An Inspiring Story, Pt. 2

Previously, we took a look at the journey of Milad H. Dadashi. We saw how he went from Muslim, to Protestant, and is now working on entering the Catholic Church. In this post we will look at Milad’s journey since he became a Christian. This, essentially, is Milad’s testimony. This story comes from another email he sent me. It has been edited for clarity and grammar. Other than that, the story is Milad’s own words.

“The autumn of 2009 was the first time I and a friend of mine attended an Assembly of God church. This was the last year of my university studies. When I heard the prayers and the music during the church service, my body began to shake. I felt a strange, warm sensation in my heart and side. For many years I had been praying to Allah, reciting the Sallat, but nothing happened. In the Assembly of God church, however, I had a new sense. The pastor was saying, “God is alive. He is with us.”

“I had hardly bought a copy of the Holy Bible when I began studying it. I enjoyed it. One verse, in particular, spoke to me. This verse is Mt. 11:28. Jesus says, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’

“Every night I read the Bible. I consumed it like a thirsty dog. One night I read the communion prayer (words of institution?) spoken by Jesus. I prayed to Jesus, ‘If you are alive, show me Yourself.’

“Afterwards, I fell asleep. I woke up at 2:30 a.m., and I rolled over to go back to sleep. It was then I heard a long, ugly voice scream in my ear, ‘Jesus is coming!’

“I was terribly frightened by this. Suddenly, I felt something grasp me by the neck, and attempt to lift me off the bed. I couldn’t breathe, and I forced my head back onto the pillow. I was too afraid to open my eyes.

“At sunrise I ran to Mother Maryam Church to see the pastor, and I told him what had happened that night. The pastor prayed for me, blessed me with oil, and gave me some soil from the church grounds for my home. Nothing like this had ever happened when I was Muslim.

“Shortly after, I began to have a sort of recurring dream, which I dreamed every night for a week. Although I was asleep, the dream was more like a vision, than a dream. Sometimes I would see a man wearing clothes, or sometimes there would be other people there, in the dream. I would be told of large numbers of people suffering great pain. When I would awaken I would experience great pain in my own body. I began to cry, but not because of the pain. I cried because of the depression I experienced due to the dream. I prayed to Jesus to take this scourage away from me. Suddenly, the dream ceased.

“One of my pastors recently told me these dreams were from the Devil, not from Jesus. He said the Devil attacked me, because I was trying to turn to Jesus with all my heart. I longed to see Him. I did not see Jesus then, but I discovered that He does exist.

“About six years after the Islamists had demanded an inappropriate action from me in order for me to acquire a job as a judge, and before my escape from Iran, I once again experienced a recurring dream. This time for five consecutive nights. In the dream it was a rainy day. I was carrying a cross while people beat and insulted me. What this meant I was not sure.

“Upon leaving Iran I told Jesus, ‘I have left everything for you.’

“During my first month in ‘voluntary exile’, I was so sad over having lost everything I once had. After prayer one night, however, I saw Jesus as I slept. He spoke to me and said, ‘Come to me. Come to me.’ Jesus lovingly stroked my head as He spoke.

“At present I feel excellent. I am not afraid of anything, because I know my Jesus lives! In my old life I had many things, but I was always sad. Now I have nothing, but I am content.”

Such is the testimony of Milad H. Dadashi.

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

and

American Catholic Solidarity

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An Inspiring Story

The following is the life story of our Auxiliary Member Milad H. Dadashi. His story is great, and very inspiring. I have edited the story as Milad is a native of Iran, and his English, though quite good, is sometimes a little difficult to follow. I also have been requested to hide his current location. Here is Milad’s story.

“Before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, my father was working in the Air Force of the Kingdom Army as an officer. After the Revolution, because of his loyalty to the king of Iran (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi), Muslims exorcized my father from the army. I was born in the 1980s, and I soon found out the meaning of discrimination due to my father’s old job in the army.

“With the passing of time, I found out the meaning of pain and suffering. When I was 15 I began playing guitar. The guitar was my only friend. For a time, I even taught guitar lessons. It was my only job at the time, and it brought in very little money.

“Almost 11 years ago, I went to Ukraine with a friend of mine to further my education. It was in Ukraine that I met a Catholic girl named Natasha. With her I visited many beautiful churches. One especially beautiful church was in Kiev. It was located on a mountain, and it had a long, dark underground.

