November 30, 2013

Divorced and Remarried Catholics (UPDATED with link to referenced article)

I posted the following comment to a recent article (here)  about divorced and remarried Catholics:

"Those who marry without benefit of annulment have voluntarily chosen to sin for the sake of self. They have chosen the wide gate, rather than the narrow one. They have chosen self over God. The correction is simple - to return to the Sacraments, fix the sin. If you can't get an annulment, then live as brother & sister, if you can't do that, then separate for the sake of your Soul and those of any children.

All the hoopla about the pastoral care of those who voluntarily chose the path of sin is incredulous, while all the silence for the pastoral care of the abandoned spouse and children is quite deafening. Since when do the needs of the one trump the needs of the many? Since when does the spiritual care of abandoners trump the spiritual care of the spouses who choose to remain faithful to their first vows? Why does the Church feel the need to lower Christ's standards to ensure the "feel-good" emotional state of inveterate sinners, while chopping the legs from under the spouses who have chosen to remain Faithful to Christs teachings and their first and only marriage? Where does true mercy lie? Where does true justice lie? It certainly does not lie with the focus on loving the sin and the sinner, but on hating the sin, loving the sinner and converting the sinner from their sin to Save their Soul.
If the divorced and remarried-without-annulment want full communion and don't want to feel bad while sitting in the pew with tears streaming down their face because they are restricted - BY THEIR OWN CHOICE - from receiving the Body and Blood of Our Lord, then correct the sin by Confession, Absolution, Repentance and Repair of the damage caused by the sin. Everyone else in the Catholic Church has to do the same thing to gain Heaven, without changing the rules...the divorced and remarried are no exception, so why is the Church trying to make them so?"

If the Church - especially here in the USA - had as much "pastoral concern" for marriages pre-divorce as they do post-divorce, it is not a far reach to say that many more marriages - and Souls - would be saved. 

Copyright 2013 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

November 29, 2013

Saint Francis of Assisi - Prayer for Peace

One of my favorite prayers...

I also included the Wikipedia info on the history of the prayer here, only because it may or may not have a direct trace to the Saint, though that should stop no one from striving for its ideal. As far as I know, the picture itself has no copyright; the prayer was added to the picture. 

Copyright 2013 David Heath© - All Rights Reserved

November 28, 2013

John Denver - For You

For the Mother of our 10 children...lest she forgets, though in reality she already has.

Commitment, Courage and Capitulation

Democratic Colorado state senator resigns to avoid recall over gun law

So blared the headline on Fox News this morning as I set here drinking my tasteless, but hot, coffee at 3:57 A.M. And so goes another politician who simply caves, folds, gives up, refuses to fight, acquiesces, takes-one-for-the-gipper, etc. etc. etc., rather than defend that which they helped to create, even if that defense shouts they will go down down in flames and their political career be utterly destroyed in the process. What would be truly destroyed, however, is not the political but the integral, for it simply shows the lack of personal commitment to the cause, the superficial strength that was used to promote it and the flimsy courage used to get it implemented. This commitment to the cause was not ideological, not personal, not "for the people-by the people" of the district. No. There was no personal commitment, no true strength, no true courage to defend an action or ideal. There was simply no integral belief of its validity, else the individual would have stood and fought, stood and defended, stood and declared "This is right and this is what I believe in the name of my constituents!" Epic fail.

I contrast that with my own defense of my marriage, both with my wife and my children, among friends and acquaintances, with priest or Bishop. My defense of this marriage, of this Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, is integral within is part and parcel of my is embedded with the words "I thee wed..." and is something that cannot and will not ever be taken from me. I don't have the luxury of resigning; I don't have the luxury of walking away;I don't have the luxury of pawning this off to another. I own this. It is mine to defend or not, but if I do not, then I am all that is believed of me by my wife and children and am not and never was deserving of them. I do not run nor do I hide. I do not deflect nor do I defer. I stand and deliver to all who fall in my path, when appropriate to do so. I am fighting a battle that by earthly standards many would say I have lost, I have no chance of winning, so why do it? And in my reply I simply say that it goes back to the beginning with the words "With this ring, I thee wed...". From that moment in time until now and into forever, no matter how cowardly I did so before her divorce, I find the strength, courage and commitment to continue in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds, with no true guarantee of success of winning this war, let alone the battle. 

It goes without saying that without the Divine assistance and guidance from Our Blessed Lord and Lady, I would shortly have followed in the footsteps of many a politician and caved. Therein lies True Courage and Faithfulness. Therein lies the reality of my strength. Alone and unafraid, I continue to stand at the Foot of the Cross, bloodied and bruised, comforted only by His Presence hanging upon the Cross and consoled by the Mother who sustains my Heart from breaking irretrievably and which would in all likelihood, doom me.  

