The Catholic Association
Ep. 266 Harrison Butker's Graduation Speech & Our Lady of Charity, Pray for Cuba!
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Episode Description

With millions discussing Harrison Butker’s powerful commencement speech for Benedictine College, TCA’s Ashley McGuire examines whether the Kansas City Chiefs kicker’s message demeans women or elevates their God-given role in society. She also shares her take on why it shouldn’t be controversial to say, “taking care of your children, family, and home matters more than what you do to earn a living.”

We are joined by William Christie who just returned from Cuba, where a priest’s silent protest was shut down this week in the communist country where people of faith are persecuted. Christie talks with us about the dire situation on the ground as well as the beautiful devotion to Our Lady of Charity that still flourishes despite religious oppression.

Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily as he makes his way along the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, telling us about the trinitarian dimension of the Holy Eucharist for Trinity Sunday. The historic pilgrimage will culminate this July in Indianapolis as thousands gather for the National Eucharistic Congress 2024 – the first of its kind in 83 years!

Bios

William Christie studies Finance at the University of Miami Herbert Business School and serves as a Junior Board Member for the non-profit, Unbound. William just returned from a mission trip to Cuba. He plans to pursue a career in Finance.

Ashley McGuire is a Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association and co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Conversations with Consequences, as well as author of the book, Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female. She has written for numerous news outlets and spoken on major television networks, serving as a prominent voice for the pro-life movement and religious liberty. She is the mother of five children.

Father Roger Landry is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. He writes for numerous publications, speaks on radio and TV, and is the author of the book, Plan of Life: Habits to Help You Grow Closer to God. He is a graduate of Harvard and the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and was Attaché to the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the UN in New York. Father Landry is set to embark on the full 1500-mile Eucharist Pilgrimage this summer to commemorate his 25th anniversary as a priest.

The following transcript is machine generated.

Episode 266 Transcript

GrazieHello friends, and welcome to Conversations with Consequences. We are the radio show and podcast of the Catholic Association where we aim to change the culture one conversation at a time. You can listen to conversations with consequences on the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network. We are also on Sirius XM Channel 130. Of course, our radio show is always a podcast.
Go to the Catholic Association, Dawgs podcasts, or directly to wherever you listen to your podcast. I'm your host is Dr. Gracie Christie. Thank you for joining us again this week. We have a great show for you today. My co-host is Ashley McGuire, and I discuss the absurd backlash over Harrison Booker of the Kansas City Chiefs and his speech I Benedictine College.
But first, my own son, William Christie, a 20 year old, just returned from a mission trip to Cuba, working with a church there. He gives us his very fresh account of what life is like there for Cubans and for the Catholic faith. Welcome to the show. William Christie Hi.
WilliamThank you for having me.
GrazieSo, William, you just arrived from a one week trip, a mission trip to Cuba. Your experiences are very fresh in your mind. I wanted to hear from you, and I thought our listeners would enjoy hearing your very fresh perspective on on Catholicism in a place like Cuba, which has suffered so much. So tell us, you you traveled from the very, very first, the top of the First World, which is Miami, where everything is accessible.
And and you can anything that you want just lands in your lap. And you went to one of the most immigrated impoverished places in the world, which happens to be just 90 miles from the the lowest point in Florida, which is Key West. Basically, the plane goes up and then it comes down and then you're in a different universe.
What's Cuba like?
WilliamSo, yeah, I stayed in that clover, which is in the east of Cuba. It's in this little basin surrounded by mountains on the outside of Santiago, which is the second major city of Cuba, outside of Havana. And it's an astounding place. So we are told often how bad and how terrible conditions are in Cuba and how awful the living situation is there.
But it's hard to intellectualize and really rationalize because you hear things, but you don't really understand them. Like, I remember being told for years, while the average wage in Cuba is a dollar a day, which is just enough to survive, people don't survive. Well, things have not. Not only that, I find that to be true, that people are barely surviving, barely living.
But I also found that that's a better than reality. That's far better than than what's happening in reality. So what recently happened, unfortunately, is that during COVID, the average fixed exchange rate for the Cuban vessel to the U.S. dollar went from 25 Cuban vessels to one U.S. dollar to 300 to 1, which has had terrible effects on every Cuban.
GrazieAnd this was more or less this was something more or less that the Cuban government, the Cuban, the Cuban communist dictatorship simply chose. Right. This is not something that happens. You know, external forces.
WilliamYeah, they they made it to the variable exchange rate, which unfortunately I would love to anyone who understands finance and especially having to do with the finance of a country, finances of a country that has no major exports. Anyone would understand this. A disastrous choice. People already made on average from about 1000 to 2500 vessels a month, which when converted, would almost be a dollar a day at its highest, at its lowest conversion rate.
But now that means people are making 2 to $3 a month.
GrazieHow how is that possible? What what what does a Cubans life look like at 2 to $3 a month?
WilliamIt means food is a luxury so people survive due to the fact that Cuba's plentiful and that people ignore what the government tells them to do. So people do the broad strokes, but they really leave things vague. So if they're told to to send in their crop of platinum on their specific that they that they grow on their field, well they don't send in their mangos.
People survive because of the fact that Cuba's plentiful.
GrazieYou mean it's a fertile land.
