May 15, 2015

Letters to the Editor

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How Mother Mary teaches us to say ‘yes’ through her rosary

Our Catholic faith is often misperceived as a series of prohibitions. In reality, at its core Catholicism is a great big “Yes.”

In praying the rosary, the Blessed Mother teaches us to try to say “Yes”:

To God’s divine will for our lives, even when we don’t fully understand (The Annunciation); To expressing our faith by loving and serving someone else each day (The Visitation); By following the humble example set by our Lord in coming to us as a vulnerable babe (The Nativity); By learning and obeying all of the Church’s teachings (The Presentation); To first and foremost addressing the work the Father has for us each day (Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple);

By remembering and trying to live our baptismal vows each day (The Baptism of Jesus); To recognizing that miracles occur every day, most especially bread and wine becoming the body and blood of Jesus (The Wedding at Cana); To spending time each day with Jesus as he teaches us in Scripture (Proclaiming the Kingdom); To contemplating the glories that await us in heaven after a life of discipleship (The Transfiguration); To centering our lives on the daily or weekly reception of Jesus’ body and blood (The Institution of the Eucharist);

To recognizing that our lives involve fierce spiritual combat against enemies seeking to steal our souls for all eternity (The Agony in the Garden); To offering our physical pain to Jesus for the benefit of others (The Scourging at the Pillar); To offering the emotional pain that comes from being mocked for our faith in Jesus for the benefit of others (The Crowning with Thorns); To bearing our burdens, great or small, always with a sense of Christian joy (The Carrying of the Cross); To showing gratitude to Jesus for the greatest sacrifice ever made on our behalf (The Crucifixion);

By offering the new beginning that we are given when we awake each morning to God and his glory (The Resurrection); To lifting our hearts and minds to heaven in prayer each day (The Ascension); By opening our lives to the Holy Spirit’s influence each day (The Descent of the Holy Spirit); By recognizing that it is possible to attain heaven directly and avoid the suffering of purgatory by a life lived in conformity to God’s divine will (The Assumption); By seeking the assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who stands closest to her Son’s throne in heaven (The Coronation).

As Our Lady of Fatima exhorted, pray the rosary each and every day!

- Mike Nygra | Brownsburg

We should know that big government is not the answer to social problems

“Why are Christians coming to government to do what we are called to do as individuals under the Gospel of Jesus Christ?”

Thank you, Rep. Todd Rokita, for asking this question of the Church. I have been asking it myself for many years, and have never gotten a satisfactory answer. 

Another way to phrase it might be, “Why should we ask government to force others to fund what we ourselves are called to do?”

When we put the government in charge of poor relief, we neglect to address the whole person and deny recipients any spiritual benefits that they might have received from Christian ministries.

Government, especially at the federal level, is the most inefficient way to accomplish just about everything and has caused many of the economic problems we now ask it to solve.

Each time it interferes with the economy—subsidizing housing, higher education, or non-work; mandating wages or health care coverages; raising taxes; overregulating businesses; price controls—the market is skewed, and costs go up for everyone, including employers who can no longer afford to hire the least skilled and neediest.

Many programs trap generations in dependence and dysfunction by subsidizing a pattern of fatherless families, the most reliable predictor of future poverty. The negative results of all this tinkering provoke calls for more “help” for the poor, creating yet more dependence.

How opportune this system is for politicians to “buy” votes by promising more benefits to more people with other people’s money. 

After 50 years and $22 trillion, we should know that big government is not the answer to social problems. I suggest that rather than trying to reform federal programs, we lift burdens from businesses so they can create more jobs and employ the Catholic value of subsidiarity by phasing out federal programs and returning responsibility to the states, localities, churches, private charities and families.

- Gwendolyn O’Connor | Indianapolis

What does the word ‘God’ mean? Many things, reader says

What does the word “God” mean?

I believe the word mirrors what the word refers to: the “ineffable one,” the “nameless one” who does not enter into the world we can name as a part of it.

It means the “silent one” who is always there, and yet can always be unobserved, unheard and, because it expresses the whole in its unity and entirety, can be passed over as meaningless.

It means that which really is wordless, because every word receives its limits, its own sound and consequently its intelligible sense only within a discipline of words.

The word “God” is the final word before we become silent, the word which allows all the individual things we can name to vanish into the background, the word in which we are dealing with the totality which grounds them all.

The soul that is Christian from its origins is derived from the inescapability of the word “God.” The word “God” is our opening to the incomprehensible mystery of the “I am.” The word “God” is an exhausting and demanding word.

- Kirth N. Roach | Order of Carmelite Discalced Secular Indianapolis

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