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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Lamb for the Sacrifice

By Susan Fox
What Child is this who, laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping? (William Chatterton Dix, 1865)
Dec. 24, 2009, Gold Canyon, Arizona -- At Christmas time, I recall fondly Abraham’s prophesy. “God Himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice.” (Gen. 22:8)
In obedience to God, dear Father Abraham with much grief took his son, Isaac, to a height in Moriah to sacrifice him. Isaac, who was conceived in Abraham’s old age, was his only son by his wife Sarah – also well past her child bearing years. God had promised them that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars.
But God tested Abraham, telling him to take his only son Isaac, whom he loved, and offer him up as a holocaust. (Gen. 22:2) This seemed to be the end of all Abraham’s hopes and dreams.But he obeyed. He put the wood for the fire on his son’s back and proceeded to Moriah.
On the way, Isaac suddenly realized they had wood and fire, but no animal for the holocaust, so he asked his father, “Where is the sacrifice?”
“God Himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice,” Abraham responded.
God did stop Abraham from offering Isaac. And He substituted His own Beloved Son, Jesus Christ -- Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
We celebrate the birth of the Father’s Beloved Son in Bethlehem on Dec. 25.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son.”(John 3:16)
“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)

“My daddy gave me a name, then he walked away.” (“Father of Mine” by Everclear)

The sad lyrics of “Father of Mine” show us how our current generation views fathers. Many broken families and a high divorce rate have made people afraid of the commitment of marriage. Thus children are born out of wedlock. And more unhappy people are raised in single parent homes.
There are those who believe that God created the world and then abandoned it -- sort of like a Powerful Watchmaker, who wound up the clock and then left it alone on the mantle.

But the Incarnation speaks of a very different kind of Father. He is not an impersonal, “leave-Me-alone” Father, but a Father very passionately involved in the lives of His children -- so involved He sent His Son to become man, live with us, and then die for us on the cross that we may be freed from the slavery sin, that we might be happy. Jesus gave us the beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount to show us how to live happily (Matthew, chapter 5). Blessed means happy. Blessed/happy are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for goodness, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers, and yes, the persecuted.

Who was present at the Birth of the God-man Jesus is also very telling.

God was so excited about what He’d done, He sent a host of angels to announce the birth of His Son to a group of lowly shepherds. The angels brought “good news.” “For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. . . . Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:10-14)
The shepherds got excited also, and decided to go see this wondrous thing that took place in Bethlehem, and when they saw Mary, Joseph and the child, they became the first evangelists. They revealed the message they had received about the child. All who heard were awed.

From this story, some may conclude God only cares about the poor.

But the rich also came and worshiped the little God man child.
Three kings from out of the East came to worship Jesus. How did they know that a great ruler had been born among them? They were awake. They were looking for the signs. And they saw His star at its rising. “Where is the newborn King of the Jews?” they asked.
So we may also ask the same question this Christmas, and find ourselves standing at the feet of Mary and Joseph, marveling with the shepherds and asking, “What Child is This?”

But just as today, millions of unborn children and many elderly are crushed beneath the “pro-choice” philosophy of convenience and I-have-the-power-so-I-can-kill-who-I-want, so also the Birth of the Savior of the world unleashed a terrible persecution. King Herod knew he was not the rightful heir to the throne of David, and he feared that the child born in Bethlehem was this king. So when the Magi failed to return and tell him where to find Jesus, he ordered the death of all boys in Bethlehem age two and under. Jesus escaped into Egypt when his faithful father Joseph received a warning in a dream. But all the other baby boys in Bethlehem – the Holy Innocents -- were slaughtered: “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children and she would not be consoled since they were no more.” (Matt. 2:18)
So many women, who have been deceived by the mores of our culture and made to have an abortion, bitterly weep for their children once they realize what they have done.

So we stand on the eve of Christmas about to make a terrible mistake in passing a health care reform bill that will again unleash a murderous attack on our children and our elderly. The Democrats who stood against this bill and proclaimed their firm resolve to stand for human life are apparently abandoning our children and elderly for the price of some trifling benefits for their states.
But we know that such people -- like King Herod -- have lived side by side with the faithful many times before throughout history. And yet in the midst of persecution and terror, the shepherds and the kings managed to find their happiness in the tiny arms of the Infant Jesus Christ.
And perhaps there, some of us may be called to help supply the lamb for the sacrifice.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Global Warning Meeting in the Garden

by Lawrence Fox
I recently discussed with my diverse array of garden plants: Tomatoes, Basil, Lettuce, and Bok Choy (which do understand a little English) that I had to limit sharing my carbon dioxide (C02) with them since the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday December 5th, 2009 designated Carbon Dioxide as a dangerous pollutant.

I knew I had their collective attention, when the Bok Choy (which do understand a little English) bellowed a very long sigh of OXYGEN (O2). I am assuming they were sharing with me a very important teaching moment: NO CO2, NO PLANTS, AND THEN NO OXYGEN.

As I left the garden, the tomatoes were giggling and sharing with their peers: “Humans categorize us as FRUITS and treat us like VEGETABLES and they LEGISLATE like FOOLS.”

Saturday, December 5, 2009

“To see at last, to see at last, oh Lord I can see at last!”

by Lawrence Fox

I am not sure why I was heading down the road with my Uncle Jack to the Optometrist but I think it had something to do my second grade teacher Sr. Nicholas telling my mother her 2nd grade son was squinting and making faces when looking at the front black board while sitting 10 rows back behind Algae Lynch and Bobby DiMartino and 8 other more interesting characters.

I can remember a number of similar excursions with my Uncle Jack - who was the legendary singer in the family, something of an untamed Caruso – and while sitting in the passenger seat he would sing and whistle the classic, “Ghost Riders in the Night”. And on that day, the ambience was no different as we drove into the West Baltimore Sunset in his 4-Door Black Rambler.

I had never been to an Optometrist’s Office and I never took an Eye (I) exam. The only I (eye) exam I got at home was when my mother asked “Who made this mess” and I would reply “Not I (EYE).”

I was told to sit in a high back chair which faced a white chart with a jigsaw of consonants and vowels A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y. Well I learned something in the 2nd Grade.

The Optometrist instructed me to identify each letter by going from left and right and then row by row. First with the left eye and the right eye covered and then vice versa. “A Piece of cake, these eye exams are not so bad,” I thought.

I then wondered to myself, “Maybe people who did not learn these scrambled letters in the 2nd grade were the ones who ended up wearing glasses.” Then the Optometrist asked me to READ what was on the exam chart with both eyes.

