Saturday, August 18, 2018

"I'm moving!" To a new blog...

UPDATE for my Facebook friends: Today (Monday, August 20) I was able to see my fb pages again, after three days of being blocked completely. But, I am told that because of my "hate speech" infraction, I still have three more days of not being able to post or comment or check my private messages. That last part is the most frustrating, as there are many folks who ask for help and advice and I am unable to get to them. Please use my email (to the right on this blog) to contact me. 


Howdy, friends!! Long time no see!

You all deserve an update, as this blog has been dormant since March of this year. Blogging became much more difficult than simply putting out Facebook posts, because I tend to be more of a perfectionist here. I feel I need to have fully developed thesis, perfect grammar, etc. Facebook moves more quickly, and thoughts can be shorter. It was a great relief, lots of fun, and the comments/conversations/connections were immediate and edifying.

But because the social media overlords are bringing the hammer down on social conservatives and censoring speech, I am finally kicking into gear a new website--and a blog attached to it--that I started long ago but have not introduced till now. The reasons I started it in the first place are super boring, but it was time to make a switch from the Bubble.

This new platform will be helpful, since I am in my second round of "Facebook jail" in the past week. I have a pretty good idea of who the folks were who had me "arrested," so pray for those unhappy souls. Seems that speaking the truths of the Church teaching on sexual morality can get one nailed for "hate speech" (and it's happened to me before, in 2012).

Ha!! I've got the best friends! They have my back... lol. 


[I learned just before posting this that they even had sweet Margo Basso--longtime friend of the Bubble--"jailed" as well!]

What I said in the two instances this week was factual, apropos to the current crimes and sins infesting our hierarchy, and contained a link to JosephSciambra.com (his blog a must read for anyone who wants to know how the "lavender mafia" has gotten such a foothold in Holy Mother Church and what its effects are).

Interestingly, what I wrote about homosexual acts was mild, mild, mild compared to what the saints have said about those sins. If St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Catherine of Siena or St. John Chrysostom (among many others) had a Facebook account, their words on the subject would get them banned for life--and likely arrested for "hate speech" in several American states and Canada!

We live in weird and yet exciting times, don't you agree?

Anyway, since Facebook has been my main platform for so long, and since I have been told that my next infraction will get me locked out of my own pages for seven days, with the following infraction getting me locked out of my Facebook pages forever, I am thinking ahead.

First, as I mentioned above, I am debuting a new website: LeilaMiller.net is the location, and there is a section of the site that is my new blogging space. My first post was on August 14, after my first (2018) Facebook incarceration.

Second, since I believe it's inevitable that I will be kicked out of Facebook completely, I have opened an account on the social networking platform, MeWe. Be sure to look for me if you sign up! More and more people are going that route, because they won't have to fear having their accounts censored or wiped out completely for being conservative.

Meanwhile, the Bubble will remain right here as an archive, and anyone will be able to access its articles at any time. Please continue to make use of it that way! But as for new writing, that's moving to the new blog, where you will also be able to keep track of my book projects, both completed and in progress. Currently, I have a book publishing through Catholic Answers next month, Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today's Tough Moral Issues, co-written with the wonderful Trent Horn.




I am so happy to say that some great Catholics have already endorsed it (Matt and Cameron Fradd, Jason Evert, Dr. Robert P. George, Dr. Kevin Vost, Leila Lawler, Leah Darrow and more), and I am humbled beyond words to say that His Eminence, Robert Cardinal Sarah has endorsed it as well (as he did with Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak). And yes, I freaked out just a little bit about that, again! He is a good and holy man, the kind we so desperately need more of in the College of Cardinals.



In more book news: 1) a follow-up to Primal Loss is in the works (focusing on stories of hope--marriages that have survived despite the odds, 2) a second expanded version of Raising Chaste Catholic Men has been published by Holy Heroes (make sure you don't accidentally get the older edition), and 3) another new book is begun and has found a publisher, but it is still under wraps, so I'm not saying a word about it right now. I'm extremely excited about it, though (I believe it is desperately needed), and I'll let you know more when I can! Ahhh! I thank you so much for your support, because my Bubble readers are the reason I started writing books. You guys are the best!!