WilliamIt's not only fertile, but you have to understand that food just simply exists. And when it does exist, it exists in quantities that that is absurd on every corner of every street, even in areas where it's way it's incredibly dry, you'll see 40 mangoes.
GrazieJust growing, just growing on trees.
WilliamJust growing. So people who are struggling to survive can pick those mangoes and survive. And that's true even in cities. So when I was visiting Santiago on the outskirts, Santiago, near these more public areas, there are these trees and they're always full of fruit.
GrazieOkay, So there's fruit. There's probably chickens roaming around that are reproducing naturally.
WilliamChicken.
GrazieMaybe. They're fortunately.
WilliamVery expensive.
GrazieAre they allowed chicken? Are they allowed to fish? I'm sorry, chicken is not something that you can scoop off the sidewalk.
WilliamNo, no. Chickens are incredibly expensive. So of course, this is already what is already well known as a cattle are incredibly valuable and are held to be incredibly valuable by the Cuban government. That you can be punished extremely, extremely punished for killing a cow. That's a severe offense.
GrazieSo no one's eating beef except maybe the tourists in Havana.
WilliamEven the beef is impossibly expensive currently, but no food.
GrazieIs with people. Okay, so maybe, maybe you can find mangoes, you can eat plantains. But what what do you do for aspirin? What do you do for clothes? What do you do for your shoes? And and is there electricity? Is there running water?
WilliamOkay. So when we're talking about utilities there, it comes down to two possible options. You either have none or you have about four when it comes to electricity of about 2 to 3 hours a day of electricity, when as long as you're outside of Havana. So down in the south, in near Santiago, the power plants on the coast and generally it only generates enough power from about to really power anything from about 7 to 11 p.m..
Any time outside of that is bizarre and a luxury.
GrazieWilliam, When Cubans come to the United States and you know this very, very well, since you come from a Cuban family and you're surrounded by Cubans everywhere you go in Miami, you know that Cubans are extremely industrious people. They turn their hand at anything. When you find a Cuban or a young Cuban man or woman who's only been here two or three years, they have three or four jobs at a time, and they're they make a success of things through their through their industriousness and honesty.
But what do people do in Cuba? Are people working hard in Cuba?
WilliamYes. So people if the people simply did what the government prescribed for them to do, that they're just their government jobs. Everyone would be dead. No one would be able to survive other than a select few. The reason people survive is because they are intelligent and they are industrious. People reach out to people, connect with one another. People make sure that everyone's getting by, that everyone's that everyone's surviving.
People who have small farms connect with individuals who may, for example, have extra clothing. Those people trade those goods at a unfavorable rate for one another, so they'll trade far more food than those clothes are worth. And people will trade those clothes for far less food than they're worth. People are kind of one people trade, thank God. Some of those individuals who are in Cuba have family in the States and are able to bring with them second hand, third hand, fourth hand clothing, and that clothing can be distributed.
Let me.
GrazieAsk you. When people hear about poverty at this level, less than two or $3 a day in in in actual wages, in actual, that's it's hard to even imagine to wrap around to wrap your mind around that. They imagine a place that is like that because of some natural some natural deficiency that the place has. But Cuba is obviously a place that has every possibility.
Right? They could could have abundant tourism, abundant cattle, abundant, tobacco abundant. Everything grows on Cuba and everybody would like to visit Cuba the way they visit the Virgin Islands or any other beautiful island in the in the Caribbean. So what's going on there? Why are people so poor?
WilliamIt's and it's unfortunately just a side effect of the government being so ineffective. So you visited COBRA. It's a beautiful area full of impossible natural beauty. You're surrounded by these beautiful mountains that are covered in greenery. It's astounding to look at. Then you look at the in the middle of the basin where the town is, there's two giant mounds of dirt and no one approaches those mounds of dirt.
There are no houses around the mounds of dirt. There's just one or two shacks. And when if you ask any of the villagers who live there what those are, they'll tell you that one is a copper mine and one is a gold mine, which you would imagine would be the center of industry for this town. But according to the villagers and according to everyone who lives there or is knows the area, there is copper and there is gold, even if it's not an incredible amount.
But the government doesn't run any machinery and doesn't run or have any individuals mining the the the materials.
GrazieIs that inefficient. You call that inefficiency. It isn't it isn't just done on purpose to keep the people poor.
WilliamIt's an it's an unfortunate state to be in. It's these what we often what you often find is that anything that's done actually done any any labor that is actually performed is lost. And somehow it's the will, somehow the wealth or the the production exchanges hands so many times that by the end, by the time it finally gets to the hands of the people actually need it.
It's all gone. It's incredibly inefficient of getting the product to the consumer.
GrazieAre the are the people in Cuba, are they hangdog? Are they sad? Are they moping? What are they like? What? When you interact with them, what feeling do you get from them as.
WilliamYou would expect individuals to be? You would expect individuals to be destroyed. You'd expect them to be depressed. You'd expect them to not be able to live another day. It feels like every time you visit or any time you you, you talk to them, they all they can tell you is terrible news. Yet somehow everyone is smiling, everyone's happy, everyone's glad to be alive, everyone's glad to have one another.
Everyone's ready to embrace one another. Everyone's ready to hug one another. Everyone's ready to kiss one another. Everyone's ready to share. What are you Everyone's ready to sing.
