RE: Gender Equality; Is Their Any Info Available on Gender Differences?

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

 With the furor raging over the question of gender equality (identity), it might be time for EVERYONE to visit  St. John Paul II's, Apostolic Letter regarding the dignity of women, Mulieris Dignitatem . 

The crusade for complete equality has taken a seriously convoluted turn.  Here (in my opinion) are the irrefutable facts in the order as I see them:  1)Man and Woman are both human beings;  2)Man and Woman are unique unto their own sex;  3)Man and Woman complement each other;  4)Man and Woman can form a bond with each other which allows them to be able to unite together  as one couple;  this natural, complimentary bond completes the Human equation;  5) the answer to the human equation is New Life.

Therefore  it follows that;  Man and Woman NEED each other; Man and Woman need to respect each other for their uniqueness which allows them to ‘complete ‘ each other ; and finally, Man and Woman will cease to exist without each other.  

This concept is generally mocked in a secular driven world. Therefore I am posting the message below from St John Paul II. 

From  Mulieris Dignitatem (1988), no. 18

"Parenthood - even though it belongs to both  man and woman - is realised much more fully in the woman, especially in the prenatal period. It is the woman who 'pays' directly for this shared generation, which literally absorbs the energies of her body and soul. It is therefore necessary that the man be fully aware that in their shared programme of parenthood he owes a special debt to the woman."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   
And I shall add a quote from Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen :
“When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Final thought from me: Is their any information available about Gender Differences?
                                        ©Larry Peterson 2016 All Rights Reserved
     

Reality Check: Does Having Judeo-Christian Values Make You a Candidate for Genocide?

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

The words--annihilation, extermination, carnage, and slaughter, to name a few, are synonyms for the word "Holocaust". The word "genocide"not invented until 1941, fits right in there. But none of those words bring us to the core of what those words truly represent. They are the by-product of the malevolent, hideous, and hate filled evil that consumes and takes control of certain human beings.

During the 20th century, seven periods of genocide  took place. Beginning with the  Armenian Genocide of  1915-1918, moving  to the Holocaust of 1938 -1945, seeing the horrors of Rwanda in 1995 and jumping forward to today's worldwide daily carnage, what has changed? Not a damn thing.

The pages of history are filled with countless numbers of people who have seen fit to perform evil, vicious acts against those of their own kind. It defies logic, common sense, and so many other traits that are part of the human condition. Supposedly "good" people, upstanding citizens, if empowered and able to hide behind a mantra of legality, turn on their own kind and subject them to the most incredulous pain and suffering they can conjure up. How many Nazi war criminals used the excuse of "just following orders" to justify their actions?

But we lose a sense of the horror when we talk about the "millions" of innocents annihilated. We somehow need to look at individual people to grasp a sense of what did  happen and is happening up and including this very day. In fact, history proves that the our humanity is tied together with our ancestors, those part of our present and those that will follow us in the future.

In early April I wrote about the only nun ever sentenced to death by a Nazi court. Her name was Sister Maria Restituta (now Blessed Maria). Blessed Maria's "crime" was  that she refused to remove Crucifixes from hospital bedrooms. I would now like to mention the very first priest to die in a Nazi concentration camp. Just like Blessed Maria he was also born in Austria. His name was Otto Neururer.

Father Neururer was a parish priest and a young woman came to him seeking advice. She wanted to know whether or not she should marry a divorced man. The man had a shady past and Father Otto advised her against the marriage. She told this man what Father had told her and he promptly went to his friend who was a high ranking Nazi official in the area. Father Neururer was arrested for "slander to the detriment of German marriage" and sent to Dachau Concentration Camp. From Dachau he was sent to  Buchenwald which was under the command of Martin Sommer aka "The Hangman of Buchenwald".

While at Buchenwald, Father Neururer performed a "forbidden" Baptism. He was caught, sent to the punishment block and Martin Sommer decided to have him hung upside down. Father Neururer was left that way until he died 36 hours later. He was 58 years old and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1996.

Demonstrating the connection from yesterday to today and onward to tomorrow let us jump ahead to  April 7, 2014. The place is Homs, Syria. Creatures of habit, most of us more than likely went through our usual daily routine of showering, brushing our teeth, having coffee, getting dressed and doing the things we usually do in whatever order we do them which is unique to each of us as individuals.

And then there were those that did not have an ordinary kind of day. One of them was Father Frans Van der Lugt a 75 year old Jesuit who had spent 50 years in Syria helping the poor and needy. This day would be his last.    

On Monday morning, April 7, masked assailants stormed into the monastery where Father Frans was tending to the remaining few dozen Christians left in Homs, (down from the 60,000 a few years earlier). These ISIS cowards dragged the 75 year old priest from the church, beat him mercilessly and then shot him in the head, killing him.

