Today we remember the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. Read the Gospel reading for an account. He died because he preached the truth about Herodias’s adultery and she couldn’t stand it. Yes, he was judgmental. But he called her to repent. She wanted him silenced, and so used not her own womanly wiles but the charms of her daughter, Salome. You all know the story. Herod is so pleased by the sultry, sexy dance, he offers her anything, and she demands the head of the Baptist at her mother’s request.
Although we have nothing so dramatic today silencing the prophets of today, I notice that those who speak against abortion or gay marriage are labeled bigots. The people who want to sin are intolerant of the people who speak against it, in the name of freedom. Yes, we have free will. But as I tell my children, you are better off when you choose to do the *right* thing. It may be harder to be chaste, but it comes with great blessings. Even married couples are called to be chaste, for example, when a spouse is ill.
Sometimes it can look as though the religious are overly concerned over sexual misdemeanors. I think these are some of the easiest sins to conquer. They form the lower level of Dante’s Inferno. Much more difficult sins to conquer are the sins of pride. The father of lies – satan – lets us believe that we are like God. We should decide what’s good and bad. That’s pride. Much harder to conquer than any habitual sin.
I love the line: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. It is very perceptive because hope in the Lord Jesus Christ is what saves us.
I came across something wonderful a couple of years ago: Divine Mercy. I’ll direct you to a brief biography of St. Faustina here, but the essence of Divine Mercy is that even if you have a smidgen of goodwill towards God, a speck of hope, God will allow His mercy to work. If the soul rejects this last grace, then God allows eternal separation. In St. Faustina’s Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul, she describes the interaction of a despairing soul, falling farther into the abyss and how the Divine Mercy saves this soul. We pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy often for those who are sick, suffering, and dying.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His name, My God, have mercy.
So, do not despair. Always have hope.
And speaking of hope, did anybody watch the Republican National Convention? I do not watch TV, but this was too good to pass up. So instead of finishing a new chapter, I was glued to the TV with my family for a couple of hours. Oy. I was struck by the humble beginnings of so many of the leaders, their accomplishments, and their drive to succeed. I can’t wait for Mitt Romney to lead this country to prosperity in a prudent manner. He has a balanced budget in MA. Whoa! That alone impresses me. Historically, governors make good presidents, for the simple fact they know how to govern! I especially loved listening to Chris Christie (governor of VA) and Nikki Haley (governor of SC, yeah!). I waited for Bobby Jindal (governor of LA), but I think he had more pressing matters, like dealing with Isaac.
So, there you go. A post in which I talk about religion and politics. Can you feel the heat?