Embrace The Rain


[11] Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: [12] Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.  ( Matthew 5:11-12, Douay-Rheims)

If you call  yourself a follower of Christ, you have to decide what kind of follower you will be.  You may be one of those followers who calls himself a follower of Christ in the comfort  found beneath your bed, where you proudly whisper His Name in defiance of the world outside.  Better still, you may be one of those followers who dares to utter His Name in the safety of your home, where you valiantly speak His Name when no guest who might be offended or become angry is around.  Perhaps, you may be one of those followers who actually speaks His Name in  your home while some people who might not like it are getting a drink or a snack from your refrigerator.  Dare I go further?  Yes, why not!  Could it be that you have the courage to actually speak His Name outside your home, making sure the nobody is within an earshot of what you are saying.  Better still, maybe you actually speak His Name within hearing distance of someone who might be deeply wounded by the mere mention of your Master’s Holy Name.  If you are any of these, I challenge you to be much, much more, not because I am in a position to judge you much less compare myself to you, for like you I am a sinner badly needing Christ’s Mercy. No, I challenge you not on my accord or by any virtue of being qualified for this labor but; rather, because My Lord gives me the audacity to suggest that He is all that should matter to you, and that anything you think, feel, see, say, do, or plan should be run through a simple test; namely, whether it brings greater glory to His Name, and helps others to be closer to Him.

What kind of follower am I challenging you to become then?  I am asking you to consider one who embraces the spit.  Yes, Christ told us that we will be spit upon, mocked, despised, and unfairly persecuted if we follow Him.  Doors will be closed on us just as they were closed on Him the night He was born.  Laughter and insults will be hurled against us by mindless imbeciles too ignorant and arrogant to respect as well as too hypocritical and illogical to be relevant.  You will be tempted to abandon Him, to avoid the rain that awaits those who follow His Word.  I challenge you not to avoid that rain, not to run for cover from it.  Rather, smile and welcome those storms, for they are a blessing from Heaven.  Stand up and open your arms and mind to the privilege of being criticized, mocked, ridiculed, insulted, and persecuted for having the courage to believe, speak, and act as a true follower of our Master.

There will surely be those who will mockingly say, “Who do you think you are, do you think you are better than we are?”  Others will squeal “Look who is judging me, the one who…..”  Do not listen to these cries, for they come from the evil one who only wants to make you feel like a hypocrite, like a fool with no standing in this fight.  I am here to tell you that you have a very good standing in this battle, and every reason to be part of it.  If you truly love Him, and you truly want to follow Him, then you belong in these front lines fighting for Him.

The world will not understand you because it cannot grasp why following anyone, much less a distant Carpenter who hung like a criminal should be worth all of this aggravation in the present. You can try to explain your loyalty if you wish, and perhaps Our Lord will give you the words to do so.  What matters most, however, is that you bravely and loyally serve Him, follow His Word, model His actions and love, and proudly speak of Him to all who will hear.  Where you will most confuse this world, however, will be in the way you will embrace the rain rather than run for cover from it.  You will relish any suffering you find due to following Him, and see such sorrow as a blessing well worth the effort. At the end of the day, at the end of your days, and at the end of this world’s days, you will embrace the rain if you believe that God alone, is what matters in this world, in this life, and in your future.

Copyright, 2011  Gabriel Garnica

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The Miracle of The Five Loaves and Two Fish


The Miracle of The  Five Loaves and Two Fish is the only miracle, other than the Resurrection, to be recorded in all four gospels, and with good reason. This powerful story is clearly tied to the Real Presence in that it reminds us of  Transubstantiation as ordinary bread and wine is converted, through the Eucharist, into the Body and Blood of Our Lord.  In brief, the ordinary becomes extraordinary through the work of Our Lord and feeds His flock.  While this miracle’s connection the Eucharist is central and critical, I would like to focus on a different angle to this story.

We are told that the disciples suggested that Christ allow a multitude which had come to be healed and hear Him preach to go into the village to get food but, Christ, paralleling the idea that He Alone is Our Food, told the disciples that they did not have to send the crowd away but should be fed where they were ( which was, in fact, with Christ).  Now, at this point, we are told that the disciples told Christ that all they could find were the five loaves and two fish, and many have taken that to mean that the only food present in the crowd were these items supplied by a boy.

I suggest another interpretation.  First of all, I find it hard to believe that a crowd of thousands would not include at least some who would bring food along in case of hunger. I understand that Christ mesmerized people with good reason, and that, perhaps, their zeal to hear Him would overtake their common sense of bringing some food along should they need it. However, the sheer number of people makes it difficult for me to believe that every single person would have overlooked this cautionary action.  To take it a step further, I find it even harder to believe that, in a crowd of thousands of people who happened to overlook bringing food, the one person who had wisely brought some along happened to be a small boy!

What I find much more plausible, however, is that at least a number, if not many people actually brought food along.  If say, 1% brought food, which is still a very low and almost unrealistic percentage, we would still have at least 50 or  more people bringing food.  Why then, do we only hear of one small boy coming forward with any food to share?

I believe that therein lies a hidden message and lesson of this wonderful story.  Many people came to hear Christ thinking only of themselves. They came to be healed, or to hear wonderful things from this Master which would mean something to them, would change their lives in some way.  At the risk of being called cynical, I wonder how many came to hear Christ that day thinking “This will be a great chance for me to learn how to love, to serve, and to help others”.  I venture to say that more people came to that event with food than came to that same event with the sincere desire to learn how to see Christ in others, to serve others in unselfish love.