GrazieWhat do you.
WilliamWhat.
GrazieDo you attribute that to?
WilliamIt's it's very interesting. One, I attribute it to Cubans. Cubans are an astounding group, individuals who somehow can take the worst situations and put a positive spin on them and are capable of of of making things and turning situations which any other group of individuals would take as as a as a stonewall, as something they can never breach.
And Cubans just decide to live on the wall or climb over it.
GrazieSo like a natural character kind of thing, a action is a national character.
WilliamIt's a it's an interesting national character that they have. Another interesting, neat another interesting thing that they rely on is faith. So faith in Cuba's very interesting. So, of course, one of the central tenets of communism, specifically with the reestablishment of the regime in Cuba, was atheism. So the idea was that the state was all that was needed.
You don't need religion. And so and so obviously religions where religious groups were disbanded, churches were closed down, they were taken over, the property was taken over, and they exchanged hands.
GrazieAnd how Catholic was Cuba before the revolution?
WilliamI was massively for example, in Santiago, you can see there's several old churches and monasteries throughout the city. But nowadays those buildings were taken over by the government and were turned into different and were turned and turn to different purposes. For example, there's one that's right across from the bishops office in Santiago, which used to be this large, beautiful building where where nuns used to say, and where there used to be a small chapel.
Now that building is now a school for dentistry, which rarely runs due to the fact that there's a lack of electricity, of course.
GrazieAnd no anesthesia for those those drills.
WilliamAnd unfortunately, medical practitioners within Cuba are and are astounding group of individuals. I had I had an amazing opportunity to talk to all the medical staff that work within the hospital, COBRA, who deal with all the individuals within this area and help everyone get by. And they talk about it a lot. The big issues they have is not only a lack of material and a lack of electricity, but they also deal with the fact that when you lack material, you have trouble teaching individuals because they can't practice a procedure, they can't practice anything.
So a problem they often have is that things are theoretical until they're put into practice. So if you only if you only have one needle, you only have one scalpel, you can't use it to practice and then again use it for surgery. So you have to just wait till it's used for surgery and hope that you there through a theoretical knowledge, is useful in the real world.
GrazieThat's amazing. And these are and these are the doctors that the government farms out as slaves all over the world.
WilliamIt's it's horrific. They work. They work in terrible conditions. They do their absolute best. It was a it's a what? It was an amazing opportunity to speak with them. All of them. Every single one of them is does their absolute best to learn as much as they can to help individuals. One of the things they focus on massively is preventative medicine.
So they they do their best to educate the common people who are off obviously in large cases, lack of an education, lack a formal, formal education and educate them in ways that they could in ways or steps that they can take to avoid serious health hazards that would force them to go to the hospital. Another thing that they focus on massively and they're very, very proud of and they deserve to be proud of it is their focus on traditional medicine.
So Cuba has many national natural resources that can be used in medicine, and these were known for hundreds of years while people with the people who live there and eventually the people settle there. And of course, when the medical when modern medicine came, those natural remedies weren't used because they're not anywhere near as effective as common modern day medicine.
But of course, now that you lack modern day medicine, those natural remedies can take a while. They can't replace those those modern day medicines. They can help massively. When you live in a world that can don't exist.
GrazieI can testify to that since my my grandmothers would dose me with all sorts of teas and herbs when I was sick as a little girl.
WilliamI know some of them don't have a basis in reality and are more spiritual nature. Most of the world, they give us an interesting demonstration of a spiritual healing where they where you rub your hands and you apply spiritual energy. Are they weren't it was it was a strange translation, but apply spiritual energy to unhealthy areas. But they they're they're incredibly intelligent these in this nature where they really understand which what herbs and remedies can act as natural painkillers, what can act as a natural antibiotic.
It's astounding what they know.
GrazieAnd most of the people in in that part of Cuba and maybe most of Cuba are black. Correct.
WilliamIt's very interesting. Outside of cities, very few individuals are actually are white. It's it's predominantly it's a predominantly black country. Once you leave Havana, Santiago is almost entirely black. These small villages are entirely black. Most of these individuals where most of these individuals, past ancestors, where they're natives or were brought over as slaves. So it's very interesting thing to see.
GrazieAnd William, I just I just I've deviated you when you when you were starting to talk about faith. Now, you went to Cuba to work at the Basilica of Santiago with a group of young men. And you you worked very hard for many days and you worked at all sorts of odd jobs around the basilica. I know that you were scraping paint, rusty paint and rust off of the gates of the basilica.
And tell us then, how did you experience the faith in Cuba?
WilliamIt's incredibly interesting. So faith almost died in Cuba. When you have a government putting put steps, when the government steps in the throat of every practitioner and forcing them to stop practicing for entire generations, that makes sense that the faith would die Well.
GrazieAnd for instance, in for instance, you went to school at an in a in a school here in Miami, which is which which was a school in Cuba run by Jesuits. And the priests were expelled at the time of the revolution. And they came and they built the same school here. Correct. So.
WilliamYou know, prevent it from, you.
GrazieKnow, you know, in a way very intimately how that faith was was thrown out of Cuba.
WilliamExactly. So it was so you would assume that the faith would have died or at least had been stamped out in certain areas. But what you very interestingly find is that this is that people's faith has been has been rekindled completely. I had the the I had the amazing opportunity to speak with the with the priest of that of that diocese or the priest within the diocese.
