Father Kevin’s Reflection – October 2, 2016

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maxresdefaultThe months of May and October are recognized as the “Months of Mary”. October is specifically for Mary and the Holy Rosary. It is so fitting that God chose a woman to be such a key part of the functioning of His church. It is so fitting because family is such a key to everyone’s life. Praying for the intercession of Mary has been a part of my religiosity ever since I could find myself in school dedicated to Our Lady. (And, to make it clear, I never, ever thought I was praying to some other god or the fourth person of the Blessed Trinity.) So for someone like me, it takes a certain amount of meditation to get my head around those Christians who reject devotion to Mary. But the older I get, the more I’m convinced any anti-Mary sentiments have their roots in the Evil One, who does everything possible to keep the adopted children of the Father away from Mother Mary. Mary’s purity and mother’s love is an example for us…ranks right up there with Our Lord’s suffering is an example for us. This seems pretty obvious. What is not so obvious is the reality of vast quantities of us Catholics, who may not be (as the saying goes) “pure as the wind driven snow”…but are deeply fond of Mary’s charm. This is, I believe what confounds Protestant Christians.

I realize that these “separated brethren” like to engage in all sorts of scriptural gymnastics (like St Paul’s declaration that there is only one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ). But when you get right down to the logic of one’s heart it comes down to one’s coming to terms with purity of mind and body. Even one Hail Mary, reverently prayed has the power to bring a heart to terms with the tumultuous questions of purity. Over the years I’ve seen many brides offer their bouquet of flowers at Mary’s Altar. In a few of these beautiful people I have seen a genuine rebirth of innocence with a renewed appreciation of purity. (How unfortunate, that more young grooms do not join their brides in devotion to Mary.) How spiritually impoverished are those Christians who can’t or won’t open their hearts to Jesus’ Immaculate mother.

This being said, I throw my two cents into the top news story of the week. How should America respond to the wars in the Middle East (Jesus’ and Mary’s homeland)? The question debated is: “do we bomb or not?” Those who say bomb want to bomb because such evil doers must be taught a lesson. Those who say, don’t are saying we should have nothing to do with that fight. I disagree with both voices. I do not think we should indiscriminately “carpet” bomb BUT I do believe we should teach them a lesson, a very important lesson. In the simplest of terms we should say, “We very much want to help this whole area of the world … but until the Islamic culture that dominates this region shows a sign of reform regarding the equal dignity of women and a strong change in its violent treatment of Christian churches we are powerless to help. We could bomb one side or both sides, but both sides have demonstrated that dying for their version of their faith is the price they are willing to pay for the chance to dominate the region.     What is needed is a more permanent lesson. Until we hear something to this effect: “ I’m afraid we the United States of America, as well as most of the rest of the world can only stand by painfully as your culture self destructs.”

Of course this kind of response could only come from a national leader who believes that our nation is guided by God who expects us to be a nation that teaches other nations God’s ways. Our power should be army strong…but our lessons need to be morally strong as well. Only by the grace of God, and a mother’s perfect love for her children, can hearts be moved.

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