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Deacon Kevin McCormack

 

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The Boston Marathon prayer - 2 years later

I had written this two years ago today.  Unfortunately it is as fresh as ever.

A prayer for Me and Boston:

Lord I am heartsick
Lord I am tired of the violence and evil 

I am sick and tired of praying to strengthen my faith in the midst of terror,
I am sick and tired of praying for the ability to see hope in the death of a child,
I am sick and tired of praying for the love to forgive the animals who kill the innocent. 

Lord I am heartsick
Lord I am tired of the violence and evil 

I am sick and tired of fearing for my children’s safety,
I am sick and tired of fearing what the future will look like,
I am sick and tired of fearing anyone who is different. 

Lord I am heartsick
Lord I am tired of the violence and evil 

I am sick and tired of being strong in the midst of this confusion,
I am sick and tired of promising a better world,
I am sick and tired of wondering where You are in the midst of it all.

Father, in the midst of temptation to despair, I pray, through the intercession of St. Thomas the Apostle, the Doubter and the Martyr, that I stay strong in my Faith, Hope and Love of You and Your creation. 

I believe, help me in my unbelief.

Posted by Dcn. Kevin McCormack on Friday April 17
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Today is Yom HaShoah ... #NeverAgain

... That is - Holocaust rememberance day.  It has been 70 years since liberation of extermination camps.  Memories may grow fainter, but our resolve must continue that the horrors of the Holocaust will never be repeated anywhere.

-Adam, who are you? I no longer recognize you... Of what horror have you been capable? What made you fall to such depths?" 
- Here we are, Lord, shamed by what we, your own image and likeness, are capable of doing." Have Mercy!"  
(from Pope Francis's reflection on YAD VASHEM HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL JERUSALEM MAY 26, 2014)  #neveragain

Please take time to see the full text of the Holy Father's reflection:  

http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2014/05/who-are-you-o-man-what-have-you-become.html

Posted by Dcn. Kevin McCormack on Thursday April 16
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The quality of mercy is not strained ...

Recently an unmarried pregnant woman in a Catholic middle school in Montana was fired.  I fear the School and the Diocese are sending some terribly mixed messages.  (http://wapo.st/1dryZJ1) 

I am a husband, dad, deacon, and principal of Xaverian. No one in our community will be surprised to hear that I have sinned often and constantly need to say "I am sorry!"  I have also been in many situations where I have had to forgive and in doing so needed to balance mercy and justice.  As a Christian adult,  I have learned that I don't have the luxury to see the world in sharp black and white categories. I live in a very messy world.

With regards to this woman, I don't know anything about her, except for the fact that she had sex outside of a marriage covenant, got pregnant, and has bravely decided NOT to abort the child - but to bring the baby to term. And I also have inferred that this is cause of scandal in her community. I have heard nothing about her being a thief, rumor monger, or abusive to anyone in anyway. She however is clearly guilty of a moment of passion, one could rightfully say she made a sinful decision, which our God - that even in the midst of such a sin - allows his His Grace to abide in the miracle of new life.  (She also was not alone in this action, but I know of no penalty ever given out to a man in this situation!)

The decision of the Diocese and of the School, in my admittedly simple and humble opinion has encouraged other women, in similar circumstances, not to avoid sexual activity outside of the sacrament marriage but rather to abort their babies - less they lose the ability to support their families.  -  Now isn't that a new spin on a Sophie's Choice?

We can count on people continuing to sin, St. Paul and St. Augustine make it very clear that we cannot save ourselves. We will continue to be victims of the stench of original sin and add to that sin by the willful sinful choices we continually make.   However I have read and have been taught through the Holy Scriptures and our Magisterium that the Lord & the Church welcomes the sinners, never casting them away, nor ever have been embarrassed to embrace, forgive, and welcome them.  To paraphrase Isaiah, God writes straight with crooked lines.

On the other hand, the haughty, self righteous, and those who cloak themselves with the arrogance of the law, like the Pharisee of Lk 18:9-14 ...  Well you get the picture.

There are times when a Catholic Administrator has to remove a person from the community.  I have had to do this more times than I'd like to remember in the dismissal of people from the Xaverian community.  But in this case, when the woman has chosen the more difficult path, to protect her unborn baby, this School and Diocese have missed an opportunity to celebrate life and the triumph of Gracious Mercy for the celebration of a myopic, not even blind, sense of Justice.

There is so much more to being pro-life than platitudes and condemnations! 

Posted by Dcn. Kevin McCormack on Wednesday February 5, 2014
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Reflection on the 41st Anniversary of Roe v Wade

Can you believe that over the last 41 years there have been 55 million abortions in the United States?

 Joining with our Church, I make no apologies for being devoutly pro-life, mourning the 55,000,000 lives that never got a chance to struggle, laugh, suffer, love, and have a chance to live.  I also know that people of good will disagree with me.

 I wonder however, if pro-life & pro-choice people could agree to the fact that abortion continues to be considered the BEST choice (or even a right) for woman is a travesty. What does it say about our society that penalizes a woman for having a child to the point that she believes terminating the pregnancy is a good thing or at the very least, her best option?  

 Abortion is tragic for all involved - beginning with the lost child and his/her mother, and working its way to an often apathetic larger community.  Today, let our prayers be for the unborn, their mothers and her family and friends.  Let us also pray that we will have the courage to work to end the circumstances that make any life unwanted! 

Posted by Dcn. Kevin McCormack on Wednesday January 22, 2014
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Tag: abortion

Dystopia and the 7th grade

Much thanks to the most recent guest Blogger, Genesis English teacher,  Thomas Snyder.  Tom is doing some great work with his kids, finding ways to help all of us cope with the crazy, often frightening world in which we live through reading and critical thinking!

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The 7th grade is currently reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner to inspire them in their creative writing unit. Hot on the heels of The Hunger Games’ success, The Maze Runner is the latest entry in “dystopia fiction.”

While dystopia fiction is often grim in its depiction of our future, it is also often popular with teenagers, and many famous examples (Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, The Giver) still make frequent appearances on reading lists. Dystopia is relatable to the YA crowd. It’s dark. It’s angst-y. Young heroes, power-mad adults, rampant technology – these are things they know and experience. More to the point, it asks difficult and unnerving questions: how fragile is our society? How tenuous is our sense of civility and order? These are the questions the 7th grade seeks to answer.

And these are also the questions that were brought into stark, terrible focus after the events of the Boston Marathon bombing. That horrible event would seem to make real the dark vision of the future we see in fiction. But the 7th grade chose to read it in a different light, and provided wonderfully inspiring commentary on the society in which they are coming of age.

One student wrote, “The weakest things in a society are, like vulnerable flesh, the physical things. The things that we so desperately cling to: our phones, electronics, games, homes -- these things are all weak.  Removing them from our society would be easy.  But removing the spirit from a city, that is hard. The kind, down-to-earth attitude of the people in Boston was unaltered.  People jumped into action to help those in need, not once thinking about themselves, only thinking of others.  It is this attitude that is the most powerful in society. It is the spirit of people that keeps a society strong.”

Indeed, what the 7th grade have found and will continue to find in their reading is that, though bleak, dystopia fiction holds up a mirror to our society. And sometimes we see what’s truly important – that love is what holds us together when everything falls apart.

Thomas Snyder

Posted by Dcn. Kevin McCormack on Tuesday May 7, 2013 at 12:42PM
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