August 31, 2014

Aleteia: "Take Up Your Cross!"

From Aleteia:

"Take Up Your Cross!"

James Cooper CC

My posted comment to the above article (click on the title for re-direct to ALETEIA.ORG):

This is a truth seldom heard from the pulpits nowadays. The "God is Love In All Forms" mantra permeate today's homilies, borne out by the number of Masses I have attended [ed.-with my sons] where The Four Last Things - Death, Judgement, Heaven or Hell - are seldom heard, nor is as you stated above "... take up his cross, and follow me." We want our happiness here on earth, which was never promised, and in Heaven, which was. 

This seeking of earthly "happiness", this denial of the Cross of Christ, has never been more pervasive than in the modern culture of throwing off the Cross of marital woes, embracing divorce as its cure and the requisite re-marriage of Happiness - within or without of the Church. Divorce as a cure to marital woes is the anti-thesis of all Our Lord taught and what your article alludes to as well - Sanctification of self and of one's Spouse through the patient acceptance of our marital Crosses - whether from an inattentive and detached husband or a cold and emotionally dry wife. Patient acceptance of our spouses frailties, constant prayer on their and our own behalf to Christ and the selflessness required to stay with it for the sake of the Children - these are the steppingstones to Happiness in difficult marriages, à la St. Monica.

Divorce serves no useful purpose in most instances, except as a stepping stone to an earthly happiness for one or both spouses and, more often than not, is borne upon the shoulders of any children, who will carry the Marital Crosses of their Parents for the remainder of their natural lives.

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

St. Corbinian's Bear: Next Date for Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary

I am a strong Advocate of the Total Consecration to Mary, as I could not hope to bear this particular Marital Cross without it and Her. To that end, I re-post below (and a tad tardy) an August 26th link from the St. Corbinians Bear Blog (always a good read at anytime!) reminding us all of the next opportunity...

St. Corbinian's Bear: Next Date for Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

August 27, 2014

Some Unexpected But Welcome News...

...Occurred on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

My 18 year old daughter #3 ( whose birthday is also on August 22), decided that she wanted to come back to Kansas and finish her Senior year among friends at her former high school and asked if I would let her stay with me. I told her my door has been and remains always open to any of my children, so sure, she can come. 

Deo Gratias! Thank you Dear Blessed Mother! have to understand that she and I have not spoken more than a dozen words to each other in 4-1/2 years, except during some court-ordered counseling a couple years ago. The scars emanating from this divorce are still there, as shown mainly by the strength of our past estrangement, an estrangement that I now have hope of seeing an eventual end. So you can understand my joy at this unexpected turn of events!

This particular privilege then, Dear Friends, was brought about not by me, but solely through the Hands of Our Lady...on Her Feast Day...and on the Birthday of my daughter.  Pray that we both realize what a great Grace has been extended to us and that we respond in kind. Please pray also for many good fruits born of this Spring of Grace that has begun to flow only through the generosity of Our Lady. I have been Blessed with this visible sign that She still watches over my (and Her) children and has shown this Parent the fruits that spring from the constant prayers on their behalf. The strength and courage that this brings is undefinable...

Never give up the war, Spouses and Parents, for though you may loose many battles, as long as you do not loose Faith in your prayers or your King and Queen of Heaven, the war has already been won! It is not for us to know this always, but your King and Queen will know when some visible sign is needed and will respond in kind to help assure your victory. Remember Constantine's battle standard "In hoc signo vinces" ...carry this into your battles and you will not fail, either. 

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

August 22, 2014

Monsignor Charles Pope: An essay on ugliness of divorce

Monsignor Charles Pope, of the Archdiocese of Washington, has written an excellent article that parallels much of my writings of late. As I wrote in the comm box, " is refreshing to see a priest preaching against the evils of divorce and its consequent negative effect on children, rather than of the "salvific" affect of the former and of its positive affect on the latter."

I have pasted an excerpt or two below that speaks specifically on children, but urge one and all to click over and read the entire article, then spread it far and wide among both your Catholic and non-Catholic friends and/or family.