Father Helio. And he told me something to me that really amazed me. So down in that area, they they have a defunct seminary that's now used for retreats, usually for nuns within Cuba. And this retreat, this retreat area now has a series of chapels for these nuns. And one of these chapels was used as the church for the for the for over four years.
It was it's a small chapel seats 25 people served as their church, which is really interesting for a area that has a massive basilica that sits 150 to 250 people. And he he spoke about it. He spoke about how the basilica was people were afraid of the basilica, that it was it was a piece of history. That was a piece.
It was a part of it was just a part of the natural landscape of the area and that people would not never mess with it. And how when he stepped in and put it only within only a few years, they went from just seating that small room, that small chapel to seating the entirety of the basilica on Sundays.
And the majority the basilica every other day.
GrazieReally. And when did this explosion in the faith happen?
WilliamIt was only within the last 20 years, which is really amazing to hear.
GrazieAnd was this because of a relaxation in the anti and the anti-Catholic or the anti-religious moves of the government?
WilliamPartially. But what it mostly was, was outreach. When you're when the faith is when the faith dies in an area, it's not rekindled, when it's when people are no longer putting it out. And it has to be relit and it's relit by outreach, by people reaching out, by spreading the word, by evangelizing it. That's how it rekindles and that's how the flame starts again.
And it's an amazing it's it's truly amazing to see some specific individual who rekindle the faith of entire area. This now a roaring bonfire.
GrazieWow. And this is Father Leo of of the Basilica of San Diego. no. El Camino, which is a it's a village near Santiago.
WilliamYes.
GrazieOkay. So maybe our listeners don't know this, but the patroness of of Cuba is called Our Lady of Charity. And she has a beautiful story of an apparition over 500 years ago. And her shrine is in this town of El Rey. And you were able to visit there, which I find very special. I have a great devotion to Our Lady of Charity.
And right here in Miami where I live, there is our we have a shrine that corresponds to the shrine and Alcoba and Cubans here in Miami visit the shrine very often to pray to our lady. And we feel very connected. We, they and me feel very connected to our brothers and sisters in Cuba who are not who don't have the the freedoms that we have.
Was. What was it like to visit for you, our Lady of charities Shrine having spent so much time in the one in Miami.
WilliamIt's actually really amazing. So I am obviously from Miami. I'm I'm constantly told of Cuba and I'm constantly told of Our Lady of the Lake. I read that. And it's and it's interesting because you expect something. You have this this grand image of the in your mind. And then when you go there, you would you would expect that that image would be shattered, destroyed.
It would never be it would never match what what you would have imagined. But it's it's it's a stunning place. It's it's a stunning location. It's well, they keep it to the best of their ability. They have no they don't have any resources to truly keep it. They can't really conserve it like these like ancient facilities are in Rome.
So of course, they can't match any of those those they can't match those restoration or those individual who can conserve these locations. When you go there and you enter the building and you perform and services and you and you really pay attention, you can see how beautiful the area was. It was obviously built with a massive amount of devotion and obviously at a great expense the local community.
How you can tell that the local community or whoever donated them, whatever donated, built the building, put everything they could into it. It's full of beautiful stone and artwork. It's full of beautiful sculptures. It's an astounding place to see it. And it's the joy of the entire area. Every every individual in that corporate loves to attend the area.
Just look at the beautiful paintings. It's it's a candle beauty in an otherwise very, very, very lacking area.
GrazieWow. I feel like through the history of Christianity, the the the the, the deep, the beauty, the details, the the amount of work and and love that is that is put in our places of worship is is never wasted. It's it's especially in places where people are poor and and have dark lives that those that beauty is leads them straight to God I'm sure of it.
WilliamYeah. So well beauty's obviously closer to divine perfection, but it's, it's an amazing thing to see because these people, you have people travel from outside villages outside, which are also outside Santiago. It's a show that the bishop told me about, where there's a large number of practitioners who want to practice their faith. But there is no temple, there is no church.
There are near the near them. There's just no way for them to travel.
GrazieTravel is very difficult, isn't it?
WilliamTravel's impossible. Roads are completely destroyed. They've never been repaired or they've never been built in the first place. These communities live out in the middle of nowhere and their only method to travel is use their only method of travels walking if they're and if they if they're better off than other groups, they may have a donkey, but that's that's a luxury.
GrazieWow.
WilliamSo these these group have no way to practice their faith. And it's a big issue with that. The bishop discussed and it's an issue they're doing their best to solve. One of the ways they solve this is they build they build tiny areas where missionaries can come and they can evangelize and they can help the local communities, because building a church, you need a staff, a priest there.
But there's just there are no priests.
GrazieAre there? So are there seminaries in Cuba?
WilliamSo we do there are seminaries in Cuba within each of the major cities, which of which there are 12, but there just aren't enough priests. And if anything, if there were enough priests, there would be one a priest for 15 people in these small towns. They would they would have to be traveling priests, which would obviously it's a solution, but it's obviously not a great solution to these areas.
But the solution is obviously increase is increasing utilities to the area so these individuals can travel in far and far greater ease with far greater ease. But unfortunately, the governments just unwilling to do that for their for its own people, which it claims to care about.
