Opinion: Be Courageous Prophets! Restore the Family as the Foundation of Society

REPOST

From:  Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

  • By Jennifer Hartline
  • 6/28/2010
  • Start at home, but do not stay there. Be courageous prophets.

    As our culture sinks deeper into a moral abyss, the cure is not less Church but more Church.  Those whose faith was badly or never formed, and those who are timid and reluctant need to shape up, learn their faith and step out with courage to witness by their lives to the truth of God’s plan for the human person and the family.  What is the remedy for a culture that rejects God, denies the natural law, places the State in authority over the children and celebrates every manner of immorality?  The Christian family; the “domestic Church.” Without families that are strong in their communion and stable in their commitment peoples grow weak… The priority of the family over society and over the State must be affirmed.” 

    The answer is a strong, cohesive family where mother and father are both present in the home; where human dignity is communicated and demonstrated; where commitments are kept; where virtues are lived and taught; where life is held sacred and God is still God.

    The answer is a strong, cohesive family where mother and father are both present in the home; where human dignity is communicated and demonstrated; where commitments are kept; where virtues are lived and taught; where life is held sacred and God is still God.

     WASHINGTON, D.C. – (Catholic Online) – “A society built on a family scale is the best guarantee against drifting off course into individualism or collectivism, because within the family the person is always at the center of attention as an end and never as a means… Without families that are strong in their communion and stable in their commitment peoples grow weak… The priority of the family over society and over the State must be affirmed.”  (paragraph 213, 214, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church)

    Perhaps you saw these stories this week:  A school board in Provincetown, MA approved a condom distribution policy where any student in the district can ask for condoms from the nurse, and be given an educational demonstration on how to use them properly.  There is no minimum age requirement or age limit.  1st graders are welcome to ask for condoms and be taught how to use them.  The policy also states that “the school district will not honor requests from parents that students not be allowed to receive condoms.”  That’s right.  Parents cannot object or exercise their rightful authority over their own minor children – even 1st graders.
     
    In Iowa, the high school kids in Shenandoah got instruction on graphic sexual acts from a Planned Parenthood representative during their state-mandated sex-ed class.  Students were shown how to do female exams, and with the aid of a 3-D, anatomically correct male sex organ, shown how to use a condom.

    The teens were also treated to a demonstration of the sex act in various different positions using stuffed animals, as well as photographs that some parents called “pornographic.”    When many parents – who, of course, had not been informed of the content of this sex-ed class – complained, the principal was reportedly “mortified” and apologized.  The superintendent said, “It’s a political hot potato.  It’s a religious hot potato.  It’s a parental hot potato.  It’s all these things that cause a crack in the system between society, parents, and schools, and we’re still required to do it.”

    In Texas, a 14 year-old girl has been arrested after giving birth in a friend’s apartment and then smothering her infant son with the amniotic sac.  She then put the child in a plastic bag and asked a neighbor to help get rid of the body, and the neighbor told police he put the baby in a large trash bin at the apartment complex.  They also threw away the linens, clothing and the bed.  The 14 year-old’s younger sister was the only one who knew of the pregnancy.  She also witnessed the birth – and death –  and told a school counselor what happened.  The police officer said, “Everybody’s parents work, they were unaware of what was going on.”

    The baby – that little person who was suffocated and then treated as garbage – is lost now to all but God, for by the time police learned of the death, the trash had been collected and taken to a landfill that they said was too big to search.

    No grave; no dignified resting place; just a mucky, rotting landfill.  And anyway, who really cares?  So what?  It’s not like he was a human being.

    We are in a moral and cultural freefall.  These three infuriating and somber stories are all symptomatic of the collapse of the family unit in our society.  In my own lifetime I have witnessed this collapse accelerate at an alarming rate.  But I don’t recall hearing alarm bells while I was growing up.  The adults I encountered were mostly indifferent, unaware, or otherwise enthusiastically indulging in the amoral home-wrecking they were inflicting on us.

    Clanging the alarm bell now seems a lot like crying out, “Iceburg!” after the Titanic already plowed into the thing.  We are sinking fast, and looking anywhere other than to God and His Church for rescue is a waste of time and life.  Just rearranging deck chairs…

    Allow me to be direct:  Divorce, remarriage, single parenting by design or default, shacking-up, abortion, babies manufactured and destroyed at will, the demand for same-sex “marriage” rights and parenting rights, and a culture that worships sex – all these things combined make for one very deadly potion that America’s been guzzling for decades.

