Skip to main content

Friday, January 19, 2018

Sirach, Chapter 23, Verse 27
Thus all who dwell on the earth shall know, all who remain in the world shall understand, that nothing is better than the fear of the Lord, nothing sweeter than obeying the commandments of the Lord.

What happens when those who dwell on the earth no longer know God and what should we do when it becomes abundantly clear to us that our duty to God is threatened by the governments of men? 


The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church[1] addresses the issue of when and how St. Peter's teaching that obedience to God comes before obedience to men as it applies in the modern Christian's life.

Presciently, or perhaps better, prophetically, Pope Benedict XVI foresaw and foresees increasing conflict between American Catholics and a public authority increasingly secularized and increasingly hostile to the moral values of its Catholic citizens. The conflict is caused by the increasing demands of the State to "to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices." The aggressive secularist State wants freedom of religion to be limited to "mere freedom of worship," and not to "freedom of conscience" which extends beyond the realm of the four walls of a Church into the "public square" of social, civil, political, and economic life." Christians may conscientiously object to civil laws if they infringe upon one or more of three things: (1) the law violates the moral order, that is, the natural moral law; (2) the law violates fundamental human rights; or (3) the law violates the teachings of the Gospel, which is to say the teachings of the Church. Laws that trespass against one or more of these three things may not be obeyed, and obedience to them must be refused. In fact, the Christian has both a duty and a right to refuse such a law. And though it may be unrecognized, it is a right that he must exercise regardless of the consequences to him.

The full text of the Compendium on this issue merits quotation: "Citizens are not obligated in conscience to follow the prescriptions of civil authorities if their precepts are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or to the teachings of the Gospel. Unjust laws pose dramatic problems of conscience for morally upright people: when they are called to cooperate in morally evil acts they must refuse. Besides being a moral duty, such a refusal is also a basic human right which, precisely as such, civil law itself is obliged to recognize and protect. 'Those who have recourse to conscientious objection must be protected not only from legal penalties but also from any negative effects on the legal, disciplinary, financial and professional plane.'" "It is a grave duty of conscience not to cooperate, not even formally, in practices which, although permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to the Law of God. Such cooperation in fact can never be justified, not by invoking respect for the freedom of others nor by appealing to the fact that it is foreseen and required by civil law. No one can escape the moral responsibility for actions taken, and all will be judged by God himself based on this responsibility (cf. Rom 2:6; 14:12)."  (Compendium, No. 399)

The right of conscientious objection is not the right of resistance, and the two should be carefully distinguished. Moreover, resistance which can be expressed in "many different concrete ways" should be distinguished from the last and desperate recourse of "armed resistance." The right to resist an oppressive law or an oppressive government is one that is found in the natural law. It is a right which precedes a government, and so is one that is inalienable. Resistance generally is something to be avoided, and it is justified only if there is a "serious" infringement or "repeated" and chronic infringements of the natural moral law, a fundamental human right, or a Gospel precept. "Recognizing that natural law is the basis for and places limits on positive law means admitting that it is legitimate to resist authority should it violate in a serious or repeated manner the essential principles of natural law. Saint Thomas Aquinas writes that 'one is obliged to obey . . . insofar as it is required by the order of justice.' Natural law is therefore the basis of the right to resistance." The right of resistance is not one that necessarily has the overthrow of government in mind. There may be many ways in which resistance may be expressed, and there may be many ends which resistance may have in mind: "There can be many different concrete ways this right may be exercised; there are also many different ends that may be pursued. Resistance to authority is meant to attest to the validity of a different way of looking at things, whether the intent is to achieve partial change, for example, modifying certain laws, or to fight for a radical change in the situation." (Compendium, No. 400)