If, say,  60 people brought food with them that day, I strongly doubt that most, if any, of them brought enough food to feed many people beyond themselves and their immediate friends or family.  For argument’s sake, say that these 60 people brought enough food for 100 people. That would still be far less than what was needed to feed thousands, but certainly much more than five loaves and two fish.

As for these seven items, one might ask why a small boy would bring such an amount.  I doubt that he intended to eat all that for himself, regardless of how hungry he was for Christ’s Words!  Perhaps he intended to sell some of these items and that is all he could carry?  If that was his purpose, then, while resourceful, I suggest that the move might have been foolhardy if not dangerous. Imagine bringing some food to a hungry mob and expecting a peaceful exchange without problems.  I also suggest that many of the other 59 who brought food might have intended to sell some if possible.  Others, perhaps, were contend to fill their own needs in an “every person for his or herself” attitude.

Regardless of how many brought food or what their ultimate intentions were, it seems that only this small boy was generous enough to offer what little he had.  What did Our Lord do with that little?  He converted it into much more and fed many people.  In effect, He multiplied the efforts of that small boy many times over and turned that boy’s offering into an act of great service to many.  What about the food held by those who refused to be so generous?  It remained just that, food hidden or kept for a selfish motive which only served the selfish person keeping it.

When we serve Our Lord and place God Alone as our Purpose, He will multiply our efforts many times over in the service of many, and will change lives, including our own, in the process.  When we place ourselves and our own interest ahead of God, however, whatever we have will stay the mere selfish possession of a selfish person and have very limited impact on our lives and, ultimately, on our salvation.  Keeping God Alone as our Purpose, our Goal, our Mission, then, is a powerful path toward salvation and the kind of loving service that Christ asks us to reflect.

Copyright  2011   Gabriel Garnica

 

The Parable of The Workers


The Parable of The Workers in Matthew 20: 1-16 is a powerful representation of a truth which we all often forget, which is that God’s ways are not our ways.  Much of our suffering and sin is caused by the delusion of thinking that God will judge and reward each of us according to the dictates and standards of this world.  We each imagine that, if we receive praise, honors, and awards in this world, we will likewise shine in eternal life.  However, what we each better realize sooner, better than later, is that this world’s rewards have very little, if anything, to do with eternal salvation. In fact, so twisted is this world and society that, in many cases, that which brings us much acclaim in this world is precisely that which will bring us much regret and suffering in eternity.  Being considered a shrewd money maker or ladies man, for example, may well come as the result of manipulating, using, and harming others for our own selfish gain. Every day we see famous celebrities acting in immoral ways or mocking faith and tradition.  Surely these people have “made it” according to the dictates of this world yet, if we think about it, their eternal success is much  more up in the air if not in danger.

The Story

Briefly stated, this parable tells of a man who goes out and secures the labor of various workers at various points in the day and then, to the surprise, shock, and anger of those he hired first, pays all of the workers an equal amount.  Many people have joked that any employer doing this today would be sued, beaten, or murdered.  Sadly, that terrible end may very well be true, if we were dealing in human terms. However, we are dealing with God Almighty, Who Alone is All Wise, All Merciful, All Generous, and All deserving of our love, faith, loyalty, praise and service.  God’s ways are not ours, regardless of our insolent, selfish, and twisted expectations that He should bend to our way of doing things rather than the other way around.

The Message

This parable tells us that we cannot and should not expect to be favored over others for any reason, even those reasons that seem fair to us.  Praying daily and being a saint is no guarantee that we will enter Heaven before criminals and prostitutes, because God Alone is the Judge of whether, when, how, or why we enter Heaven.  We are each expected to serve others in love, and that is the only  reason that we should ever look toward others. Not to compare ourselves in insolence, feel superior in arrogance, or feel resentment or jealousy in inferiority, but to serve as best we can with no personal or selfish motive.  Beyond seeing others for this mission of service, we must each look only above to our God, for we must constantly see Him as the ultimate target of our efforts and praise.  In the end, remembering, as this blog reminds us, to see God Alone as our purpose, is what matters.  The only fairness that matters comes not from our dictates or measures, but from the most Just and Merciful God that we are blessed to serve.

Copyright  2011 Gabriel Garnica

The Parable of The Talents


The Parable of The  Talents, found in Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-28, is one of the most fascinating stories told by Our Lord.  While many scholars point out that the “talent” described in this story were measure of money, I believe that the common definition of that word which we use today takes this tale to a much deeper, and meaningful, level.

The Basic Story

For those who may not know or have forgotten this story, it begins with a powerful man who is going on a journey, and therefore summons three of  his servants, entrusting the first with 5 talents, the second with 2 talents, and the third with 1 talent.  The Parable tells us that each servant was given an amount in accordance to his ability. We are also told that each of the first two put their talents to work and doubled their amount but the third, fearful of his master’s reputation and not wanting to risk loss, merely hid his talent and, unlike the other two who presented their master with a profit upon his return, simply gave the master back what had been originally entrusted to him.

