Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Can you tell?

I know some of you can, and you've told me. You can tell that I don't feel much like blogging. I've been through this before, and I'm sure I'll go through it again.

After the Democratic National Convention, I'd just had it. I was so horrified by what I saw, with the celebration of abortion, the redefining of marriage, and the attempted elimination of God, the class wars, race wars, gender wars. The speakers who sought to inspire (?!) by telling stories of how government social programs nurtured them, carried them, made them who they are today.

We were supposed to feel that the federal government, an impersonal set of bureaucracies which has the power to fine and jail and punish and ruin and even execute, is our "family". (When the human heart that is made for God does not admit to God the Father, the void must be filled, and there is the authoritative, ever-expanding state ready to fill it.)

And after hearing Ms. Fluke, and Ms. Kennedy... Lord forgive me, I had many un-Christian thoughts. It was so hard to watch my beloved nation turn into… this. Whining, angry, petty, divisive, intolerant, entitled, envious, selfish, punitive. Some people attacking everything the Church stands for, and then other people using the Church -- Christ's Church -- to defend the greatest of evils!

Culturally, we are on a great decline, the rapidity of which takes my breath away. In twenty or thirty more years, there will be few left who understand or care why this nation was founded and why she is (or was) different. The great experiment will be over, and we'll be just another bankrupt welfare state among many others -- dogmatically secular, utilitarian, amoral, bored, and dying out.

Anyway, obviously, watching the Convention left me disgusted and disheartened. I love politics, and I am a political animal down to my toes, but politics has a way of corrupting every good thing and can easily corrode the soul (this goes for both sides of the spectrum, I might add). I felt a pull away from it all, like I needed a good cleansing. I didn't want to debate anyone anymore, I didn't want to think and worry about where we are headed.

I wanted to be with my family, go on dates with my husband, hug my children, read spiritual books, and sit in the sun.

I wanted to pray.

I wanted to detach from the things of this world, in order to attach to God. That's His plan anyway, you know. Politics doesn't much concern itself with truth, goodness and beauty, and governments can't save us.

Only Jesus Christ can save us. Only He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Only He is the Alpha and the Omega. And only He is the King of all nations.

As pessimistic as I feel on a temporal level about the future of the America I love, I am buoyed by the fact that on the only level that counts, it is all for good.

All things work for good for those who love God. (Romans 8:28)

A decade ago, when I was immersed in an incredibly fruitful spiritual program (why did I abandon it??), we memorized the following foundational truth:

Nothing happens accidentally; everything is gifted providentially.

Everything is gifted providentially! My goodness, think about that.

Every suffering, every joy, every encounter, every labor, every tragedy, every persecution, every triumph. Everything is a gift from God, intended for our sanctification. We can "grab the grace" and use it to become holy, or we can reject the opportunity; it's our choice. But God wills that we should take what is presented and offer it back in love and sacrifice, in imitation of Christ.

America may not be America one day, and that is bitterly sad to those of us who love her so dearly, but it's not the ultimate tragedy.

In the end, the only tragedy is not to be a saint. The only tragedy is not to make it to Heaven. Nothing else matters -- truly nothing.

I thought I'd do a lot of political posts leading up to the election, but I am not so sure anymore. I'll throw in a few, but mostly I'd like to concentrate on and post about some of the higher things, the things that last infinitely longer than any nation or political system.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!




Queen of Angels, by Bouguereau






43 comments:

  1. Leila,
    Know this my friend: your blog has changed my life, literally. I have learned so much from you and stepped forward to make my voice heard when I thought for sure I would never become politically involved in anything. There are things that must be said and things that MUST BE DONE at whatever cost. It is because of you, my Dear Catholic Sister, that I learned to listen to my GOD, follow my Catholic faith, and pay whatever price that came along the way. The cost has been high as I've lost friends who will not allow me to speak up for what I believe is right, but I've gained friends as well.

    You have a tremendous following and -- like it or not -- you are leading many of us down a rocky path of discovery. God has given you this incredible gift and the Evil One wants you to doubt it. Don't doubt it my friend. Do what you need to refresh your soul, and come back with guns blazing! WE NEED YOU.

