Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Ah...the last day of April. It's hard to believe. I feel, sometimes, like I am not living each day to the fullest, but, frankly, I get pretty much out of every day so I am unsure how to do better. It's just that time flies, doesn't it? Maybe the key is to be less busy and not more. If you figure that one out, let me know.


Because today is the last day of April that means tomorrow is the first day of May. Duh. I say that only because for the past several years here on this most humble blog, I have celebrated my heavenly Blessed Mother on every day in May, and I will do so again, occasionally sneaking in a personal post. I will post my monthly picture post later today for those of you who are also doing a monthly picture post.


Yesterday, Faith and my mom and I drove to Cincinnati to visit with my 96-year-old grandma. It's been a few months since I saw her and she changes more and more each time I see her. You wouldn't think once you get to 96 that you would change much, but she gets more wrinkly and stooped each time I see her. She still gets around pretty well though, with her wheeled walker. And she's watching those Reds every time they play. She doesn't watch any other television -- just the Reds. Cracks me up. I forgot my camera, though, and could have kicked myself. I know we won't have many more of those visits and Faith really enjoys being with her, and accepts everything she says and does without a blink (my grandma doesn't hear so well anymore so sometimes her comments aren't well-timed). When we are there, with her, it feels like we are in a time-capsule of sorts, with four generations together, like we have stepped out of time and are separated from the rest of the world. I'm not making sense. Must be all that driving.


I have had something on my mind since Sunday Mass and wanted to talk here about it. It's a touchy subject, depending on who you are. 

The Sunday Gospel was John, and included Our Lord's telling of the new commandment.

I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jn 13: 34-35

It is my feeling that non-Catholics and non-Christians like to throw this scripture back in our faces when we speak of following the bible in other ways, as though following God's other rules means we are not following this new commandment. As though following God's other commandments and requiring others to follow them means we have no love.  

You know the old song "They will know we are Christians"?

And we pray that our unity may one day be restoredAnd they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

It's as though the fact that we are not united is because we are not loving enough.

But Jesus did not just say, "Love one another." He also said "Go and sin no more."

You can not have one without the other. Love is telling you that you are sinning, even when you don't want to hear it.

I give for example a situation which has been going on in our diocese. A few weeks ago it became public (through the news) that the diocese had fired a woman who had been teaching gym at one of the diocesan high schools. She had, in her mother's obituary, published the name of her female partner in the survivors. A parent of student at the school noticed it and sent the obituary to the diocese, and the diocese fired her. She had sign a contract which stated she would (though she was not Catholic) live according to Catholic teaching. By publishing her partner's name she outed herself and, whether intentional or not, made it known she was not living according to Catholic teaching. It's likely most of the faculty at the school and probably most of the students already knew this information, so there's a problem right there. 

What has happened since this information became public has been a fire storm, and guess who the burn victim is? The Catholic Church. It's oh so easy to throw fire balls at the Catholic Church, especially since the Catholic Church "is not available for comment."

It's rather infuriating, and I am not one who normally believes that the Church should respond to every accusation right away. But in not responding and speaking the truth -- "She lied! She said she would live according to the beliefs of the Church!" -- we allow others to be led astray. Students of the high school are protesting, publicly (and of course on the evening news), saying "Aren't we taught to love one another?" "We should just love one another!" Yeah -- thrown right back in our faces. They haven't been educated that when this woman signed her teacher's contract she agreed to live out the truths of the Church and then she lied! How's that for betrayed? But right now Judas has the microphone and he's the only one speaking. Meanwhile many young Catholics are not being informed of the truth and why we believe it. 

But we are called to love one another...oh, that 11th commandment...probably the hardest one to obey. 

We should never forget, however, Jesus said, "As I have loved you, so you also should love one another." And that means with the love, comes the correction. Jesus loved the adulteress woman, but He also told her to sin no more. We can not forget that though we do not judge, we are called to correct. One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to admonish the sinner. We can not love without admonishing.

If you are interested in being kept up-to-date in this fire storm, let me know. I am happy to post on what happens next. It's far from over.