    Being drunk and sick, we began abdicating our parental responsibilities and allowed public authorities to have more and more influence, more and more control, and now they simply run roughshod right over parents, particularly when it comes to sexual “education” and anti-God, politically-correct indoctrination.

    The icing on this disastrous cake has been too many years of far too many wishy-washy, weak-willed, confused, apathetic Catholics who are utterly ignorant of their faith and so put up little to no resistance against the destruction of the most vital component of our society:  the family.

    What is the cure for an aggressive public authority that usurps the authority of parents?  A community of strong, cohesive families who meet their moral, spiritual, educational and material obligations to their children.

    What is the cure for the life-hating era we live in, where girls barely past the onset of menstruation are having sex, becoming pregnant, and killing their own children?  The answer again, is a strong, cohesive family where mother and father are both present in the home; where human dignity is communicated and demonstrated; where commitments are kept; where virtues are lived and taught; where life is held sacred and God is still God.

    The cure is not government programs or entitlements or more mandates or restrictions.  The only cure is to return to an attitude of reverence for the foundation of our society:  the family, “born of the intimate communion of life and love founded on the marriage between one man and one woman.”  (Paragraph 211, CSDC)

    As our culture sinks deeper into this moral abyss, the cure is not less Church but more Church.  Those whose faith was badly or never formed, and those who are timid and reluctant need to shape up, learn their faith and step out with courage to witness by their lives to the truth of God’s plan for the human person and the family.

    What is the remedy for a culture that rejects God, denies the natural law, places the State in authority over the children and celebrates every manner of immorality?  The Christian family; the “domestic Church.”

    “The Christian family is called therefore to be a sign of unity for the world and in this way to exercise its prophetic role by bearing witness to the Kingdom and the peace of Christ, towards which the whole world is journeying.”  (paragraph 220, CSDC) “Christian families have then, in virtue of the sacrament received, a particular mission that makes them witnesses and proclaimers of the Gospel of life.  This is a commitment which in society takes on the value of true and courageous prophecy.”  (paragraph 231, CSDC)

    No – timid, milquetoast Catholicism will not get the job done.  Our time is crying out for heroes of the faith to show themselves in every walk of life, in every nook and cranny of the public square, in every community.  For too long we have bought the lie that our faith must remain at home in private – no longer.  There can be no separation of faith and living!

    Be courageous prophets.  Our mission is to rescue and firmly reestablish the family according to God’s plan and design.  Start at home, but do not stay there.  Be courageous prophets.
    ————-
    Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and mother of four precious children (one in Heaven).  She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.  She is also a serious chocoholic.  Visit her at My Chocolate Heart.
    – – –
    Deacon Keith Fournier asks that you join with us and help in this vital mission by sending this article to your family, friends, and neighbors and adding our link (www.catholic.org) to your own website, blog or social network. Let us broadcast, we are PROUD TO BE CATHOLIC!

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    how i survived my wedding: love story of a june bride

    “But at the beginning of creation, God made them male and female, ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’.  So they are no longer two, but one.” Mark 10:6-8 

    the month of June was named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.  for this reason, it is believed that couples who tie the knot during the month of June would enjoy a happy married life.  this explains why most women preferred to be june brides.  aside from harvest time and that flowers are still abloom, this perception about the wedding month of june influenced our choice of a wedding day. 

    our wedding preparations began in March right after the “pamanhikan“.  a “pamanhikan” is a Filipino tradition when the parents of the groom meet the parents of the bride and discuss over a sumptuous meal the details of the wedding.  before the meeting, bhoy and i had our wedding plans already written down from the most important such as the church and the venue for the reception, to the most trivial like which ribbon to use for the wedding souvenirs.  but it turned out that both our parents had a different agenda so we considered it was best to let them have their way.

    though major changes were made in our wedding plans, one remained constant.  we decided it had to be perfect.  so we did all we could to follow our revised list to the letter, even minus a wedding coordinator or event organizer, which was non-existent that time.

    the wedding was to be held in our parish church to be decorated with exquisite flower arrangements ; so must be the reception in our house.  the motif was light yellow, sky blue and baby pink (we call it rainbow though none was even in it).  my off-white gown was similar to Princess Diana’s  (if i had known that i’d grow this ‘bulky’, i would have worn the strapless, body-hugging type.  sigh!) as wedding souvenirs, we bought tiny heart -shaped scented candles which we personally wrapped in tulle in hues that conform of course with our motif.  again, light yellow, sky blue and baby pink.  our invitations were printed especially for us by the printing press of my daddy’s friend as his wedding gift.  everything was right on schedule, and things seemed to work out as planned.  or so we thought… 

    the much awaited day finally came – June 15, 1991… the wedding mass was to commence at 9:00 am.  but when we woke up at 5:00 am, it was raining cats and dogs and whatever furry house pet you could ever think of!  a gatecrasher named typhoon Diding came uninvited… and early. we had offered not only three eggs at the altar in honor of St. Clare the day before, but a dozen to ensure good weather on our special day. and yes! miracles of miracles! the rain stopped and the sun shone just in time for the wedding ceremony.

