The Parable of the Garden Hose

(Roman Cybak is a retired military man who lives near Charlottesville, Virginia. A regular reader here, he served as host and coordinator for my visit to Charlottesville a few years ago, just about a year before that town was victim of some nasty street theatre and ugliness. Charlottesville is a beautiful town, home of the University of Virginia. I met a lot of wonderful people there. Cybak is also a regular lector at his Parish. He submitted this insightful little contemplation, evocative of St. Paul’s peroration about many gifts and one same spirit. It can be helpful to each of us as we make our way forward, giving thanks for the variety of gifts and personalities God has given each of us.-CJ)

By Roman Cybak

I’ve been a volunteer Lector/Reader at Masses for over four decades. I enjoy doing readings and take my role seriously. I try to do the best I can. I review the readings ahead of time, try to determine the emphasis of the reading, practice my enunciation and pacing in order to avoid being dramatic while also eschewing a monotone delivery, etc. In the early days, when I was just beginning the effort, I wondered about my “worthiness” in proclaiming the readings. Plus, as with any public speaking, there’s always that nervousness / fear / hesitancy factor about being before a crowd, e.g., what will people be thinking of me when I get up there? What if I flub up the reading? If I’m up there doing a scripture reading, will people expect me to be “holier than thou” in order to be worthy enough to do a reading? and so on.

Well, one day in the not too distant past, as I was doing a reading, I glanced at the congregation, and the impression occurred to me that I was a garden hose that stretched out to the end of the church, and the Word that I was proclaiming was flowing like water through this garden hose and out onto the congregation. I was not the water, I was only the vessel through which that water flowed. I was not the life giving/life sustaining nourishment; I was only the vehicle through which that nourishment flowed. It was up to the Holy Spirit to do what He could do with the congregation. I was only the humble vessel.

Pliable, humble, common.

Taking that metaphor a little farther, what about someone who is said to be like a copper pipe: rigid, inflexible, authoritarian? “Ah,” the Holy Spirit might say. “Watch what happens when the pressure or heat is applied. They won’t buckle, they won’t warp, they won’t burst open. They may look a bit tarnished on the outside, but when I really need them to step up, I see this vessel saying, ‘Ha! Heat, pressure, bring it on and then watch me; yeah, just watch me!’ ”

Oh, but another may say, “Gee, you know, I don’t seem to fit in any of those categories. I don’t deal well with conflict or public exposure or other things. When faced with anything, I’m afraid I would most probably tinkle where I stand.” “Ah!” the Holy Spirit might say – “a ‘soaker hose’.” When I need life sustaining nourishment to reach a flower bed, or a garden bed, without any wastage, I could use a soaker hose. A regular garden hose could do the job, but then there’s that attachment thing that has to be added on, and if the wind is blowing or the sun is particularly hot that day, half the water is lost before it can soak in anyhow. I need the slow, gentle trickle of water that will percolate thoroughly over time into the soil, not damaging anything, not being lost to wind or heat, something that I can set it and let it carry the water on my behalf – a perfect situation for a soaker hose.” Kind of reminds me of a lot of moms or wives – not necessarily being in the spotlight, but life would wither without their nurturing existence.

As an aside, I remember reading about a manager at a garden supply shop who had a customer come in complaining that they were sold a “defective” hose. In a curmudgeonly fashion, she said that in using it, the hose was full of pinholes and just leaked all over the place. Rather than arguing with the customer or trying to explain the difference, he simply walked over to the hose section and exchanged her “defective” soaker hose for a regular garden hose. Isn’t that sometimes like life: we might think we’re “defective” when we really are not – we are just doing what we are supposed to do. We may be in a mismatched position / function / venue, but we are not inherently defective.

Regarding the metaphor of a garden hose, I was doing some cleanup in the garage, and I came across an old garden hose. I had been in the military (retired now) and we moved a lot. And so with each move you cart up your belongings and bring them with you, even if you might not use them in the next location. Well, this one garden hose was there – the exterior was faded (too many years in the sun), the skin was also crinkled (like spider veins), it wasn’t as flexible as it used to be, and it was even starting to break open in spots exposing “the innards.” However, it could still carry water. Boy oh boy, when I look in the mirror nowadays, that metaphor image hits too close to home. Fortunately, I’m at the point in life where I’m finally settled (no more moving), and I can also afford a new hose. So I traded in this model for a newer one – some people might do that with spouses; I only do that with garden hoses.


301 thoughts on “The Parable of the Garden Hose

  1. Thank you, Roman, for this charming, delightful and refreshing story, brimming with beautiful wisdom. It’s so wonderful to meet you in this way, Fellow Lector, Garden Hose Vessel. On this overcast day, we awakened to very icy, snowy roads and your contemplative story is beaming sunshine all the way from Charlottesville to the northern Rocky Mountains.

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    1. This is off topic but it’s the only way I know to pass it on to you. It’s only a while ago that I found out about this: Saturday Feb 2 the feast of the Presentation is also the feast of Our Lady of Good Success, Quito, Equador. Messages were given to a holy nun in the 15 &16th centuries but Our Lady was telling her about what wouldl happen in the church in the 20th century! We can’t ignore this.

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      1. Some years ago, when I first read the messages from Our Lady of Good Success and prayed some of the prayers associated with this apparition, I found them to be consonant with many other messages from Our Lord and Our Lady. Our Mother has been busy all over the world inviting her children to be part of her army. For me, at this point, it is most imperative to focus on living the repeated requests and taking any next right steps God asks of each one.

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      2. I first traveled to Quito – with the purpose of find those ‘lost’ prophecies of Sor. Mariane de Jesus Tores. The Holy Spirit – I believe – led me to them through the good offices of a local Franciscan scholar, and Quito’s Auxiliary Bishop Diaz. I will remember those events again on Fed. 2.

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  2. Thanks Beckita, it was my pleasure to share this with all. I’ve learned a lot “in my walk” from both Charlie and all the wonderful commenters on this site.

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  3. Very, very nice metaphor, especially the part about the water. St. Theresa of Avila likened the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul to a fountain. May God give you the grace to continue proclaiming His Word, bringing life to the thirsty.

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  4. Love it! I would imagine that It’s important to keep one end attached to the spigot and all the kinks removed for a nice flow. I’ve seen some, mostly in storage, that connect one end to the other in a loop, the water inside never goes anywhere, just becomes sour.

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  5. Thank you, Roman. I just loved your story! So uplifting. Also, as Mick said, thank you for your service, to our country and our Church. God bless you.

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  6. Roman, this insightful and humble article describes all those who, like you, appreciate being a garden hose, an instrument of conveying God’s word and grace. Are there humorous garden hoses, maybe the kind that supply a fountain that makes people smile. That’s you, too. Thanks so much for your parable.

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  7. ROMAN…. This is so gentle…. Yet proclaims so clearly. Let the Holy Spirit run through us all to refresh all souls in the Truth and Love. Thank you so much. God bless you and yours. Water well.

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    1. Yes Anne. It’s neat how it shows how we all bring different gifts to the table. What particularly struck me was the timing as I am endeavoring on a project that would change my career and I am wondering if this hose is trying to be used in an applocation where it is not intended.

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        1. Caught it, Doug. “applocation” probably something akin to bilocation except having to do with making several job applications at once, right?

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          1. Haaaaa! I like that. I think you just coined a new word. It is perfalogical to me (word I coined that means: perfectly logical) 😎

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        1. Thank you CM! I am an electrical engineer by trade and am looking to start a camp ground on 55 acres. I just met with the town planning board and abutters two days ago. It was quite an experience. I feel a little beat up a bit, but I am ok. I have some work to do to understand everyone’s concerns. It gave me pause as to whether I should move forward. I plan to reach out directly to abutters to have deeper discussions. I want to arrest all their concerns, but at the end of the day, I would rather not do a camp ground if it will make enemies of my neighbors. God bless you!

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            1. Thank you Beckita. I have a habbit of putting the cart before the horse. I am learning patience through this whole process. God’s will be done!

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                1. Yes! Campers are some of the best people i have met. I have back packed in the white mountains on many occasion and camped as a boy scout. Maybe that is why Charlie and you resonate with me. I am still touched by your experiment 2 seasons ago Patrick.

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                  1. Can hardly wait until the snow melts to go camping. The mountains are calling. Best way to raise 3 rambunctious boys, took them camping most weekends all summer long. Can’t break dirt and rocks, but they sure could try.

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                    1. Sounds wonderful. Hubby and I keep kicking around the idea of going full time RV’ing when I retire.
                      When the boys were little we wanted to take them to all 48 lower states camping. Made it to about 1/2 with them. I have only 4 states left. Have met great people all over this blessed land.

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                    2. Well just let us know if you want to come by. Without and official certified camp ground at this point, I can’t charge. Also, I can and am happy to give out the friends and family discount to all ASOH friends (no charge). We can be emailed at

                      The camp ground, although will technically be commercial, is a really a retirement hobby. We are not going to make gobs of money, but just want folks to experience God’s beauty in nature fostered in Christian love and prayer whether they are aware of this or not.

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                    3. Oh, Beckita, watching that video made me teary-eyed because when my 20-something son flew home this Christmas, he lugged his newly purchased guitar on the plane cross country,(past several months self-taught), and then Ch. morning serenaded me with that harmonious Michael song, (plus a Johnny Cash one), as he knew it’s one of my favorites. (There wasn’t a ‘reply’ button after the video, so hope my comment isn’t too far from intended spot.)

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                    4. That’s a lovely story, Maggie. What a sweet son. Once upon a time, Doug suggested Michael Row Your Boat as a campfire kind of song, so I was hoping he’d grin. I do love the whistling intro to this version.

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  8. Thanks so much Roman. What a great commentary. I do a little lectoring myself and I like the way you describe looking out over the congregation and seeing the Word flowing over them like water from a hose. I would guess, reading your choices, I would probably be a tinkler….a soaker hose. But you know, I’m ok with that…as long as I can do good things for God and His people. Oh, and Roman, thank you for that last sentence too. That was pretty nice.

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  9. Perfect timing for my own circumstance Roman, thank you! Have been a Reader for many years in my old parish – first time here in my new one this coming Sunday. It’s mid 40 degrees Centigrade at the moment – I reckon the congregation are going to need a fire hose – and that’s a scary prospect!

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  10. As we look around our USA and Ol’ Christendom one can’t help but observe: Wisdom is a scarce commodity These-Days ;-(
    HeartLight Daily Verse – 23 January
    James 1:5
    If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    Wisdom is that illusive quality we respect in others and find so difficult to develop in ourselves. Yet God promises it to those who really ask. But remember the secret of ASKing—asking, seeking, and knocking. Or better yet, check out Proverbs 2. Wisdom is ours only if we seek it above all other possessions and value it above all other diversions. God longs to impart it, but there is something about wisdom that demands we value it before we can receive it.
    Gracious giver of all good gifts, please bless me with wisdom today. Let me reflect your will and live for your glory in all my decisions. Let your Kingdom guide my heart as I make my choices and have your Spirit lead me in your ways. I confess, Father, that I cannot guide my own steps without your help. So grant me wisdom this day. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.
    Visit for more


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  11. There is something about this Covington Affair that The Usual Suspects find very dangerous for their Agenda? Most are, quickly, falling all over themselves doing “Mea Culpas” when their usual tactic is to spin, smear and distract. Do they sense a Last-Straw or Bridge Too Far Moment?

    MILINET Articles for Christians – 23 January

    Women Defy #ShoutYourAbortion with Their Stories of Regret

    Judge strikes down Iowa ‘fetal heartbeat’ abortion law

    Supreme Court won’t hear case of HS football coach fired for on-field prayer

    Arizona high court hearing case on religious freedom vs. discrimination

    No One Expects the Secular Inquisition—BEN SHAPIRO

    The Covington Affair—NR Editorial
    Covington and the Pundit Apocalypse

    The Covington Rorschach Test

    Nathan Phillips Tried to Disrupt Catholic Mass by Chanting, Beating Drum

    [….. and as is all too common “These-Days”, the Local Bishop and his HQ Toadies are doubling-down on Stupid! Still trying to please the godless Left rather than defend & protect The Faithful!! ;-( …. . I wonder how many KY Catholics are skippin’ Mass and slaming shut their coin purses over this incident!!??]

    Covington Diocese: ‘We Condemn the Actions’ of the Covington Kids

    [At least Bishop Barron caught the right train!!]


    Only a matter of time before the social media mob comes for you


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    1. Today’s opening psalms in Liturgy of the Hours. I think Psalm 52 is ‘Twitter’.

      Catholic Study Bible

      Psalms 39:1-4

      1 To the choirmaster: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will bridle my mouth, so long as the wicked are in my presence.”

      2 I was dumb and silent, I held my peace to no avail; my distress grew worse,

      3 my heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:

      4 “LORD, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is!

      Catholic Study Bible

      Psalms 52:1-9

      1 To the choirmaster. A Maskil of David, when Doeg, the Edomite, came and told Saul, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.” Why do you boast, O mighty man, of mischief done against the godly? All the day

      2 you are plotting destruction. Your tongue is like a sharp razor, you worker of treachery.

      3 You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth. [Selah]

      4 You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.

      5 But God will break you down for ever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. [Selah]

      6 The righteous shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying,

      7 “See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and sought refuge in his wealth!”

      8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God for ever and ever.

      9 I will thank thee for ever, because thou hast done it. I will proclaim thy name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.

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    2. Regarding the Covington situation: I think there may be a libel suit in the works. There is already a serious investigation taking place and the Bishop has stated that he will say no more about the subject or corrections, IF THEY ARE NEEDED, until the investigation is complete. I also heard a man ( on EWTN or other Catholic network) who knows the Bishop, say that he is a good man.

      Pray that the boys are receiving spiritual direction at this time to bolster their faith and relationship with Jesus. It certainly could be of great benefit at present… a great opportunity, if you will.

