Vol 14 Issue 39 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
September 25, 2021 ~ Saint William, opn!
1. Sacrament of Penance
2. Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
3. Saint Isaac Jogues & Companions
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and noticesDear Reader:
I want to conclude this week on the Guardian Angels. St. Paul expressly states the specific mission of angels as ministering to men who had yet to attain Heaven: Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation? (Hebr. i, 14). Saint Paul references Psalm 90, which Our Lord quoted when the Devil tempted Him:
Because thou, O Lord, art my hope: thou hast made the most High thy refuge. There shall no evil come to thee: nor shall the scourge come near thy dwelling. For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways. In their hands they shall bear thee up: lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt walk upon the asp and the basilisk: and thou shalt trample under foot the lion and the dragon. Because he hoped in me I will deliver him: I will protect him because he hath known my name. He shall cry to me, and I will hear him: I am with him in tribulation, I will deliver him, and I will glorify him. I will fill him with length of days; and I will shew him my salvation. (Ps. 90:9-16)
Though the Angels do not only minister to man, as humans having each a Guardian Angel, we should develop a special devotion to this heavenly Spirit. We should begin the day in greeting our Companion with the universal Catholic prayer to the Guardian Angel:
O Angel of God, my Guardian dear,
To Whom His love commits me here;
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and to guide. Amen.
(300 days indulgence; plenary when said every day for a month, on the Feast of the Guardian Angels and at the hour of death—Raccolta 452)
The Angel Raphael, in the Book of Tobias, presents a Scriptural ministry of an Angel assisting and is worth reading. If we understand and believe that this Angel is with us at every moment of our life to assist us, we would be joyful that nothing could harm us spiritually and physically because we would have confidence of protection when asked of our guardian; we would not want to choose what is displeasing to God in the Angel’s continual presence, and find that the inspirations received guide us to the Goodness and happiness we seek. Though we do not see our Guardian Angel, neither do we see God dwelling within us nor the expected physicality of Christ hidden under the appearances of Bread and Wine—yet our faith acknowledges this reality and we know the true Presence is there.
As always, enjoy the readings provided for your benefit.—The Editor
WHAT IS THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE
What is the Sacrament of Penance?
Penance is the Sacrament by which repented sins committed after baptism are remitted through the absolution of a priest having jurisdiction. The concrete manner of submitting one’s sins to the Church . . . consists in confessing them with due sorrow to a properly ordained priest who has the necessary jurisdiction. (Pohle, 58)
From what has been said, one may see that Penance was an Old Testament ritual which was raised to a Sacrament. In the Old Testament, sin could only be forgiven by God: Why doth this man speak thus? he blasphemeth. Who can forgive sins, but God only? (Mark 2:7; cf. Luke 5:21) This accords with Ecclesiasticus, which instructs: For God is compassionate and merciful, and will forgive sins in the day of tribulation (Ecclus. 2:13) and which is understood that only the person offended can forgive the offender. Therefore, Christ’s claim is that He is God Who is forgiving and that He delegates the power to men (the priests) through the Sacrament of Penance: And the multitude seeing it, feared, and glorified God that gave such power to men. (Matthew 9:8)
In the Apostles’ Creed it is stated: I believe . . . in the forgiveness of sins. The Sacrament of Baptism takes away Original Sin and all actual sin committed before baptism if one is repentant of one’s actual sins. In this manner the Nicene Creed states: I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Since the Sacrament of Baptism can only be received once, those sins not removed by Baptism must have another means of obtaining forgiveness: The Sacrament of Penance. In the Catechism one learned: Penance is the Sacrament by which sins committed after Baptism are forgiven through the absolution of the priest. (Q. 379) In review, the word, Penance, metanoia (μετάνοια), is a change of life, but a change that expresses the leaving a life of sin to living a life in all goodness, and justice, and truth (Eph. 5:9). Included in this is, therefore, an acknowledgement of living a sinful life and the desire to live a life without sin by taking the action needed to live that life, which is sorrow coupled with a resolve to amend, confession and penance.
