Friday, October 30, 2009

Archbishop Charles Chaput: The Misuse of Freedom

"The American Jesuit scholar Father John Courtney Murray once said that 'Anyone who really believes in God must set God, and the truth of God, above all other considerations.'

"Here's what that means. Catholic public officials who take God seriously cannot support laws that attack human dignity without lying to themselves, misleading others and abusing the faith of their fellow Catholics. God will demand an accounting. Catholic doctors who take God seriously cannot do procedures, prescribe drugs or support health policies that attack the sanctity of unborn children or the elderly; or that undermine the dignity of human sexuality and the family. God will demand an accounting. And Catholic citizens who take God seriously cannot claim to love their Church, and then ignore her counsel on vital public issues that shape our nation's life. God will demand an accounting. As individuals, we can claim to be or believe whatever we want. We can posture, and rationalize our choices, and make alibis with each other all day long--but no excuse for our lack of honesty and zeal will work with the God who made us. God knows our hearts better than we do. If we don't conform our hearts and actions to the faith we claim to believe, we're only fooling ourselves.

"We live in a culture where our marketers and entertainment media compulsively mislead us about the sustainability of youth; the indignity of old age; the avoidance of suffering; the denial of death; the meaning of real beauty; the impermanence of every human love; the dysfunctions of children and family; the silliness of virtue; and the cynicism of religious faith. It's a culture of fantasy, selfishness and illness that we've brought upon ourselves. And we've done it by misusing the freedom that other--and greater--generations than our own worked for, bled for and bequeathed to our safekeeping.

"What have we done with that freedom? In whose service do we use it now?"

"...the same Father Murray who revered the best ideals of the American experiment could also write that 'Our American culture, as it exists, is actually the quintessence of all that is decadent in the culture of the of the Western Christian world. It would seem to erected on the triple denial that has corrupted Western culture at its roots: the denial of metaphysical reality, of the primacy of the spiritual over the material, of the social over the individual...Its most striking characteristic is its profound materialism...It has given citizens everything to live for and nothing to die for. And its achievement may be summed up thus: It has gained a continent and lost its own soul.' "

~Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. ~

Address to Phoenix Catholic Physician's Guild, Oct. 16, 2009

40 DAYS FOR LIFE DAY 38: Meet an abortion survivor

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