Resistance in the sense of armed resistance is something which is a last resort. The Church has identified five conditions all of which must be met before armed resistance is morally justified: "1) there is certain, grave and prolonged violation of fundamental rights, 2) all other means of redress have been exhausted, 3) such resistance will not provoke worse disorders, 4) there is well-founded hope of success; and 5) it is impossible reasonably to foresee any better solution." As the Church observes, armed resistance, even if morally justified, is generally to be avoided, and passive resistance is to be preferred. Armed resistance is often a Pandora's Box which unleashes as much or more evil as it intended to avoid. "Recourse to arms is seen as an extreme remedy for putting an end to a 'manifest, long-standing tyranny which would do great damage to fundamental personal rights and dangerous harm to the common good of the country.'  The gravity of the danger that recourse to violence entails today makes it preferable in any case that passive resistance be practiced, which is 'a way more conformable to moral principles and having no less prospects for success.'" (Compendium, No. 401)

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God. (2 Tm. 1:7-8)

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity[2]

Day 2 No longer as a slave but a beloved brother

Scripture
·         Genesis 1:26-28, God created humankind in God’s own image.
·         Psalm 10:1-10, Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?
·         Philemon 1:16, No longer as a slave but more than a slave, a beloved brother.
·         Luke 10:25-37, The Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Meditation
God created humankind in God´s own image. In the Roman Empire the dignity of those enslaved was denied. Paul however, made bold in Christ, calls Onesimus a beloved brother, transgressing the norms of his society and affirming his humanity. Likewise, Jesus challenges social norms that devalued the human dignity of Samaritans.

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which victims are forced or tricked into sex work, child labor and the harvesting of organs for the profit of the exploiters. It is a global, multimillion-dollar industry throughout the world. Christians must raise a united voice in boldly calling trafficked persons their beloved brothers and sisters and so work together to end modern-day slavery.

Prayer
Gracious God, draw near to those who are victims of human trafficking, assuring them that you see their plight and hear their cry. May your Church be united in compassion and courage to work for that day when no one will be exploited and all will be free to live lives of dignity and peace. This we pray in the name of the Triune God who can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. Amen.


Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Nineveh 90 Day 19
·         Fitness Friday Week 12
·         Nine Days for Life-day 2
·         Please pray for me and this ministry




[1] http://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=45255

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thursday, May 27, 2021

  Auxilium Christianorum - Praying for Persecuted Priests Monday, May 24 is the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. It is also the Feast of  Mary Help of Christians  (Auxilium Christianorum). Please consider joining this Auxilium Christianorum family to pray daily for our holy and courageous persecuted priests. The Church teaches us that it is divided into the  Church Triumphant  (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the  Church Suffering  (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory), and the  Church Militant  (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world). Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as Saint Paul teaches us "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." ( Ephesians 6:12 ) The me

Monday, August 12, 2019

Judith, Chapter 10, Verse 16 When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.” Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes. Beauty and the Beast [1] After bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing and jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon t

Thirty Days with Mary-Day 26-September 9

    30 Days of Women and Herbs – Frauendreissiger Mugwort   (Artemisia vulgaris) 2 Maccabees, Chapter 15, Verse 8 He urged his men not to  fear  the attack of the Gentiles, but mindful of the help they had received in the past from Heaven, to expect now the victory that would be given them by the Almighty.   As an old, retired military man it was common for us to say while we were loading our magazines with bullets, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." We knew that without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Optimists see steppingstones where pessimists see stumbling blocks.   Heavenly Intercession [1] "Stretching out his right hand, Jeremiah presented a gold sword to Judas. As he gave it to him, he said 'Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall crush your adversaries.' " —2 Maccabees 15:15-16   Nicanor planned to slaughter the Jews on th

Friday, August 26, 2022

 Switch of Manliness Legacy OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA   Acts, Chapter 10, verse 1-4 1 Now in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Cohort called the Italica, 2 devout and God-fearing along with his whole household, who used to give alms generously to the Jewish people and pray to God constantly. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God come into him and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 He looked intently at him and seized with FEAR , said, “What is it, sir?” He said to him, “Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God.   Cornelius’ Cohort was an auxiliary unit of archers, men who are expert at hitting a mark or target.   Sin is the act of violating God's will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God, or as any diversion from the ideal order for human living. To sin has been defined as "to miss the mark" to have a harden