To have a sense of the elements of the Sacrament of Penance, one must consider the Justice of God and the Mercy of God working together through the Wisdom of God.
The Justice of God
The Justice of God is according to His essence: Absolute Good. God’s divine Will corresponds to that of His divine nature and therefore wills Good. Whatever is not good is separated from God and in God’s goodness punishment is meted out to demonstrate that what is not good cannot be tolerated by Him. At the same time the nature of justice is such that it seeks the good to be accomplished which is just. For the Lord is just, and hath loved justice. (Ps. 10:8) Thou art just, O Lord: and thy judgment is just. (Ps. 118, 137)
Some, in simplifying the Old Testament and the New Testament, claim the justice of God is to be found in the Old Testament and the mercy of God in the New Testament. In reality, justice and mercy are to be found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. God’s justice is found in the sentencing of Adam and Eve as also the promise of a Redeemer (Gen. 3). Justice is found in both the flood and the saving of Noe and his family (Gen. 8). The choosing of Abraham and his descendants (Gen. 12) does not detract from His justice in denying the Gentile world the light of grace—for it was granted to Egypt under Joseph (Gen. 41) and seen in the Ninevites doing penance. (Book of Jonas; cf. Matt. 12:41).
One may falsely hold that God allows evil so His mercy and justice become manifest; rather God can only will good, and despite the evil, God continues to will good. Saint Augustine writes:
And in the universe, even that which is called evil, when it is regulated and put in its own place, only enhances our admiration of the good; for we enjoy and value the good more when we compare it with the evil. For the Almighty God, who, as even the heathen acknowledge, has supreme power over all things, being Himself supremely good, would never permit the existence of anything evil among His works, if He were not so omnipotent and good that He can bring good even out of evil. For what is that which we call evil but the absence of good? In the bodies of animals, disease and wounds mean nothing but the absence of health; for when a cure is effected, that does not mean that the evils which were present— namely, the diseases and wounds— go away from the body and dwell elsewhere: they altogether cease to exist; for the wound or disease is not a substance, but a defect in the fleshly substance,— the flesh itself being a substance, and therefore something good, of which those evils— that is, privations of the good which we call health— are accidents. Just in the same way, what are called vices in the soul are nothing but privations of natural good. And when they are cured, they are not transferred elsewhere: when they cease to exist in the healthy soul, they cannot exist anywhere else. (Enchiridion, 11)
Therefore, it is the human perception that contrasts good and evil, not the divine.
But what of His punishments? Here one must not see a change in God, but rather the refusal of the person to submit to God, God Who only bestows good and Who calls each back to grace: For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him. (John 3:17) Matthew gives evidence of this call: Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. (Matt. 11:28) Luke gives the example of the Good Shepherd: What man of you that hath an hundred sheep: and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he find it? (Luke 15:4) John writes of the discourse on the Bread of Life:
All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will not cast out. Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. Now this is the will of the Father who sent me: that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again in the last day. And this is the will of my Father that sent me: that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth in him, may have life everlasting, and I will raise him up in the last day. (John 6:37-40)
Saint Paul can therefore teach Timothy that God will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4) Therefore, the grace to come to the knowledge of the Truth is not denied, but it can be rejected. There are consequences for rejection: the separation from God and the attachment to evil. Just as justice rewards good:
Who shall not receive an hundred times as much, now in this time; houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come life everlasting. (Mark 10:30; cf. 4:20)
Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in . . . . (Matt. 25:34-35)
So justice punishes evil:
Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink.  I was a stranger, and you took me not in. . . . (Matt. 25:41-43)
And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. (Matt. 5:29-30)
Therefore, as Adam and his posterity faced eternal death—For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death. (Gen. 2:17)—so justice is kept by God not because He wills man be punished but because man chooses to turn to His mercy and repent.