GrazieWilliam, when you came home and you you shared all this with me just a few hours ago, we picked you up at the airport. I, I cried thinking of the poverty in Cuba and how it's simply it's simply imposed upon those good people by their communist dictatorship, by by those corrupt, cruel, cruel leaders who want their people to live that way.
So. But leave us. But then, after speaking to you for a while, I felt more hopeful. Leave us with some words of encouragement for for for for these times in which there is so much suffering across the world and even so close to us.
WilliamI think leaving you with words positivity would be best from talking about such a sad situation, I think would be best to remember is that these people within Cuba are not they're not depressed, they're not miserable, they're not sad, anxious. They're hopeful. They hopeful. They're happy. They're living. They're surviving. They're caring for one another, having families, having children.
They're getting married. There's living. They're not just surviving. They're living. And it's a beautiful thing to see. And it's something we have to help when we have to, something that we have to help grow so that more and more people aren't just surviving and that they're living and that the number of individuals or doing so is growing. And it's which is amazing.
Even it's growing during a time when otherwise everything is getting harder in Cuba.
GrazieAnd as our lady of Charity taking good care of them.
WilliamIf you I had the amazing opportunity to watch, to attend and perform individual that was done Saturday night with an alcohol and it was it was one of the most beautiful events I ever seen. I saw several hundred villagers traveled from all over the south Cuba just to venerate our lady. It was our lady's very much with the people of Cuba.
GrazieThank you, William.
WilliamThank you for having me.
GrazieWelcome back to Conversations with Consequences. I'm your host is Dr. Gracie Christie. We couldn't let the week go by without addressing something that's being addressed nonstop everywhere on TV, on the Internet. And that is Harrison Baker's speech at Benedictine College. So joining me next is my colleague at the Catholic Association, and my co-host is Ashley McGuire. The best thing to do is to let you hear the piece that is getting the most the most hate from the left, from the liberal side.
ButkerFor the ladies present today, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment. You should be proud of all that you have achieved to this point in your young lives. I want to speak directly to you briefly, because I think it is you, the women who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. How many of you are sitting here now about to cross the stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career?
Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.
GrazieSo Ashley, to me, what he said is absolutely the reality that I that I live in that that I have always lived in a as a professional woman, as a wife and mother. I'm seeing young girls and younger women all the time. Yeah. Some of them really excited about their careers, but most of them balancing that excitement with the knowledge that they also want to be wives and mothers and that they want to be really present in the home.
And some of them, I'll tell you frankly, just want to be wives and mothers and then they struggle feeling that that's not that's not respectful. It's not respectable in the in the current climate and that they're going to be looked down.
AshleyUpon Pew has been tracking this for a long time, asking women with children under the age of 18, would you prefer full time, part time or no work at all? And like the overwhelming majority, something like the 70 or 80% say either part time or no work at all. It's it's what women want. And, you know, sure, like this is 2024 and nobody's telling women what to do.
And women have more choice than men have.
GrazieAnd they have a lot more choices and advantages than men as far when it comes to academics. They're more they have to they don't have to work as hard to get the same spots. Let's face it. That's just that's the reality today.
AshleyIn men and husbands are we know, you know, statistically more involved than they've ever been. I just think the reaction to what he said is so unbelievably disproportionate to what he actually said, which is simply, you know, there was this speech that this great conservative thinker, Leon Kass once gave that I happened to be at at the American Enterprise Institute dinner where he said he talked about, we don't just work when we're at work.
We're also working when we're humanly at work, which is, you know, our domestic work. And that's something that men and women do. And it's our most important work. I'm sorry, but like, it shouldn't be controversial to say that taking care of children in your family, in your home matters more than what you do to earn a living. Yeah, those things matter, too.
GrazieBut in this culture that we live in, this modern culture, everything is about choice and fulfilling your desires and being who you want to be. Where's the respect for the female sex that has some talent that has in very often a desire for close family contact and being at home and being there for all those moments. We just have different we have different desires very often compared to men that statistically were built differently.
Our interests, our desires, our needs are different from those of men. Why can't we be respected for those choices when every other choice is respected? Everything. If you say about there's a, you know, a woman prostitute on the street, they call her a sex worker, and you're supposed to respect her choice, right? She's making this choice to to live that life.
And I'm sorry. It's it's it's also very true that many women are course and are in trafficking situations. But I'm saying the left that prides itself on its love of choices looks down on this choice that this nice young Catholic man championed in front of in a Catholic college and even from the Catholic maybe left a little bit he's getting you know, there was a time when women didn't have professional opportunities.
And this was sad because women are half the world and they can they have beautiful possibilities and and they can add so much right through their professional capacities to our world. But when did that become one size fits all so that we can't follow our dreams every day? Follow your dreams. Follow your dreams. What if your dream is to work a very short part time?
So that you don't have to spend all your day at the office working for some stranger and longing to be at home with your babies.
AshleyYeah, and I think to your point about, you know, I think there's almost something like sexist or paternalistic, ironically, in the reaction, because it's like, okay, there's something less lesser about that particular choice, which we know, again, statistically women are more inclined towards. So it's like the culture saying there's something wrong with our natures and that if, you know, we don't view the most important thing that we do in life as being the thing that makes a ton of money, there's something wrong with us.
In fact, I remember when Larry Summers, former president of Harvard in The Economist, basically said as much, He's a left wing guy and he just said, look, our economy rewards the people who just work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work. He's like, it shouldn't be that way. You know? But that's just the nature of the world that we live in.
Jordan Peterson has said similar things. He said the women are the same ones because they value the things that matter the most, not the just being a slave to your paycheck. And so the response to what he said, I think, you know, he used the words diabolical lies, like those are strong words, but the reaction has been kind of diabolical, like way overwrought.
And I just wish.
GrazieFeminism this this feminism that we're running up against like a brick wall and these comments and this these horrifying attitudes against this very reasonable speech that he gave, this feminism acts as though there's one model of flourishing, and that model is the male model, right? What kind of feminism holds up the male model of interests and flourishing and self-satisfaction, right?
Like the male, the guy who goes out and he says, we all know these these men we were married to them, right? Many of us, they they are super intense about work and that's fabulous. That works for them. And then they come home and they're great in the house and they're great with the children and God bless them.
But that's not what we want for ourselves. I've written extensively about my own and I've talked about it very frankly. I, I, I'm an MD. I've always worked, I've always practiced. But after I had my third child, I wanted to do both. I wanted to have a big family and a and a and a wonderful husband and a pretty home.
And I wanted also to be a doctor and and practice. And after my third child, I just broke down entirely. I couldn't do it all. And then I had to drag back my professional ambitions and and be sort of a stay at home radiologist mom. And it's been fabulous. And it would not have worked for my husband. He wouldn't.
It would. It wasn't a fit for the male ego in the male interest and the male ideals.
AshleyWell, you know, again, I think you're so right that we're holding up the male model and I, I don't know. I just I saw with him what he was doing was actually exalting women in his own way, praising her for the choice that she so she you know, she doesn't need to work. But I'm sure if she wanted to work, it's just I don't know, I think are overthinking these things.
But I saw I read every single word of what he said and there was nothing in it that I found even remotely contrary to him and.
GrazieTo the city. Let's hear the words from his own mouth. When he said the beautiful words he said about his wife.
ButkerI can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabel, would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother. I'm on the stage today and able to be the man I am because I have a wife who leans into her vocation. I've been blessed with the many talents God has given me, but it cannot be overstated that all of my success is made possible because a girl I met in being class back in middle school would convert to the faith, become my wife, and embrace one of the most important titles of all homemaker.
She's a primary educator to our children. She's the one who ensures I never let football or my business become a distraction from that of a husband and father. She's the person that knows me best at my core, and it is through our marriage that, Lord willing, we will both attain salvation. I say all of this to you because I have seen it firsthand how much happier someone can be when they disregard the outside noise and move closer and closer to God's will in their life.
Isabel's dream of having a career might not have come true, but if you asked her today if she has any regrets on her decision, she would laugh out loud without hesitation and say, Heck no.
GrazieSo at the end there, he says, Homemaker. And I feel like that's that word. That word just that means actually to people. Yeah, I think you actually that one word.
AshleyIs a little bit of a 1950s flavor. I mean, I think there's more like politically correct words. What is the politically correct word? Stay at home mom full time mom, that you can't say that. I mean.
GrazieThey keep changing. They keep moving the goalposts for us. But what do you feel? I feel like like I make my home, I make my home. I make sure everything is the way it ought to be. If it were up to my husband, he'd run it like his office, which is very neat. But it's not a home.
AshleyAnd plenty of women who are homemakers, they end up being the ones that are super involved in the schools and in their communities and in, you know, charity work. And those are those are other kinds of work that aren't that are essential to civil society, but again, are kind of.
GrazieBeing make a great point.
AshleyYeah, they're not they're not cranking out the dollars. So, you know, there's a it's just a little bit of a commentary, I think, on our culture about the twofold. You know, what you've said that it's all about self-actualization and quote unquote choice. As long it's the right choice. But, you know, it's also about money. It just shows it's really putting a spotlight on how we seem to value the contribution of people insofar as what their financial contribution is.
GrazieYeah. And then we complain as a culture, we complain that nobody's having children and people work too hard and the work ethic is out of control. And then we want women, you know, to to sacrifice all their interests and and then their children. I see. I do. I do. I work a lot with younger women and I have like reading groups and I try to mentor them and I try to help them.
And they're it's a terrible struggle for them. They've been they've been told that their feelings of fulfillment and flourishing and happiness are going to come to them through their profession. And then their families are almost afterthoughts, right? Like you'll fit that in somewhere, but they are unhappy when they do that.
AshleyYeah, I've long thought that it's totally crazy the way you go to college for four years and nobody says one word to you about family life and thinking about, you know, what kind of family life do you want to have? What kind of spouse do you want to have? You know, learning basic skills about running a home? Because what do you work outside the home are not you are going to spend a disproportionate amount of your time on those things.
And, you know, as he points out, that ends up being the thing that is brings people the most happiness typically. But there's just there's a real disconnect in our society because you're going to lose those prime years of formation getting No. And I'm sure at CAF, I didn't go to Catholic college, but I'm sure Catholic colleges, it's better.
But, you know, it shouldn't be so shocking when somebody comes in and gives a graduation speech and says, you know, also be thinking about the thing that's going to probably bring you the most happiness in your life, which is your family.