“Due to money problems I was forced to return to Iran. Once back, I took and passed the entrance exam for Urmia University. I was accepted as an accounting major. That was the year that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad first won the presidential election. With Ahmadinejad’s ascension to the presidency, the Islamists gained more power than ever before.

“At that time I was secretly playing guitar in my dorm room, because guitar playing had been forbidden by the government. Somehow, the Islamic security found out, and they began to harass me. In order to continue my education, I was forced to attend the mosque and recite the Sallat (Muslim prayers). Gradually, they began to like me, and I requested the Imam of Urmia University to allow me to take on a second major. They granted my request, and I hold bachelor degrees in both accounting and Islamic Law. These were strange days.

“In these years I spent a lot of time praying, and studying the Qur’an. Yet, Allah does not exist. So I was screaming and crying, but there was no answer to my prayers.

“After graduation, the Imam of Urmia University helped me to get a job as a financial and tax auditor. At that time I met a nice, beautiful girl whom I married after a year. I had not told my wife’s family that I had become a Christian by this time. After only one month of marriage, my wife’s family discovered my secret. They took my wife away from me by force, and told me to file for divorce or they would kill me. This still causes me great pain when I think about it.

“A year went by, and I was finally accepted to study for a master’s degree in private law at Tehran University. I wanted to become a judge, but the Islamists found out that I was not really a Muslim. They wanted me to do dishonorable things. If I didn’t cooperate, I was told, I would suffer. This happened because of my belief in Jesus Christ. So, about five months ago, I was forced to flee my homeland.

“In Iran, Christians don’t usually accept converts into their churches, because of Islamic restrictions. Just two or three churches accepted converts. So I joined an Assembly of God church. Due again to government restrictions, many house churches are secretly opened. Those who are publicly opened have teachers who spread false teachings.

“When I came to my new home there were only two Iranian Protestant churches. I began attending a Protestant church. They are kind people, but their teachings are false. For example:

1) Mary is not holy.

2) God is not sacrosanct.

3) Baptism is not necessary.

“In Iran Christians have many problems. For example, many of the churches do not baptize, because of the Islamic restrictions. Because of this, my friend and I went to a river north of Tehran and baptized one another. I believe now this was a mistake.

“Anyway, I believe it is my right to pray to God as a Catholic. It is the right of our people (Iranians) to receive an education in the Catholic Faith. They should not have to depend on the house churches and errors of Protestantism. It is not my fault my parents were Muslims. I deserve to know the truth, and the truth is the Catholic Church.

“This is the story of my life.”

Milad’s personal testimony will be next.

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

American Catholic Solidarity

and

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

Once again, it has been a little while since we have had a post here. I fully intended to post something weeks ago, but we have been very active. We currently have several projects going on which have occupied much of my time. One in particular has had significant effects on our organization.

Last weekend I was contacted, via our Twitter account, by a man from Iran who had a very interesting story. I won’t get too far into it here, because I will be posting his story on our blog soon. But the man was born Muslim in Iran. Sometime ago he began to realize that Islam was flawed, and Christianity was true. After converting to a local Protestant sect, the man had to flee Iran. So he went to live in Turkey.

During his time as a Protestant, the man (who shall be nameless for now), began to see the flaws in Protestantism. After some research, the man in question decided that Catholicism was true. Unfamiliar with how to become Catholic, and experiencing mistrust from the Catholics in Turkey because of his Muslim background, the man in question reached out to American Catholic Solidarity. With our help, he was able to begin the process of entering the Catholic Church.

This man has now been accepted as an Auxiliary Member of American Catholic Solidarity, and will be accepted as a full member once he enters the Catholic Church. Yet, in his great zeal that he already possesses for the Catholic Faith, this Iranian man has asked if he may begin translating our posts into his native language of Farsi.

I have granted his request. Further, the Iranian man has been given my express permission to begin laying the groundwork for a Farsi Catholic Solidarity. This decision was made by me after a good deal of prayerful discernment. With the entrance of this Iranian man into our organizationorganization, I have recognized God’s desire that we expand.

Therefore, in time, Farsi Catholic Solidarity will be recognized as a branch of our larger organization, and it will be given its own president. Subsequently, American Catholic Solidarity will now be considered as merely a branch of the much larger Worldwide Catholic Solidarity. Eventually, we will hopefully develop a branch for other countries or regions of the world.

Despite the name change to WWCS, our blog here in English will still be americancatholicsolidarity.wordpress.com. Our Twitter is still @catholicfreedom, but we will be changing our Facebook to Worldwide Catholic Solidarity. May the Lord, His Blessed Mother, and our patron, St. Joseph, continue to bless our endeavors!

