“A Prophetic Voice of Four Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church”

Bishop Athanasius Schneider has asked that this letter be shared widely. I respect this man for his wisdom, learning, and orthodoxy so here is the complete text of his letter, found at Catholic World Report, just click to go there:

A Prophetic Voice of Four Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Of course, I would like to have pasted the entire letter here, but for some odd reason I cannot cut and paste from the document I downloaded. Very odd, clearly I am missing some detail of technological skill. If the letter appears here, then I learned something new! Meanwhile, for those who would prefer to have the letter read to them, you can go to Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s website and listen to his podcast where-in he reads the letter.

“We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Cor. 13: 8)

A Prophetic Voice of Four Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church

Out of “deep pastoral concern,” four Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, His Eminence Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne (Germany), His Eminence Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of  Bologna (Italy), His Eminence Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and His Eminence Walter Brandmüller, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission of Historical Sciences, have published on November 14, 2016, the text of five questions, called dubia (Latin for “doubts”), which previously on September 19, 2016, they sent to the Holy Father and to Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, along with an accompanying letter. The Cardinals ask Pope Francis to clear up “grave disorientation and great confusion” concerning the interpretation and practical application, particularly of chapter VIII, of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and its passages relating to admission of remarried divorcees to the sacraments and the Church’s moral teaching.

In their statement entitled “Seeking Clarity: A Plea to Untie the Knots in Amoris Laetitia the Cardinals say that to “many — bishops, priests, faithful — these paragraphs allude to or even explicitly teach a change in the discipline of the Church with respect to the divorced who are living in a new union.” Speaking so, the Cardinals have merely stated real facts in the life of the Church. These facts are demonstrated by pastoral orientations on behalf of several dioceses and by public statements of some bishops and cardinals, who affirm that in some cases divorced and remarried Catholics can be admitted to Holy Communion even though they continue to use the rights reserved by Divine law to validly married spouses.

In publishing a plea for clarity in a matter that touches the truth and the sanctity simultaneously of the three sacraments of Marriage, Penance, and the Eucharist, the Four Cardinals only did their basic duty as bishops and cardinals, which consists in actively contributing so that the revelation transmitted through the Apostles might be guarded sacredly and might be faithfully interpreted. It was especially the Second Vatican Council that reminded all the members of the college of bishops as legitimate successors of the Apostles of their obligation, according to which “by Christ’s institution and command they have to be solicitous for the whole Church, and that this solicitude, though it is not exercised by an act of jurisdiction, contributes greatly to the advantage of the universal Church. For it is the duty of all bishops to promote and to safeguard the unity of faith and the discipline common to the whole Church” (Lumen gentium, 23; cf. also Christus Dominus, 5-6).

In making a public appeal to the Pope, bishops and cardinals should be moved by genuine collegial affection for the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ on earth, following the teaching of Vatican Council II (cf. Lumen gentium, 22);, in so doing they render “service to the primatial ministry” of the Pope (cf. Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, 13).

The entire Church in our days has to reflect upon the fact that the Holy Spirit has not in vain inspired Saint Paul to write in the Letter to the Galatians about the incident of his public correction of Peter. One has to trust that Pope Francis will accept this public appeal of the Four Cardinals in the spirit of the Apostle Peter, when St Paul offered him a fraternal correction for the good of the whole Church. May the words of that great Doctor of the Church, St Thomas Aquinas, illuminate and comfort us all: “When there is a danger for the faith, subjects are required to reprove their prelates, even publicly. Since Paul, who was subject to Peter, out of the danger of scandal, publicly reproved him. And Augustine comments: “Peter himself gave an example to superiors by not disdaining to be corrected by his subjects when it occurred to them that he had departed from the right path” (Summa theol., II-II, 33, 4c).