(To be continued)
The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers
M. F. Toal
THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY
MATTHEW ix. 1-8
At that time: Jesus, entering into a boat, passed over the water and came into his own city. And, behold, they brought to him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: Be of good heart, son. Thy sins are forgiven thee. And, behold, some of the scribes said within themselves: He blasphemeth. And Jesus, seeing their thoughts, said: Why do you think evil in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven; or to say, Arise, and walk?
But that you may know that the son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (then said he to the man sick of the palsy), Arise, take up thy bed and go into thy house. And he arose and went into his house. And the multitude, seeing it, feared, and glorified God that gave such power to men.
ST GAUDENTIUS, BISHOP
One Work I have done; and you all wonder
John vii. 21
You will recall that I promised Your Charity that I would with God’s help explain more fully to you why it was that the Lord declared that He had done one work; at which this most unenlightened Jewish people took scandal, and, inflamed with evil rage, assailed with blasphemous abuse the Giver of blessing, saying: Thou hast a devil; who seeketh to kill thee? And together with this, they begin to plot how they shall deliver the Lord of Life to a death of torment.
We have seen from the testimony of this Evangelist that Christ had wrought, not one, but many, indeed innumerable works. For so he writes at the end of the book: But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written (xxi. 25). But some studious listener will perhaps say: In the first part of this Gospel, the Lord says: One work I have done; and you all wonder. In the parts that follow, He performed an amount of miracles, and for this reason there does not seem to be anything left for discussion.
But examining what is said in this book prior to these words, I find that Christ our God had performed very many wondrous works up to this point in the Gospel. For already He had seen Nathanael, before Philip had called him, when he was under a fig tree (Jn. i. 48). Already He had by His power changed the simple liquid of clear shining water into the taste and colour of wine. Already, when asked by him, He had with a word healed the son of the Ruler, before He visited him. Already He had disclosed the hidden sins of the Samaritan woman, and when she confessed God, He had cleansed her from the spiritual well (iv. 29). Already with a word He had cured or rather formed anew, the limbs of the paralytic, withered for eight and thirty years. Already He had full fed five thousand men from five barley loaves and two fishes; ending their repast with a yet greater miracle: for the amount that remained after He had fed so many hungry people, was greater than the food placed before Him. Already He had walked upon the waters; so that as He walked the tossing waves had not touched the soles of His feet.
But in this catalogue of wonders He had done yet one work more, which, to the ignorant people who raged against Him, seemed to have given as it were likely grounds to attack Him: namely, that He had healed a paralytic on the sabbath (Jn. v. 10) when the Law commanded rest. And so Christ, Who had come not to destroy the Old Law but to fulfil it, as though guilty of the violation of the sabbath, suffers the insults and derision of the Jews.
At this point, dearest brethren, I am compelled, putting aside for a time this portion of the Gospel, to explain to you the significance of the sabbath: lest anyone should believe that the persecution of the Just by the wicked was justified. For this paralytic, of whom it is related that he was cured by Christ on the sabbath, suffered the calumny of the Jews for this; that on the day he was cured, he was seen carrying his bed. It is the sabbath, they say, it is not lawful for thee to take up thy bed (Jn. v. 10). And the man who was cured answered: He that made me whole, he said to me: Take up thy bed and walk. And a little later he says: It was Jesus who made me whole (v. 15).
Still untaught from his Jewish ignorance, but now grateful for the sound body he had received; since he was unable to give those who attacked him a reason for what had happened, he points out to them the Author both of the command and of the miracle. He that made me whole, he said to me: Take up thy bed, and walk; and he added: Jesus it is, he says, who made me whole; or, It is the son of David Who made me whole; or, The son of Joseph it was who made me whole. For these were the names then used by the Jewish people in speaking of Christ the Lord our Saviour.
