Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Manning up against porn

You read about the pervasiveness of pornography. You recognize its destructiveness both to the viewer and on marriage and family life. Usually all you can do is shake your head. Except now.
There is one small step you can take for men, and a leap for women and children.

A protest of the porn purveyor Adult World at Routes 202 and 309 in Montgomeryville will happen the afternoon of July 1, led by the King's Men, a group of Catholic/Christian men.
These guys don't accept the maxim "boys will be boys" as a lame excuse for men behaving badly. They know how bad porn is for individuals and society, and they know the men who buy it can do better.

As the King's Men's mission states: "Under Christ the King’s universal call to serve, we as men, pledge to unite and build up other men in the mold of leader, protector, and provider through education, formation and action." Read about them on Facebook.

These good men will peacefully witness to anyone pulling up to the sex shop how strong, moral men ought to behave, for their good and everyone's. It ought to be a moving gesture, so come out and show your support in the effort to fight the systematic degradation for profit that is the porn industry.

It won't break the back of this insidious business, but if they can turn away one man even for a day, it's a beginning.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thanks to Dad, on his day

A friend who works for John Patrick Publishing, the good folks who publish many of the parish bulletins in the Archdiocese, sent me a poem he wrote about the fine example of his father to mark Father's Day this Sunday.

His father was another of the heroes of the greatest generation, as they have come to be known. The hero-as-dad might be uncommon these days, with TV shows often depicting fathers as bumbling fools. Sure, guys have a way of earning that reputation at times, but most men live lives of humble goodness, devoted to their wives and families without fanfare.

The father of George Gerlach was one of those men. He was not only a hero to his son, but over the years taught George how to love his own wife in the fullest measure, to sacrifice and guide his children with gentle strength, and to be joyful whenever possible.


He Taught Me How to Love My Wife

Dad was a big guy.
He consumed the open area of a doorframe as he passed through.
His presence became the focus though he didn’t wish it to be.
He would brighten up the room with his Big Band smile and got everyone laughing with his one-liners, even if we heard it for the tenth time.

At other times you could hear a pin drop as he LISTENED to your trials, tribulations and concerns, waiting for you to finish, to get it all out… then he would often, without saying a word would have helped you to realize that you just answered your own question or solved your problem just by giving voice to it.

His most potent times of being Dad were just in being present, being there to show he cared or because his wife, his bride, agreed we must go.

He lived for his family, his wife and children. Yet he never minced words or left any doubt who was most important to him after his God. Bernice, his wife, his lover and companion on the journey, mother of his children, yes, but first his wife.

Through the years they would be happy, sad, challenged, stretched, twisted, conflicted, joyous and always busy.

But, make no bones; Dad was loyal, faithful, loving and in love with Mom. They marched as one, some days with different drums but in the end they made beautiful music.

Never afraid to express affection for his wife in front of others, Dad was a man’s man. The hug, the kiss, the knowing glance and yes the pinch under the table brought back visions to Dad of never wanting again to be separated from his girl as he was in the War across the Ocean, of losing the grip of her loving hand.

Being taller than Mom was no problem because he always had her on a pedestal.

This larger than life husband would take his wife in his arms and gracefully whisk her across the dance floor and sing to her with his eyes “ I’ll being loving you always”….

Dad had the grace and humility to laugh, cry, lead the way and ask forgiveness all at the same time.

His pace would slow as he got older, his sore tired legs, feet and heart told him how far he could walk but whatever he could do, even to the end, it was always holding the hand of his lover.

Dad, thank you for teaching me how to love my wife.
I pray that I keep learning from your wonderful life. Happy Fathers Day 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reason and faith, perfect together

What do high-energy particle physics and Bible study have to do with one another? Two unrelated Catholic News Service stories this week point to the connection between reason and faith.

In a talk June 10, Pope Benedict XVI reviewed the thought of a ninth century Irish monk, John Scotus Erigena.

He taught that the only way to understand the Bible fully was with an approach that relied on intelligence and prayer at the same time, and that the final result was not understanding, but contemplation, according to CNS.

Christians, the Pope said, have "the obligation to continue to seek the truth until one reaches an experience of silent adoration of God."

This concept of using one’s intellect not merely for its own ends but to orient the person toward the Other finds a parallel in a Vatican delegation’s visit to CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.

The research at CERN is not strictly theoretical, even though the leader of the delegation, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, expressed his personal interest “regarding the farthest limits that astrophysical science is striving to reach with proton acceleration."

CNS reports that the idea of having the Vatican visit CERN came from Ugo Amaldi, the president of TERA Foundation, which collaborates closely with CERN in finding ways to apply atomic research in treating cancer, especially in children.

It’s been fashionable for people to say science and religion are mutually exclusive. Far from it.
As this one example shows, science and religion meeting in the service of human needs can work in harmony, not opposition.

In doing so, one can help the other affirm life and seek truth, both of which come from God, the origin and end of humanity.