A little over a week ago I began reading a book that has been sitting on my bookshelf for several months and I wish I would’ve opened it up and began reading it earlier. It’s called “Joseph’s Way – A Call To Fatherly Greatness.” In addition to discovering how to become a better father and husband I have been learning a lot about the Scriptures. Here is an example of what I learned in today’s reading:
Today’s reading is about the “Listening Heart of Abraham.” In learning how to listen in silence during prayer with the Lord, I have also learned how the Patriarchs did the same. In Genesis 15 Abraham fears that he will die childless and that the servant of his house, Eliezer of Damascus, will be his heir.
2 But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what can you give me, if I die childless and have only a servant of my household, Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a servant of my household will be my heir.”
God responds by telling him that Eliezer will not be his heir, but Abraham’s own offspring will be his heir. Then God tests Abraham’s faith. He takes him outside and has him “Look up at the sky and count the stars” if he can and tells him “Just so, He added, will your descendants be.”
At this point I, and I’m sure the majority of other Scripture readers imagine Abraham walking outside at night looking up and seeing the stars, BUT that’s not what happened.
As today’s reading explains, “Later in the same account, the Scripture discloses that the Lord had actually commanded Abraham to count the stars while it was daylight, which rendered the stars imperceptible. Though Abram could see, he was blind to what existed in the heavens, and yet he gave his assent of faith, believing not in what was seen but what was unseen.”
I had never realized this before so I quickly flipped to Genesis 15 to see where it said Abraham looked up at the stars in the daylight and there it was plain as day. Genesis 15:12 reads “As the sun was about to set,” making it clear that it was daylight when God told Abraham to count the stars. God is asking Abraham to have faith in not what is seen, but what is unseen.
The reading goes on to say “seeing with his own eyes that he had no offspring, Abram relied upon his eyes of faith, believing in the promise of what was unseen instead of what was seen, and because of this God reckoned it to him as righteousness, for ‘what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.'” (2 Corinthians 4:18) “Because of his faith Abraham became the father of many nations, for in view of the promise of God, he did not waver through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, being fully aware that whatever God has promised He is able to perform.”
I look forward to reading each day’s reading. It’s such an incredible book and I recommend it to every father and husband out there.
I posted this to Facebook this past week and wanted to post it here as well.
After you read this, please follow the CALL TO ACTION:
Thursday we went to the doctor for my wife’s 12-week baby appointment with Baby Rutter #2. I know I don’t have to go with her, but I do. I went for every appointment when she was pregnant with our first child mainly for one reason, and that reason was brought to light this past week.
We were brought back to the room where the doctor would see her and he saw us almost immediately. As is routine, he checked for the baby’s heartbeat. With Camille he found it almost immediately every time; however, that wasn’t the case at all today. Using the heart monitor, he moved it up and down, left and right, and pressed down hard enough that he had to ask my wife if it hurt her or not. He relocated the device multiple times for several minutes searching for the heartbeat. I knew immediately what my wife was thinking. It was the same thing I was thinking. I closed my eyes, held Camille tightly, and began to pray. I said several Hail Mary’s and prayed that we would hear the heartbeat, but after several long minutes he didn’t find it.
The doctor ordered an ultrasound to make sure that everything was okay. It didn’t take the ultrasound tech long to get in the room we walked to, but Mariah was already covered in her tears. As scared as I was I had to tell my wife that everything was going to be okay. Camille sensed her mom being upset and for the first time since we had walked into the doctor’s office she reached out to her because she wanted to console and be next to her mommy. It’s amazing how at less than a year old she already has those instincts. A million thoughts began running through my head, but I did my best to block them out and focus on praying and comforting my wife.
My wife handed Camille back to me and then laid on the ultrasound table. As the ultrasound tech moved the device around on her, we saw our sweet little baby. All the fingers were there. All the toes. The arms and legs looked perfect as did the head. We waited for what seemed like an eternity for the heartbeat… and then we saw it, and then heard it. It was a huge relief. my wife hadn’t stopped crying and now her tears were of a different origin. They were coming from happiness and gratefulness. We thank God that He has given us a healthy baby. We thank God that He is giving Camille a baby brother or sister to play with. We realize how fortunate we are and in the same token, we realize how many people aren’t.
