Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Catholic's Guide to Voting

Catholic Voter’s Guide




1. a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.
2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.
3. Sociology . an individual human being, especially with reference to his or her social relationships and behavioral patterns as conditioned by the culture.
4. Philosophy . a self-conscious or rational being.
5. the actual self or individual personality of a human being: You ought not to generalize, but to consider the person you are dealing with.

In trying to figure out who to vote for in any election it’s important to know where each candidate stands on the issues of the day.  What they plan to do to help invigorate the economy, universal healthcare and what needs to be done about ongoing wars.

All of these, as well as others, are very important but to determine who is the one who better represents the people of the United States we need to figure out which subject has priority over all others.  If both candidates agree about what we believe is most important then we are to look at the subject which has second highest priority and so on.

As concerned citizen, we are obligated to elect individuals who will look out for the lives of his constituents.  Not only on the day-to-day issues but on life issues itself.  Many individuals lose their lives in the fight against our country’s enemies and many also lose their lives when they are forcibly taken out from their mothers’ womb.

Both categories are important since both involve the loss of life but which one should be our priority when two candidates disagree on both issues?  How are we to decide who to vote for when one candidate will fight to end a US war but will work to help facilitate easier abortions for all women while the other seems to want to continue armed hostilities abroad but will work to stop most abortions from being performed?

A couple of things to consider when deciding which issue should have priority.  Although you may not agree with the necessity of troops in foreign wars, they at least have the means to defend themselves.  They can either take cover, retreat or even shoot back.  The baby in the womb can do none of those, and that’s why they are considered the most defenseless.  A secondary thing to remember is the sheer number of casualties involved.  For the entire Afghan war there is a total of over 3,000 deaths as of Sept 2012[1].  In fact, the sum of all U.S. soldier deaths from all wars in U.S. history (including the Civil War, World War I and II as well as the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars) we have a total of a little over 1.3 million deaths[2].

A single death from an unnecessary war is one too many and if you are against war in general then one death during war is one too many.  But if one compares the number of deaths from ALL U.S wars put together this number comes to about equal the amount of deaths performed by  abortions in an average year!  In fact, the once special research affiliate of the abortion chain Planned Parenthood gives us national statistics that show an annual abortion rate of 1.2 million abortions[3].

The total number of deaths by abortions in the U.S. alone since its legalization is now over 54 million.  54 million living human beings, persons, allowed to be killed simply because they were unborn at the time.  Any right to choose, or any other right at all is superseded by the right to life since what’s the point of having all other rights if one doesn’t have life?

I’ll leave it to you to figure out what kind of a free democracy we really are when we allow for the killing of the most defenseless among us, of those not yet born.  What good is freedom if some aren’t even allowed to live?  Where is their choice?  Choose wisely, vote in support of the possibility of choosing for all human beings especially in choosing life.


Missed past week’s leaflets?  Questions?  Comments?  Come visit our Blog at
Prepared by a St. Denis parishioner


Friday, September 21, 2012



Follow Me

(Matt 4:19)

This week I would like to recommend that we all take the time to learn more about what we believe so that we may have answers (or at least know where to go for an answer) to any and all who would question us of our hope and faith (1 Pet 3:15).  Continuing with last week’s theme on evangelizing in deed AND in word, I bring you a Mission Statement that we all need to be following.



Mission Statement




I AM A PART of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.

The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.


My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is in God’s hands. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, the bare minimum, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, frivolous living, selfish giving, and dwarfed goals.


I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, applause, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, the best, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith. I lean on Christ’s presence. I love with patience, live by prayer, and labor with the power of God’s grace.


My face is set. My gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, and my mission is clear.


I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.


I won’t give up, shut up, let up or slow up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and spoken up for the cause of Christ.


I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give until I drop, speak out until all know, and work until He stops me.


And when He returns for His own, He will have no difficulty recognizing me. My banner is clear: I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.



Adapted from the original (author unknown) by Patrick Madrid




Prepared by a St.Denis parishioner

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pick up your Cross

In today’s readings we find James asking the rhetorical question that if someone has faith but does not have works can that faith save him?  Of course the implied answer is no it can’t.  So what kind of works are we talking about here?  It’s those kinds of works that are using the talents given to us to help others.  This way we can increase the richness of the Kingdom of God here on Earth.

Indeed Jesus described the kingdom of heaven, in the parable of the bags of gold, as a man going on a journey and entrusted his wealth to his servants.  Each were given an amount according to their ability (Matt 25:14-30).  The Lord entrusts His servants with tasks according to their abilities which means we will never be asked to do something that we aren’t able to do with His Help.  If we purposely avoid using these abilities in such a way as to simply keep the status quo, that is, not easing the suffering of others or bringing them to Christ and so on, then when the master returns (that is at our judgment) we will be judged worthless (Matt 25:30).  But if we do those things that He has prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10) then we have reason to hope that at our judgment we will hear the Lord say: “Well done my good and faithful servant” (Mat 25:23).

In fact, Jesus never said that it was going to be easy once we have faith, He said that we are to pick up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23).  He even told us through James that if we do not do the works that we are tasked to do then our faith is a dead faith (James 2:20).  We still have faith but it’s dead.  A living faith is what is needed to be judged righteous before God.  This living faith is simply defined as a faith which has works.

Now, in the Gospel reading of today we find Jesus  letting the Apostles know that He is indeed the Christ and then summons a crowd and tells them “whoever wishes to follow me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)  Jesus is now in Heaven and so if we wish to follow Him there, we must do as He did.  We must pick up our cross and follow him.  If we do this then we not only believe in His Word but also DO as He did.  He gave everything of Himself for others; we are to do the same.  His Church is to do the same.