The Translation 

I interpret this parable as telling us that our Master, God Almighty, has entrusted each of us with talents and abilities according to our capacities, mission in life, and purpose as decided and outlined by Our Lord. Some of us have many talents, others some, and still others few, but we all bring something to the table in terms of abilities. Now God expects each of us to put our talents to work and create a profit for Him, not for our own selfish motives, nor to win favor in this world.  Note that the first two servants each returned to their master their original amount plus a 100% profit. Neither one secretly kept a portion for themselves or saw this amount entrusted to them as some opportunity to gain for themselves.  If anything, it seems clear that each of the first two servants only sought to serve their master by doubling his money, which they did.  Once the master saw that these two servants had done this, he rewarded them by inviting them to share in their master’s happiness plus promised to entrust greater amounts to each in the future. In other words, the first two servants used the talents given to them to faithfully serve their master and, upon doing this to their best ability, were able to double their master’s original investment in them. In turn, the master rewarded each by welcoming each to partake of his celebration and by promising to give them greater future responsibility.

Likewise, we have each been given certain talents, each according to his or her life purpose and mission, and we are expected to put those talents to work to bring praise and glory to God, who alone is our Eternal Master.  When we are judged at the end of time or at our death, we will be expected to show a profit, to prove that we used those talents to bring other and ourselves closer to God.  If we are able to show this profit, this return on God’s investment in us, we will each by invited to share in His celebration and be given the responsibility of being considered one of the elect.

Now, what of the third servant?  Was he not wise to avoid risking his initial amount which would have been worse than at least returning that amount to his master?  While some may argue yes on this question, that is  not God’s answer.  This is because God does not want us to barely float above water and be content to merely “survive” or “exist” on this earth.  He did not give us the gift of life to give us a chance to break even!  Neither does He want us to fear Him, not trust Him, and play it safe out of some sort of apprehension about what God might do to us should we fail.  This third servant did not trust his master.  In fact, his focus was on himself, on preserving his own position rather than risking what he had been given to further his master’s agenda.  We have been given talents, but we must not waste or  hide them out of some form of fear, apprehension, or mistrust of God, much less a desire to protect our hides. Imagine where Christianity would be today if the Apostles had decided to each cover his own posterior and not take any risks!  Imagine if St. Paul had decided not to take any of his critical road trips in furtherance of his faith!

Just as the servants in this parable, we will each be called upon to give an account of what we have done with what we have been given.  Most of us will probably not show an enormous profit, but we better show a resolve to use what we have been given to serve our Master.  Such an effort demonstrates loyalty, faith, love, and dedication to Our Master, for we will be risking much to serve our Master’s agenda and purpose for our lives.  We can no more hide our talents than we can or should hide our faith, especially in a world which constantly pushes us to hide our talents, our faith, and dedication to Christ.  Regardless of what we have been given, we are each expected to do our best to turn what we have been given into a profit for Our Lord.  This message fits very nicely with the theme of this blog, for we must serve God alone and no other purpose or mission.  Regardless of what we have been given or  how impressive those talents are, if they are not used to glorify and serve God, they are meaningless and perhaps even harmful to our moral health.  Let us each first ask God to help us discover our talents and, then, to use those talents to bring others and ourselves closer to God.

Copyright  2011  Gabriel Garnica

Seven Characteristics of Confused People



Beware: these New Age symbols


The hollow and deceptive threat of the New Age “religion” now infecting our society is a combination of spirituality and superstition. New Age may serve as the ultimate vehicle for “one world” system that could open the door for the Antichrist.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human traditions and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8


    As we read the above passage from the Bible, we may not realize that the “hollow and deceptive philosophy” Colossians was talking about is not only right under our noses, but more accurately all around us. Otto Friedrich describes this threat to our faith as a modern revival of ancient religious traditions, Eastern mysticism, modern philosophy and psychology, science and science fiction, and the counterculture of the 50s and 60s. It is a combination of spirituality and superstition, fad and farce. What is this great threat?

The threat is a New Age “religion”, and the only thing more dangerous than its steady infection of our society is the fact that it may serve as the ultimate vehicle for the kind of “one world” system that could open the door for the Antichrist. What are the key precepts of this system? Why is it so dangerous to our faith? How does the Garabandal Message answer this vile cancer preying on our world? These are questions we must answer with the help of God Almighty, Christ our Savior, and our Blessed Mother.

The Seven Characteristics of Highly Confused People

There are seven ways that we can identify those who, consciously or not, are already in the grips of New Ageism. Each of these concepts is dangerous to our faith, but in combination, they create a deadly poison that runs counter to everything Christians believe. Let us consider each of these seven characteristics.

1. Jesus was not and is not the only Christ, nor is he God.

Need we say more? The typical New Ager believes in a “Christ spirit” which Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Abraham, Moses, Krishna, and Zoroastrian, among others, had. According to the typical New Ager, Jesus is “one of the gang” of gifted prophets and spiritual leaders. According to these people, Jesus was not the Son of God, since God is a force found everywhere, as we will see below in belief #2. Yet the New Testament is certainly a testament of Jesus as the one and only begotten Son of God, our Lord and Savior. The Garabandal events and messages are full of references to the uniqueness and omnipotence of Jesus, the only Christ. Events such as Our Lady’s second visit holding the baby Jesus and Conchita’s locutions with Our Lord testify to this.

2. God is an impersonal, cosmic, energy force.

According to the New Ager, God is found everywhere and in everything. God is a cosmic, universal force or energy found in everything, including us.

With this view, “mother” earth, the sun, moon, stars, and, indeed, all of nature, can be worshipped as God. Thus, in theory, when we kill a tree, we are killing part of God’s force. The above philosophy leads to two dangerous premises: we are gods, and yet, we also exist for nature. Let us deal with the second premise here. If we believe that everything on earth is connected, interdependent, and of equal divine value, then we will be offended by the notion that people are the most valuable and precious of God’s creations on earth. Taken to the next step, this view would hold that overpopulation is offensive to the earth because it strains the resources of “divine earth”. Naturally, any method to control population would be good because it would “respect” and “relieve” the stress on earth of increased population. The logical next step is euthanasia and abortion!

New Agers resent the Christian monotheistic view that they believe has separated us from our ancient connection with the earth. Besides, they reason, heavenly-minded Christians care little about the temporary, earthly, earth.

New Agers think that Christians abuse, ignore, and trample on nature because they see it as something to use at whim and then even only a stepping stone to heaven. One need only look at the story of Noah to see how God cared for both man and nature, and the story of creation, wherein God created all the things of the earth with the care and respect which they deserved. How about the example of St. Francis who respected and appreciated nature as a manifestation of God’s created beauty and Majesty and not as divinity unto itself!While it is true that people often twist Scripture to suit their own needs, we must not abandon the truths of the Holy Bible for pagan views. We must work to recapture the Bible’s respect for creation and man’s proper responsibility toward it while not falling to the other extreme of worshipping the created over the Creator.

Garabandal tells us that everything, including nature, is testimony to the great creating power of God Almighty. The Garabandal events and messages are nothing if not immersed in the rustic, rural, beautiful natural environment of the area itself. In fact, the most sacred, unique place in this whole scenario is a place named “The Pines” where God will leave His most impressive and indelible mark in the future. Garabandal does not ignore nature, it embraces it in its proper perspective as the masterpiece of a Divine and Loving Master and gift to all of us by which we are bound to care for it.

3. Man is himself God and needs only to awaken to that fact.

The view that “I am God” has been appealing since time began, and is alive and well today in our media, society, and political arenas.

Every “ism” we know is based on this false and destructive notion, and abortion fits nicely within its value system. If I am God, I can define and rename everything I want to, and I can determine morality, value, and life itself. The Bible, of course, is loaded with counterpoints to this absurd, egoma-niacal, notion, and the events and messages of Garabandal are steeped in notions of God’s omnipotence, Christ’s authority, the divine nature of the Trinity, and the special place we should hold for our Blessed Mother. It can be said that all sin is a claim that we are god and need answer to nobody else. The extreme focus on self and ego in our arrogant world which now turns its back on its Creator is nothing short of the second half of the rebellion against heaven by the forces of Satan.

PHOTO (Right): The typical New Ager believes in a “Christ spirit”, but the Garabandal events and messages are full of references to the uniqueness and omnipotence of Jesus, the only Christ.

4. Man should seek and accept spiritual instruction and direction directly from the spirit world.

How many times have we asked “What is your sign?” or read some astrology book? How many celebrities have “psychic friends”? How many people go to psychics, channelers, palm readers, card readers, Ouija boards, astrology, magic charming, or seek to speak to the spirits of the dead?

All of this plays to our inner desire to acquire special, paranormal, spiritual, supernatural, powers or knowledge. The occult is the apple that Satan uses to lure us into ignoring God and seeking a second opinion. How many ways are our youth being lured into fascination with magic, sorcery, and witchcraft by even such seemingly innocuous things as Harry Potter and the like?

Both the Bible and Garabamtt warn us against these dangers. Not only does Garabandal point out the existence of hell,purgatory and heaven, but it also stresses our need to obey and follow the kind of life which God wants us to lead. The Garabandal Message is not one of potions, spells, and hocus pocus; it is not a map to a shortcut to supernatural powers. The supernatural manifestations were not given to entice people to seek these powers but, as in Fatima, to demonstrate the power and majesty of God almighty, not us almighty!

5. All religions and religious teachings lead to the same goal and therefore are all of equal merit.

New Age beliefs create a confused mix of ideas and beliefs that result in a cloudy pan-religion. The idea is not to oppose God by fostering atheism or some other extreme spiritual frontal attack, but to “cloud the soup” to the point where the “narrow door” that Jesus spoke of becomes a huge gate where everything goes. Satan is not foolish enough to attack God in a direct manner; instead, he seeks to “drown” God in a sea of gods where he can ultimately emerge victorious. While it is good to respect other views and beliefs, ecumenism becomes dangerous when it seeks to create such “unity” that we lose our inherent Catholic beliefs because we do not want to play ball with everybody else. Pope John Paul II has warned of this in numerous instances. We see this desire to not offend anyone or avoid extremism or have diversity everywhere in our society. In our desire to find common ground, we may lose the ground we stand on.

Garabandal does not aim to confuse, cloud, or include, all beliefs. Its message stresses the need to focus and hold firm to our beliefs and values.

How many ways are our youth being lured into fascination with magic, sorcery, and witchcraft by even such seemingly innocuous things as Harry Potter and the like?”

The Message of Garabandal is that all we need to do is keep our eyes on the prize, help others to do so, and help each other along the way, and the rest will take care of itself. Political correctness, diversity, and other catch phrases have no place in Garabandal.

