Every priest during his apostolate meets many different kinds of people. The devout, the humble, the arrogant, the sincere but misguided, the angry, the sweet, the dangerous, the blasphemous, the dysfunctional, the mentally ill, the loving, the inspirational, the saintly and the courageous. I would like to share a little about a most courageous lady I have the honor of knowing. Her name is known to me and will not be shared. She is important because she has the one quality that can change everything for the good. She is brave.

Bravery in the spiritual life is closely allied with humility, and is in my opinion the barometer of whether or not a soul will be successful in living the spiritual life of the true Catholic. It comes not from great deeds or aspirations but from the one ingredient that changes the soul for Jesus Christ- surrender.

Remember that God does not want golden vessels; He does not want silver vessels; He wants YIELDED vessels. This lady has yielded her life to grace and become a true Catholic in the face of the greatest trial anyone can endure- the family. To be able to withstand the constant barrage of passive aggressive and overt aggressive family members who are challenged to the point of fear and controlling manipulation is amazing in its courage.

It is easy to stand against the world. It is very difficult to stand against those one loves! To forge ahead with only the bloody Christ in view when it is would be so easy to acquiesce takes a courage that is most inspiring to any priest working in the catacombs of this age.

We who try to follow Him lose so much that is important to a stable life. There have been times in Church history where this is clearly shown, but nowhere on such a global scale as is happening today. The fact that many who call themselves Christian are most uncharitable, dysfunctional and downright nasty makes it even more difficult. This is why I have such admiration for this lady and those like her.

Something we must never forget is this: If we do not have LOVE then all the correct dogma and doctrine mean nothing. The law of Christ is first and foremost one of love and kindness. Out of this fountain flow all manner of beautiful and holy things, gentle courtesy being one of the most rare. If we can remember and follow this teaching, then all good things will follow. We must keep our eyes on the prize and follow the King of Love. It is very simple. That is all.

O Lord Jesus, King of love and mercy, have mercy upon me a sinner. Give me the courage to say yes to grace like Thy most Blessed Mother, so that I and all whom I love will be saved. Keep me mindful of the needs of others and especially keep me silent when I would try to defend myself or argue with souls who are only the means of my testing and proving. May Thy kingdom come in my heart and in my will. I ask this in union with all the saints and angels in the whole Church, triumphant, militant and suffering. Amen.


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