Now at this point in the story you may ask, “What could possibly go wrong? “

Well a lot.

You see I remember when I was young taking a flight of stairs down into the basement of the grammar school and sitting in Sr. Ascension's music class - a very diminutive nun and the school’s music teacher. She would start her class the same way by having the students warm up their throat muscles by singing a series of words up and down the scales and NOT the standard “Do, Re, Mi Fa, So La Te,” but instead “new, New, NeW, & NEW”

I can not tell you how many times I sat in that class and wondered why she would ask us students to annunciate - in rising scale no less - that her classroom was NEW. It was NOT new it was OLD, and the walls were painted robin’s egg blue, and there were big fat insulated steam pipes, waxed smelling tile floors, and in the front of the room another one of those black boards - which made a 2nd grade boy squint while he sat in his chair behind Algae Lynch and Bobby DiMartino and 8 other more interesting characters.

Well now you can imagine the rest of the story.

When then Optometrist asked me to READ the chart with both eyes open, I thought the real exam was starting and all those letters made up words and sentences, and well, I could not READ them.

“I can not read them, I said.”

I am not sure what if any logic reasoning went on inside the head of the Optometrist after my response; for he was soon dropping fluids in my eyes to make my pupils dilate, and was fitting me for glasses. I was then given shades and then told to go home and to NOT look into the sun for I could go blind.

Oh boy was I confused. I was now one of those people who needed to wear glasses until he learned to READ those scramble letters. This was going to be rough since my dad and uncle – both geniuses – were not able to figure them out since they still wore glasses.

Well I had glasses and some dark shades and my eyes hurt and my head hurt, and I was driving back to East Baltimore with Uncle Jack in his 4-Door Black Rambler away from the “OK DONT GO BLIND CORRAL.”

Uncle Jack –who paid $20 for the glasses was not singing “Ghost Riders”, but instead something like “Get out the way oh Dan Tucker, your too late to eat your supper.”

Well a week later while still blurry eyed, I lost the glasses in some bushes. My mother and uncle were not pleased with my carelessness but for myself all I could say was:

“I can read at last, read at last, oh Lord I can read at last!”

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Praying Near the Holocaust with Moses

by Susan Fox

Then a new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt. He said to his subjects, “Look how numerous and powerful the Israelite people are growing, more so than we ourselves! Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase; otherwise, in time of war they to may join our enemies to fight against us, and so leave our country.” (Ex 1:8-10)

And so the new king of Egypt reduced the Israelites to slavery and ordered the midwives to kill all Hebrew boys born to Jacob’s descendants.

Thus it came about that Moses – like many unborn children today -- was marked for death at his conception. But his mother hid him for three months and then placed him in a basket on the river bank. Pharaoh’s daughter found him, and was moved with pity. She saved the life of the man who would someday save his people from slavery in Egypt, through the great Exodus.

So I stood Friday praying at an abortion death camp in Tempe, AZ. And I asked Moses to pray for the children intended to die that day and their parents.

How ironic that the Hebrew people, who were supposed to see their race exterminated, should instead see their descendants become more numerous than the stars in heaven. In fact, without a physical country for almost 2000 years and despite a new holocaust in Nazi Germany in the 1900s, the Jews have retained their cultural and religious identity to this day. Can you name any other ancient civilization that has done the same?

Then in the early 1900s, there appeared another great murderer. She had the same agenda as the Egyptian King. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and a proponent of forced eugenics, segregation, abortion and birth control, had the goal to eliminate the poor, the feeble and the mentally disabled members of our population – as if they were responsible for their own suffering. This took the form of encouraging abortion and birth control centers among the poor Irish Catholic and the black populations as well as sterilization of the mentally ill and retarded.

"We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population…"
Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood

And so I stood Friday at an office of Planned Parenthood in Tempe, AZ, on the day that the abortions are performed.

Ironically, the once-enslaved black population remains as 12.9 percent of the American population in 2000, compared to 10 percent in 1920 when Margaret Sanger began to spread her disastrous ideals. But white populations in Europe are gradually disappearing as families reproduce at less than replacement level due to abortion, birth control and the ideals espoused by Margaret Sanger.

“Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all living things that move on the earth.” (Gen 1:28) I admire the Muslims for this one thing: they are obeying God. They are raising large families. And the populations that are disobeying God in this commandment are disappearing. Germans, French, Spanish, Italians, English and Norwegians are going the way of the dinosaur. As one friend of mine, said, “Kiss your white hiney goodbye.” But it’s worse than that. Kiss goodbye to the whole of Judeo-Christian civilization in its birthplace. Islam and its populations are slowly and inexorably overtaking Europe. What they couldn’t get by war in the Middle Ages, they are taking now by family planning and immigration.

"Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race."
Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood

And so, with such a “progressive” goal, Margaret Sanger ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil and gave birth to an abomination – a disastrous population implosion wherever her ideas take root. It is said that Hitler and Stalin killed millions, but Margaret Sanger has killed billions and the toll is still rising. Who would believe that the world would be destroyed not by global warming or an asteroid hitting the earth, but instead by the “choice” of its own miserable population, the choice to kill, the choice to die. Why doesn’t the Sci Fi Channel create this disaster movie for Saturday night television audiences?

Recently, we had little ants all over our vegetable garden in the back yard. So the guy who takes care of my bugs came by and gave me a birth control spray. I only had to spray a few ants from the colony, and within a day or two the whole population ceased to exist because they couldn’t reproduce. This is what is taking place in decades instead of days on the world scene with the widespread use of birth control. And the people disappearing aren’t just poor, ill-educated and black. They are white, well-to-do and very well educated.

And so I stood Friday at an abortion mill in Tempe, AZ, and prayed.

“The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” (Jn 1:14) God took on the humanity of man and was born into the world He Himself created. Yet His own people did not accept Him. Learning from the Magi where and when the Messiah had been born, King Herod “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.” (Matt. 2:16) “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled since they were no more.” (Matt. 2:18)

50.9 million children have been killed by abortion since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973

But behold, God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” (Matt. 2:13) Joseph rose and took the child and his mother that very night and departed for Egypt.

And so I stood Friday at an abortion mill started by Margaret Sanger, and prayed to St. Joseph to protect the innocents for whom Christ’s life was threatened. Jesus so closely allied Himself with these children by His conception in the womb of a human mother and His birth to a poor family. Jesus Christ was exactly the kind of child that Margaret Sanger was trying to eliminate from our population when she started Planned Parenthood.

And so on Good Friday, Jesus Christ mounted the cross and allied Himself with all innocent victims of abortion, infanticide and euthanasia.