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      1. These boys are now on the front lines, both spiritual and socially, of the storm. This is a precursor of what we are all headed for.
        Think about it:
        This group, after traveling to a rally to show support for the expulsion of the evil of abortion, some wearing hats depicting the slogan MAGA (which for them means “Make America abortion free again”) are assaulted by no less than three (3) different groups of adults targeting them mostly because they are white males, but also because they are against abortion. Then (in the enemies fashion), a fourth (4) and furious attack is made against them on social media for basically the same reasons- even among supposed conservatives eager to squash suspected bigotry, they being caught up themselves in the social justice web of PC and in a hurry to detach themselves from it (bigotry) before the story is even a reality of truth.
        The really scary part is how easily all those fellow conservatives threw the boys under the bus in order to uphold this PC thinking/behavior, also known as the “Mark of the Beast”. The following firestorm of social, economic and physical destruction threats leveled against them further enhances the intended consequences of what happens when one does not follow the PCM (Politically Correct Mark) that these catholic boys obviously fail to uphold.
        I understand that after his assault on the boys, the American Indian headed straight to a Catholic church to further his agenda.
        Not surprising.
        His desire was to to ignite a firestorm against the Catholic church too, another foreigner on his “traditional” land.

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        1. I get what you’re saying, but…

          What if we drew comparisons between this present insanity (media noise and all) and the Gospel. Or better, yet… just Gospel… particularly everything that Jesus had to say.

          God and a handful of ordinary folks… oh, I’d say it gives me goosebumps but that would be a complete understatement.

          Every single day I have to acknowledge that I’m missing something entirely. Honestly, I think we’re all missing it to some extent, but that’s o.k. Ours is the one true God, the God of surprises.

          The only ones who should truly find stuff this scary are the ones running headlong into the abyss.

          Are we going to light this fire and in the way God intends?

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          1. I guess our main thrust, MP, is we wrestle not against flesh and blood. So I guess in reality we wrestle not with our flesh and blood but with our spirit and our flesh and blood is just one tool in which we work out our salvation.
            Jesus took on flesh and joining with twelve others in the flesh, established His church dispite this spiritual “wrestling” with the enemy.
            The devil, the ruler of this age, world, etc, fights for what is his territory, standing before God and accusing us night and day towards that end. Some of them are who you described above heading headlong into the abyss. But we all deserve such a fate according to Scripture.
            But for the grace of God there go I.
            This enemy has eons worth of tactics at his disposal and you’ll notice things old and new cropping up in the fray. He is not prone to forgetfulness like we are as time is not an impediment to him so, as we forget, he renews.
            I like the way this young man didn’t use his flesh to ward off the enemy but silent prayer. The situation was diffused and ended without incident.
            Mission accomplished. But the enemy does not accept defeat laying down! So he brought on the lies, the calmany and the hate. Little did he know how effectively this would bring his minions out in the open and show them for who they really are.
            And for us who proclaim Christ, how did we react to the initial video? I think this is the warm up to what Charlie and others said will be our testing as the media hounds, PCM police and legislators ramp up thier attacks into a vicious frenzy. Will we stand the test or fall into the same frenzy? Or, like the boy in the MEGA hat or Jesus on the cross, will we dock our flesh and stand in silent prayer: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do?”

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            1. My reaction to the video (the story and media in general) is about the same as it is for most media (and consider that I’ve developed and leveraged media professionally for over 3 decades). Granted, it affects the ground under our feet, the space in front of our faces at times. But I endeavor to look up first before reacting, in spite of the ground under my feet and the space in front of my face. You know that we are not only human. We are spirit as well. So what’s all this about the coming time (reign) of the Spirit, and how best to willingly participate in this great movement of God… this great mystery?

              Back to my original point about the Gospel. How did Our Lord prepare those ordinary people for the immense movement forward? How did He contend with their sometimes lack of focus, clinging to dirt, and an often lack of understanding? I’ve been pondering that and articulating some thoughts in that vein for quite a while now and I would say with consistency. Whether consistently well or poorly, judge for yourselves, but the lion’s share of my spirit says we’re missing it.

              It’s understandable since we’re human. But even the slightest disheartenment at this stuff is still pride, distracting us from the vital work of becoming what God truly wants us to become… light… a people lighting up the world with Holy Fire.

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              1. “Whether consistently well or poorly, judge for yourselves, but the lion’s share of my spirit says we’re missing it.”
                Could be that the church has entered the time of the passion the following of our Lord in His life, death and resurrection.

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                1. This is when Scripture said “I will strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered”. A darkness also fell over the apostles and they were left in darkness for three days. If this be true than this is the reason why we are “missing it”. It wasn’t until Pentecost that the Holy Spirit enlightened the apostles and “taught” them what it was they needed for the journey. So we the church are to await the 40 days for this event and whatever it is we have been missing should be caught this time.

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                  1. It’s coming Phillip. I believe it! I truly do. It’s gonna get darker too in the mean time, but when it comes, it will give us great comfort and courage.

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                2. You’re missing my point, PF, and I’m not arguing with you in the least.. you just happen to provide a friendly and thoughtful point to insert a thought. I’m not the slightest bit confused about where we are (in general), as I don’t easily get distracted, nor split hairs. I’m also not struggling to keep the periods straight as presented in Sacred Scripture (maybe better to think of them as concentric circles –– like from a stone tossed in the water ––with increasingly grand repercussions). I’m not not so intent on fixed points (where the waves lap) so much as I’m intent on the movements of the water. To perceive those, one needs only sit still in the boat for a moment, look at Jesus and have Faith.

                  Some days I feel like a counterweight moving from spot to spot in the hull. Most days, I’m simply expectant and hopeful on my little patch of desert.

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                  1. Well, you got my point.
                    Open spot…insert, than wait for the excerpt.
                    Like when my lure lands on a still, clear lake and the little splash opens the lake in anticipation of a much larger more spectacular splash when another larger opening swallows my lead(er) and the thin connection between me and creation becomes a wrestling, tugging, exhilarating fulfilling thrill!
                    When the catch is small, there is admiration and hope attached to its return to the pond, a hope for bigger and better things to come.
                    If the catch is big a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction ensues and maybe a bit too much pride because after all, my little action was equal in both cases but, like the Spirit can always do, bigger and better things just may come out of it.

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              2. Yes. We are all lightening bugs. Really cool in June in the summer time in NH. Helps people see in the darkness. Guess when it gets really dark, it will be easier to see the light. Probably will get us more focused when it gets dark. We’ll know.

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        2. Interesting with this whole Covington mess, it is helping wake up some of my Catholic friends who are very liberal. They can’t believe it is happening to these kids. God sure does have mysterious ways.

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  12. Much Prayer needed for Venezuela and ALL former colonies of Spain. The Spanish may have brought Christianity to their former colonies but their imperial civic/business model has been nothing but a disaster ….. easily transformed into the godless Socialist Model that just traded one set of corrupt officials/ideals with another.
    Thank God that the USA was settled by Protestant North Europeans with their middle class & anti-imperial mercantile notions.
    Let us also pray for, former Portuguese, Brazil and it’s new president and administration ….. so they may turn that country around!!

    TGP EXCLUSIVE… Socialist Regime Teeters on Edge — Chavez Statue TORCHED – Goes Up in Smoke! (VIDEO) — RIOTS IN THE STREET

    Conservatives see Democratic religious bigotry in growing backlog of judicial nominees

    YUP!!! …. via CTH:

    Matt Walsh‏@MattWalshBlog

    “Late term abortion is now legal in New York. Capital punishment is illegal. Which means it is only okay to give lethal injection to infants. If that seems rational or moral to you, you’re a psychopath.”

    UPDATE: GoFundMe Launched for Covington Catholic Students, They Vow to Donate 100% of the Funds to Students for Life


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    1. The good Bishop Scharfenberger had the bells at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception “tolling to mourn the lives of those who will be harmed due to the Reproductive Health Act.”

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  13. Charlie, thank you for that! I especially liked the part about the garden hose that feels defective but is really in the wrong job, I am unemployed and am beginning to wonder if I should keep on looking for a nursing job or find something different. That blessed me today!

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  14. Can you believe the EVIL ARROGANCE of these Humanoids!!!??
    The Nazis & Reds never celebrated their GENOCIDE crimes like this!!
    Paging Cardinal Dolan, Paging The Catholic League …… Hello!!!
    This tells me that The SHTF Moment is near ;-(

    Governor Cuomo Directs One World Trade Center and Other Landmarks to be Lit in Pink to Celebrate Signing of the Reproductive Health Act


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    1. So true, Crew Dog! Evil arrogance, raging disobedience, and silence from Church authorities – but for good clerics such as Bishop Scharferenberger – in the face of this ugliness. Governor Cuomo should be officially excommunicated, albeit, he has de facto already done so to himself. It is fitting to excommunicate, not in vengeance or bitterness, but in Justice, even as we pray for his conversion. May God have mercy on those such as Governor Cuomo who double down and double down and double down. There is no healthy shame, no fear of God.

      In St. Faustina Kowalska’s Diary we have Jesus saying “BEFORE THE DAY OF JUSTICE, I AM SENDING THE DAY OF MERCY.” (Diary, #1588) Yes, CD, the SHTF time is near at hand, as Charlie has noted: A Year (season) of Judgement. And while we ALL have next right steps to take, there is a special work which belongs to the Lord Alone which makes me shudder for those leaders, both secular and spiritual, who persist in refusing to bend the knee and repent. That special work is found in verse one of the Battle Hymn of the Republic:

      Mine eyes hath seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
      He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
      He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
      His truth is marching on

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    2. Grieving over the vile action of our NYS legislators and governor. They ran around wearing shocking pink and cheering “their victory”. Wrong color! Should be blood red for the crime of killing our children. They bring down judgment upon us. Lord, have mercy and forgive us.

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    3. I am embarrassed and appalled to say that I am from New York State. It is during times like these, when you look at how far we are from Him as a society, that I look upon the future with trepidation. That new law is nothing short of barbaric; it is purely evil, pushed through by people who are listening to Satan. If a child happens to survive the abortion, that child will also no longer be protected in an effort to save their life. What remains to be seen is whether or not the new law will be used to force medical staff and facilities (Catholic Hospitals) to perform abortions. The likelihood that it does is probably pretty high.

      If I could, I would move out of the state but that will not be possible until after retirement many years down the road. I too, hope that the SHTF moment is near. I wish I knew when God was going to say that He’s had enough. When that time does come, as surely it must, we must be able to see the justice in His anger. We deserve it. The first thought I had when I heard this bill passed was “God help us.” Now I pray, “Come, Lord Jesus, come” in a literal sense. I try not to worry but one cannot help but think of what calamities could be coming as a result.

      When this bill was proposed in the past, our Bishop (Malone) had an official letter distributed at every Mass with the correct legislators and their contact information on it; the Bishop also addressed the faithful via a letter that was read from the pulpit. One year, they had copies of letters available that we were asked to sign right during the homily and those were then forwarded on to the appropriate legislators. This time around, there were crickets. Did the Bishop not want to enter the fray, trying to keep a low profile after the huge sex abuse scandal in our Diocese? I wish I knew. All I can say is that the silence was deafening. I thank the Lord for my Parish’s vibrant Pro-Life group who organized a petition to oppose the bill this past Sunday and for courageous priests who would talk about it during their homily. May the Lord look upon them kindly, bolster them and give them the courage to continue the fight!

      I too, Beckita, wish that the Church would excommunicate Cuomo. Too many co-workers love to tell me what the Catholic Church believes because they are watching the likes of Cuomo, Pelosi, Biden, etc. They think that these “progressive” politicians are the true faces of Catholicism. They do not understand that these people are being diabolically driven. Many of us are stuck in this state. Please pray for our politicians that they may turn toward the light. Please pray that New York’s errors do not spread to other states.

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      1. Surely have been praying for your situation in your state, CM. There are so many good people of strong faith in New York! No accidents in God’s Ways: you are Christ’s Light, Hope and Love in the darkness around you, CM.

        Liked by 8 people

  15. I don’t know anything about The Remnant Newspaper but I’d “Bet the Farm” that since it’s inception 50+ years ago the LavenderLeft Marxist HiJackers of Vatican II, AKA: The Usual Suspects, have had little positive to say about said Paper. That probably means I should have been reading it in High School!!

    The Church is Very Sick and in Need of Renewal, and Covington Proves It


    PS: On a Roll Today ….Eh!!?? 😉

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Crewdog. Their bishops are condemning these kids! And where is William Donahue? The bishop of Covington? Pope Francis? Their silence speaks volumes! The shepherds have gone silent as their flock continues to get fleeced.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. You’re on fire today CD! Amen!

      It seems quite clear hearts are being revealed and more and more lukewarm ain’t an option;
      “And if it seem evil to you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve” Joshua 24:15

      Liked by 7 people

  16. CrewDog: Roman Catholic Faithful out of Chicago is also an “oldie but goodie” in consistently working to uncover the filth. They closed shop for a while, but are back up and running.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. I’m one of those people who does NOT believe in replacement theology and does bevieve that the Jewish People/Irael still have a Big Role in “Future Developments” …. just like The Bible sez:

    Messianic Process Began with IAF Airstrike in Syria, Will End With Israeli Elections

    Israeli Officials: Iran to Escalate Responses to Strikes in Syria


    Liked by 8 people

  18. Wonderful piece Roman. Your experience at lectoring, and your concern about how others would view your efforts, brings to mind my own experience with sharing my views on blogs. I was very hesitant to put any thoughts out there at first. But it gets easier with practice. I think there are parallels there for all of us to think about.

    Moral of the story: All you lurkers out there go ahead and dive on in. You may be surprised at the gift the Holy Spirit has given you that needs to be exercised. ASOH is a great place to let your light shine. In fact, consider this a prompting. An invitation. You are the hands, eyes, ears and voice of our Lord. Let’s hear that voice. We are thirsty.

    Liked by 10 people

  19. I’m just guessing that many Catholics this morning, like myself, are fairly astounded at the relative SILENCE of the Church hierarchy to the Covington Kids kerfuffle. Especially in their own Diocese.

