Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Do you ever wish……….?

January 29th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Do you ever wish you could go back in time, say to 40 years ago, knowing what you know now about abortion and how it (and contraception) destroyed our world’s moral culture?  Do you ever think if you had “only known then what you know now” that you’d have been more actively engaged in preventing abortion’s spread like the black plague against life itself?  Do you ever wonder if we had all done our very best then to stop the evil of abortion that there would be people alive today whose souls would one day thank us?  I have thought all these things and more.

In this Year of Mercy there is much to bring to mind, and much for which to ask for forgiveness.  But it is also a wonderful time to ask for the mercy of still being able to make a difference this side of the grave.  There is an evil crouching on our door step, testing us once again, offering still another chance to speak for God, as prophet in the priest-prophet-king roles of our Baptism; as prophet against the profit of the secular culture. That evil is euthanasia.  This is the time to be educated against such evil, and better prepared than we have sometimes been when other evil has struck. Euthanasia is unique among sins because it is difficult to imagine how we seek forgiveness this side of the grave for personally choosing euthanasia. If we abet the loss of a soul by encouraging or supporting its euthanasia, the gravity of that sin weighs upon us as well.

The tremendous threat of euthanasia is the subject of a conference being held on February 20th in Rochester, NY.  This is a very special opportunity to open our eyes and to pray for this angel of death to pass us by.  Please do attend; the voice from the pews is essential in this battle




The rest of this post notes how the last two major immoral impacts have much in common with how the euthanasia issue is now developing. For years I have read the Gospel of Mark and how Christ responded to the Apostles’ question of recognizing the end times, without ever noticing something startling in Mark 13: 12-13:  “And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”  What was startling to me was the realization that this passage seems to be not only about the evils the Apostles were to suffer and how they were to conduct themselves, but about what we call “the end times” as well.  For father giving up his child to death clearly provokes the thought of abortion.  (Not only mothers, but this highlights the key role of the father even if through silence in giving up his child to the mother’s decision for abortion.) It is perhaps a bit less clear but nevertheless interesting that brother giving up brother to death implies not only the physical death of diseases and lifestyle, but also spiritual death through sin, exhibited in the same-sex union. And the last of the three mentioned by Jesus, the children having parents put to death, can be seen in heirs recently being given the leeway in some countries to commit their parents to euthanasia.  In this post I have simply used the word euthanasia in its traditional sense (Merriam-Webster) “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.” I have not attempted to define or use the nuances of physician-assisted suicide, conscious or not, capable or not, voluntary or not, but simply grouped all together as ‘euthanasia’ by intention to include all of the denizens of the slippery slope.

The spread of these evils has some commonality, and some lessons that should make us much more desirous of being prepared for such an onslaught against souls, and to consider what we might do as followers of Christ.  Some commonalities of social evil are hijacking of language (lies), spreading (metastasis) of sin, fear, rapidity of devolution, and of course fomenting hatred and rejection of God.

Hijacking of Language: Lies are a Hallmark of Evil

The battle is again underway for life, and this time it is over euthanasia.  For a few years now, the battle has been spreading like an epidemic. Already there are 9 countries (excluding the US) and 5 states in the U.S. which have legalized euthanasia, even in some countries of parents by their heirs, and of children by their parents.  Once again, that which is immoral claims a battle flag of sloganeering, masqueraded as if for a good purpose.  We have two clear examples as to how evil hijacks good words as its slogan, and a warning to us about the language of the emergent third:

1) abortion has consistently used ‘pro-choice’ and ‘pro-woman’ and ‘health care’ (as if pregnancy were a disease) to advance its evil, and tagged morality with nefarious claims, making the good to be bad, and alleging the bad to be good.  Most recently this has been on full display with the indictment of the hero whistle-blower for revealing the selling of body parts, but with no cause of action taken against Planned Parenthood which committed or cooperated in the atrocities.

2) the activists for same-sex civil unions hijacked words of civil rights and of ‘love’ and  marriage (none of which can possibly apply) to advance their cause, draining the true meaning of those words, and crippling the words of those who would speak of true civil rights, true love, and true marriage, even pressing forward the absurdity of ‘parenthood,’ for which the way was paved by government’s closing Catholic adoption centers and ignoring the child victims.