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

American Catholic Solidarity

Of Rabbits and Men

My wife and I have four children. Having that many children (is four really a lot?) and being Catholic usually gives people a good laugh. They automatically assume that our Catholicism is the reason why my wife and I have so many children. Well, that is only partly wrong. Being Catholic, we do not believe in artificial contraceptives. We do, however, believe in NFP. Contrary to what many believe, Catholics do not believe in having children indiscriminately. Responsible family planning is a moral obligation. Pope Francis recently made this point.

During the course of his pontificate, I have personally defended Pope Francis. In fact, one fairly well-known Catholic known on Twitter as @catholiclisa blocked us for defending Pope Francis. The problem has been that Pope Francis has made what many believe to be some poorly worded statements. It must be admitted that, at times, Pope Francis has been a little too vague, or a little too generalized. That might explain people’s shock when Pope Francis explicitly condemned both homosexuality and the use of artificial contraceptives. It seems a large number of people were under the assumption that Pope Francis was a heretic. One would think that 2000 years of spreading, expounding, and defending the truth would teach people that there will never be a heretical pope.

Yet, true to the Church’s history, Pope Francis encourages us to seek balance. I do not believe Pope Francis’ words were the best way to express this balanced view, but the Pope made a good point. Francis said that Catholic couples do not need to feel as if they must breed “like rabbits”. Even too many Catholics live under the wrong impression that the Church expects us to have as many children as we can. This, of course, is not the case. The Church understands that there is a certain amount of responsibility married couples must have as it pertains to procreation.

Though procreation is the primary purpose of marriage it must be done responsibly. There are financial concerns that must play a part. There may also be health concerns for the mother. It may be necessary to limit the number of children a woman may have, or to space them out. Married couples must trust that God knows what He is doing, and will not give them more children than they can handle. Yet, God also gave married couples a way to enjoy the conjugal act without having to become pregnant every time. We may make use of these natural methods, but this must be done responsibly.

This is what Pope Francis meant. He had previously said that Pope Bl. Paul VI was correct to condemn the use of artificial contraceptives. We must not use them. Yet, we must not bear children that we can not care for responsibly. Hopefully, Pope Francis’ recent comments will not clear up any doubts of his fidelity to Catholic Teaching, but encourage all mankind to abandon the sinful, unscriptural practice of artificial contraceptives.

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

American Catholic Solidarity

The Fundamental Catholic Church?

There are those who would have us believe that the Catholic Church is a fundamentalist faith. Those who think this often do because the Catholic Church holds staunchly to Her beliefs; and the Church’s beliefs tend to be on the conservative side. The Church does not officially endorse certain views that many consider to be liberal. One great example is evolution. The Church doesn’t endorse evolution, but neither does She condemn it carte blanche.

The Catholic Church, despite Her conservative leanings, however, can not be considered a Fundamentalist Christian sect. Fundamentalist Christians tend to reject scientific findings, and they believe in the “Young Earth Theory”. They accept this theory due to a far too literalistic interpretation of some of the biblical genealogies, and the ages given for some of the earliest people named in the Bible. The Catholic Church does not take such a literalistic view of Scripture. The Church understands the genealogies not to be exhaustive.

In the New Testament both Luke and Matthew give genealogical lists for Jesus. These lists, however, skip generations. Thus, one can not take them as exhaustive, complete genealogies. Similarly, the Catholic Church does not take a literalistic approach to the ages of some of the Patriarchs. Does the Bible actually mean that Adam lived to be over 900 years old? It might, but we do not know. One could take this metaphorically.

The Catholic Church can not be considered a Fundamentalist sect, because She was founded by Jesus Christ. The Fundamentalist sects were founded much, much later, by other human beings. The Bible itself testifies to the Catholic Church’s divine origin. She is simply the Church. Jesus intended only the Catholic Church to exist, not tens of thousands of Christian sects. This being so, the Catholic Church is not a sect.

Finally, the Catholic Church can not be considered a Fundamentalist sect, because the Fundamentalists are called such due to their emphasis on certain “fundamental” teachings from the Bible. Among these teachings that Fundamentalists accept, and the Catholic Church rejects, are sola fides and sola scriptura. These teachings are not biblical, but they are essential to the Fundamentalist sects.