GrazieAnd in his speech, I thought it was so moving the way that he spoke about her life as a vocation that she leans into. And it is a vocation that we feel so strongly about, that our lives at home with her husband and our children are vocational. Yeah, that's how we shape and vocation in the sense that and he mentioned this.
He said it's the vocation is your pathway to heaven, right? There's lots of paths to heaven. There's lots of ways to live your life that that are congruent with God's desires for you of salvation. But that vocation of marriage and children for us women and for the men too. But talking out about it from the women's perspective, that's our path to heaven.
It's there that we serve and that we sacrifice and that we live for the other, and that we learn to express God's love for us. We learn to transmit that right Like we, we we take it for ourselves and then we distribute it out. And it's such a beautiful transit that priests know that the primacy of grace and how and it's just gorgeous.
And I don't know. I mean, look, I work I work when I'm working at my radiology, I'm working with images and computer screens and reports and and it's hard for me to feel that transmission of grace in my work vocation because I'm don't have hands on. Right. I don't generally see my patients. I don't feel that I'm connecting heart to heart, but I feel that really strongly at home.
And it's very beautiful for me. And I don't and I know my husband feels it too, but definitely in a different way and in a way that's that's he's oriented. He's oriented differently at work. He has he has different feelings about work than I do, I mean, radiology work or medical work.
AshleyYeah. No, I think that's the beauty of our faith is that the word vocation is so much more all encompassing than just our professional work is one tiny slice of our life and our work as a human being in the world. And so I'm grateful to Harrison Booker for refocusing our attention on a more holistic understanding of what it means to be a human, especially a 22 year old human, going into the world on the cusp of most likely starting a family.
GrazieLet's talk a moment about the reaction on the left, the unhinged reaction especially. And let me propose something we what we have seen on the campus recently, this this horror scenes on the campus, young people holding up the Islamist basically as as as people that whatever defending them opposing them as heroes. They don't have homemaking. I mean the homemaking is the only option you get in Islamic country.
Right? If you're running a country under Sharia law or a city like Dearborn or or Malmo in Sweden, that's your option as a woman, right. So how is what's that incongruity there? That's just I guess it's just one of the many incongruities of the left.
AshleyAll right. And like I said, it's 2024 in the United States of America, women are not oppressed. Nobody's forcing women to do anything. We have more choice and opportunity and possibility and variety than any woman women in the world at any time. And so, you know, the idea that Harrison Booker is trying to force anybody to do anything is is sort of laughable.
And I appreciate even the likes of Bill Maher coming out and calling out the absurdity of the reaction to his very inspiring words.
GrazieWell, God bless Harrison Booker and God bless all women out there, young and old, who are trying to lead their vocations and integrate all of them and and be wonderful out in the street and and at home with their husband and children. And to learn more about conversations with consequences, please visit the Catholic Association. Dorie And now Father Roger Landry offers us, as is customary, a short and inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday's gospel.
Fr. LandryThis is Father Roger Landry, and it's a privilege for me to join you as we enter into the consequential conversation. The resume merges my staff with each of us on Trinity Sunday. I'm recording this on day six of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, Seton Route ten. I'm helping to lead from New Haven, Connecticut, to Indianapolis in anticipation of the first national Eucharistic Congress in 83 years.
So I'd like to focus in a particular way on the Trinitarian dimension of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. I know that every Sunday is in a very real way dedicated to God, and therefore every Sunday really is Trinity Sunday. But since the 1300s, the Church is celebrated on the Sunday immediately following Pentecost, a feast dedicated the Holy Trinity to all of us, focused more explicitly on who God is and his profound, mysterious depths, and therefore who we're called to be made in His image and likeness.
We read reading an incredibly important paragraph in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Mystery of the Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It's the central mystery. No, not just with regard to what we believe, but how we live. The goes on to say why it is the mystery of God in himself. It's therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them.
It's the most fundamental and essential teaching in the hierarchy of the truths of the faith, the mystery of the Trinity. Therefore, it enlightens the mystery of creation, the mystery of redemption. The mystery of sanctification illuminates every page of sacred scripture. It helps us to understand the commandments it sheds light on. The four last things, reveals what's at the root of all the sacraments in prayer, including in this Eucharistic revival, the celebration of the mass, the catechism.
Paragraph four concludes The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way in the means by which the one true Godfather, Son and Holy Spirit reveals himself to men and reconciles and unite with himself, those who turn away from sin underneath, therefore history of the world, underneath our own personal history, from the moment of conception in our mother's womb until now and beyond, has developed within the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.
Therefore, its crucial for us as human beings, not to mention believers, to pour ourselves into the mystery of the Trinity. This means not just pouring our minds, but our hearts, all strength and entire existence into this reality. The Christian life is meant to be a Trinitarian life. Your life. My life is meant to be a Trinitarian life. So how do we live a trinitarian life?
We certainly help to live this liturgical in the Eucharist. Revival. Part of the first pillar of reinvigorating worship is helping everyone to recognize that. At mass they enter into the presence of the Triune God and the Gospel. For this Sunday, Jesus tells us in His valedictory words immediately before his ascension, all power in heaven on Earth has been given to me.
