Archive for the ‘Cathal Broin’ Category

Mary our model

1 Bealtaine, 2008
Author: Cathal Broin
Issue: 25 – May 2008

Mary our model
The modern world needs to look less to pop stars and fashion models and more to true role models model people people who truly set the standard of how a person ought to be. Our Catholic Faith teaches us that we were created to know, love and serve God. To be reasonably happy in this life and perfectly happy in the next.

Our models are the saints, and to whom could we better look to as a model person (after Christ of course), than to Mary, the Mother of God. All of humanity can find in her the measure of what it is to be a perfect person. Whether they be man or woman, rich or poor, married, religious or single, all peoples of all ages can find in Mary more wisdom than a thousand books. She is a constant source of inspiration to those who pray to her and meditate on her life. In her we find hope. For she is our heavenly hero, a mother of mercy for all who turn to her. As she waits, with her maternal heart, watching over the world, she is forever ready to impart extraordinary graces to all those who seek her intercession.
Sometimes it is easy to forget that saints are people too. If they are different to others it is only that in life they loved God as He ought to be loved. Mary was created in Gods plan to be the Mother of Christ, and so was given the special privilege of an Immaculate Heart. But she still had to live. It wasnt all simply predestination. She had to choose. She had to struggle – even though we know that she never sinned. Do you think that she did not have to suffer any temptations? Of course she did, but it was how she responded that mattered. The Angel Gabriel saluted her as being full of grace. Her heart was full of love of God, and so, had no room in it for worldly attachments. It is love of ourselves and love of the world that can easily pull us down in the time of temptation. If we are truly full of the love of God, then no temptation, no matter how violent or persistent, can have power over us.

Everybody suffers temptations. They should not be a cause of shame or worry to us. They are simply the promptings of hell, trying to lure us from our heavenly destiny, to ensnare us in sin. It is only how we respond that matters.

We would most likely be shocked if we knew the assaults that Mary suffered. We can be very sure, as is the nature of good and evil that just as she was picked out by God to bring Goodness Himself into the world, so she was targeted, more than anyone else ever was, by the devil and his legions, to suffer, like no other mere human ever had to or ever will.

May is known as the Month of Mary. It is traditionally a time of special devotion to She who is the greatest of saints. There are of course many excellent things we can do. The Rosary, the Scapular, the Miraculous medal, etc., are all gifts from the Mother of God to help us to grow as Her spiritual children. We can be sure that we will gain extraordinary graces from all these things, to help us in our lives but it doesnt stop there. We must play our part we must try to imitate Her great virtues. We must be living children of Mary, living examples of Faith, hope and charity of chastity, humility and obedience.

The first act of disobedience came when the devils fell from Heaven, after Lucifer said non serviam to God I will not serve. Then came the fall of Adam and Eve, when they disobeyed a simple commandment given to them to test their loyalty to God. Through these prideful acts of disobedience, all evil was unleashed unto creation. How could anything be saved, one might wonder, after such defiance of the Creator?

Mary was the pivot, the gate of mercy. She brought to the world a second chance, one that it did not deserve. She became the second Eve, and Her words were the opposite of what had set the world and all of creation wrong. She said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Be it done unto me according to Thy word. She said that She was the handmaid, the servant, and with this spirit, She said yes! She gave herself entirely to God, so that He could do with her whatever He wished. We need to try to imitate this heroic self-giving. We need to try to surrender our will, our freedom completely to Our Creator. Rather than be slaves to the world, we should freely became servants of God, and who knows what He will accomplish in us. Where thy heart is, there also is thy treasure. If our treasure is in Heaven we shall have riches beyond measure!

So, Mary obeyed God She said yes in a life of total surrender. Obedience is born of, and lives with, humility. These two virtues must both go together. Obedience is essentially to act as a servant with the humility to know that God is first, that God is King. The devil said that he would not serve because he thought he knew better than God Himself. Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit because they wanted to be like unto Gods. They did not trust in God, but they trusted a serpent. How could they be so blind? Temptation brings distortion, and sin casts darkness on the mind and heart.