    In fact, it seems the response of the hierarchy to many attacks on the Church and its dogma is weak to lame to downright puzzling. A whole range of issues seem to be afflicted with a kind of paralysis of reaction by the hierarchy from homosexual abuse by clergy and hierarchy to same sex marriage to now even abortion. To the defense of a bunch of Catholic schoolboys DOING THE RIGHT THING.

    This leaves the hierarchy open to reasonable questioning from Catholics in the pews including speculation as to the one question more and more Catholics are asking: WHY?

    WHY does our hierarchy appear to be more and more limp wristed in the face of rapidly escalating attacks on Catholics and the Church and the dogma in the public square? (see Brett Kavanaugh) Why the silence or the timidity or the hand wringing and the concentration on apology and repentance and reparations for Catholic guilt?

    WHY don’t we see a rip roaring full throated fiery response from our Cardinals, Bishops, Clergy and College Presidents?

    I will throw a speculation on the table. Just a gut feeling.

    Let’s call it the politicization of the Catholic Hierarchy right up to and including the Pope.

    In a nutshell …. scratch a Bishop and find a Democrat. The hierarchy and MUCH OF THE CLERGY ON THE LOCAL LEVEL, i.e., pastors, operate on a daily basis hand in glove with Democrat politicians and Democrat operatives to advance the social justice anti-poverty pro-immigration etc. etc. etc. domestic political agenda. They have friendships. They have relationships. And they are loathe to alienate the Democrat Party who they view as natural allies in influencing Government Social Policy and tax expenditures on the National, State and local levels. Right down to where the local Democrat councilmen are going to vote on where the available sewer money is going to be located … past the new Parish … or someplace else.

    No, I didn’t say ALL of the Catholic Clergy and Hierarchy are card carrying Democrats and co-opted and cowed into silence. Just a lot of it.

    You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    You don’t criticize or condemn or excommunicate the guy(s) who write the checks or set government social policy.

    You remain silent.

    Which constituency does the Catholic hierarchy respond to more …. the people in the pews or the politicians with the money?

    Follow the money.

    This leads to another speculative question: How do you de-politicize the clergy and especially the hierarchy? How do you transform them into staunch outspoken defenders of the faith and defenders of the faithful? How do you distance them from the Democrat Party and Democrat politicians and operatives?

    I think it is an interesting question.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Let the Fire fall in the Illumination of Conscience. A time of visitation from the Lord would be a swift shot of reality… to see one’s soul as God sees it would obliterate every pretentious way to which we may be clinging and burn every vestige of vanity out of each one of us. The Servant of God Maria Esperanza, one of my spiritual mothers, so often said: “A time of Great Light is coming.” May it be. Maranatha!

      Liked by 14 people

      1. “The moment has arrived in which mankind must awaken,” says Esperanza, “in which it must awaken to the love of God. In the coming years a new light from heaven will illuminate hearts,” she says, “but before it does there will be hardship.” She foresaw AIDS and now sees other problems, including another disease and a foreign threat to the U.S. (by two nations, one large, one smaller, who will conspire to provoke America). A “very serious moment” will arrive but humankind will survive and will be better for it and will live in the truth of God. She claims that this is “the hour of decision for humanity.” She sees war, societal problems, and natural disasters. But she also sees a cleansing that will restore humankind. “A great moment is approaching,” sid Esperanza. “A great day of light!” (Excerpt from a Michael Brown piece on Spirit daily)

        Liked by 14 people

      2. So agree Becks! This is a great mercy and there will be many, many conversions! However, as I understand it, there will also be a doubling down of those who resent God and the evil in their hearts will magnify. I believe this is because we still have free will and are still stained by the effects of original sin. Concupiscense is still there. I think it will be a lot like when the great miracles occurred in Moses time and Pharoah doubled down. For those living the life they are called to, the illumination, whether here on earth, or at the time of their passing, it will be a joyful experience. I endeaver to pray and ask our Lord on a regular basis, “what am I called to do? Am I living my life right?” It is a joy that you are here as well as everyone else here Becks!

        Liked by 11 people

        1. There surely will be doubling down, Doug, a doubling down times too many for those who are already on the repeated doubling down path. These are the ones, I think, to whom Our Lady of Akita refers: “If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them.”

          Such a mystery really because there have been surprising 11th hour conversions throughout salvation history. I choose to continue to look through the Eyes of Love at Cuomo, Pelosi, et al – even as I am repulsed by their arrogance and evil actions – to hope and pray for their conversion. And while I fully know that not all will choose God, repent and bend the knee, I also fully know that God will have done absolutely e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. He possibly could have done to call every one of His children back to Him. Therefore, I dwell with greater delight and joyful hope, upon the harvest that awaits both God and us, for in a great mystery He chooses us to share in His work.

          Liked by 7 people

          1. ” I choose to continue to look through the eyes of love….” spot on Beckita!
            I see that is what God is trying to bring us all to.
            To be merciful as He is merciful to us.
            We are all broken and need His Mercy. We are in a world moving towards the Era of Love.

            Liked by 10 people

            1. Yes, Anne. We’re reiterating the Gospel and Charlie said it with elegance a few posts ago: “God seeks out the good in each man’s heart, even though it be as tenuous as a gossamer filament, that He might pull them through gently to the safety of His bosom.” May we ever live this great Faith which we profess.

              Liked by 9 people

          2. Yesterday, I reluctantly offered a Plenary Indulgence for Mario Cuomo and this morning deliberately offered a Plenary Indulgence for Mario Cuomo. My Pastor a few days ago, offered prayers for Andrew to have a ‘Saul’ conversion moment, which was readily received by me as it has been a continued prayer of conversion for one and all.

            I am hoping Bishop Scharfenburger (who is in Panama now) asks Pope Francis permission to commence excommunication process…. on a grand scale for all those within the Albany Diocese who stand for abortion. Enough is enough.

            Liked by 6 people

            1. Thank you for reminding us of how to respond to evil, Sean. Praying with your hoping, however, no bishop needs the permission of the Pope to excommunicate someone. It is already a function of his Apostolic office and all any bishop need do is follow the law. Praying for holy boldness for ALL bishops.

              Liked by 8 people

            2. Hey Sean. I got your message through FlockNote but didn’t see the attached Email you referred to.

              Thanks for mentioning about Spectrum on demand. I have a friend waiting for Gosnell to come out, but not everyone is offering it.

              Thanks for your prayers for James.


              Liked by 1 person

      3. I hope that there is an illumination of conscience. Cultural Catholicism is dead. The use of reason will only sway a small number of people. Powerful evangelization (which, with a few exceptions, is primarily the realm of lay Catholics) can bring a greater number of people to the Truth. But the vast majority of humankind remains, as Jesus put it, blind, because they are convinced that they already “see” the truth. As Romano Guardini wrote 65 years ago in “The Lord”

        “The eye simply ceases to register what is plain to be seen… Christ stands, showering radiance upon everyone who nears Him. If that person is ‘seeing’ in the worldly sense, something in him is willed to seek the world and himself rather than the Messiah. His eye is fixed on the world and self and remains so. Everything else that crosses into his vision is thrown out of focus, and if it registers at all, only as something suspicious, ugly, dangerous”.

        In short, we need supernatural help to break through this illusory way of “seeing” that blinds most of the world (and much of the Church) in order for humankind to see the Light who can free it from darkness. Perhaps the illumination of conscience is the answer.

        Pray for us, Holy Virgin Mother of God.

        Come, Lord Jesus!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. We surely do need what you convey, Frank. It’s why I’m so excited to see various apostolates rising which train people to minister to others by not only proclaiming the words of Truth imparted to us in faith, but, by God’s design, are also demonstrating signs that Christ’s Kingdom is here – not fully yet – but the Kingdom is certainly here and Jesus is touching His people through human instruments bearing His Love, Light and Healing. Those many to whom you refer who are blind, perhaps from ignorance and maybe because they have bought the God-less lies of today’s deteriorated culture, are also struggling deeply for we cannot be truly happy without God. We were created to know, love and serve Him and His people. The longing we all have in us exists profoundly in those far from the Lord, the greatest ache one can have.

          Here’s an excerpt from a DVD made two years ago. There are additional trailers for the documentary at You Tube. Dr. Mary Healy speaks of what we need to add to the Truth we proclaim… and what we need has been promised as our heritage by Christ Himself. Now, many may call this the Charismatic way but it really isn’t just about what we have come to know as the Charismatic spirituality. We ALL need the Holy Spirit. He is God. And this is not extraordinary stuff; this is the truth proclaimed by Jesus as HE commissioned us:

          Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:10-14)

          What a wonderful time to be alive!
          Blessed be God! Ave Maria!

          Liked by 4 people

            1. I do too, Frank! She is a dynamo on fire with Holy Spirit, erudite in Scripture Studies while remaining humble and loving. Oh how her teachings are so well grounded in the Scriptures.

              From a bio:
              Mary Healy is professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and an international speaker on topics related to Scripture, evangelization, healing, and the spiritual life. She is a general editor of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture and author of two of its volumes, The Gospel of Mark and Hebrews. Her other books include Men and Women Are from Eden: A Study Guide to John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and Healing: Bringing the Gift of God’s Mercy to the World. Dr. Healy is chair of the Doctrinal Commission of International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services in Rome. She serves the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian unity as a member of the Pentecostal-Catholic International Dialogue. In 2014 Pope Francis appointed her as one of the first three women ever to serve on the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

              Liked by 2 people

        2. Well stated Frank.  We sure could use the illumination of conscience.  I wish it would occur now, but I defer to Christ’s infinite wisdom in that it will occur exactly when needed most.  For those waiting in glorious anticipation and the many who convert,  I believe it will be a sigh of relief and a joy.  This will prep us for the worst yet to come as even with the illumination, there will be those who will go from bad to worse.  Most importantly is to prepare now spiritually.  Love, forgive, reconcile, detach from material things, make use of sacraments,  etc. Doug

          Sent from Doug Pounds mobile

          Liked by 2 people

  20. Good sharing. Glad you are settled on the wife thing. I long ago realized that God has a no return no trade in policy on spouses and so my wife and I have prospered with the help of a lot of God’s grace.

    Liked by 8 people

  21. Beautiful piece. On another note, Charlie. The old Inn on the Lakes where you stayed during your Sebring visit is being used today as a gathering place for families of victims of a bank robbery during which 5 local citizens were killed. Please pray for my neighbors. It seems that even in Mayberry there is demonic activity.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. So sorry SJM, another shocking incident hitting home for a local community and for all of us. I tend to jump to the conclusion of either drug involvement, mental illness and – a long way third – terrorism, when I hear of violent and deadly reports such as this. But as you say StJoan, demonic activity is hitting out at many innocent and sometimes duped victims and in fact, while we might try to isolate the cause in order to prevent future tragedies, our job is to be a practical sign of hope at this moment. Prayers, yes definitely. Being a long way away I had to google ‘Sebring’; while I could empathise with you and proceed to file the Sebring killings as yet another fatal shooting on the other side of the planet and risk becoming desensitised to such atrocities, maybe there is another path to take.

      Following Roman’s wonderful lead I decided to have a peak at what the Holy Spirit might wish to impart to His People this Sunday. The last two sentences of the Introduction to this Sunday’s Readings especially set the scene for us. “Today we are called to be the Body of Christ in our world. The Sacred Scriptures have meaning when we can say with Jesus ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’”

      Then we come to the First Reading from the book of Nehemiah where it is told that Ezra, the priest and scribe, stood up and “read from the Law of God, translating and giving the sense, so that the people understood what was said.” This included the children too. It says “The people were all in tears as they listened to the words of the Law”. But Ezra says to them “Do not be sad: the joy of the Lord is your stronghold.” Now there’s a sign of hope!

      The Second Reading is from St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. The intro reiterates “Together you are Christ’s body; but each of you is a different part of it.” The first paragraph ends with words that indicate the source of our unity that keep all parts working together instead of clashing against each other “…one Spirit was given to us all to drink.” Singling out one other short sentence in relation to Sebring “If one part is hurt, all parts are hurt with it.” Thanks to the amazing technology today I can watch the news anywhere in the world, or read of StJoanMusing’s pain, and not only can I empathise with those families and community but I might be able to find the address of the Bank at the centre of the shootings and write to the Manager, staff, customers and families with my condolences and a simple word of hope from the Holy Spirit. A small step in keeping with the theme of St Luke’s Gospel of the day “The scriptures were fulfilled on this day.”

      Liked by 9 people

        1. By the way, I too have been a lector for about 30 years and have always taken very seriously the proclaiming of the word. I consider it to be a privilege.

          Liked by 3 people

    2. sjm, my heartfelt prayers to your community in the aftermath of this violent event. I have offered prayers as this was occurring earlier today, before any deaths were reported. I will continue to pray for all affected. Thank you for being ASOH and for asking for prayers. ❤

      Liked by 6 people

    3. I am so sad to hear that, Joan. That little inn and little town was one of my favorites – it still has real keys instead of magnetic pass cards…and it was as close to Mayberry as I have encountered in my travels. I still delight at the memory of the “cabin cake” you made me…and that lovely little diner we went to for breakfast. At the theatre where I gave my presentation, there was a young teenage girl who really put me through my paces in the questioning. I did not think I got through to her, but her mother later let me know the girl had been moved by my hanging in with her, responding to her questions, and never condescending to her. That, too, is a fond memory. I pray for one of my favorite little towns and all the wonderful people I met there. May God bless and keep you and heal you and the town.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. I continue to thank you Charlie for your “lack of condescending” and humble responses to all even detractors. May God continue to bless you and your efforts in your assigned mission.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Hear Hear! And as this Storm continues moving toward full steam ahead, let us all remember to daily pray for Charlie. A verse comes to mind: Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ… (Philippians 1:6)

          Liked by 5 people

  22. Roman,

    Your parable hit home to me as I am a reader in my Church, chanting the epistle. Something I love doing as it gives me an opportunity to project – which I have to do, as we do not have a microphone.