After posting this on Facebook we had people say, “that’s why you shouldn’t tell people you’re pregnant until well after your first trimester.” We are of another mindset. We told everyone almost immediately upon finding out that my wife was pregnant. It’s a reason to rejoice. Another life is being created and we would want people praying that this child comes into the world healthy. If something went horribly wrong we would want people knowing why we were acting different. We would want people to be praying for us and for the soul of our child. That’s why we tell everyone and why we always will.
So the call to action is to please pray a prayer of thankfulness for those of you who have been blessed with healthy children. Please pray for those who have suffered the loss of a child. Pray for the Lord to comfort them because I can’t imagine the pain they have endured. We just experienced the beginning of what we thought could’ve been a long journey of tears and heartache and that’s something I wouldn’t want anyone to experience. God bless you all who have experienced that.
So that’s why I go with my wife. Because if we ever experience that, I don’t want her to experience it alone.
Within the last week, the Louisiana Supreme Court released an opinion ruling that Catholic priests do not have the “legal privilege” to withhold communications within a confession. [Read more] They ruled that the privilege belongs to the penitent and if the penitent chooses to waive the privilege then the priest must disclose communications from a sexually abused minor.
At first glance, I thought, “WOW! How could the Louisiana Supreme Court get this so wrong?” and maybe they still did, but after reading their opinion, I’ve come to a different conclusion as to who may be to blame for this shocking opinion – LEGISLATORS. The L.A. Supreme Court clearly laid out their opinion quoting the “L.A. Code of Evidence” article 511 priest-penitent privilege or the “Communications to clergymen” article. The opinion lays out the following sections of the article:
“A. Definitions. As used in this Article:
(1) A “clergyman” is a minister, priest, rabbi, Christian Science practitioner, or other similar functionary of a religious organization, or an individual reasonably believed so to be by the person consulting him.
(2) A communication is “confidential” if it is made privately and not intended for further disclosure except to other persons present in furtherance of the purpose of the communication.
B. General rule of privilege. A person has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent another person from disclosing a confidential communication by the person to a clergyman in his professional character as spiritual adviser.
C. Who may claim the privilege. The privilege may be claimed by the person or by his legal representative. The clergyman is presumed to have authority to claim the privilege on behalf of the person or deceased person.”
You don’t have to be an attorney to see that the way the “L.A. Code of Evidence” (title of the legal code that determines what evidence can be admitted or excluded from trial or other hearings) clearly states exactly what the L.A. Supreme Court stated in their opinion… the privilege may be waived by the penitent-communicator or confessor. Although the L.A. Code of Evidence allows for that, there’s a MUCH BIGGER issue that has been overlooked. This “rule of evidence” is made up by state legislators or as you may know them, your neighborhood pharmacist, farmers, teachers, etc. that know absolutely nothing about the legal code or the ramifications of the laws therein. Although the code is written as I quoted above, the issue of the “Seal of Confession” and the interference with God’s Church, the one true Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, is of much more importance.
My response to the L.A. Supreme Court…
It’s not an issue of a “legal privilege” where confidential communications can be waived. It’s an issue of piercing the veil of confidential communications impinging on a Holy Sacrament. The Holy Sacrament of Reconciliation and legal waivable and non-waivable privileges are NOT the same thing. Communications in the Sacrament of Reconciliation are not waivable by either party to the communication; neither the priest NOR penitent can waive the confessional communications regardless of what man-made “rule makers” decide. The penitent can confess later to what they communicated to the priest, but cannot waive the privilege to require a priest to testify to those communications.
I like to argue using analogies because it helps me equate a legal argument to something non-lawyers can understand. This is a man-made rule of evidence. For aruengo, let’s say that man decides to create a law that states: “If your child, being less than 16 years of age becomes pregnant, you must pay for your child’s abortion(s),” which is not so far fetched these days. The government could then force you to pay for something that infringes upon your religion. OR let’s say that man created a law infringing upon the Sacrament of Marriage and said that, “ALL churches must honor same-sex marriages.” That would infringe on the Catholic Church’s Sacrament of Marriage… again, not too far fetched these days. How do you feel now?
There are some man-made statutes and rules that do not usurp and should not interfere with the sanctity of God’s Church. Man is continuously conforming the church (non-Catholic/Protestant) to societal trends instead of conforming society to the Church of God (the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church). The Catholic Church is the ONLY Church that has not waivered on the most controversial issues most people struggle with today, such as abortion, gay marriage, etc. The people of this world are falling further and further away from God and it’s extremely disheartening. I have so much respect for the elders and priests of the Catholic Church for taking a stand against these issues and not wavering.