Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Obamacare: The Mandate Stays As a Tax

Wow, apparently I was way off on my prediction last night. I’m kind of surprised, but, at the same time I’m not.

I would direct you to the Motley Monk’s opinion on the matter: I feel that it is a good read and provides some hope for what is to come.

Regardless, I think that this will make it even more difficult for Obama to be re-elected. I also feel that a lot of Democrats will have difficulty with elections this year as it is the status quot to stick to Obamacare. They will do their best to stay away from the issue, but, Republicans will make a big deal out of it.

Republicans are going to have a big year this year. My hope is that if they do take the Presidency, the Senate and keep their lead within the House, that they will actually fulfill their promise and scrap the whole thing, or at least take out the pro-abortion, pro-immorality pieces out of it. We need to keep our politicians honest. We vote for them to do what they say they are going to do. If you vote for someone who says they will repeal Obamacare and they later don’t do it or vote against it, it is time to give them the boot the next time they run.

As a Catholic, Obamacare CAN NOT stand. I’m concerned with what we will be forced to buy in the future…this is a bad decision that later on down the road, not doing anything the government tells you to will be seen as a tax and can thus be imposed. Our liberties and freedoms are at stake here.

I do believe though, that the HHS Mandate will eventually be ruled unconstitutional seeing as that is going against the First Amendment, but we will see…

Pre-Obamacare Ruling Thoughts

Obamacare will be going up before the Supreme Court tomorrow. My guess is that the entire mandate will be struck down 5-4. I’m really hoping that that is the case, as I specifically recall learning in school that when the Supreme Court looks at a law, if a part of it is ruled unconstitutional, the entire thing gets thrown out. It seems that today, rules don’t apply.

I will admit that there needs to be some kind of a change with the way the insurance/health care industry runs, but I do not think that the government should be the one to impose their thoughts on it. I really think that a group of people should get together and start their own company. Ideally, many groups of people can start many different companies. This would provide competition among themselves, as well as competition among the current companies out there.

Unfortunately, a lot of the reasons why health care costs are so insanely high, are because of government imposed regulations that are currently out there. I personally feel that if you get rid of those regulations you will be able to greatly lower costs. Other reasons are because malpractice insurance is so ridiculously high. Doctors should be held accountable, but they are human too…how often do you make mistakes in your job? Should you get sued? I didn’t think so.

From a Catholic point of view, there should be a more affordable health care system. The difference though, is that it should be up to us, the Church, to come up with this system, not the government. We do not rely upon the Gov, but we do rely upon God. The Catholic Church already gives out healthcare universally. It is far more efficient than anything the government could ever hope to accomplish.

Hopefully, I’m right, but a lot of opinions that I am reading thus far are that only the individual mandate will be scrapped. If thats the case, I’m not really sure how Obamacare will be able to stand its own ground, considering most of it is built off of this one mandate. It’ll be interesting to say the least. I think, regardless of what the ruling is, President Obama will have a very difficult election year.

Jeff June 27, 2012 2 Comments Permalink

The Hardest Thing About Being Catholic

What is the hardest part about being Catholic? Well, I’d have to say easily the hardest part of being Catholic is, well, being Catholic.

Wait, I’m confused, did you just answer that question with the question?

Yep. I did indeed. I’ve been pondering this for awhile now, and I’ve found the answer to the question. The hardest part of being Catholic is being Catholic. Why is this so?

First, let’s pose the question ‘What does it mean to be Catholic?’ This is an important question for us to ask ourselves, let alone come up with an answer for. But, the correct answer is to live out our faith in all aspects of our lives. When we live out our faith, and those around us can tell that something is different in us, that is to say, they can see Christ radiating through our selves, then we know we are being Catholic.

But I find that there are far too many times when the daily temptations to not uphold to this principle occurs, and I fall short…constantly. Too often I’d rather spend time browsing the internet as opposed to getting stuff done around the house. Too often I’d rather watch YouTube or browse Facebook as opposed to getting my prayer time in. Too often I’d rather lose my cool and get angry at the slow poke in front of me on my drive to work instead of praying for them or just offering up the slowness.

Every single example I’ve given above doesn’t allow Jesus to radiate through my core, nor does it allow His will to be done. If anything, I harden my heart and allow myself to become impenetrable. God can’t work on you when you don’t open up your heart. He can do wonders to you if you just open up a little bit, but how often do we fail to open up our hearts?

We believe in a God that is all powerful, all knowing and all mighty, yet we are always afraid to give ourselves totally to Him, so that He can transform us into the person that He created us to be. How often do we go up for Communion, to receive Christ’s Body and Blood, and go up there nonchalantly? We believe that the Eucharist is God, yet we go up there as if its only bread and wine. Something is wrong here. We need to be more open, especially when going up for Communion.

Jesus gave us very specific instruction on how we are to shine for the world. We are different. We are to bring Christ to those that don’t have Him. Jesus says “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father”. Matthew 5:14-16.

This is how we are to live. Constantly in communion with God, to the point that the love and joy that we are experiencing, over flows from our cup and immerses those around us. But far too often we do not do this. Temptations are around us everywhere we go. Sadly, they will not disappear. We must overcome whatever temptations face us today, as well as tomorrow, and so on, until the day that we die.