    CM Bookmark – yes, Bishop Malone has not stepped up to plate as he should have. Perhaps he believes that if he cravenly keeps his mouth shut, that the state will not come to seize the “Upon this Rock Foundation” monies and other parish monies. A foolish bargain, for the enemy is faithless and wins here – they get the silence of Bishop Malone now and will get his money later.

    Beckita and CM Bookmark, there is a Bishop who stood up (I acknowledge Cardinal Dolan, who did write a handwringing letter, but even that was more than Bishop Malone), and that is the new Bishop of Albany, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger. A Pope Francis appointee, he is a real leader, unlike his disastrous predecessor, Bishop Howard James Hubbard. One of the best things that can be said about Hubbard was that he was not Matthew Clark, his contemporary as Bishop of Rochester.

    I do not know if any of you remeber when there was great pressure on John Cardinal O’Conner to excommunicate the governor;s father, Andrew Cuomo back in the 1980s. A pity O’Connor did not face this down then. Much harm could have been spared. But that horse has left the barn.

    A few points outlined by Bishop Hubbard, per the UK Catholic Herald: “Albany’s Catholic bishop has called on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to stop the “Death Star” as he called a bill in the state Legislature to expand current state law on abortion that has the full backing of Cuomo, a Catholic.
    “Although in your recent State of the State address you cited your Catholic faith and said we should ‘stand with Pope Francis,’ your advocacy of extreme abortion legislation is completely contrary to the teachings of our pope and our church,” said Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger.

    “Once truth is separated from fiction and people come to realize the impact of the bill, they will be shocked to their core,” he said in an open letter to Cuomo published on January 19 at, the website of The Evangelist, Albany’s diocesan newspaper. “By that time, however, it may be too late to save the countless lives that will be lost or spare countless women lifelong regret.”

    “The so-called Reproductive Health Act (RHA) will expand abortion under the pretenses of choice and progress, which, in fact, it will do little to enhance,” Bishop Scharfenberger said. “At the same time, this legislation threatens to rupture the communion between the Catholic faith and those who support the RHA even while professing to follow the church, something that troubles me greatly as a pastor.”
    The Albany bishop’s open letter came two days after a joint statement from all the state’s Catholic bishops decrying the abortion measure. “We mourn the unborn infants who will lose their lives, and the many mothers and fathers who will suffer remorse and heartbreak as a result” of the measure becoming law, the bishops said.

    They renewed their commitment to provide “the resources and services of our charitable agencies and health services resources” to assist pregnant women in need and support them and their families after the birth.

    In his letter in The Evangelist, Bishop Scharfenberger wrote that despite what supporters claim, the Reproductive Health Act “goes far beyond Roe v. Wade in its aggressive extremism.” He outlined several of its provisions:
    — “Granting nondoctors permission to perform abortions does nothing to advance the security and health of women.”
    — “Condoning coerced or involuntary abortions by repealing criminal sanctions even in cases where a perpetrator seeks to make his partner ‘un-pregnant’ through an act of physical violence does not represent any kind of progress in the choice, safety or health of women.”
    — “Removing protection for an infant accidentally born alive during an abortion is abject cruelty, something most people of conscience would deem inhumane for even a dog or cat.”
    — “Finally, allowing late-term abortions is nothing less than a license to kill a pre-born child at will.”
    The bishop told Cuomo: “It is very difficult to understand how you can align yourself with Pope Francis and so vehemently advocate such profoundly destructive legislation.”
    Bishop Scharfenberger also expressed the concern being voiced by pro-life leaders in the state, that “if abortion is deemed a fundamental right in New York state,” the consequences for the pro-life movement could be dire.
    “Will being pro-life one day be a hate crime in the state of New York?” he asked.

    So, they do not care about domestic violence victims: Note what the Bishop stated, again: Condoning coerced or involuntary abortions by repealing criminal sanctions even in cases where a perpetrator seeks to make his partner ‘un-pregnant’ through an act of physical violence does not represent any kind of progress in the choice, safety or health of women.” GUESS WHAT – IF YOU KICK THE CRAP OUT OF A PREGANT WOMEN AND THE BABY DIES AS A RESULT OF YOUR ASSAULT ON THE MOTHER IT IS NO LONGER A CRIME IN NEW YORK STATE, thanks to Andrew Cuomo signing the bill of infamy on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. I am inclined to some profanity here, but will refrain. My local State Senator tired to amend the abortion law to prevent this, but, no, this removal of this protection was deliberate – as they did not want to allow any possible exception that could undermine their wicked law, a positve law that commands no support to obey it before God.

    Beckita, I, too look forward to the Illumination, but I do dread it, too. After the illumination there will be two types of people afterwards – those who grieve over their sins and will seek the sacrament of confession (I think many of us will be weeping like Rachel in Ramah), and those who will harden in their sins, as Paul spoke of in Romans and, like the Nazgul searching fo the ring, will ruthlessly push with greater violence their evil agenda. They will be spiritual nazguls, in a way. Physically living, but spiritually dead. We will also have a wave of converts and reverts, unlike anything we have seen.

    One other thing, Beckita – I have spoken to two differnet priest today, from two different diocese and both were oblivious to the crisis that this abortion law has set in motion. We must keep praying, as both acted as if it was “business as usual.”

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Well said, James. For a long while, I’ve been gratefully aware of Bishop Scharfenberger’s witness to the Gospel. I actually posted a video in the comments above of the tolling of the bells at the Diocese of Albany’s Cathedral… tolling in mourning for “the lives of those who will be harmed due to the Reproductive Health Act”… babies, mothers, fathers… tolling for ALL of us.

      As CM noted, many are the politicians who should be excommunicated. And, yes James, many are the clergy who are apathetic and asleep. Well, an Illumination of Conscience should awaken them and all of us. Praying that the Holy Spirit anoints hearts, minds and souls to respond to such a visitation, however God chooses to grant us this great gift of His Mercy. The Harvest will be great!

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Governor Cuomo is getting a lot of well deserved heat for signing this extreme bill into law.

        Faithful Catholics are appalled. Stunned really. Stunned at Cuomo and stunned at the hierarchy’s for the most part limp response. It’s getting to the point of having to deal with the issue of SCANDAL. And not just by Cuomo and the politicians around the country.

        It seems pretty obvious that Cuomo should face canonical discipline. For this egregious act of evil it seems to me excommunication is warranted. All the Catholic NY state legislators who voted for this should face the same penalty for aiding, abetting and consenting in this intrinsic evil. What was the old saying? If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime. The politicians in America don’t feel like there is a penalty or a price to be paid for enacting abortion legislation.

        So why aren’t the politicians more inclined to do the right thing?

        Hate to say this. It is the apathy of the average Catholic in the pews. The craven politicians don’t fear losing their votes. They can do the crime of implementing intrinsic evil into our culture without fear of electoral consequences. Which is the only thing they fear. Anybody who would sign on to this type of legalized killing certainly does not fear God. They do fear losing the votes of the Pro Choice to Kill Babies extremists some of whom call themselves Catholics. Apparently even some clergy and religious fall into that category.

        Let’s take this one step further. So the politicians are guilty of SCANDAL for their acts of evil and the hierarchy is increasingly guilty of SCANDAL in their limp wristed “oh, gee. ain’t that a shame” inadequate to the threat to souls response. What about the SCANDAL of the apathy of the average Catholic? Can we be guilty of SCANDAL too? Right along with our hierarchy and our clergy and our religious?

        So why are average Catholics in the pews not more inclined to do the right thing by standing up on our hind legs and opposing the politicians working as minions of Evil by implementing intrinsically evil social policy in America? Why don’t we Catholics join together to drive the Baby Killer politicians out of political existence on election day? We have the power to do that. But we don’t. Why?

        Answer: There is no “if you can’t do the time don’t do the crime” pressure on average Catholics. We do not fear canonical discipline for sitting it out on the sidelines. We don’t fear excommunication. We don’t fear incurring a penalty for our silence. Not my problem. Don’t want to get involved. We rest in our status as Not Pro-Choice but Pro-Life thinkers. In our minds that should suffice as an adequate conscientious response.

        The politicians know this. The hierarchy knows this.

        We are going to have abortion as the law of the land in this country until average Catholics unite in a political alliance to eliminate this intrinsic evil by threatening the continued political life of Pro Choice to Kill Babies politicians.

        THIS is the underlying SCANDAL that goes unaddressed by the hierarchy:

        “There are 70,412,021 registered Catholics in the United States (22% of the US population) as of 2017, according to the American bishops’ count in their Official Catholic Directory 2016.”

        We Catholics could end abortion in America in a heartbeat. But we don’t. That’s a SCANDAL.

        Why don’t we Catholics have the political will to git’er done?

        We can point to a lot of causes.

        There is the historical argument. Immigrant Catholics just wanted to “blend in” with Protestant America. Quietly. Just leave us alone to practice our faith.

        Look where quietly blending in has now gotten us.

        Lack of political activism. Think of the difference in approach of the Black Pastors in America and the U.S. Catholic Clergy especially the Bishops. A will to stay out of the public square except in a limp wristed oh gee oh gee way. Politicians in America are more responsive to the political demands of 37 million U.S. blacks than the 70 million U.S. Catholics. The difference — the political activism of the the Black Pastors in organizing and getting their people to the polls in America.

        There is a price to be paid by U.S. politicians for ignoring the demands of the Black Church in America.

        No demands placed on average Catholics. No penalty to be paid for not opposing Abortion. Actively.

        Want to see change on the issue of Abortion in America? Get the hierarchy to organize the Church for political action. Get the hierarchy to place canonical sanctions on the politicians at all levels. Get the hierarchy to place canonical sanctions on the people in the pews.

        How do you get a herd of cattle stampeding? You put a cattle prod into the behind of the last cow in the herd. That cow has plunked itself down in the last pew in the parish.

        SCANDAL has no bite in America. On anybody. Including you and me. That is why we have Abortion as our national policy.

        Only the Bishops can change this stance. And only the people can change and charge up the Bishops. SCANDAL has got to bite deep all the way around.

        Until then — oh gee, oh gee.

        Liked by 9 people

        1. Ed, I agree with most of what you say. The sad truth is, however, that the “average” Catholic just doesn’t care — they have no sense of the transcendent. I’ve been teaching CCD to 8th graders for a number of years and I always take a poll of how many go to Sunday Mass. The classes run from 43-60 kids and each year and only a small fraction of the kids get to Mass because their parents don’t go.
          On the other hand I encounter “active” Catholics (including clergy) who are into Richard Rohr.

          But I also know prayerful men and women who are faithful to the Lord and I believe that the Lord will honor their faithfulness. Let’s echo the prayer of St. Pius X whose motto was “To Restore all Things in Christ”.

          Liked by 7 people

        2. Ed’s reflection is poignant. Condsider the following: IF one person per pew at mass would donate one hour of their time standing in front, a side and around an abortion clinic; this abortion law would not matter.
          How many pews are in your church? Seventeen? How about two people? Four? Perhaps a hundred? This has been my dream since my first 40 days for life prayer campaign. Though, I admit it has been a few years since I have done so…. kinda burned out. Yet, Gov. Cuomo has ‘driven a nail into this old apple tree’ (James Michner, novelist) reinvigorating me to step up and get back to work.

          Ithink the following Declaration is in order, notably it the right of the people to “to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. ” (I added the paragraph spacing for easier readability)


          IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

          The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

          When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

          We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —

          That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

          Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

          But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,

          it is their right,

          it is their duty,

          to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —

          Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

          Liked by 5 people

        3. ST Ed, I agree with you and the Church on this: that abortion is “intrinsically evil.” I also agree with you that a number of Church leaders seem to be more in sympathy with Democrat policies and politicians than with some of the “hard teachings” of the Church.

          Your use of the term “intrinsically evil” reminds me of another authoritative teaching of the Church that many Catholics might find shocking or even infuriating. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

          “2369 “By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man’s exalted vocation to parenthood.”157

          2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.158 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is INTRINSICALLY EVIL [my caps]:159

          “Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.160”

          (Footnotes 159 and 160 refer to passages in Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio.)

          God’s design for the creation of new human life and the purpose of human sexuality are very clear, just from the obvious natural way babies are made. A sacramental marriage and “practicing the sacrament” as God intends are thus sacred. This is the desired setting in which He also creates a new sacred human soul. Outside of God’s design, all kinds of consequential woes and evils develop. To paraphrase a comment once made to me by another Catholic convert, “If a man’s seed is not sacred, anything goes.” (Her second phrase was much pithier, but I’ll leave it at that!)

          At what point did a number of Church leaders lose their moral authority and even their own moral bearings? At what point did a number of Church-going Catholics (often unknowingly) first reject this authentic Church teaching on an “intrinsic evil”? Where has this led?

          By the way, I first read Humanae Vitae more than thirty years ago when I was in the RCIA. I had never really heard or considered the Church’s position on birth control, but I had been exposed to a few things, especially during my years at a secular university. Reading Humanae Vitae was a great illumination, and I immediately felt deep gratitude for the Church’s God-inspired teaching. I still do.

          Liked by 8 people

          1. I am old enough to remember when the idea of a Catholic President was unthinkable.

            Then along came John F. Kennedy.

            During the course of his 1960 campaign Kennedy’s Catholicism became a game changer for him. He could not simply ignore the anti-Catholic bigotry that was building as a political reality led by prominent Protestant pastors and especially Norman Vincent Peal.

            So, Kennedy addressed the problem at a speech to Protestant ministers in Houston Texas.

            That speech, largely credited as saving his quest for the Presidency, unleashed a huge problem for Catholic voters ever since.

            Here are a couple of reviews of the impact on history that JFK’s rationalization of his candidacy wrought as well as the perhaps unintended advantage JFK handed to enemies of the Church.


            In a nutshell, JFK “privatized” the religious beliefs of politicians. Especially Catholic politicians. And in particular himself.

            JFK’s fateful words and pledge to those assembled Protestant ministers:

            “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute – where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote – where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference – and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him…. I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair, neither imposed upon him by the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office….