Pope Francis often calls for an outspoken and fearless dialogue between all members of the Church in matters concerning the spiritual good of souls. In the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, the Pope speaks of a need for “open discussion of a number of doctrinal, moral, spiritual, and pastoral questions. The thinking of pastors and theologians, if faithful to the Church, honest, realistic and creative, will help us to achieve greater clarity” (n. 2). Furthermore, relationships at all levels within the Church must be free from a climate of fear and intimidation, as Pope Francis has requested in his various pronouncements.

In light of these pronouncements of Pope Francis and the principle of dialogue and acceptance of legitimate plurality of opinions, which was fostered by the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the unusually violent and intolerant reactions on behalf of some bishops and cardinals against the calm and circumspect plea of the Four Cardinals cause great astonishment. Among such intolerant reactions one could read affirmations such as, for instance: the four Cardinals are witless, naive, schismatic, heretical, and even comparable to the Arian heretics.

Such apodictic merciless judgments reveal not only intolerance, refusal of dialogue, and irrational rage, but demonstrate also a surrender to the impossibility of speaking the truth, a surrender to relativism in doctrine and practice, in faith and life. The above-mentioned clerical reaction against the prophetic voice of the Four Cardinals parades ultimately powerlessness before the eyes of the truth. Such a violent reaction has only one aim: to silence the voice of the truth, which is disturbing and annoying the apparently peaceful nebulous ambiguity of these clerical critics.

The negative reactions to the public statement of the Four Cardinals resemble the general doctrinal confusion of the Arian crisis in the fourth century. It is helpful to all to quote in the situation of the doctrinal confusion in our days some affirmations of Saint Hilary of Poitiers, the “Athanasius of the West”.

“You [the bishops of Gaul] who still remain with me faithful in Christ did not give way when threatened with the onset of heresy, and now by meeting that onset you have broken all its violence. Yes, brethren, you have conquered, to the abundant joy of those who share your faith: and your unimpaired constancy gained the double glory of keeping a pure conscience and giving an authoritative example” (Hil. De Syn., 3).

“Your [the bishops of Gaul] invincible faith keeps the honourable distinction of conscious worth and, content with repudiating crafty, vague, or hesitating action, safely abides in Christ, preserving the profession of its liberty. For since we all suffered deep and grievous pain at the actions of the wicked against God, within our boundaries alone is communion in Christ to be found from the time that the Church began to be harried by disturbances such as the expatriation of bishops, the deposition of priests, the intimidation of the people, the threatening of the faith, and the determination of the meaning of Christ’s doctrine by human will and power. Your resolute faith does not pretend to be ignorant of these facts or profess that it can tolerate them, perceiving that by the act of hypocritical assent it would bring itself before the bar of conscience” (Hil. De Syn., 4).

“I have spoken what I myself believed, conscious that I owed it as my soldier’s service to the Church to send to you in accordance with the teaching of the Gospel by these letters the voice of the office which I hold in Christ. It is yours to discuss, to provide and to act, that the inviolable fidelity in which you stand you may still keep with conscientious hearts, and that you may continue to hold what you hold now” (Hil. De Syn., 92).

The following words of Saint Basil the Great, addressed to the Latin Bishops, can be in some aspects applied to the situation of those who in our days ask for doctrinal clarity, including our Four Cardinals: “The one charge which is now sure to secure severe punishment is the careful keeping of the traditions of the Fathers. We are not being attacked for the sake of riches, or glory, or any temporal advantages. We stand in the arena to fight for our common heritage, for the treasure of the sound faith, derived from our Fathers. Grieve with us, all you who love the brethren, at the shutting of the mouths of our men of true religion, and at the opening of the bold and blasphemous lips of all that utter unrighteousness against God. The pillars and foundation of the truth are scattered abroad. We, whose insignificance has allowed of our being overlooked, are deprived of our right of free speech” (Ep. 243, 2.4).

Today those bishops and cardinals, who ask for clarity and who try to fulfill their duty in guarding sacredly and faithfully interpreting the transmitted Divine Revelation concerning the Sacraments of Marriage and the Eucharist, are no longer exiled as it was with the Nicene bishops during the Arian crisis. Contrary to the time of the Arian crisis, today, as wrote Rudolf Graber, the bishop of Ratisbone, in 1973, exile of the bishops is replaced by hush-up strategies and by slander campaigns (cf. Athanasius und die Kirche unserer Zeit, Abensberg 1973, p. 23).