An essay on ugliness of divorce
By: Msgr. Charles Pope

"...Thus, in the short span of a few decades we have come to the place where many do not see marriage as about keeping vows and commitments or about what is best for children. Marriage is about adults, and what makes them happy. And all of us are just supposed to understand this no matter the effect that it has (obviously) had on children.

In his recent book, Anthony Esolen in his book Defending Marriage, 12 Arguments for Sanity has some poignant observations:

Parents will say, “My children can never be happy unless I am happy,” but they should not lay that narcissistic unction to their souls. Children need parents who love them, not parents who are contented; they are too young to be asked to lay down their lives for someone else. It is not the job of the child to suffer for the parent, but the job of the parent to endure, to make the best of a poor situation, to swallow his pride, to bend her knees, for the sake of the child. I have heard [from those] who still quaver in voice when they speak about what their divorced parents did to them – hustling them from one half of a home to another half, enlisting them as confidants, one against the other, [threatening] them that they may just find themselves a lot less often with a parent they love if they do not do exactly what the [threatener] demands. (and I would add, forcing them to endure daddy’s new live-in girlfriend or mommy’s new husband, who also happens to bring along a strange new step-brother who is hard to get along with and who started touching them in embarrassing places). Children must grow up at age ten so their parents don’t have to. (p. 142)

Esolen also comments on how children often have divorce “explained” to them:

[The Child] must be told that the father, although he wasn’t so terrible, just couldn’t satisfy the mother in some mysterious way, and so bad was this dissatisfaction that she had no choice but to compel her son [or daughter] to live without a father….Adults are wonderfully adept at weaving webs of self-decit around themselves for protection. Children aren’t….They aren’t yet dulled by habit, or by slogans, or by a long history of compromising with the truth, so that what they do see, they see clearly. (P. 138)

Yes, indeed, children are famous for for seeing through the hypocrisy of adults. Their innocence is still shocked by misbehavior and inconsistency."

Stay with it, Dear Friends...Divorce is not worth the cost it requires to gain your supposed marital "happiness". For though you may find your personal "happy place", the contentment you seek will always escape your grasp. 

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

August 19, 2014

Divorce and The Innocent

Look Thou upon me, and have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am alone and poor. See my abjection and my labor, and forgive me all my sins, O my God. (Ps. XXIV.) To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul. In Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed. (Introit: 3rd Sunday After Pentecost)

I have no right to be happy. I have no right to look for joyful times in what remains of my natural life. I have no reason to be looking for a new wife (as if that were even possible, as beginning that process would require me to un-love my former spouse, something that her divorce and annulment thankfully failed to do) to assuage the spousal loneliness that is a large part of this particular marital Cross. I have no right to expect anything but gray skies and fog shrouded days until they lock the lid and lower me for my final journey to meet my Divine Judge. Why do I say this, you might ask? Has discouragement clamped its slimy hands about me? Has despair settled into a new home? Has stoicism enveloped my personality?

Obviously, the answer to all the above is "No", for I must live the remainder of my life as we all should - Trusting in Our Lord Jesus Christ. This means enjoying the day for what He brings to it; enjoying the laughter of the friends He provides; enjoying the privilege He extends by just waking up each morning. It also means enjoying the privilege of carrying this marital Cross (though not without a complaint or two sometimes), the privilege of praying for and sacrificing for my children and the Salvation of their Souls and the privilege of continuing to show them the non-reciprocal Love preached by Christ from the Cross. All the above, however, doesn't alter the perception that I do not deserve happiness, for what have I to be happy about, when the landscape of my children's future has been so disgracefully altered?

Children are supposed to be kept as isolated as possible from the machinations of divorce, protected from its potential error(s) and those of the parent(s) and both parents should work together to limit the impact of divorce in their children's future lives. As I have written in a previous post, the rules and requirements have all been in effect probably as long as No Fault Divorce, and they were put in effect for one reason - to protect the innocent. If you violate the established rules, or worse don't pay them any heed, then the innocent suffer. And they suffer because one or both parents failed to follow the rules; failed in their parental vocation; failed their children by willingly immersing them into an adult situation. Is this good parenting? Or just plain selfishness? If you are not able - or simply incapable - of initiating and sustaining your own divorce without sucking the future from your children to help you cope and subsist, then why-in-the-hell start it in the first place? Is your perceived notion of your "right" to personal happiness of greater concern than the inherent right - via your Marital Vows - of your children to theirs? Since when do children have to sacrifice for the parents happiness? Where is that written in Catholic Marriage 101? What lesson plan covers that in Pre-Cana Conferences?