3) once again, in the case of euthanasia, words which sound ‘good’ are usurped by those advocating sin, words like compassion and mercy, comfort and care.  Then, when God’s people (i.e. those not ashamed to speak out for Him) use those words, they seem to be (at least subliminally) to be speaking for the other side, which uses the words sometimes more often than God’s own people.  Lies, disguise and innuendo are not signs of the Holy Spirit.  If God’s people were to choose ‘new’ words, their cause would be weakened because they then abandon millennia of historic meaning and use.

The use of ‘mercy’ by the forces of evil is particularly hostile.  For many years, those who value life unto natural death have decried “mercy killing.” Evil resists the word killing because it identifies exactly what is happening. The use of the word killing has been long disavowed by those who are pro-abortion for that same reason.  However, using just ‘mercy’ will likely become more widespread, which is an unfortunate (coincidence?) in the Year of Mercy. We should be prepared to hold onto the true meaning of mercy and, in the case of euthanasia, not divorce it from the word ‘killing.’

Spreading (Metastasis) of Sin is also a Hallmark of Evil

Let us also observe the metastasis with which evil embeds itself.  Just when we thought that abortion couldn’t get any worse, it went underground with abortifacients, gross medical practice and sale of body parts.  I predict another wave of outrage is still to come — when we discover that many products we use are ‘protein enhanced’ with parts of the unborn, and that we’ve all been tainted by the evil, which can lead to despair. (I won’t make that case any further here as I don’t believe the actual proofs have yet emerged sufficiently to be defensible.) There were some allegations of food supplements in China about two years ago, but the accusations quietly disappeared.

The ‘evolution’ of the evil associated with abortion will inevitably continue because  its greed for souls is never satisfied.  Abortion right up until death, defeated over the last few years in NYS will possibly come up again in the State Senate and Assembly this year.  Our representatives need to know of our opposition so that they will stay strong.  We can say ‘no’ 9x but if it passes in the 10th vote, we have a 100% evil law, not 10%.  And rarely does something evil, once implanted, come up again for revote and repeal.

Another way of corrupting souls is to draw those outside of the sin into the sin. Doctors (and nurses too) who will not perform or assist an abortion in their medical training (or be involved in vitro fertilization or sterilization either), e.g., risk not receiving a medical license. Already we are contaminated with paying for medical insurance which covers abortion, contraception and sterilization. Trans-gender surgery and its medical ‘support’ are included or likely to be included too.  How can we expect that euthanasia won’t be something covered by the insurance for which we pay, or for which our taxes pay, and ultimately involve us in our obligations at the ballot box and in the Spiritual Work of Mercy to ‘instruct the ignorant’.  We duck out of the issue at our own peril.

Included in the strategy of corrupting souls, in the case of same-sex unions, is jailing clerks who cannot sign such so-called marriage licenses in good conscience, and also in assessing extreme penalties on those who won’t provide a wedding service to such a union (cake bakers, photographers, site renters, etc.) What most shocks me in these ‘penalties’ is no consideration of the 8th Amendment: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”  It is as if the legal system suddenly became blind to the 8th Amendment. It is particularly dangerous to ignore that Amendment, as excessive penalties allowed to stand can then no longer be argued as being “unusual.”

In Canada, there is already a pre-emptive strike through the school system, against the sexuality of young children, impairing their  discernment of the sinfulness of same-sex unions.  Also,  much pressure has been exerted,even in the U.S., on parents for exercising their right to home-school which, to some extent, can protect their children against the apparent same-sex agenda of the public schools until they can discern on their own.

Regarding the metastasis of euthanasia into our culture, we can expect multiple state ballot-box initiatives dressed up in clothes of compassion, very soon. Five states already have legalized “self-assisted suicide.” It will probably be presented at first as “physician assisted suicide,” implying there would be some controls, but that doesn’t change the truth: “No one can assert a ‘right’ to have his or her life ended, without at the same time requiring someone else to be a murderer.”  We have seen enough to know that euthanasia will inevitably be covered by insurance or taxes, that it will require doctors and nurses to cooperate, that nobody will be prosecuted (making it easier for heirs to dispatch parents and parents to kill their children), and that any lack of cooperation will be met with absurdly large fines to intimidate the voice of public conscience.