    DD

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  2. You are such an inspiration, and such a beautiful soul.

    LOVE YOU!!

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  3. LOVE YOU!!!!

    My low hit when they killed our ambassador, and it felt like there was nothing---. The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. I kept going over in my head "Love always protects..." I really sort of freaked about about the future for my kids in America.

    In the middle, we went to a Civil War reenactment of the 150 anniversary of Antietam. I'm a history buff, so this isn't new--but something about last weekend was different. It really hit me how many people died for our country in the Civil War. They weren't these perfect people--and our country was not a perfect place--but they died for it. It just gave me strength that whatever is happening politically in the moment, America is something deeper.

    I will teach my children to love Jesus. I will teach them to honor the deepest truth that make up "America". We might have to go through some ugly times--but the Truth will win. I take it very inspiring that the Pope is from Germany--from a horrible, horrible time in human history and yet his Christian faith was crystalized-and he and Blessed John Paul II are now leaders of the universal Catholic Church.

    Peace be with you, dear Sister

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  4. Thank for this perspective! I couldn't agree more!

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  5. Your lessons have made me a better person, thanks for always choosing to share the truth of the gospel!

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  6. You know what I keep saying Leila...RETREAT! :-) I'm sorry I keep hounding you about it, but I just think you would love it; especially when you talked about how everything we have in our life is a gift from God Himself. This is exactly what the priest talked about--the "talents" that God gives us are to help us to become holy.

    However, I know that the retreat I suggested to you is at a bad time but I hope you will really think about it.
    And if not the Miles Christi retreat, maybe a different one. Heck, there are so many good retreats out there.

    Point is, we all need to escape for a while. We all need to get away from the world and go on a honeymoon with Jesus.

    Take care, and don't worry about blogging. I know you might stay away for a while, but you always come back. :-)

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  7. This is not our true homeland even loving America as much as we do. Things pass away- only God remains and we are being called home to heaven where our ultimate joy awaits.

    It's hard not to be down Leila but a few weeks ago I attended a wedding that gave me much hope for our future- a chaste, happy young couple striving for holiness. It made my heart sing. There are many good things happening admist the ashes.

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  8. I totally understand. I'm worn down with all this political stuff. Thanks for putting it in perspective!
    Maybe stick to blogging about soap for now hehe ;)

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  9. I personally love when you focus on the faith and tell us about your family. But that's probably because I gave up on politics long ago! Keeping you in prayer Leila :)

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  10. Oh, you must be wrong, because the MS Media says the DNC was a huge success!!
    Yes, for death, and division, and all sorts of sad things.

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  11. I agree with every word that you said here. It is doubly frustrating for me because my husband is in Afghanistan serving our country leaving me and our 4 kids home.....for this. All we can do is pray, and I've been doing a lot of that lately!

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  12. I'm a Canadian by I watch what is happening in the USA. I am at peace and I am happy. I am exactly where God wants me. Like you I feel more and more like retreating in prayer. It is the only thing that comforts me. I'm at peace and happy but at the same time I feel like weeping and I'm very sad. I feel like one day those who are my "friends" now will turn against me. I fear that Obama will win and it will probably be in a dishonest way.

    On Facebook yesterday I wrote First the economy, then the social then the political. The economy is in chaos. It will not recover anytime soon. The social norms are changing and going to chaos. add the Middle East. The earth is also rebelling. Mix all this together and we are heading to anarchy. However, we seek security and safety. Very often in the past a society in chaos, then chooses to follow a leader who offers security and control in exchange for freedom. (Think of dictators and how they got there).

    Add the present disdain towards Christians and things are not looking too good. Muslims are seen as a religion of peace and Christians as a disturbers of "peace and order." http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/all-charges-dropped-against-uk-pro-life-group-using-graphic-images

    Reading www.markmallett.com/blog and pelianito has been very interesting and enlightening.
    www.pelianito.stblogs.com

    Going to adoration has been wonderful.