Consider what children learned from Parents who ignored established rules:

- a spouse only needs to work for an extended period of time (as arbitrarily set by that spouse) to try and affect needed change in spousal relations. If no change has been forthcoming from their singular efforts, then divorce is the only answer;

- Third party assistance to help in marital difficulties is unnecessary; 

- it is OK for a divorced spouse to date, even though it violates the Fidelity to their first spouse and the Sacramental bond that remains in effect after a civil divorce;

- it is OK to deny a Parent their moral right to be actively involved in telling children about a divorce;

- children should be left alone to cope with strained parent-child relationships or even estrangement from one parent;

- children have an inherent right to know details of private spousal conversations.

And then there are the Spiritual and Moral ones they have been taught:

- ignore the requirements of the 4th Commandment;

- dismiss a Spiritual Work of Mercy - Forgiveness;

- ignore the Greatest of the Three Theological Virtues - Charity.

And so... I'm to believe I have a "right" - given to me by virtue of two legal documents - to my happiness??? Not hardly, my Dear Judge. Not hardly, my Dear Bishop. Not when my children are in so much need. To do so would require the total abrogation of my vocation and my capitulation to an inherent evil. Which isn't going to happen, even if all my prayers and sacrifices would prove to be fruitless in the end. Which isn't going to happen either, by the way. All of my children were Consecrated to Mary at their Baptism with this prayer, recited by me (and their Mother in absentia), kneeling before Her Altar:

Blessed Virgin Mary, * Queen of Heaven and Earth, * to your Immaculate Heart,* the channel of all graces, * we consecrate this child * whom we have received from God’s goodness. We offer him [her] to you * that you may present him [her] to Your Divine Son, * that you may take him [her] under your loving, maternal protection,* that you may preserve him [her] from dangers, * that you may keep him [her] from all sin, * that you may make him [her] grow in piety * and in all virtue * so that he [she] may always be worthy * to call himself [herself] your child. May he [she] grow daily in wisdom and in grace, * may he [she] go through life having you always as his [her] refuge and mother. * May all virtues shine in him [her] * and may he [she] never offend your maternal Heart. May the Eternal Father always look upon him [her] with delight * and see in him [her] * a ray and reflection of your Immaculate Beauty. And as today he [she] gladdens our home, * so may he [she] one day gladden the Eternal Home * which we pray will be his [hers]. Amen.

Am I supposed to simply forget and dismiss this prayer because of a civil document and a Church annulment? Have I been released from this Vow to Our Lady and no longer need honor these words to Her? To the Mother of Christ? Truly??? Sorry, but it isn't going to happen and no document - Canonical or otherwise - will ever give me the requisite Peaceful Conscience that would be required for me to do so. Besides, She does not long leave any of Her children to continue in error. The dawn of their understanding approaches, though neither I nor they know the day or the hour. 

Now, I am not without guilt in this matter - how could I be? -  but have always maintained it was a "50/50 split", which is just another name for "irreconcilable differences" that were never given a true chance to be reconciled. Nor was I the Petitioner who initiated this action, but I was the Respondent who attempted numerous times to stop it, to no avail. I essentially just ran around trying to "fix" it all. I wanted help on my terms and not Our Lord's and though it took me awhile, I finally sorted that all out. There comes a point when you just get so tired that you either say "the hell with all this...I'm outta here!"....or... you simply walk up to Our Lord and lay it all at his feet and say "I. Need. Help. Please."