What use would it be to make a beautiful May altar if our hearts are ugly, consumed in worldliness? and , what good would it do to decorate such an altar with the choicest of roses, if our hearts are choked with weeds and thistles? All our devotion is shallow if we are not willing to amend our lives. Let our gift to Mary in this month of May be our hearts. Let us ask Her in humility to help us to become better people.

What would it cost us to meditate on the life of Mary during the month of May, even for five minutes a day, and to pray for her virtues? And what about a few acts of faith, of humility, of kindness in honour of the Blessed Virgin? We followers of Christ are supposed to be living witnesses to the goodness of God, but unfortunately, all too often, the only thing that the world sees from a so-called Christian is an impatient Pharisee sitting in judgement. This is not supposed to be so. We need our prayers as a means of sanctification, and we also need our neighbours. Every insult borne with patience, every fault ignored, every inconvenience swallowed when we accept the penance that comes from simply interacting with other people, we can show charity, acquire virtue and accumulate treasure in Heaven.

Little things do make a big difference. Take everyday situations. One could easily think why should I let that person go in front of me in the queue? or why should I give the nicer cream bun to my brother? I quite fancy the one on the right, it has more jam topping! What do we gain when we always seek to get our own way, when we always put ourselves first? We soon become like spoilt children, and every slight thing that goes against our wills becomes an excruciating torture. Then, the faade we have draped over our ego always seems to be slipping down, and we are always on the defensive, terrified that we might be seen as less than we suppose ourselves to be.

Modern pop-psychology teaches us to be confident in ourselves. True confidence can only be in found in Christ. What cause have I of confidence in my own goodness? It is like being confident in a horse without legs, to think that it can somehow win a race. We cannot be saints by our own. Without God with can do nothing.

Mary shows us the true way to success. It was not that She was clever, it was that She had Faith, for God alone occupied Her mind and heart it was not that She was self-confident, it was that She had Hope, for in Her humility She could see the Greatness of God and it wasnt that She was calculating, it was that She had Charity, for She listened for the voice of God and obeyed Him in everything.

Mary our model teach us how to be good.

An appeal to Irish Patriots

1 Aibreán, 2008
Author: Cathal � Broin
Issue: 24 – April 2008

An appeal to Irish Patriots
We are entering a battle in which the stakes are very high. If the Irish say Yes to the Lisbon Treaty, we will have signed away the last real vestiges of our sovereignty.

We are facing a daunting prospect. We are facing a Federal EU, controlled by bureaucrats. If we let the Lisbon Treaty pass we will have allowed the EU to take political control of our future, and the future of our children. Not only will we have fed the monster once more, we will have let the monster loose, to do as he wishes.
But, let us have no doubt, we can defeat this treaty. Unless the powers that be rig the vote (which I wouldn�t put past them), unless they do that, the victory of this vote is well within our grasp. The Yes side have nothing to give. There are no positives for this treaty. So, what will they tell us? Well, a recent �report� on RTE�s �This Week in Politics� programme, gives us a fair idea of what the Yes side will say. They will tell us that this treaty is all about �making the EU institutions more efficient.� This, of course, is completely misleading, though not entirely false. The essence, the primary goal, of this treaty is the creation of a Federal EU. It is true that this treaty, if passed, will make the EU more efficient. But why? Well, because they won�t have the bother, the inefficiency, of consulting so much with individual nations, of consulting so much with the peoples of Europe.

What we face is, �a federal EU, unrepresentative of and unanswerable to the people.� We should remember and repeat those words or similar to everyone we meet from now until the vote. It is not a federal �Europe�, because the EU is not Europe. The EU is a power-grabbing institution run by self-serving bureaucrats and retired politicians.

Let us have no doubt, that we can win this vote. We should be very positive. There are many reasons to vote No. Armed with the truth about this treaty we should be able to convince almost anyone that this proposal is a disaster for Ireland, that this proposal is a disaster for Europe.

So, what is our problem? The answer is apathy, well, that and the media. But, don�t these two things seem to go hand in hand? It would appear the more time people spend hypnotised in front of �the box�, the more lulled to sleep they seem to be. Our job, as well as to state the facts clearly, is to sound a great alarm bell. Our job is to wake up this nation, to call the people of Ireland to defend their nation�s sovereignty.

