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June 3, 2022 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. Jesus said that “everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28). My question: What is the difference between normal sexual interest that keeps the species going and lust in one’s heart? — R.B., Virginia.
A. Lust is an inordinate desire for sexual pleasure. Rather than the normal sexual attraction between men and woman, which is ordained toward marriage and family, lust is an excessive desire for immediate sexual gratification for one’s own pleasure, with no regard for the other person. Such sexual pleasure, says the Catechism, “is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes” (n. 2351).

Q. During a conversation with my neighbor, her eyes turned into two black marbles as she walked away. My cousin said that my neighbor was possibly possessed by a demon. Can that be true? — J.B., Pennsylvania.
A. In his book Diary of An American Exorcist, Msgr. Stephen Rossetti said that “sometimes it is difficult to determine whether a person is possessed or whether his or her problem is psychological only. Other times, the truth is obvious. In one case, while the demons were manifesting, even the appearance of the person’s eyes changed: They became yellow with small black pupils and looked exactly like the eyes of a snake. In other cases, someone’s eyeballs will turn completely black” (p. 83).
Recalling that Satan appeared as a serpent when he tempted Adam and Eve, Msgr. Rossetti said that the “serpentine eyes” of the possessed man he was dealing with “suggest that a snake is more than a distant image of the demonic. During an exorcism, Satan himself came forward with a deep hiss and sounded like a snake. I will never forget his voice. Demons are very real, and they are akin to an evil, cunning, slithering animal. At times, demons even look and sound like an evil snake-like creature” (Ibid.).
Neither you nor your cousin should draw any conclusions from your encounter with your neighbor with the black eyes. Only an experienced exorcist can make such a determination after considerable observation of the person. The usual signs of demonic possession include demonstrating superhuman strength, speaking ancient languages that the person could not know, and revealing the secret sins of the exorcist and others present in the room.

Q. Despite the “Summer of Rage” threatened by those who fear the overturn of Roe v. Wade, isn’t it true that such a decision won’t outlaw abortion completely, but will return it to the states? — K.D., via e-mail.
A. Yes. If the leaked Supreme Court ruling is officially promulgated by the Court, the matter will be returned to the individual states for legislative action, the same situation that existed prior to 1973. The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion organization that is affiliated with Planned Parenthood, has identified 21 states that already have laws or constitutional amendments that would ban abortion once they regain the power to do so.
Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
In addition, there are five other states that would most likely pass legislation to end access to abortion. They are Florida, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, and Wyoming. So, baby-killing would be outlawed in more than half of the fifty states. Of course, there are corporations, like Starbucks, for example, who are offering to pay the cost for any employee who wants to travel for an abortion to a state where the procedure is legal. Time for pro-lifers who frequent Starbucks to get their coffee somewhere else.
Speaking of the “Summer of Rage” threatened by those who want no limits on the killing of unborn babies, have you noticed the faces of those who are desperately hoping that Roe v. Wade will remain in effect? If their shrieking and shouting of obscenities are not signs of demonic possession, we don’t know what is. Remember that Jesus called Satan a “murderer” and the “father of lies” (John 8:44). He is alive and well among the pro-abortion fanatics appearing each night on our television screens.

Q. In a recent column, you said that “a heart transplant may be ordinary treatment.” I would like to point out that a heart (and liver and maybe some other organs) is often taken from someone who is still alive. This cannot possibly be a moral choice. — J.O., via e-mail.
Q. Heart transplants are only successful when the heart is beating upon removal. The way around this is to use the term “brain-dead,” there being no brainwaves apparent. However, the donor is still breathing, and other organs are working. It seems to me that this would preclude such a donation. — D.T., via e-mail.
A. The National Catholic Bioethics Center has issued a Catholic Health Care Ethics Manual. In the section entitled “Ethical Issues in Organ Donation and Transplantation,” Marie T. Nolan, RN, said that “the teachings of the Catholic Church have supported organ and tissue transplantation that is carried out in accordance with the moral law. Respect for life, human dignity, bodily integrity, and the desire to relieve suffering should guide transplantation care” (p. 221). She cited the following paragraph from the Catechism:
“Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks to the donor are proportionate to the good that is sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as an expression of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent. Moreover, it is not morally admissible directly to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons” (n. 2296).
Both of you are correct that one may not remove the heart of a living person for transplant to a dying person. Marie Nolan noted that advances in medical science are making it possible to find other ways besides transplant surgery to restore health to persons with organ failure. She mentioned “refinement in surgical techniques” that could make some transplants unnecessary, “innovations in preserving organs after death” that could increase the number of organs available for transplantation, and “advancements in cellular therapy” that hold the promise of curing illnesses that were once treatable with transplantation (cf. p. 225).

Q. Are you familiar with the Epoch Times, a weekly newspaper available online? My wife and I have found it to be an excellent paper. They published a letter of mine in a recent issue. — D.M., via e-mail.
A. Yes, we are familiar with the Epoch Times. We don’t read it on a regular basis, but what we have read indicates that it is a source of reliable information on current events. By the way, you did a good job with your letter on freedom of religion and the effort to replace God as the origin of life on this planet with the “scientifically unproven” theory of evolution.

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Today . . .

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