Category Archives: parenting

Meet a REAL Man; Joseph of Nazareth (Feast Day, March 19)

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

I call Joseph of Nazareth the “Shadow Saint” because so little is known about him. There is not even one spoken word he ever said that was recorded.  But his quiet life resonated like huge cymbals being smashed together over the ages and into our very 21st century existence. For it was Joseph of Nazareth who saved the Son of God so he could live to save all of us.
 God sent His Son to us because without His perfect sacrifice we would have been lost forever. All humankind contributed to the death of Jesus Christ. He suffered and died for us  because the love of God is so unfathomable it was the only way to give us all a second chance to grab onto the brass ring of Eternal Salvation. But without Joseph maybe the brass ring would not have been.
Joseph of Nazareth and his boy, Jesus Christ
The ONLY man who could ever call him “my boy”
Joseph, a carpenter from Nazareth, was obviously humble and egoless and gave of himself. He was a real MAN.  And it was this man, this quiet, shadow saint who single handedly saved the life of our Savior from being put to death while He was still an infant. Imagine if he had not been able to accomplish this.
As a man, I try to imagine having to confront what Joseph confronted as Mary’s husband. He accepted her pregnancy at a time when the scandal of such a thing oftentimes meant execution for the woman. He was forced to put her on the back of a donkey and take her 80 miles over rocky, dirt roads to Bethlehem for the census. She was almost full term and the trip would have probably taken three to five days. I would have been sick to my stomach praying we could make it. Then, upon arrival, his wife goes into labor. There were no ERs, no cell phones, no 911 calls, no paramedics…you are on your own, end of story.
He was in a strange town without friends and could find no shelter. He was probably trembling and telling his wife, “Stay calm sweetie, it will be all right. Don’t worry. Don’t worry.”  And he is forced to bring her to a dirty, smelly stable that is an animal shelter. Here she has to give birth to her child who is the Son of God. As a man, he must have felt so inadequate, so un-manly. His heart must have been breaking.
The miracle of the Virgin Birth takes place and mother and child are fine. But then Joseph discovers that King Herod wants to kill his baby boy. Okay guys, think about it. You have made it this far and now you learn the army has been ordered to find your child and kill him. They are out in force searching for YOU and YOUR family. They are killing all boys two years old and under so as not to miss killing your son. But it is you and your wife and child they want. Those other children are ‘collateral damage”, an afterthought to Herod’s vicious orders. The fear and anxiety within Joseph must have been overwhelming yet he did his best to remain upbeat.
Somehow, someway, with his resolve of faith and trust in God propelling him forward, he made it to Egypt and saved his family. I have no idea how he managed to do it. Egypt was three hundred miles away but he got them there safe and sound. He saved not only the Redeemer and probably the Blessed Mother from death, he made it possible for all of us to be saved too.

One final thought about this incredible person;  Joseph of Nazareth was the only man who ever lived who could point to the Son of God and say, “That’s MY boy.” Imagine that.

St. Joseph, thank you and please pray for all of us. HAPPY FEAST DAY

                                    
                          ©Larry Peterson 2016 All Rights Reserved




Secularism Conquers the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade: Cardinal Dolan Should Clarify

