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Catholic Life

Have You Burned Your Boat?


 

Last week, I was speaking to my good friend, mentor and fellow Catholic Evangelist Richard Lane. As is usually the case when I speak with Richard, I was feeling energized and inspired when I hung up the phone. In particular, he told me a neat story about the importance of “not looking back” once you commit your life to Christ. A few days later, I was listening to the radio and I heard the exact story. Considering that I’ve never heard the saga in my 50+ years, I assumed that there is a reason I heard it two times in a week.

The story involves Spanish con­quis­ta­dor Hernan Cortes and his arrival in Mexico in 1519. Along with 600 men (none of whom had protective armor), Cortes prepared to conquer the land that for the past 600 years had been unconquerable. As they marched inland to battle their enemies, the conquistador uttered 3 shocking words to his soldiers:

“Burn the boats!”

This radical command left this Spanish soldiers with only two choices: emerge victorious or die! The lack of an exit strategy caused these outnumbered warriors to fight as if their lives were at stake…and they were! As a result, Cortes became the first man in 600 years to conquer Mexico.

While it’s a great history lesson, what does it have to do with our faith? In reality, it has EVERYTHING to do with it! One of the costliest mistakes that we make as followers of Christ is failing to “burn our boats”. Although we profess to follow the Lord, we often have a tendency to “look backward” and hold back a bit. We’re afraid that if we get too close to Him, we might have to suffer excessively. We’re nervous about giving too much to charitable causes because we might “need that money one day”. We fail to expect miracles when we pray and often pray for “safe things” in order to avoid disappointment. While we want to be called Christians, we’re sometimes unwilling to speak out and defend our faith when necessary. If we say too much, people might not like us or think we’re strange. By holding back in these ways, we never really FULLY commit our lives to Jesus and always entertain the possibility of reboarding our boats if the Christian life becomes too challenging. What did the Lord say about this?

As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding
on their journey, someone said to him,
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62)

Once we make the decision to truly follow Christ, there can be no turning back. Even though we’ll be tempted to backslide and “take the easy way out”, we have to remain firm and not look to the past. We all have “boats” or “safety nets” in our lives…those tendencies, possessions or attitudes which hold us back from following the Lord as fully as possible. If we truly expect to be “fit for the Kingdom of God”, we must cease looking at what was left behind and start looking at what lies ahead.

Have you identified your “boat”? Once you do, burn it and remember that when it comes to following Christ and one day living with Him in Heaven, failure CANNOT be an option!

Want To Help Your Kids Learn About The Sacraments?


 

One of our main duties as Catholics parents is to teach our children about our wonderful Faith. I’ve always found it a challenge, however, to find good resources that truly represent the teachings of the Church in a way that can be understood by children. A little over a year ago, I discovered the Holy Heroes line of audio recordings. A obtained a few of their CDs and, not only did I love them, but my kids loved them! I am now proud to carry advertising for this great company on my website.

Now, here’s some exciting news. Holy Heroes in now offering their FIRST DVD series, Inside The Sacraments! Targeting children between the age of 4-12, this series explains the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, in a way that can be readily understood by children.

Here’s the best news of all…for a LIMITED time, you can order a pre-release version of Inside The Sacraments: The Holy Eucharist for only $10! After watching the DVD, you’ll be asked to complete a short online survey. Once you complete the survey…

You’ll get a $10 off coupon code for a future order when you complete the survey.

You’ll receive a deep discount on the final version of the DVD — which will incorporate your suggestions and have lots of bonus materials…including BLOOPERS which are very funny!

Your family name will appear in the credits because you’ll have helped us make it! Think of it: your family’s name up on the screen with the Adventure Guides!

If you’re interested, you have to act NOW! These DVDs are being offered while supplies last. In order to get your name in the credits, your survey must be completed by October 15. You can take advantage of this special offering by clicking here.

Attention Catholics…It’s Time To Get Serious About Evangelization!