Deo Gratias! 

Copyright 2013 David Heath© - All Rights Reserved

November 23, 2013

Juan Donoso Cortes, The Catholic Warrior and Defending Marriage

I had saved the below quote from Juan Donoso Cortes some time ago from an article in the February 1978 issue of The Angelus Magazine. I came across it again recently while scanning some old documents and pictures I wanted to archive. It somehow fittingly describes the battle that those of us who continue to honor their first vows, who continue to battle for the reconciliation of our spouses and families and who continue to battle Holy Mother Church over this "toleration" of divorce that is so anti-Biblical and that has caused so much death and destruction to Catholic Families. It just seems to be a fitting battle cry, for it well describes the battle I and others are fighting in this war for the family of Souls entrusted to our care, for our Marriages and ultimately, for God. The final paragraph is emblazoned upon my personal Battle Standard. (Emphasis within quote is all mine...)

"There is no man, let him be aware of it or not, who is not a combatant in this hot contest; no one who does not take an active part in the responsibility of the defeat or victory. The prisoner in his chains and the king on his throne, the poor and the rich, the healthy and the infirm, the wise and the ignorant, the captive and the free, the old man and the child, the civilized and the savage, share equally in the combat. Every word that is pronounced, is either inspired by God or by the world, and necessarily proclaims, implicitly or explicitly, but always clearly, the glory of the one or the triumph of the other. In this singular warfare we all fight through forced enlistment; here the system of substitutes or volunteers finds no place. In it is unknown the exception of sex or age; here no attention is paid to him who says, I am the son of a poor widow; nor to the mother of the paralytic, nor to the wife of the cripple. In this warfare all men born of woman are soldiers.

And don’t tell me you don’t wish to fight; for the moment you tell me that, you are already fighting; nor that you don’t know which side to join, for while you are saying that, you have already joined a side; nor that you wish to remain neutral; for while you are thinking to be so, you are so no longer; nor that you want to be indifferent; for I will laugh at you, because on pronouncing that word you have chosen your party. Don’t tire yourself in seeking a place of security against the chances of war, for you tire yourself in vain; that war is extended as far as space, and prolonged through all time. In eternity alone, the country of the just, can you find rest, because there alone there is no combat. But do not imagine, however, that the gates of eternity shall be opened for you, unless you first show the wounds you bear; those gates are only opened for those who gloriously fought here the battles of the Lord, and were, like the Lord, crucified."

  • (Essays on Catholicism, Liberalism, and Socialism, 1879.)

More on Juan Donoso Cortes below: 

Bio - Juan Donoso Cortés
Quotes - Juan Donoso Cortés

Copyright 2013 David Heath© - All Rights Reserved

November 21, 2013

Forgiveness - Rosario Rodriguez

A remarkable story of a remarkable young woman I came across some months ago. I sent it to some of my older teen children who - despite their Catholic education - have forgotten the meaning of "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do".  I hope someday they remember...

 Rosario's website The Shield About Me is here. I hope you will be as moved as I was...

November 17, 2013

Falling Out of Love

I detest the term "falling out of love." It's a lie and an escape from facing your own frailties.  You "fall" out of a tree because your foot slipped on a branch.  You "fall" off your bike because you skidded on soft gravel. Neither require an act of the Will. But you don't "fall" out of Love... You choose to do so, whether it be from lack of desire for the family life or from a lack of desire for one's spouse. 

Nor do believe in the "I love you, children, but I don't Love your Mom/Dad anymore" mantra. To me, you can't Love one without loving the other. The children were conceived in the Love of spouse and if that Love should "fall", then it must, by extension, also "fall" from the heights it once was for the children. The Love for the one is mutually dependent upon the other. They cannot be separated and anyone who says they can is naive, a liar or a fool. Love is not measured in degrees that you can regulate - its "full on" or "full off", there is no "simmer" mode. If you Love your children, then you must Love their Mom/Dad. If you "Fall out of Love" with the latter, then you fall out of love with the former. You can't have it both ways...

Copyright 2013 David Heath© - All Rights Reserved

November 10, 2013

Book Review #3

The Gift of SelfThe Gift of Self by Maria Pia Campenella

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent book on helping one to stay Faithful to their vows after divorce. The chapters on Reconciliation, Renewal of the "I Do" and The Gift of Self are especially helpful. Prefaced by the Archbishop of Palermo.