But what does this mean? Jesus it is, he says, who made me whole? For as a Hebrew he knew that the name Jesus derives from the power of healing. The Saviour is indeed called Jesus, as the angel declared, when he spoke to Joseph concerning Christ in his sleep. Thou shalt call his name Jesus: he says, for he shall save his people from their sins (Mt. i, 21). He therefore, he says, made me whole; and His Name is Salvation. And how could Salvation be forbidden by the Law from saving, or be changed in its nature by the creation of the sabbath, so that it is no longer Salvation? Let us see, dearest brethren, whether in fact the Law did exclude a work of healing on the sabbath rest? Six days shalt thou labour, it says, and shalt do all thy works, But on the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God, thou shalt do no work on it (Ex. xx. 9, 10): unless what is done for any soul.
Human nature, especially that of the Jews, is prone by desire to do bodily rather than divine works. So one day of the week was set apart, the sabbath, on which they were compelled to cease from carnal works, and occupy themselves with divine works only. Nor was it permitted to cook food on the sabbath, nor to make a journey, lest under the pretext of human necessity, earthly things might be placed before divine. Notwithstanding this, when the Jews later, neglecting the spiritual works the Lord commanded for their soul’s salvation, devoted all that was lawful on the sabbath to luxury and ease, the Lord cries out to them without ceasing through the Prophet: The new moons and the sabbaths and other festivals I will not abide. My soul hateth your new moons and your solemnities (Is. i. 13, 14).
Your sabbaths, He says; not Mine. For the things you do are not Mine. My fasts and My sabbaths, which I imposed upon you to be observed, command you to fast from sin, to cease from evil works, and give yourselves to good works. But on the contrary, your sabbaths and your fasts are disturbed by quarrels, and filled with wantonness and excess. Coming therefore as man, the Giver of the Law, when He wrought works of healing for every soul, did not destroy the law, but rather fulfilled it: for He taught on that sabbath which He in His Providence had decreed. For it was written: Thou shalt do no work of thine on the sabbath (Non facies in eo ullum opus tuum nisi quod fit pro omni anima). Work of thine, it says; that is, human. And there is added: Save what is done for any soul, that is, to save any soul. And so we read that the earlier just under the Law worked on the sabbath for the salvation of souls. For seven days Jesus the son of Nave, at the command of the Lord, went round the city of Jericho, with the Levites and Priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant; and at the divine command the hostile walls fell down, so that the souls of the Jews were delivered from the danger of war (Josue vi). You will note that the sabbath is also numbered by seven days, beginning the count from any day you will.
And so when he said, Jesus it is, who made me whole, the Jews are warned, through the similarity of the name, not to condemn such works. Therefore Christ the Lord, when He healed a withered hand, or someone afflicted with dropsy, or cured paralysis on the sabbath, as the true Lord of the sabbath, safeguarded what He had done by the testimony of His own Law; saying to the Jews: It is lawful to help an animal on the sabbath; but a soul, do we save that, or lose it? Desiring by this to lead them to this understanding of the Law, I believe, as we explained above; at the same time reproaching them because they did not understand the significance of thy work (opus tuum), and the meaning of, what is done for any soul.
Christ therefore works on the sabbath for the salvation of the soul. And, He works on the sabbath, and fulfils the Law, while explaining the terms of the Law, while He makes clear the different kinds of works, while He does what the Law allows on the sabbath days, making this sabbath day, made holy by His blessing, holier by His favours. For the works due on the sabbath He gave back as divine blessings, bestowed on that day to every soul that believes. But that He might show the Jews that He worked always with the Father. Who would then also work in His Body, He says to them: My Father worketh until now; and I work (Jn. v. 17). And for this the Jews persecuted Him the more, because he did not only break the sabbath, but also said God was his Father, making himself equal to God (v. 18).
The blessed Evangelist has clearly taught us that He is equal to God the Father Who is by nature His true Son. And, though the testimony of the ancients had preceded Him, nevertheless the Lord did not desire to bring forward any such testimony; for fear, since these were scattered here and there, and ancient, they might be looked upon as uncertain, and due simply to chance; but chose rather to answer them by day to day instances and examples, so that when they were refuted, they could in no way say that it was not so.