Yet Jesus Christ did not mount the tree of life just to save the innocent. He came for the guilty as well. He loved them while they were still in their sins. He came like Moses to lead His people out of the slavery of sin. He came to cancel the debt of murderers like Margaret Sanger -- should they repent.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Lk. 23:43)

That was the voice of Our Lord and Savior interceding as He died for the abortionist and all who participate in the sin of abortion be they grandparents, father, mother or legislator.

And so on Friday, I walked and prayed on a sidewalk near an abortion mill in Tempe, AZ, with a sign that said, “His mercy is to generations and generations to them that fear him.” (Lk1:50) And I am happy to read there are only 730 abortion clinics left in the United States. There used to be 2,000. Source: Life Dynamics

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Somewhat True STory

by Lawrence Fox
Okay so I have been a little slothful lately dealing with my garden in the back yard. I excused the bare limbs and stripped leaves to the hot weather and soil neglect.
But all wishful thinking comes to an end; which brings me to the following life and death event of EXODUS proportions.
You see, one night I heard from the back yard a whispering sound – nothing mind you like the perturbations of air that Moses and Joshua heard while up on Mount Zion and upon closer scrutiny (coming down the mountain that is) found their tribal family dancing gleefully around a golden calf.
No it was a sneaky tinny song something like:
“Vegetables in the moonlight, they don’t run and so we bite….”
As I moved closer to the back door and then outdoors the words of the song became more distinct:
“Vegetables in the moonlight, they don’t run and so we bite...”
“Vegetables in the moonlight, they don’t run and so we bite..”
“Vegetables in the moonlight, they don’t run and so we bite…”
With a crescendo from 100+ SNAILS!!
“Vegetables in the ..Belch.. moonlight, they don’t .. Belch…run and so we ...Belch… bite.”
Hey these critters are singing gleefully about the denuding of my vegetable garden!
Eggplant and basil have become the golden calf for a WIGGLY TRIBE which just had their EXODUS from the Gold Canyon common area into my back yard.
Okay maybe my tribe was related to them a millions years ago but who needs new in-laws and out-laws eating for FREEE!.
Well if anyone remembers the story from Exodus, Moses ground up the golden calf and mixed it with water and made his tribe drink the contents – giving them pretty upset stomachs.
I was not so merciful and instead pulled out thee (3) full containers of MORTON SALT and sang gleefully:
“Dancing in the Moonlight, were there’s salt, snails don’t bite…”
After a couple of minutes of salting the little vermin; I heard a sound from inside the house.
It was my wife singing a different tune: “LARRY WHERE IS ALL THE SALT.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Lunchtime Perils of Lawrence Fox

This is a light note from Lawrence Fox:

Another Not so Embellished Lunch Story

"Names have been changed to protect the sensitive."

From time to time Mr. Ed and I have been alternately picking up the tab for lunch.

These lunch time socials have been an opportunity to first briefly exchange the formalities of life: "How is you family?", "How are you feeling?", "What did you do this weekend?" and so forth and secondly to discuss work.

In all honesty no one really shares everything about what they do during the week, let alone the weekend, but the general intent is prudently understood and responded to.

After the very brief formalities (a digression), we then regress into the issue of work; or should I say what does not work at work when there is work for which your are responsible for the work even though you did not scope the work.

Another digression is my lack of local restaurant selections - it is always the Claim Jumper since with their menus you can go pretend you at a different restaurant without having to travel to them.

But not today by golly!! We are going to do something different.

Mr. Ed says "How about Thai Food?"

I say okay but where?

We then drive off - Mr. Ed knows the way.

We head down Broadway and turn into a parking lot and park right in front of the TAILGATE BAR AND GRILL.

"Mr. Ed," I retort, "this it not THAI but TAIL -- GATE. Maybe they serve good Bumpers and Headlights?"

Mr. Ed recognizes that of yes wrong parking lot.

We head further down Broadway and pull into another Parking Lot.

There she is, the THAI LEMON TREE Restaurant.

We go in and sit down.

Mr. ED says; "The Service is VERY SLOW here."

"That is okay", I said. "it gives me more time to complain about something."

Old age and I am really trying to overcome this habit.

We get the menus from a very petite person.

Mr. Ed asks "What would you order here?"

"I have never been here (HERE) but at other Thai places I order the MASAMON (curry chicken, coconut milk, potatoes, peanuts, basil, hot peppers, onions all stewed together)."

"did I mention you can get rice." a little joke!!

Mr. Ed asks; "What should I order."

I suggest the Phad Thai. "It seems to be a staple Thai fixin'," - staple like fried chicken and french fries in the Baltimore, so I tell Mr. Ed.

We get our order, we eat and then I ask Mr. Ed what does he think about the Phad Thai?


"Oh I am sorry to hear that, I thought you wanted to go to a Thai Restaurant and now you say you do not like the food?"


Moral of the story

So you see ladies, men do not even communicate well with each other.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Catholics were arrested for praying the Rosary . . . on a Catholic Campus

By Susan Fox

“I couldn't believe what was happening. Catholics were being arrested for praying the Rosary and holding Silent No More signs on a Catholic campus. It was surreal. Had my adrenaline not been pumping I would have burst into tears at the sight of it. It was then that Jane and I decided we could not leave the campus. We could not possibly leave knowing this was happening. It was necessary to stay and witness to the absurdity of it all.” (Laura Rohling, Catholic wife, mother and pro-life protester at Notre Dame University on May 17, who was among those faithful arrested that fateful day.)

My little son looked admiringly at Seattle University, a Jesuit-run “Catholic” University. “Is that where you went to college Mom?”

“Yes, James.”

“I want to go there too.”

Without thinking, I said, “Oh dear God, no James. It’s not Catholic anymore.”

He was really too young at the time to remember the incident, I could have just said something like “Oh?”

But I was tempted by the truth. Now I have read a similar testament from Laura Rohling. She is a Catholic wife and mother, who grew up with and loved the “Catholic” Notre Dame University. She hoped someday her children would go there. Then she went to pray at the school on May 17, the day the most pro-abortion American president in U.S. history, Barack Obama, received an award from the school and spoke at its commencement.

