Category Archives: soup kitchens

The War by the "Worldly" is Secular Abuse Against the Very Heart of Christianity

by Larry Peterson

It was a brutally cold winter night in 1839 when Jeanne Jugan brought  the sick, blind, homeless woman into her home.  All she wanted to do was help the poor woman.  She had no agenda.  She wanted nothing.  She simply wanted to do what God’s graces had asked her to do, “Love her neighbor”.   Jeanne never planned to have people begin to follow her example.  She never dreamed that she would become the founder of an organization  called the Little Sisters of the Poor.  Jeanne Jugan could not in her wildest dreams foresee the order she had founded serving the elderly poor in 31 countries around the world.  She must have had tears of joy streaming down her saintly face when Pope Benedict XVI canonized her in 2009.
Today she,  and many others with her in the heavenly realm, must be so ashamed and saddened by the members of the secular world who, disguised in a mask of counterfeit virtue, are determined to lay waste to  Christianity.  Make no mistake, we Catholic/Christians are at war;  and the Worldly, including many who claim to be with us, are waging this war against us.  Their primary weapon is the Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare”.  Where does this weapon of mass secularity have its sights trained?  Where else but on  St. Jeanne Jugan’s order, The Little Sisters of the Poor.  Are you kidding me?  The government of the United States of America, under the control of the Worldly, is after  The Little Sisters.  The order must be considered an easy target because, after granting exemptions to other groups, the Worldly refused to grant an exemption to The Little Sisters of the Poor.  Supreme Court Justice  Sonia Sotomayor, an appointee of the Worldly in power, granted the Little Sisters a temporary injunction against the mandate.  Undeterred in their mission of spreading their all-knowing  secularity, the Worldy immediately responded and asked the court to drop the appeal.  Now we wait.  We wait to see if the First Amendment of the Constitution is to be upheld.
 As a  writer and a Catholic I have unexpectedly found myself blogging more and more about subjects that pertain to things “Catholic”.  I never began writing with that in mind. My novel, “The Priest and the Peaches”,  deals with a Catholic family and a priest but it is not considered religious.  Rather, it is classified as ‘historical fiction’.  My children’s book  is not religious either.  I had  been working on the sequel to TP & TP but I have had that on hold for almost six months as I blog about things and people that pertain to my faith.  I do this because my faith is under attack.  I never thought I would live to see the day when the power of  our government would be used by those we have empowered to demand we violate our religious principles?   Our faith does not just take place INSIDE a church.  It takes place within our very hearts and minds. We are supposed to LIVE our faith and, though many of us often fail, it is our CHOICE to fail.  It is no one’s business.  The government of the United States of America does not have the right to enter into our “hearts and minds” and tell us what to believe the same as it does not belong inside our churches.
We, as a church, a faith community, and as individuals who are part of it and believe in it are being abused and are under attack. The Little Sisters of the Poor and communities like them need our voices to ring out.  So do the almost 10 million folks who are able to turn to almost 1400  charitable organizations run by the Catholic church every year. So do the people, mostly volunteers, who staff  the 600,000 plus soup kitchens feeding folks everyday and distribute food from the two million food banks and pantries. If you factor in all the other religious and charitable organizations in the United States there is a veritable population of “goodness and kindness and giving” spread across this entire nation. Most are folks  who ask nothing in return  for sharing their time,  their hearts and their love with those less fortunate. It seems to me that the Worldly need to start minding their own damn business. 

                                              copyright © 2014  Larry Peterson

"Being Thankful for Thanksgiving-"

I’m a holiday kind of guy. I love the Christmas season with its “peace-on-earth” and ‘”joy-to-the-world” messages and Santa Claus, and elves and Christmas lights and all that comes with the excitement leading up to Christmas Day. Most of all, I love the “reason for the season”—acknowledging the birth of Christ.

I also am fully aware of the pressure and stress Christmastime can bring to so many. This year, besides the homeless, the unemployed and  those with serious illness, we must factor in the death and devastation brought by “Monster Storm Sandy” on so many of our brother and sister Americans. Christmas for many will require much Faith in the ‘reason for the season’. 

Then there are the many  parents with no money who desperately want Santa to visit their house on Christmas Eve.  Let’s face it, kids are kids and Santa is Santa; to them the “real world” has no place in their little, anxious hearts. The stress this can cause for a mommy and daddy who might be struggling just to make rent can sometimes be overwhelming. And what about the single parents with only one income, generally small. Providing a Christmas for their kids can be one of the most stress filled times of the entire year. That is a whole other issue.  But first comes Thanksgiving—and Turkey and stuffing and pie and full bellies.

I LOVE Thanksgiving. To me it IS the best day of the year. Why? Because it is the one day of the year when we pause and simply give thanks for all that we have even if it is just a little. A job, good health, a cancer in remission, connecting with a long lost relative, the birth of a child, so many things that we can be thankful for. People from every economic situation can have a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day. Homeless shelters and soup kitchens and prisons serve turkey. Folks who have little money are able to receive turkey baskets from various charitable organizations so they can have a turkey dinner at home with their families. No-one in America needs to go hungry on Thanksgiving Day. You do not need to purchase gifts. All you have to do is show up, hang out, eat and enjoy the uplifted spirit of family and friends that are with you, even if they are strangers in a soup kitchen. This year even the victims of “Sandy” will have a turkey dinner available to them no matter what their situation. It will be something to be thankful for that day and will generate a spark of hope in otherwise despondent hearts. We should all be Thankful for Thanksgiving. It is a beautiful thing.

“If the only prayer you said in your WHOLE LIFE was,”THANK YOU”, that would suffice.”
Meister Eckhart 1260-1327, Theologian and Philosopher