Oh, and, expect minimal commenting at the new site, at least at first, because I am not allowing anonymous comments, and it's hard to get a new blog up and running (there is a place you can subscribe to it, to receive posts in your email). I don't expect it ever to reach the level of incredible commenting that happened here in the Bubble, because I'm not going to be as consistent a blogger, by a long shot! And the fun of the Bubble can't be recaptured or duplicated. But we all have to move on to new seasons...

See you at LeilaMiller.net, and on MeWe--and also on my Facebook page, for as long as the "progressive, inclusive, open-minded" Facebook totalitarians allow it!  ;)











Sunday, March 11, 2018

Cardinal Sarah endorses Primal Loss



This came. I almost fainted. Totally unexpected.

May God bless Robert Cardinal Sarah for his kind endorsement of Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak, and for his prayers for my family (which pretty much sent me over). I just love this man.

Please, please, pray for the good Cardinal. He is one of the holiest men alive, in my estimation, and I know I'm not alone in that thought.








Saturday, December 23, 2017

TWO obligatory masses this weekend. Here are your options....


Hey, Catholics! We are celebrating the Fourth Sunday of Advent and the Feast of Christmas, back to back! 

Here are your options for mass attendance, made simple! (This handy graphic is from the Diocese of Phoenix, but it's true for all dioceses.)

Blessed Christmas to you!









Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Book giveaway runs until Saturday!! Don't miss it!




The incredible Leila Marie Lawler has a book giveaway going on her wonderful blog, Like Mother Like Daughter! Head on over, and share!




An excerpt:

I have always said that you simply can’t ask a child what he thinks about his parents’ divorce. There is too much at stake! For the child to admit that he has received a blow he may not recover from is too frightening. And in almost every case, the child feels he has to protect his parents who are obviously no longer in control of their own lives — if only for his own preservation, for, the child has no autonomy. Without his parents, he will be exposed to nameless danger.

No, you must wait until the child has grown. Then you may — may! — be able to find out what happened to his inner life when his world fell apart.

This is what Leila Miller has done — she has let the now-adult “child” speak.




Monday, November 27, 2017

Odd and Ends




Hello, my friends!

Just popping in to relink last year's Catholic Christmas shopping aid, from Catholic sellers! I hope all the links still work, ha ha:




ALSO:

If you would like signed copies of either of my books in time for Christmas gift-giving, please get that order to me this week, so I can send them out in plenty of time! My email is on the side of the blog, or you can email me at primalloss@gmail.com

If you want them signed and personalized, DON'T buy them from Amazon! Email me. And even if you don't want them signed but want a "CyberMonday" discount, email me. :) Otherwise, buy them at Amazon for full price. ;)






Aaaaaand.....


EXCITING NEWS: I'm busy working on a book with Trent Horn (best Catholic apologist in the universe, and he works for Catholic Answers), which will show you exactly how to talk to your children (both little and big!) about each of the tough moral issues we are facing in the culture today. If you could pray for our endeavor, I would appreciate it so much!



Meanwhile, here is the single best article I have read to date about what is happening in our culture, especially with regard to the scourge of "identity politics" (which many young and faithful Catholics have fallen into, aka, the "social justice warriors") and its connection to the breakdown of the family (which is at the crux of so much of the disaster we see all around us):




Here's an excerpt:


Q. To millennials, and I speak as one, intentional self-definition feels like the natural mode of being. It's what we do on social media without even realizing it. Has that not always been so? Aren't existential crises a long-running theme in the past century of modernity? Have they changed, or heightened?
A. What’s changed is not human nature – everyone asks the same questions about identity. But the familial circumstances in which many contemporary souls now find ourselves are radically changed, and make that quintessentially human question harder to answer.
For most of history, that question, “Who am I?” was answered first in the context of the family: I am a daughter, I am a cousin, a grandmother, a niece, and so on. Identity of a most obvious and unquestionable kind was provided by how any given individual was situated within the family into which he was born. If you didn’t know anything else, you at least knew that.
As of the Pill, though, and its promise of consequence-free sex, family relations have changed fundamentally – and with them, familial identity. Modern contraceptives increased the temptation to people-shop, because so many more people were now sexually available. Bonds like marriage, which once had been seen by most people as immutable, were (and are) extraordinarily strained by this massive sexual consumerism.
As a result, many people now regard “family” as a voluntary association, rather than a primordial set of bonds. That’s why we have such high rates of divorce and single motherhood – higher than ever before in history: because as of the sexual revolution, many people have behaved as if the family is negotiable, rather than given.
In the essay, I give examples of just some of the resulting confusion out there. Are you a stepsister? That depends. What if your mother and your “stepsister’s” father were married once -- and aren’t anymore? Are you still related to that person? What if they were never married in the first place, and you were just living with your mother’s boyfriend’s daughter? Would you have considered her a “stepsister” at all?
Similarly: is that my grandfather? Well, if he’s your mother’s father, probably yes. But what if he’s someone who married your grandmother after she divorced your original grandfather – what then? And so on.
Add to all of these novel existential quandaries the related fact that the family has shrunk, and you can readily see what distinguishes us from our ancestors: we have fewer attachments to family than they did, and the ones that we do have are, for many of us, in constant flux.
How is a communal animal – man – supposed to derive identity from his first community, the family, at such a time? That’s where the barely suppressed hysteria behind today’s identity politics is really coming from, I think: confusion and loneliness and familial deprivation.



Read it all here



Miss you guys!!!! xoxoxoxo






Friday, October 20, 2017

My EWTN appearances




I had an amazing experience at EWTN studios, and then, with my son who attends college nearby, I went on a little pilgrimage to the Shrine Mother Angelica built, which includes her nuns' monastery and her resting place. 

Here's my live interview on At Home With Jim and Joy (who were so wonderful!):






This one is a very short Bookmark Brief (like a commercial) and the full interview with Doug Keck will be aired sometime in the Spring. 





Aaaaaannnd.....

I NEED YOUR STORY!

The follow-up book to Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak is going to be a compilation of stories of HOPE (like Chapter 10 in the current book). If you have a story of either you or your parents overcoming a terrible marital crisis and reuniting or finding redemption, please email me your story at primalloss@gmail.com -- and rest assured it will stay completely anonymous!



God bless you!  :)





Tuesday, September 26, 2017

From a Child of Divorce: "What I Wish They Would Have Told Me"



My friend Melody Lyons wrote something two years ago, that, had I known about it then, would have been included in my book, Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak

What she wrote goes to the heart of what I have learned since editing the book, and it's what the vast majority of divorce ministries and counselors are missing, i.e., the very normal and expected reactions of children taught to go along with something that is naturally destructive and unjust. Please see if you don't recognize what we do to the children of divorce, in Melody's words:


As the Catholic discussions on divorce, remarriage, etc., increase as a result of current events in the Church, I throw in my unsolicited pennies and beg Catholics to avoid one thing during those discussions: Never, even under the generous umbrella of mercy, allow adult pastoral considerations to divert attention from the great needs of the suffering children of divorce. A faster annulment process (or other changes) may or may not be good for the Church.... But it doesn't fundamentally change the crushing blow that divorce is to the family. Even when it is necessary, it is still a great suffering.

When we minimize the language of what divorce really is, we also minimize the real effect on human beings... and we unfortunately communicate lies to kids: "There must be something wrong with YOU to feel so bad and broken over something that isn't really a big deal."  It makes kids (and abandoned spouses) feel isolated and crazy. My own experience was that it caused me to bear an unwieldy burden of guilt even as a very young child. Over and over again I heard variations on the following...

"It's for the best."
"It's good for your parents... you should be glad that they can live happier lives."
"Don't you want them to be happy?"
"It is better this way."
"They did a brave thing."
"Nobody should have to live with someone they don't love."
"You'll understand when you're older."
"You are not being fair to them."
"Children do not understand what makes adults happy."
"Be grateful you didn't have to grow up in an unhappy household."
"You will learn to think and feel differently with time."
"Do you want to make your mom cry?"
"You were too young to be affected by it... you're just trying to get attention now."
"You are being ungrateful."
"God does not want your parents to be unhappy."