I do not know when this estrangement with one-half of my children will end, or when they all will regain their Catholic senses and unwrap themselves from the emotional cocoon in which they find themselves. Perhaps it will only be when they are out "in the world", experiencing and living their own lives and all its nuances, conflicts and confusion. Perhaps it will only be after my death. Regardless, I only know that I am bound to never stop my efforts, my prayers or my sacrifices on their behalf. Much like Our Lords words at His Crucifixion, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do", my children - in large part - also do not know what they do, mainly because of their immersion into an emotional cesspool of such imprudent and unnecessary magnitude that it has subdued their Catholic Reason and religious teaching. The mere FACT that this divorce has so decimated a family and parental relationships is proof enough that divorce - at least this particular divorce - has borne no good fruit for any of my children. You simply cannot get good fruit from a tree that has proven to only yield bad fruit time after time after time.  No matter how many grafts you try to implant, no matter how much Miracle Grow saturates the soil around its roots, you are naive to believe you can make a divorce something it will never be - delicious... inviting...beautiful to behold. To much destruction lies behind in its wake...

Is this, Catholic Spouses, what you want for your children? Are your "irreconcilable differences" really all that irreconcilable? Or are you just getting tired of trying to "fix" all your marital troubles on your own? Are you prepared for the personal sacrifice - that Gift of Self -  that is necessary to ensure your children's happiness, or are you just prepared to sacrifice only for your own? Do you sincerely and truly Love your Children, as Christ and Our Blessed Mother Loves you?

Divorce is not worth it, Friends...the cost it requires you to pay is far, far too high. Think again. Pray again. And then pray some more. And then go back home and hug the hell out of your children, before one of you looses that privilege, perhaps forever. 

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

August 17, 2014

Saving Holy Innocents Church in New York

Via Rorate Caeli, a video with a link to the petition promoting the saving of New York's Holy Innocents Church. Let's help out our fellow Catholics by signing the petition!

Rorate Caeli has also made a vary valid point:

"In the meantime, the archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, still has not publicly addressed the idea of inviting the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter or Institute of Christ the King to run Holy Innocents church as a personal parish, which would solve all of his problems at this beautiful, active and vibrant church."

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

August 15, 2014

Commenting + Spam = Restrictions

My apologies, but because spam has begun to arrive more than once throughout the day, I've had to up the commenting rules to require sign-in and Captcha verification. 

It's not to my liking, nor probably the Owners, but its the nature of the beast and it needs to be kept caged. 

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

Feast of the Assumption

                    THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION
                     AUGUST 15, 2014

Many Blessings to all on this Beautiful Feast of Our Lady!!!


ON this day the glorified Virgin entered heaven and crowned by her presence the holy pleasures of its inhabitants. But what mind can conceive the glory with which the arrival of the Queen of the world was celebrated by the brilliant heavenly hosts, their advance to greet her, their chanting as they led her to the magnificent throne? Who can fancy the tender gaze, the loving countenance, the divine caresses with which she was received by her Son and placed over all created beings, honored as became such a mother, with the glory that became such a Son? 

What lips can describe the assumption of Mary? As upon earth she, before all others, received special grace, so in heaven 
she, before all others, receives special glory. If eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to know the delights that God has prepared for those that love 
Him, who shall say what is prepared for her who bore Him and loved Him more than all! 

blessed art thou, Mary! Most blessed wert thou, when thou didst receive the Saviour; most blessed art thou, when the Saviour receives thee! 


We accompany thee, on this day, with our most ardent wishes to thy Son, O glorious Virgin, 
Queen of heaven! and follow thee from afar, O happy Virgin! Give thy mildness to the world, 
give of the grace thou hast found with God. Obtain by thy blessed intercession, grace for the 
guilty, recovery for the sick, strength for the faint-hearted, aid for those in peril! Dispense to us 
thy servants, who on this glorious festival-day invoke thy sweetest name, O gentlest Queen, the 
grace of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord and God, to whom be glory forever. Amen. 

Source: Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine's The Church's Year

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

August 11, 2014

RE: Comments on This Blog

The current Pope is THE Pope and Head of the Roman Catholic Church. While I agree there is much turmoil and confusion that sprang from Vatican II, there are many debatable and questionable actions and words from the Holy Father and current religious vocations are in the tank, it does not change the first sentence one iota. Pray for the current reigning Pope, Francis, and the Curia. I certainly do.

If anyone comments to the contrary on this blog, it will never be published. 

Those who have a problem with the above can take it up with the owner of this blog: Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth.

