To: (Multiple email addresses may be specified by separating them with a comma)
BY John Lilly
After a week when you had an
article, “Debating Life and Death in Vermont” (March 25) about Vermont’s nearly
inevitable enactment of physician-assisted suicide, I was disappointed to find
no mention of what actually happened here in the following issues!
I understood that you could not
announce what had happened here on March 21 because of your publishing
However, I see no reason to avoid
celebrating the overturning of Vermont House Bill 44, by a vote of 82 to 63 in
this issue! Much credit to its defeat is due to Bishop Salvatore Matano. I
especially valued his call for the diocese to pray the Rosary in the week of
the vote to defeat the bill.
To everyone in the other 48 states
that do not have physician-assisted suicide laws, I urge you to rejoice with us
in Vermont for this miraculous victory! Vermont is not the next domino to fall
farther into the culture of death, and we are all safer for that!
Mass and Music
Reading “A Choice: Art Music, Bad
Music or None” (March 25) made me think of a little child who does not
understand how adults think. It is easy for us to categorize those who like the
music of today as lacking. Yet for some it is the music they relate to.
Whatever music we use at Mass should
inspire worship of God. Please do not denigrate me who, at 67, loves country
music and dislikes classical. I am a faithful Catholic who attends daily Mass.
Loud organ music and high-pitched voices is a distraction to me. I know that I
am not alone because others have expressed the same no matter what age. Vatican
II’s changes in the Mass were supposed to help people become more involved in
It is hard for those of us without
trained voices to participate in much of the traditional music. I want to
participate fully. I can be silent in my heart, behind closed doors or walking
in the woods. Mass is a communal gathering. Please accept me as I am, just as
Jesus did, folk music and all.
Over Bad Music
Regarding “A Choice: Art Music, Bad
Music or None” (March 25): Webster Young is right. Let us have silence rather
than “bad music.” It doesn’t belong at Mass.
Responding to ‘BCE’
Regarding the April 8 letter
The first time I heard the term
“Before the Common Era” was from a rabbi. Years ago, I called a synagogue to
ask a question. I can’t remember what the subject was about, but his answer
included “BCE.” I asked what that meant and he stiltedly replied “Before
the Common Era.” It shocked me to hear that phrase, but I did not question
Later, I wondered how I would
respond to that designation if it were presented to me again. Only one
way, reply: You mean, “B.C., Before Christ”?
A Tip of the Hat
I would like to thank you for two
things in my recent Register editions. First, I am very grateful for the
interview and write up about Dean Koontz, “Chatting with Koontz About Faith” (March
11). I never heard of him and have since really enjoyed reading his works.
Also you ran, “The Possibility of
Finding God — on Film” (Feb. 18) about Into Great Silence, a movie
about French Monks (pictured above) that was playing in New York. I live in New
Jersey, and after reading that I went to the city to see the movie, and it was
excellent! Both of these things are great cultural experiences that I was very
happy to be made aware of from your newspaper.
Divine Mercy and the Pope
Thank you for a splendid editorial,
“Pope Benedict on Divine Mercy” (April 15).
I would point out that the feast of
Divine Mercy applies more to receiving the body and blood of Our Lord and
asking him to pour out his mercy, with confession before or within the octave
of the feast. The 3 p.m. chaplet is still very laudable, but I think one will
find that Our Lord was referring to holy Communion as a source of his mercy on
this day of mercy according to Sister Faustina.
It is amazing to see firsthand Pope
Benedict “the professor.” His writings on God’s love and the Eucharist are very
profound, yet at the same time comprehensible. I can’t help but believe that
what John Paul the Great did was to set the stage for the world to now sit and
listen to what Pope Benedict has to say to all of us about the infinite love
that God has for us.
At the time of John Paul’s death the
whole world was watching. He got everyone’s attention. That was just the
opening act for some truly remarkable transformations for the world to
experience in the coming years. What a blessing for us now to live through all
Relevant to “Judge Forces
Homosexuality in the Classroom” (March 18):
Saying that opposition to
homosexuality is “homophobia” is like saying opposition to cancer is
Homosexuality can be cured. It can
also be prevented. Only people who care about the homosexuals oppose it.
Homosexual persons have more
depression, more suicides, do more drugs and are unhappier with themselves
twice as much as heterosexual people. They live an average of 33 years less
than heterosexuals. Would you want to condemn someone you cared about to that
Homosexual “marriage” is an oxymoron;
self-contradictory. One essential purpose of marriage is to have and raise
In the Netherlands, where it has
been legalized for more than 12 years, it hasn’t worked at all. They only stay
together for an average of 1½ years, and they have affairs with 12 other
homosexuals during that year and a half.
Groups that work with homosexuals,
such as Courage and Exodus, find that it often occurs in families that had an
absent father (physically, emotionally or spiritually) in the child’s early
life, roughly between the ages of 2 and 4 years. They also report a successful
cure rate of 90%. It usually takes about a year.
The American Psychiatric Association
used to classify homosexuality scientifically as mentally disordered behavior.
What changed? Politics. They didn’t change their definition for scientific
reasons, but for political reasons.
‘Cleaning the Slate’
In a recent editorial, you
highlighted the need for more emphasis on the sacrament of reconciliation, “7
Ways to Promote Confession” (March 18).
How true! May I suggest something
that could help.
When my father passed away 25 years
ago two monsignors, natives of Ireland, spoke and then recited the Rosary
together, providing meditations on each mystery.
Afterwards, Msgr. Reilly gave a
short homily on confession reminding us that it was surely at times like this
that we are more mindful of our own death and judgment.
For that reason, he said he would be
back in the funeral directors’ office hearing confessions after the service. My
wife and I went to confession that evening along with 25 others. As he said, it
was called “cleaning the slate” in Ireland. Would that more of our priests
would use this opportunity to clean the slate in America.