One reason why people are apathetic, particularly about politics, is of course, politicians. If we truly had leaders of great merit, people would become inspired, they would be excited and energised. When we tell people that they will lose their sovereignty, their voice, their freedom, they do not fully understand, because their politicians have not shown them true sovereignty, have not listened to their voice, and have not given them true freedom. The only substantial thing most politicians seem to do is to look after themselves and their friends � they seem to have no other long term strategy than to keep their cushy jobs for as long as is possible.
It is important that we show people that even though most of our politicians are bad, really bad, this is no reason to abandon sovereignty. It is like throwing away the engine of a car because it has ran out of fuel. There is nothing wrong with the engine, it is just that it has to be filled. There is no reason why the next generation of Irish politicians cannot use their power better, cannot use their power for the good of the people. Let us have hope. Sovereignty is worth keeping. Sovereignty must be kept.

It may seem that people nowadays care more about football than they do about their future. It may seem as though they would more readily vote on a television show like �Your a Star� or �Big Brother� than they would on important referenda like the Lisbon Treaty. There is no doubt that modern political leaders have followed the Roman Empire in its tactic of �give the people bread and circuses�. The Romans knew that once the general population were well fed and entertained, they were much less likely to rise up and challenge those in power. It was a good strategy from their point of view, and it usually worked. If we look today, we see the same thing. Entertainment and professional sport are being given increasing prominence in news bulletins and throughout the media in general. They are treated with a weight that they simply do not merit. Most people nowadays, in the Western World at least, are not starving, and they do have many different luxuries and gadgets to keep them occupied and amused. But more and more we see real power being taken from the people. Life has become more stressful. Houses are more difficult to buy. The working week seems to get longer and longer. There is no reason in this highly automated world, why the working week of modern man could not be half of what it is today, no reason, that is, but the greed of the rich and powerful.

Life is often tough in this age. As well as bread and circuses to keep us quiet, we now have the modern suburban lifestyle. When people are overworked, when they have to spend their early mornings and late evenings commuting to and from their place of employment, when they have the looming threat of a heavy mortgage hanging over their heads – when they have all these things, they are much less likely to cause a fuss against the plans of those in authority.
It is quite likely that the Yes side in this referendum will do as they usually do, it is probable that they will try to bully and frighten the people into accepting the Lisbon Treaty. They are already coming out with vague warnings that a No vote would �look bad for Ireland� and would �turn foreign investment away from our shores.� We cannot let these people away with such talk. It is our job to instil confidence in everyone we meet, to remind them that we, Irish people, are a strong race who have come through many trials in our past. The government will threaten us, telling us that a No vote will bring us ridicule and sanction from our fellow members of the EU. We need to appeal to people to be brave and independent, to �accept or reject the Treaty based on the Treaty itself�. If it is good, then fine, but if it is not (and this is clearly the case), then we must reject it. Ireland must now stand up and be counted, or Ireland will simply not count any more. She will become a province, a region, and we, her people, will simply be, subjects of the Empire.

We need to emphasise the importance of this vote. There have been so many EU referenda over the years. The danger is that people will think, �ahh, sure this is just another vote, we�ve heard the No side before, with their doomsday predictions, and sure, it hasn�t ever turned out all that bad.�

We�ve already heard our Taoiseach challenge those who reject the Treaty to �come up with an alternative�. This will be a main strategy of theirs – the tactic of deflection. They will want to take the focus off the actual Treaty. We shouldn�t get too bogged down in such discussions. They, the political elites, did not ask us �for an alternative� when they were formulating this thing. No, that was done behind closed doors, well away from anyone who could interfere with their sinister plans. All we can do now, on this occasion, is to reject this Treaty, because it is bad. After that, we will be more than happy to give our fresh ideas about the future of Europe, that is if, such political elites are willing to listen to our voice.

As most of you are aware this Treaty, and the Constitution on which it is based, is completely humanistic � it has not even one mention of Our Creator. But then, you know, if you are doing something wrong, the last thing you want do is to talk about God. No, that only causes unease of the conscience. Agnosticism, which is to not be sure about God, is in practice, often really more like �I don�t want to be sure�. When we acknowledge our Creator we remind ourselves of His supreme dominion over all things. The EU has already shown, on countless occasions, its contempt for the Catholic Church, the church founded by Jesus Christ. We can be sure that if the door to federalism is opened, if this Treaty is passed, it is only a matter of time until the heinous crime of abortion is �legalised� in this country, or should I say �in this region�. All laws on important social issues will be standardised – and we can be sure that they will all reflect an outlook that is humanistic to the core. The traditional family, which as you know is the bedrock of society, will be undermined even further. It is very likely that the EU will continue in its bureaucratic love for regulations and laws, and so, they may well make it more difficult, or impossible, to bring up a family as one sees fit. Already we see, throughout the world, the promotion of perversion in schools, usually along with the excuse of �equality�. Home schooling or small private schools are becoming increasingly more necessary, just to safeguard one�s children from a barrage of �mandatory� anti-Christian propaganda. What happens if public schools become intolerable to us, and the last resorts of home-schooling and private Catholic education are regulated out of existence? In the end, there is no reason why the EU should not want to standardise the minds of our children in the same way it seeks to standardise just about everything else.

Some will of course say that such scenarios are merely conjecture � they will say that we do not know the future path of the EU, that we are merely citing the worst possible outcome. But, really, we can already see where this institution is going. The EU has not fully shown its horns yet. It has not really had to. It is an evil man, courting a woman (the people). It is as nice as it has to be. Just wait �till after the wedding day.

No, let us not wait! We cannot allow our freedom to be squandered in this way. Our politicians are asking us to throw away freedom, and not just our freedom, but the freedom of future generations. Freedom is not ours to give away. It is in fact our duty to safeguard it, as best we can, for our children, for the children of Ireland.

As we fight this campaign let us remind the people of Ireland that they have a privilege unique among the peoples of Europe. We are the only ones, on this occasion, allowed to vote on this important issue – and this is only because our government is legally bound to put such matters to the people in a referendum. The Yes side will, of course, try to use this fact, the fact that we are the only ones, to put pressure on our people into accepting the Treaty. They will tell us that we would be �setting the whole of Europe back�, if we said No. But, we are not the first country to have a say on this issue. Referenda in France and Holland have already rejected what was essentially the same proposal, packaged at that time, as the EU Constitution. What did the EU do? They simply changed the name and ignored the votes of these two countries. We now have a chance, and we shouldn�t let it pass. We don�t just hold the torch of hope for ourselves, we hold it for all of Europe.

Some might say, �but they will ignore our vote, or they will just make us vote again�. This is not a reason to accept the Lisbon Treaty – it is a feeble excuse for doing nothing. It is a slavish mentality which ought to be quickly countered with a chilling dose of reality – �let us exercise our freedom while we still have it, or else we shall not have freedom for much longer.� The fact that our government and the EU have such contempt for the people of Europe should not deter anyone from fighting this campaign, on the contrary, it should spur us all on to do everything we can to make sure that this awful proposal is resoundingly rejected.

We are soon approaching a decisive hour. Now is the time to stand up for Ireland. Now is the time to stand up for Europe. Let us use our voice while we can, and let us speak out for ourselves and for the many many people whose voices are being ignored.

I really do believe that we can win this vote, but if we are to succeed, it will take heroic effort from all true Irish patriots. Of course, it will not be easy. The media and the establishment will play their usual games. Such is the battle that we now face. The rules are unfair, but we can safely say that we have got truth on our side.

I thank you, dear patriots, for listening to my plea. I know that you truly are the salt of the Earth. I hope that during this campaign, you all act like smelling salts, wakening up as many people as possible from ignorance and apathy.

We embark on a heroic mission. We continue the cause of our forefathers in the fight for Ireland�s freedom. Let us place this, our endeavour, in the hands of the Blessed Trinity, and with genuine hope and trust in God, let us do all we can in the weeks and months ahead. Let us believe, and let us act as we believe. Let us try to realise the honour of this struggle and let us go out and convince our people about the importance of their vote.