From the Pastor: Feast of St. Francis
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 is the feast day of St. Francis. Many parishes, especially those in rural areas, will have a special “blessing of the animals” on this day, since St. Francis is always pictured as surrounded by critters of all sorts. Police officers will bring in their patrol dogs and horses, children will bring in their pet rabbits and gerbils, pirates will bring in their parrots, and all manner of farm animals, dogs and cats will be presented for a blessing. Everyone loves their pets and service animals and, knowing that God ordained from the beginning of time that they would be our companions and helpers, they delight in this annual Franciscan ritual.
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 is also the first of two days that Epiphany of Our Lord parish has made a commitment to publicly ask God’s blessing upon a different type of animal, one without nearly the protections that the above mentioned animals receive in these United States. This particular type of animal was created above all the other animals and differs from them in several important regards. This animal, which philosophers and theologians call a “rational animal” is the only animal which actually “does” philosophy and theology. It is the only animal created in the image and likeness of God. It is, of course, the human animal. Specifically, we Epiphany-ians are praying that day for the conversion of adult human animals which plan to kill--or facilitate the killing of--unborn human animals. Human animals within their mother’s wombs are perhaps the only animals our country refuses to protect. Our immoral political leaders, aided and abetted by our spineless and/or immoral religious leaders, have mandated that the only animal with an immortal soul, the only animal created directly out of love (for God loved us into existence to know Him, love Him and serve Him in this life and to be happy with Him forever in the next, while every other animal--and all of creation--was created for us) not only gets almost no protection before birth, but beyond a lack of protection--and this is so unbelievable it cannot possibly be true, yet it is--his/her parents are encouraged to cause their own offspring pain ending only in death: to burn them with chemical baths, to rip them apart limb from limb or even to suck their brains out and crush their skulls while seeing and holding the rest of their tiny bodies which have already been delivered, all in the name of “compassion”, “mercy”, and “love”!
Sounds gruesome, doesn’t it? So gruesome, in fact, that no right minded person would ever publicly admit to encouraging it, making it legal, making taxpayers subsidize it, performing it, having it, or keeping silent about it while it occurs. Yet that is exactly what has been done, is being done, and, will continue to be done by those who are not right minded. To be quite frank, those who fit that bill are far from simply being “wrong minded” they are downright evil. Make no doubt about it, they will go to hell if they die unrepentant. This is one of those most terrible of sins so obviously demonic that nobody need be a Thomas Aquinas to understand its eternal ramifications. Yet even those who supposedly are good Catholics, even, God help us, good Catholic Bishops, support for President and every other office, those who are squarely, publicly and proudly pro-torture-to-death-human-infants-as-long-as-they-are-(for now)-at-least-mostly-in-the-womb. The Catholics who do so and die unrepentant will be in a deeper, more painful part of hell than those who lack the natural and supernatural benefits and graces given in and through the only Church founded by the Son of God.
I am willing to bet that, nationwide, more people will attend “Blessing of the Animals” celebrations than will be praying outside of abortion mills this Tuesday. Perhaps more will attend the animal blessings than will pray outside the abortion mills during the entire 40 Days for Life campaign. Every excuse is made to avoid anything to do with abortion. Nobody wants to see an abortion (videos such as “The Silent Scream” will never be shown on TV or in public school “health” classes or even in Catholic homeschool curriculums; posters of aborted baby parts are decried and trashed even on college campuses, let alone other public places where “intellectual integrity” and “being open to new ideas” is less touted). Nobody wants to hear about abortion, even in Catholic parishes (including this one. Don’t think for a minute that those attending Traditional Latin Mass don’t complain if I preach or write about abortion or any of the sexual sins which lead up to abortion, or the need to vote pro-life. “Scandalizing the children” is an acceptable excuse, don’t you know.). Nobody wants to publicly stand up against this evil and pray for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls. How about you? (PS--Epiphany seems to be covering more time slots for these prayers at the abortion mills than most other parishes. Kudos!)
With prayers for your holiness,
Fr. Edwin Palka