            Whatever issues may come before me as President, if I should be elected – on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling, or any other subject – I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictate. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.”

            Every politician’s “religious views” are their own private affair. Those words did it.

            Catholic politicians seeking to curry favor with voting blocs inimical to Catholic dogma have hidden behind this notion ever since 1960.

            From the analysis linked above:

            “America’s leading Catholic political thinker, John Courtney Murray, S.J., who had written extensively on the role of the Catholic Church in a pluralist society, was perturbed by Kennedy’s attempt to sever any connections between one’s religious and political creeds. “To make religion merely a private matter,” Murray argued, “was idiocy.”

            Murray was also upset that Sorensen ignored his advice to stress in the Houston speech that while Church hierarchy should never coerce a public official, they should always be free to instruct Catholics from the pulpit as to the Church’s teachings on moral issues debated in the public square.

            The Catholic periodical Ave Maria stated in an editorial, “To relegate your conscience to your ‘private life’ is not only unrealistic, but dangerous as well.” The liberal columnist Murray Kempton quipped that Kennedy would become the nation’s “first anti-clerical President.” Historian William Miller concluded, “the joke was that [Kennedy] turned out to be, in effect, our first Baptist president, one, that is, who defended a thorough going separation more characteristic of that group than of his own church….”

            Looking back, Kennedy’s private religion comment in his Houston speech opened a can of worms that haunts American Catholics to this day. That’s because many Catholic pols argue that one’s religious views should not have any role in the public square, because faith is nothing more than a personal thing …..

            ….. The election of John F. Kennedy removed some obstacles for American Catholics, but at a price. By ceding ground to secularists in his Houston speech, JFK marginalized those Catholics in the public square who are actually guided by Church teachings, and they have been branded public villains ever since.”

            Kennedy put a muzzle on Catholic moral teaching as a guide to public policy. As well, Kennedy released every subsequent venal, banal, self-serving Catholic politician to hide behind the infamous “personally I am opposed to [fill in the blank] …. BUT ….” To this day American politicians such as Andrew Cuomo, Governor of NY hide behind JFK’s deft dodge to shove Catholic moral teaching out of the public square.

            Just my opinion, the consequences of yielding the political debate to the secularist enemies of the Church and of morality in general have been devastating for both our country and our Church. The proof is in the pudding. Just look around. You don’t have to look too far.

            Intrinsic Evil. Per the Catechism.


            1755 A morally good act requires the goodness of the object, of the end, and of the circumstances together. An evil end corrupts the action, even if the object is good in itself (such as praying and fasting “in order to be seen by men”).

            The object of the choice can by itself vitiate an act in its entirety. There are some concrete acts – such as fornication – that it is always wrong to choose, because choosing them entails a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil.

            1756 It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.

            IN BRIEF

            1757 The object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the three “sources” of the morality of human acts.

            1758 The object chosen morally specifies the act of willing accordingly as reason recognizes and judges it good or evil.

            1759 “An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention” (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. praec. 6). The end does not justify the means.

            1760 A morally good act requires the goodness of its object, of its end, and of its circumstances together.

            1761 There are concrete acts that it is always wrong to choose, because their choice entails a disorder of the will, i.e., a moral evil. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.”

            It’s a mistake for ANY Catholic to think that he or she can slither away from this dogma by hiding behind the “privatization of religious belief” or what might be called The Great Kennedy Dodge. Why? Because it trivializes a matter of grave danger to one’s eternal soul.

            It’s a pity that American Catholic politicians … those like Andrew Cuomo … don’t take more concern for the fate or their own immortal souls. It’s a SCANDAL that they encourage other Catholics to do the same. It’s a SCANDAL that the hierarchy does not point this out to those of us sitting in the pews.

            ….. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object ….

            What a mess.

            Liked by 6 people

            1. Great post, STE! ❤

              Sadly, in literally one generation we went from JFK claiming that his/a politician's religion is a private affair, to the days of William Jefferson Clinton when the rhetoric became what he/a politician does in the bedroom (or Oval Office) is not our business and should be considered a private matter.

              Liked by 4 people

          2. For me, it is starting to come into focus what I think a major crux of the issue is taking place within the church with regards to the scandals, why there is so much silence by the leadership and how to discern good priests versus priests entangled in this area.  I wrote the thoughts excerted below on August 30th to the team and added to our monthly Storm Dinner notice.

            It is becoming more evident to Lambzie and I that the recent church crisis is founded in a homosexual issue (and other related issues).  This is clear after contemplating personal experiences as well as carefully reading many recent articles, discerning scripture and listening to homilies by priests who seem to get to the root.

            On a personal level, Lambzie has a cousin who went into the seminary in the 80s.  He prematurely left and has been living with his male partner for over 30 years.  He said to Lambzie a long time ago, “if you only knew what went on there” (St. John’s in Brighton, MA).  I met a high school class mate at my 10th reunion who became a priest.  I was excited to talk about Medjugorje and my faith with him at that time and, oddly,  he seemed to have little interest.  Well, I met him at my 25th and he had left the priesthood and is living a homosexual life style.  There was a priest at a local parish, we occasionally visited, about 20 years ago, who invited parishioners to attend some support meetings for “gay” people.  It was obvious this priest was trying to get folks to recognize homosexual people are normal.  We never went back to that parish.  It has since been closed down and merged with another parish.  These events occurred a long time ago before the 2002 scandals broke.  So we did not think much beyond this at the time.

            What is becoming clearer to me now is that the priests that tend to be complicit in the homosexual agenda will focus on the abuse only.  In other words, gay sex between two consenting adult males is not abuse in their minds and they have kept that separate from the abuse issue and remained silent on it.  This is their form of rationalization.  So these priests (and Cardinals) will openly speak out against the abuse without addressing the bigger issue of homosexuality.  This is the first clue to beware.  “Warning, warning.  Danger Will Robinson”

            Second, these priests have lost all moral authority in the arena of sexual moors within the Catholic Church.  They rarely or never speak on Humanae Vitae or talk about the culture of life or speak against the culture of death i.e. abortion because it conflicts with the life style they are living.  So what do they do?  They deflect or distract.  They will tend to hyper focus on leftist social justice causes like wealth redistribution or immigration or environmental issues.  I have long thought (and still think) abortion is the most insidious evil to ever plague our country and have never felt we are suffering any serious leftist social injustice.  How socially unjust is 70 plus million babies being slaughtered?  In my opinion, abortion is clearly the real social injustice plaguing this country.  Of course, one can find leftist social injustice by looking, but it is not nearly as plaguing an issue like abortion.  Look at Chicago Bishop Cupich’s response to what Msgr Vigano wrote exposing the string of scandals high up in the church.  “The pope has better things to do like focus on the environment”  Ding, ding, ding.  This gives me pause and suspect about this bishop.  Keep an eye on him with what happens.

            So where do I (we) go from here?  I pray for our church leaders be converted and guided by the Holy Spirit.  I still stand by that the Church is Christ’s church and not mans.  There are bad actors, but these are not the church.  I think the bad actors need to repent or go.  If a priest is struggling with same sex attraction and is taking concrete steps to repent and reform, that is good, but if a priest even remotely supports the homosexual agenda, this is active rebellion and I think he needs repent or to step down.

            I hold fast to the church.  On my diaconate application, I articulated John Chapter 6 as how I feel about our church.  Peter said, “Lord, where else shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.”  God is letting this play out.  He is merciful.  I still believe he will send the right saint at the right time and the church will survive and even thrive.  In the mean time, we have some bumpy roads to travel and may very well experience deeper persecution before this is over.

            The jump up to what I have written above is many of our priests and bishops have been complicit and therefore, this explains the silence on abortion and other related issues. The bride of Christ has to go through this exposure at this time to be cleansed and purified for what is coming.

            Liked by 7 people

            1. Doug, from what I’ve seen over the decades, I’d say your analysis is accurate re. underlying reasons for some clergymen’s lukewarmness on some of the Church’s teachings. This is also true within religious life and among lay people, who sometimes “lead the leaders” down this or that path but often follow them, too.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Thank you Sr. Bear. Hearing this from you means a lot as I have high regard for your insights. I missed this until recently as Lambzie and I have been graced with most wonderful priests that hold true to Catholic teaching. In a way, we have been sheltered for many years except for what we thought were small scale isolated instances, but I am now realizing the pervasiveness and the symptoms or effects.

                It is the beautiful witness of many good priests in the church along with other faithful Catholics that heavely influenced and drew me into the church. Somehow, we were protected from all the “stuff” and allowed to comprehend the true beauty of the churches teachings.

                One of the best homilies I heard 20 years ago was from an Eastern Rite Catholic priest who in my opinion is a saint. He is Father Martin Hayatt. Our parish had a tent revival ministry going for a while. Can you imagine a Catholic tent revival outside with a real tent? It was fantastic. Anyway, Fr. Martin spoke about how he gets many questions from teenage boys. “How far can I go with my girl friend? What is the limit? Is it ok to kiss, do other things, etc.” These are questions many ask and as adults, we ask ourselves these same questions in many areas. How much can I legally get away with (fill in the blank)? He completely flipped this around. He said, “you are asking the wrong questions. These questions indicate that you are only looking out for your self or your own interests. The questions you should be asking are, how can I respect you? How can I make you more holy and encourage you to be faithful to your Christian life?” Boy, this hit home with me. To this day, I find myself asking the wrong questions, but then have to back up and check my motivation.

                As faithful Catholics, we are asked to be more responsible than the average person because of what we claim. It is an awesome responsibility and one where we really have to depend heavily on the Holy Spirit. Some days, I shutter at this responsibility as it seems impossible, but then, the more I discover “his” love, the more it becomes natural. He has not left us alone or abandoned us. I pray many are touched by the Holy Spirit with true love and conversion.

                Liked by 2 people

      2. Kudos to this small business owner TNRS in his own little corner of the world:
        (aka marie but changed mind on wp acct so had to use new email etc.)

        Liked by 6 people

  23. Roman, thank you for sharing part of yourself and your life with us, and for the lovely metaphor. My husband and I have each one of the hoses/accessories you mention and are necessary for different reason in the many small gardens in our tiny corner of the world. I can surely relate to this!

    Liked by 5 people

  24. Roman, if Charlie, Beckita and team allow the following link I would still say please discern – I would be interested to know what others think. I believe the Lord is reaching out to all people in the Body of Christ to go out to all the world and so I have an open mind to Susan’s mission. In this particular Word, Jesus tells her that much water is needed. But as you have implied, the vessel can unknowingly provide just the right amount at the right time – a particular drop may in fact be a flood of good for a particular soul.

    And CrewDog, may I please add one more link to your growing list today:
    Robert Royal, in reading current, local ‘Church’ news (ie Covington, Columbus) gives the warning that we are all experiencing and for which Charlie has been readying us:
    “My worry is that something larger is afoot. Because if Notre Dame is going down this path, it might just as well also cover up all the crucifixes and depictions of Christ on campus: Some might feel excluded and marginalized by them, in our current dispensation.”
    There is a method of killing which is often compared to the ‘dumbing-down’ of society – bringing the water slowly to the boil so that the frogs are unaware of their imminent demise and don’t think to jump out and make their escape. The only difference for us, Robert Royal and others, is that we CAN feel the temperature rising and see what is happening, just like Jesus did throughout His Passion (I heartily recommend the book ‘The Hours of The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ’ by the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta to see how Jesus responds from moment-to-moment at His Last Supper right up to His Last Word).

    Liked by 7 people

    1. This is a rich comment, Karen. As you note, God is surely speaking to many in these times, both in the Body of Christ and those not yet part of His Mystical Body; as we know, He’s appearing and speaking to Muslims. Also true: all prophecy is to be discerned… always. Love Robert Royal’s work. In addition to his excellent remarks about the incident with the Covington teens and the foolishness of the actions at Notre Dame, Royal hits another important theme: that of how to discuss the issues concerning the Holy Father. Royal writes:

      “I myself, for example, have strongly criticized things that Pope Francis has done and said over the past five years. But it’s appalling to see how some people then go on to speak about him. A Christian has to be scrupulous about the truth, which is one of the names of God. One consequence of launching wild attacks is that, when there’s really something that calls for loud denunciation, critics are dismissed as cranks.”

      In this, I am so grateful, again and again, for the ways Charlie established this site with the comment policy that we have. We simply must be able to speak to the hard stuff… with respect and in truth.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. About a month ago I stumbled across some wisdom in a combox regarding how those who disagree with Pope Francis should relate to him. We should recall that when Saul was after David’s life, David twice had the chance to kill Saul and save his own skin. But twice David respected the “Lord’s anointed”.

        “Then David arose and stealthily cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe. And afterward David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put forth my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.” (1 Samuel 24:4-6)

        Later David comes upon Saul sleeping and says, “The Lord forbid that I should put forth my hand against the Lord’s anointed (1 Samuel 26:11)

        I have been deeply troubled by Pope’s Francis’ off-the-cuff statements, his choice of advisers, his harshness against orthodox Catholics, etc. But I still pray for his health and protection and even that he have a long and fruitful pontificate. I ask the Lord to guide Francis and to give him His vision for the Church and the world.

        Our criticisms of Pope Francis should be measured and free of vitriol. And I believe that the Lord wants us to pray for him.

        Liked by 7 people

      2. I’m gonna try this again since I forgot that a reply, even though entered by hitting REPLY right after the comment it is aimed at, it appears after some later comments unconnected to the intended comment. some comments later.
        Beckita, If I had mastered the “like” feature, I would have given your comment a “double like” in praise of Charlie.

        Liked by 3 people

  25. HullyGee!!! Where is Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York … Eh!!??? …. and the other, near 30, NY Bishops!???????? Bill Donohue @ Catholic League has been silent on the passage of this Horror Bill. It pains me to even think about it but we must face the sad fact ,,,, it ain’t speculation anymore!! …. that huge numbers of clergy have sold their souls, are being blackmailed, and/or otherwise threatened into silence by …….????????
    As others have pointed out here the number/% of compromised clergy in our USA must be ASTOUNDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bishop Blasts NY Abortion Law as Andrew Cuomo’s ‘Death Star’

    …. and others with some “Guts”:

    New York bookstore closes for a day to mourn the state’s new abortion law

    Ohio’s new governor says he’ll sign ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill that Kasich vetoed

    National Shrine confirms report that Native American activist allegedly tried to disrupt Mass

    Joy Behar: Media jumped gun on Covington video because ‘we’re desperate to get Trump out of office’

    National Shrine confirms report that Native American activist allegedly tried to disrupt Mass

    Oh, You Suck: WaPo Eats It Over Their Nathan Phillips Vietnam War Veteran Story

    … the Face of Evil …. ;-(

    Health-care worker arrested after DNA matches baby born to incapacitated patient

    It’s Toxic Media That Hurts America, Not Toxic Masculinity

    Parental Choice in Education Is Vital

    Covington Mom Speaks Out About the Viral Encounter


    Liked by 6 people

    1. PS:
      Even Rush Limbaugh is talking about The New York Horror Bill and all the Baby Killer Politicians today …….. and throughout The Land at most Catholic Bishop’s Mansions and Palatial Offices ….. nothing was stirring … not even a mouse? It appears we have Wolves in Shepherd’s Clothing and, as Churchill once quipped about some spineless dweeb, Sheep in Sheep’s Clothing ;-(


      Liked by 6 people

    2. So true Crew Dog. We have struggled so much here in Memphis because of bad bishops. We have none now, sand Archbishop Kurtz is a stand in until we get one. He hammered the poor kids from Covington and didn’t even walk it back when it was proved they were innocent. Its chilling to see that it’s probable that the good shepherds are in a small minority.

      Liked by 4 people

    3. It might behoove our hierarchy to discontinue the quadrennial Al Smith dinner. These last few decades, presidential candidates in favor of abortion rights and s/s marriage have their picture taken with a smiling Cardinal and from the dais ,a roasting praise is lavished by and for each other. Less informed Catholics, and those needing to assuage their conscience, translate that chumminess and levity as license to vote for either nominee, moral issues notwithstanding.
      (One would hope the philanthropists on both sides of the aisle would still be as generous with their donations, for Catholic Charities, even without attending a sumptuous dinner in formal attire, being feted by the elites and regaled with jovial political puns.) Just my 2cents.

      Liked by 4 people

  26. If permissible I would like to put in a plug for the programs of the Institute of Catholic Culture. The ICC.

    The ICC puts on a tremendous program every year to educate average Catholics about the great history of our Church and its traditions. The ICC is physically located in Northern Virginia but its reach now extends around the world thanks to its very sophisticated digital on-line presence. The ICC has access to great speakers and those with particular expertise in many subject areas of Church history and practice. It has a tremendous library of research material available on line. And a digital archive of its many lectures. It has a special ministry to religious women and novices who might not otherwise have easy access to formation materials where they live.

    It’s free. Operates on voluntary donations.

    Reason I bring it up. I have signed up for the on line lecture series by Msg. Charles Pope on the subject of Angels. Particularly how they were viewed by the Patristic early Church Fathers.

    Ever been curious about the nature and life of the Angels? You can find out by registering for the on-line seminar presentations by Msg. Pope. Registering is easy. The reason for registering is that the ICC will send you a link to the video conference about a day in advance via e:mail. All you do is click on the link at air time and you are admitted into the video conference. Eazy Peazy.

    Msg Pope talked about the Angels and the Ascension on Tuesday. I missed his first lecture on the nature of Angels and the Nativity earlier this year.

    Teaser: Many of us think about the Ascension event from the viewpoint of middle ages artists. Jesus slowly Ascending by himself into the clouds and quietly disappearing from sight. Wrong. Accompanied by the Choir of Angels. Trumpets. Exaltation of Jesus. Maybe thousands of Angels present. Maybe millions. An AWESOME sight. Full of sound and glory. Escorted by the choir of angels.

    Msg Pope contrasted the Ascension of Jesus with the Descent of Jesus at the Nativity. Jesus descending into the nature of man at the Nativity. Descending through the various hierarchical levels of the choir of angels form the pinnacle of the Divine Throne Room of God to a poor baby’s manger in Bethlehem. Which he argues came as a shock to the angels.

    What could possibly shock the angels even more? Jesus ascending back to the throne of God with a dual human and divine nature.

    The really startling insight from Msg Pope is that in the Ascension event Jesus pulled mankind with him into the throne room of God. That trip EXALTED MANKIND. Raised mankind. Retrieved mankind from original sin. Think about it.

    How the Msg described it: At the Ascension Jesus EXALTED humans, which Msg. called — these little mud dolls — above the Angels. Astounding concept really. This got us into a discussion of the fall of the angels. The Exaltation of the scrawny, weak, stupid, smelly mud dolls must have really stunned the angels.

    Msg. talked about how the Patristic fathers viewed the parable of the lost sheep and how it differs from our perception of that parable today. He says the early Fathers interpreted the 99 sheep the Shepherd left as the choir of angels. The lost sheep he sought out is mankind. Similarly, he discussed the parable of the lost coin. The woman searches the whole house and upon finding the lost coin (mankind) calls her neighbors (angels) in for a party which probably cost more than the lost coin.

    You get the idea. And you can ask questions too. And did I say it is free? Next Tuesday at 8:00PM Eastern. Register. Be there or be square.

    Liked by 6 people

        1. Lo and behold here is Tuesday’s lecture on the Angels and the Ascension.

          Now everybody can be caught up and ready for next Tuesday’s lecture.

          Liked by 5 people

        2. Thanks for the link, Ed. I absolutely LOVE the work and teachings of Msgr. Pope and I look forward to having a listen to his talk later. Years ago, Fr. Wang gave a retreat about angels with a comprehensive presentation concerning their attributes and various roles. In addition to the scholarly theological material, Father tapped into some wonderful understandings which he gleaned from the writings of Church mystics. The retreat was a gold mine of treasures. We compiled a bibliography on angels for the retreatants and one of my favorite selections is Peter Kreeft’s Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know about Them?

          Liked by 5 people

  27. I am just off the phone to my mum in Scotland and she sounded clear and strong and well. We had a long chat. Thank you all for your prayers. She has come back literally from the brink of death. She loves life and it is so good to still have her with us. She loves hearing that people all over the world are praying for her so when her time does comes I am sure she will be a good friend in heaven to you all.

    My friend Luke is still at the end of his life. His doctors have given him days to live. The pain from his cancer is considerable but manageable and his four eldest girls take turns to watch with him. They pray the rosary and the prayers for the dying together. He is never alone and takes great comfort in this. His priest brings him communion. So thank you for your prayers for him too.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. JoeCro, thinking of you and your Mum and friend, Luke. Will remember you all at Adoration today. Also, just saw that the film about Garabandal will begin showing in the US the first of February. It’s not showing, yet, in my state, but sent them a request to have it shown here. Thanks for the heads up many months ago.

      Liked by 5 people

    1. It seems to me that Governor Cuomo is a very angry, bitter and unhappy man. Perhaps he was disillusioned by the failure of his marriage. I never see him smiling or expressing joy. I wonder if he is living out his anger and unhappiness in embracing positions like his radical stance on abortion. I wonder if he is craves the approval of those whom he considers to be right-thinking people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Frank, you are most likely correct in your thinking. The cracks in the garden hose work both ways. They can let the nasties in too. A good lesson for us all here – what to do with our wounds? First and best, unite them to those of Our Dear Lord; and then go about mending/healing them dispassionately but with true justice, i.e., with no hatred or revenge-seeking, simply with the truth and righteousness that the Gospel shines with. If we do nothing but dwell on those wounds they will fester. I read somewhere that the masons at the top when looking for members, seek out well-known people who have been jilted, betrayed or somehow overlooked. I wonder why?

        Liked by 5 people

      1. Wow, the signatures numbered about 1500 when I signed earlier and is 68,000 now! Way to go everyone who has signed and is sharing. I am not sure what the ramifications of the numerous petitions are or will be, however, I’ve always been a numbers gal and it heartens me to see people taking time out of their busy days to at least to stand up and be counted. Today a signature, tomorrow a yellow vest? ❤

        Liked by 4 people

  28. Anyone have good ways to confront the cowardice in our church among clergy. For example, what does a person need to do to deserve excommunication in our church these days? And what of the Kentucky Bishops who fail to give aid and comfort to the faithful who are under attack. It reminds me of the cowardice and appeasement of Neville Chamberlain during a great war in the last century. And appeasement of our enemies never works.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Bob– I just emailed Archbishop Kurtz. He is our interim bishop in Memphis until we are assigned a new one. I told him in no uncertain terms how devastated we are about his response to the terrible treatment these Covington boys are receiving. As a cradle Catholic I grew up idolizing priests, but at this point I have no problem speaking to them the truth of my disappointments in their unshepherd-like behavior.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Actually, it’s connected to David Daleiden and his work at CMP, Doug, and it looks like they’ve legally got PP in a firm grasp for accountability of truth. It’s a brief read when you access the link. May we all intercede with the angels, saints and holy souls.

        Liked by 5 people

          1. I’m sure that’ll be forthcoming, Doug, when the time is just right. In the meanwhile, I think it’s good to focus some prayer and sacrifice on what’s now underway as revealed in the article.

            Liked by 4 people

  29. I signed up for Jesse Romero’s Archbishop Sheen’s reflections:
    “We Need To Fall In Love With The Lord”
    There was a priest who had a high office in one diocese. He was removed from office principally because of alcoholism. He went to another diocese but continued to give scandal. He happened to come into a retreat when I was talking about the holy hour, and he made the holy hour from that time on. He died in the presence of the blessed sacrament a month or two later. He had been battling drunkenness for years. But he overcame it in the end because of the expulsive power of the new affection. He fell in love with the Lord. Why do we not have zeal? Simply because we’re not in love. Once we’re on fire we’ll do anything. When we love the Lord, we want to be with him. That is love’s first effect.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. What a strong assessment by Msgr. Pope. The Church really needs more men and women like him.

      He is growing on me. I will follow him more closely from here on out.

      Reading his admonition it struck me that Cuomo is reprising the role of BOTH Ahab and Jezebel from the Book of Kings. Or more precisely the story of Ahab and Jezebel. Ahab was the King of Israel who had eyes on acquiring territory —- land —- expanding his Kingdom in in the area along the Mediterranean belonging to the powerful Phoenicians to the Northwest. So, Ahab, the Politician, married Jezebel who was the daughter of the Canaanite King of Phoenicia from the city of Sidon. He got the land. But in getting the land he dragged into Israel a Trojan Horse of sorts in the person of Jezebel. She brought with her the infamous devotion to the god of the Phoenicians ….. Baal.

      Baal was a fertility god. One of the seven princes of Hell. In particular, he was the god of rain and good crops. Child sacrifice lay at the heart of Baal worship. Ahab, the King of Israel, permitted Jezebel to set up temples of Baal worship. And he himself began the practice of Baal worship. Worse, he dragged the people of Israel into pursuing the practice.

      Families would literally joyfully offer their first born children as a burnt sacrifice to Baal. The rationalized the act as a quick sending of their beloved child to a wonderful place. It was their great fortune to be so quickly sent to the happy and fruitful abode of the god of rain and good crops. A temple to Baal was even set up in Jerusalem in the Valley of Gehenna or Hinnom.

      “The Valley of Hinnom is the modern name for the valley surrounding Jerusalem’s Old City, including Mount Zion, from the west and south. It meets and merges with the Kidron Valley, the other principal valley around the Old City, near the southeastern corner of the city.”

      Ahab made the practice public policy. Ahab embraced child sacrifice for land. Cuomo has embraced child sacrifice for VOTES.

      Both Ahab and Jezebel met with grizzly ends.

      The old saying may be true. There is nothing new under the sun.

      Through the efforts of the prophets the practice of child sacrifice in the fire of Baal’s ovens was overthrown in Israel.

      We need more men like Msgr. Charles Pope.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Throughout the ages, God’s children have lived a cycle of entering into the Covenant He made with us, then breaking it, then enduring the purification which our sins demanded and, finally, returning to repent and keep God’s Commandments which give us life in abundance!

        Liked by 5 people

  30. “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

    Liked by 8 people

  31. Yes!! …. we must think about all The Blessings/Good Things …. but stand ready to defend same!!

    HeartLight Daily Verse – 25 January

    Philippians 4:8
    Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.

    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    Our actions follow our thoughts like a heat-seeking missile follows the exhaust of a jet fighter’s engine. So in a day when so much around us trains us to find the negative in life, we must aggressively think and pursue the character, the qualities, and the things of God’s goodness.

    Holy and Magnificent God, thank you for being better than anything my world can offer me. Thank you for calling me to a higher standard than the world accepts. Thank you for giving me the promise of a better future than any human can imagine. Thank you for giving me a high calling. In Jesus’ holy name I pray. Amen.
    Visit for more

    & ….. YUP!! ;-(

    Planned Parenthood Did More Than 2 Million Abortions While Funded by Republican House


    The “New” Face of Democrat Party USA:

    Ben Stein: Stalin, Hitler ‘Came to Power Promising Same Things Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Promising’

    McConnell on Covington: ‘These Kids…Met With…Hatred from People Who…Had No Idea What Had Taken Place’

    MAGA caps under fire as Trump-haters blame his supporters

    Make No Mistake!! The LGBT assault on the USA Military is just part of the godless Global Left’s Strategy/Agenda to destroy EVERYTHING that made our USA great!:

    Last Court Barrier to Military Transgender Ban Likely to Fall

    Democrats Are Border Crisis Deniers

    Will Bishops Coodle, Foodle, and Noodle Address the Crisis?

    Disgraced Cardinal Must Not Address Catholic Conference


    Liked by 4 people

            1. Within the last ten years my wife and I attended the opera “Boris Godunov” by Modest Mussorgsky at the Metropolitan Opera. It wasn’t until I was in my seat when it hit me (duh!) that this is where Boris Badenov got his name from. The writers of “Rocky and His Friends” were steeped in culture (after several seasons the show would change it names to the “Bullwinkle Show” aka “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends”).

              I always knew that the great character actor Edward Everett Horton was the narrator of “Fractured Fairy Tales” but I never realized that William Conrad (a film actor who gained fame on TV as “Cannon”) narrated the the Rocky & Bullwinkle portions.

              I think we drifted off topic.

              Liked by 3 people

        1. Sorry, Doug, but both you and Beckita made me laugh! Boris and Natasha! And then I think about Rocky…the squirrel. Thanks, I needed that! 🙂

          Liked by 8 people

  32. GOOD NEWS …. and in just about every Diocesan Chancery ……….?????…………
    If one looks into upheavels of the past, it is not unusual to find seemingly insignifacant events that triggered a DELUGE.

    SCOOP: ‘Defamation Dream Team’ of Five Law Firms Assembling to Take on Journalists, Media Outlets, and Celebrities Who Attacked Covington Kids


    Liked by 5 people

  33. About 2 weeks ago, I received a notice from the promoters of the Garabandal movie. Not sure if we’re a large enough city to influence bringing it here. Still hoping we can host it yet we’re ready to drive if it shows in a larger city. For those of you near any of these places, it’d be a beauty of a film to see.

    Liked by 9 people

  34. I’m posting this primarily to make The Point that the 50% of “catholics” that Vote Democrat … to include many, MANY Diocesan “BIGS” …. is the sad fact that … they are a part of this never Trump Resistance Movement …. resistance to Trump who, astoundingly, appears to be the most PRO-LIFE…. Christian …. President in 60 years….. 60 years ago being Pro-Life/Christian was a given …. even if you were the philandering “catholic” JFK.

    Post-Bail Roger Stone Press Conference and Full Resistance Theatrics…


    Liked by 6 people

    1. A few years ago, a local Pastor (now retired) after celebrating mass was approached by parishioners declaring : “How dare you… don’t you know we’re Democrats”.

      His homily spoke of the atrocity of Abortion, our need to stop and pray to end Abortion in Glens Falls. This was concurrent with our fortydays for life prayer campaign.

      Liked by 4 people

  35. Well!… There Ya are then!!.. His ’eminence” hath spoken… if Ya folks who, are unfortunate enough to, live in that Archdiocese happen to have one …. it’s time to …. Fix Bayonets!!!!

    Cardinal Dolan: Excommunicating Andrew Cuomo “Not an Appropriate Response” for Legalizing Abortions Up to Birth


    Liked by 4 people

      1. Beckita, Dolan’s lame statement is both stunning and puzzling. Incomprehensible. Apparently he has a deliberately blind eye to the consequences to both the Church and the country by letting this slide.

        More importantly, his weak response is likely to be used by many considering an abortion as a green light from the top. Matthew, Mark and Luke warned of the dire consequences for those who become a “stumbling block” or a source of confusion to the innocent “leading them into temptation” to sin. That, in my mind is what Dolan is doing. “Cardinal Dolan says its ok!” “The Supreme Court says its ok!”

        Luke Chapter 17

        Temptations to Sin.
        1 He said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur.

        2 It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

        3 Be on your guard!* If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

        4 And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”

        Our brother Cuomo clearly should be “rebuked” and if he repents he should be forgiven. See any repentance in brother Cuomo? Only a doubling down into Baal worship. Cardinal Dolan should be rebuked for his silence in the face of this Scandal to all our “little ones” in the faith who are going to be temped to the sin of abortion by his lame response.

        Lord have mercy, indeed.

        Here is what we should be concerned about and what we should anticipate:

        “Indeed I tremble for my country when reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!”
        Thomas Jefferson — Notes on the State ofVirginia

        A revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation in America seems to be warranted and earned by our refusal to put down this evil sin of abortion. That goes for all the Catholics in the pews who go out and vote for actors like Andrew Cuomo. Supernatural interference? Millstone?

        Lord have mercy.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. If the sayng ‘bad laws make outlaws’ what and how does Cardinal Dolan’s comment affect us? When Cuomo appears before God, may he he say ‘Dolan’ said I was ‘OK’ ?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I didn’t take it as a “comment” so much as a prudent judgment. And he’s right in so far as saying it’s not an appropriate response to excommunicate politicians who support abortion (i.e. – wield Church authority as a political weapon). Be honest, folks, that’s the way many want to use the power of the Church as a knee-jerk reaction in these times. What good has ever came out of The Church when it got too political?!

        Consider what’s at stake –– every spiritual facet –– and then step prudently and purposefully. And get comfortable living the Gospel with maximum vulnerability and humility. God’s way.

        Still incensed? Well, consider that God has eternity to punish the unrepentant… or better yet, wade into the deepest parts of the morass (with prayer and sacrifice) to pluck a poor brother and sister from the grasp of satan.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, I think excommunication can be applied in justice, without an attitude of anger or revenge. The opinion of the canon lawyer in this home is that it would be an apropos action in this case and in many others. I agree and do so with real love, care and prayer for the governor to have a change of heart. And I also have to say it would not be an automatic or rash action. This issue has been discussed aplenty over the years. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the problem twelve years ago aboard a plane on 5/9/07:
          ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) – Pope Benedict on Wednesday warned Catholic politicians they risked excommunication from the Church and should not receive communion if they support abortion.

          It was the first time that the Pope, speaking to reporters aboard the plane taking him on a trip to Brazil, dealt in depth with a controversial topic that has come up in many countries, including the United States, Mexico, and Italy.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It could indeed be applied and be just, but I think my point is still valid as far as people who want to wield the authority of the Church as a political weapon.

            Say this fella’s Bishop does excommunicate him. Not being flip here, but do you think it happens on some dusty road with few to witness it? No, it’s splashed across the media from here to Timbuktu and to what end? Does it end the horror of abortion? Fat chance, since the wicked get all worked up and double down yet again if they keep to form.

            I think of John 7 and the adulterous woman. The law was clear on that matter as well. It would indeed have been just, under the law, to stone her, but Our Good Lord had something else entirely to say about it –– and in a most unexpected way.

            That’s my point. That’s where I think we continue to “miss it.” The temptation to bring a gun to a gun fight in worldly matters.

            One side standing there with rocks…. Mercy bending down to draw something in the dust.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh I see the importance of Mercy, MP. I do. And I see the danger of riling up the dander of the masses. Yes I do. Then, again, has not the dander of the masses of ordinary Catholics already been riled by not justly holding to account those who already are splashed across the media as they themselves flaunt their disobedience to God’s Law? And here’s the other very important thing: God’s Justice is the very Fiber of His Mercy. They are ONE. He IS Mercy and He IS Justice. What if the act of excommunication bears a moment of clarity for one who seems only disdainful in his/her error? And isn’t it a mega factor of why we’re simmering in this stinkin’ stew that too many have been apathetic and silent in the face of injustice? When I agree with the need for excommunication, I am sad to tears welling because I think of our Holy Mother. These are her kids for whom she walked with her Son on the Via Dolorosa and stood at the Foot of His Cross. Surely she yearns for every one of her kids to be with her when her Triumph is complete.


              1. I was standing at a bargain table at the book store this morning and found Dan Baldacci’s, “Long Road to Mercy,” which is probably why the title of “Mercy” was fresh on my mind. A quick scan of the inset let me know that “Mercy” was the name of a girl.

                Certainly I have respect for the Canon Lawyer in residence at your Parish. Indeed, I have respect for anyone who has put in the hard work to get credentialed mastery in any legitimate field.

                Yep, He is Justice and Mercy. Thanks for the quick review. That said, I don’t usually find folks referring to him under the title of “Justice,” as much as “Mercy.” I suppose I was pondering The Church in the form of the prostitute, face down in the dust as she was… there between the hypocrites and Our Lord.

                Yes, Our Mother. How much sadness over The Church in this wretched state, but you know well that The Church is not just Clergy (faithful, errant or otherwise), but you and all the rest here, me, and all the Faithful with all of our pride, faults and sinfulness. Yes, how very much I keep my eyes fixed on Mercy.

                The difference for me, and many I know, is we’re not riled. Not unaware, not apathetic… certainly not silent, much less inactive. Because The Church doesn’t solely rest on the shoulder’s of the Clergy, as you well know.

                Love and mercy (forgiveness) are two things we are entrusted with and can share with impunity.

                I don’t have a roadmap to the future other than what has been given in the Gospel, and I see that as more of a way of living than a roadmap. I’m going with that. Others can choose their own routes, but neither of us is foolish enough to think that some of those routes won’t end in disaster.

                You simply can’t go wrong wearing yourself out in love and mercy.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. True, MP, but out of love, a parent stops a child from running in front of a speeding car. It seems like excommunication might be the only thing to keep some public figures from running in front of that speeding car.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Charlie was speaking of the fine line that he’s concerned about, Kim. I appreciate your thoughts, because we are working this out and it’s sometimes a thing of beauty, but mostly messy if we’re honest with ourselves.

                    Does it appear that I reference Love and Mercy in an unbalanced way? Could very well be. Partly, I think of St. Faustina and her Church approved writings. Also, a particular story about St. Francis of Assisi being beaten, robbed, stripped, thrown into a hole and left for dead (good news… he popped out of that hole praising God).

                    What Catholic hasn’t contemplated Love on The Cross? What a great mystery that facet of The Father’s Love for His Son. Frightening and terrible on the surface, I would say.

                    Some might even be thinking that Beckita (or poor Jen, Doug, Patrick, Phil, or whoever) doesn’t deserve a tussle from me, but I’ll tell you the fact of the matter. My sister from a big family, B, would be the first to chuckle at that, and the others ought to know they have my respect and admiration for their unique personas, talents and balance. I think I mentioned it earlier, that I too suggest things sometimes as a counter balance when discerned appropriate.

                    I know we all want to be clear and edify our brothers in sisters in a good way, but our limitations and the venue often don’t permit that. Granted, sometimes I’ll just reach over and pull someone away from the edge without a lot of ceremony, like I sometimes do with folks on the trail.

                    At the moment, I’m pondering Charlie’s recent title, “The End of the Beginning – Part I.” Admittedly, I chuckled at that one, and not in a derisory or dismissive way. What came to mind is one particular mountain trail that I’ve had my kids on… that point where we reached the peak they’d been looking at for miles. Good news –– the peak. Bad news –– that wasn’t THE peak. The climb was just getting warmed up, as the ultimate goal had been temporarily obscured from their line of vision due to the first peak. Yeah, they grumbled and let me have it… but every single one of them made the climb and was glad for it.

                    Liked by 3 people

                    1. Very nice post, MP. I am well aware of the need for different gifts. It is good that some emphasize mercy more and other emphasize justice more…but it is a fine line we walk. I was just speaking last night with a fellow who does some intense public work and has beefed up his team – and with a few very edgy people. I congratulated him and said he should do more, for I have always been an advocate of the dynamic tension that comes from having people with sometimes radically different perspective. If we are agreed as to fundamental ends, it makes us better, even if it can be a challenge to manage competing strong personalities.

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                    2. Awww MP. I’ve never doubted your good will or your respect for all people in our many, varied and sometimes unusual ways of being. I don’t perceive a personal tussle at all. These topics deserve serious and in-depth thinking and reasoning. As for the need for the many gifts, Charlie, today’s second reading says it well. (I could simply reference the passage but sometimes it’s easier just to see it without clicking.)

                      (P.S. MP, smiling at your reference to the big family dynamics. Grew up as a member of the 5 Girls and 5 Boys Club. I’m told that in a clan where colic reigned in all the babies, I was first place in screaming loudest, longest and hardest. By 8th grade, my close circle of girlfriends pulled me aside to inform me that I was rather bossy. Totally unaware, I was mortified. Father and I poke fun at each other when the discussions become sometimes intense around here. He’ll gently say there’s my Mother Superior and I’m not shy to say that the JUD has spoken. 🙂 And it’s all good.)

                      Brothers and sisters:
                      As a body is one though it has many parts,
                      and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
                      so also Christ.
                      For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
                      whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
                      and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

                      Now the body is not a single part, but many.
                      If a foot should say,
                      “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body, ”
                      it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.
                      Or if an ear should say,
                      “Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body, ”

                      it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.
                      If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be?
                      If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
                      But as it is, God placed the parts,
                      each one of them, in the body as he intended.
                      If they were all one part, where would the body be?
                      But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
                      The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you, ”
                      nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you.”
                      Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker
                      are all the more necessary,
                      and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable
                      we surround with greater honor,
                      and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety,
                      whereas our more presentable parts do not need this.
                      But God has so constructed the body
                      as to give greater honor to a part that is without it,
                      so that there may be no division in the body,
                      but that the parts may have the same concern for one another.
                      If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it;
                      if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.

                      Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.
                      Some people God has designated in the church
                      to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers;
                      then, mighty deeds;
                      then gifts of healing, assistance, administration,
                      and varieties of tongues.
                      Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?
                      Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing?
                      Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

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                    3. So you were bossy Beckita, eh? My mother used to tell the story about how she once told me I had to stop telling my friends what to do all the time. She said I looked at her, honestly puzzled, and replied, “But Mom, if I don’t tell them what to do we wouldn’t do anything.” She gave up, consoling herself that my friends really didn’t seem to mind and we almost never squabbled. (in truth, I was gifted at coming up with really fun games and stuff. No one who hung around me failed to be entertained.)

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                    4. Hahaha! Love it, Charlie. And you’re still entertaining. 😉 Eight years ago, out of the blue, after years of disconnect, one of the girls, now women, from our group – we’re talking a group that formed in kindergarten, 55 years prior to the reconnect – contacted the bunch of us and we all met at her lake house in North Carolina. When I brought up the bossy episode, they laughed and said they were the obnoxious ones. Their memories were of a fun, sweet, spunky kid that strove to include the greatest and the least, always seeking unity that no one be left out. Pretty cool how so many character traits show up at a young age and continue to develop throughout life.

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                    5. The thread about families and tussles reminds me of a plaque I once saw that said: I’ll be home for Christmas… and in therapy by New Year’s!