Another champion of the Catholic faith during the Arian crisis was Saint Gregory Nazianzen. He wrote the following striking characterization of the behavior of the majority of the shepherds of the Church in those times. This voice of the great Doctor of the Church should be a salutary warning for the bishops of all times: “Surely the pastors have done foolishly; for, excepting a very few, who either on account of their insignificance were passed over, or who by reason of their virtue resisted, and who were to be left as a seed and root for the springing up again and revival of Israel by the influences of the Spirit, all temporized, only differing from each other in this, that some succumbed earlier, and others later; some were foremost champions and leaders in the impiety, and others joined the second rank of the battle, being overcome by fear, or by interest, or by flattery, or, what was the most excusable, by their own ignorance” (Orat. 21, 24).

When Pope Liberius in 357 signed one of the so called formulas of Sirmium, in which he deliberately discarded the dogmatically defined expression “homo-ousios” and excommunicated Saint Athanasius in order to have peace and harmony with the Arian and Semi-Arian bishops of the East, faithful Catholics and some few bishops, especially Saint Hilary of Poitiers, were deeply shocked. Saint Hilary transmitted the letter that Pope Liberius wrote to the Oriental bishops, announcing the acceptance of the formula of Sirmium and the excommunication of Saint Athanasius. In his deep pain and dismay, Saint Hilary added to the letter in a kind of desperation the phrase: “Anathema tibi a me dictum, praevaricator Liberi” (I say to you anathema, prevaricator Liberius), cf. Denzinger-Schönmetzer, n. 141. Pope Liberius wanted to have peace and harmony at any price, even at the expense of the Divine truth. In his letter to the heterodox Latin bishops Ursace, Valence, and Germinius announcing to them the above-mentioned decisions, he wrote that he preferred peace and harmony to martyrdom (cf. cf. Denzinger-Schönmetzer, n. 142).

“In what a dramatic contrast stood the behavior of Pope Liberius to the following conviction of Saint Hilary of Poitiers: “We don’t make peace at the expense of the truth by making concessions in order to acquire the reputation of tolerance. We make peace by fighting legitimately according to the rules of the Holy Spirit. There is a danger to ally surreptitiously with unbelief under the beautiful name of peace.” (Hil. Ad Const., 2, 6, 2).

Blessed John Henry Newman commented on these unusual sad facts with the following wise and equilibrated affirmation: “While it is historically true, it is in no sense doctrinally false, that a Pope, as a private doctor, and much more Bishops, when not teaching formally, may err, as we find they did err in the fourth century. Pope Liberius might sign a Eusebian formula at Sirmium, and the mass of Bishops at Ariminum or elsewhere, and yet they might, in spite of this error, be infallible in their ex cathedra decisions” (The Arians of the Fourth Century, London, 1876, p. 465).

The Four Cardinals with their prophetic voice demanding doctrinal and pastoral clarity have a great merit before their own conscience, before history, and before the innumerable simple faithful Catholics of our days, who are driven to the ecclesiastical periphery, because of their fidelity to Christ’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage. But above all, the Four Cardinals have a great merit in the eyes of Christ. Because of their courageous voice, their names will shine brightly at the Last Judgment. For they obeyed the voice of their conscience remembering the words of Saint Paul: “We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Cor 13: 8). Surely, at the Last Judgment the above-mentioned mostly clerical critics of the Four Cardinals will not have an easy answer for their violent attack on such a just, worthy, and meritorious act of these Four Members of the Sacred College of Cardinals.

The following words inspired by the Holy Spirit retain their prophetic value especially in view of the spreading doctrinal and practical confusion regarding the Sacrament of Marriage in our days: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim. 4: 3-5).