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

We are up to our waists in the muck of secular quicksand and slowly but surely it is trying its best to suck us all deeper into its godless abyss.  This insidious secularism has permeated so much of our lives it has become the norm for many, especially the Millennials (those born from 1980 and after). Marriage has been relegated to an afterthought; after living together, having sex together and having a baby together then MAYBE marriage is considered.  The Affordable Care Act has gone so far as to demand that we Catholic/Christians leave our faith and morality inside the church door and shed it when we leave.   Once outside of church we MUST accept abortion and contraception because they are now LAW and therefore we cannot reject them.  What our church teaches matters not. Is this NONSENSE?  Nope, it is the law of the land. 
In New Orleans,  the Louisiana Supreme  Court reversed a lower court and has ruled that a priest  can be be “made” to testify as to what he was told in the confessional and violate the “seal of confession”, something a priest can NEVER do.  The court also empowered the trial court to DECIDE  “whether or not a sacrament took place”.  Imagine the hypocrisy of a court that rejects the very Constitution it is sworn to uphold and determines that it can decide when a Catholic sacrament is or is not a sacrament.  
These few examples are the tip of the iceberg.  Who needs to be defended are all of those Catholic/Christians standing tall and speaking out against the attacks against the faith.  Many of them are being stifled as Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech are being shoveled into the secular trash cans that are filling up with the freedoms that we so recently took for granted as we lived our lives in the greatest country ever founded.  I want to mention one Catholic priest in particular. Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C.  
Monsignor Pope has been a Catholic blogger for some time and his clear explanations and teachings and defense of the Catholic faith have been a refreshing joy to many.  However, the other day Monsignor wrote a column criticizing Timothy Cardinal Dolan and his defending the gay agenda being accepted into  New York City’s  annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The powers to be did NOT like it and Monsignor Pope was forced to remove the blogpost.  Today, September 8, the church celebrates the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Today, I did NOT see a post by Monsignor Pope.  I hope and pray he has not been pushed off  the cliff  by the PC Gendarmes simply because he told the truth.  That would be a shame because he is a true and honorable defender of the Catholic faith which he loves so much.  We need Monsignor Charles Pope and more people like him.
My non-theological explanation of church teaching on this topic is this:  Homosexuals are permitted to be in full communion with the church…but they must remain celibate.  This also applies to single men and women engaging in sex whether living together or not..  This is NOT new.  This is how it has always been.  It will not change.  Embracing a sexually active homosexual lifestyle is NOT permitted.  The fact is, Cardinal Dolan, standing as the Grand Marshall of the parade, will be giving credence to the lifestyle of the “gay agenda”.   It will appear that the LBGTQ lifestyle is acceptable to the Catholic Church.  It is NOT.  End of story.

When you are a “parent’ there are times you MUST stand firm and say to your children “NO!”  Cardinal Dolan is the spiritual parent of the Catholics  in the New York Archdiocese.  In addition, his name recognition is worldwide.  He must teach, guide, nurture, and protect his children, especially from the forces of secularism.   He also must stand tall and set an example for everyone beyond his diocesan borders.   As a parent I know that often times saying “NO!” is hard to do.  But it comes with the territory and you are obliged to do so or you are failing in your responsibility.  Right now I, too, am very disappointed in Timothy Cardinal Dolan.  I am praying that before the parade in March he clarifies his stance and explains Catholic church teaching to all concerned.  

The Priest and The Peaches–"a touching tale of family, survival, faith and hope"

Review Redux: “The Priest and The Peaches”

 Delightful tale filled with faith, love and humor, originally posted March 21, 2012
By 
This review is from: The Priest and the Peaches (Kindle Edition)

The Priest and the Peaches by Larry Peterson captures the life of the newly orphaned Peach kids as they struggle in the aftermath of their father’s death and plan his funeral. This touching tale of faith and hope offers a glimpse into the lives of this working class Catholic family set in 1960’s Bronx, NY. Steeped in faith and laced with humor Peterson’s tale delivers a powerful message “to love thy neighbor.”

This was an emotional and heartbreaking tale. This dysfunctional family has seen a lot of heart-ache. They lost their mother to leukemia; their grandma stepped in to help and recently passed away. Mr. Peach suffers from grief at the lost of his wife and turns to the bottle. The church and Father Sullivan step into help, but sadly the liquor takes its toll, leaving eighteen year old Teddy and seventeen year old Joanie to care for their three younger siblings. Teddy really steps up and tries to take care of them. Each of the kids is suffering and shows it differently. The youngest, Joey, thinks he is having conversations with his Dad. Add a nosy neighbor named Beatrice, an Aunt named Vera and a couple of drunks, you get quite the tale.

While I found parts of the tale to be rough, like the dialogue, (which might be expected from Bronxites) the overall message and tale was delightful. I enjoyed the lively cast of characters and their antics. Peterson captures their thoughts and emotions giving them depth. This was a quick and easy read that I finished in just a few hours. Peterson provides a touching tale of family, survival, faith, and hope. LYN.