It was also the day that Laura was arrested at Notre Dame University for praying the Rosary. God bless her. You can read her story at Catholic Online http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=33713

My husband says I should explain to you that the horror of allowing Barack Obama to speak at Notre Dame was not because we wish to demonize the man. In fact, I pray for him and sincerely hope for his conversion. But 80 U.S. bishops opposed his appearance at this so-called “Catholic” University because he is using taxpayer money to pay for the killing of innocent human beings both here and abroad. He has reversed the Mexico City Policy of President Reagan and President Bush, which prevented U.S. taxpayer money from being used for abortion abroad. I know this policy worked because when I was lobbying for the pro-life cause at the United Nations during the Bush Administration, the representative from Jordan complained to me personally that his country wasn’t getting any more money from the U.S. for contraception like they did under President Clinton. You can bet they are getting it now.

Why should we pay for Jordan’s contraception? I explained to the representative from Jordan that Natural Planning was free. “No money, no doctor, just couples teaching other couples the method,” I said. And, yes, I can attest first hand that it works. That was his first shocked question.

Barach Obama also has supported embryonic stem cell research. He also wants to change President Bush’s conscience clauses, which protect American doctors and pharmacists from having to take action to end a human life. It is getting to the point that in order to practice medicine or be a pharmacist, one will have to flush his conscience down the toilet.

This means as a Catholic, I will be unable to get medical care except from people who are willing to commit murder thanks to Barack Obama. And I’m sure some day I will be one of the people they mercifully try to terminate as I am chronically ill.

Shades of Soylent Green! This is the 1973 science fiction movie about a time in the future when food is scarce and people are encouraged to commit suicide. Then they are turned into Soylent Green – the processed food that everybody eats. The secret is announced at the end of the film by one hysterical character: “Soylent Green is people! We've got to stop them somehow!”

Too late! Already two states – Washington and Oregon – have legalized euthanasia. Also the Stimulus Package signed by President Obama creates a government bureaucracy, whose job will be collect all our medical records into one vast warehouse, and then make decisions about who shall receive medical care and who shall not. Doctors who don’t go along with the government will be penalized financially. Barack Obama is the only U.S. Senator out of 100 who said he regrets his decision to vote to save the handicapped Terry Schiavo from a painful death by starvation. The courts murdered her anyway. But at least the Congress and Senate tried to stop it. Barack Obama regrets his efforts to save her.

So inviting Barack Obama to speak at Notre Dame University was a very un-Catholic thing to do. I read in the National Catholic Register that an infant cried during the president’s speech, and this was the only witness for the unborn allowed to stay for the commencement ceremony. May God forgive the University’s leaders.

I went to Seattle University in the early 1970s. I went there because they had daily Mass and I could see Christ walking its halls. But already in 1971, some of my more devout lay professors were leaving because of the change in the school’s policies.

I remember my history professor, Dr. Olsen, teaching me about the similarity between the fall of Rome and the fall of the United States. He could see it coming even in 1971. Funny, homeschooling James with Warren H. Carroll’s “The Founding of Christendom” in 2005, I taught my son the same thing. Roman citizenship was so highly valued because of the rights it bestowed on people that whole populations fought for the right to be Roman. I remembered that last week, when Chinese and Korean students at my naturopath’s office came in to treat me for mercury poisoning. These beautiful young people didn’t plan to return to China or Korea after their education. Why? U.S. laws based on natural law have been fairly enforced for two centuries. We've had the right to life, free speech, worship, the right to carry guns and if needed a trial by a jury of our peers. Marriage has been between one man and one woman. This has created one of the most prosperous nations in the world. It's no coincidence that that much vaunted prosperity is deserting us now.

But Rome fell because gradually over time the guarantees of its rule of law were eroded into dictatorship. I made James think about how the same thing was happening here. The examples are too numerous to go into here, but just think: Roe v. Wade violates the U.S. Constitution’s right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all. And after that, numerous Supreme Court decisions cite European law -- not the American Constitution. And in fact, the difference between a Democrat appointing a Supreme Court Judge and a Republican doing the same thing is the difference between a justice who thinks the law should be whatever he or she feels it should be and a justice who wants to fundamentally uphold the rule of law, the American Constitution, regardless of what he thinks. The American Constitution guarantees our unborn children the right to life. Have your children even read that document? Do they know the safety created by that very Constitution?

When people were arrested for peacefully saying the Rosary at Notre Dame, their rights were clearly abrogated.

So I learned that in the 1970s at Seattle University. But in the 1990s when I tried to start the Legion of Mary in the same University, we were informed by Campus ministry that the only way we could have a room to meet was if we promised never to speak about the Catholic faith on the “Catholic” campus outside the room we were to meet! The Legion of Mary is an excellent Catholic organization faithful to the Church with the charisma of evangelization.

Attention Catholic parents and alumni, it’s time to rethink where we are sending our kids for college and where we are putting our charitable donations. There may be a secular glamor associated with degrees from Notre Dame University, but if you win the world and lose your child’s soul, is it worth it?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Shame of Notre Dame University

By Susan Fox
I am the Catholic mother of a college age son, a brilliant college age son majoring in math at Ave Maria University. He will be a senior next year.

His SAT scores could have gotten him into MIT, Harvard, Cal Tech or Notre Dame University. But he did not apply for any of those schools. And are we ever glad!

I know Catholic home-schooling mothers who sent their sons and daughters to Notre Dame University, saying that they would find a good Catholic mentor, a professor, who could tell their child what professors to trust and which ones to avoid. Therefore, by this means their children would not be wrongly educated on their faith, natural law or basic human rights.

I’m sure that many of these mothers did God’s will in this matter, and many of their children have received excellent educations, and found wonderful Catholic communities within Notre Dame. I’m sure that some of these mothers are the martyrs that we are witnessing on U Tube arrested on Sunday for attempting to pray the Rosary on the Notre Dame campus while the most pro-abortion American president in U.S. history gave the commencement address.

However, now that Notre Dame President John I. Jenkins has chosen to invite this president (Barack Obama) and give him an honorary degree, I think it’s time for Catholics to demand that Fr. Jenkins be fired immediately. And if that doesn’t take place, cease all financial support for the college. And to the Catholic Bishop of South Bend, Indiana, John D'Arcy, please take the name of the Mother of God off that school! (Notre Dame means Our Lady) Thank you, bishop, for skipping the commencement address, but frankly I think more needs to be done.
Why am I so angry? I have been watching the arrests of innocent Catholics who attempted to walk onto a private so-called “Catholic” school saying the Rosary. The worst video was watching the arrest of the 80-year-old priest, Fr. Norman Weslin. He was carrying the cross! Imagine an 80-year-old priest carrying the cross and he didn’t fight the police when they came to get them, but they still tied the poor man up and carried him away! Shame, shame, shame on Notre Dame University.