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

  Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter PINOT GRIGIO DAY John, Chapter 14, verse 27 Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or AFRAID .   Shalom, which means peace, is a Hebrew salutation. Yet Christ tells us that HIS shalom is different. It is a gift of salvation a messianic blessing. Through the spirit we are born again, sons and daughters of the eternal. The world and its attractions to sin lose its sparkle to us. Yes, we may fall from time to time, but the spirit and peace of Christ is always with us, and we rise up again. 10 things happy professionals do before 10 a.m. [1]   Success often seems like a visionary goal — a feat in life that’s attempted only after many strides, plenty of pitfalls and a healthy serving of endurance. However, for those who consider themselves fulfilled by their career, it’s not only a sense of accomplishment and an impressive LinkedIn profile that defines

SPREAD THIS NATIONAL 54-DAY NOVENA FOR OUR COUNTRY IN CRISIS.

Dear U.S. Grace Force, I believe we are facing a watershed moment. I am feeling we need to be in intense prayer right now. Today, I received on strong calling that we should do a 54 Day Novena of intense mortification and prayer from All Saints (November 1) to Christmas (December 24).  I don't know where folks are at. For some, this may be overkill since we just finished a 54 Day Novena. For others, they may be sensing what I am sensing, and want to go all in.  Then, after receiving this calling, I was made aware of what of these two blood brothers, Fr. James Blount and Fr. Tony Blount, have already prepared. The Blount Fathers are in exact sync with all of us. LET'S JOIN THEM!! All of the information is here:  https:// queenofpeacemedia.com/54days/ Here is a short video in which the Blount Fathers (brothers) explain this prayer campaign:

Thursday, April 14, 2022

  Holy Thursday   Jeremiah, Chapter 30, verse 10-11 10 But you, my servant Jacob, do not FEAR ! —oracle of the LORD—do not be dismayed, Israel! For I will soon deliver you from places far away, your offspring from the land of their exile; Jacob shall again find rest, secure, with none to frighten him, 11 for I am with you—oracle of the LORD—to save you. I will bring to an end all the nations among whom I have scattered you; but you I will not bring to an end. I will chastise you as you deserve, I will not let you go unpunished.   Secularist and pagans still tremble with fear because of God. Why? People fear what they do not understand or have to compete with. Every person is born with the spirit of God within them; it is the spirit of truth which they have lost or suppressed.   Christ referred to this when he told the parable of the sower. The seed is the spirit of truth (spirit of God) that the sower sows. Christ tells us, “A sower went out to sow. and as he sowed, s

Friday, April 8, 2022

  Fifth Week of Lent Friday of Sorrows HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY   Jeremiah, Chapter 23, Verse 4 I will raise up shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer FEAR or be terrified; none shall be missing—oracle of the LORD.   During the season of Lent, we offer our suffering up to Christ to unite with His suffering and as our shepherd, He guides us through this time to bring us into his glory.   The Presence of God [1]   For Jews, there was only one Temple. It was the one place on earth that could truly be called holy. It was the place where God’s Spirit dwelt. The Temple was a place where they could withdraw from the pollutions of the world and know God’s presence in purity. As Christians by the action of Christ we, our bodies, are the temple of God, and He is always with us. No longer was God’s presence and his purifying ritual confined to a single geographic location. No longer were they the exclusive privilege of a single ethnic group. Now the

THE GODLESS AGENDA: From Davos to the Vatican

 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

   Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent   Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not FEAR the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, so that the Lord had a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.”   Have you ever been around people who cannot handle the truth! Speaking the truth got Jeremiah in dire straits. Unmoving, the temple officials and elders trashed Jeremiah nonetheless they were too afraid to kill him.   Dire Straits [1]   At the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, God tells Jeremiah to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people and cities of Judah. They're getting another chance to repent. Maybe they'll actually listen this time. If the people don't finally come to their senses, God's going to do the same thing to Jerusalem that he did to Shiloh up north: it'll be devastated, but the