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                    6. My oldest granddaughter was terribly bossy with her little brother when they were littler – and would often get in trouble for it, including from me. One day, it hit her really hard how mean she had been. My own childhood came in handy. I sat down alone with her and asked if she could guess who else had been incredibly bossy when he was a child. She was just teary – and then I said that I had been. That got her attention – because both the kids loved their “Poppy.” I told her that as she got older, if she learned how to reign it in, it could become a very good thing. At times of trouble, people often need someone who can break paralysis and show them how to go…but it causes a lot of trouble and resentment if it is not brought under control. We talked about that for a while – and then I told her that while it was true that she was too bossy, there was something else true about how she treated her brother…that I had noticed that whenever he was feeling bad or got hurt, she was amazingly tender in caring for him and helping him to feel better again. Her eyes lit up in recognition as she said, “I am, aren’t I?” It didn’t put an end to her natural bossiness or her natural sweet nurturing nature – but she saw it in a different way, watching for the former and backing away when she recognized it, knowing that she was a work in progress (and she loved the idea that it was the same as her Poppy) – and downright proud of – and taking care to hone her own nurturing kindness. Once again, even our flaws can be used to help bring reconciliation as a healing balm.

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                    7. So Beautiful! What a totally precious and life-giving story, Charlie. I LOVE reasoning with my granddaughters about life, feelings, ideas and relationships. Our power hour is in the mornings before school begins and comes to a close as we drive to the school building, praying along the way as well as brainstorming and reviewing ways they can be a sign of hope in their day. God bless all our grandchildren and families in this community.

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                    8. Hee hee. So it’s a contest now of who was the bossiest kid…

                      Not sure if this example qualifies, but I recall the many kids/little rascals in my neighborhood putting on a play that had something to do with cowboys and indians. Seems my older sisters cast me as indian #3, and I also recall various bossy kids vying for artistic control of the production.

                      Indians 1-3 had their parts starting in scene #2, but somehow I improvised a bit, taking a fake ‘bullet’, hitting the ground, and rolling off the set through a small hole in the hedge.

                      After the play, awards, neighborhood potluck and whatnot, my angry sisters came looking for me and found me in my room.

                      “You bailed in the middle of our play! What happened to you?”

                      “Came home to write a better play,” said I.

                      BTW, B, the average number of kids per family at my school was 7! What a relief for the faculty when the rest of my clan finally graduated. Ahh, the good old days.

                      Liked by 3 people

                    9. Oh My Goodness, MP! I am laughing my ever lovin’ head off. Your example qualifies to the max. Gosh if all the kids were as artistic and poetic as you, you must have been quite an improvising, creative clan. Sounds like you had a good Catholic school in your upbringing. I did too. My whole world, from kindergarten through 8th grade, revolved around the church and school – also comprised of large families in those days – which were two blocks from home. Oh and the Ben Franklin Store, two extra blocks beyond the church, loaded with a hundred different kinds of penny candy, so it seemed, and all manner of arts and crafts supplies.

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              2. Beckita, I can surely appreciate both sides, as well. Growing up and learning (at least what we’ve been taught) about history, so many times, I asked, how in my lifetime could this have happened? What was the Church doing to stop this? Now we are at a point where we are facing the enemy within. Action is warranted. Praying for discernment for us all. God’s will be done. ❤

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                1. That’s it, Jen… discernment… with listening for Holy Spirit’s lead with the prompt response of doing what Christ is telling us to do, whether clergy, religious or lay person.

                  Liked by 1 person

              3. Sometimes the most loving response is to kick a person out. Lambzie and had to do this with our daughter when she was younger. I broke the news to her and she screamed that I hate her and stormed out. I had to go for a 1/2 hour walk to pray and ponder. It was difficult, but we held our ground. We intended to give her 30 days and help her find a place, but with zero financial support from use. It really pained us to have to do this. Years later, she came to me and said “Dad, that was one of the best things you did for me”. We are closer now than we have ever been. I think this is not far from paralleling this situation. Blessings!

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                1. Thank you for your witness.

                  I thank my Godfather today for chastising me for wearing skimpy bathing suits back in the day. He used to say “what are you advertising”

                  He was right. I discounted him at the time but I finally listened because I know he truly cared for me.

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                  1. Haaa! Thank you Littleone. Lambzie was the heavy with that with our two twin daughters who are now 31. I commend your God Father and Lambzie!

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            2. MP, I think it is about his soul. If one takes a strong “public stance” and does not respond to private rubuke, then I believe a strong public rebuke is in order for both the benefit of the persons soul and due to the scandal it has caused. I think of the gospel. If your brother sins, show him his fault. If he refuses to repent, bring two others from the congregation. If he still refuses, bring in front of the church publically. If he still refuses, then treat him like a sinner or a tax collector (I know this is not literal and I am paraphrasing a bit, but basically need to kick them out).

              We may be dealing with compromised bishops as I alluded to in an earlier comment which could explain a tepid response. I can’t say how this will play out, but I do pray for all in the situation.

              Liked by 2 people

    2. Crewdog, Dolan’s gobsmackingly lame response reminds me of Chief Justice John Roberts pretzel twisting word weaseling contortions to “constitutionalize” the Obamacare nightmare. As in the Roberts case the inscrutable question is WHY?

      Some claim that the proponents of Obamacare — The Left — had the goods on Roberts. And threatened to use them. Roberts was compromised in some unknown way.

      Dolan does have long held contacts and relationships in Washington and we can bet in Albany as well, if not all around the country. He does not come at this Cuomo problem, and scandal for the rest of us, from a vacuum of influences due to his past interactions with the political world.

      Usually, the admonition to follow the money is warranted in the case of politicians both in the political party and their counterparts in the Church. Money explains a lot of action.

      As a generalization, I would say it is not inaccurate to characterize our Bishops and Cardinals as very PRACTICAL men. Worldly wise. They have worldly considerations they cannot ignore to guide the path of the Church in these times. Taxation of Church property and income is one of them. Deduction of charitable contributions is another. Balancing the donations of Pro-Lifer Catholics in the pews against the donations of Pro-Murder Catholics in the pews. The homosexual abuse scandal among the clergy complicates all of this. The threat is from State Attorney generals and State legislatures.

      Dolan, IMO, is both part of the Left and fearful of the Left at the same time. The Left can support the Church’s domestic political agenda as well as drop a ton of costly bricks on the Church if it gets out of line. The political Left enforces towing the line, or else. Dolan, and MANY OTHER BISHOPS, are not inclined to get out of line — either within the Church or within the Left political sphere. Cowardly? or Practical?

      Walking through life hand in hand with Marxist Atheist Ideologues, who both use and hate the Church, is a slippery slope for a Catholic priest on the State or local level and for the Bishops and Cardinals on the National level.

      In doing so, IMO, Cardinal Dolan and other Bishops and Clergy are skirting dangerously close to that millstone Jesus talked about in Mathew, Mark and Luke.

      Liked by 2 people

  36. Dear fellow Steppers

    Pslmfortysix recently posted a link to a good article by Bishop Barron to Charlies last piece. I thought it was worth re-quoting part of Bishop Barron’s approach to commenting. I had not heard of the phrase “virtue-signalling” that BB uses. I live and learn.

    Bearing this in mind and especially aware of how far I have to go I also thought it was worth reposting Padre Pio. His words have helped me. I hope they help you.

    First Padre Pio

    Click to access the-value-of-suffering.pdf

    Then Bishop Barron:

    “When you’re about to make a comment, ask yourself a very simple question: “Am I doing this out of love, out of a sincere wish for the good of the person or persons I’m addressing?” If not, shut up. If it becomes clear that your comment is simply spleen-venting, scapegoating, or virtue-signalling, shut up. The internet can be a marvelous tool, and it can be a weapon used for Satanic purposes. Applying the test of love can very effectively undermine the scapegoating mechanism and drive the devil out.”

    My friend who is dying says he is suffering considerably right now and that he would worry if he were not.

    Now there is a Christian death.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for this excerpt, Joe. Such wise counsel from Bishop Barron, exactly matching the comment policy which Charlie established at the inception of TNRS and carried over with us to ASOH. And which Mick, SteveBC and I (co-administrators) have honored as we delightedly support Charlie in also moderating comments. Because of this, we have a cyber home where respect and emotional control are paramount even as we sometimes disagree. Do people blow it sometimes? Why, of course, yes. Some of the most beautiful examples of Christian charity which I have observed occurred at TNRS. When some people blew it, they simply, sincerely and completely apologized while the other received and acknowledged those apologies and we carried on. Bishop Barron gave his counsel in response to the horrific, vindictive, raging and denigrating ways people online send fiery barbs in comments in these days. And it is just as important to recall even in such an incredibly well-managed Christian site as this.

      In gratitude for what we are here, let’s review the comment policy at ASOH:

      The views and opinions expressed in the comments section are those of the commenters and do not necessarily reflect mine or other administrators’ views. I encourage a wide range of comments here – treat it kind of like an Irish pub where we can sit and reason (and sometimes wrestle) with each other. That said, this is a faithfully orthodox site and I do not give space to those who try to disparage either the Catholic Church or the Christian faith of others who we count as brethren.

      We do not vouch for links in comments. We check those links that we embed in our posts or list on the side. If we find a link leads to a site that is clearly contrary to faith and morals, it will be removed.

      Stating some rules that need to be re-stated as we grow, added in late September, 2014 with an influx of new readers:

      To new readers, here are a couple of things to be aware of if you want to comment here:

      1) No vulgarities or simple ugly name-calling. Period.

      2) I am Catholic, so this website has a decidedly Catholic flavor. But I have a deep respect for the profound faith of many of our Protestant and Jewish brethren. My commitment is that we are to treat all faithful Protestants and Jews as full partners in the work before us. God, Himself, will see to the unity of the faithful. There are no junior partners here.

      3) We do not engage in the “Jane, you ignorant slut” style of debate so popular on so many blogs today. If you look back at the archives (and if it is a particular subject or person in the news that interests you, just enter the name in the search feature and it will pull up all articles related to that person or subject) you will see from comments – and even a guest column – that I both encourage and welcome people to offer serious, clearly stated opinions that are different than mine. Properly understood, debate should lead us closer to truth. A sneer is not a substitute for an argument here, so if that is all you can muster, please go somewhere else.

      4) We believe that when we are commanded that we should not bear false witness, that does not just mean we should only tell the truth about people we like or agree with – but that we should not bear false witness against anyone, even Hitler or Stalin. If someone has chosen evil their actions will speak for themselves. If we add to it to try to further discredit them, we simply are adopting evil, ourselves. Take the time to make sure your facts are reasonably accurate.

      5) I understand that in the modern world, people frequently want to jump into the middle of a debate without seeing what is already said. We treat each other seriously and with respect here. If you want to jump in, use the search feature to at least see what has been said recently on a subject.

      6) The comments make up at least half of the best stuff in each article – and in some cases have been meatier and more inspirational than the column itself. You are missing something if you don’t check them out. By doing so, you will also get an idea of the tone here.

      7) When making a factual claim that is not common knowledge, please provide a credible reference – preferably a link – to the source so people can assess it. Wikipedia, while a good place to start getting some information, is NOT a reliable reference.

      I have waded through several efforts at comments that used scatological descriptions of homosexuals (make your point – do it effectively enough and you do not need ugly descriptors), challenged me to explain how I could defend people like Cardinal Dolan (already explained. Use the search feature. If you want to jump in, it is your job to get up to snuff – not mine to repeat material we have all been through), or simply trying to bash one denomination or another. That is not to say we are nice and don’t say hard things or make tough criticisms – but it must be based in evidence rather than simply emoting feelings – and all is designed to build up the people of God, not to tear each other down.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Some old Charlie quotes from the old website:

        What you desire most is most effective against you. Desire God and all shall be added”

        “When you are confused, hold fast to the Barque of Peter.
        When you are in despair, acknowledge God.
        When you don’t understand, take the next right step.
        When you think you can’t go on another minute, be a sign of hope to those around you.
        Call on the name of the Lord.
        Take refuge under Mary’s mantle.

        Many terrible and frightening things are happening. Know that it is not for our destruction, but for our reclamation. As the chaos deepens, lift up your head and know that your deliverance is at hand.”

        From me, a Joke used in the late 80’s early 90’s, how far (PC) we have come. Today, too many mental midgits, snowflakes and not enough ‘the strongest survive’ type of people.

        NYPD FBI CIA & a rabbit

        The NYPD, The FBI, and the CIA are all trying to prove that they are the best at apprehending criminals. The President decides to give them a test.He releases a rabbit into a forest and each of them has to catch it.

        The CIA goes in. They place animal informants throughout the forest. They question all plant and mineral witnesses. After three months of extensive investigations they conclude that rabbits do not exist.

        The FBI goes in. After two weeks with no leads they burn the forest, killing everything in it, including the rabbit, and they make no apologies. The rabbit had it coming.

        The NYPD goes in. They come out two hours later with a badly beaten bear. The bear is yelling: “Okay! Okay! I’m a rabbit! I’m a rabbit!”

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Thanks for sharing these links, Joe. I was surprised that Bishop Barron commented on the Covington matter. He tends to not get caught up in case-by-case matters and sticks to solid theology even when addressing the varied segments of our populations, i.e. Google and YouTube employees. So I was intrigued by his statement on the matter. Furthermore, when he used the words *shut up* in the excerpt that you quoted, I sensed that Bishop Barron may be having to more say, case-by-case in the future. Time will tell. Things are heating up, and the signs are all around us. ❤

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    3. JoeCro, what a beautiful reminder from Saint Padre Pio. I especially like the quote about “suffering well.” I continue to work on that! It reminds me of something my sister said when my son was young and I was questioning my abilities as a mother trying to protect my son. I loosely quote: “We aren’t called to protect our children from suffering. We are called to teach them to suffer well. “

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      1. Made me think of the old hymn “Faith of Our Fathers” and one part in particular “How sweet would be their childrens’ fate if they like them could die for Thee.”

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