Pope Francis’ Speaks Bold Words at World Youth Day

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Germany experienced a terror attack last week, in which a gunman fired into a crowd.

According to the German government, the gunman, who was an Irani-German who some observers said was yelling “Allah Akbar,” was not an Islamic terrorist but a right-wing neo-Nazi who modeled his actions on the the tragedy at Columbine.

The week before that, an Islamic terrorist murdered innocents by driving a vehicle into a crowd that was celebrating Bastille Day.

During the same time period, Turkey experienced an attempted coup, and three ISIS suicide bombers killed 80 people and wounded over 200 others in Kabul.

The week before that, another gunman, who was yelling about Allah, killed 50 people and wounded others in a gay bar in Florida.

Meanwhile, the Republicans nominated Donald Trump for president. Right now, he’s experiencing a post-convention bounce that makes him a contender in several electoral-vote rich states.

His running mate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, is the only pro life person in the upcoming race. But he betrayed all of us last year by signing a bill that destroyed the Indiana Religious Freedom Act.

Ironically, he had just signed this bill into law a few days before he back-tracked and destroyed it. He betrayed us at the behest of business interests. If he’s our pro-life hope, we do have a problem.

The Democratic Party begins its national convention this week. They claim they will demonstrate more dignity at their convention than the Republicans did at theirs.

They might pull that off. After all, the Rs didn’t set the bar that high. But there is a worm in the Democratic chili.

Wikileaks has released 20,000 internal DNC emails showing that, as Mr Trump said, the primary elections were “rigged.”

The party machine evidently decided they wanted Secretary Clinton to be the party’s nominee. They backed it up with underhanded machinations. That, of course, is why the super delegates, who are all party people and whose votes are necessary to put her over, backed her.

Democrat press outlets are running the party’s line, advancing the moronic claim that the DNC’s actions didn’t make that much difference. Meanwhile, the Republican press extracts embarrassing tidbits from the emails and brandishes them about.

In the midst of all this, the world’s Catholic youth are beginning a week of holy happiness in Poland. The 26th World Youth Day is underway, and our Holy Father has begun it by telling us to Have the courage to be happy.

Islamic terrorists are blowing up, running over, and shooting innocent people. Politicos are lying, conniving, betraying and bowing before the corporate money god that rules their every action.

And our Holy Father tells us Have the courage to be happy.

Be happy in the face of a press that will not stop flogging us with lies, manipulations and propaganda?

Be happy despite the murderous unpredictability of young men who shout about their god while channelling satan?

Be happy when there is no meaningful pro life, pro family, pro religious freedom presence on this year’s presidential ticket?

Is he naive?

No.

He’s not naive. He is Peter.

He is speaking to us from an eternal perspective where the mercy of Christ means you and I can personally know and relate to the God Who made everything, everywhere. He is reminding us that the battle is already won, and Jesus Christ is the Victor; that we are children of the living God and heirs to eternal life.

We can choose to Have the courage to be happy, to live the peace that passes all understanding, and move forward with the conviction of our faith. We can do it because we are Christ’s followers, not the world’s.

Americans have the power to change their government. But we cannot do it by allowing ourselves to be used as pawns. We can do it by following Christ.

Political parties are not churches. They are power-seeking organizations. They are tools. In the wrong hands, they become weapons.

If we want to play the political game we must get off our knees before the false idols of power, greed, and political partisanship and accept reality on reality’s terms. Reality is that a true Christian serves Christ and Him only. Christians are the not the pawns of any earthly power or potentate. They are free.

Our vocation is to convert the world to Christ. We cannot do that unless we turn from following the little ‘g’ gods of this world and follow the real God.

If we follow Him and Him only, there is no fear, and no failure. We can survey the sorrows of our time and know that the battle is ours. We can look at all of it and Have the courage to be happy.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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About Author

Pro Life Democrats are, as they say in Oklahoma, as rare as hen's teeth. That makes Rebecca Hamilton a rare find indeed. When Rebecca left her 18-year career in the Ok Legislature last November, she had more seniority than any other member of the legislature. In the 1980s, Rebecca experienced a knock-you-down-in-middle-of-the-road conversion experience that changed her from pro abortion to pro life. Before her conversion, Rep Hamilton had advocated for legal abortion in the legislature. Before her first election in 1980, she was the Oklahoma Director of NARAL. She left office after 3 terms when she had her first baby and was a full-time stay at home Mom for 16 years. She was re-elected to office in 2002 and spent the next 12 years passing pro life legislation. Rebecca is the author of the bill that broke the 30-year logjam on pro life legislation in Oklahoma. She passed the bill ending elective abortions in state hospitals. Rebecca also passed a resolution calling Congress to begin hearings on an amendment to the United States Constitution defining marriage as between one woman and one man. Because of her pro life work, Rebecca came within a razor thin vote margin of being publicly censured by the Oklahoma State Democratic Party at the 2007 statewide party convention. Rebecca blogs at Patheos at Public Catholic where she writes at the intersection of faith and public life.

14 Comments

  1. Maybe he should speak to the flock about how to be Catholic and not just “happy” which is pretty hollow. Islam should be condemned and exposed as satanic. I don’t need to be told to be happy; I need to be led to Heaven. Jesus said that “My Kingdom is not of this world.” We are entering into frightening times but the true danger is to the soul. So many people are being taught that we all worship the same God, that there is no difference between Catholicism and all of the other faiths. It is time to KNOW our faith; Allah is not God and anyone who believes so has been deceived. The Blessed Trinity and the Catholic faith were given to us by God and Christ died on the cross; this is the heart of the Mass, our faith and our redemption. It is time we stopped trying to be happy and started being Catholic; no matter the cost.

