Welcome Friends!

A Catholic blog about faith, social issues, economics, culture, politics and poetry -- powered by Daily Mass & Rosary

If you like us, share us! Social media buttons are available at the end of each post.

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!”