I don’t know about you, but there are a number of times when people assume that because I’m a Catholic, that I must somehow be above the level of fault and that all desires and temptations have suddenly gone *poof*. They are sometime surprised when I say “no, actually sometimes its even worse being a Catholic, because I have that desire and I know I can not act upon it.” If only saying “yeah, I’m Catholic” also took away all temptations, but we have to remember, even Jesus had temptations, so, guess what? You won’t ever get rid of your temptations, they will come and go, just don’t act on them.

There are many ways we can improve ourselves. Frequent the Sacraments. The Sacraments are what will help you improve yourself. Go to confession often, go to Mass at least weekly and on all Holy Days. Spend time every week in from of the Blessed Sacrament. Spend time daily in prayer. Be Christ for others. These are just a few things we can do, but I know I’d be amiss if I didn’t at least touch on the Sacraments.

So, you’ve got your homework cut out for you. I do too. Its always important to take the time to look over how we are doing. Its always easy to write people off or to avoid people. But we are to rise up to a higher calling. How can you be a better Catholic this week?

I’ll give you a couple of minutes…

Okay, you figured it out? Awesome! Now, go out and do that!

Matthew Kelly Passion and Purpose

Back on May 5, I saw Matthew Kelly at one of his Passion and Purpose events within the Twin Cities. Yes, I know, that was a while ago. Why am I just now writing about it? Because, I’m lazy and I have had other things I’ve wanted to write about first. Besides, I am busy and I have things going on.

That being said, I wanted to give my thoughts on the event.

I’ve been following Matthew Kelly now for a few years and I must say, I enjoy his style. He isn’t the type that is going to bombard you with Church teaching, or scriptural references or the usual that you hear from a lot of Catholic speakers. What he will bombard you with, is practical uses of Church teaching mixed with humor and story telling.

I’ve wanted to see Matthew Kelly for awhile, in fact, I have a nice long list of Catholic speakers that I want to see. I am a member of Lighthouse Catholic Media’s CD of the Month Program, and I get a different Catholic CD every month. It is usually an inspirational speech discussing some issue on Church teaching. Matthew Kelly has had a few CDs through here and that is how I first heard of him.

Now, I do enjoy being bombarded with Scriptural references, as I feel that it is nice to know where Church teaching is based off of. I also enjoy hearing other references from the Catechism, the Popes, Bishops, the Saints or well, from any other resource that is within Catholicism’s rich teachings. However, the uniqueness of Matthew Kelly’s style will grab your attention and focus you in to becoming the best-version-of-yourself no matter where you are at in your faith journey as well as challenge your personal convictions.

The talk was a ton of fun. It was completely sold out and there were LOTS of people excited to see him. I for some reason didn’t think he was that popular, as I have never heard anyone else talk about him like I do. The price seemed a little steep, but the $38 for each ticket goes toward a good cause.

Matthew Kelly is developing a state of the art religious education program for teenagers who are going through the Sacrament of Confirmation. He shared a statistic that 85% of Catholics leave the Church by the age of 25. The way that the Religious Education programs are for Confirmation are still stuck in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. He is developing a program that is guided to be more one on one with the students so that you are engaging them in the areas where they are weak on. I wish that I had this program when I was teaching these last two years. In fact, I had this complaint from a couple of the students where they were either way more advanced than this, or, too far behind and didn’t get it. Having the more one-on-one session would have been able to give the advanced students a more advanced education, and catch up those that were behind. The full $38 of each ticket goes toward developing this program.

The event was very good, in fact, it was similar to listening to 3 or 4 of his CDs back to back to back, but with a little bit more guidance to it. We all took notes on various things that he said. Which of course is nice to go back to those notes. A lot of what he said more or less for me re-enforced his talks that I have heard, although there were things I have picked up that I never noticed before, as well as points he made that really struck home.

Another point that he mentioned was how 92% of things get done within the Church or within a Parish, by about 10% of those parishioners (I can’t recall the numbers anymore, but it was similar to these). It makes you wonder how if the other 90% chipped in as well, how AWESOME would the Church be doing. I’ll get into other posts more deeply about how we should be helping the Church, but for now, I’ll just say that we should be sharing our time, talents and treasures. Meaning 10% of our time, 10% of our talents and 10% of our treasures (money). There are exceptions to the rule, which I will discuss later. God knows your heart more than I do.

I don’t want to give too much away, as I feel he tells himself better than I could ever hope to. I know many times that I have drawn on examples that he has put forth in order to drive my points further home when talking with others. I would highly suggest seeing him if you have the chance and if you can, listen to his talks, they are phenomenal.

If you want more information on Matthew Kelly or his non-profit Dynamic Catholic, click on the links. Consider donating if you happen to feel God calling you to.

Who Should I Pray For Today?

The other day I posted about coming up for a list of people to pray for. I think it’d be a great idea to offer up my day for one of these people as well. I don’t know if there is a program out there or not that would do this, but maybe build a super quick app that allows you to enter in all of the people you know/causes you want to pray for and then hit a button and *poof* there is the person who you will be offering your day or praying for or however you want to use this.

I am not even sure how I would Google to see if something like this already exists, but I really feel that if I was able to select someone and offer my day up, I might not be so soon to give up or slack off throughout the day.

If you have prayer requests, go ahead and let me know, I’ll be sure to pray for you.

On a side note, today has been a great day. How about yours?

Jeff June 14, 2012 2 Comments Permalink