And over and over again I was pierced by the pain of isolation and brokenness that seemed to only have its roots in MY guilty, stupid soul. If divorce was "good" "better" and "best" and my parents were wholly justified and excellent decision makers, then I must have been a worthless person for all the sadness, grief, and anger I carried. While my own parents were lifted up and extolled for their courage by the long list of counselors, friends, and priests I sought out for help with my runaway grief, I was crushed under the knowledge that my grief (which I was helpless to) was standing in the way of their happiness....


Please read the rest of Melody's stunning piece, here:













Saturday, September 23, 2017

Infallibility made VERY simple



Since there is a lot going on in the Church right now, it's a good time for all of us to understand something very important and very basic: Infallibility.


There is more than one kind (or level) of infallibility in the Church. 

The Magisterium (i.e., the teaching authority of the Church) can exercise infallibility in two basic ways: 


1. The "extraordinary Magisterium"  

2. The "ordinary and universal Magisterium"


The exercise of the "extraordinary Magisterium" is the one we hear about most. This is when the Pope acts on his own, pronouncing and defining doctrine ex cathedra, or "from the Chair" of Peter. This has happened with two Marian doctrines--the Immaculate Conception of Mary and the Bodily Assumption of Mary. (These doctrines were already true and believed before the pope declared them, by the way. Popes do not ever "make up" new doctrines.)


The exercise of the "ordinary and universal Magisterium" is less dramatic but more common. It is the teaching of the whole body of bishops, in union with the pope. When the bishops and pope speak and teach definitively on something (for example in an ecumenical council) they are teaching infallibly. The day-to-day teachings of the Church, confirmed and reaffirmed throughout the centuries (taught "always and everywhere"), fall into this category of infallible teachings. "God exists" would be one such infallibly taught doctrine (pretty basic and general!), as would the prohibition of abortion and contraception (never has the Church sanctioned either one). 


Like I said, I'm keeping it simple! 
















Friday, September 22, 2017

Fr. Pete Rossa, Requiescat in pace



Precious in the sight of the LORD 
is the death of his holy ones.

Psalm 116:15


Inaugural Mass at the church Fr. Pete worked so many years to build. 8-13-16. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)



Fr. Pete Rossa, the beloved, always-smiling, ever-joyful pastor of St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, died last Wednesday, September 13. He was only 52.

On the morning of Tuesday the 12th, Fr. Pete had ascended the steps of the ambo to give his homily to the small group of faithful who had assembled for daily mass in the magnificent new church building that had been dedicated only months before. 

A dear friend who was in the pews that day said that Father did not look well as he began his homily -- he was "as white as the marble" surrounding him, but he pressed on in his priestly duties. He began with prescient words:

 "In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus called the disciples to Himself...." 

He then stopped, apologized, and appeared to take a step down. He lost consciousness and fell backwards onto the marble floor, hitting his head. The lector and parishioners rushed to help him, first responders arrived, and soon he was taken into emergency surgery. Despite excellent care, there was nothing the doctors could do; he never regained consciousness. The next day, surrounded by loving family, friends, and brother priests praying the rosary, Fr. Pete, good and faithful servant of God, passed to eternal life. 

It is a consolation to all and a gift from the Lord that his last conscious moments on this earth were spent surrounded by consecrated, holy things, with his Eucharistic Lord just a few feet from him. Father Pete was robed in his priestly vestments, serving his flock in the house of God that they had worked so hard to build, together. 

As recounted in his moving obituary:
In the lunchroom at the parish office just recently, Fr. Peter shared with some of his staff that when it was his time, he hoped he could die doing what he loved most, celebrating the Sacred Mass. How prophetic, then, that he was called to the Lord and into the loving arms of the Blessed Mother, for whom he held such great affection, only days later in just this way.

The Lord clearly loved his servant Peter very much. 

