Sunday, July 27, 2014

Words of Relevance: ACOG & The Right of Conscience

From a post by Wesley J Smith at "First Things."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) published an ethics-committee opinion denying its members the right of conscience against abortion:

The first important consideration in defining limits for conscientious refusal is the degree to which a refusal constitutes an imposition on patients who do not share the objector’s beliefs. One of the guiding principles in the practice of medicine is respect for patient autonomy, a principle that holds that persons should be free to choose and act without controlling constraints imposed by others. . . . Respect for autonomy has particular importance in reproductive decision making, which involves private, personal, often pivotal decisions about sexuality and childbearing.

One might be tempted to contrast the above with this quote from the original Hippocratic Oath:
"I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art."
Hippocrates, though, has fallen out of favor with our medical schools as evidenced by the removal of the above quote from the current version of the "Hippocratic Oath."  For more on the changes, go HERE:

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Words of Relevance: Flannery O'Connor on "Success"

Flannery O'Connor, who has been called the most important Catholic writer of the 20th century by Fr. Robert Barron, called herself a "hillbilly Thomist."  Her short stories were considered shocking by many, but when scrutinized were found to have deep Catholic messages.  She has been quoted as describing her Catholic faith as follows: "I am a Catholic not like someone else would be a Baptist or a Methodist, but like someone else would be an atheist."

Today's quote from her summarizes her view of success, and the role it will play in the final judgment.

Here's the quote:
We are not judged by what we are basically.  We are judged by how hard we use what we have been given.  Success means nothing to the Lord."

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fouad Ajami (RIP) on Charismatic Leaders

Fouadi Ajami, who died this past week, was the subject of a well-earned panegyric written by Bret Stephens in today's Wall Street Journal.

Stephens asserts, in his piece about Ajami: "His genius lay in the breath of his scholarship and the quality of his human understanding."

That "human understanding" is especially manifest in Ajami's treatment of the charismatic leader, which comes through clearly in today's quote, which, according to Stephens, was made by Ajami in a piece he had written last November.

Here's the quote:
We need no pollsters to tell us of the loss of faith in Mr. Obama's policies - and, more significantly, in the man himself.  Charisma is like that.  Crowds come together and they project their needs onto an imagined redeemer.  The redeemer leaves the crowd to its imagination: For as long as the charismatic moment lasts - a year, an era - the redeemer is above and beyond judgment. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Words of Relevance: The Church's Hate Speech

Christian Church Logic has just uploaded a new video to their website.  It was introduced by email stating:
When the Catholic Church speaks out about topical moral issues, her comments are labeled as "hate speech".  This couldn't be further from the truth.
You can view the new video by clicking on the link below.  If you still believe in absolute Truth, please click "Like" on YouTube, and forward the video to your friends.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Words of Relevance: Anthony Esolen: Equality vs Excellence

Dr. Anthony Esolen wrote a piece yesterday at Crisis Magazine, entitled "How to Form a Real Conscience," in which he clearly points out the difference between equality and excellence - especially as those concepts are viewed (or should be viewed) by our youth.

Here's the quote:
The boy who really wants to learn manhood is right not to be interested in equality. What can equality give him? He wants excellence, and that means he looks to someone who sees farther than he sees, who can do more than he can, who has been through trials he has never known, and who has learned to master his passions and make them work for good and noble ends.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Words of Relevance: Karol Wojtyla: The Church and the Anti-Church

Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, and now St. John Paul II was an extremely prescient man (no doubt inspired by the Holy Spirit), as evidenced by a quote of his delivered in 1976 at a Bicentennial talk here in the United States.  That quote (a rather long one, but read the whole thing) was discussed by Fr. C. John McCloskey a few days ago on the Blog of The Catholic Thing.  Fr. McCloskey's essay was entitled: "The Final Confrontation," and you can read the entire essay by clicking HERE.

Here's the quote:
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.
“We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. . . .How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time.” 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Words of Relevance: St Joan of Arc: Living Without Faith

Joan of Arc, "The Maid of Orleans," who, on this day in 1431, was burned at the stake at the age of nineteen, was subsequently declared a martyr in 1456, and canonized a saint in 1920, is one of the most interesting saints in the history of the Church.  You can read more about her life by clicking HERE.

Today's quote, uttered just before her being burned at the stake, manifests her deep faith in God, which she credited for her being able to lead the French to victory over the British in the Hundred Years' War.

Here's the quote:
To live without faith is more terrible than the fire, more terrible than dying young. I have nothing more to do here. Send me back to God, from whom I came.
Today is her Feast Day.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Words of Relevance: Edmund Burke on The Age of Reason

Edmund Burke, famous Irish author and statesman of the 18th century, is quoted in Russell Kirk's seminal work, The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot,
on the subject of The Age of Reason. Those among us who profess to believe only in Reason, and totally ignore Faith (except for their Faith in Reason), might give some thought to the reasoning of Burke.

Here's the quote:
The Age of Reason...was in reality an Age of Ignorance.  If (as most men, since the beginning of human history, have believed) the foundation of human welfare is divine providence, then the limitation of politics and ethics to a puny “reason” is an act of folly, the refuge of a ridiculous presumption.
Kirk goes on: Precisely this blindness to the effulgence of the burning bush, this deafness to the thunder above Sinai, is what Burke proclaims to be the principal error of the French "enlightenment."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Words of Relevance: Charles E. Rice on The Homosexual Movement

Charles E. Rice, emeritus professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School (and former assistant coach of the Notre Dame Boxing Club), in his latest literary contribution provides us with today's quote, which explains in clear language just what the homosexual movement is really about.

Here's the quote:
The homosexual movement is not at all about a right of persons to be free from unjust discrimination against them and their lifestyle.  Rather, it is a totalitarian movement that demands that society and the law affirm those lifestyles not only as good but also as entitled to special privilege even to the point of abrogating millennia of moral tradition dating back to Genesis.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Words of Relevance: Malcolm Muggeridge on Believing Lies

Malcolm Muggeridge is quoted today in an essay penned by Fr. James Schall at The Catholic Thing Blog, entitled: On Really Loving the Hairless Bipeds.

Fr. Schall, discusses Robert Reilly's new book: The Gaying of America, (see previous post), in which book, the author "remarks that often we are content to lie to ourselves about what is, about what we do and hold." Reilly then quotes Malcolm Muggeridge in a passage that "pretty well sums up what the devilish mind seeks to establish in us; that is, a willingness to lie about even the most obvious truths, if they go counter to what we want."  

Here's the quote:
“People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to.”