See the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiz4tfjSuPc

He sang Immaculate Mary while he was being arrested. God bless this holy witness for Jesus Christ.
On Sunday, the people arrested for trying to pray the Rosary on campus include a Who’s Who of pro-life Catholic martyrs, including Dr. Alan Keyes, an honorable pro-life black Catholic who ran against Obama for the Chicago Senate Seat and lost. Dr. Keyes also ran for U.S. president on more than one occasion, and Americans rejected the best option we’ve had for president for some time. So God has given us what we want in Barack Obama. May God help our nation.

This is the video of Dr. Keyes’s trespass warning in which he gives his reasons for wanting to enter campus during the commencement address. He rightly demands that the name Notre Dame (Our Lady) be taken from the university. Look at the face of the guy who is issuing the trespass warning. He looks miserable as he is forced to listen to Dr. Keyes instruct him in the Catholic faith.


Here Dr. Alan Keyes is being arrested:


Among those arrested was also Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe in Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973. She went through a dramatic conversion in 1995, became pro-life and joined the Catholic Church. It goes to show that prayer works as many Catholics prayed for “Jane Roe” and her conversion.

But the video that really irritated me showed that these so-called “protestors” were merely marching peacefully on the sidewalks praying the Rosary, although they did intend to enter the campus. This link will take you to a page on Obama's speech at Notre Dame But you have to look in the article and click on "Watch Police arrest anti-Obama demonstrators."


Please pray for our nation.

Ave Maria University: A hopeful alternative to Notre Dame

 By Susan Fox

Feb. 16, 2006 -- Last year, I attended a healing service at my parish. I was asked to pray for the person sitting next to me.

This happened to be my home-schooled, 17-year-old son,
who had decided to go to college and major in Mathematics. So I said to the Lord, “Please, God, help us find a good Catholic college with a Math degree.”

The next night on the internet I found Ave Maria University of Naples, Florida.

And last weekend, I visited this university at their open house. Today, I am simply marveling that such a wonderful Catholic education is available to our sons and daughters. You probably know the horror stories at other universities. One of my friends overheard a mother bragging that her husband didn’t have to send their daughter any condoms at college because the university issued 50 to each student every semester. This university happened to have an excellent Math program.

But my husband and I took our son, James, out of Catholic school when he was 9 for the very same reasons we don’t want to send him to Condom University. It’s not that we don’t trust him. But we see that James’s emotional and spiritual growth is not finished. He needs a community that will nurture him both as a unique individual and as a Catholic individual.
I think Ave Maria is such a school.

One of the AMU students told us he had the ability to play the ukulele, and people used to make fun of him for it. But when he came to Ave Maria University, they said, “Ahh, you have a talent.” That summed up the attitude I saw in every adult involved in that school.

The school’s provost, Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. is a stunning example. The founder of Ignatius Press and a former student of Pope Benedict XVI, with whom he maintains a warm and cordial relationship, Fr. Fessio lives in a little yellow house next to the campus pool and cafeteria, a central meeting place on the temporary campus. And when he turns the light on at his house, all are welcome to knock, although we found it more likely to see him running around campus or sitting in a group with students. The other priests on campus also can be interrupted at any time in order to ask for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The temporary campus is new and small, but beautiful. The permanent campus – to be built in the center of a 10,000-acre housing and commercial development in the midst of a rural preserve -- will be ready in 2007-2008. Masses were said in the multipurpose room, but a gorgeous copper bas-relief of the crucifixion graced the wall behind the altar. And similar works of art, showing Sts. Peter and Paul, were on each side of the altar.

With regard to the liturgy, they cater to every taste, including those of charismatics, but on Sunday we attended the “festive Latin Mass.” Fr. Fessio celebrated the Mass. He explained in the sermon why all of the students at Ave Maria – even the Math majors -- are required to take Latin by reading the opening prayer of the Mass in English, and then giving us a true translation from the Latin.

The banal English of the prayer, easily ignored as irrelevant, suddenly was transformed into something quite lovely. The English translation read, “God Our Father, you have promised to remain forever with those who do what is just and right. Help us to live in your presence.” But by our own power, we don’t do “what is just and right.” And the Latin reflected this. It showed that God’s work is to help us live in holiness so that we can live in His presence. Obviously, to be Catholic in the future means to be able to read our Latin heritage.

Fr. Fessio faced the congregation during the Liturgy of the Word, but he turned his back to the congregation and directed his attention toward the East -- the rising Christ -- during the second half of the Mass. This posture is called Ad Orientum. With this posture, the priest is no longer the center of attention. God is.

Meanwhile, a group of students sitting in the back conducted the music portion of the Mass. They sang Gregorian chant and other Latin and English songs from our Catholic heritage. Everything they performed was reverent and lovely – never boring. The music actually led me to prayer instead of distracting me. Ave Maria is building a strong music curriculum. They hope they are training the future liturgists for all the parishes in the United States. If they are successful, we will see our Holy Mass in English restored to its original loveliness. They require all students to take chorus, even the Math majors. Music is part of being Catholic.

The multipurpose room on Saturday night was transformed into an Irish Festival. A curtain covered the altar, and white cloth was placed over the pictures of Peter and Paul, and the Stations of the Cross. Green shamrock lights were everywhere, and tables were set up like a dinner theatre. The University’s Irish dance club performed. Admissions Director Richard Dittus with his six home-schooled children and wife performed some of the loveliest Irish music I’ve ever heard. Priests and sisters mingled with Ave Maria students, enjoying the festivities, eating cookies and drinking punch. There was no alcohol. All were able to get up later in the evening and learn the Irish dance. It was enormous fun.

Such entertainment was not just for the open house weekend. They recently held an 19th century ball in full costume, and one of the young men told me he had enjoyed learning formal dance! The story is that Fr. Fessio ran into some of the Ave Maria students crammed into a small car on a Saturday night, and he asked them where they were going. They said, “To the movies.” He thought that was a pitiful source of entertainment. Now the university has intramural sports, drama clubs, swing dancing, a barbershop quartet, Frisbee tournaments at midnight and lots of other things for the youth to do. I asked one student if he had EWTN on the dorm television. He said, “I don’t know.” I looked at him, and said, “You don’t watch TV, do you?” No, he didn’t.

A number of young men are discerning a vocation to the priesthood. They live on the second floor of the men’s dorm with a priest in residence. They are given spiritual direction, have their own chapel and say the liturgy in common. If they decide not to become a priest, Fr. Fessio says the formation will make them excellent husbands. We met one of these, a senior at Ave Maria, who told us he had the vocation to be a friar. He said this would be an active vocation with contemplation as its basis. He was looking for a discalced (shoeless) order of Franciscans. I said, “You want to live barefoot? In an active vocation?” And he nodded.