Do you see now how important good works are for our own good and that of the Church?  These works are only possible because God gives us the abilities to do what He asks of us but we still need to DO them.  It’s true that “…it is by grace [we]  have been saved, through faith—and this is not from [ourselves], it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) Yes, this is true but the very next verse is also true, that “…we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”(v.10)

So God has prepared in advance for us to do good works, it is His Will that we do them.  Jesus said that those who believe but do not do His Will won’t enter heaven.  He says “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Mat 7:21)  Let us do good works, making disciples of all nations by baptizing evangelizing the world! (Mat 28:19)

Missed past week’s leaflets?  Questions?  Comments?  Come visit our Blog at
Prepared by a St.Denis parishioner

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Sacraments

Contemplating today’s Gospel reading I couldn’t help but notice Jesus’ miracle healing of the deaf and mute man.  Jesus took him aside and touched the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue and cured him.

Jesus cured many people of many maladies.  He cured some by simply declaring it so, as when the centurion who doesn’t believe he is worthy to have Jesus under his roof asks him to cure his homebound servant living some distance away (Matt 8:5-10).  He does indeed cure the servant from a distance as he does Lazarus from the tomb (John 11:38).  But He also cured others through a physical intermediary.   Elsewhere Jesus cured a blind man by spitting in dirt and applying the mud to the man’s eyes (John 9:6), as well as cured the bleeding woman when she simply touched His garment (Matt 9:20-22).

 We know that Jesus can cure without any kind of physical contact so why bother touching the man’s ears or even spitting in his hands to then touch the man’s tongue?  Why bother curing the woman by her touching his clothes or Jesus using mud?

After thinking about it for a little while I couldn’t help but notice how our own sacraments have this aspect of having a physical dimension to them.  Water in baptism, oils in confirmation and extreme unction, the words of absolution in confession and the words of commitment in marriage as well as the bread that becomes the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist.

In fact, we could rightly define a sacrament to be an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains: “Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify. They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies.” (CCC  1127)

But why an outward sign?  Because we need it for our own benefit.  You see, God knows that we humans need physical connections to make real what is simply in one’s mind.  For example, why do we have graduation ceremonies?  Couldn’t the school simply send the diplomas to the graduating students via mail?  We organize these ceremonies so that we may see, hear and experience the graduation event.  The same applies to the sacraments.  God can confer graces to anyone He wishes but He has promised us those graces when we perform those rituals in faith making the reception of His grace more concrete in our minds.

God did indeed promise us that we would be children of God through baptism (ie through water and with the words ‘in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit) even when He can make us adopted children of God without the physical aspect through our faith and desire.  God is not bound by the sacraments but we know we receive the graces offered in these seven sacraments because of His promise to do so.

God knows our nature; He knows that we need this physical aspect for our own peace of mind, to make it real for us.  What a Great God we have.  Let us not neglect these great gifts of God that we have in the Sacraments.




Missed past week’s leaflets?  Questions?  Comments?  Come visit our Blog at

Prepared by a St.Denis parishioner

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Last week’s lesson on typology was to familiarize you with this concept.
I wanted you to learn a new way to look at Scripture, not only a way
that the first Christians looked at Scripture but even before them from
the very beginning. If you haven’t read it then I recommend you go
to the blog site posted at the end of this article to go and have a look
prior to reading this week’s leaflet because this leaflet will draw on this
methodology on reading Scripture.

We find in Scripture that the Church can be seen as the Bride of Christ
and Jesus is the bridegroom (see for example Rev 21:2). The Church
Jesus founded is to be as a bride preparing for the wedding day. I’m
mentioning all this so that you may see that a marriage includes one man
and one woman, one husband and one wife. Just as we see Jesus and
His bride as a type of wedding, we can also see that God created man to
be the bridegroom and the woman to be the bride.

The responsibility of the bride is to “submit herself” to her husband
because Eph 5:22-23 tells us that the husband is the head of the wife as
Christ is the head of the Church (I recommend reading verse 25 for the
husbands role, ie Jesus’ role, towards his bride. The Church then, being
the bride, is to submit to Christ. And Christ speaks of marriage as being
the “reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his
wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Mat 19:5).

Let’s think about this for a second. How does the husband and wife
become one flesh? Physically speaking, the complimentarity between
the man and woman seems pretty obvious. The husband is made to be
with his wife and the woman for the man as two puzzle pieces fitting
perfectly together. This coupling is the only way where two human
beings can literally become one as in the form of their child. They not
only become one emotionally and personally but the expression of this
oneness between them can be found in the fact that they can have
children. No other combination will produce this effect.

In principal, the only way children can come into this world is through a
man and woman. The physical union between two men or two woman
cannot bring about new life. And so, God defined marriage to be
between one man and one woman because in making us in His image
made the union between one man and one woman the only union to
be in His likeness in such a way as to bring about life. We are in effect
cooperating with God in bringing new life in this world.

If you want to talk about marriage being between one man and one
woman without bringing God or Scripture into the argument all you
need to mention is that we humans evolved in such a way as to bring
about new life through the coupling of one male and one female. We
evolved this way because the law of the survival of the fittest proved
that children will do better when protected and reared by one man and
one woman. This means that the government and society at large is
duty-bound to protect this institution so as to protect the children that
result from this union.

God created man in His own image, male and female He created them
(Gen 1:27). Just as God is found in the Trinity where the person of
the Father and the person of the Son have perfect love between them
that this love is a person unto Himself and all three are one, so too is
the love between one man and one woman that this love can bring
another person into this world. This is the only union that can resemble
the ‘likeness’ of God in the Trinity and therefore the only legitimate
union to be defined as a marriage. Any union other then between one
man and one woman cannot be a marriage and therefore should never be
treated as such.

Missed past week’s leaflets? Questions? Comments? Come visit our
Blog at
Prepared by a St.Denis parishioner