    • “Happy are the poor in spirit..” as a translation of the beatitudes goes. I used to hate this translation because the word “happy” seem hollow when compared to what others translate as “blessed.” This until I read that the old meaning of happy is better revealed by it’s antonym, “hapless”

      To be “hapless” is to lack fortune or lack luck. “Hap” is that good fortune or good luck. “Happy,” then is the exuberance of this fortune or luck. Hap, when viewed in the Christian perspective by early English speakers, is the exuberance of God’s grace. I had a conversion about the word “happy” from then on. What I had viewed before as a word for an empty emotion is now a joyful expression in response to God’s gratuitous grace. So yeah, Happy are the poor in spirit, after all.

      On that note, it also says “[Happy] are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.” (Matthew 5:11-12)

      In view of this, I can interpret Pope Francis’ words. We ought to find courage to be happy.

    • Good comment Stacy!

      Yes, BE a TRUE CATHOLIC AND NOT BE HAPPY WHEN YOU GET YOUR HEAD CHOPPED OFF!

      The Vatican is like a ship without a rudder!

    • Good comment Stacy. How can we convert the world to Christ if our Pope says proselytism is solemn nonsense and that Jews do not have to accept Christ? We need the courage to stand up for Christ and the Church which He founded, which is the only true religion. We are not called to be happy wimps.
      ‘t

    • @Stacy Catholicism is a Universal language, culture, and presence. If we let attacks from small minded individuals with the “Isis” banner, we let fear take control of our lives. Fear is the presence of satan in our lives. We must listen to our Holy Father and defend our faith with happiness, charity, and love for our brothers all over the world. Jesus didn’t let Peter fight the soldier the night of his condemnation. Was Jesus violent to his oppressors? No. He was loving, confident and strong. We must seek happiness here on earth so that we may live an eternal happiness.

    • If you want to achieve Heaven, then I suggest you seek happiness. There is a reason that Heaven is also known as the Beatific Vision. It comes from Beatificus, Latin for “making happy.” Happiness isn’t only some light-hearted, warm, emotional, fuzzy feeling. Happiness refers to ultimate human fulfillment, a fulfillment which only God can satisfy. Thus to seek unity with God is to seek happiness. Therefore it is not “time we stopped trying to be happy and started being Catholic”, but rather started seeking how to be happy BECAUSE we are Catholic. We are God’s children and meant to be happy, but our sins separate us from God and thus our ability to be united to God. So we must root out sin in our lives to be happy as we can than be united to God in the sacraments. We should not be afraid to defeat and overcome whatever temptations come our way, but we must “have the courage to be happy” because God is with us. And if God is with us, who can stand against us? Not ISIS, not corrupt politicians, not the corporate god of money, not the devil, not evil. So seek happiness unabashedly, unity with God is the only thing that keeps me strong enough to continue trudging through this darkness.

  2. Marie Burchfield on

    The Roman Catholic Church of the Popes, Bishops, and priests all decided to put duct tape on their mouths when Roman Catholic politicians, especially of the Democratic Party, started spouting of how they were still practicing Catholics, but they had to vote their constituent wishes for abortion on demand, growing ever more invasive right up to partial birth abortion (co-sponsored by non other than Ted Kennedy, the so called Roman Catholic good guy from MA). Not a word from the pulpit, because the D’s were supposed to be the party of the people and caring. BULL CRAP! The Roman Catholic Church compromised all of us, and led us to believe we should still vote for these people because they really cared. Now look what we have created. We parents cannot get out kids to continue going to church as they become teenagers. They look at us and remind us that the church is as phony as a 3 dollar bill.

  3. Go see ‘Hilary’s America’ movie in theaters now. You will a lot about the history of the Democrat Party and Hilary Clinton ties to Slavery, Planned Parenthood and Saul Alinsky. A very eye opening movie.

  4. God bless our beautiful pope. Having the courage to be happy means not losing hope, not losing the joy that fuels real service, and recognizing that if you fortunate enough not to be burying your dead or suffering at the hands of violent people, it’s your calling to be a happy survivor and share Gods light and faith for good works. I also hear from him that kindness, service and real sacrifice, not a constant bitch-and-moan about opposing views or unflattering media, has the best chance for real change. For Jesus, it was never Us vs Them. It was always You and Me. Let’s pray for the only Catholic person running for national office today. Let’s support his faith. Let’s not turn him away from the bread of life. Will Catholics rejecting him help him become more pro-life? (No.)

  5. I disagree with you and the pope, but agree with Fr. George Rutler. None of us would be here today if our ancestors had acted as we do today. The first duty of the state, of the Pope, of any bishop, or any father of a family is the protection those under their care. “The Catholic Church has always maintained that the defiance of an evil force is not only a right but an obligation. Its Catechism (cf. #2265) cites St. Thomas Aquinas: “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the State.” The pope and state are derelict in their obligations. And it is stupidity!

  6. Very well stated! I would appreciate stronger leadership from the leaders of the Catholic Church. So few publicly demonstrate what the catechism teaches! It is so discouraging to Catholics who try to live their faith.

  7. Another day, another Francis malapropism. Yes, if you read his whole wordy text you’ll (probably) get the right idea about God as the one source of all true happiness, which doesn’t depend on external conditions.. But how many will do that? Most will only see a headline, and misunderstand. By saying this, I don’t judge the man. I judge his attempt to communicate clearly, which is an important part of his role. This was another ineffective and even damaging effort.

  8. If we truly believe what Jesus taught and who he is, then we can’t help being happy. The battle has been won. He will return. I can’t do a thing but God can,
    Prayer is our weapon against evil. Jesus I Trust In You. Have Mercy on Us!

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