I suddenly remembered the first 12 Franciscan missionaries, who landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico, in 1524 in order to convert the Aztecs to Christianity. They walked barefoot 125 miles from Vera Cruz to Mexico City, as did all their Franciscan successors for the next 250 years -- Fr. Junipero Serra among them. In fact that is how the great saint of California’s evangelization became lame. He received a poisonous bite on his foot on that first journey to Mexico City in 1749. Now in 2006, I was sitting in Florida with a young man who wanted to make the same sacrifice. “What kind of love must have pierced this young heart?” I wondered.

My husband recognized the source. Just before we came to Ave Maria, he had a dream of trees planted near water with roots growing all down their sides. These were naturally very healthy trees. The psalms and the Book of Revelation discuss such trees as an allegory for the soul who puts his roots deep into the Life of God. Nothing can disturb or harm such a tree. The trees my husband saw in his dream actually exist near the hotel we stayed at in North Naples within three miles of the temporary campus. Neither of us had ever seen such trees before, but they must be common in the Everglades – just as Eucharistic Adoration is common at AMU.
On campus, they have formed households -- smaller groups that support one another within the larger dormitory living. Joining is optional. The households’ names read like the Litany of the Saints. I could pray my way through the list. They also have the Knights of Columbus, a Philosophy Club, AMU Chastity Team, Students for Life and an outreach to the poor, and many others. And if they don’t have your favorite Catholic organization, you can start one.

James enjoyed meeting his future Math and Physics teachers. As I look over the faculty listing for Ave Maria, it seems like almost all have PhD’s from excellent universities. Both the Math and Physics teachers probably gave up good positions to come to an unaccredited new school. The Math professor said he took the job because he believed in Catholic education. My son is going to major in Math and minor in Physics, which is the basic preparation for an engineer. The teachers said by having a strong science background in his degree, he will actually have a better preparation for engineering than if he had an engineering degree. Currently, they have degrees in Economics, Politics, Biology, the Classics, History, Literature, Philosophy, Theology, Music and Mathematics. A pre-law program is formed by combining Politics, Economics and History. Pre-med is done similarly, and there is an Economics degree with a Business emphasis. Fr. Fessio said he plans to add the following bachelor’s degrees to the university: Physics and Computer Science.

But what about accreditation? Ave Maria is pre-accredited with the American Academy of Liberal Education with full accreditation expected next year. That means if you are eligible for a federal grant you can receive it now while attending AMU. The regional accreditation is expected by 2010. Last year, all 20 plus grads of the school got the jobs they wanted or got into their preferred graduate school, according to Fr. Fessio, minus one that is still undecided.

One gutsy young woman told us she had just transferred from another Catholic university in the middle of her sophomore year because she didn’t like wondering if her teachers were giving her Catholic truth or their own agenda. She was a pre-Med student. The basic courses required for Medical school are Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math. All are offered at Ave Maria. But on top of that, this co-ed is getting a beautiful core curriculum with all the basics of our Catholic heritage: Western and American Civilization, philosophy, theology, Fine Arts and Music, natural sciences, mathematics, Sacred Doctrine, Scripture, Literature of Western Civilization and Latin. Ave Maria is unique in that it requires half of their degree credits be in liberal arts.

Asked to describe Ave Maria in just one word, a panel of students came up with this partial list: “truth,” “balanced,” “faith.” Ah, faith. That word resonated with me. It took faith for my family to apply to a university that costs $22,000 a year. Academic scholarships are available based on GPA and SAT scores. It pays to take the SAT more than once. They use your highest score regardless of whether you took it first or last. Last year, they gave out 28 academic scholarships ranging from full to partial tuition out of a Freshman class of 125. But there is no fixed number of academic scholarships. They are based solely on the individual student’s performance.

I myself went to a Catholic university in the 1970s, and I loved the daily availability of the Mass – even if it was celebrated hippie-like with our arms around each other in a circle around the altar while we sang meaningless songs about love. But nothing ever happened on that campus like what I experienced at noon on Sunday Feb. 12 in the noisy student cafeteria at Ave Maria University. A bell rang, and every single person in the room stood, faced the crucifix and with great reverence prayed the Angelus. “And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. . . And the Word was made Flesh. And dwelt among us.” Ave Maria!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Mercy of God

by Susan Fox

“I’m coming up, so you better get this party started.” (Rock Star Pink).

Recently, I told my husband to play the song, “Get the Party Started,” sung by Rock Artist Pink at my funeral (after the Mass is ended).

Why? Well, that is indeed what I hope will be happening to me when I die. I’ll be at a big party with lots of my friends, especially my Best Friends, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I don’t hope to be there because of any special effort on my part – except for humility and repentance.

No, I expect to be there because of the Mercy of God.

It is His greatest attribute.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Abraham had an inkling of this incredible gift when his son, Isaac asked him what he was going to sacrifice on Mount Moriah. They were climbing the mountain on God’s orders to sacrifice Abraham’s only son, Isaac. Isaac looked around and said, “Father, here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the holocaust?” And Abraham prophetically answered, “Son, God himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice.” (Gen. 22:7-8)

That did not just refer to the ram that God provided in place of Isaac at the point of the sacrifice, but that referred to the unblemished Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, and the Son of the Living God Who would indeed be sacrificed for our sins on Good Friday – many years after the death of Abraham and Isaac.

Pope John Paul II cited many of the biblical references for the state of Purgatory in one of his papal audiences while he was still alive. One of those references cited was Leviticus 22:22, which talks about unacceptable sacrifices offered to God. The Jews offered animals for sacrifice. It would be tempting to grab that lame, blind, or sick lamb and offer it to God as it wouldn’t really be much of a sacrifice, would it? But God told the Jews, “One that is blind or crippled or maimed, or one that has a running sore or mange or ringworm, you shall not offer to the Lord.” Even in the area of priests, who make the sacrifice, there was no imperfection allowed as cited in Leviticus 21:17-23: “Speak to Aaron and tell him: None of your descendants, of whatever generation, who has any defect shall come forward to offer up the food of his God.” And then He cited the same drawbacks of lame, blind, malformed, etc.

This did not mean that God needed diversity training. No, it simply means that any sacrifice offered to God must be perfect. Jesus said, “I would have you be perfect as my heavenly Father is perfect.” This perfection is of the heart, not of the body, or none of us would make it.

“Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with ALL your heart, and with ALL your soul, and with ALL your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Therefore, the Catholic Church teaches that Purgatory is not an invention of bishops or popes, and it not a place, but a condition of life. In order for a person to be united to God, “every attachment to evil must be eliminated . . . The purification must be complete, and this is, precisely, the Church’s doctrine on Purgatory,” Pope John Paul II said.

Purgatory is not a second chance to change one’s destiny. After death, there is only acceptance or rejection of love – heaven or hell, the pope said. Purgatory is a stage of purification for the dead already bound for heaven on the way to full union with God because nothing defiled shall enter the Kingdom of God.

Purgatory is also a place of Great Mercy. For if this condition of purification didn’t exist after death, a lot of us, who really did love God, but not perfectly, would be falling into hell.

The references to the perfection of the sacrifices offered in the Old Testament also foreshadowed the nature of the One Sacrifice God would offer on Mount Calvary for the salvation of mankind. Did not St. John the Baptist meet Jesus and recognize Him as such: “Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29) Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection are the greatest manifestation of God’s mercy.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)

God chose the time of His birth and his own earthly parents. He did not choose to be born in the 21st century with running water and all the conveniences we have today. He choose to be born in neither a rich man’s home nor a King’s castle, though his parents were descendants of King David, whose throne will last forever. He chose humbly to be born in a stable in Bethlehem. Poor shepherds and foreign kings came and told of His birth. Angels sang of His glory. But the important people of his day did not celebrate. In fact, King Herod plotted His death and massacred the innocents of Bethlehem hoping to kill Jesus. “Rachel weeps for her children.” Being born in this manner was a great act of humility and mercy. Anyone born in humble circumstances or amidst persecution can say, "So also suffered my God when He came into the world!"

“Let Mercy come and wash away what I’ve done,” (The rock song, “What I’ve Done” by Linkin Park)

And to receive this Child, the Great Gift of God’s Mercy, we must humbly repent. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the tribunal of God’s mercy, according to St. Faustina, known as the Secretary of God’s Mercy. I enjoyed entering this great tribunal today. The priest who heard my confession had me laughing at myself by the time I got done. What a joyful confession!

St. John the Baptist prepared the way for this reconciliation. He preached repentance and salvation. When a man entered the water to be baptized by John the Baptist, he knew he was confessing his sinfulness. That’s why the Pharisees stood on higher ground and merely watched John baptize. They did not want to admit they were sinners.

But Jesus, the sinless, unblemished Lamb of God, walked into the water and asked John to baptize Him. John was shocked, “Why I am not worthy to tie your sandal!” But Jesus asked him to suffer it for now because Jesus intended to bring all who would receive it into the waters of Baptism with Him, and by His death -- His perfect atonement for our sins -- He would make us free!

Many are afraid to stand in line for confession as were the Pharisees afraid to enter the waters of Baptism with Jesus. If I get in line, or admit my sinfulness, surely that is a painful thing? St. John said God is light, and “if we say, ‘We have fellowship with Him,’ while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth.” (1John 1:6) Further, “If we say, ‘We have not sinned,’ we make Him (God) a liar, and His word is not in us.”

Recognizing one’s sins and repenting of them is a great gift of God’s Mercy and Healing. It brings true joy.

Pope Benedict XVI recently affirmed that administration of the Sacrament of Penance is an “indispensable ministry” that aids the faithful along the “demanding road of sanctity (read perfection).”

In the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites the 10 commandments. Giving people a law to live by was a great act of mercy. That’s why I criticized the “one true god” of the cylons in the TV show, “Battlestar Galactica” in my last posting on this blog. In that work of fiction, this god gave his perfect machine people no laws to live by. Instead, in his name, they committed genocide. That made him a loveless god, unlike the One True God revealed in the lives of the Israelite people in the Old Testament, and the life of Christ in the New Testament. Our God is love. He gives us laws to live by. Our freedom is perfected in love.

The first time Moses brought the 10 commandments down from Mount Sinai to the Israelite people, he found they had made an idol, and were worshiping the golden calf. In his anger, Moses threw the stone tablets of the law down at the base of the mountain and broke them (Exodus 33:19). This was a great, great punishment. Without knowing the law that God has placed in our heart, we are walking around blind. Unchecked, from our hearts comes murder, rape, anger, pride, injustice and all forms of vileness, making everyone unhappy.

That’s why when Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore lost his battle to keep the monument of the 10 commandments in the Alabama state courthouse in 2003; I knew our nation was headed for deep trouble. God Himself had allowed us to remove the 10 commandments from our courthouses. He had taken His law away from us. Misery, economic instability, murder, abortion, euthanasia, sexual excesses, witchcraft and demonic possession have followed. Ultimately, Mother Teresa of Calcutta scolded Bill and Hillary Clinton when Bill was president, warning that nuclear war would be the fruit of legal abortion in our nation.

But the Israelite people repented of their sin of idolatry. Moses prayed for them. And God showed his mercy, giving the people the 10 commandments and the law again. It is interesting to note, however, that the first time they received the 10 commandments God Himself wrote the words on the stone. The second time, he had Moses do it. When the tablets were given the second time, God is praised because He is “a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.” (Exodus 34:6-7)

It wasn’t, “Oh no, God’s will is a big stone about to hit our heads that will restrict our freedom.” That’s what people think when they use the word, “choice,” with respect to abortion. How can you restrict my freedom, a freedom that in later years will tear me apart once I recognize I’ve killed my own dear child? I spoke to an abortion supporter at the United Nations a few years ago, and tried to explain to her that the right to chose life should be give to her little daughter and her elderly mother as well. But she told me that she had the absolute right to decide whether her infant daughter in the womb and her sick, elderly mother should live. It was not their decision. Isn’t it funny this freedom of choice is just for some people and not for others? And she was insulted when I mentioned the lack of choice the Jews had in the time of Hitler – the man who had the freedom to choose life or death for a whole race of people. “How dare you compare me to Hitler?” she said. What is the difference?

How better to understand the Mercy of God than to reflect on the Passion of Christ -- the fact that when Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, hung on the cross, He met two thieves. One mocked him, but the other defended Him while repenting of the sins of his own life. The Good Thief asked Jesus, “Remember me, when you come into Your Kingdom.”

Jesus responded, “This day you will be with Me in Paradise.”

That’s all? Just sorrow and humility and the gates of heaven are open to you a in a matter of hours? That’s right. Even a serial murderer with perfect contrition can bypass Purgatory and go straight to heaven. Jesus has paid the price of our ticket. And the train leaving for heaven is waiting for each of us. All we have to do is repent and love Him.