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  13. Right on!! I couldn't even bring myself to watch it and I still have tons o' unchristian like thoughts!

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  14. You guys are great! Thank you, thank you! I know you guys understand. ;) Becky, so true, I need to! And, Andrea, may God bless your husband. Please let him know how grateful we are for his service.

    Who knows? Maybe there will be a big wave of conversions of heart in this nation, esp. if we reelect Obama and things get so bad that we all wake up! Or, the nation becomes hard core mission territory. We can handle that, right?

    Meantime, I will blog for sure, just in a slightly different way, ha ha.

    Oh, and go check out Jen's Conversion Diary today. FASCINATING, but the responses from Europe will get you thinking:

    http://www.conversiondiary.com/2012/09/readers-talk-about-the-religious-climates-in-their-countries.html

    Just praying we don't end up like that! Uju, the African guest poster who lives and works in the UK now, told me that America is seen as the heart and soul of the pro-life movement in the world. We have a mission, for sure. And thank God, the pro-life movement here is growing, and ever younger. It'll be interesting how things unfold and I will especially love looking at how/why it all played out as it did -- at the final judgement, when all will be revealed! :)

    And please know, I still think it's of the utmost importance to vote Obama out of office. There is a third edition of the little booklet "Catholics in the Public Square", published as part of The Shepherd's Voice series, which really lays out all you need to know about being a Catholic and voting. My own holy bishop wrote it, and in Phoenix, you can get it at your parish (got mine right after mass on the way out, for free). Here is a link to the second edition, if you are interested (not sure the best place to get the more recent edition):

    http://www.amazon.com/Catholics-Public-Square-Shepherds-Voice/dp/193031423X

    It will clear up a lot for those Catholics who really are confused, and really do want to learn and to vote the "Catholic" way.

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  15. Leila, as a fellow Disciple of Jesus and Mary, I can tell you that I've drawn so much strength during these times from that formation process. Maybe you're being called to return to the formation? There is so much good fruit to draw from it, fruit that is absolutely necessary in these times.

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  16. I totally understand this! There's so much evil out there, you could fight nonstop every day and still not be able to tackle it all. Breaks are definitely needed to recharge and refocus. I know it feels like a losing battle sometimes, but I promise you, you DO make a difference! We <3 you!

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  17. I should clarify… and I just edited the post to reflect this, as it wasn't clear… I am going to keep blogging, but will be trying to concentrate more of those posts on the higher things, not so much politics. Just to try to keep a balance, and my sanity, ha ha! I want to talk about Purgatory next, for example, and then the Last Things. Good stuff!!

    And, I sure hope this post didn't sound to "woe is me", because I truly am a happy person, with lots of joy, even in my incredible sadness and annoyance for what has happened to this wonderful nation. (Like, did you read that Rhode Island has said that father-daughter dances are ILLEGAL there, because of "gender discrimination"? YES, I am SERIOUS! Thanks, liberals and the ACLU! Google it if you don't believe me.)

    Cari, you may be right!

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  18. Chantal, those UK pro-lifers are quite brave! Wow!

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  19. From Catholic Vote:

    The Holy Father's September 2012 prayer intention is particularly poignant: "That politicians may always act with honesty, integrity, and love for the truth."

    Amen, Papa!

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  20. "In twenty or thirty more years, there will be few left who understand or care why this nation was founded and why she is (or was) different. The great experiment will be over" Have hope! If for no other reason that those of us who were born after 1973 are understanding more and more that there is NO reason for us to be here other than the whim of our mothers at the time we were conceived. Unfortunately, as rampant as abortion is, mostly big, religious families are all the people who will be left!

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  21. Hi Leila,
    What I am going to say probably has already been said above. But no time to read all when homeschooling... hah! So,here is what you said:

    "I thought I'd do a lot of political posts leading up to the election, but I am not so sure anymore. I'll throw in a few, but mostly I'd like to concentrate on and post about some of the higher things, the things that last infinitely longer than any nation or political system."