Father Fran's crime was for being a Catholic priest and serving Jesus and loving his neighbor. What was Father Otto's crime 70 years earlier? He was a Catholic priest serving Jesus and loving his neighbors. And dear Blessed Maria, she was just a Catholic nun and a nurse who loved Jesus and was beheaded for refusing to remove a Crucifix from a hospital wall.

To tie the entire century together lets not forget the Armenian Martyrs of 1915 thru 1918. Being part of the Judeo-Christian world means we must always be prepared and always be ready to stand up for God and Jesus and Goodness. Not one of those mentioned and the millions of their  murdered brethren ever thought  a day like that would come their way. Were they all ready to die for their faith? Would you or I be ready? Maybe it is time for ALL of us to think about that.

                                 ©Larry Peterson 2016 All Rights Reserved

     

3 Saints Who Never Knew the Impact They Would Have on Others –

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

This article appeared in Aleteia on May 18, 2016
St. Vincent de Paul, Blessed Frederick Ozanam, St. Jeanne Jugan

Saint-Servan, France,1839:  On a bitterly cold winter night,  Jeanne Jugan , 47, looked out from her bedroom window and saw a person huddled outside. She went out and somehow managed to carry the shivering woman into her own home and place her in her own bed.

The woman's name was Anne Chauvin and she was blind, paralyzed and quite old. She was also close to freezing to death. And so it began, for on that very night Jeanne Jugan turned her life to serving God by caring for the elderly poor. 
Word spread quickly throughout the small town and before long more elderly sick and poor were being brought to Jeanne. Other women, younger and healthier, were coming to her also. But they were coming to join her in her work. The small group of women grew and became known as  The Little Sisters of the Poor
By 1879, there were over 2400 Little Sisters of the Poor in nine countries. That year was also the year that Pope Leo XIII approved the by-laws of the order. Ironically, it was also the same year Jeanne Jugan died at the age of 86. She was canonized a saint on October 11, 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Saint Jeanne Jugan never knew that when she was founding the Little Sisters of the Poor a young countryman of hers in Paris was responding to God’s flowing graces. Frederick Ozanam was a 20 year old student at the University of Paris. Challenged by his "enlightened" college peers, he embraced their taunts "to practice what you preach".  
Accepting the challenge, Frederick went out and gave his coat to a beggar.  Shortly thereafter,  he and his four pals founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society . That was in May of 1833.  They named the society after St.Vincent because he was known for his work with the poor.
Vincent de Paul never knew that 170 years after his death an organization named after him would take up the mantle of helping the poor all over the world. Frederick Ozanam died at the age of 40 and was beatified and declared 'Blessed' by Pope John Paul II in 1997. Frederick  would never know that the organization he had founded would one day work side by side with the Little Sisters of the Poor in their mission of charity toward the elderly poor.
 St. Jeanne Jugan could never have known that from the moment she carried Anne Chauvin into her home she would change the world for thousands upon thousands of the sick and disabled elderly. She could never have imagined that in the 21st century her order would be serving the poorest of the elderly in cities all over the United States and in 31 countries around the world.
 Blessed Frederick would never have imagined that his Society of St. Vincent de Paul would become a worldwide organization with close to a million members helping the needy all over the world. The grand irony is that over the course of several centuries the paths of these three saints have been interwoven dramatically as their followers help the poor, homeless and downtrodden no matter where they may be.
The three saints mentioned here never knew what their simple acts of kindness would lead to. The difference with them was that, unlike most folks, they responded to God's grace. Jeanne took care of that sickly woman and Fred gave away his coat. Vincent worked with poor tenant farmers and founded the Daughters of Charity.
These three unpretentious, God loving people had two things in common.  First, they embraced God's grace and followed His call. Secondly, they asked for NOTHING for themselves and welcomed whatever came their way, including poverty. Their legacies live on in the thousands upon thousands of their followers and in all those millions who have been helped by their simple acts of faith. This is a beautiful thing.
 As a Catholic I love these people and I am proud to consider myself part of their extended family. They set examples for us that we are supposed to emulate. They are our Catholic heroes and therefore members of our Catholic Hall of Fame. They asked for nothing and gave everything. I love being able to talk to them. What I love best is when they talk back. And they do, sooner or later and one way or another.
 St. Vincent de Paul, St. Jeanne Jugan and Blessed Frederick Ozanam, please keep praying for all of us. And ---THANK YOU.

                            ©Larry Peterson 2016 All Rights Reserved

     

Meet the “Doorkeeper”; The Man Who Shed his Ego *

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME


By Larry Peterson
* An edited version of this appeared in Aleteia on May 3, 2016

Worn down by the egotistical blustering of all the presidential candidates I decided to begin a search for someone sans EGO. I was sure it would be almost next to impossible. Then a bulb went off in my frazzled brain. 