 

“The task of preaching, teaching, growing and living the Catholic faith in our time, in this country, belongs to you and me. No one else can do it.” (Archbishop Charles Chaput at the Los Angeles Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Sept. 18,2012)

On October 11, 2012 we officially begin the celebration of the Year of Faith, as promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei. The Holy Father has declared that the Year of Faith is “a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the world”. His hope is that this commemoration will “arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope.” If you’re Catholic, there’s a good chance that the Holy Father’s words about professing the faith will make you a little uncomfortable. Why?

Catholics are known for many things, such as novenas, devotions to saints, love for the Blessed Mother, and abstaining from meat on Lenten Fridays. One thing that generally doesn’t come to mind when we hear the word “Catholic” is evangelization. To be totally honest, the vast majority of Catholics view evangelization as a negative thing. There is a belief among many Catholics that our relationship with God is a highly personal matter and that “we shouldn’t impose our religious beliefs on others”. I must admit that I felt this way for many years. Even though I went to Mass every Sunday, talking about God to others was something for Protestants and “Jesus Freaks”. I considered it offensive to tell others how they should believe. Furthermore, I didn’t want others to think I was strange. Evangelization is “not something that Catholics do”. To take it a step further, many Catholics don’t feel the need to learn or understand their faith, let alone share it with others. While that may be a common opinion, is it really what the Church teaches? Not at all! As Catholics, we are not only called to study and understand our faith, but we are mandated to evangelize.

Now that I’ve either piqued your curiosity or caused you to suffer a panic attack, let me present some evidence to support my claim and give you some simple and painless ways to fulfill the Church’s instructions. On December 8, 1975, Pope Paul VI issued an Apostolic Exhortation entitled Evangelii Nuntiandi (EN), which addresses evangelization in the modern world. In this document, the Holy Father explains the importance of Christian evangelization:

…the presentation of the Gospel message is not an optional contribution for the Church. It is the duty incumbent on her by the command of the Lord Jesus, so that people can believe and be saved. This message is indeed necessary. It is unique. It cannot be replaced. It does not permit either indifference, syncretism or accommodation. It is a question of people’s salvation. (EN, Paragraph 5)

The above paragraph spells out the importance of proclaiming the “Good News” of Jesus Christ. It is not something that is “nice to have”, but is necessary for people’s salvation! That’s all well and good, but isn’t evangelization the job of priests, religious and deacons? Not exactly…

Thus it is the whole Church that receives the mission to evangelize, and the work of each individual member is important for the whole. (EN, Paragraph 15)

In other words, evangelization is not only the responsibility of the religious and clergy; it is a requirement for the laity as well. Every member of the Catholic Church is personally responsible for sharing the gospel message with others. The Vatican II document, Lumen Gentium, teaches that all baptized Christians “must profess before men the faith they have received from God through the Church and participate in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God”. This profession of faith involves both actions and words. While it is crucial to set a good example, the Church teaches that we must also share our faith verbally.

…even the finest witness will prove ineffective in the long run if it is not explained, justified – what Peter called always having “your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have” – and made explicit by a clear and unequivocal proclamation of the Lord Jesus. The Good News proclaimed by the witness of life sooner or later has to be proclaimed by the word of life. There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God are not proclaimed. (EN, Paragraph 22)

Now that we know what is expected of us, do we need to stand on street corners and hand out Bibles? Are we required to preach at the office and quote scripture all day long? While there is a time and a place for that approach, there are simpler and less threatening ways to “get our feet wet” in the world of Catholic evangelization. Here are some simple ways to get started:

1. Learn – We need to learn about the Catholic Faith. There is no way that we’ll ever be able to share what we don’t know. There are many great online resources to assist you in learning about the Catholic Faith. Among them are the USCCB and Vatican websites. Additionally, my Recommended Resouces page lists many authentically Catholic websites and books, all geared toward individuals with a basic or intermediate understanding of the Faith.

2. Witness – Christian witness lays the foundation for evangelization. Avoiding foul language, making the sign of the cross and saying grace before meals, having a positive disposition, and avoiding gossip are all ways that can be used to set a positive example for others. These techniques can be used anywhere: in the workplace, at school, in the home, even at the grocery store. People may notice that there is something “different” about us and could begin to ask questions. This provides the opening to share our “secret”, which is the Catholic Faith.

3. Share – There are many painless (but effective) ways to verbally share our faith with others. We can offer to say a prayer for a coworker who is sick or in a painful situation. We can explain how our faith comforts or sustains us in time of need. We can casually relate a message heard in a homily at Sunday Mass. This technique not only gives us the opportunity to share a positive thought, but it also sends the message that we attend Sunday Mass. Non-threatening techniques such as these are often very effective because they do not involve “beating people over the head” with our Bibles.

4. Pray – The most important step in being an effective evangelist is often the most neglected. We should always remember to pray, especially for an increase in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Everyone who is baptized and confirmed has received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but we need prayer and grace to help them grow. Prayer and frequent reception of the Sacraments will allow these gifts to grow and will ultimately lead to greater success of our efforts. We should also pray for the individuals to whom we are evangelizing.

As we begin to follow the Church’s command to spread the gospel in the world, there are a few things that are important to remember. We should not become impatient or discouraged if our efforts don’t appear to be effective. The Lord never asks us to be successful, instead He asks us to be faithful. In the end, any success we have should be attributed to God alone. Also, we must never forget to be charitable when sharing God’s message with others. Our goal must be to win souls, not arguments. Turning to Sacred Scripture, St. Peter provides an excellent one sentence summary of what is expected of us as Catholic evangelists. Staying faithful to his instruction will ensure that we are fulfilling the Lord’s command of charitably spreading the gospel to all nations:

“Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15)

WorrierWarrior.com is now live!

 


As promised, my new website devoted EXCLUSIVELY to a Christian remedy for worry and anxiety is now available! If you have a tendency to worry are looking for relief, be sure to visit (and bookmark)…

www.WorrierWarrior.com

While Following The Truth will continue to be my main website, I’ll use the new site to focus on worry and anxiety. The site will be expanded substantially in the upcoming weeks, so be sure to bookmark it and visit often. In addition to informative articles and resources collected from the web, this site will feature my Worrier Warrior blog. Please be sure to share this new site with any of your friends who are worriers.

If you’re ready to rid yourself of all useless worry, simply click on the following picture to visit WorrierWarrior.com!

WorrierWarrior.com - Declaring War on Worry!

The One Lesson We Should All Learn From Saint Ignatius Of Loyola

 

Earlier this year, I used my nightly radio show to lead a retreat based upon the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Although it was hard work it produced great benefits in many of our spiritual lives. Even though I’d heard of St. Ignatius and his Spiritual Exercises for many years, I knew very little about him or his teaching. Looking back on the experience, there was one lesson I learned that changed my life forever. It’s a simple concept and it can change your life too. It involves St. Ignatius’ motto:

“Ad majorem dei Gloriam”

Latin for “for the greater glory of God”, this expression is much more than a “cutesy” catch phase. When put into practice, it will not only ensure that you’re giving God your best effort, but it will put you on the fast track to Heaven! What it means is simply this – everything that you do should be done for the greater glory of God. Yeah, so…don’t we all do this? Not really. When we have to make a choice between two options, we often go with the choice that “feels good” or is less unpleasant. Unfortunately, that’s not always the choice that gives God the greater glory. He sometimes wants us to do something that we’d rather avoid. You know, like talking to that annoying person after Mass or turning off the TV and saying some prayers instead. Think about the many choices you make each day and then think about why you make them. How often do we take the easy way out instead of doing the right thing? While judging our personal motives can sometimes be tricky (because we fool ourselves), frequent prayer can open our eyes and help us to look at things objectively.

If there’s one thing that we should learn from the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, it’s that every decision, every action, every word we speak should be done for the greater glory of God. When faced with a decision, asking the question, “what would God want me to do?” puts St. Ignatius’ important teaching into practice. By doing that, we can honestly say that we’re loving God with all of our heart, soul and might (Deuteronomy 6:4)!

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us!

The Family That Prays Together…

 

…Stays Together!!!

Believe it or not, these pictures aren’t staged. Every night when Eileen, Mary, Elizabeth and I kneel down to say our evening prayers, Gracie comes running as soon as she hears the beginning of the Our Father! Now, if your pet doesn’t pray with you, don’t feel bad. Gracie hasn’t learned all of the words to the Lord’s prayer yet and her examination of conscience (prior to the Act of Contrition) leaves something to be desired, but…

we’re working on it!

A Story Of Courage And An Urgent Prayer Request

 

It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord works in my life. I often think that I’m doing something for one reason, only to realize that the Lord was attempting to accomplish something completely different by my actions. As many of you know, I’m a full time Catholic lay evangelist. As you can imagine, it’s not easy to earn a living in this line of work. It requires a great deal of trust in God’s Providence (I’m still working on that!) and a close relationship with the Lord (working on that too!). In order to earn some additional income, I’ve been exploring various affiliate programs, which will allow me to earn a percentage of all sales referred by my website. Yesterday, I signed up with ChristianShirts.net and put their link on my website.

I started browsing their site more closely (in order to make sure nothing conflicted with Catholic teaching) and I was startled to see the following message:

Due to the loss of our baby, orders placed recently, today, and in the near future will be delayed. I appreciate your patience. Please pray for us at this difficult time. -Rachelle

I said a prayer and then I followed a link which explained the entire story of Rachelle’s pregnancy and subsequent loss of her child. You can read the full story here (and I recommend that you do because it’s powerful), but in summary:

Rachelle had chemotherapy in her teens, which put her at risk for heart complications during pregnancy. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened during her pregnancy. She went to a high risk obstetrician, who informed Rachelle that there was a 50 percent chance of her dying if she continued on with the pregnancy. Devastated by the news, this young woman was not prepared for what she heard next. In her words…

She began by holding my hand and asking what religion I was. I replied Catholic, and she said “Let me tell you what I know about God. God is loving and forgiving, and He will understand if you have an abortion.” She added that she had worked in a cardiac clinic and had seen many Catholic women die for the decision to continue with a pregnancy. We had already mentioned that we did not want to terminate, yet she pressed on, even reminding me that I would not want to leave my 18-month-old son without a mother. She made it clear that I would most likely end up in the hospital for several weeks – maybe months – and we had to prepare for that. There was no compassion, no caring about my unborn child that was already loved and very much wanted. When we continued to explain to her that we were not going to have an abortion, she mocked our beliefs and told me that I had better start praying. I left that appointment distraught and beside myself. It was enough to take in that I had a 50% chance of survival, yet to be coerced to try to get me to have an abortion on top of that was just too much.

As if hearing this from her doctor wasn’t bad enough, Rachelle was also encouraged by some family members to abort her child. She refused, stating “I was willing to risk my life for my unborn child. In my eyes, it was no different than risking my life for my born child.” One week later, an ultrasound revealed that her baby had died. Rachelle is currently undergoing further testing on her heart to determine the prognosis for future pregnancies.

In the First Reading from today’s Mass, God used the unaware Assyrians to punish his disobedient people. In a similar way I think he used me as I searched for new funding sources for my work. I thought that I was simply entering into an agreement with a great Catholic company struggling to do the Lord’s work, but more importantly, I experienced a powerful witness of trust in God’s Providence (which I really needed!) and I discovered a woman desperately in need of prayer. I’d ask you to kindly keep Rachelle and her family in your prayers and please consider making a donation for travel and burial expenses. I’ll close with Rachelle’s powerful words…

We think of our business more as a ministry – spreading Pro-life and Christian messages through affordable clothing which will spark conversation – and we make barely enough to pay our bills. It is not about the money. However, we are planning on traveling out of state at some point to bury our baby in the same cemetery where all of our relatives are buried. This will leave us behind in a lot of ways, but we believe it is well worth it for our spiritual and emotional healing. If you find it in your heart to donate for travel and burial expenses, we greatly appreciate it. If you would prefer to donate to a pro-life organization in our baby’s name (which we will announce when we decide on a name), please let us know so we can send a thank you.

More than donations, please keep us in your prayers. I have a long road ahead of me with my heart condition, and we are still praying that testing might reveal that my heart is strong enough to withstand another pregnancy.

Welcome To Aquinas & More Catholic Goods!

 

I’m pleased to announce that Following The Truth has become an official affiliate of Aquinas & More Catholic Goods! This means that every time you visit their site (by using the link from Following The Truth), I will earn a commission from your purchases. This will help to ensure that my full time work spreading the “Good News” of the Catholic Faith will continue!

When I originally founded Following The Truth, one of my goals was to recommend AUTHENTIC Catholic resources (books, websites, religious items) to help people learn more about the Catholic Faith and enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As a result, I carefully screen each recommended vendor or product to ensure that they are not in conflict with Catholic teaching. In addition to the fact that your purchases will help keep Following The Truth and Aquinas & More alive, here are a few reasons (taken directly from their website) why I’m so pleased to be associated with Aquinas & More and why I’d encourage you to purchase your Catholic goods from them:

About Aquinas and More
Aquinas and More Catholic Goods is centrally located in Colorado Springs, CO. We carry thousands of products ranging from books and videos to chalices and church furnishings. The store was started by Ian Rutherford in 2002 and is owned and run by his family and friends. The store name comes from two famous Catholic saints, Thomas Aquinas and Thomas More. The ox head in our logo is a symbol of St. Thomas Aquinas who was called “The Dumb Ox” because he was a very quiet student, and rather large.

Their Mission
Our mission is to provide the tools necessary for Catholics and non-Catholics to learn more about the Faith and for Catholics to deepen their Faith. This goal will be achieved by providing a clear, unapologetic presentation of the faith and quality Catholic products that are beautiful, fairly priced and helpful to those who want to get to Heaven.

Good Faith Guarantee
Our Good Faith Guarantee is our latest way to help you, our customers, feel secure when shopping on our website. We always want you to rest assured that we are carefully screening the material we carry so you don’t have to. Any item that carries this logo on its details page next to the item’s picture is guaranteed to be in conformity with official Church teaching. We believe that as a Catholic store our mission is to clearly present the Faith, not to confuse people or promote material just because it is popular. When you see this logo next to a vestment or liturgical vessel, it means that the item conforms to current liturgical norms.

We will not carry products that:

Are written by dissident authors
Concern unapproved apparitions
Concern visions and locutions by people who have not been declared at least Venerable by the Church
Promote heretical theology

Examples of authors, subjects and titles we will not carry:

Fr. Richard Rohr
Fr. Charles Curran
Sr. Chittister
Fr. Richard McBrien
Poem of the Man God
Mejugorje
Bayside

If you’d like some more reasons to shop at Aquinas & More, you can read them here. I have never seen a Catholic goods store so careful about the products that they carry. I’d kindly ask you to use them as your source of Catholic goods and please remember to access their site from the Following The Truth website. By doing so, you’ll help keep us both afloat as we continue to proclaim the Gospel message. THANK YOU!!!

Why I Wear A Scapular


 

On this day, the Church celebrates the Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Tradition tells us that Our Lady presented St. Simon Stock with the brown scapular in 1251. Just what is a scapular? According to the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy:

The scapular is an external sign of the filial relationship established between the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Mount Carmel, and the faithful who entrust themselves totally to her protection, who have recourse to her maternal intercession, who are mindful of the primacy of the spiritual life and the need for prayer.

Even though I am a cradle Catholic and have always gone to Mass regularly, I used to think that people who wore scapulars were a little flaky. Rather than just be “normal” like me, I believed that those “scapular wearers” were oddballs who embraced apparitions and phony visions of the Blessed Mother. Why can’t they just be “regular” Catholics, like me instead of believing in something superstitious like the scapular? Most of all, I would never wear a scapular because someone might see it and think I’m weird.

How do I feel now? Every morning I kiss my brown scapular and say to Our Lady, “Blessed Mother, I am all thine and all that I have is thine!” I then put on the powerful sacramental knowing that Mary will help me to stay close to Jesus as I do battle with the forces of evil (and don’t kid yourself…they are all around us!) that threaten me constantly. I wear Our Lady’s scapular because it is a sacramental which better disposes me to receive the grace that I need to be a better Christian. I am proud that I wear the scapular and I hope people see it for what it is, a visible sign of my love for Mary and my trust in her intercessory powers. Most importantly, I wear the scapular because I am a comfort-loving, cowardly, self-centered sinner and I desperately need Mary’s help to keep me close to her Son and help me remain on the road that will lead to Eternal Life in Heaven.

That’s why I wear a scapular!

Dear Lord…Thank You For My Enemies!

 

For the most part, people who read my blog care about becoming more spiritual. If I had to guess, I’d say that the vast majority of my readers are just like me…Catholics who want to learn more about the Church’s teachings and grow closer to Christ. Despite wanting to follow the Lord’s commands, however, some of us tend to struggle with pride and often have a bit of a short fuse. Speaking for myself, there are times when I conveniently overlook (or even ignore) some of the core teachings of Jesus Christ because of my pride. In my opinion, one of the Lord’s most difficult teachings is the following:

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)

The words of Christ are clear and there’s really no wiggle room…He’s telling us to love not just those who love us back, not just those who ignore us, not just those who annoy us, but OUR ENEMIES! That means those who threaten us, insult us, curse at us and even want to harm us physically. That’s a really powerful and challenging commandment. It’s also one I fail at (to some degree) every day and I know I’m not alone. If we’re going to get to Heaven, however, this is a command that we’re going to have to understand and follow. Rather than look at this challenge negatively, let’s turn the tables and address it in a more positive way. As crazy as it sounds, I propose that we learn to thank God for our enemies. Once we begin to do so, we’ll find it a lot easier to love them. Why should we be thankful for our enemies?

They Allow Us To Be More Like Christ – As Christians, we should be striving to imitate Jesus at all times. Reading through the Bible will remind us of just how many enemies He had. His teaching was rejected, He was thrown out of towns, He was threatened and challenged, and finally, He was humiliated, tortured and put to death. By experiencing rejection and hatred, we can share in Our Lord’s suffering and understand some of what He experienced. Without enemies, this would not be possible.

They Let Us Love As Jesus Loved – Can you imagine enduring what Jesus went through and still being able to say, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)? To a lesser degree, every time we love someone who offends us, we love as Christ loved. When we forgive those who offend us, we imitate Jesus.

They Help Us Conquer Our Pride – I like to be “right”, especially when someone tells me that I’m “wrong”. When challenged about a variety of issues, I have a tendency to want to win the argument. Often that desire (even when trying to defend the Faith) causes me to fall into sin. By learning to walk away and let someone else “win”, I become a bit more humble. Now, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t proclaim the truth – not at all! We should (especially when it comes to the teachings of the Church), but we must always keep in mind that our words aren’t responsible for converting others. Rather, it’s the work of the Holy Spirit. If we plant some seeds and get rejected, that’s OK. We did our job…God will do the rest.

They Remind Us Of God’s Mercy – When people attack me, I remember all of the times that I attacked others. Throughout my life, I’ve treated many people unfairly. My words and actions have often be hurtful and offensive. I’ve been sarcastic and arrogant. But, in spite of it all, Jesus never stopped loving me and was always ready to forgive me. I should do the same for others.

They Are Often Right – Although it can be sheer torture, the accusations and insults of our enemies often open our eyes to the fact that we’re wrong. We can become so blinded by our sinful habits that we don’t even notice them. Sincerely listening to the words of our enemies, even though they may sting, can make us see that we need to make some changes in our lives. That is an invaluable gift.

Loving our enemies is challenging, but is necessary if we expect to get to Heaven. With God’s grace and by learning to appreciate their presence in our lives, we can better live our Catholic Faith and be an example to those around us. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to have enemies!