It’s interesting to note, however, that many Americans have chosen instead to reject God’s revelation of Himself and have adopted beliefs of the New Age Movement, including reincarnation. Do you realize what a heavy obligation these beliefs hide? For under Karmic (New Age) Law, the Good Thief would have had to live 100s of other lives to remove his own karma generated by his sins of thieving. But in one moment of time, the Good Thief met God’s Only Son, Jesus Christ, dying on the cross. And in that moment, he repented of his sins, and begged for admittance to God’s kingdom and it was granted to him immediately: “THIS DAY YOU SHALL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.”

And that, dear friends, is the mercy of God.

I have cousins who have embraced some of the beliefs of the New Age Movement, and one of them tried to explain to me why she had both a statue of Jesus and Buddha on her dresser. She felt they both had wisdom to offer her. However, we have the teeth of Buddha. He was a man. Now he is a dead man. We have no relic of the Body of Jesus Christ. He is God and He has risen from the dead! To know more of the dangers of the New Age Movement, visit www.crossveil.org

Happy Mercy Sunday, the second Sunday of Easter!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Battlestar Galactica and God's Children: Let's go save the world.

By Susan Fox
“Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was called ‘Faithfull and True.’ He judges and wages war in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on his head were many diadems. He had a name inscribed that no one knows except himself. He wore a cloak that had been dipped in blood, and his name was called the Word of God. The armies of heaven followed him, mounted on white horses and wearing clean white linen. Out of his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he himself will tread out in the wine press the wine of the fury and wrath of God the almighty. He has a name written on his cloak and on his thing, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.’” (Rev. 19:11-16)

The agnostic/atheist fans of Battlestar Galactica are livid at the series finale that ran Friday night, according to blog entries at SciFi.com.
The creators of the long-running SciFi show, Battlestar Gallactica, ended the series with a religious theme. Always in the series, there was a “god,” who was almost a mysterious character in his own right, and caused things to happen. The mostly evil machines, known as the cylons, believed in him, the “one true god.” The humans were all polytheists, and in the finale their “gods” clearly lost the ideological battle in the sci-fi sit com.
But there is nothing Christian in the “one true god” of the cylons. He – capricious, cruel and repetitive – gave his cylon converts no 10 commandments and no transforming love. And in the end he kicked them out the door. With few exceptions, the cylons sought to destroy humanity, which had colonized the universe. Dogged by the cylons and led by a book of prophesy, a living remnant of the human race crawled into space ships looking to find the original earth. Found, it was full of radiation and the reason why their ancestors fled in the first place was clear.
However, in the finale, humans and cylons were about to forge a working relationship when an old crime of one of the cylons put a spanner in the works. A dead viper pilot’s hand presses the button to nuke both cylon and human ships. Starbuck, who always felt she had a great mission, remembers a tune from her childhood, plugs it into the ship’s computer and light speed brings everyone to a lush “new earth” while the left-behind cylons are completely destroyed. In short, she saves the day. Everyone abandons the now junky ships and decides to settle on this new planet where there are already primitive human beings.
Having watched the old Battlestar Galactica series and the “modern” one, I guess everyone assumed that the people in the series were our descendents, that they were our future. But arriving at this new lush planet, Hera, the half human, half cylon child, becomes Mother Eve on a new earth, which is recognizably ours thousands of years later. This is apparently the plan of the “one true god” of the cylons.
The atheists and agnostics who followed the series really didn’t need to be so angry about the ending. The god of Battlestar Galactica was a creature of man’s science fiction. There really was nothing Christian in the final episode’s resolution. There is no “creator” – just an endless loop of one humanity leading to another. However, even when science fiction writers try to create a pagan universe, they sometimes stumble on some aspect of the truth of the human heart.
It was really in a little sidebar on the viper pilot Starbuck. A crack male pilot in the original series, Starbuck in the modern series is a hard-living female viper pilot with a destiny to save humanity. She literally died and came back. She found her own dead body when she led everyone to the old earth they had come from. Finding her dead body and realizing she was not a cylon and probably not a living human being, Kara (Starbuck) agonized over who and what she really was. Admiral Adama, who admirably led everyone through the entire series, finally answered her question, “Who am I?” Kara had been his deceased son’s fiancée. Adama reminded Kara, “You are my daughter.” Dead, alive, cylon or human, Kara was loved and had a valued relationship with her fiancée’s father. This affirmation from a beloved father figure probably gave Kara the final courage to save the human race.
I remember one time starting my prayers, and I must have been very disturbed and confused as I said, “Father, I don’t know who I am.” He answered, “Aren’t you my daughter?” Well, Dumb Head, I just called Him, Father, didn’t I?
Sometimes I think we Christians treat our spiritual childhood with God, which we receive at Baptism, as something academic and dimly understood. Father is title, not a relationship. But even the writers of Battlestar Galactica understood that such a relationship confers happiness and dignity on the person so adopted. If a fictional father/daughter relationship causes such happiness in the human heart, how much more so when a Divine, All-Good and All-Loving Being, such as God, decides to adopt one of us inferior creatures -- made in His image and likeness, made with a heart for God.
There is new series starting on television called, “Kings.” I have no intention of watching it. It seems to be about an American King, who selfishly controls everybody’s lives, rewarding his followers with money and women. But the fact that it’s there on television, is a sign that people do hunger for a “king” and a kingdom, and they do hunger for a relationship similar to the spiritual childhood conferred in Baptism. And such really exists. It is God’s kingdom, and God’s kingship. Jesus Christ, according to the Book of Revelation, is the “King of kings, Lord of lords.” But He is good. He is not capricious. He is not cruel, abandoning His own followers to complete annihilation. He is love. And He gives us standards to live by, which will make us happy. They are called the Beatitudes.
St. Faustina, named by Jesus as the Secretary of His Divine Mercy, wrote in her diary many things that Our Lord said to her. In one selection, paragraph #229, she was having doubts about her own peace of heart. Jesus appeared to her and said, “My daughter, imagine that you are the sovereign of all the world and have the power to dispose of all things according to your good pleasure. You have the power to do all the good you want, and suddenly a little child knocks on your door, all trembling and in tears and, trusting in your kindness, asks for a piece of bread lest he die of starvation. What would you do for this child? Answer Me, my daughter.
The creators of Battlestar Galactica and Kings would kick the kid out the door.
But Faustina answers correctly, “Jesus, I would give the child all it asked and thousand times more.
“Father, who am I?” we ask the One True God.
And He responds, "You are My child."
Yes, Baptism has bestowed this relationship on us. We are children of God, Our Father, children by adoption. And in that relationship, let’s go save the world!