    after the wedding march, i can hardly remember anything that followed. and i discovered only later, that bhoy had almost the same experience.  it was like we were both in a trance.  what we were sure of was there were lots of people and that something very special was unfolding.  it’s just that we didn’t see faces or recall how the wedding exactly took place; like a jigsaw puzzle, only bits and pieces of what Fr. Bitoon said during the homily, which now also seem too vague and difficult to connect all together. during the reception, we were still dazed.  we were mentally blank at most, and yet we were absolutely sure our emotions were overflowing with joy and excitement.

    but at 2:00 pm, we were suddenly jolted out of our state of euphoria.  the sky turned really dark that most of our guests who came all the way from as far as Pangasinan and Tarlac, suddenly bade goodbye and left hurriedly.  still bhoy and i were still on cloud 9.99, so what looked like a freak weather condition no longer mattered.  in no time, all the guests and relatives had gone home.  wedding day ended abruptly.   it turned out that the same time that our love affair was being written in the stars, a volcano began to shoot up sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere which would affect the earth’s atmosphere over the next few years .  June 15, 1991 mt. pinatubo in zambales erupted.  and the rest is history.

    nineteen years had passed since bhoy and i solemnly vowed to God and our families, to take each other as husband/wife, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from that day forward, till death do we part.

    the wedding didn’t turn out perfect as we planned.  at some point, i even thought maybe nature was working against us.  even life didn’t happen as we wanted it to be.  but we thank the Lord for each other, for the children that we have and for all the other blessings we have received in our marriage and beyond.

    bhoy and i now realize that it really doesn’t matter what season of the year is the best time to get married.  what is essential to a happy marriage is love that endures regardless of what the weather is. ours was nineteen years of laughter, sweet smiles, butterfly kisses, warm hugs and corny jokes.  there were some tears too from time to time, but only to strengthen the episodes of vulnerability that falling in love usually caused.

    and it is amazing how, everyday as we wake up in the morning, we fall in love with each other all over again.

    do you know what our secret is?  we have a third party between us.  and that is the Lord who bonded and painted our marriage with hues more than that of our wedding motif, and even more than the colors of the rainbow.  that rainbow that will forever hold the promise,  as God made this promise to Noah:
    “Never again will I destroy the world with a flood.
    I make this covenant with you and with all creatures.
    From this day on,
    there will always come a time for planting,
    and a time for gathering up what was planted.

    Day will always follow night,
    the warm days of summer
    will always follow
    the cold and snow of winter,
    as long as the earth shall be.”

    so too shall our love, we pray in Jesus’ name…

    love and bad hair days

    “Remember the days of old; consider the years long past.  Ask your father, and he will tell you, your elders, and they will teach you.” Deuteronomy 32:7

    megan had a bad hair day. literally and otherwise.  the other day, some newbie in the salon she went to, did quite a job on her crowning glory and caused her tears to fall.  not to mention strands of hair too.  it was such a mess that she can’t help but  write about it.  what disasters can do to ignite that passion to write!

    what was remarkable was this particular line which i quote“I was one of fortunate people on earth who might run out of hair, but not of the people who would love me and care for me no matter what.”  OMG! her hair taught her a lesson 🙂

    i had my share of falling hair too.  but just the right number of strands that are due to fall like leaves in autumn.  and i’m amazed that these too can motivate us to reflect past the hairstyles and hair color.

    megan will always be our sweet baby with that pretty hair and perfect eyebrows (no need to have it shaved little lady).  but she’s eighteen now and in love with a guy.  and we are happy that she’s happy.  though there is concern over the sudden change in her behavior and taste.

    like her delicate hair, love can make her shine.   some other time, “exposure to harsh elements” could break her. but as long as she remains rooted to what she learned at home, school and her Catholic teaching, she will always “grow back” to the same sweet human being that we always know.

    now my hair is tri-color (black at the tips, white at the roots and gray in between).   my mommy, almost all white. my prayer is that when megan look our way again, she would  find the wisdom in each strand that age had rebonded…and eventually relaxed.