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One Word Missing in the Election Debates

March 2016

by John Horvat II

 

“Everything can be found save the missing word, so necessary to fix our nation’s problems at its very core.”

Listening to the rhetoric in the present political cycle, there seems to be a missing word.

It is not “angst” or “frustration,” neither “equality” nor “jobs” or even the latest buzzword, “establishment.”

All these words are thrown around in the present debate. Being true politicians, candidates pepper their speeches with them, while promising everything to maximize voter benefits and placate their concerns. The word “anti-establishment” is now all the rage, even among those who actually benefited from being part of it.

The race is like an electoral supermarket, where voters can find all these words and promises, but it seems to do little to satisfy their agitated mood.

One aisle offers lower taxes (for most) or higher taxes (on others), free healthcare, free college, and jobs of every size and shape. Down another aisle, one can find less bureaucracy, fewer government programs, or increased military spending. There are special displays for classic socialism or socialism lite. Everything can be found save the missing word, so necessary to fix our nation’s problems at its very core.

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Two factors help explain voter discontent and the need for this missing word in the present debates.

The first is an internal factor: America’s institutions are crumbling. They no longer provide the solutions they once did. High on the list are government institutions that burden society with the weight of their cost and the rigidity of their regulations. To this can also be added declining schools, communities and churches.

Behind these crumbling institutions are the ruins of broken lives and relationships. One can also see the effects of hurried and stressful lives lived in what might be called the frenetic intemperance of the times where everyone must have everything instantly and effortlessly. And when one is not given everything, there are resentful cries of “unfairness” and “injustice” against a broken “establishment.”

That is why there are desperate calls for replacements or solutions that harken back to better times. Behind the anti-establishment angst is a desire for a quick fix to reconstruct the old establishment the way it used to be before it went awry, or to try new alternatives that offer an easy way out. Anything, that is, save one based on the key missing word, which no one dares to mention.

There is a second factor behind the discontent. This one is external. The old world order is breaking down. America is threatened by Islamic terrorism, global economic downturns, and disastrous foreign policy decisions. The world is a mess. People feel the uncertainty and insecurity of new world disorder.

Both factors are causing an immense anxiety that nothing in the electoral supermarket of benefits, free stuff and jobs can assuage. What is needed, and needed now, is the missing word lacking amid so much rhetoric. That word is sacrifice.

The crisis that the nation now faces is so huge that it will not be resolved without a spirit of sacrifice on the part of all Americans. Candidates need to have the courage to make this call that so contradicts a frenetically intemperate world. Such a call also presupposes higher ideals and causes that inspire people to selfless action.

Some might object that a call to sacrifice is political suicide in today’s climate. The supermarket is the safer course. But the nation’s history testifies to the contrary.

Whenever the call to sacrifice sounds, Americans rise to the occasion with great valor, Americans have always responded with touching dedication and generous hearts as they defend other and aid nations in distress. The sacrifices of American soldiers hold a special place in the hearts of most Americans who are deeply moved by their devoted service and selflessness, especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and did not return.

Sacrifice. A noble word. And one missing in the debates. It’s not the only word needed, but it is a good start.

 


 As seen on americanthinker.com

 

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DAILY QUOTE for July 29, 2016

It was the thief’s last prayer, perhaps even his first. He...

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July 29

 

It was the thief’s last prayer,
perhaps even his first.
He knocked once, sought once, asked once,
dared everything, and found everything.
When even the disciples were doubting,
and only one was present at the Cross,

the thief owned and acknowledged Him as Savior.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen


"Who shall rise up for Me against the evildoers?" – Psalms 93:16

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Martha

Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about man...

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St. Martha

Martha, named in the Gospels of St. Luke and St. John, was the sister of Lazarus, the friend of Jesus whom the Lord resurrected. She was also the sister of Mary Magdalen, the repentant sinner whom the Lord converted from a life of sin. They lived in Bethany, thought to be the town al-Eizariya, two miles from Jerusalem.The Gospels speak of Martha as a dutiful housekeeper, serving the Lord hospitably when He visited:"but Martha was busy about much serving…" (Luke 10:40) Complaining that her sister Mary was listening to Him instead of helping, Our Lord sweetly rebuked : "Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away her" (Luke 10:41-42) - words the Master which established the priority of prayer for all time.When her brother, Lazarus, fell ill, she sent for the Lord, but He delayed and when He arrived, Lazarus had been four days in the tomb. She complained to Jesus about His delay, but He assured her: "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live." (John 11:25) And he proceeded to call Lazarus forth the tomb before a crowd of astonished witnesses.After the martyrdom of St. James in Jerusalem, as persecution intensified, tradition says that Lazarus and his two sisters, along with others, were placed in a boat and set out to sea. This boat landed on the southern shore of France. While Lazarus and Martha went on to evangelize Provence, a fact recorded in French history, Mary retired to a cave in a mountain, to do penance for the rest of her life.Martha is said to have died about the year 84. Her tomb is located in the crypt of the Collegiate Church of Tarrascon, France.

WEEKLY STORY

The Legend of the Locket

I was in my first sleep when the sound of the doorbell...

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The Legend of the Locket

I was in my first sleep when the sound of the doorbell awakened me, whereupon I sprang from my bed, and, after a few hurried preparations, hastened to throw open the door. 

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It was a bitter cold night in January, and the moon without threw its pale light over the wan spectral snow-covered landscape. The sharp gust that swept into the hall as I opened the door made me pity the delicate-looking child who stood at the threshold.

Her hair gleamed with a strange and rare effect in the moonlight, long golden hair that fell in graceful ripples about her shoulders. She was lightly dressed, this little child, as she stood gazing straight and frankly into my eyes with an expression at once so beautiful and calm and earnest that I shall never forget it.

Her face was very pale, her complexion of the fairest. The radiancy about her hair seemed to glow in some weird yet indescribable fashion upon her every feature. These details I had not fairly taken in when she addressed me.

"Father, can you come with me at once? My mother is dying, and she is in trouble."

"Come inside, my little girl," I said, "and warm yourself. You must be half frozen."

"Indeed, Father, I am not in the least cold." I had thrown on my coat and hat as she made answer.

"Your mother's name, my child?"

"Catherine Morgan, Father; she's a widow, and has lived like a saint. And now that she's dying, she is in awful trouble. She was taken sick about a few hours ago."

"Where does she live?"

"Two miles from here, Father, on the border of the Great Swamp; she is a stranger in these parts, and alone. I know the way perfectly; you need not be afraid of getting lost."

A few minutes later we were tramping through the snow, or rather I was tramping, for the child beside me moved with so light and tender a step, that had there been flowers instead of snowflakes beneath our feet I do not think a single petal would have been crushed under the airy fall of her fairy feet.

Her hand was in mine with the confiding clasp of childhood. Her face, for all the trouble that was at home, wore a gravely serene air, such as is seldom seen in years of sprightly, youthful innocence.

How beautiful she looked!

More like a creature fresh from the perfect handiwork of God than one who walked in the valley of sin, sorrow, trouble and death.

Locket Upon her bosom I observed a golden locket fashioned in a heart shape.

She noticed my glance, and with a quick movement of her fingers released the locket and handed it to me.

"It's a heart," I said.

"Read what's on it, Father."

"I can't, my little friend; my eyes are very good, but are not equal to making out reading on gold lockets by moonlight."

"Just let me hold it for you, Father. Now look."

How this child contrived, I cannot say; but certain it is, that at once, as she held the locket at a certain angle, there stood out clearly, embossed upon its surface, the legend: 

"Cease! the Heart of Jesus is with me." 

"Mamma placed that upon my bosom one year ago, when I was very sick, Father." And kissing the locket, the child restored it to its place.

We went on for a time in silence. I carried the Blessed Sacrament with me; and, young as she was, the girl seemed to appreciate the fact. Whenever I glanced at her, I observed her lips moving as in prayer, and her eyes seemed, in very truth, fixed upon the place where rested in His sacramental veil the Master of Life and of Death.

Suddenly the girl's hand touched my sleeve-oh, so gently!

"This is the place, Father," she said in soft tones that thrilled me as they broke upon the stillness; and she pointed to a little hut standing back in the dim shadows of three pine trees.

I pushed open the door, which hung loosely upon its hinges, and turned to wait her entrance. She was gone. Somewhat startled, I was peering out into the pallid night, when a groan called me to the bedside of the dying woman.

A glance told me there was no time to lose. The woman lying in that room had hardly reached middle life, but the hand of Death had touched her brow, upon which stood the drops of sweat, and in her face I read a great trouble.

I was at her side in an instant; and, God be thanked for it, soon calmed and quieted the poor creature. She made her confession, and in sentiments of faith and love such as I have rarely seen, received the Last Sacraments of the Church.

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Standing beside her, I suggested those little prayers and devices so sweet and consoling at the dread hour. I noticed, as the time passed on, that her eyes frequently turned toward a little box at the farther end of the room.

"Shall I bring you that box?" I asked.

She nodded assent.

On placing it beside her, she opened it with trembling hands and took out the dress of a child.

"Your little daughter's dress?" I said.

She whispered, and there was love in her tones: "My darling Edith's."

"I know her," I continued. "She brought me here, you know."

I stopped short and caught my breath. The woman half rose in her bed; she looked at me in wonder that cannot be expressed. I, no less amazed, was staring at a golden, oval locket fastened to the bosom of the child's dress which the woman was holding in her hands.

"Madam," I cried, "in the name of God, tell me, where is your daughter? Whose is that locket?"

"The locket is Edith's. I placed it here on the bosom of her dress when my little girl lay dying a year ago. The last thing my darling did was to hold this locket to her lips, and say:

'Cease! the Heart of Jesus is with me.'

"She died a year ago."

Then the mother's face grew very sweet and very radiant.

Still holding the locket in her hands, she fixed her eyes straight before her.

"Edith, my dear Edith, we are at last to be united in the Sacred Heart. I see you, my darling: ‘Cease! the Heart of Jesus is with me."'

Her voice faded with the last syllable into silence.

She and Edith were again united.

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From Fr. Finn's Mostly Boys (New York: 1896), pp. 90-95.
Illustrations by: AF Phillips

 

I was in my first sleep when the sound of the doorbell

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