly reminded me of how he was finally motivated to stop putting off his entry into the Catholic Church. He was attending a dinner one night and sitting by a young girl with a crucifix around her neck, he asked her if she was a Catholic. (Somerthing he later said he was not in the habit of doing!) She said no (She was apparently Russian Orthodox), but she then asked him if he was a Catholic; he said that while he went to Mass regularly, he wasn’t a Catholic. And then she changed the direction of his life by telling him: “Mr. Novak, life is short, but eternity is forever.” Novak got moving and joined the Church, and shared that story in his memoirs. For those of us who tend to put off our conversion, and/or our transformation in Christ, aren’t those words to ponder thoughtfully?

Wiker on Rousseau (in “10 Books that Screwed up the World”)

In another chapter of his book, Wiker examines Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men, i.e. one of the ten books that have screwed up our world. Essentially, as I understand it, Rousseau is – among other things – the intellectual “father” of the egotistical view of ”freedom” so prevalent in our own day: “freedom” means that I have the right to do whatever I choose to do, with no restrictions based on some external moral authority. Of course, many try to temper this idea by arguing that this freedom is actually limited by restrictions on doing anything that would “harm” another. But, since there is no recognized ethical authority outside of one’s own desires, the individual decides whether or not their actions “harm” another, which means they can do whatever they they determine is just and fair. They are a law unto themselves. They decide what is good and evil.  For instance, now-a-days people promote their ”freedom”, their ”right” to choose, by simply denying the humanity of unborn human beings. Their freedom is based on the complete denial of another’s freedom, yet they scream about their “freedom”, their “choice” at the top of their lungs! Of course, how Rousseau got us here, at least in my reading of Wiker on Rousseau, will have to be dealt with in other posts!

Caritas In Veritate

In regard to Pope Benedict’s new Encyclical – “Caritas In Veritate” –  some have claimed that the Pope is calling for a world government! Yet, in this Encyclical, Benedict reiterates the importance of subsidiarity, the precept that large scale social institutions – like national or international political authorities - should not usurp the proper functions of small scale social institutions like the family or local government. Before they criticize the Pope’s Encyclical, shouldn’t folks at least read it first?

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