May all, who in our days still take seriously their baptismal vows and their priestly and episcopal promises, receive the strength and the grace of God so that they may reiterate together with Saint Hilary the words: “May I always be in exile, if only the truth begins to be preached again!” (De Syn., 78). This strength and grace we wish wholeheartedly to our Four Cardinals and as well as to those who criticize them.

November 23, 2016

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

This letter can be found in many places around the internet. As I said, it was requested to be shared widely, so I am doing this. Check out both links as I find the writing in both places useful and edifying.

Dear Lord, please bless the Bishops who seek to do the job You have given them even when other people object. Please defend them and help us to listen to them when what they are doing pleases You. +Amen.

Don’t Hate On the Rosary

Hating on the Rosary makes the people who do it look foolish and ignorant.  Even more ridiculous, they claim the Bible as their justification for speaking out against the Rosary.  I think my readers are better than that and if they do not already know the awesomeness of the Rosary they are at least open to knowing what it is and why they should not hate on it.

For those who don’t know: The Rosary is a structured meditation on the GOSPELS. The 20 meditations taken from Scripture. The pattern of prayers, the contents of which are also Gospel based, are used to help focus the mind on the Gospel story. The combination of mediation and recited prayer pushes distractions out of the mind as the person praying fills their mind with the the story of Jesus.

The Rosary has great power to transform souls because it is a powerful method of internalizing Scripture, writing the Gospels on our hearts by carefully focusing on the story of Jesus while we pray it.

The physical aspect of the Rosary is a string of beads used for counting with one dependent strand ending in a tassel, cross, or crucifix.  The prayers consist of the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and we start with the Apostles Creed, establishing the framework for the meditations.

These are the 20 meditations on Jesus divided up into four sets:

  • JOYFUL MYSTERIES
    • Annunciation.
    • Visitation
    • Nativity
    • Presentation
    • Finding
  • LUMINOUS MYSTERIES
    • Baptism
    • Wedding at Cana
    • Proclamation of the Kingdom
    • Transfiguration
    • First Eucharist/Last Supper
  • SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
    • Agony in the Garden
    • Scourging at the Pillar
    • Mocking and Crowning with Thorns
    • Carrying the Cross
    • Crucifixion
  • GLORIOUS MYSTERIES
    • Resurrection
    • Ascension
    • Pentecost
    • Assumption
    • Coronation

Beginning with the Apostle’s creed as an overview statement, recited while contemplating the Cross of Jesus, we continue with the OUR FATHER prayer JESUS TAUGHT said on the single beads.

We imitate Jesus, who fulfilling the Old Testament did perfectly Honor His Mother, by our use of the Angelic salutation and the salutation of Elizabeth, both from the Gospels.  We say the Hail Mary with respect and devotion on each of the 10 Hail Mary beads.

The Our Father bead with 10 Hail Mary beads is called a decade.  Each meditation, called a Mystery, is taken one at a time and contemplated during one decade of the Rosary. The mind is to be busy thinking about the Mystery while the person says the Hail Mary. The prayers are not to be rushed but spoken respectfully. If a person struggles to focus on the Mystery, they may open their Bible and re-read the appropriate passages of the Gospel before returning to the Rosary to meditate on what they just read.

I shall blog on the Mysteries in later posts, but for now, know that these sets of 5 mysteries are almost entirely taken from the four Gospels. Two mysteries, found in the set of the Glorious Mysteries, are based on Revelations.

Which is why hating on the Rosary just makes a person look ignorant.

Budgets

Budgets and I have a love-hate relationship.  I find anything having to do with numbers difficult, and this nightmare never ceases. The current budget situation is an upcoming decrease of income which means I must continue my struggle for a budget that works and seek new income streams.

Goal #1 has been met. One credit card is empty, not being used, and set aside in the file for “emergencies”. The truth is I intend to never use it again.

Goal #2 has been met, with great effort. My credit card is empty, but not yet retired. The retirement will be in one month, and then it too will be in the file as “emergency” credit.  UPDATE: I realized I needed to retire it immediately. Enough!!

