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It’s Saint Valentine’s Day!

And, we are living in dangerous times.

Sellers, marketers and retailers wish to have us focus our attention on innocent heart shaped bouquets and red, ruby decorated greeting cards and colored candies…

But, we live in perilous times.

It’s Saint Valentine’s Day!

In the Illinois State Senate Complex, lawmakers are debating issues of love…
shall they corrupt the true understanding of it…
or will they protect it?

It’s Saint Valentine’s Day!

And, too many unwanted children will be killed in their mothers’ wombs today.

It’s Saint Valentine’s Day!

Yet, we are living in risky times.

The ‘slaughter of the innocents,’ wasn’t a single, solitary, sorrowful event that occurred over 2000 years ago in Jerusalem.

No…

The slaughter of the innocents didn’t stop after the Mayan, Incan and Aztec sacrificial altars were abandoned many centuries ago.

No…

The slaughter continues today on innumerable, unholy altars disguised as non-threatening medical examination tables. Step right up, have a seat and the ‘doctor’ will be in to see you shortly.

It’s Saint Valentine’s Day!

And, we are living in spiritually treacherous times where…

‘love of God’ has been replaced with: ‘love of self.’

It’s Saint Valentine’s Day!

And we are at war with the diabolical and too many soldiers are asleep, awol or oblivious to the fact. Wake up!

Proclaim ye this among the nations: Prepare war, raise up the strong: let them come, let all the men of war come up – (clamate hoc in gentibus sanctificate bellum suscitate robustos accedant ascendant omnes viri balloters) – Cut your ploughshares into swords, and your spades into spears. Let the weak say: I am strong – (concidite aratra vestra in gladios et ligones vestros in lanceas infirmus dicat quia fortis ego sum). [The Prophecy of Joel Chapter 3, Verses 9 – 10]

It’s Saint Valentine’s day!

And, soldiers, who are to plunge head-long into battle, need encouragement…

They need well chosen words to help them focus on the difficult task ahead.

About 400 years ago William Shakespeare penned the Saint Crispen’s Day Speech. Those exact words may be fictional but serve as a sterling model to encourage, invigorate and motivate fighters to seek victory over foes who seem to possess overwhelming force and advantage.

There’s a link below to the speech if you are interested; but on this St. Valentine’s Day we need words of encouragement so we may avoid the diabolic snares presented to us in so many disguises.

Let’s consider two of these traps: Abortion and the Redefinition of Marriage

When social activists launch their attacks on moral values and societal norms that are immemorial, religious leaders and indeed all who hold these traditional moral values and abide by ageless societal norms cannot remain silent.

Those who seek to redefine marriage would like you to believe that they just want for same-sex couples to be able to get married and that this will not adversely affect anyone else in any way.

Of course that’s nonsense. If you do not accept their redefinition of marriage, you will be labeled a bigot, you will be marginalized and ostracized, you will be accused of “hate speech,” and eventually you may be charged with a crime.

Another recent newspaper story proclaimed on the front page headline of USA Today on Jan. 11-13, “USA Faces Critical Adoption Shortage.” The story said, “Even before Russia acted in December [to close its doors to U.S. adoptions], children available for U.S. adoptions had hit record lows, as countries restrict adoptions and fewer kids born in the USA are available.”

The reason cited was that, as single parenthood becomes more acceptable, “there are just not as many women placing their children for adoption.”

The article never mentions that fewer children are available for adoption since abortion was legalized everywhere in the United States 40 years ago by the Supreme Court of the United States in its infamous decision, Roe v. Wade.

Since that dreadful day on Jan. 22, 1973, more than 55 million unborn babies have been killed in this nation, founded on the very principle that every person is given by their Creator the inalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

To put that number in some perspective, some 1.5 million Americans have been killed in every war in which this country has fought since 1775.

Put another way, the number of children killed by abortion each year in this country is greater than the present populations of the states of Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Tennessee combined…

…Everyone who speaks out against the horror of abortion and seeks to give aid to women in crisis pregnancies is living out this Year of Faith. When Pope Benedict XVI opened this great year with his Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei (Door of Faith), he reminded us that “faith, precisely because it is a free act, also demands social responsibility for what one believes.”

Because we believe in the dignity of every human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death, we must speak out and call for a greater respect for life in society in general and in our nation’s laws in particular.

… This Valentine’s Day the Illinois State Senate is scheduled to vote on redefining marriage. As the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, I strenuously object to this legislation and hope our elected officials will see the value marriage contributes to the common good of our society.

We would do well to remember the color red is associated with St. Valentine’s Day because Valentine died as a martyr on February 14, about the year 270. Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Emperor Claudius II.

This Valentine’s Day we would also do well to focus on a more authentic understanding of the word “love.”  Love never encourages sin or leads a person further into sin, but seeks instead to help others live a holy life.

As St. Valentine demonstrated, love seeks to lead us further away from sin and closer to the truth.

In this spirit, the Church defends true marriage because she knows that such marriage is a fundamental human good that has God—not the state, not human convention—as its author.

The Church has always, does now, and will forever proclaim and defend true marriage as a fundamental human good that unites one man and one woman in a unique sharing of the whole of their lives.

True marriage has been recognized from time immemorial as worthy of recognition and support from civil society, but such support in no way makes the definition of marriage dependent upon politics or civil law.

The Church hopes all civil servants will serve the common good and avoid acting contrary to that common good, especially in regard to basic institutions that, like marriage, are fundamental to the well-being of the whole society and her members.

In a special way, the Church expects this of Catholics who have been called to the dignity and responsibility of public service.

Catholics who propose or promote the legal establishment of marriage as something other than the union of one man and one woman harm the common good of society, as known by reason, and set themselves against the settled teaching of the Church.

The Catholic Church has great love and compassion for those who experience same-sex attraction and offers pastoral help for people dealing with this condition to help them live a life of chastity.

This is a separate issue, however, from the definition of marriage as a natural institution between a man and a woman committed to an exclusive and life-long relationship open to the potential to bring new life into the world.

Whenever the church teaches about the dignity of all human life and the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, she does not teach merely her opinion, but the truth she has received from Jesus Christ. Because it comes from the Lord, it cannot simply be laid aside.

To have faith in Jesus Christ means “choosing to stand with the Lord so as to live with him” (Pope Benedict XVI, Porta Fidei, 9).

May God give us this grace.

Amen.

The above words are from The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki; Catholic Bishop of Springfield Illinois in a commentary dated 27 January 2013 A.D. called: ‘We must call for greater respect for human life’ (from the Series: Lex Cordis Caritas – The law of the heart is love)

Let Us Pray (Oremus)

Saint Valentine, pray for us on this feast day of yours!

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