The Catholic Church is not Fundamentalist, because She does not accept that there are only certain beliefs which are fundamental. Though Catholics can believe whatever they want in matters on which the Church has not defined, everything on which the Church has defined is absolutely essential. These Teachings deal with what is true. Everything taught by Christ, and defined by His Church, is true. Hence, all of these things must be believed. What is true is essential. Any follower of Christ should be willing to all that Christ taught.

No, the Catholic Church is not fundamentalist.

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

American Catholic Solidarity

The Council’s Charism

I have written several times on the legitimacy of the Second Vatican Council. In none of those posts, however, did I express exactly what I wish to express here. One of the main arguments of Traditionalist Catholics is that Vatican II was a pastoral council. Most of the issues it dealt with were of a disciplinary, pastoral, or regional nature. The only issues which can qualify as infallible are those matters of faith and morals which are of a universal concern. Hence, Vatican II was not an infallible council, and we are not required to accept its decisions.

Before we go around discounting Vatican II’s decisions we must first examine our situation. Was Vatican II primarily a pastoral council? Yes it was. Was it primarily concerned with matters of faith or morals? No it was not. Does this mean, however, that we should discount the decisions of Vatican II? No it does not. Was Vatican II an ecumenical council? Yes it was. Did it possess the charism of infallibility? Yes it did.

Although Vatican II was a pastoral council which did not deal much with matters of faith or morals, it was an ecumenical council. Vatican II, therefore, had to possess the charism of infallibility. As they say, “Either all ecumenical councils are infallible, or none of them are.”

This is not to say any decision of Vatican II was infallible. In fact, just about every ecumenical council has had at least one decision that was not infallible. The mistake many Traditionalists make is in failing to differentiate between possessing infallibility, and utilizing this charism. As an ecumenical council Vatican II had to possess the charism of infallibility. The fact that the Council Fathers may have opted not to utilize this charism does not mean the Council did not possess it. Many popes opt not to utilize their charism of infallibility. Would Traditionalists be so bold as to suggest that any Pope not utilizing infallibility does not possess that charism? Infallibility resides in the very office of the Supreme Roman Pontiff. Every Pope possesses infallibility.

So it is with Vatican II. All ecumenical councils, by nature, possess the charism of infallibility. It is up to the Council Fathers whether or not to use such charism. Traditionalists are, therefore, quite mistaken in so rashly deciding to reject Vatican II’s decisions. The Council may not have utilized the charism of infallibility, but it still possessed such charism. Vatican II’s decisions, therefore, warrant both our consideration, and our acceptance.

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

American Catholic Solidarity

The Need for Calm

Before I begin this post allow me to apologize for my insanely lengthy absence. Things have been crazy busy with my family over the last few months. You might say that things have not been calm for us. It certainly has not been calm for the Church this past year.

Pope Francis has made some, shall we say, ill-advised comments. The Holy Father has not been particularly careful with his words. A new archbishop has been appointed for Chicago, and he has made some interesting comments in an interview with Nora O’Donnell. Rumors leaked out earlier this year that the bishops were going to approve a document approving of the homosexual lifestyle. These are just some of the issues and events occurring in the Church this year. I could name many more.

Through all of this, Catholics have done a pretty poor job of keeping calm. Many Catholics have been too quick to assume Pope Francis guilty of heresy. The same has happened with the new archbishop of Chicago. Catholics were absolutely distraught and convinced that the rumors of the bishops approving a document supporting homosexuality was true.

I beg calm from you, my fellow Catholics. Be calm. Stay Catholic. The Catholic Church has a two millennia history without a single heretical teaching. Back in during his pontificate, Pope Bl. Paul VI warned that “the smoke of Satan” had entered the Church. Indeed, if the Catholic Church really is what She claims, we should not be surprised. It must be that way! Satan will not go down without a fight.

Let us keep calm, and keep fighting. Take it to the enemy. Defeat Satan with sanctity!

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

American Catholic Solidarity

Atheism is a Misnomer

     I once said that there is no such thing as a true atheist. Everyone believes in a god. Needless to say, this comment ruffled some feathers. Despite the plethora of denials and insults I have received from atheists for such a statement, I still stand by it. There is no such thing as a true atheist. Everyone worships something. You may not attend a church, or offer any sacrifices to a deity, but you have one nonetheless.

     I worship the Blessed Trinity, three Persons in God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I live everyday of my life for Him. Am I perfect? No, I certainly am not. Yet I try to do the will of God as I understand it. I try to place God’s concerns above my own. I believe God the Son, Jesus Christ, was incarnate of the Virgin Mary. I believe that Jesus Christ died to save man from His sins. I believe that He established His Church on the rock of St. Peter, and He wishes all mankind to be united in this Church. 

