October 21, 2019

Waging a War of Love

Let me offer some reassurance, comfort and solid reasons for hope to those who feel beleaguered by the tyranny of relativism and the relentless bullying of those who consider themselves luminaries of progressive thinking.

Before anything else, let me point out to you that our Catholic Church, far from being passé and obsolete, as portrayed routinely by the Left, is forever young and energized by the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the risen Lord. As evidence I single out what she has to offer for a celebration of motherhood as intended by our Creator God and as described by our victorious King of kings and Lord of lords.

For some seemingly interminable years we felt the sting of the charges that our Church was waging a “war on women,” and we felt mostly powerless and frustrated by the sheer unfairness of those charges. Then, after a brief lull, due mostly to the inevitable wearing out of the novelty, recently we have seen a resumption of the charges that the Catholic Church is indeed still bent on waging “war on women” by stifling their freedom, trampling on their rights and treating them as second class citizens.

Well, there is a “war on women,” but for the record, it is a war of love waged by Catholic women who appreciate the beauty of Christian motherhood and have chosen St. Gianna Beretta Molla as their undisputed leader. For those who might have forgotten this icon of heroic motherhood, Gianna Beretta Molla was an Italian pediatrician who, with the permission of her husband, chose a risky surgery so as not to harm her fourth child who was growing in her womb. Sadly, Gianna died (1962) one week after delivering her healthy baby daughter.

The women (and men, too) who, under the leadership of St. Gianna, are waging a war of love on women by living lives inspired by powerful phrases found in the Word of God:

  • This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”
  • No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
  • God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him.

Let us be very precise and very clear about the weight of these three divinely inspired sentences. They define true love as being always determined by the amount of self-sacrifice that makes it such. Love and self-sacrifice for the recipient of one’s love are always inseparable. There is no true love without self-sacrifice for the beloved. New life is generated best by true love tested by total self-giving, just as the Son manifests the infinite love of the Father and of the Son by his total self-giving to us on the cross so that we might have life and have it to the full.

To complete the picture which describes the life-generating love of Jesus, of Mother Church, of the Blessed Virgin Mother, of St. Gianna and of all Christian mothers, we need to add one final sentence:

 “…so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete.”

The sort of joy that our group seeks in “waging a war of love on women” is the one that is produced by total self-sacrifice in love, and that can bring forth new life. The more intense the self-giving in love is, the more complete the joy will be.

It is time, now, to go and check the opposite camp, the camp of the women (and men) on which our group is “waging war.”

Driven by the cult of self, they lack a lofty motto to inspire them. They, also, cannot rely on any solid argument to validate their position, so they resort to bullying, intimidation, silencing our group and to crushing anyone who dares to oppose them. All this is done, of course, in the name of progress, enlightenment, tolerance and inclusiveness.

In reality the only rule that applies is that there are no rules, no absolutes, and no lasting, firm tenets. Everything is in a state of flux and wrapped in the thick fog produced by a shapeless mass of liberal ideologies preached with the intense, irrational zeal that is needed unremittingly to trump stubborn reality and the evidence produced by nature itself.

Their gospel is political correctness which, of course, is invoked to assure respect for some of the vulnerable (i.e. the vulnerable selected by them as worthy of such respect), but which ignores both reality and nature. Hence, at best, political correctness results in discarding common sense and in some extreme cases it becomes blind foolishness.

This mottled collection of leftist ideologies produces its share of convenient rights purposely fabricated out of thin air, of misnomers and of misleading terms. For example, reproductive rights are the fictional rights that allow manipulation of nature in such a way as to attain the unnatural result of not being reproductive or of destroying an unwanted new human life. Those in this group feign ignorance as to when human life begins, thus, for them, what determines if what is conceived is a baby or a blob of tissue is not the objective reality facing them but the subjective decision of an individual. Again, when science unambiguously assures that a human embryo is a new human life with its own DNA distinct from its mother, reality is conveniently ignored and sacrificed to an ideology that has hardened the collective heart of our nation.

The list of stances born of godless ideologies and displaying stubborn disregard for God’s laws, for nature, and reality could be much longer. But what has been said so far is enough to pain us immensely.

As believers inspired by the Word of God, we are certain that those in the other camp have only short-lived spurts of joy. Somehow, we have to believe that they are fighting us, bullying us, trying to silence us because they are convinced that the future they want for our country and for the world is better than what Jesus proposes and which we embrace. But, remember that Christ has already won the war in which we are engaged:

I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” John 16:33

And John, one of the first who fought on Jesus’ side, adds: You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them, for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

We do not want to humiliate those in the other camp. They too have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. The purpose for our war is for them to join us so that, in the power of the victory of Christ over all kinds of evil, they too may learn to love in a Christ-like fashion and sacrifice themselves so that many people may have life, and genuine joy may become contagious and ubiquitous and endless.

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Written by
Fr Dino Vanin

REVEREND DINO VANIN, PIME was born in Cendon di Silea, Province of Treviso, Italy in 1946. He entered the PIME Seminary at Treviso at the tender age of eleven. He came to the U.S. in 1968, studying Theology at Darlington Major Seminary in New Jersey. He has an MA in Secondary School Administration from Seton Hall University. Ordained in 1972, he served as an administrator, teacher, rector and principal at the PIME High School Seminary in Newark, Ohio before being sent to the missions of Thailand, where he served for six years. He is currently the Treasurer of the U.S. Region of PIME in Detroit. On December 16, 2018 he was installed as Pastor of San Francesco Catholic Church in Clinton Township, MI. Every week he takes some time off from his parish ministry to do some administrative work at PIME headquarters in Detroit. Due to his increased workload at the parish while continuing as Treasurer of the U. S. Region of PIME and as counselor and spiritual director, he spends any time left doing a little woodworking.

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Written by Fr Dino Vanin
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