I began a search of  the Official Catholic Directory of Saints. The search was easy. It is chock full of the “Egoless”. (N.B. Being egoless is not a birth defect). The saints managed to discover the secret to attaining a diminished to non-ego persona. They learned how to love God with all their minds, hearts and souls (something most of us fail miserably at doing).  They mastered the technique of diminished ego and advanced in their spirituality to the point where it led them to love others more than themselves. They reached a point where their own self was no longer a concern to them. Others came first.
These are the people gone before us who loved God unconditionally. Many times, like most of us, they failed miserably before they got it right. They just never quit trying to love God MORE every day. These folks ultimately emptied themselves for others before they died, many times giving their lives in doing so. This Directory of Saints is a treasure trove of Christian example for all of us, especially the young.
The “Doorkeeper” is an example of this. He was an uncomplicated man who never aspired to be anything more than a simple priest. His name was Bernard Francis Casey and his family and friends called him Barney. Barney, like so many other Catholic saints, shed his ego.

The "Doorkeeper", Father Solanus Casey
Barney was born in Oak Grove, Wisconsin back in 1870. He was the sixth of 16 kids of Irish immigrants. When Barney was a boy he contracted Diptheria and it left him with a permanently raspy sounding voice. (This would inhibit his speaking ability for the rest of his life). Young Barney felt the call to the priesthood but, at the age of 16, he hit a detour. He had to go to work to help the family.
Barney Casey always did whatever job he had (he worked as a lumberjack, a prison guard , a streetcar operator and even a hospital orderly) to the best of his ability wanting to serve his God in all things. When he was 21 he was finally able to enter St. Francis High School seminary in Milwaukee. He spent five years there before being able to move on and join the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Upon his acceptance he took the name of Solanus after St. Francis Solanus, a 17th century missionary.
Solanus Casey  was finally ordained a priest at the age of 33. He had to study extremely hard to reach that goal and when he was finally ordained he was given the title "Sacerdos Simplex" which means "simple priest". This meant he was not permitted to preach or to hear confessions. He never complained and took joy in having the honor and privilege of being able to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Father Casey lived in Detroit and his main job at the monastery was that of the doorkeeper. Father Casey, wanting to do the absolute best at whatever God chose for him, became the finest doorkeeper that ever lived. He did this for well over 20 years.  Unexpectedly, he also became known for his service to the sick and for the advice and consultations he would have with visitors. People began attributing cures and other blessings to his interaction with them or others. He quickly became known as “The Doorekeeper”.
Father Casey was a man who opened and closed doors for people. He was a man who disregarded ego and was happy to serve God in the simplest of ways. He was a man who, because miracles have been attributed to his intercession, was declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II in 1995. This is the first step toward canonization as a saint. Father Solanus Casey died in 1957.
Father Solanus Casey is on the road to full sainthood. And all he did to begin his journey down that road was to humbly and happily open doors for people and talk to them if they wanted. A shining example of the beauty of humility and how powerful that quiet virtue can prove to be.
Solanus (Barney) Casey has re-charged me. It might be nice if all of today’s bloviating pundits could hear or read his story. It would also be a fine thing if all the young people across the entire country were also introduced to this God loving, humble man who managed to become famous by simply opening doors better than anyone else.
                                ©LarryPeterson 2016 All Rights Reserved
     

May 1: Honoring Good St. Joseph; Patron Saint of all Workers

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson
St. Joseph, teaching his Son, Jesus, carpentry
from the painting by Georges da La Tour, 1640sn

Just a 'shout-out' from me to St. Joseph, my favorite saint, on the feast of "St. Joseph the Worker".  He is an inspiration and magnificent role model , not just for husbands and dads but for all men.  I love this man. 

Today the Catholic world honors all workers, those from yesterday, from today and those not yet here. Fittingly, the man who heads the list is none other than St. Joseph,  foster dad to Jesus Christ and husband to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The day is called the "Feast of St. Joseph the Worker" and honors the quiet carpenter holding him up high as an example for all workers and their families.

Saint Pope John Paul II on St. Joseph: 

“Let us imitate our model St. Joseph in all
our endeavours especially the raising and upbringing of our families.  St. Joseph did Great Things in the ordinary things of life.  In loving His wife, in loving His Son, and especially loving God and every person who ever lived.  Let us start always in our family to love our neighbor."   

 "The essence and role of the family are in the final analysis specified by love. Hence the family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God's love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church his bride.  Through God's mysterious design, it was in that family that the Son of God spent long years of a hidden life. It is therefore the prototype and example for all Christian families."

The Catholic Church deeply venerates this Family and proposes it as the model for all families.  The family of today can learn so much from this family.  Why is this so?  Because it was headed by the greatest earthly husband and dad ever, St. Joseph. 

Oh, Saint Joseph, we never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; we dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in our name and kiss his fine head for us and ask him to return the Kiss when we draw our dying breath.
Saint Joseph, Patron of departed souls – pray for us. Amen.