     This is what it means to worship a god. You do not have to believe in an actual deity, or in an impersonal force, to have a god. Anyone or anything that view as your top priority in life is your god. This is why I have said there is no such thing as a true atheist. Allow to elaborate a little further.

     Although atheists do not believe in a deity in the same way theists do, they do have priorities. Some atheists make earning money their primary goal in life. Their whole life revolves around making money. Money is, therefore, their god.

     Some atheists make sex their priority. Everything they do revolves around (whether directly or indirectly) having as much sex as possible. For such people, sex is their god.

     It seems that most atheists make themselves and their happiness their priority. Whatever they do, they do with themselves in mind. Everything is about themselves. Such a person tends to be a utilitarian. Other people only have value in as far as they contribute to the atheist’s happiness. Most atheists tend to be in this category. They replace God with themselves.

     Still other atheists make the “greater good”, society, their god. Their lives are consumed with attempting to right society’s wrongs. They want to create a sort of utopia. For these, everything must be done with the good of society in mind. Sometimes this amounts to worshiping the State. Sometimes it amounts to the worship of mankind as a whole. 

     Whatever the manifestation, everyone worships someone or something. We all live for something. Even the worst pessimist or anarchist lives for something. All of us have something which we make our priority. Something which our entire lives revolve around. Thus, it must be concluded that the term “atheist” is a misnomer. 

               Peace in Christ,

               David J. Pollard

                    President

      American Catholic Solidarity

Rotary Prayer: Is it Bad?

     I have previously written about rotary prayer. What is rotary prayer? Well, some call it “Catholic prayer”. This isn’t exactly correct, since the Orthodox also pray in this way. In fact, many Protestants (perhaps inadvertently) pray in the same way. So what is rotary prayer?

     Rotary prayer is simply saying a prayer that is written by someone else. Sometimes we may repeat the same prayer over and over again, as in the Rosary. One reason why some non-Catholics don’t like rotary prayer is that they feel it isn’t biblical. We aren’t supposed to recite prayers written by someone else. We are supposed to pray in our own words.

     It must be remembered that Jesus was a Jew. Scripture is clear that Jesus lived as a Jew. He practiced Judaism. In the Judaism of that time we see the Jews very frequently recited prayers written by others. They recited prayers from Exodus, Psalms, and other books of what Christians call the Old Testament. Some were only recited during certain times of the year. Some prayers were recited only when gathered together with other Jews. Still others were recited privately. 

     If rotary prayer is bad, why would Jesus have engaged in it (as we know He certainly would have)? Jesus rejected many things that a large number of the Jews of His time did. Wouldn’t Jesus have rejected rotary prayer, too?

     Jesus, however, did engage in rotary prayer. In fact, Scripture demonstrates this fact quite clearly in the description of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night He was arrested. Scripture says Jesus prayed for three hours, “Father, if it be your will, let this cup pass from me. Yet, not what I will, but your will be done.”

     Jesus recited these words for three hours. He may have said other things, but we don’t know. We do know He recited the above-quoted words. You might argue that this is not an example of rotary prayer in the way Catholics do it, because Jesus recited His own words. To say this, however, is to misunderstand rotary prayer.

     Catholics do not just recite prayers written by others. We also often speak to God in our own words. Sometimes we repeat these over and over again in imitation of Our Lord in Gethsemane. 

     We also see Jesus encouraging us to practice rotary prayer when He taught His Apostles to say the “Our Father”. You can argue that the “Our Father” was an example of how we ought to pray, with its praise to God, and then its list of petitions. This is true, but Jesus also gave us the “Our Father” as a prayer itself that we may recite. 

     Another objection often brought against rotary prayer is one I have previously touched on. It is the argument of monotony. We who practice rotary prayer are accused of simply reading words, or mindlessly reciting the same words over and over again without any concentration. I find this a ridiculous argument.

     I have seen a very large number of Protestants pray in their own way, using their own words. Most of these often use the same words over and over again. Some have appeared sincere, others appeared rather indifferent. You can mindlessly rush through prayer even if you are speaking to God in your own words. I have seen this many, many times. So the argument that one is more sincere in prayer when he speaks in his own words is absurd. 

     I wish to also point out that rotary prayer has one advantage. When we are reciting prayers we have memorized (e.g. the Rosary, Anima Christi, Litany of the Saints, etc.) we do not need to concentrate so hard on the words we are saying. While reciting our prayers we are free to engage in mental prayer simultaneously with our vocal prayer. 