She can be found at Her altar in any Roman Catholic Church, patiently awaiting your complaints. If she happens to be otherwise occupied with someone who has greater and more pressing needs than you, you can find Her Son the next altar over, more than willing to listen to one of His children...

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

August 10, 2014

Melissa Moschella: A Time for Heroism

This is an excellent article from The Witherspoon Institute by Melissa Moschella on heroism. I believe that among those listed must also be included those who continue to defend and to live their first Marriages. An excerpt and the link to the full article is below. I also emailed a response to the editors, part of which I have included below the link.

A Time for Heroism

If we hope to protect the unborn, promote sexual integrity, preserve the truth about marriage, and defend the freedom of religious conscience in our country, we cannot simply live good lives—we must live heroic ones.
Perhaps there are times and places in the history of the world in which it is possible to go through life as just an ordinary, good person—a faithful spouse, a loving parent, a concerned citizen, a regular church-goer, an honest and industrious professional—leading a normal, quiet life, not making waves or standing out in any way. Perhaps. But the United States of America in the year 2014 is not one of those times and places. Rather, in our contemporary society, the only way to be good is to be heroic. Failing to act with heroism inevitably makes us complicit in grave evils.
Human life has been seriously devalued in our society. Millions of innocents are cruelly killed before they ever see the light of day. Other children areconceived in ways that reduce them to commodities, in which only the strongest and fittest are given a chance while those passed over are stored infreezers or used for research and killed in the process. There has been a denigration of the great gift of human sexuality into an instrument for hedonistic self-satisfaction.
These trends have brought devastation and tragedy in their wake: deep psychological wounds and physical illness wrought by the hook-up culture; a drastic rise in poverty among single mothers and their children caused by permissive divorce laws and the attitude that sex and babies are completely unrelated; and finally, profound and pervasive harms to children who are the voiceless victims of family breakdown. 

A snippet of my email to the editor that I asked to be passed along to the author, commending the article...

"Another of these mostly silent heroes is - as you wrote - the "...faithful spouse, a loving parent..." who continues to defend (1) a marriage ravaged by divorce and / or annulment and (2) the children, who have been torn asunder by its inherent evil. As Respondents, we have no defense in civil court to contest an unwanted - and many times unwarranted - divorce that even the most simple-minded of reasonable men can conclude will bring nothing but decimation and destruction to the very core of society - the Family. And more importantly, the children of those families, who will bear its long-term affects well into their adult lives. We have no defense against a Petitioner / Spouse who is unwilling to have third-party intervention to preserve a marriage and family. We have no defense against the inevitable Parent-Child estrangement brought about by too much transparency to children who have neither the maturity nor the understanding to process. We have no defense against a society who for generations, has been educated with the fallacy of associating divorce with the Greater Good - meaning the Greater Good for the One, and not for the many. 

Even in the Catholic Church, we must continually defend our indissoluble marriages against specious annulments that make a mockery of the vows spoken years - or in my case, decades - earlier. From the seemingly tacit approval of divorce by the Hierarchy through the ignoring of Canon Law that proscribes intervention to preserve the first marriage, we wage a David vs Goliath battle to preserve our marriages and families against the entrenched notion of the Greater Good for the One, at the expense of the many. We wage a battle that seeks nothing but forgiveness, reconciliation and renewal to our spouses, but loose the war because it favors Passions rather than Reason. But regardless of our loss, we continue to Love our Spouse and Honor the Vows of our first and only marriage and continue to Love our children despite the Parent-Child estrangements. Ultimately, we continue to "Stand and Deliver" on our vows " have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, til death we do part." We wage a seemingly un-winnable battle in defense of our Sacramental Marriages, but continue the fight because our Moral Principles and the Greater Good demand as much. Those who do not; those who so easily acquiesce to the modern notion "to run away and fight another day", in my opinion, were not ready for the demands of marriage or parenthood. If ones Marriage, Spouse and Family can be so easily sacrificed to the gods of divorce with little or no defense, then it is no wonder that Society has so easily acquiesced to the neutering of Traditional Marriage."

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

August 3, 2014

Divorce: Marital Sedevacantism

Photo Credit
Wikipedia defines Sedevacantism as:

"...the position, held by a minority of Traditionalist Catholics, that the present occupant of the papal see is not truly pope and that, for lack of a valid pope, the see has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958."