One work I have done, He says, and you all wonder (Jn. vii. 21). What is this work? That I cured a paralytic on the sabbath. And He adds: Therefore Moses gave you circumcision; not because it is of Moses (Jn. vii. 22), but of the Fathers; that is, from Abraham, who was the first to be circumcised (Gen. xvii. 11), and from the other Patriarchs. And on the sabbath day, He says, you circumcise a man. If a man, He says, receive circumcision on the sabbath day, that the Law of Moses may not be broken; are you angry at me, because I have healed the whole man on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance; but judge just judgement, as though He said: The Law commands that only a work which is for the soul may be done on the sabbath. And by the same Law it is commanded with regard to circumcision, that every male whatsoever that is not circumcised on the eighth day from its nativity, that soul shall be destroyed out of his people (Gen. xvii. 12-14). Therefore, it is for the soul you circumcise a man on the sabbath day. In the same way it is for the soul that I on the sabbath healed the whole man. It is lawful therefore to do a good work for the soul on the sabbath day. And if you judge that I by this work have violated the sabbath, you condemn yourselves as guilty unceasingly of the violation of the sabbath. Judge not according to appearance; but judge just judgement.
With such reasonable patience did our Lord Jesus overcome His enemies: He Who came down from the Father to this world, that He might overcome it by patience. But let us consider briefly the virtue of this last saying of His. Judge not, He says, according to appearance; but judge just judgement. This general rule is our true guide, I believe; it keeps within the bounds of what is just and fair, was laid down for all man, is known to many, but loved by few. It was laid down so that we shall not be flatterers of the rich of this world, that we may not favour the unbelieving by an unjust judgement, nor take the part of the impious, the cruel, the rapacious, the wanton, the dishonest, even by a timid silence; but also so that we shall not with unjust praise commend those who are rather deserving of every censure, or also, what is more odious than any foulness, that we may not allow ourselves to be enslaved by another man’s money; lost to Christian freedom in our greed for evil gains. Or lest seduced by the beauty of some bodily form we should, by an unjust decision, be drawn away from the severity of truth, and from just judgement; for of despising riches is it written: If riches abound, set not your heart upon them (Ps. lxi. 11); and of disregarding beauty of body, God said to the Priest Samuel, who was about to choose a king from the sons of Jesse: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature, or beauty of face, for man sees the face, but God beholds the heart (I Kings xvi. 7). Because of this the blessed David, the youngest and the despised, was uplifted by the sacred oil to kingship, and grew by the grace of God from lowliness to the summit of dignity; and of this he glories in a special canticle, singing: I was a little one among my brethren.
Profitably therefore for all circumstances does Christ tell us: Judge not according to appearance; but judge just judgement. And which of us, most dearly beloved, is now prepared to observe all that I have said to you? Blessed are they that keep judgement and do justice at all times (Ps. cv. 3). Therefore, though this counsel is, as I have said, for all men, it was directed in particular to the Jews, who had judged Christ, though working wonders, as being from his appearance only a man; not seeing from the wonders He wrought that He was God. And in this sentence He also includes, and in no small measure, the heretics who blaspheme the Son of God; because, seeing only the lowliness of the Body He took upon Himself, they presume to sit in judgement upon the substance of His immeasurable Divinity.
But we, brethren, who by his grace are saved through faith (Eph. ii. 8), let us judge with just judgement, preserving moderation of mind in every action of our daily life. For just judgement belongs to the nature of the reasoning soul; so that it chooses to serve God rather than serve the world; that it resolves to obey the commands of Christ, and not be corrupted by the deceits of the devil; so that it is steadfast in adhering to spiritual things, not becoming entangled in the vices of the flesh; so that it judges that the eternal blessedness of things to come, is to be placed before the fleeting pleasures of this world. Upright in heart, therefore, let us in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord, walk in this life with just judgement, that we may merit to be sharers of life everlasting with the eternal Son of God, Who in Omnipotence abides with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
The North American Martyrs
Over three hundred years ago, six Jesuit priests and their two holy assistants, all from France, died as martyrs here in America. They were a group of the bravest and most daring missionaries in the New World, and they risked everything they had to bring Christ to the Indians. After much hard work, they converted many of the Huron tribe. But the Iroquois Indians, bitter enemies of the Hurons, put them all to death.