     The best example to use is the Rosary. The Rosary is nothing less than “a Bible on a string”. We have mysteries which all come from the Bible to focus on while we pray. So while reciting the prayers which make up the Rosary, I can also focus on the events in the lives of Jesus and Mary. I can also focus on the petition(s) for which I am praying. This is much more difficult if I am forming my own words.

     The main reason Catholics engage in rotary prayer is not primarily because it allows us to more easily focus on our petitions. It is primarily because Our Lord engaged in rotary prayer, and because He taught us to pray in this way. We must also keep in mind that Judaism is the parent religion of Christianity, and Jews engaged in rotary prayer. Our Lord gave no indication that this was to change. In fact, all evidence proves the opposite.

               Peace in Christ,

               David J. Pollard

                    President

       American Catholic Solidarity

Regretting Our Non-Regret

     I can not stand those tattoos which say, “No regrets.” Every time I see one I can’t help but think, “I bet I can name one regret you have!” That is, perhaps, the dumbest tattoo one can have.

     So often I hear Christians saying that they have no regrets. They sometimes even go so far as to say they do not regret their sins! It is just my opinion, but I think this is a mistake. To see why, let us examine why any Christian would say that he does not regret his sins.

     Experience is a very big part of life. Much of our knowledge comes from our experiences. In fact, our experiences play a big role in making us who we are. This would include our sins.

     Let’s take the example of drug use. We are told from a very young age that drugs are dangerous; that using drugs can ruin our lives. Yet, many people don’t seem to get the message. They decide, for any combination of reasons, to use drugs. Some people use drugs for a short time, and then they quit. Others may be addicted for years, or even decades. Still others’ drug use may compromise of one puff of a joint. Whatever the extent of “experimentation”, and whatever the reasons, many people seem to need to learn the hard way that drugs are no good.

     Despite the fact that the use of illegal substances is immoral, and can be dangerous, there are millions of people who use them, quit, and never regret having gone through it. When asked why they do not regret their drug use, there those who will answer that they would not change a thing about their past, because experience has helped to make them who they are.

     I understand some people just have the personality type where they have difficulty obeying authority, or they have some compulsive “need” to do what they know they ought not. Some people just seem to need to learn their lessons the hard way. Yet, I ask, does that justify committing sin? Does that mean we should not regret our sins? Is regretting our sins tantamount to regretting the people we have become?

     There is no justification for sin. Some people may be invincibly ignorant of certain sins. Some people may have a condition, or be under certain circumstances, which lessens their culpability. So we should always try to avoid sin.

     I understand that all our experiences go into making us the people we are. Yet, sin is an offense against the infinite, perfect, ineffable God Who loves us. We are created by this God, and we are created to love Him. To sin is to place our own will above God’s. So we should avoid and regret sin.

     To make the argument that to regret our sins is to regret who we are is absolute nonsense. We are children of God. God is all-good. He created us to do good. To sin is to distort our nature. In Genesis 1 and 2 we see God calling all His creation good. When we sin, we harm or destroy the good in us. So we must regret our sins. To argue that our sins shouldn’t be regretted because they make us who we are today is tantamount to saying that to sin is to be human. This is just wrong.

     One more point to address is that there are those who would say that everything happens for a reason. God has a plan for us, and if our actions had been altered, we couldn’t be who we have become. Those who lived lives of great sin and then repented might not have turned to God had they never sinned. God used their sinful lives to bring them to Him.

     I do not deny that everything happens for a reason; but sin happens because we choose it. God allows us to use our free will to sin, but this is not what He wills. The fact that He can use sin to bring us closer to Him speaks to the power of God. It has no bearing on whether or not we should regret sin.

     To make the argument that sinners might never have repented and turned to God if they had not sinned misses the point. We should not live a life of sin. We are meant to love God and avoid sin. There would not have been a need to repent if the sins had never been committed. No parent wants to see their children learn their lessons the hard way. No one has to do this. Those who take the hard route to God choose to do so. To argue otherwise is to say that sin is inevitable. Evil is never inevitable.

     God never wills us to sin. He wills us to love Him, and do as He asks. We can become the people God wants us to be without living a life of sin. In fact, we can only become who God wants us to be without sin. Sin is incompatible with God, and it does not exist in Heaven. So let us be rid of this idea of no regrets. Maybe change your tattoo to say, “I regret my sins.” 

               Peace in Christ,

               David J. Pollard

                    President

      American Catholic Solidarity