Evil is recognizable by the ‘cleverness’ of its incursion into the lives of even the ‘otherwise righteous’, even if that incursion is to ‘do nothing’. In Matthew 24:22 we read:  “And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” (Also see Mark 13:20).

Fear is Another Hallmark of Evil

Fear always takes the stage as a way to advance evil (and is characterized by exaggeration or lies): “would you turn your back on a daughter who was raped and forbid her to have an abortion? suppose you had a son who ‘deeply loved’ another man, would you cut him out of your life forever? what if you (or a parent) cannot speak and are in pain near the end of life, wouldn’t you want to ease the suffering?”

There is something quite odd about seeing euthanasia as compassionate, on a mere practical level.  One reason that death row execution is almost abandoned in the U.S. is that manufacture of the lethal drug that was used was stopped by the company which made it.  Other drugs have been used which caused visible trauma, pain and convulsions in the person being executed.  Obvious question: if there is no ‘compassionate’ lethal drug which can be used for executions (firing squad and electrocution are again being considered) then what is actually planned to be given for assisted suicide that would be compassionate?  Is this another one of the lies of evil pushing its own agenda?  Seems strange.

Fear is also used as an implementer of evil, as in notoriety, excessive fines and penalties, and disdain of those who refuse to convert to the evil by those who embrace it. When the righteous position is argued as Fear of God and of transgressing His Laws, it is an object of such sneering; however, until a conscience is totally deadened, it is usually the only route to conviction of soul, and to repentance.

I heard a priest on EWTN one morning say something like: “If you are not afraid of God, you are afraid of everything else; if you do have Fear of the Lord (awe) you are afraid of nothing else.” It is worth pondering!

Fomenting Hatred and Rejection of God: Ultimate Hallmark of Evil

So for evil to thrive it must also have as its objective removing God, from every public place, from every human heart.  We are well beyond the prayer in public schools issue and that conscience is no longer considered a valid defense in civil court. Now it is about chaplains being removed because they said the name of Jesus at a military funeral, or that “Christmas” decorations are taken down in VA hospitals because they contain the word “Christ.” This plan to remove God is of course going to be targeted more at the True Religion than at any other; it is apparently still legal to block Madison Avenue on prayer rugs several times a day.

Approximately 3-4 years ago the administration in Washington began using the term “Right of Worship.” That was a clear signal that “Right of Religion” was being usurped.  In other words, “do what you want within the four walls on a Sunday morning, but do not mention your faith or its lessons outside those walls, especially not on issues in the Public Square.”  That timing is also roughly equivalent to when certain bishops and other preachers began focusing away from intrinsic evils like abortion and began raising matters of what is essentially prudential judgment, as if that could ever outweigh intrinsically evil sins.  Thus, the church herself can, even if inadvertently, cooperate with the secular objective to minimize the presence of God.  What will a priest do when the government demands he marry a same-sex couple?

Since evil is never satisfied, it will always continue doing whatever it can to push souls away from God. It might even help  populate the Church with non-believers. Eventually it will attack even what is most fundamental to faith.  Pastors in other countries have been jailed for teaching Romans Chapter 1.  In New Orleans pressure has been brought to force violation of the seal of confession.  States which have established laws against reparative therapy have generally not made exceptions for confession.  IMO it is only a matter of time until all counsel to resist all sin is seen as ‘reparative therapy.’

Religious persecution will be inevitable.  People will foolishly be grateful that the home-grown persecution is not as radical as ISIS, and opt for self preservation through compliance, even with the most intrinsic evils.  The late Francis Cardinal George, in 2010, outlined the degree to which he believed religious freedoms in the United States and other Western societies were endangered. In a speech to a group of priests, he said, “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”  Wikipedia reports that the quote was originally published online without the second sentence.

What will a priest do when called to anoint an unconscious person just before he or she is euthanized, pursuant to that person’s own directive? What will Catholic Hospitals do? It would be hard to believe that any priest’s life is going to get easier, rather it is likely to become far more difficult.  Even more we must pray for their spiritual stamina and God’s blessings.  Our own souls may depend on it.