St. John de Brebeuf had tuberculosis and was so sickly in France that he could not even teach many classes. Yet he became a marvellous, valiant apostle, whose courage amazed the fierce Iroquois as they tortured him to death. St. Isaac Jogues was tortured by the Mohawks, an Iroquois tribe, too, but was freed by the Dutch. He got back to France and received special permission to say Mass even though his fingers had been badly bitten by his torturers. As soon as he could, he went back to the Indians, and was tomahawked by the Bear Clan of the Mohawks. St. Anthony Daniel had just finished celebrating Mass for his Huron converts when the Iroquois attacked the village. The Christian Indians begged him to try to escape, but he stayed to baptize all those who were crying to him to come to them before they were killed. The Iroquois burned him to death in his little chapel. St. Gabriel Lallemont was tortured to death with St. John de Brebeuf and had to undergo the worst torments anyone could imagine. St. Charles Gamier and St. Noel Chabenel were both tomahawked. St. Charles was first shot by an Iroquois musket during a surprise attack, but he still tried to crawl to help a dying man. Then, a hatchet put an end to him. Father Chabenel, who had found life very hard but had made a vow to stay with the Indians anyway, was killed by a Huron traitor. The two lay helpers, Rene Goupil and John Lalande were both tomahawked. So it was that these heroes of Christ gave their lives for the Indians, and after their death, new missionaries were able to convert almost every tribe that the martyrs had known.
(Daughters of Saint Paul)
LETTERS TO JACK
WRITTEN BY A PRIEST TO HIS NEPHEW
RIGHT REV. FRANCIS C. KELLEY, D.D., LL.D.
ALREADY we are beginning to talk of a “wider democracy” than was planned by our fathers, not realizing that the “wider democracy” of tomorrow may be only a swinging back of the pendulum to absolute monarchy.
It is important to realize that when monarchies fail it is because of the monarch; but when democracies fail it is because of the people.
Poverty is cement for democracy which riches corrode.
My dear Jack:
The proper time for talking to a young man about citizenship is when he has reached the age of twenty-one a year before he assumes citizen’s duties, when his mind has already matured sufficiently to make his thinking intelligent; but with twelve months ahead to leisurely consider advice.
The fatal errors of the age arise chiefly from the shallowness of the modern mind, which is too ready to accept ideas merely because they are new and interesting. The world today is eternally hungering for novelty, which unfortunately it takes for discovery. We exalt the age in which we live with very good reason, for it has produced many really good things; but we forget that we purchased at a high price what good we have. We seldom think of the multitude of ruins that surround our modern skyscraper. Fearing to go too slow, we have raced. Our own nation trembles at every blast. We are not ready to admit, even to ourselves, that our democracy is going to endure. We say that it is; but inwardly we doubt our own optimism. Already we are beginning to talk of a “wider democracy” than that which was planned by our fathers, not realizing that the “wider democracy” of tomorrow may be only a swinging back of the pendulum to absolute monarchy. Our government upheld the recent Mexican revolution, but did not discover until it was too late that it intended to supplant democracy by socialism. Socialism was actually established in Yucatan, and upheld by one-man power. The Church knew all along that the trend toward socialism meant a trend toward absolute monarchy. It makes very little difference practically, whether you call the ruler a monarch or a president. It makes very little difference whether you call a government by the name of kingdom or republic. It is not title that counts; it is the power. I very much fear that the “wider democracy” our day looks for will, when it arrives, be the end of democracy of any kind.