6. The “ancient wisdom” of Babylon, Egypt, and Greece and not the Bible is the basis of all truth.

It is obvious from what has been said so far that the Bible and New Age “religion” do not mix, so New Agers focus on ancient beliefs and philosophies to support their views. Yet the Garabandal events and Message support and respect the Bible as the word of God. Any belief system which ignores the Bible or belittles it must be at least suspect in the eyes of the faithful.

7. Sin and evil do not exist. Peace and love are the ultimate realities.

New Age views paint a rosy picture wherein anything that creates stress, conflict, or disorder and separation is wrong. According to this view, right and wrong is all relative to the individual. It is divisive to try to impose on others what is right or wrong for them because in doing so one is implying that one’s own views are superior to theirs. We must fight for an inclusive society where there is diversity and diverse views on morality and values are respected and even honored. When the prime minister of Canada, who claims to be a Catholic, boasts that he is in favor of abortion, or other politicians claim to be Catholic yet support pro-choice views, they are doing their best to avoid conflict, push peace and love, and ignore sin and evil. Again, by clouding right and wrong, Satan seeks to create the kind of moral astigmatism where he can do his work more effectively.

The Corpus Christi visions and other Garabandal events and messages are enough to refute any notion that Garabandal simply paints a rosy picture or ignores that sin and evil exist and that hell is very real.

The Dangerous Infiltration of New Age Views Into Our Faith

Whether we accept it or not, New Age is infiltrating into our faith and seeks to destroy it from within. When people deny the Real Presence or lose respect for Mass or the Church’s teachings, they are downplaying or ignoring the proper place of Our Lord. When they push the idea that God is inside us or that we have divine powers, they are pushing the “I am God” button. When religious leaders ignore or passively accept the occult or eliminate exorcisms as part of their work, they are bowing to the supernatural or at least allowing it to fester in their midst. When we as Catholics play with the occult as if it were some harmless game, we are playing with New Age instruments. When people push for ecumenism to the point of blurring what makes us Catholic, they are pushing the “one religion” button that will ultimately make our Catholic faith a shadow of its true self unless we stand firm. When we allow people to focus over much or value ancient views above the Bible, when we belittle the Bible as “not really true” or just “symbolic”, we are playing the New Age game.

Lastly, and perhaps, most harmfully, when we blur what is sin and evil and right and wrong, or make morality relative or individual or subjective, we are imposters of our faith who claim one thing while doing something else, hiding when we should stand for what is right and true in a world where evil is gaining ground everyday. We must not let those who claim to be Catholics but are not get away with distorting what being a true Catholic is all about. If we do, then the New Age “religion” will have won.

Garabandal’s Answer To New Ageism

Garabandal’s answer to New Ageism is very real and very clear. The Garabandal Message leaves no doubt that God is the almighty Creator of heaven and earth, that Jesus is His only Son and our Saviour and Lord, that our Blessed Mother is there to help us find salvation, and that all of creation is a testament to God’s power and majesty. Garabandal is not wishy-washy on morality, faith, and morals, and it reminds us that sin and evil do exist and that hell is real. In the end, Garabandal is everything that New Age is not. One cannot believe in Garabandal and New Age at the same time.

Copyright 2011 Gabriel Garnica

Abortion as Terrorism


   

We all recall the uproar when President Bush’s advisor, Karen Hughes, declared that the “enemies in the terror network….don’t value any life, not even the most innocent and not even their own.” Pro-Abortion forces such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL were quick to demand an apology, decrying the connection of abortions to terrorism and those seeking or performing abortions to terrorists. All political and philosophical rhetoric aside, can such a connection between abortion and terrorism be made?

The Definition Debate

Brian M. Jenkins, a terrorism expert with the international security firm Kroll Associates, notes that agreement on a definition of terrorism has proven to be very difficult to reach. His own definition describes terrorism as “the use or threatened use of force designed to bring about political change”. Criminal Justice ProfessorJames M. Poland describes terrorism as seeking to gain a political or tactical advantage and influence an audience through premeditated, deliberate, systematic murder, mayhem, and threatening of the innocent. History scholar and author Walter Laquer has described terrorism as involving the illegitimate use of force to achieve a political objective when innocent people are targeted. Academic consensus often adds the elements of repeated violence which inspires anxiety conducted by semi- or clandestine individuals, groups or state actors for idiosyncratic, criminal, or political reasons. The direct targets are not the main targets, but are randomly chosen or representative of symbolic targets. Intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is usually involved.

In addition to many of the above elements, the State Department has cited theintent to influence an audience through premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetuated against non-combatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents. Finally, the FBI, in addition to many of the above aspects, points to illegal violence against human life to force any segment of the population in furtherance of political or social goals. The FBI cites domestic terrorism as that directed at elements of the population without foreign direction.

Toward a Consensus

While it is obvious that there is a wide range of views about what exactly constitutes terrorism, it is possible to construct a consensus based on the above definitions proposed by a number of qualified sources. This consensus can be focused as a List of Terrorism Ingredients:

  • Premeditated, repeated violence against the innocent
  • Conducted by semi- or clandestine groups and people
  • For criminal, political, or social reasons
  • Designed to influence an audience
  • And Further a particular agenda
  • Where the victims are not the main targets
  • But represent a larger target
  • Or barrier to a greater goal
  • Which can be domestically or internationally seeded

It seems that the above elements represent a fairly comprehensive and well supported list of what is usually involved in terrorist activity. Given the fact that at least such a list is possible, why the passionate debate and accusations such as those incited by the words of Karen Hughes? Brian M. Jenkins thinks that much has to do with the idea that “branding foes as terrorists implies a moral and political victory.” Given the hysteria and public distaste for terrorism and terrorists, convincing them that a particular group or another are “terrorists” carries a great advantage to that group’s opponents.

