Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why resistance is not futile

Blessings on the beginning of Lent 2014.

Saw an excerpt from Mere Christianity on temptation and wanted to re-post it here.
“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting it, not by giving in. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.
That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it.”
–C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


Friday, September 6, 2013

Military Action and the Serious Prospect of Success




Are you serious?  Considering that nothing in the history of the planet has ever gone well after military action in the Middle East.
www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/just_war_CCC.htm

What are the criteria for military intervention in another country?
According to Catholic Just War Doctrine, all of the following conditions must be met for the legitimate (moral) exercise of force:

1_the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

2_all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

3_there must be serious prospects of success;

4_the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

Is everybody positive all the pertinent facts are known?
Exactly how is everybody going to be assured of a “serious prospect of successful military action”?
www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=4644 

Often observed, "Just follow the money".

Let us all continue to pray & fast for peace, beyond Sept 7th, and make it a habit.
Stay tuned in,

Tom at Queen of Peace Radio

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blessing at 2013 FCWC

Just a word about the 2013 Florida Catholic Women’s Conference; Courage to Love.  Several ladies told me they had a wonderful grace-filled time on Saturday at the FCWC.  Everyone, including the guest speakers said it was first class, well run and lots of fun. 

One lady told me this week that she wished she had gone, too, but had waited too long to buy a ticket; and it sold out.  A reminder that good things fill up fast.

Just wanted to say thank you to the Diocesan Center for Family Life [DCFL.org] and to everyone involved in the organization and hard work putting it all together.  And super thanks for repeating to the conference attendees that Queen of Peace Radio is available on AM-1460 for all in the Jacksonville area.

May God continue to bless this diocese with excellent Catholic events like this in the future.

Tell others to tune in,


Tom at WQOP

Monday, May 20, 2013

So long, God be with you, adios, adieu, ciao.



Many years ago, I heard that whenever Hollywood wanted to increase television or movie viewership, they added a cute pet to the script.  Well, I certainly believe that. 
There is, also, the old philosophical question about whether a tree falling in a forest makes any noise if there is no one there to hear it?  You are now, probably, asking where in the world I am going with this?

I am very grateful to those of you who have been reading these blogs since I started last August.  It was my goal to provoke you to think about various issues that we deal with in our lives and to get you to examine them from varying viewpoints especially our Christian Catholic point of view.

Over time, the numbers of readers of this blog stayed at a low but not growing readership.  Then, on the Queen of Peace website, I posted a photo of the cat who hung around our station for a while and called it our guardian angel cat.  
Well, that drew lots of viewers and readers but the numbers for the blog stayed low.  I do like to think, however, the quality of readers was exceptionally high and bright!  However, without the hoped for increase of readership for these blogs, the return for the effort just does not make practical sense.  So, this is the last one here. 

However, I am very grateful to those of you who have been readers and to those who have, also, made comments.  I want, also, to thank Tom Moran, the station manager, who has found and attached his really insightful and clever graphics for each blog.  He has a special talent for getting graphics that cut to the core of the issues.  So, as I leave, I leave with big THANKS to you all.

Keep the faith, keep reading and keep thinking!

Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!

Ray Makowski, Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasurer


Sunday, April 28, 2013

The New Commandment




If we are accused of being Christians, will our actions prove us guilty of that charge?  Last month I wrote a blog trying to come to grips with the teaching of Jesus about forgiveness. 

Peter asked Jesus, “‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21.  And, in His early teachings, Jesus reaffirmed that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. 

In this Sunday’s Gospel, we hear that, at the Last Supper, Jesus amplified that teaching when He said, “I give you a new commandment: love one another.  As I have loved you, so you are also should love one another.  This is how all will know that you are my disciple, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35.  

How do each of us live up to this reading and this new commandment?  Jesus says that love for one another will be the way we are known to be disciples of Him.  Not by our words will be known as Christians but, primarily, by our love for one another.  So, as to this love for one another, Jesus sets a really high standard for that love.  Not just in the prior Judeo teaching of measure as we love ourselves.  But, the measuring bar is raised in this new commandment to the level of loving one another as He loved us! 

In the measurement ‘as we love ourselves,’ we would not sacrifice ourselves for ourselves, would we?  In the new commandment, on the eve of His suffering and death, Jesus is giving us the measurement for loving each other to be as He loves us.  He, then, goes on to his suffering and death on the cross for us.  So, under this new commandment, we should be willing to love one another even to the sacrifice of our lives.  Are we really really ready, willing and able to live up to this commandment?  In light of this new commandment Jesus gives us at the Last Supper, the standard for forgiveness that He gave us and His prior reaffirmance of Jewish teaching of love for one another seem small and paltry.  It can simply but  humorously be viewed by the joke about who sacrifices more for us for our breakfasts - the chicken or the pig? The chicken just gives us the eggs but the pig gives his life so we can have our ham or bacon with those eggs! 

The reality of this new commandment is its difficulty to live and to deal with people who have wronged us and for whom we have held or still do have long-time grudges.  We can humorously think that it was easy for Jesus because, after all, He is God!  But, it is Jesus who proclaimed this new commandment on the eve of His suffering and death for all of us and for our sins.  Tough gig, isn’t it.  He didn’t not give any exceptions for neighbors who do or say things we do not like.  It is a broad, universal command by Him. 