Sedevacantists believe that there is no Pope and hasn't been for a number of years, mainly because of the destruction and confusion reigned upon the Church from Vatican II. Rather than trust in the Holy Ghost and Our Lord that - despite Her current wounds - today's Roman Catholic Church remains the one True Church with Pope Francis as Her earthly Head, they simply abandon Her. Abandon Her because things are just not as they should be, not to their liking, not to their image and likeness. So...they simply refuse to believe Our Lord's promise and abandon Him and the Church. 

Not unexpectedly, Sedevacantists don't even agree among themselves whether the Chair is truly Vacant, having apparently differing ideas on the matter: No Pope? An Anti-pope? A Pope materialiter? A Pope formaliter? Spin the dial and let's see what we believe today! Walking away from Christ (the Church) is obviously a very, very serious affair and can lead to disastrous consequences, especially for one's Soul (and is something I will never do.) it any less serious when one abandons their marriage (their "mini-church") their Spouse and their children (the family: the "sheep")? I can think of no better analogy than calling them what they are: Sedevacantists. As applied to Spouses who willingly choose to abandon a valid Sacramental Marriage in times of marital trouble, I would define Marital Sedevacantism as:

"...the subjective notion, held by a singular minority of a Catholic family, that one Spouse of the Marriage is not truly in love and that, for lack of a valid emotional bond, the marriage has been vacant since the death of the minority's Love for their Spouse in           (fill in the year the Love of  the Spouse died.)."

It fits. Is that not what those who abandon their marriages do but separate themselves from their Family - vacate the Chair of their vocation -  amid troubled times and seek a replacement relationship and/or family more to their own likeness and ideals. One where no trouble will enter a relationship; no strife will ever cause grief; no Love will ever be lost; where the abandoning spouse believes they have all the right answers to True family happiness and all is Good and Holy, the second - or is it the third? - time around. Is that not an accurate observation? The effects of Sedevacantism - dissension, destruction, division, denial - are the same factors that are an inherent part of most divorces, especially those with kids.

The results can equally disastrous, whether it be for Holy Mother Church struck hard by a group of Sedevacantists or an abandoning Spouse who finds solace from marital woes in the arms of an adulterer, who has all the right answers to whisper sweetly in the abandoning spouses ear. In a matter of weeks or months, nothing matters but the sweetness of the platitudes being whispered into an ear that rightfully still belongs to another: "Oh...if only I had met you first! Just think of the happiness I and the children could have had! Just think of the misery I could have avoided! I L-u-v U!" Emotions have just overtaken Reason. Passion has subdued Fidelity. Selfless Love has been killed by Youthful Pride.

What follows then is the nightmare of civil divorce, and within that wake, the annulment of a supposedly indissoluble marriage of 5, 10 or even 22 years, blotted out of existence without first seeking its preservation. As a consequence, there now exists a permanent void in the lives of 2, 5, 8 or even 12 Souls. A living vacuum that will slowly suck the life from the innocent. A familial block of one or two decades that has been excised from all conscious memory. Where is Mercy? Where is Justice? Where is Compassion? If Mercy and Compassion have seemingly been meted out for the Abandoning Spouse via divorce and/or annulment, what of the Justice for the Faithful Spouse? What of Justice for the Children who, when asked if they want to live with Mom or Dad, would reply with an emphatic, heartfelt and tearful "WE WANT TO LIVE WITH BOTH!!"

G.K. Chesterton wrote The Superstition of Divorce in 1920. Even back then, divorce was looked upon as a beautiful thing by the "modern" divorce attorneys of the time, for Chesterton wrote that "...The doctors of divorce, with an air of the frank and friendly realism of men of the world, are always recommending and rejoicing in a sensible separation by mutual consent."  Ah! Happiness is to be found in amicable and consenting Divorces! The "Divorce is Good, Divorce is Great, Embrace Divorce" mentality was apparently rampant even in the "Roaring Twenties". However, we all know - or should anyway - that "Happiness" in Marriage is not a guarantee. What is only guaranteed is our Happiness in Heaven, which is basic Baltimore Catechism #1 teaching: 

6. Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven. 