Acceptability of Accusation

In view of the serious implications and heinous aspects of the above elements associated with terrorism, one would think that groups would hesitate to call each other terrorists, but this has not been the case. Planned Parenthood, in its website, under the heading Terrorists and Extremist Organizations, has listed 14 leading Pro-Life organizations, clearly describing these groups as dangerous, radical, and terrorist organizations to be feared and stopped. Sister Mary Anne Flannery, Chair of the Communications Department at John Carroll, saw fit to call The Cardinal Newman Society and all who criticized her support for the presentation of the scandalous V Monologues as being “terrorists”. Finally, so-called Catholic politicians such as John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi, have often called religious groups against abortion as being “radicals” and “extremists”, which most in society practically equate with being terrorists. So, you see, it has apparently become quite acceptable to label one’s foes or critics as being terrorists.

Turning the Tables

To decide if the notion that abortion is a terrorist act is a reasonable one, let us apply each of the above elements of terrorism to that industry.

  • Premeditated, repeated violence against the innocent….This first one is too easy to merit much commentary given the millions of abortions ending the lives of innocent babies. A 9/11 a week,  you choose the measure. If ripping someone apart or burning them alive is not violence, then we need new dictionaries!
  • Conducted by semi- or clandestine groups or people… At first glance this element seems to not apply, but let’s delve a bit deeper. While the abortion lobby conducts its “work” openly thanks to Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood’s document “A Special Joint Regional Session: Effective Service Delivery in a Post-Roe World: A Wake Up Call” is basically a strategy for conducting abortions even if they should be outlawed! Also, there are many ways to be “clandestine”, including hiding behind facades, lies, and myths to conduct one’s work. Planned Parenthood has often said that its primary purpose is sex education and the reduction of unplanned pregnancies and abortions, but the facts show that it has done everything within its power to perpetuate, facilitate, and mainstream teen sex, prevention of parental consent, contraception, and the abortions which these things statistically lead to. So, you see, the abortion lobby must hide behind its claims in order to do its work. Its real purpose, profit, must be hidden beneath noble claims of greater good betrayed by the ton of facts, evidence, and statistics which the lobby also conceals. Let us not forget the myriad of accusations and investigations against Planned Parenthood showing it has falsified its funding and other documentation and even hidden rape and child abuse to conduct its business.  I would say that “clandestine” applies here also.
  • For criminal, political, or social reasons….It is obvious that abortions are a hot political potato, a powerful element in an attempted social change toward secularism and away from traditional values, and a fluid criminal concept as well, since it is not criminal but for a few votes from radical judges. Even the abortion lobby fears that it may one day become illegal again, thereby proving how perilous its “legality” really is.
  • Designed to influence an audience and further a particular agenda…Planned Parenthood spends millions yearly on promoting its views among the young, presenting such things as vulgar arts and crafts, pornographic cartoon characters, bowls of free condoms, “I Had an Abortion” T-shirts, Does Size Matter? Rulers, sex manuals for children promoting masturbation, infiltrating The Girl Scouts and the YWCA, and using teen recruiters and “counselors” to find and encourage potential customers. Planned Parenthood’s Nobody’s Fool 2004 Conference was described by Jim Sedlak of The American Life League as simply a “thinly veiled attack on parental rights, public morality, and the health and well-being of our children.”

On the political front, Planned Parenthood spearheads efforts to block parental involvement laws, supports the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) which seeks to protect abortion rights even if Roe is ever overturned, opposes the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2003 (ANDA) which seeks to protect those health care facilities which refuse to provide abortions, opposes any abstinence only educational funding, supports the Cairo Consensus, which promotes population control, and supports a huge bill co-sponsored by John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and others, which has been described as a “sin-soaked bill” meant to promote sex education and contraception programs. At the “Exposing The Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Evil Empire” Conference on April 22nd of this year held at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., The PPFA’s use of its pro-abortion, pro-contraception, pro-sex education agenda to destroy the moral fabric of our society was discussed. Despite the fact that the majority of Americans in all levels disfavor abortions, Planned Parenthood makes every effort to present its agenda as representing the majority view, claiming that “America is Pro-Choice”. I would say that influencing an audience and furthering a particular agenda is clearly something the abortion lobby has dabbled in!

The effect of all of these marketing attempts is that despite the fact that most Americans on all levels disfavor abortion, the abortion lobby, aided by the liberal media and entertainment industry perpetuates the myth that America is Pro-Choice and that Pro-Life groups are the extremist, radical minority. The effort to make abortion and Pro-Choice mainstream cannot be better exemplified by the passive acceptance and even support for these concepts among supposedly spiritual, Christian, and even Catholic arenas. In addition to the obvious example of Kerry and his ilk, one should note that the theme song of the popular and supposedly spiritually based Joan of Arcadia television program is a song by Joan Osborne, the very outspoken and public supporter of Planned Parenthood. When a show which claims to deal with God has a blasphemous theme song sung by a very public supporter of Planned Parenthood, it is easy to see that the abortion lobby has largely achieved its goal of making abortion acceptable even among those claiming to believe in God.

  • Where the victims are not the main targets but represent a greater target or barrier to a greater goal… Despite the horror inflicted on them, the poor, innocent victims of abortions are merely pawns in a much larger game. First, the abortion lobby is about making money off abortions, to the tune of nearly 1 Billion dollars since 1977 for Planned Parenthood alone! Second, the access to abortions is critical to the liberal, radical agendas of secularism, feminism, atheism, relativism, and all of the other destructive forces in society. Third, much of this is also about political power to further these agendas, and abortions are a great part of this equation. Sadly, the abortion lobby is not out to kill, but uses killing as the means to the goal of profit while other forces use this evil as the means to promoting their various philosophies and views. The blood of these innocents is spilled not for its own right, but as a means to a myriad of evil and despicable ends all cloaked under the mantle of freedom, personal rights, reproductive freedom, women’s rights, the protection of children, and whatever other lies can be sold as legitimate reasons to treat particular humans as not being human at all.
  • Which can be domestically or internationally seeded…..Although much of this country’s abortion lobby is domestically centered, there are connections to such organizations as the UN and its population control efforts and evidenced by such efforts as opposing legislation in other countries against those who promote or conduct abortions. Obviously, the abortion lobby has an international aspect which is ever-present.Terrorists or Pawns?Another hotly debated issue in this equation is the role of the front line, trenches players of the abortion industry. It is one thing to decry abortion as a form of terrorism and even the abortion lobby as advocating such terrorism, certainly a mouthful for many, but it is quite another to declare an abortionist or a woman having an abortion a terrorist.The Pro-Choice crowd took the words of Karen Hughes to this level immediately, realizing that such an interpretation would increase sympathy on their side and perhaps make Hughes look like a cross between a crazed fanatic and a mindless microphone for the Pro-Life crowd. Certainly the abortionist is the hired gun for the abortion lobby and carries a good supply of the moral responsibility for his or her actions. Likewise, the mother terminating her pregnancy cannot be free of responsibility as well. Considering the political, social, media, and economic impetus of the larger abortion industry and lobby, I would classify that industry and lobby as the better candidates for the label of terrorism in view of their unadulterated, ultimate profit motive concealed beneath a façade of social, political, and economic concern for the potential patient/customer.As for the abortionist, I would view them as the akin to the group leaders or trainers who provide the weapons and training of terror at the ground level. Like the group leader or trainer, the abortionist takes the message of the larger group and applies that philosophy to the actual act of violence. I see the mother having the abortion as akin to the suicide bomber. While a simplistic view labels that bomber as the actual terrorist, he or she is more often a hypnotized robot indoctrinated to raise the act of violence to some noble or greater cause. Just as the suicide bomber destroys his or her physical body in the furtherance of that perceived cause, so does the mother destroy her moral self in the furtherance of the greater cause which she has been duped into believing by the abortion industry. Just as many such bombers are also victims of the deceptions and distortions of larger terrorist causes, so too these mothers are victims of the deceptions and distortions perpetuated by the abortion lobby. Both the greater terror network and the abortion lobby prey on people in desperate situations or confusion to further their causes. Both that network and that lobby parasitically induce the bomber and the mother to do the real dirty work of killing innocent victims. Both the bomber and the woman have been duped into thinking that they are doing some greater good or serving their own best interest by their actions. There are many instances where both bombers and mothers have changed their minds midstream and walked away from inflicting death, overcoming the spell of their respective terror and abortion networks.In short, while the innocent fetus is certainly a key victim in abortion, the aborting mother is also a victim, for she must live knowing what she has done. Those who boast about such barbaric actions are either hiding real inner pain, confused, or simply morally lost. The life sentence of aborting one’s child does not take a back seat to the capital punishment for being unwanted inflicted on the unborn innocent. In the end, both mother and child are true victims of a lobby and an industry drunk in their own economic, political, and social power and profit – or, simply put, terrorism at its vilest!ConclusionMuch has been made of the connection between abortion and terrorism. Those in favor of abortion cry defamation whenever such views are expressed and demand apologies despite the fact that many of their own do not hesitate to call their opponents terrorists, radicals, extremists, and other similar terms. Although a consensus of what comprises terrorism is not easy, a number of common ingredients can be identified and applied to this debate. This application illustrates that it is not at all unreasonable to see that the abortion industry has many common elements with the ingredients often cited as comprising terrorism. In order to fend off such claims, that industry pretends that the unborn are not living humans, that abortions are merely last-ditch efforts to save the mother from health, social, or economic calamities, and that in any event a woman has the right to do whatever she wishes with her body.

    Research contradicting each of these claims has been repeatedly presented thereby exposing the abortion issue is merely a question of profit, selfishness, and arrogant defiance of moral absolutes in a society increasingly willing to surrender or ignore its moral fabric for individual or secular reasons The definition of terrorism may shift with the sands of political and social convenience and whim, but the blood of innocents is the same no matter what words, terms, or spin are put on any act of barbaric violence against the helpless. It is clear that the violence advocated by the abortion lobby and industry leaves three victims: the child, the mother, and the society which allows this evil to continue. We are left with each side in the abortion debate calling each other extremists, radicals and, yes, terrorists. In the end, whether a Rosary or an abortionist’s scalpel will be deemed an instrument of terrorism in this lost society is a constant debate whose mere existence as an issue says much about this world.

    Copyright 2011  Gabriel Garnica

Be a Fool and Be Saved


    

There is a certain sign that one is walking on the path to Christ and eternal salvation. While this sign is not a guarantee by any means since our free will, human weakness, and sinful nature may spoil our journey, it is nevertheless a positive and comforting sign that one is at least facing our Divine Savior. Isaiah 53: 12 and Luke 23:37 mention that The Messiah was to be counted among the wicked and that should be our expectation given this world and society.

This World’s Judgment is Not God’s

By now it should be painfully obvious that the judgments of this world have very little if any relation to those of God. This world has slowly but surely defaced its moral visage to the point that very little of its present face resembles that of God in content, expression, interpretation, or application. One need only look at what is popular, accepted, encouraged, promoted, sought, admired, and even adored in this culture and society to realize that truth and virtue and deception, distortion, corruption and sin have traded places. It is becoming increasingly difficult if not impossible to please this world while pleasing God. In fact, the shortest distance to pleasing this society seems to be by displeasing God Almighty!

Wickedness is Now Virtue

This society admires those who seek and manipulate power and wealth for their personal agenda. Such people are called shrewd and creative. Likewise, those who pursue pleasure at all costs are the envy of many who wish that they could do likewise. The murder of innocents young and old is clothed as noble freedom and compassion. We hear from the power elite how barbarians who butcher the unborn are actually compassionate angels who care. Sin and perdition is now sold and bought as tolerance and inclusiveness. Truly it can be said that much of present virtue is a sham, the ultimate moral fraud.

Virtue is Now Wickedness

This society now demonizes anyone who conjures religious and moral causes for their actions and words. Loving admonition has become hate speech. Any shepherd seeking to embrace lost sheep is now painted as a divisive radical seeking to enslave everyone in his own twisted beliefs. The so-called Red States, presumably representing moral and virtuous thinking, are depicted as ignorant and intolerant. We hear miles of talk as to how God and Christ are about love and peace and accepting this and that behavior and conduct. Anyone claiming only one road to salvation is represented as evil and destructive. Truly it can be said that good is now evil.

History Repeats Itself

This inverted moral chaos is nothing new or shocking to those who listen to history. Were not the early Christians seen as evil, destructive radicals who had to be eliminated? Do not just causes such as The Crusades suffer from very negative present interpretations by scholars? Is not someone like Pius XII treated like some dangerous criminal? Are not religious people scoffed and depicted as evil and divisive radicals? Were not religious mistreated at every revolutionary turn? It is clear that it is the lot of those who follow Christ to be counted among the wicked just as the Master was.

The Badge of Humble Service

The only sure path to truth and salvation lies in wearing the badge, the label of wickedness in humble embrace if that wickedness is being counted with Christ. The New Order throws that label on those who follow Christ hoping to either isolate them or cause them to surrender their loyalty. If Christ shows us His wounds and reminds us that He received these marks for us, can we then show our Jesus the wounds that this society has inflicted on us and tell Him that we took those marks for Him? We must not only seek and embrace to bear such marks for Christ, but beyond that actually see those wounds as symbols of our dedication, of our membership in the only club that really matters.

Being Fools for Christ

St. Francis once said, “The Lord told me to be a fool and a simpleton, the like of which was never seen before.” Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scaliarecently exhorted conservative Christians to be “a fool for Christ”. Whenever this society and world are not painting true Catholics as wicked and destructive, they choose to mock them as foolish and ignorant. Imbeciles like Jesse Ventura, Ted Turner and Bill Maher describe religious people as simple-minded morons who gullibly buy fairy tales. Such is the lot of those who look to God for guidance and obedience. Were not Noah, Moses, Abraham, John the Baptist, St. Francis, Thomas More, and every saint conceivable seen as fools? Did not the crowds burst in mockery when Bernadette spread mud on her face at Lourdes? Do not people still look at someone wearing ashes on their forehead as if they had a head, or brain injury? Above all, does this society not see voluntarily walking around in poverty, working as a carpenter and unjustly dying on a cross as the height of foolishness? It should not be surprise that April Fool’s Day is usually near Good Friday by a few days or weeks since this society views Good Friday as a day celebrated by mindless fools. In the end, the greatest gift that God Almighty can give us is the privilege and honor to be ridiculed, mocked, criticized, and persecuted for following Christ, for from those ashes of secular trash rises the sacred gold of eternal salvation. Christ reminded us in John 15:5 that “Without Me you can do nothing” and Corinthians tells us that “Divine Folly is wiser than the wisdom of man.”

Conclusion

Being a true follower of Christ and a true Catholic is very much about not just accepting mockery, ridicule, persecution, and hatred, but actually embracing it as giving back to The Divine Savior a fraction of what He endured for us. Every time we are attacked for the sake of Christ, we step closer to His Cross and our eternal home. Let us all strive to be ‘fools for Christ.’ Let us seek a Heavenly King in a cave and not a palace, follow a Carpenter and not a Pharisee for moral guidance, and find our Savior on a cross and not a golden earthly throne! Simply put, let us see God Alone as the answer amid a world which readily sees Him as a waste of time or ignore Him altogether.

Copyright 2011  Gabriel Garnica