Monday, July 31, 2023
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
However, you may be less familiar with Tim Ballard. Tim formerly worked as a special agent for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,
but then quit his job there to pursue the rescue of children who are being
trafficked in the sex trade worldwide. The organization that he formed is
called Operation Underground Railroad
about which the movie Sound of Freedom was written.
I saw the movie a few weeks ago and I highly recommend it. The
plot surrounds an actual rescue of children that took place in Colombia, South
America. The movie respectfully handles a most difficult subject and attempts
to make people aware of the extent of human trafficking worldwide and, in
particular, the sex trafficking of minors.
I have listened extensively to the interviews of both Jim and
Tim on many varying platforms. To hear their personal stories and the
background information of the film makes one aware of the evil and the dark
forces that do not want this film to be successful or their message about human
trafficking to get out to the general public. Just shut up!
The film did not get the backing of any of the normal
Hollywood channels and was produced independently by Angel Studios, the same studio that has successfully produced the Netflix series, The Chosen. When I began to notice how much the mainstream media
and the Hollywood elites continually try to portray the film, the actors, the
subject matter, etc. in the most negative of terms, attached to all sorts of conspiracy
theories, I suspect that the makers of the film have touched upon a much-hidden
and carefully-protected sore spot among societal elites and various potential predators.
Does anyone happen to remember Harvey,
Cosby, Spacey, the Me Too
movement, Ghislaine, Jeffery and his notorious island, etc.
etc.? Or are our collective memories that bad?
When the filmmakers contend that America is the number one
consumer of child pornography and that the money generated annually by the sex
trafficking of minors and adults is a 150 billion dollar industry, does that
Remember we live in a culture where the destruction of
preborn children is routine, where the sexualization of young children and
adolescents is ever more commonplace, where the family unit has disintegrated, where
sexual perversion and taboos are advocated and glorified, where pornography is
rampant and where the moral compass of the godless does not exist. To quote the
line from the Louis Armstrong song: What
a wonderful world!
I have stated many times that God is in charge and that
nothing happens without His knowing it or permitting it. However, biblical history has shown that
things will only spiral out of control for so long without God's
intervention. Remember Noah? How about Sodom and Gomorrah? What about the
ten plagues of Egypt?
Then there was the great Roman Empire. I suspect that no one at the time would have predicted
I am thankful that there are people in the world who are
willing to stand up for what is right and good despite the personal cost. I personally
think that Jim Caviezel and Tim Ballard fit into this category. While none of
us is perfect and without our own sin, we all need to take some responsibility
for the sins of our society. And we need
to stand up for and protect our most vulnerable members including the preborn,
children, the handicapped, the infirm and the elderly.
I especially echo the theme of Sound of Freedom: God's Children are Not for sale!
Fr. Ed Namiotka
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Sunday, July 9, 2023
I wish I had saved the letter.
A now-deceased Trappist monk from the Abbey of the Genesee sent a letter to me while I was in the college seminary. It was a time in my life when I was seeking some serious direction and advice. I was a bit disillusioned with things that were going on in the seminary and with the moral character of some of my fellow seminarians. I was also disappointed with some professors and their actions. Needless to say, even in a place where men were preparing to be priests, things were far from perfect. The seminary situation proved to be a real testing ground for my vocation.
Unfortunately, I learned from an early time in my training that not everyone played by the rules and did what they were supposed to do. I knew very well that I was an imperfect sinner as well. (Regrettably, I still am.) However, I was trying as best I could—albeit imperfectly—to model my life and behavior after the pattern of Jesus Christ and His teachings.
Weren’t we all in this together? Shouldn’t we be helping one another as brothers and strengthening one another rather than bringing others down and even leading others astray? Shouldn’t some of the professors be better examples to the students in this situation?
The words from the monk are ingrained in my mind and heart: “If all the world should go astray and everything seems upside down, you go on faithfully serving the Lord.” He challenged me to live the Gospel and to be a disciple of the Lord while holding nothing back.
Sometimes it may seem that we are fighting an uphill battle. Perhaps it may appear that we are completely alone in our struggles. Yet, I truly believe that there are many, many good people out there who want to follow the Lord and do what is pleasing to Him. We know that even Jesus’ hand-picked followers had their flaws. One of them denied Him and one of them turned on Him in historic betrayal. Perfection was lacking, even among His most intimate followers.
St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians seems to ring true especially today:
. . . Work out your salvation with
fear and trembling. . . . Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that
you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst
of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the
world, as you hold on to the word of life, so that my boast for the day of Christ
may be that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (Philippians 2: 12b,
We can look at the world today and so often want to throw in the towel.
can I do with such a mess? Do I still want to
follow the Lord and be His disciple?
Thankfully, I will go on remembering the monk’s words to me. They have proved invaluable over time.
Fr. Ed Namiotka