If you pay any attention to the national news, you know about the mass murder of 59 people last month by a lone gunman in Las Vegas. You also know about the terrorist in New York who killed eight people by driving a rented truck into a crowded bike path. In addition to the killings, within the past month, there has been a wave of news stories about several well-known Hollywood male executives and celebrities who have been accused of routinely abusing women and getting away with it.
The year was 1970. I was in the eighth grade at St. Mark’s school in Peoria. I remember the day like it was yesterday. One of my classmates — I’ll call him Paul — brought a Polaroid picture to school to show to his friends. Paul and I were the same age — 13 years old. The person in the picture was the girlfriend of Paul’s older brother. She and Paul’s brother were in high school. She was a student at Academy of Our Lady and Paul’s brother was a student at Spalding Institute.
Last week, I wrote about how I was able to convince a prosecuting attorney to agree to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor for a client who had been accused of committing a serious crime. The attorney accused me of being a whiner when I refused to stop pushing him to work with me. In the end, I got what I wanted; he agreed to reduce the charge.
After I graduated from Saint Louis University law school in 1982, my wife and I moved back to Peoria. At that time, my wife was pregnant with our second child. Shortly after returning to Peoria, I began teaching CCD classes on Sunday mornings at St. Sharbel Catholic Church to seventh- and eighth-grade students.
Last week, I reread two documents: the U.S. Constitution, which was written more than 200 years ago, and The Communist Manifesto, which was written more than 150 years ago. James Madison and the other authors of the Constitution were primarily concerned with guaranteeing the freedom and liberty of all Americans by placing severe limitations on the power of the federal government. Karl Marx, the author of The Communist Manifesto, mapped out what would become a blueprint for dictators whose primary aim was to achieve power by exercising complete control over the lives of their citizens.
Hell came into existence because of the pride and envy of Lucifer and his followers. Lucifer envied God’s perfection and authority over him. He also envied the happiness of our first parents and did everything in his power to alienate them from God.
We were all born with a strong tendency toward pride, the mother of all sins. Because of our fallen human nature, we were also born with a tendency toward each of the other root passions of lust, anger, avarice, envy, gluttony, and sloth; furthermore, as a result of the individual unique traits that each of us were born with, combined with the environment we grew up in and our life experiences, we each entered adolescence, and later adulthood, with a predominant tendency toward one of the other six root passions.