It is perfectly true that our democracy has not worked out ideally, but that should not be taken as proving it a failure. Monarchies have not worked out ideally, and they have the advantage of a sounder philosophy behind them. But it is important to realize that, when monarchies fail it is because of the monarch; but when democracies fail, it is because of the people. So the failure of a democracy is something to be regretted far more than the failure of a monarchy. It is bad enough for a king to sell the liberties of his people; but it is worse for a people to sell the liberties they had bought so dearly for themselves.
We have a clear field for democracy in North America, for we have two, at least, that are working out well. I refer, of course, to the United States, and Canada. The United States is a democracy under its proper name. Canada is a democracy masquerading under the name of a royal colony. Both have been successful. Their continued success depends on all their people rather than on an individual ruler. We have the opportunity to prove the very attractive theory of democracy quite sound; and, in proving it, we work for the happiness of millions.
The greatest obstacle to the success of a democracy is that it depends in a too impersonal sort of way on a very large body of citizens. The responsibility, therefore, does not weigh heavily enough upon each individual. It is much easier to have a successful Republic of San Marino, with its handful of citizens, none wealthy but each taking a real and personal interest in it, than to have a successful Republic of the United States of America, depending upon the rather vague affection of many chiefly anxious to pile up fortunes for themselves. Wealth inevitably makes for careless citizenship. A significant fact is, that the well-to-do cannot be brought out to vote on a rainy day. Poverty is a cement for democracy which riches corrode. A small population keeps loyalty concentrated and effective, while millions spread the responsibility out too thin. Millions are not an asset to a democracy, but rather a very great and a very dangerous liability. When, as in the United States, we have wealth and a hundred million citizens, it becomes all the more necessary for individuals to consider their duties well and often, trying to make up for the inevitable delinquency of their fellows.
The importance of thinking deeply over the obligations of responsible citizenship is great. It is no light thing to take on one the burden of the ballot; and the fact that so many share the burden is an added, not a lessened weight. There are too many who hold their duties lightly, to permit the serious to shirk. There are too many who depend for their well-being on the action of individual citizens to permit those who know, to act as if they did not know. I counsel you to approach the coming responsibilities carefully and to assume them very thoughtfully.
Neither can I too much urge upon you to distrust theories until they have been tried, but never to dismiss them untouched. Outside of revealed truth and the truths of natural religion, all progress has come from theorizing. Theories have a way of rejecting themselves, or proving themselves, if you give them a chance. When they prove themselves, they become accepted principles and facts. The common mind, if you let it work its way, does not go far wrong, since it is always at least open to conviction. Selfishness, however, often swerves it from the proper path. Sloth and sin have the same effect upon it. Right does not always win in an election, any more than in a battle; but when right loses, it is because honest thinking was not done, responsibilities were slurred over. God has a way of letting the common mind, when deceived, run to disaster, so that out of it a fresh start can be made. Once the common mind goes wrong, it needs disaster to set it right, for the down-grade always stops with a bump at the bottom of the hill.
You will hear it said that every citizen should vote. Some governments interfere with individual liberty to the extent of forcing citizens to vote. It is true and it is not true that every citizen should vote. Every great obligation is reached only by piling minor obligations on top of one another. The obligation of voting presupposes the obligation of honest voting. The obligation of honest voting presupposes the obligation of conscientious consideration. The citizen who has not fulfilled his minor obligations should refrain from thrusting his ignorance into the solution of a great question. No one has a right to vote until he has made himself capable of judging. Those who have not made themselves capable of judging should leave voting to better men. When we utter the commonplace that “every citizen should go to the polls”, we are merely saying that every citizen should be an honest and thoughtful citizen.