Goal #3 is to be on a completely cash-only basis. NO use of credit at all. I’m almost there. By January 1st it will be accomplished and that is going to be such a relief!!  I will be done with credit use.

Goal #4 is to retire the very last of the educational debt from my husband’s doctorate. I hope this will be finished off during the early part of the coming year.

Goal #5 has been ongoing for over a year so far. This has been the practice of holding in a savings account money to pay for bills, like the IRS and insurance and garbage pick-up that must be paid every few months. This forward planning has been a struggle. There is always something that needs repaired, parts purchased, etc. I need to begin holding money for those unplanned costs and make them into planned costs, but oh it is hard to do!! As you try to set aside money for these, they seem to multiply and demand to be purchased right now right now right now– it is diabolical and I hate it totally.

Goal #6 include a savings for replacement, parts and repairs.

Goal #7 include a savings for emergencies– build a true emergency fund so that trips to the emergency room are cash!

Meanwhile, job hunting to increase income now and be there when the other is gone is on-going and stressful.

There is my tell-all.  As I said, I have a love-hate relationship with budgets.

Dear Lord, please help us to budget wisely and create new income streams. +Amen.

Book Review: FOR GOD AND PROFIT

FOR GOD AND PROFIT is a small book, written by Samuel Gregg, and subtitled, HOW BANKING AND FINANCE CAN SERVE THE COMMON GOOD. The forward is written by George Cardinal Pell.

I am simply loving this book. Quotes of Popes and Church Fathers, a clear understanding of our economic system, and written in a way that our High School age students will be able to benefit in their understanding of our economy and how their decisions can influence it so it serves the common good.

FINALLY a Catholic book on Finance that actually uses all the documents of the Church and DOES NOT twist Church teaching into the greed that is Marxism(and its children communism and socialism). And yes, Marxism IS about greed, the greed to have that which you did not build, to use the power of the government to take their just due from those who do build and create and give it to you.

I’m off to buy 5 more copies to give to my adult children and all the family members old enough to read it!

Dear Lord, thank You for this book. We have needed one like this for some time and thank You that it is written in such a way that our High School age students can read it and benefit from it. +Amen.

Statement of Where I Stand

Guess what people? I consider ABORTION=MURDER.

There, I have said it. I am against the murder of a baby for any reason. No argument has ever been made that will sway me. No argument has ever been made that would make keeping it legal OK with me. Those, like the Democratic candidate for president, who are in favor of abortion through all 9 months gestation, are in favor of murdering viable full-term babies. If you vote for such a person you are helping to promote that agenda. Turn your back on me–I do not care. If you can stomach voting for anyone who is not just neutral but IN FAVOR of the murder of viable, full-term babies, I am sorry for you and pray for the salvation of your soul.

Furthermore, ABORTION=MISOGYNIST ATROCITY AGAINST WOMEN.

Any culture that forces women to think that murdering the child in their womb is their only option is EVIL. Such a culture has bought into the culture of death and certainly deserves to die out completely. I pray our people wake and fight back against this creeping evil that has infiltrated our culture. Christians are meant by God to be partisans of the Culture of Life; time to pray and act like it. Vote Life.

Dear Lord, have mercy on our country and give us the president who will most shift the government in the direction of Your will and have mercy on the souls of those who elect politicians who vote in favor murdering babies and on those politicians themselves. Please wake up Christians and help them see what they must do to save the Christian culture that was ours. +Amen.

The CHURCH is ONE

I have heard it said that the Catholic and the Orthodox are two different churches but I don’t buy that. There may be a fissure in the full unity, but they are not two different Churches. I believe this because after all these hundreds of years the Holy Spirit has preserved orthodoxy in the whole. Oh there is a fissure, made by man, maintained by man, but the guardianship of the Holy Spirit is evidence to me that both are part of God’s one Church.