    What everyone needs from you is to integrate higher things as it applies to the political system. You must write about politics. We are stuck in this time and place - oops, not stuck - we, YOU are caringly placed here at this time and place for the Greater Glory of God, and (we) you are called to assist in His Divine Plan. So, blog about continuous practical application - perhaps express your angst and even disgust, then turn toward God and through prayer, blog about how to approach it and what to do about it. This is what the USCCB has called us to, and why Bl. JPII said to use social media. But you already know that.

    Don't move too far away - God (has and) will give you the grace to sustain you through this depressing time.

    It's the entire reason I am now on facebook.
    I am thankful to God for you and for the work you do on this blog and facebook, and in all your conversations.

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  22. I feel ya. All of what you said. I'm sort of on a roller coaster. I get so down, thinking of all the unprecedented things this jerk president has done (and that if a republican had done wouldn't last another day in office). The MSM just makes me want to slit my wrists (metaphorically). But then I look at my kids and my husband, and my faith, and all the young prolifers joining the movement, as well as all the rising stars in the GOP, as highlighted in our convention. And it does give me a glimmer of hope. It's not going to be easy, but it's a fight we have to keep up!!

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  23. Leila,

    OH this is why I admire you so much because you are a fighter. I am one of those Catholics that want so much for my family to convert...so many liberal democrats...I fear for their souls.
    I am hoping you keep posting politically. I did not watch the DNC. My stomach would not be able to handle it. I learned so much from your post. Hang in there and prayers for you.

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  24. Yes, I am going to stay in the fight, for sure! I also love that our own Pope Benedict specifically mentioned to our American bishops the loss of religious freedom that is threatening our nation! For him to say such a thing shows that he is very concerned. We must fight Obama and his mandate and we must fight anytime we see an attempt to erode our religious liberty. I will definitely keep fighting. Just hopefully from a more effective perspective…

    Read what the Pope said:

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-warns-of-grave-threat-to-religious-freedom-in-us/

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  25. Leila, you need to watch this. It will make you feel better. :-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZBTyTWOZCM&feature=youtu.be

    Now I've got to see if that link works...

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  26. As long as you keep blogging, we will all be happy!

    Have you read "Who really cares" - it's about charity in America and the political ideals relating to it. I think you would like it.

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  27. I'm so sorry this political season is giving you so much worry. I can understand your exasperation. My dad always reminds me the RNC and DNC tend to be the more extreme versions of the parties and most Americans are somewhere in the middle.

    I do apologize if anything I said on your blog added to your concern. The downside to the net is you can't always seen when someone's starting to get a bit overwhelmed by everything.

    I do enjoy your blog and I'm looking forward to your future posts. :-)

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  28. Becky, that is so neat! And Liesl, is it a book?

    StarFireKK, no worries! I actually was invested in our conversation and hoped to continue it. Maybe via email? I don't see the RNC as extreme, though… although I guess the “we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed” part of the Republican Platform was seen as VERY extremist by the left, ha ha. They went NUTS over it, and how awful and fringe that statement supposedly is.

    I actually very much enjoyed the Rep. Convention. It uplifted me and gave me hope. Now, are there corrupt and greedy Republican politicians? Yes, it's the nature of the game. But the ideals of the RNC, the stated points that they hope to live up to, I can stand behind. And where we disagree on policy, it's not a matter of a non-negotiable, so I can in good conscience be a Republican. I am sure there are many who think me an extremist, ha ha.

    Hey, there I go talking politics again!! :)

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    1. And not to open up a can of worms, but it's the "middle" (apathy) of the voters that worry me…. I want them to stand firm for something! At least then we know where everyone stands and can fight for our ideals.

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    2. Aw, Leila..so many of us are politically pooped. The frustration is exhausting. We will never make the spiritually blinded see, but somewhere, somehow, sometime the Holy Spirit will lift those blindfolds. All we can do is be patient & pray. My latest post expresses similar feelings as yours, but, I fear...not quite as delicately. I hope I get a senior dispensation. Hang in there & continue making us feel better. N

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  29. as I watched speaker after speaker after speaker proclaim with joy and passion, "ABORTION!! yes, anytime, anywhere, any place any reason!!!" and the more I thought about this the more I realized it is not my responsibility to convert the masses..it is the work of the Holy Spirit. our job is to trust in Gods will and obey. despair and doubt are not from God. besides...we already know the whole story...and we know God wins!