The citizens of a democracy are judges, sitting in the court of public opinion on questions that concern even the very existence, as well as the prosperity of their country, and the happiness of its people. Judges may err, but should never err willfully. A citizen, therefore, cannot let a political party do his thinking for him and remain an upright judge. He cannot shift his responsibility over on anybody else. Political parties are necessary, just as lawyers are necessary in the courts; but they are not judges, they are pleaders. The judge has no right to go down, mingle with the lawyers, and take sides in a case that he is trying. The really honest citizen is never a partisan. It is not a disgrace to be “on the fence”, for “on the fence” means to be on the bench. My counsel to you is to stay on the bench when you arrive on it, and be free in fact as well as in name. Never vote for any party unless it has made good its case. Bring your conscience along with you to every election. It was Henry Clay who said: “I had rather be right than be President.” We can improve that saying by adding: “Still better is it to be right and President.” So I had rather be right than victorious, but it is better to be right and victorious.
(To be continued.)
From: Randy Engel, A U.S. Coalition for Life – National Alert
To: American Pro-Family Advocates
Re: Stop Congress from Requiring Young Women to Register for the Draft
The enemies of God, family and country never sleep.
While Americans are preoccupied and distracted by the Covid-19 Plandemic, Congressional bills HR 4350 and S. 4049 (the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), are heading for a full vote in the House and Senate.
Both the House and Senate bills carry a dangerous open-ended amendment to the Military Selective Service Act that mandates young women to register for the Selective Service System (SSS) Draft. Incredibly, this measure has attracted much bipartisan support.
Like the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent, if this measure is allowed to pass, the way is open for drafting women into combat roles.
Proponents of the NDAA/Defense Budget bill argue that the current Selective Service ruling that legally requires only men (males) ages 18 to 25, to registered for the draft is “discriminatory,” and “unconstitutional.” All references to men or males have been stricken in the amended version of the House and Senate bills and replaced with androgenous terms, aka, “persons,” “citizens,” “enlisted members, etc.
Republican Chip Roy of Texas, a member of the House Armed Services Committee who has a little girl, blasted his colleagues after they passed a mandate to require women to register for the draft. “All of D.C. – all of it- can go straight to hell!”
The DOD ordered the Armed Services to lift the ban on women serving in combat roles in January 2013. In December 2015 the DOD announced that the military would be opening all “remaining occupations and positions to women,” with “no exceptions,” effective January 2016. Joe Biden supports the draft mandate for women. If Congress now approves the draft for women, that will be the last nail in the American coffin.
PLEASE Act NOW. Contact your Congressman and Senators at their district/state offices or their Washington. D.C. office to express your opposition to any bill/amendment, including H.R. 4350 and S. 4049, that requires women to register for Selective Service. Be exact – NO DRAFT for WOMEN – NOT NOW – NOT TOMORROW – NEVER!
You can leave a phone message or send an email to them at their Washington D.C. office where their staff will likely pick up the phone or see that your email reaches your Congressman or Senators.
If you don’t know how to contact your Congressman or Senator in D.C. or at his district or home office, go to List of Representatives and Senators – GovTrack.us. When you fill in the state slot on the left side of the page the list of your state’s Congressmen and Senators will come up alphabetically. Click the name and it will bring you to your representative’s official website and give you all the information you need on his or her home offices, email address, etc.
Whichever method of contact you choose, please act now or as soon as possible as the NDAA will be coming to the House and Senate floor for a vote anytime after the House and Senate members return to Washington.
Please also send this mailing to all your email contacts, especially those who have young daughters. A letter or email from a young girl or young woman to their Congressman and Senators opposing the draft for women will probably be the most effective weapon we have in our profamily and prolife arsenal opposing the registration of women to the military draft.
Thank you for your help and cooperation.
Randy Engel, U.S. Coalition for Life www.uscl.info
The text of the House version of the NDAA is available at Text – H.R.4350 – 117th Congress (2021-2022): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
· A Copy of the amended section of H.R. 4350 stripped of all its male references is available at untitled (house.gov).
· For more background on the draft see Will Women Have to Register for the Draft in 2021? – NewsWars.