Just months earlier, when dedicating the new church building, he said to his flock:
It’s my great prayer that we continue to grow in the grace of God and to proclaim His kingdom everywhere we go, every minute of the day because you, my brothers and sisters, are not just simply called to come to Mass on Sunday. You and I are called to be saints.
God wants that more than anything else, and He is going to pour out the Holy Spirit upon you in your lives for just that purpose. If I were to die tomorrow, it would be my sincerest hope not that I be remembered for this church, but that I would be remembered for bringing you closer to Jesus Christ because that is our mission, that is our hope, that is our longing at the core of our faith. 

I am not sure Fr. Pete knew who I was, but I sure knew him. I remember reading about his late vocation in the diocesan newspaper 14 years ago. He had been in the Air Force for 12 years, and after having served our country with honor, he got out and began to wonder about God, Someone he had not really known. He went to an RCIA class and asked, to the amusement of the others, "Who is Jesus?" God clearly had Pete Rossa on the fast track, because soon after that spiritual awakening, he was headed to the seminary--and ultimately to 14 years of a holy and fruitful priesthood that touched thousands of lives. 

St. Bernadette's has been my "second parish home" for many years, as well as the place where I routinely go to confession; Fr. Pete was often the priest behind the screen, hearing my sins and giving me gentle spiritual direction and absolution. When he celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it was always reverent, and his joy in the Lord--and his beloved parishioners--was clearly evident. 

Fr. Pete probably never knew that he was part of our Bubble family, but I used one of his columns years ago, right here! He had a passion for and expertise in bioethics, and he used that knowledge to teach the truth, courageously but lovingly, to a world that desperately needs to hear it:




In the past few days there have been many tears shed for this kind, humble, and faithful priest, and many stories shared of how he changed people's lives and souls by mediating to them the love of Jesus Christ. A grieving member of Fr. Pete's flock, Denny Hunt, speaks for many of us when he says, simply:



"Thank you for all the times you absolved me of sins and gave me Jesus."


Our priests sacrifice everything to give us all. May we never take them for granted. 

May the soul of Fr. Peter Rossa, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in eternal peace. 







+++++++




There is more on Fr. Pete, including memorable stories from those who knew him during seminary and through his priesthood, in this Catholic Sun article:




Fr. Pete, at the wedding mass of Chris and Angela Faddis, 2006. Photo: Carlos Weaver



Friday, August 25, 2017

What can a divorced parent say NOW to their children to help them heal?



Hello, Strangers (unless you've been following me on Facebook, and in that case, we know each other better than ever)!!

Things have been pretty crazy since the release of Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak (scroll to the end of this post for info on my upcoming appearances on EWTN), and I can't thank you enough for all your support and encouragement. xoxoxo

Through all the incredible discussion the book has engendered, I realized that there is a question I didn't ask the now-adult children of divorce, and it's an important one:


What could your parents say to you NOW that would help you heal from the legacy of their divorce in your life? 


So, I took the question to several of the book's contributors, and below are their thoughts, in red. Other contributors' responses/reactions to those thoughts are in blue. And, if you are tempted to dismiss the answers as so much whining, please understand that divorce is an injustice to children, yet, they hardly speak of it. Let them speak, even if it hurts to hear it. We do not live in a culture where the children of divorce speak *too much* after all, but too little....




What would I like to hear from my parents? An acknowledgment that they let me down.

^^That is exactly where my head and heart went.

Same.

I think I would also stress the spiritual jeopardy that I was placed in by their choice.....we view God the way we are parented......that their actions haven't just hurt earthly relationships, but heavenly ones, as well.

You know, this reminds me that a dad is supposed to fight for his family. The Church needs to do a better job with formation instead of the [weak catechesis] that passes for it......

YES. "We were stupid and selfish. We should have tried harder. We should have valued our family, and the health and well-being of our children more and fought for our family."


+++++++


They could say: "I loved your mother/father. I am sorry I hurt you. I would try harder if I had the chance to do it again."


+++++++


What could they say? They could say "we're getting back together."

YES!

I was so sad when my dad got remarried and it became apparent that it would never happen. I know I'm not the only kid that held out hope for a reunion.

For me this would be devastating. I would feel like my parents put me through 40 years of garbage for absolutely no reason.


+++++++


I don't need an apology, just an acknowledgement that it has been incredibly hard for me and that it took things from me I otherwise would have had.


+++++++


"I'm sorry, I'm listening." (No caveats, such as "I thought I was doing what was best for us, etc.")


+++++++


Saying, "I'm sorry, I love you," then ask how I feel, listen to me and talk about it. I will say, my mom did write me a letter when I was in college telling me she was sorry that her marriage was not a good example for me. I really appreciated that.


+++++++


Wow, I'm not sure what to say. I don't think my parents ever said anything like this to me, but I wish they had. My mom acknowledged it to me regarding my sister, because my sister went down the wrong path, got into drugs, went to jail for a time, etc., and my mom acknowledged that the divorce was so hard on her, that it was probably a big part of why she went down the path she did. I would just want them to say, "I'm sorry" and express regret, remorse, and acknowledge that they knows it's harmful and it hurts, and if there's anything they can do to help their children cope, that they will do it. And if the kids need to talk or vent without judgement, they will listen. And then mean it.


+++++++


How about: "My Child, I am sorry to have caused you all this pain. It was a difficult, painful time, and in my ignorance and blindness, I chose a selfish, sinful path, and your family was broken. I should have tried harder and done the work to fix what was wrong and loved your mom (or dad) the way she (or he) deserved. I should have honored my vows and been a better example to you and your siblings. Please don’t follow in my footsteps! I love you and pray that you can make your marriage last a lifetime, and that your own children never have to go through the pain you have suffered."

Perfect.


Oh my, I love this.

Thank you. This hits all the sore spots!


+++++++


"I'm so sorry."


+++++++


I would want the parent to ask me how I feel and what I went through and listen. That's all.

THIS

Yep. This. Great answer.

I agree, but I needed to hear their sense of sadness and regret, too.

Would you be able to tell them? I still don't know that I could.

Not to my mother that is for sure. My dad has been open, but I'm not sure how to express the pain. It was awful.


+++++++


Things that were said to me that helped: "I loved your father very much and wanted to be with him for life. I was very sad about the divorce." And from my father (during a small window where he seemed to get it): "I feel like I messed your childhood up. I'm so sorry. I regret so many things. Please forgive me." Also optimism and confidence that I can lead a great life, and that my parents are proud of me. My mom in particular always approached things with both empathy and a can-do, we're in this together attitude.

Nice. Just about everything I want to hear.


+++++++


As for what to say, I think a simple recognition of the failure and its subsequent trauma is enough. Don't justify it, don't smooth it over. And for God's sake, don't tell them that it was "meant to happen" (my mother said this to my young daughter).


+++++++


Don't badmouth each other. Usually, kids love both of their parents. Be grownups. You already messed up by getting a divorce, don't make it worse by making the kids choose sides. And, actually listen to what your kid wants to say without making any excuses.


+++++++


Here's an unrealistic request: How about a long litany of the events that happened in life and how they could have been. (Birthdays, vacations, concerts, sporting events, conversations needed in high school that didn't happen, etc.) Seriously, an acknowledgement of what should have happened at those important times, even if not a comprehensive list, would go a long way to show that the parent "gets it."


+++++++


I don't think there is a particular set of words to say; but the acknowledgement to the child that the dysfunctions and divorce were hurtful to the child will go a long way in healing. I am very blessed, in that my dad did ask me, not too many years before before he died, if I were angry with him for divorcing my mother. My dad's acknowledgement that I suffered means a great deal to me.

+++++++


So much has already been said here. All I would add is how children need to hear that they did nothing to cause the divorce and that they are blameless. 



There was more, but you get the gist of it. Guys, there is a world of hidden hurt out there and it needs to be addressed. 

May God bless all the children of divorce. 



________________________________




MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

On September 28 at 2:00 pm EST, I am going to be a guest on EWTN's At Home With Jim and Joy! The show will be live, and then it will be repeated a couple of times. I will also be taping an episode of EWTN's Bookmark with Doug Keck! I hope everyone in the Bubble family will tune in!

More info to come as we get closer!