God has one Church (visit the Bible to read up on this). You can recognize a particular church as being part of the one Church by the degree to which they have the marks of that ONE Church. The one Church is apostolic and universal, has 7 Sacraments, and a true Eucharist. Does that particular church have an ordained priesthood that traces back to the Apostles? Are there Bishops/Patriarchs, also ordained and tracing themselves back to the Apostles themselves? Does that particular church have all seven of the sacraments instituted by Christ for the spiritual health of His Church? Do they have a valid Eucharist?

Orthodox or Catholic, all seven Sacraments have been preserved, a true priesthood has been preserved, leadership by Bishops/Patriarchs has been preserved, the deposit of the Faith has been preserved, and each has a true Eucharist. The disputes that create the fissure suggest to me that neither side has them correct, and an ecumenical council on those points is in order, but they do not separate from the oneness of the one Church.

I also note that the Catholic-Orthodox fissure is very different from the splinter groups that came about during the “reformation” period with their wholesale abandonment of the fullness of the Faith, and whittling down the sacraments to only one or two, and rejection of many elements of the fullness of the Christian Faith.

The “reformation” period was a rebellion against the one Church, not a dispute between groups within the one Church. The evidence for this is that they have continued to splinter and multiply theologies. The Holy Spirit did not protect them from wholesale error and heresy. So while they are united with the one Church in little bits and pieces (like all religions that have bits of the Truth), unlike the Orthodox and the Catholic, they lack the signs of being fully united to the One Church.

I am sure there will be some who disagree.

Dear Lord, please heal the fissure in the Church and bring those separated from the one Church back to orthodox belief. +Amen.

By My Own Free Will Catholic

I am, by my own free will, Catholic. Catholic among people who often see being Catholic as proof that I am enslaved.  I am Catholic everywhere and in every interest. It means that in areas of interest where the norm is secular, neo-pagan, or a hodgepodge of whatever the individual cobbled together for a personal religion, I stand rather alone in my adherence to Catholicism, with the deposit of faith given us by God, maintained by God through the Church, and properly interpreted for application by that Church and no other.

My husband asked me the other day why, when I so clearly enjoyed my time in a meeting of St. Vincent de Paul, why I spend time with the Society for Creative Anachronism? I found myself explaining that what I love about the group at the parish is our shared Catholicism and the work the group is doing to try and fulfill the commandments of Christ. We have that in common– and little else. Lovely people, but my passion for studying the history of the 10th century Eastern Romans eludes them. On the other side, those people in the SCA understand my passion for history, and a lot of other other geeky sorts of things, but they do not share my Faith.

So it is very nice to participate in a ministry at Church where being Catholic is understood properly and shared, but it hardly replaces having friends who share my interests.  If your interests are uncommon, you will find less over-lap between groups.  What is more, if you are a geek, many of the people who share those other interests will be uncomfortable the moment they find out you are Catholic.  Fear is the fastest response, fear that I am there to judge them or to try and force my religion down their throats, and leads to unpleasantness.

Usually the first unpleasantness will be a demand of one sort or another to deny some known aspect of my religion.  It would be unthinkable for any of them to demand that a neo-pagan give up any portion of their religious beliefs, but somehow it is essential that I be forced to give up mine.  My failure to deny any aspect of my religion generally leads to a anger, generally suppressed. I am not unaware of the undercurrent of negativity over who I am and I participate anyway.

This is the reality in the modern world.

Dear Lord, thank You for the many interesting groups out there and thank You for the joy of shared Catholicism. May I never take the later for granted. +Amen.

 

Snarky Comments

Snarky Comments need not apply. Our moderators won’t post them. Now, if you actually have something to say that might contribute to a discussion of such ideas as those attitudes of the Saints who treat all events in their lives as having the will of God in them, and thus leading to their really laid back acceptance of difficulties and utter trust in God, then your comment is likely to be posted.

Insulting comments won’t be posted either.

Comments coming from persons whose name link goes nowhere will not be posted–even if they are good ones.

