… Peter and the apostles answered and said, “We must obey God rather than men … we are witnesses … and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to all who obey him.”

Acts 5:29,32

The post today is dedicated to my mother, Jacqueline F. Sylvester (1926-1994) on her birthday – the Feast of St. Joseph.  How fitting.  She was both a mother and father to me.  She gave me life and saved my life.

I love you Mom.

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It is no secret that exclusionary secularists and those who hold political power in the secularized state as it exists in the West, the U.S. included, are hostile to faith and religion.

At Easter we will be asked to affirm once again our baptismal vows.  This is a solemn pledge – especially at this time in which belief, faith, religion and Christianity is under attack.

Think seriously about your words at Easter.  Do you believe?  Do you live your belief?  Do you do so daily?  Are you a witness?

The above passage is taken from Chapter 5 of The Acts of the Apostles.  In that chapter the Apostles are brought before the authorities for preaching in Jesus name.  They had, it is important to say, been prohibited by the authorities from doing so.

When questioned they said the above.  They chose to obey God not men.  They witnessed what they believed and knew as the truth.  They were led by the Holy Spirit in this.

We are at a most contentious time in American life – a time when politics and power is at odds with faith and with Christians and Catholics in particular.

We live in serious times.  Are we as Peter and the apostles?

To split one’s loyalties, to pay God in one currency and Caesar another, was no longer possible.

Czeslaw Milosz, in The Captive Mind


Note – Acts 5:17-42 is a wonderful source for reflection this Lent.