You can purchase the book from publisher Mary's Advocates (

Direct link to book page here

View all my reviews

Copyright 2013 David Heath© - All Rights Reserved

Book Review #2

When Marriage Becomes WorseWhen Marriage Becomes Worse by Sheryl Temaat and Theresa Wright

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent book that relates Canon Laws concerning marriage and separation, historical facts of divorce, Church teaching on divorce, what grave harm it causes, Q & A section, etc. It is basic information every Catholic should know, especially if you're facing divorce and/or annulment and need a powerful arsenal to defend your marriage. I wish I had had it handy during my own defense. Highly recommended!

View all my reviews

Copyright 2013 David Heath© - All Rights Reserved

Great Moral Urgency?

To this article on Breitbart News: Cardinal Dolan: Great Moral Urgency To Pass Immigration Reform , a few days ago I posted this comment:

"Great Moral Urgency??!!!! You have got to be kidding me, Card. Dolan! And I suppose that the revolving door annulment crisis, tolerating divorce, lack of belief in the indissolubility of marriage by laity, use of contraception by laity, politicians openly defying Church teaching, clerics and other religious openly defying Church teaching, lack of conversions, lack of professed Catholics attending Mass routinely, lack of enrollment in parochial schools, lack of vocations to the priesthood, etc, etc, etc are NOT causes for "great moral urgency"??? What dark cave did you just emerge from, if I may ask? Please stop playing tiddly-winks with the enemies of the Church and start defending the sheep within your own diocese and more importantly, the Church. Confront, challenge and convert those who oppose Church teaching, not glad hand them and pat them on the back! DEFEND THE FAITH!!!!"

I suppose it was a bit harsh, but I have mentioned before that many of the Princes of the Church are paying lip service to the true crises in the Church, one of which is the assault on Catholic Marriages via the "toleration" of divorce and specious annulments. It is why I have less than full confidence in the upcoming synod in 2014 that anything productive and protective of Sacrament of Matrimony will be done, though I continue to pray otherwise. How can I think anything else when the Princes of the Church - at least in the US ( Card. Dolan and Bp. Gomez at the forefront) continue to espouse immigration reform as "...a great moral urgency"???

I also sent it to the Cardinal via the USCCB website, slightly revised and closed with:

"I urge you to please address the true moral crises in our Church and leave immigration reform to the secular world, who is better able to deal with those who break established United States laws, whether Federal or State."

Had the Bishops in the US been as vocal in opposing No-Fault Divorce as they have been in opposing the enforcement of established Federal and State immigration laws, I doubt that there would be as many Catholics divorcing and certainly a lessening of the annulment petitions before the diocesan tribunals. The focus would then perhaps be on the Pastoral Care needed to repair and renew troubled marriages, rather than on the divorced and remarried, and the For Your Marriage website would be getting more page-views per day.  

Copyright 2013 David Heath© - All Rights Reserved

The One Ring...

...that rules them all. *

I Commemorated our 25th Anniversary on October 15.

*(compliments to JRR Tolkein)

Copyright 2013 David Heath© - All Rights Reserved

November 9, 2013

Book Review

Heliotropium: Conformity of the Human Will to the DivineHeliotropium: Conformity of the Human Will to the Divine by Jeremias Drexel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read it twice the last few years and cannot speak enough of its value to the Spiritual Life. I have one particular quote from it I keep in my Missal, which is not handy at present, but is one I remember often about the Spiritual Combat. I am sure you will find similar instances and do likewise.

View all my reviews

Copyright 2013 David Heath© - All Rights Reserved

November 6, 2013


I am re-posting here a portion of what I wrote about forgiveness awhile back ...

We are all called to ask for forgiveness when we have injured another, but to freely give the forgiveness that is asked for, requires an act of the Will, a choosing to do what we may feel we do not want to because we still feel the deep pain of the injury received. We may not want to forgive the other person and in fact will do everything we can think of not to do so. We try and justify our lack of forgiveness when we really have no justification for not forgiving. It comes full circle back to the Crucifixion... if He can forgive us - mere mortals - who are we and what are we by choosing not to forgive?

It is what I tell my kids whenever the opportune moment dictates - they have to work so much harder to keep this stupidity-of-animosity between us up and running, than it would to just simply say, "Dad, I forgive you and I still Love you." They think that forgiveness is an emotional thing that one wakes up in the morning and decides to do, much like deciding to go get Perm or meet a friend for lunch. I have told them they must be so very tired at times from the effort, that they won't know what freedom it brings when they do forgive and will wonder why they were stupid enough to keep it up for so long.

We choose to Love, just as we choose to forgive - or not.

Copyright 2013 David Heath© - All Rights Reserved