Disagreement gets posted if it is civil and appears to come from a real person.  The moderators decide what is civil.

Dear Lord, please help readers to think before they comment. +Amen.

The Attitude of Saints

I’ve been baffled by the serene attitude of saints who, no matter how odd a turn their lives take, are all, “it is God’s will for me” and they are all happy about it. I mean, REALLY? Who can be all cheerful about your plans blowing up in your face? Or a week of setbacks followed by showing up for an appointment only to find the professional forgot to write you in? And yet, for some odd reason, I felt a glimmer this week of why the Saints are so zen about unexpected turns.

This past week has been one of setbacks. My days went badly and I didn’t get so much done. I felt fairly unhappy about it and in the past I would have been livid. Yet I found myself feeling bad without getting mad.

Then today I arrived at an appointment and the professional had actually forgotten to pencil me in when we made the appointment and I write it into my planner as we talked about how I liked using one. And I was OK with it, and took it as an opportunity to enjoy my book before my visit to the chiropractor.  I had my plan, it went awry, and the result was very nice.

Now, would I have been so calm if the result was NOT so nice? Probably not, it isn’t like I have developed that degree of virtue, but maybe if I can see a setback with a nice result as God’s will intervening in my plans, then I will eventually gain some sort of calm trust about it when it isn’t nice.

Dear Lord, thank you for the example of the Saints. Help us to lean on You and trust You when our plans get knocked off course. +Amen.

2016–so far

I read back over my blog posts from this year and think, “Wow, so much ambition, and so little accomplished.” This is only partly true. I haven’t lived up to my plan to blog more. Thought about it a lot but didn’t DO it.  I did a lot though, just nothing I’d planned.

We now have an American Heritage Girls Troop at our parish. This required a LOT of work by an amazing group of ladies who make up our ministry team. I’m honored to have spent this year working on this project with them. I have a lot of hope for the program. Although I am feeling quite over-whelmed by all of it. Our parish even added us to the page for Ministries with all the other youth scouting type programs.

Delegation has been a skill I have gotten to practice. I find I can be very happy delegating once I recognize that something will be better done by another person. I have my strengths, and weaknesses. Acting as the Troop Coordinator for TX1860 has been a good opportunity to grow for me.  I am seeing my efforts pay off in the girls beginning to work together better and better, the Unit leadership is settling into their roles, and the program gradually take shape.

My book languishes. I have the unfortunate super power of avoiding anxiety.  If I feel even a little twinge of anxiety I will avoid whatever is causing that emotion. Unfortunately this means I avoid many things I love because I have become anxious about them.  It hardly matters what caused the emotion, the result is avoidance and I am NOT happy about it. I am also at a loss as to how to face it down and win. I’m in a nasty cycle.

I’m also avoiding turning in an application for a substitute teaching position, and the same application marked for wishing to be considered for a full time teaching position–or part time if I get to teach theology! I feel anxiety and then I compulsively avoid even though getting paid to teach one of my favorite subjects in the entire universe is a dream job. Again, NOT productive, really stupid, and stuck.

Turning in applications and editing manuscripts are both acts of Hope, and I am meditating on and praying for an increase in the virtue of Hope, and here I find myself struggling.  The up side is I am aware of what is going on, which I used to not even SEE, but this isn’t correcting the condition!  I see that God is working on me. Forcing me to face where I do not live the virtue of Hope. I’m praying about it because I suspect I’m in need of supernatural help to overcome this difficulty.

I did get the bridge camera. Love it, and for some reason am so busy I am not finding time to use it. What is worse, I have not taken family pictures in ages! I need to do more photos and get some sent around to family. Perhaps I need to do a Christmas photo, in which case, I need to buy some red shirts and get someone else to hold the camera so we are all in one shot.

Goals: application in, book editing happening, and photos to share from my camera!

Dear Lord, Thank you for the new good things in our lives, and please help us all to grow in the virtue of hope and act on it. +Amen.