Edited after the fact to add this link to today's newspaper article.


  1. I've been following that fire storm, and I tend to agree with you -- why hasn't it been pointed out more strenuously that she is in breach of her contract? People have certainly been fired for much less, and she willingly signed it. I don't understand why people say "but I'm not Catholic!" to get around Catholic teaching when they work for a Catholic entity! Hadn't she been teaching there for something like 15 years? She had to know what going public would do . . . unless the administration knew via the grapevine but because it was never confirmed publicly just turned the other way until she publicized it herself? I don't know, but you're right about everyone throwing "we should LOVE one another" no matter what, all the time, that's what God wants kind of language around.

    Looking forward to your Blessed Mother posts - that always calms me down. :)

  2. What an interesting post, on several levels.

    I'm from Cinti, miss it at times! What part of town were you in? I just love to hear about folks from Cincinnat. I was a nurse all my life, would love to know where your grandmother is staying. :) (I'm just kind of guessing here) I used to work for an agency and worked in most every hospital and facility in town and surrounding areas. Hope your Grandmother does well. :) Go Reds. :)

    Interesting that the Catholic Church is always the bad guy. And with the world being so "progressive," it's always the Church that takes the hit.
    I agree with you that the diocese needs to stand up and say something about the teacher being terminated for reasons she was.
    My guess is that she'll sue and it's going to be icky.
    Easy to quote the scripture about love, and you're right, rarely does anyone quote the scripture about sinning no more.
    And yup, sometimes it's impossible to explain it to people who do not want to hear anything but total acceptance of everyone regardless of how they live their lives.

  3. horrible

    I can only imagine this will only get worse.

    Keep us informed.

    sin is sin is sin is sin. amen.

  4. It has gotten to be my opinion in recent years that none of our clergy are actively preaching and upholding Catholic doctrine, and I don't know where that's going to go, but we're pretty desperate for leadership around here. You're right. Love doesn't mean you blindly accept everything that another person does. Love demands correction.

    About that busyness issue, though, I think sometimes we take on too many things that are good, but not actually furthering our particular mission. For me, I know my mission field is my family, and things that take me away from that tend to stress me, but things that support it do not, no matter how intense an effort they require. When I feel like I'm being pulled in too many directions, I just think through my activities, find my direction again, and drop whatever is pulling me away. What I'm trying to say is that often it's lack of focus, more than over-busyness. Does that make sense?

    Well, anyway, I love you. :-)

  5. She lied. She broke her contract. Black and white. The world makes it into so much more that we don't really need to know. Really, that is all your Bishop needs to say. Black and white, contract broken, fired.

    Glad you got to see your grandma. Such a blessing.

    Thought you'd write about the last episode of Call the Midwife...I knew they'd get around to that someday and they did. (wish they didn't though)

  6. Hey, another thing, I love my kids, but when they lie, they get in trouble.

  7. Aimee,
    The teacher has been at the school, in the diocese for 20 years. She was married at some point and then divorced and became a lesbian. The contract she signed, however, was recent, so she definitely knew just what she was doing.

    And I agree with you about the May posts -- they calm me too. :-)

  8. The Bishop's statement is here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/04/30/bishop-responds-watterson-teacher.html

  9. Anne,
    Boy, I bet you do miss Cincinnati and its hills -- so different from your current landscape. My grandma loves in her own home still -- no assisted living. It's an apartment complex with other oldies ;-) but other than Meals on Wheels, she takes care of her own needs, and my uncle takes her where she needs to go. She's awesome! She lives in Delhi.

  10. Christine,
    This is going to get a lot worse. Stay tuned!

  11. You make total sense, Jennie, and I am so guilty of not being focused, mostly because I tend to cave to my goals for others' sacramental needs. I justify it by saying "It's for God," or "It's for the Blessed Mother" which probably isn't good and right for me.

  12. Jamie,
    I haven't seen this last episode, but I have had clues that I'm not going to like it!

  13. Ana Maria, fair enough, but why does it take so long? It makes the Church look bad, like we are hiding something.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!