If we are indeed in the end times, perhaps this is the clarion call to more preparation and prayer. In the opening quote from Mark 13:13, is the short phrase: “…and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.”    It would be difficult to claim, with all we have seen from the accelerating movement to institutionalize sin in our culture, that we are not being “hated” for the name of Jesus. Of all the reasons to be persecuted, that one is indeed ‘the best.’ I used to wonder how God will sort through what seems to be a very complex and nuanced separation of wheat and weeds, of goats and sheep.  After these last few years I have come to believe that, much as God wants everyone saved, He is allowing in His Holy and Permissive Will, the self sorting of people into the categories they choose, and respecting their free will.

Rapidity of Devolution is Another Hallmark of Evil

It is not only a matter of how evil metastasizes, but also of how fast.  One can see that the pervasion of evil through abortion has taken place over a number of years, and even still to this day it deepens in evil.  The speed of legalization of same-sex unions, even when clearly contrary to the will of the people in the U.S. has surprised many spectators. The speed of legalization of euthanasia will surprise still more.  Many of us can remember day-by-day being attuned to the news about Terry Schaivo, hoping that she wouldn’t be starved to death.  How long ago it seems now — the agony of caring about a single person about to be killed in full public view.  Each step down the sinful highway paves the way for acceleration of the next falling away.  The slippery slope is not a strange concept to us; it gets slipperier.

What perhaps is not so widely grasped is that entropy (the natural tendency to disorder) is always in play. If we throw a deck of cards into the air, thousands of times, it will never land in the perfect order and symmetry of a new pack of cards.  It naturally tends to disorder.  And each toss of the jumble of cards becomes increasingly disordered. What counteracts entropy in the moral and religious sphere is order brought through prayer and following God’s Will.  Only He can bring order out of disorder, because He is totally perfect order and no disorder.  Only He can undo disorder that has already been done , and prevent (for the sake of our cooperation, faith and trust in Him) what is likely still to happen.

So, from that viewpoint, and without far more prayer and prayerful action like fasting, there is little reason not to expect that within 3-5 years the entire U.S. will have assisted suicide, with its evil strongly infiltrating the culture of death against doctors,  hospitals and further constraining the Word of God. The caveat is that without turning to God, more intensely and deeply than ever before, why should the result be different?

The very rapidity of the metastasis of evil, its deep infiltration into the culture, and the hatred of God being so persistent, we are now called to pursue yet another battle, this time with respect to euthanasia.  As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said: “We are not called to be successful, only to be faithful. ” But that means we have no luxury to wait and see how the battle goes before jumping into the fray. There really isn’t enough time to delay.


5 Responses to “Do you ever wish……….?”

  1. avatar christian says:

    There is a poignant video article on Life Site news which is informative:

    After watching it, I wish I could have done more , and I have a greater desire to fight this horrible practice, which is also used for monetary gain!

    I truly think that the personnel that are involved and have no problem doing this -are cold and heartless individuals, which has to be reflected in all areas of their professional and personal life, personal. It’s hard not to view these people as monsters.

  2. avatar militia says:

    I think it is wonderful how, even when we let God down by not doing enough, that we keep getting more opportunities to try to do better the next time.

  3. avatar Diane Harris says:

    A friend read this post and then sent me an email. She has given me permission to reprint it here, just as she sent it:

    “I read through your writings about assisted suicide, abortions, same sex unions and the evil surrounding us. I was becoming very depressed because we are so pressured to agree with evil and the issues are enormous.

    Then I read what you said at the end of the article. “We are not called to be
    successful, only to be faithful.” That said it all to me. The task is so huge and it is upon us and we can feel the weight on our souls … but we need to try and if we fail we know we are at least, being faithful. That has a sweet flavor to me. It leads me to remember the power of prayer,the faithfulness of prayer.”

    I quote that line so often that I inadvertently forgot to credit that message to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, so I have revised the post to give credit where it is due.

  4. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Poster has been updated. Take a look at some surprising sponsors.

Leave a Reply

Log in | Register

You must be logged in to post a comment.

-Return to main page-