Idaho Dominicana

    Vol. I, No. 10.

    Tuesday, August 05, 2003

    Blessed Margaret of Castello, OP, Chapter-in-Formation


    1. Chapter News
    2. Upcoming Events
    3. August Meeting
    4. Prayer List
    5. Article:  Public Policy and the Natural Law.


    1. Chapter News.
      1. Congratulations and blessings to Crystl Collins, OPL, Dorothy Brown, OPL, and Janet O’Leary, OPL for their reception as lay members into the Order of Preachers before Fr. George Matanic, OP and Prioress Stephanie DeNinno, OPL, on Saturday, June 28, 2003!
      2. Roger Neuenschander will be received, and Gwen Gross, OPL will give life profession at the September meeting or before.  It will not be at this month’s meeting because Stephanie will be celebrating her marital anniversary.  You will be notified of the time, date, and place.
      3. John Keenan, OPL went to Europe for a few days in June, to see the sights where St. Dominic preached and lived in southern France and Spain with Fr. Bart de la Torre.  He will show pictures this Thursday.  See below.
    2. Upcoming Events.  August is a very spiritual month.  St. Dominic’s Feast Day is the 8th of August, The Feast of the Assumption is August 15, 2003, and St. Monica’s Feast Day is August 27, 2003.  Good month to rebuild your spiritual life, go to reconciliation, visit the Blessed Sacrament, and say the Rosary.  On Thursday, John Keenan will do a slide show about his trip to Europe.  It is a potluck dinner.  7:00 p.m.  We will see the pictures and celebrate St. Dominic’s Feast Day.  On Friday, August 8, 2003, the Dominicans are invited to say Morning Prayer at 6:15 a.m. at Sacred Heart Parish in Boise, with The Rosary at 6:30 a.m.
    1. August Meeting: 

    Monthly Chapter Meeting

    1:00 p.m.

    Sunday, August 17, 2003

    St. Paul’s Catholic Student Center

    BSU, Boise, Idaho

    We will discuss the pillar of prayer.  The reading will be sent to attendees in advance.  There is a light potluck lunch at 1:00 p.m.,  Liturgy of the Hours, 2:00p.m., and the meeting thereafter.  We will also discuss the article below on public policy and the natural law as the last agenda item at the meeting.

    1. Prayer for them.    Please pray for Gwen McGarvey, OPL, as she is starting her chemical treatments for leukemia this Monday, August 11, 2003.  Blessings Gwen.  Also, please pray for Lucy Kobusingye, she is returning to Uganda to visit her father and family for five weeks. Please pray for her and her son, Will.  Pray that her visit there will be fun and substantial family get-together.   God go with you Lucy.  Pray for the repose of Maria Turner’s sister, Zofia, who died of cancer last night.  It is a difficult time.  We pray that the Holy Spirit will console her family in this time.
    1. Article

                Public Policy and the Natural Law


                            The Scriptures say, that when we obey Christ and transform our minds to conform to His, that “there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”  Colossians 3:11.  Over history, by development of ideas, and by transformation of minds and hearts by the grace of Him, mankind and the law have also accepted this elevated thinking. 

    Before God, as is the goal of modern human law, there is no distinction between groups of people.  In principle, it is “justice for all.”  In essence, this is well established in the founding principles and laws of the United States, where it was written:

     We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,  (Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776).  

     This elemental cornerstone of the United States of America proves we are a Godly nation in our founding, and are based upon two principles: (1) that no man is above the law, and (2) that there are fundamental laws grounded in the natural law, or that law which is derived by nature.  For instance, any human legislative body cannot repeal the law against murder, assault, battery, robbery, stealing, and lying, among others.  These laws are written into our very beings, and even if the state were to allow such infringements, the state’s law is void, and violates the natural law that is written on our minds and upon our hearts. (Hebrews 10:16)  St. Thomas Aquinas says such governmental enactments are not law, but are a type of violence.  Without just men and women serving in governmental posts, and without just laws, tyranny will soon follow.   

                 Public policy and public laws must be rooted in and guided by the natural law and the concept that no man or woman is above the law.   God has called many people to advocate for good public policy.  These are advocates, jurists, and activists who work in the political arena, seeking to perfect society through the cooperation of public and private officials and entities.  There is many a laudable goal, when these activists advocate for the homeless, the disenfranchised, the naked, the voiceless, and the poor, among others.  The first and consistent principle in our modern society is that all such advocates and activists should advocate justice for the unborn because the unborn share in the characteristics of all other constituent groups.  In other words, the unborn persons are naked, voiceless, innocent, unseen, disenfranchised, blind, choice-less, and ignored.   In accord with present law, the unborn have no rights or guarantees to pursue happiness, to own property, to make love, to have children, or to simply live and breathe.  The unborn children who are aborted will never see the sunset, or be guided by the Scriptures, or see, or feel, or touch those about them. The unborn child has made no choices, has not failed or succeeded, or responded to God’s grace or sinned.  This primal advocacy is first an issue of justice, for if the most innocent and voiceless in our society is not protected, then what happens to other born persons who are homeless, poor, depressed, sick, or suffering.  When Christians advocate for social justice, are politically active, or run for public office, the primary class of persons they should advocate for is the unborn.  From this centerpoint of political advocacy and activism in our modern society, we can and will make a difference.  The power structures of modern America are vast and advocate the power of the woman to choose over the right of the child to live.  When pure power trumps rights granted by the natural law—in other words God-given rights—life becomes cheap in all its forms, whether it is life seen when it is unborn, old, sick, disenfranchised, homeless, hungry, blind, poor, voiceless, powerless, or disabled.   Our Nation’s public policy allows the killing of innocent human life in the womb.  This being true, then public policy soon fails to protect other powerless and innocent people. 

                 Therefore, as a matter of justice, as a matter of true concern and Godly charity, it is essential that Christian activists, whether political, religious, or social, and Christian public officials, concern themselves by prioritizing their effort for life in all its forms.  Their priority is firstly the unborn, and secondly other persons, for all other people share only a part of the problems the unborn face.  The unborn are blind, poor, naked, disenfranchised, choice-less, personally sinless, innocent, powerless, and voiceless.  To bring justice to all the disadvantaged, we must first bring it to the most humble and poor first.  In modern America, that is the unborn. 

                 By John C. Keenan, O.P.L., J.D.

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