We mortals want it all, however. We want our happiness here on earth, also...we want it especially within our marriages. No one wants an unhappy marriage; no one likes dissension, contention, and a hard-nosed Spouse! But that marital happiness was not promised, was it? What God promised after Adam and Eve's fall is stated in Genesis:

"To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband' s power, and he shall have dominion over thee. And to Adam he said: Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, cursed is the earth in thy work; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herbs of the earth. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth..." (Genesis 3:16-19)

Bishop Sheen knew it. In his conference Problems in Marriage, he put to rest the Happiness factor and brought to the forefront the Truth of True Marital Happiness: that the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife and vice-versa; that the prayers, sufferings and patient acceptance of the one Spouse's frailties can Sanctify both. That Marital Love can only be renewed and refreshed through the Love of Christ and bearing the Crosses of His choosing, not the ones we choose. Many Spouses have thrown down and walked away from the Cross of their own choosing because it was just too, too much to bear. Which begs the question: If you are so weak in bearing a Cross of your own choosing, why did you get married in the first place? Furthermore, why did you so easily abandon what God Promised and what you promised to your spouse? Here again, I must consult Chesterton, who states what awaits those who remain Faithful (my emphasis):

"...the very first thing that our experience will tell us is that it very seldom is a separation by mutual consent; that is, that the consent very seldom is sincerely and spontaneously mutual. By far the commonest problem in such cases is that in which one party wishes to end the partnership and the other does not. And of that emotional situation you can make nothing but a tragedy, whichever way you turn it. With or without marriage, with or without divorce, with or without any arrangements that anybody can suggest or imagine, it remains a tragedy. The only difference is that by the doctrine of marriage it remains both a noble and a fruitful tragedy; like that of a man who falls fighting for his country, or dies testifying to the truth."

In other words, be prepared to stand and deliver what you vowed. But how soon we forget the words of our vows: "for better, for worse; for richer in poorer; in sickness and in health; til death we do part." How soon we forget the image of Our Blessed Mother, standing silently beneath His Cross; who walked His Calvary with Him; who never left Him when even His Apostles - save one - threw down their chosen Crosses and ran. Is this the end many of today's Catholic Marriages must face - abandonment - simply because there is no Chesterton or Sheen to constantly remind them of what they vowed - Fidelity until Death? 

I couldn't find the words to write a fitting conclusion to this post, until I happened across this video while searching for some old favorites from my youth to listen to. I clicked on Dolly Parton's cover of the Randy Van Warmer song Just When I Needed You Most and knew I had found the conclusion that I needed. The words certainly speak of all the heartache, sadness and loneliness associated with loosing someone you Love...someone to whom you willingly offered your Heart forever. That rejection of Love is made all the more poignant and painful when it is a Spouse who clinically and callously hands back your Heart and then walks away from their Marriage and Family. If you could have looked in a mirror at the precise moment of that rejection, you no doubt would see in your reflection the faces and the eyes of the Spouses and children shown in the video. Especially the eyes - Bewildered. Emotionless. Vacant.

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

The Poppy Girls: Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance 2013

OK...I like watching military homecoming videos. There are the occasional nights when I stay up long past my Cinderella-time to watch the joyful tears of kids, wives, husbands, Mom's and Dad's as the heartache of separation is suddenly replaced by heart-thumping joy. It probably wouldn't affect me so much were I not an 11-year USAF veteran myself. I suppose that such is what Love of God and Country does...

I have continually come back to one of my favorites: The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance 2013 (I am of English Heritage, remember...) and the 2013 Poppy Girls, Charlotte, Bethany, Alice, Megan and Florence. The Poppy was adopted by the UK from America in 1921, so it has an International flavor to it. I was fortunate to be stationed near Oxford at RAF Upper Heyford for 2-1/2 years back in the 1970's and a brief stay on another RAF base near York in the late 1980's.

You can purchase the Poppy Girls Digital CD from Amazon here.

The YouTube 2-part video's on The Search for the Poppy Girls is here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

And young Megan Adams performs at the Wounded In Service Events Golf Day at St. Andrew's on June 20, 2014.

Hope you enjoy the video...(and bring the Kleenex for the end.)

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved