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Christ Has Died, Christ is Risen, Christ Will Come Again

by Lisa Graas on April 20, 2014

Tomb of Jesus, inside the Edicule. Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem.

Tomb of Jesus, inside the Edicule. Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem.

Happy Easter to all of my readers.

Today’s Gospel reading for Catholics throughout the world:

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.

Christ Has Died, Christ is Risen, Christ Will Come Again

Photo: adriatikus

Clinton Files on Santorum: ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ on Support for HillaryCare

by Lisa Graas on April 19, 2014

santorum_sweatervest

Would Santorum support any Democratic president’s health plan? Don’t hold your breath.

Likely in anticipation of a presidential run for Hillary Clinton, the Clintons did a “document dump” yesterday, Good Friday, of internal communications over the years. In an ABC News Radio article on the mention of Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, we find also a mention of Rick Santorum. It seems that the Clintons knew that Santorum is his own man, but that expecting his support for HillaryCare would be a tough row to hoe .

Also on their list of targets for healthcare–then-Rep. Rick Santorum, who was one of 19 Republicans described as those who are “occasionally independent but don’t hold your breath.”

I remember the HillaryCare fight well. At the time, I was serving on the board of directors of Kentucky Right to Life, and we were mobilized against the rationing of America’s healthcare. Some of us, myself and Rick Santorum included, have been fighting government rationing of healthcare for decades. Santorum was in the thick of it. We were able to stop HillaryCare. It’s time now to stop Obamacare.

 

 

‘They Came in Hordes for Santorum’

by Lisa Graas on April 19, 2014

My daughter Teresa with Rick Santorum

My daughter Teresa with Rick Santorum. She is talking to me on her cell phone. Having actually met him face to face, Teresa is as passionate a defender of him as I am. Don’t say anything bad about Rick Santorum to Teresa. She won’t stand for it. Follow @TreeGraas on Twitter.

At US News, David Catanese shares some information that I was already aware of that is included in Rick Santorum’s new book, Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works
: Rick Santorum surprised Romney pollsters and caused some dismay in that Santorum won the votes of busy moms and 9-5 workers in the 2012 GOP primary.

Santorum, who had conducted his entire campaign without a pollster, dropped out ahead of the Pennsylvania primary to avoid a possible embarrassing loss in his home state.

Two days after he ended his bid, in a meeting with Romney campaign officials, Newhouse presented Santorum with a polling presentation.

In his book, Santorum recalls Newhouse’s excitement in sharing his finding.

“It was the responses to a question from a poll taken four days earlier in Pennsylvania, the next state to hold its primary. According to the Pennsylvania poll in my hand, people planning to vote before noon favored me by 5 points; those planning to vote between noon and five favored Romney by 4 points; and those who weren’t going to vote till after five favored me by 21 points! Working Americans and busy mothers who couldn’t get to the polls during the day were voting for me in a big way, making all of the prognosticators look bad on election night.”

For Santorum, this was validation that he was connecting with working-class folks who had set shifts and limited flexibility to get to the ballot box. So they came after work, and they came in hordes for Santorum.

I keep saying that people need to have their “aha” moment with Rick Santorum. Sure, he is socially conservative, but his position on social issues was virtually the same as many other GOP presidential primary candidates. The attraction to Santorum is not due to social issues. It is rather because he is genuine and he connects with regular people. Santorum has the same appeal to regular people that Sarah Palin has (rightly) enjoyed. It matters to people when they see that people running for office actually believe the things they say. Sarah Palin actually believes the things she says. So does Rick Santorum.

Even I did not jump on board with Santorum because of social issues.

Santorum’s appeal is even more than Palin’s, in my view, because of his compassion for people who are poor. “Compassion” has become a dirty word to some Republicans, but elections cannot be won without compassion. I made my decision to support Rick Santorum when I learned that he is not an ideologue who turns a blind eye to suffering for the sake of ideology. He is a compassionate conservative in the sense that he can explain that true compassion is not found in government programs, but in society. Compassion remains critically important as a value in order for America to survive, but it is not government’s role to dole out “compassion” in the form of food stamps, per se. As a poor person, I know that it is better to have a job than to have a welfare check. Rick Santorum understands this.

What, exactly, was my “aha” moment like? That came when I heard Santorum answer a question from a voter in New Hampshire about children in poverty. See, I am in poverty, and I have four children. His answer was that people who support more and more expansion of federal programs do so because they truly believe they are helping the poor, but he argues that it is not helping. He explained how conservatism does uplift the poor. His compassion, in that statement, was not only for me but also for the liberal who asked the question. He acknowledged her desire to help the poor is genuine, but that it simply does not bring about the impact she desires.

It was then that I knew that he not only “can win” elections, but that he is probably the only Republican who can win in a general election against a Democrat. As a single mom in poverty, I saw that he understands my plight, knows what works, and seeks to make that happen for me and others. He does this without demonizing the other side. He is, in this, truly compassionate. I wish that I were half as compassionate as he is. He is a role model for me, in this regard.

Truly, I am not alone in having had an “aha” moment with Rick Santorum. It is the opposite of “Kool-Aid.” It is a reasoned approach to selecting a candidate who truly can bring about a better America, who does not just talk the talk, and who does not seek to change America by attacking the other side. Americans do not want conflict between parties. They do not want inflexible ideology and making enemies out of people who disagree. They just want America to be a place where everyone has an opportunity to succeed, in a free society.

To this day, I believe that had Paul Ryan not endorsed Romney in Wisconsin, Santorum would have won Wisconsin, continued in the campaign and would be our president today. It is a shame that so many millions of dollars and so much energy was spent in trying to paint Rick Santorum as “the social conservative.” He is not “the social conservative.” He is the compassionate conservative who wants what the vast majority of us want in America, no matter which party we identify with.

Santorum 2012 primary theme song by Krista Branch: Remember Who We Are.

If Debate is Over on Healthcare, Will Barack Obama Shut Down My Blog?

by Lisa Graas on April 19, 2014

obama-first-amendment

From Stephen Koff at the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Obama said during his Thursday news conference that the political debate about repealing the law “is and should be over.”

Will the dictator-in-chief use his phone and/or pen to shut down my blog? The debate is not over.

There is redemption in suffering. One of the benefits of being in poverty as a single mom is that I stand on solid ground in calling out the Obama Administration for his exploitation of the poor in attacking the Church.

A president whose administration targets political opposition, such as the IRS targeting conservative groups, and even goes to the length of taking nuns to the Supreme Court has no business saying “the debate is over.”

Photo: A.F.Branco, Comically Incorrect

Feminism: Market-Based Vocation?

by Lisa Graas on April 19, 2014

mother_child

From Mollie Hemingway in response to Katty Kay and Claire Shipman:

I know not every feminist spews the hatred against domestic work that Betty Friedan did 50 years ago, but many decades of denigrating non-market-based vocations and, at the same time, an insular focus on finding fulfillment only in corporate climates may be a part of the story the grievance groupies should consider evaluating.

As a stay-at-home mom, I do not really speak the language of feminists. They make no sense to me. I thank Mollie Hemingway for saying that women like me have a “non-market-based-vocation.” It seems to hit the nail on the head re: the error of the left being akin to the error of the right, that wealth ultimately trumps values.

This, from the article Hemingway is responding to, sent a chill up my spine:

Some observers say children change our priorities, and there is some truth in this claim. Maternal instincts do contribute to a complicated emotional tug between home and work lives, a tug that, at least for now, isn’t as fierce for most men.

Maternal instincts are a complication? Is that like saying motherhood is disordered, a problem to be fixed? Yes, it is like saying that. Hence feminists call abortion “healthcare” as if pregnancy is a disease. Meanwhile, in politics, they claim that remarks inconsistent with this philosophy constitute a “war on women.”

Truth be told, there is no “war on women.” There is a war on motherhood. Mothers who do not see pregnancy as a disease, and who do not see maternal instincts as a disorder are fighting back in many ways. I see this in the fact that so many women are leading the pro-life movement and that Rick Santorum’s grassroots organization is dominated by women.

There is also a war on fatherhood. We see that in the attacks on the Church’s religious freedom. Because the Church is patriarchal, it is attacked as “anti-woman” and “anti-gay.” The notion of a knight in shining armor is anathema to the feminist movement, but knights in shining armor have been the dream of any princess for centuries. Well, prior to the Disney princess movies, that is.

In the end, movements based on lies will fail. Feminism is primarily a left-wing movement claiming that the attainment of dollars is the only way to “equality” for women. That they find a home in the anti-capitalist left means that they live a lie. Lies will be exposed, eventually. I do find it hard to believe that many women can be fooled for very long into believing such things as that motherhood is disordered and that pregnancy is a disease to be treated with abortion.

 

 

How Barry Goldwater Paved the Way for Barry Obama

by Lisa Graas on April 19, 2014

Barry Goldwater: Ideologue.

Barry Goldwater: Ideologue.

Many Tea Party “leaders” (can we use that word?) tell us that Barry Goldwater paved the way for Ronald Reagan. In some ways, this is true, but it is also true that Barry Goldwater paved the way for Barack Obama. Michael Gerson makes that case at The Washington Post rather well.

It is painful to see Tea Partiers who support Rand Paul and other libertarians “remind” people that the KKK was made up of Democrats and that the Republican Party ended slavery even as those same libertarians say they oppose the Civil Rights Act, as Goldwater did. Here’s a point from Gerson that Tea Partiers should take careful note of.

Goldwater, his defenders effectively argue, was not a racist, only an ideologue. True enough. He had been a founding member of the Arizona NAACP. He helped integrate the Phoenix public schools. His problems with the Civil Rights Act were theoretical and libertarian — an objection to the extension of federal power over private enterprise.

But some political choices are symbolic and more than symbolic. Following Goldwater’s vote, a young Colin Powell went out to his car and affixed a Lyndon Johnson bumper sticker. “While not himself a racist,”concluded Martin Luther King Jr., “Mr. Goldwater articulates a philosophy which gives aid and comfort to the racists.” Jackie Robinson, after attending the GOP convention in 1964, helped launch Republicans for Johnson.

Goldwater represents a failure in the Republican Party. Democrats were able to capitalize on his opposition to the Civil Rights Act and have been calling Republicans racist ever since. Though Gerson suggests that Goldwater was defending Republican ideology, I would say, rather, that it is libertarian ideology. Republican ideology is based in Judeo-Christian thought, therefore it is necessarily compassionate toward the minority in his sufferings. It is Republican ideology to seek ways that actually have the effect of uplifting people who are brutalized. It was precisely this that led to the formation of the Republican Party, to end slavery.

Goldwater was not a racist, as Gerson admits, but he gave aid and comfort to them, as Rand Paul and others continually do today. Republicans look at the impact of racism and note it as an injustice. Libertarians turn a blind eye to this and cling to the ideology that the market will fix any problem, if we would only give it enough time. This is a purely capitalist philosophy that is rejected, for good reason, by the vast majority of Americans.

Does a mother have a right to purchase milk at the market for her children? Yes. Is that right listed in the Constitution? My answer to that is that it doesn’t really matter if it is not in the Constitution. If it is not in the Constitution, it should be. Certainly, many libertarians would gasp in horror at such a statement, but we do have an amendment process, after all. To argue that something is not a right just because it is not listed in the Constitution is an argument no Christian could support. A child has a right to be fed. A woman has a right not to be beaten by her husband. A poor person has a right to employment. Is it government’s role to ensure those things? That part is debatable, for certain, and I would argue that the best society functions when all individuals recognize these rights. Lower levels of government are the next primary defense. When they fail, do we turn to the federal government to ensure those rights? Probably not, for the most part, because if the federal boot comes down on the neck of an unwilling electorate, we will have done more harm than good. Sometimes, however, that may need to happen for the good of the country. When the federal government forced the South to end racist policies, that was a good thing. It was, I’m sure, endorsed by God as a general idea.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are clinging to ideology as if it is a religion to the point that they do not recognize anything as a right unless it is listed specifically in the Constitution. It is not listed in the Constitution that I have to object to a man beating his dog in front of me. The dog is not a person. It has no specified rights under the Constitution. This is where conscience comes in. My conscience tells me that God has rights, and that if a man beats his dog, that man is violating a right of God’s to expect us to care for His creation. Because some Republicans have failed to defend what is good and right and true because “it’s not in the Constitution,” Democrats have been able to convince a lot of people that they are the moral party. This, despite being the party that booed God at their convention and argues for unlimited abortion.

It’s really time to have a Republican candidate who is truly a Republican. A Republican seeks limited government that sticks to the Constitution as guided by the Declaration of Independence, which says that our rights come from God, not from a king and not from a majority vote. If we fail to defend basic rights in a Godly manner, we become slaves to ideology. Only God can lead us out of the darkness. Facing the failure that was the Goldwater campaign as it truly was — a failure — is the only way to reflect God’s light in America.

Let’s define a couple of important terms.

ideologue: a person who zealously advocates an ideology.

compassion: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Ideologues lack compassion, and compassion is necessary to make America a tolerable place to live in. Compassion is also, for good reason, necessary to winning presidential elections in America. If you’ll remember, Barry Goldwater lost.

Rick Santorum lost (in 2012), too, but only because so many put the dollar over compassion.

Christian Morality Makes Good Citizens

by Lisa Graas on April 17, 2014

 

The Lord is my Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd

Christian morality has become the enemy to many in politics, but Christian morality makes good citizens, provided that “good citizenship” is defined as upholding the principles of our American republic. In The Sacred Heart Review, December 30, 1893, Father Stephen Lyons wrote:

The teaching of Christian morality will serve as the surest guardian of our God-given liberties, the best guaranty of the perpetuity of American institutions, and popular government, as well as the most effective barrier against infidelity, communism, socialism and anarchy. The man who is thoroughly cognizant of the sacred duties due to Almighty God, and conscientiously performs them, will prove faithful at all times and places to our Republic.

Some things never change. This is one of those things that will not change, that Christian morality makes good citizens. It is an objective truth, so it will not change even if many are deluded today.

Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Corriedale_lambs_in_Tierra_del_Fuego.JPG 

John Paul II: a man indispensable to the fall of the Soviet Union

by Lisa Graas on April 16, 2014

Catholic-News-AgencyVatican City, Apr 16, 2014 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bl. John Paul II’s key role in the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact can be attributed to his vision of the human being, informed by personalism and the Catholic faith.

The foundations for his role as Vicar of Christ in the fall of Soviet communism were laid by his predecessors, particularly Bl. John XXIII; the two will both be canonized April 27.

The first exchanges between the Vatican and Moscow since 1917 were made on the occasion of Good Pope John’s 80th birthday, and a now opened line of communication allowed Paul VI to pursue a policy of Ostpolitik, dialoguing with officials behind the Iron Curtain to improve the conditions for Christians there.

Crucial in John Paul II’s policy toward the Warsaw Pact was Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, his secretary of state from 1979 until 1990. Cardinal Casaroli had represented the Holy See in negotiations with the communist governments of Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia.

Bl. John Paul II was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Krakow in 1946, shortly after a Soviet-backed communist government had come to power in Poland. Fr. Wojtyla was non-confrontational, but did promote religious liberty and Christianity.

As Archbishop of Krakow he participated in Vatican II and effectively led the Polish bishops’ role in the revision of what became the council’s declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis humanae – a matter of great concern to the shepherds living under communist governments.

“It is beyond question,” wrote Fr. Andrzej Dobrzynski, director of the Center for Documentation and Research of the Pontificate of John Paul II, in an article in a 2013 issue of Communio, that Dignitatis humanae “provided the Church behind the Iron Curtain with a powerful resource for operating in a complex political situation – and Karol Wojtyla took full advantage of it.”

He largely avoided direct criticism of the communist Polish government, but did work to create new parishes in his archdiocese and to processions.

In 1977, after 20 years of effort, he was able to consecrate a new parish in Nowa Huta, a suburb of Krakow meant to be a “workers’ paradise.”

In his homily at the consecration, as translated by Fr. Dobrzynski, he said: “When Nowa Huta was built with the intention that this would be a city without God, without a church, then Christ came here together with the people and through their lips spoke the fundamental truth about man. Man and his history cannot be reckoned by economic principles along, even according to the most exact rules of production and consumption. Man is greater than this. He is the image and likeness of God himself.”

Shortly after his election as Bishop of Rome, Bl. John Paul II returned to Poland for an eight-day trip in June 1979, which his biographer George Weigel has said “began to dismantle” the Soviet Union.

“I earnestly hope that my present journey in Poland may serve the great cause of rapprochement and of collaboration among nations,” he said June 2 on arriving in Warsaw, and “that it may be useful for reciprocal understanding, for reconciliation, and for peace in the contemporary world. I desire finally that the fruit of this visit may be the internal unity of my fellow-countrymen and also a further favourable development of the relations between the State and the Church in my beloved motherland.”

He reminded the civil authorities of the nation that “peace and the drawing together of the peoples can be achieved only on the principle of respect for the objective rights of the nation, such as: the right to existence, to freedom, to be a social and political subject, and also to the formation of its own culture and civilization.”

Consecrating his homeland to Our Lady at her shine at Czestochowa June 4, he entrusted to her “all the difficult problems of the societies, systems and states—problems that cannot be solved with hatred, war and self-destruction but only by peace, justice and respect for the rights of people and of nations.”

And when leaving Poland on June 10, he said, “Our times have great need of an act of witness openly expressing the desire to bring nations and regimes closer together, as an indispensable condition for peace in the world. Our times demand that we should not lock ourselves into the rigid boundaries of systems, but seek all that is necessary for the good of man, who must find everywhere the awareness and certainty of his authentic citizenship. I would have liked to say the awareness and certainty of his pre-eminence in whatever system of relations and powers.”

“Thank you, then, for this visit, and I hope that it will prove useful and that in the future it will serve the aims and values that it had intended to accomplish.”

Bl. John Paul II’s example inspired Lech Walesa, an electrician who founded the Solidarity trade union the following year. Solidarity was an anti-Soviet social movement which the Pope subsequently supported and protected.

The Soviet-backed government was eventually forced to negotiate with Solidarity, and Poland held semi-free elections in 1989, which led to a coalition government.

That year, a series of revolutions led to the fall of communism in Europe, the destruction of the Berlin Wall, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet head of state, visited John Paul II at the Vatican Dec. 1, 1989, in what was considered Christianity’s triumph over Soviet communism.

Source: Catholic News Agency, published with permission.

A Reminder of the Truth, To the Radical Left Wing

by Lisa Graas on April 16, 2014

lamb_of_god

It is true that many Catholics are abandoning the core principles of the Faith in America, but it is also true that the Church is bringing in large numbers of converts. In the Archdiocese of San Francisco, this Easter the Church will welcome 400 new Catholics. In Orlando, we welcome 500 new Catholics. Truth be told, thousands are becoming Catholic, including 2,000 in Galveston-Houston alone.

One particular argument that I hear from the radical left, that Catholics are eager to give up the Faith, is reminiscent of what is often claimed by protestants about the so-called ‘reformation’ in England. This “Reminder of the Truth” appeared in the November, 1892, Sacred Heart Review, a publication of Boston College. I think it is helpful to show what lengths some people have been willing to go to in history before realizing that the Faith, to the faithful, means offering up our bodies, not only our minds, to God. Many may abandon the Faith, but many also will endure martyrdom, which is our calling as sheep in carrying our crosses with the Lamb of God on His Cross.

A REMINDER OF THE TRUTH.
If Protestant writers and speakers are to be believed, the English people, at the time of Luther and Henry VIII., were all ready and waiting for the reformation, anxious and eager to be Protestants, and only too glad to ” turn ” as soon as they were delivered from the authority of the Church. This is a theory invented to fit other theories. It has no foundation at all in fact. ” Whatever may be said of individuals, it is certainly true,” says Father John S. Vaughan, “that the solid mass of English people did not give up the faith in the 16th century. It was torn from them. It was wrenched from their grasp by cruel, inhuman and diabolical laws. No argument but the dungeon, the rack, the beheadings, the hangings, the disembowellings and the quarterings could ever have forced the heretical vagaries of a lustful, murderous and adulterous King upon an unwilling nation. Brute force and physical violence, the sword of the executioner and the hangman’s rope have made England what it is to-day. They alone are responsible for the irreligious state of the country, with its 250 different sects, ‘ battling,’ as Macaulay says, ‘ within one church.’ ” The truth is, as Father Vaughan says, that when the wicked King Henry VIII. commanded the English people to turn Protestants, they refused and resisted, and only yielded gradually and when worn out after long years of bitter and savage persecution. Tne Irish people, under like persecution, only longer and worse, preserved their faith ; but at least the English nation did not give up theirs because they were tired of it, or because of any eagerness to become Protestants.

For the protestant who demands that “belief in Christ” alone is Christian, and to the radical leftists who demand that “belief alone” can be Christian as they try to move the country from “freedom of religion” to “freedom of worship,” we say that our bodies are our offering to God. Our conscience is just the means He uses to reach us to show us His light and that we should turn ourselves, our whole selves, to Him. To be Catholic only within the walls of the Church building is to abandon the Cross of our Lord.

It is Holy Week. Pray for those who must decide whether to walk with our Lord on His journey to the Cross, that they may understand that salvation is only found through, with, and in Him, but especially in His Cross.

In the Catholic Church, ‘Doctrine’ is ‘Teaching’

by Lisa Graas on April 16, 2014

question

Just so you’ll know, in the Catholic Church, “doctrine” is “teaching.” I thought I should mention that in case you read this.

“It is a great honor for me as a Scholastican to be recognized by my alma mater. When I was in high school here, I always knew that St Scho was different from other Catholic schools in that it didn’t let doctrine get in the way of the true teachings of its church,” Sison said in a speech read by a representative during the awarding ceremony.

“The fact that the committee chose to award a writer who focuses on gay and lesbian issues is proof that the concepts of love, tolerance, acceptance, and equal and fair treatment are not foreign to any nation or religion,” her statement said.

Who said that? An openly homosexual woman who was honored by a Catholic school that “didn’t let doctrine get in the way of the true teachings” of the Church said that. In other words, it’s a non-Catholic school that is marketing itself as a Catholic school.

I hope someone in Manila reports this to Cardinal Tagle.