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son in the Holy Spirit to be baptized is to be submerged, to enter into, to be inundated in the name, not names of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It's to enter into God's life. The Trinitarian indwelling begins right then in the mass where helped enter more fully into communion with our Trinitarian God, we begin mass in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We end it by receiving the Blessed, the blessing of the Father, Son, in all his spirit. Everything we do and say during this mass is nothing other than a dialog between us and the father to the person of Jesus Christ. In the light of and with the help of the Holy Spirit, the priest greets us all with St Paul's words, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, the Communion, the Holy Spirit be with you, the Mass assist us to enter into God's grace and communion in the middle of Mass.
We loudly proclaim that was grounded our lives in the mystery of the Trinity, uniting ourselves to the entire church in Earth, in Heaven and in Purgatory. As we say, I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord the Giver of life proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the son is adored and glorified.
At the end of the Eucharistic prayers, we lift up Christ body and blood to the Father and offer together with him the priest on behalf of Christ. Whole mystical body summarized the fundamental orientation of a Christian life through Christ with Him and in Him. God Almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. All glory and honor is yours forever and ever.
The Mass is not just about our revering and receiving Christ, but accepting what Christ wants to do in us, namely help us as His bride, mystical body to glorify God the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit, who unites us to Christ and to each other. All our prayer, including our personal prayer, is meant to immerse us more deeply in God's Trinitarian light.
Prayer is possible because, as the future Pope Benedict once wrote, God is an eternal conversation. Prayer is ultimately not an exchange of ideas or words, but persons. And the Blessed Trinity is a tri personal dialog, and the Son of God took on a human nature. Human humanity was mysteriously taken up. And in that conversation, the work of the Holy Spirit in baptism in the Mass and the other sacraments and beyond brings you and me personally into that conversation and the Holy Spirit.
Does that work in Christ mystical body? The Church. The upshot of that Trinitarian work is that by the Holy Spirit we can cry out together with Jesus about Father, with the confidence of much beloved sons and daughters. But liturgy and prayer should never be separated from life. The catechism says. We're called to live as we pray to put into practice with the time God has come to reveal to us and make possible.
And so this Trinitarian life that's emphasized and effectuated by the sacraments, particularly the sacrifice of the mass, is meant to overflow into our entire life. Jesus come to reveal to us who God is so that we may not only come to know Him and experience his life and love throughout our daily existence into eternity, but so that we can also grow to know ourselves.
We have been created by him in his image and likeness, got his first communion and why Jesus prayed so hard on Holy Thursday as part of the first Mass that His disciples might be one, as He and the Father are one in the Holy Spirit to live according to our having been made in the image of the Trinity is to live for communion with God and with others.
We know that there are many who are source of division, who always contrast themselves to others. They criticize, who put people into different camps, right, left, Republican, Democrat, rich, poor, young, all black, white, male, female, Israeli-Palestinian, you name it. We Christians, if we live according to our Trinitarian image, live differently, especially at a time in our culture in which divisions are so much out in the open, Christians as individuals and together as the church must become signs of communion, an instrument of peace.
Second Saint John wrote in his first letter, God is love. This statement strongly implies that the one God somehow had to be a trinity of persons for God to be love. He couldn't have been solitary because no one can love in a vacuum in love there's always one who loves, one who was loved and the content of their love for each other.
God, the Father and God, the sun and all eternity loved each other so much that their love generated or, as we say, spirited a third person, the Holy Spirit. They exist in eternal communion of persons in love in which the three persons dwell in mutual self-giving that not only makes them united, but makes them truly one, three persons and one God.
We haven't been made in God's image and likeness are created therefore in love. And for love. We're called to live in a communion, a persons in love. We see this image reflected in the way created man and woman to exist in a loving communion. A person so strong that their love for each other can actually generate a third person similar to what we see in the Holy Trinity.
Saint John Paul. The second used to say that this is the deepest thing that can be said about the human person made in God's image. We are in God's image most not by a reason or a capacity freely to choose, but by our nature, and call to live in a loving communion persons. This image of God as a loving community is meant to be reflected in the family, in the church, and in society.
The image of God is meant to be brought about in the mass. So that through Holy Communion and the power of the Holy Spirit, we may be truly one body, one Spirit in Christ in each of us. In this upcoming Trinity Sunday is summoned to ask whether we really strive to live in a loving communion of persons in God's image and likeness.
God was love, loved us so much that He wanted us to share in and spread that love. This Trinity Sunday is a chance for us once again to hear God calling us, to live up to our dignity and enter more deeply into communion with Him and with others that will bring to join our lives in this world in eternal joy in the next.
It's a time for us to receive the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God in the Communion, the Holy Spirit to dwell in it, and to let that grace, love and communion overflow at a time when our society desperately needs it. It's a time that during the Eucharistic revival, we're called to choose to bring about through the awesome gift of himself and the Holy Eucharist.
As we approach mass, we thank him for the gift in calling to that communion of love and to ask him for all the help he knows we need so that we might truly be men and women in a communion of love and save by words and deeds in this world and forever praise the Holy Trinity, undivided unity Holy God, mighty God, God immortal, be adored.
Amen. Happy solemnity.
GrazieThank you so much, Father Landry. To hear more of Father Landry's homilies, please visit Catholic preaching income and to follow him on the Eucharistic pilgrimage route dedicated to Saint Elizabeth Seton, please visit Seton pilgrimage dot org. And with that, we leave you for our prayers for a wonderful week for you and your families.