Friday, May 26, 2017

VT Knights of Columbus, Again

The following note was prepared for the June Vermont State Knights of Columbus Newsletter. A resolution on which I comment is posted below, with some more resolutions from the Vermont State Knights of Columbus.

Dear Brothers in Christ,
I encourage counsels to use our 2017 Resolutions from the State Convention as an inspirational and programmatic resource. I have begun to post a few of resolutions on my own personal blog:
A note to make about our state council Resolution #4, which is in Support for Culture of and Respect for Life. Discussion around this resolution brought forward the possibility that some Catholics are unaware of how the misleading term "Death with Dignity" has become a euphemism for Physician Assisted Suicide in our anti-Christian culture. Furthermore, those who are not well informed about this issue, or about Christian ethics, might wrongly argue from our resolution as it is currently worded, that when we condemn the use of this euphemism, we somehow wish that people would lose their dignity at their time of death. It is not so! Let good Catholics be well informed, and clearly show that there is no dignity in any kind of suicide, and it is shameful that "Death with Dignity" has been adopted as the misleading catchword for this lamentable movement in our state and country. 
Some of this information can be added to our culture of life resolution next year to strengthen its statements in support of human life, from conception ton natural death.
Let us continue on with every energetic effort to build a culture of life.
God bless, State Chaplain, Fr. Tim Naples

VT Resolution # 4
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States did sanction abortion on demand throughout this nation; and 

WHEREAS, our Holy Mother Church throughout the world has unequivocally condemned this practice as sinful, and a most grievous affront to Almighty God,
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Vermont State Council, Knights of Columbus urge all Councils and members within the jurisdiction of Vermont to support financially and physically the Pro-Life Movement; and

BE IT RESOLVED, that all councils join as a group, to express their solidarity with our Bishop, Priests and members of our communities who are supporters of the respect for life, from the moment of conception until natural death; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that all brother Knights and their families whenever possible, withdraw any support for any health care provider, whether an establishment, doctor, nurse or health care professional that has publicly endorsed any form of “Death with Dignity”; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that this convention of the Knights of Columbus urges the legitimate authority in capital cases to explore all non-lethal means to defend and protect the people from the aggressor, before seeking recourse to execution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, our Governor, our two U.S. Senators, our Congressman, and the Vermont Right to Life Committee.

VT Resolution # 5
WHEREAS, the Vermont State Council, Knights of Columbus shares the concern of sexual permissiveness in our society, as expressed by our Bishops; and

WHEREAS, traditional values of love, marriage, and family life are being attacked, deliberately, viciously, and unrelentingly in the name of sexual freedom, which ultimately enslaves its victims in a life that endangers the general population with violence towards women, physical disease, and mental illness; and

WHEREAS, the current emphasis of sex education in schools today promotes sexual freedom and experimentation if it is deemed medically safe, rather than promote moral values and chastity; and

WHEREAS, this liberal sexual education leads to more teenage sex, teenage pregnancy, and teenage abortion;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Vermont State Council express its disapproval of any sex education in our schools that encourages heterosexual or homosexual activity; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Vermont State Council, in its 119th Convention, urges the Supreme Council to include in the Crusade for Life Campaign, its opposition to sex education in our schools which promotes and encourages sexual promiscuity; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution be sent to the Chairperson of the Vermont State Board of Education.

VT Resolution # 6
BE IT RESOLVED, that we never waver in our efforts to promote the church’s understanding of marriage as the faithful, exclusive and lifelong union of one man and one woman joined in an intimate partnership of life and love; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that we pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten elected officials to adopt laws and judges to make judicial decisions that affirm the family and the authentic nature of marriage; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that we join with the bishops and priests of the United States, Canada and throughout the world in their efforts to achieve legal and constitutional protection at the federal and state levels for the traditional definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Random Thoughts on the Lord's Prayer

“Give us this day our daily bread.” 
This is truly a reminder of the manna in the desert. This could also be translated “give us only for today our sustenance from heaven.” It is a reminder of our mortality, that God never promises us tomorrow, but only today.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
The word “forgive” comes from the word “give.” The word, for me, means that forgiveness amounts to giving the same thing twice, or to giving a thing preemptively before it has been taken from us.

In the analogy of monetary debts, if I loaned someone an amount and they did not pay it back, then forgiveness is like me giving them the exact same amount, a second time, as a gift, so that they can pay me back the same amount which they had borrowed in the first place. Thus, I for-gave by giving the same amount twice.

In terms of offenses it means making an excuse for the offense before the offense is even done. It is as if I take the mindset and say, prior to the offense, “you will do this to me but it matters not.” Or, has been said in other words, “before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” That is in anticipation of the sin, the debt is already accounted as nothing compared to the relationship.

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Vermont Knights of Columbus

Yours truly just returned from the annual Vermont State Council Knights of Columbus Convention. As State Chaplain for the Vermont Knights of Columbus, I will share some of the statements adopted as resolutions.

There is this one:
WHEREAS, the Catholic Church teaches that the right to religious freedom is based upon the inherent dignity of the human person, which is known through both reason and divine revelation; and

WHEREAS, the right to religious freedom is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States; and 

WHEREAS, religious freedom means that all persons are to be free from coercion in matters of belief and conscience, and that no person should be forced to act in a manner contrary to his or her own beliefs or conscience;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we will never waver in our efforts to defend religious freedom as an inherent right of all Americans; and 

FURTHER RESOLVED, that we will remain steadfast in our opposition to any future governmental action or policy that forces Catholic institutions and individuals to violate our most deeply held moral and religious convictions; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that our struggle for religious freedom at this decisive moment in our nation’s history is not only for our sake, but for the sake of our children, our grandchildren and all future generations, so that they too may know a country that is “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, our Governor, our two U.S. Senators, and our Congressman.

And also this one:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that on July 16, 2017, the Vermont State Council sponsor a pilgrimage to St. Anne’s Shrine at Isle LaMotte, under the direction of the State Chaplain; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that every council and their families take part in the Family Pilgrimage to St. Anne’s Shrine.  Families are strongly encouraged to attend; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the installation of the elected State Officers shall take place after the celebration of Holy Mass on July 16, 2017 at St. Anne’s Shrine at Isle LaMotte under the direction of the State Deputy.

Regarding these two (more to follow later) I make a few comments.

First, the National Knights of Columbus have some great initiatives and materials on the efforts in our nation to secure religious liberty. They are worth checking out. Click the link.

And also, as state Chaplain I will, of course, be offering the Mass at St. Anne's Shrine on July 16th. It will be a special 12:30PM Mass, preceded by 11:00AM Rosary and followed by the instillation of state officers, and a barbecue lunch. I here share that I plan to provide a juggling show for entertainment at the lunch.
Therefore I say, consider joining us. And share away.
Fr. Tim Naples