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  30. Oh I hear ya, L! I'm so frustrated with politics right now, it's not even funny...(on a national and local level!) All we can do is pray. xo!

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  31. you are awesome! glad even the *MOST* political among us need this reminder - I was beginning to feel weak that my Catholic Social Justice zeal couldn't propel me into "the fight" for November. I will pray, and maybe post a couple things on fb, but wow...I don't have the stomach or heart for it right now.

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  32. And it is difficult to remember, much less do, that in spite of all these things, we are called to love them.

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  33. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

    I didn't watch the DNC - my blood pressure wouldn't have handled it. It does make me cry, especially when I see so many of my friends who don't understand the inherent evil that is being promulgated (for a lack of a better word) by the Democrat Party, tow the party-line in the same blind-faith they often accuse Catholics and other Christians of following.

    St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander about the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

    Peace be with you, Leila, and your family. :)




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  34. I'm burnt out on politics too, especially after Romneys statement about the 47% of the american population being moochers. I just lost all hope after that one. I'm going to be focusing on raising my children in the faith. I'm going to outbreed all the people who embrace the death culture. I'm looking for a way to teach my kids about the catholic faith when I'm just learning myself! November elections will be over with and I'm looking forward to the Advent season with my family.

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  35. Bartley's I agree with you about the breeding, ha ha! I was honestly just thinking about that today… If pro-life people had more kids (so many Protestants and Catholics limit themselves to two), then we can have all the future voters, ha! It's really not even a joke, though, because look at Europe. The Muslims have tons of kids there, and the "Christians" barely any. Soon enough, Muslim values and beliefs will win, because they will have the numbers and the votes. No need for bullets or revolution. Easy peasy.

    I can't wait for the debates. It's the only chance that Romney has to get the word out without having it filtered and distorted by Obama's lapdog media (Obama has never yet been asked a hard question on the economy, or on religious liberty, or on the murders of our ambassador and other Americans, etc.).

    Heck, when our own dear pope feels compelled to speak out regarding American politics, you know it's serious. Again, for everyone:

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-warns-of-grave-threat-to-religious-freedom-in-us/

    When he talks about those who pose a grave threat to religious liberty in America, he ain't talking about Romney!

    (As a member of a minority religious group himself, Romney will be much more sensitive to religious persecution and marginalization of Catholics, thank goodness. Romney might not be perfect, but the alternative is unthinkable.)

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  36. I really needed to read this, and the comments too. I was so disgusted by the DNC, and I am so frustrated by my fellow citizens who are too apathetic to take a stand, who are too afraid to take a stand, I felt the darkness creeping up. I've felt despair and anger. But I realize I have not been as diligent in my prayer life as I need to be when I get so wrapped up the the things of this life and this world. I will not stop standing up for what I believe is the truth, but I will be more mindful to turn always to God for strength, nourishment and encouragement. Thank you, Leila, for your writing, whether political or not. I find inspiration every time I read your blog. You will be in my prayers!

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  37. Thanks Colleen, and everyone! I love this quote from Our Lord, to keep us encouraged in this very dark moment:

    "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

    If that doesn't lift you up, nothing will! I love it!!

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  38. Hi Leila- I was interested in our talk too. But honestly, I got a little burnt out on the political talk as well. It is a fun and important intellectual exercise but my state has only ever gone blue twice in its history so I can be pretty confident Romney will win our vote.

    I'm just looking forward to the election being over so everyone can return to normal.

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  39. StarFire, if Obama wins, I don't think there will be a return to normal. :(

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    1. That was supposed to be a frowny face. It got split up!

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  40. I am afraid that Obama will wins dishonestly. I am sad but more than ever pressed to teach my children. I don't have TV and next month I will be disconnecting the internet. I think things are soon going to be chaotic.

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