Going around preaching how much we love Him, praying to Him, and telling other people to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior is meaningless unless we are first convicted as Christians by our own actions of loving each other as He loved us in his new commandment.  This sure tests our commitment to Jesus - will we only go part way and just donate eggs or go all the way in order to fulfill  his charge to us?  Remember, also, Jesus did not say this was a new suggestion.  He said it was a new commandment.
 
Pray for me in my quest to succeed in loving you and everyone by this standard in the new commandment and I will pray for your success. 

Now, you know what I think and I would very much like to know what you think about this.   

Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!

Ray Makowski, Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasurer

Monday, April 22, 2013

Coping With Terrorism Again




Last week at this time, the annual Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day occurred. 
A normally happy event was shattered by a couple of bombs being exploded in the crowds and killing several people and injuring several hundred.  After the shock of this event occurred and our prayers for the dead, the injured, the runners, the spectators and their families, we all thought who did this, why did they do it, will they be caught and brought to justice.  That began an intense week of pursuit and the involvement of over 4,000 law enforcement officers.  In a few days, a couple of suspects were identified and they were caught or killed within a a few days.

The initial speculation was whether Al Qaeda or Muslim terrorists were involved.  And, then, there was all the speculation that goes along with the implications of this idea.  It, also, brings forth all the ugly thoughts about jihad.  How should we deal with this, is our question including how should we feel and deal with Islamic terrorists?

Our Bishop, Felipe Estevez, properly asserted in his  9-11-2012  message that we, Catholics, reject extreme ideologies while embracing all people of all faiths.  How should we view and deal with Muslims when they seem to embrace terrorism against us?  Let me start with the teaching from our Lord, Jesus, that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.  So, despite how difficult this can be, let’s start our approach to Muslims from a prayerful love for them. 

Second, we should learn more about Islam and its followers.  We will learn that there are 2 major divisions of Islam, of which you probably heard, called Sunni and Shia. There are other minor divisions as well. Fortunately, 90% of all Muslims are Sunni which is the more the peaceful adherents to Islam.  The Shia, from my rudimentary understanding of this, believe that provoking an apocalyptic event will bring back the return of the Twelfth Imam and the ultimate rule of Islam.  Iran, to no one’s surprise, is an Shia theocracy and you hear its leaders speak of the return of the Twelfth Imam.  In addition, virtually all middle eastern Muslims have developed an antagonism to the West and to the United States specifically because of our support of the state of Israel and the Jews residing therein.

We now know that these misguided brothers were influenced by Muslim terrorists.  We will learn more as time goes by.  Meanwhile, we should learn more about Islam and the various different divisions and deal with all Muslims with prayer and love.  Yes, that is counterintuitive to our natural desires but, as followers of Christ, keep in mind His teachings about love.  And, remember to forgive, as He teaches, 7 times 70.

These are my thoughts.  Now, please let me know what you think.

Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!
                                       
REM (Ray Makowski) Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasurer

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Rewards from Joyful Giving





The theme of the Queen of Peace Radio spring 2013 share-a-thon that just ended was joyful giving based upon the idea that we should give with a joyful heart.  This was the same theme as the fall one.  We did not want to use guilt techniques to get people to give, to talk about such ideas as “your fair share,” or to induce people to give because there was a tax deduction.  Not at all.  We, also, encourage donors to give electronically via electronic transfers from their bank accounts or their credit or debit cards.  We wanted to follow up on the ideas from my last blog about giving because the listeners believe in this ministry.
Jerry Webster, George Barletta, Terri Micillo, Anne Webster
help appeal to listeners during on-air Shareathon.
Not only are we very grateful to our listeners and donors, we are, also, very grateful to the volunteers who help with these share-a-thons.  They are authors, business executives, entrepreneurs, some highly educated and intelligent as well as all of us from all walks of lives including mothers, students, retirees, unemployed, immigrants, cradle Catholics, revert Catholics, and non-Catholics - a real richness of the range of the composition of our Church and community.  What a richness!  During the slow periods, we had very enriching discussions about theology, history, the new pope and what his new papacy may bring, and what is going on in the contemporary church and in society in general.
Anne & Jerry Webster, Diane Herbert answer phones and talk with listeners.
All the volunteers, not only were they financial donors to Queen of Peace Radio but, also, they were giving of their valuable time and talent.  Interestingly, they were not there to get a take-away from their help but they were there because they believe in this ministry and knew of the value and impact that it has on them as well as other listeners.  In the process of giving, we all had an incredible unintended reward from God - we were all enriched by each other and the experience of our involvement of being in the process of soliciting money for this ministry. We heard from our listeners who told us wonderful stories about how this Catholic radio station brought to them messages to help their faith from all ranges of belief, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
George, Diane, Ray, Tom in studio talking about the value of
knowing your faith and the value of Catholic radio.
So, everyone came away with rewards of immeasurable value - not in money - but of a great and deep spiritual richness. 
Chris Williams, George Barletta, Tom Moran, and Ray Makowski
with award from Catholic Radio Association / EWTN for 15 years
of evangelical zeal for souls. 
For this, we thank God and we, the Board of Directors of Queen of Peace Radio, thank everyone who participated in this share-a-thon and, in particular, we, again, give special thanks to Tom Moran, our General Manager, who always overcomes the obstacles to produce another successful share-a-thon as he did again this past week.

Let me know what you think.

Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!

REM (Ray Makowski) Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasurer