Crawling On Our Knees To Heaven

Crawling On Our Knees To Heaven

The Catholic faith, with all of the elaborate liturgies and rich traditions, is a testament to the incarnational reality of Christ. Rather than simply receiving Christ spiritually, we consume what looks like bread and tastes like wine but which we profess is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Rather than simply believing that we are forgiven, we profess our sins aloud and then hear the words of absolution extended as we are reconciled to God. Though not dogma, we profess to have the crown of thorns, nails from the cross, pieces of the true cross, and even the cloth wrapped around Jesus before He was laid in the tomb. The physical realities of the God-man are brimming in the Catholic churches around the world.

On a recent pilgrimage to Rome with some students, I was able to climb the Scala Santa or Holy Stairs. These twenty-eight steps of marble are believed to be the stairs Christ ascended as the Jewish authorities turned Him over to Pilate. Transported from the Holy Land to Rome at the request of Constantine’s mother, St. Helena, pilgrims have come for centuries to climb these steps on their knees as they recall the Passion of Jesus Christ. The ardent devotion of thousands upon thousands of pilgrims began to wear away at the stones and it was a desire of the Church to preserve them for future Christians. Around three hundred years ago, the steps were covered with wood to prevent their further deterioration.

A restoration process that has unfolded over the past few years led to the uncovering of the steps. As the restoration neared its end, for a few weeks during May and June, the Church allowed pilgrims to ascend the uncovered steps on their knees. The pilgrimage I was on happened to fall during the final week of the steps being uncovered.

Nine years ago, I climbed the steps during my first trip to Rome. Knowing the steps would be uncovered this time, I didn’t really consider how that would alter the experience of climbing them. The deep grooves in the marble, formed by thousands upon thousands of knees before me, made the ascent a bit more complicated than when it was on planks of wood. How many knees had been on these same steps? How many kisses had been placed on these marble slabs that formed the path Jesus took to condemnation? How many saints had made this same pilgrimage?

Continue reading “Crawling On Our Knees To Heaven”

Making Excuses with Moses

Moses and I might as well be twins.  Yes, I am aware of the historical, ethnic, and cultural difficulties associated with that type of relation, but it is very true.  Moses and I both balk at what the Lord asks of us and then we make excuses.  Not just one excuse that can be neatly answered, but multiple.  And if we run out of excuses, we start re-using the old ones, just in case they appear any stronger after a period of neglect.  I don’t even need to alter much to make the excuses of Moses my own.

Granted Moses faced a bit more of a challenging task then I do.  He was saved from infanticide, raised in Pharaoh’s house, sent into exile after killing an Egyptian, and called by God from a burning bush to march his people (that he never really lived with) out of slavery and into a Promised Land.  No big deal, right?  I, on the other hand, am simply told to be the best teacher I can be, proclaim the truth without fear of the consequences, and become of a disciple for the Lord.  When placed in that light, Moses had very good reason to throw up excuses while my position has a much weaker foundation for it.

Q: “Who am I that I should…?” (Ex. 3:11)
A: “But I will be with you…”
Q: “If…they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
A: “I AM who I AM.”

Excuse: “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice…” (Ex. 4: 1)
Reply: “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak.  Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.” (Jer. 1: 7-8)
Excuse: “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent…”
Reply: “Who has made man’s mouth?  Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind?  Is it not I, the Lord?  Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”

Final plea: “Oh, my Lord, send, I pray, some other person.” (Ex 4: 13)

This final plea is sometimes what I find myself reduced to.  Just send anyone but me, Lord.  I think of others who are clearly more qualified for the job than me.  I wonder how the Lord could make such a large mistake, could have overlooked their finer qualities and overlooked my giant deficiencies.  This feeling of “Please, Lord, someone else!” isn’t just with large missions, but is with lesser things.  When there is gossip taking place and I feel uncomfortable, but I don’t want to be the one to squelch it.  If I see something that is wrong but wish I hadn’t seen it so that I could simply be naïve. 

When I was offered the teaching job I felt incredibly inadequate.  I had just finished convincing people quite a bit older than me that I was the person they wanted for the job.  Then I was offered the job and I had a more difficult time convincing myself that I was the person for the job.  In fact, I began to compile a mental list of people that would be better at teaching than I would be.  I thought of intelligent priests I knew, passionate young adults filled with both knowledge and fire, and young religious sisters who would be able to articulate the faith in an eloquent manner.  Then I thought of my own abilities and talents.  The list seemed to be woefully short.  I hadn’t lied to the interviewers…I had simply spoken with more confidence than I actually had.  Who would hire someone who said, “I am pretty sure that I can do this job, I think.  _________ and ___________ would be perfect for this job but they aren’t available.  At the very least, I think I could be a decent babysitter for high schoolers.  Hire me.  Please.”  That probably wouldn’t be sufficient.

Instead of relying on my own incredible speaking abilities (which I don’t have) or my limitless intellect (again, fictional), I was forced to rely on the Lord.  Of course, I failed in that but I was forced to try more than if I was gifted with all that was required of me.  I knew that I could not do the task properly on my own.  However, I did know that the Lord could use me to do His will. 

How did I know this?

Past experience, yes.  Bible stories, yes.  Witness of the saints, yes. 

Abraham.
Moses.
David.
Our Lady.
Padre Pio.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
St. Faustina.

It is not my job to tell the Lord that He has chosen the wrong person or that I am under-qualified.  He already knows my gifts and He knows my weaknesses.  I am convinced that often the Lord chooses people with major weaknesses so that it may be evident to the world that He is doing the work and it is not his/her own skill.

The requirement is a wholehearted yes.  Or at least an openness to being used for God’s will.  It is saying, “Please, Lord, choose somebody more qualified” and then going to talk to Pharaoh anyway when the Lord tells you to.  You are required to be uncertain of the future yet entirely certain of He who already knows the future.  It is surrendering your weaknesses to the bridegroom on the altar of sacrifice and welcoming into yourself the bread of the angels, the strength from heaven, the necessary graces.  It is allowing His to overflow in you and into those in your life.  It is hands wide open, entrusting everything to Our Lord even when we don’t know what that everything even is.

Moses and I both question the Lord and ask Him to choose someone else to do the hard work.  Yet God is unrelenting. 

He crafts our souls, breathes life into us, nourishes us, and then poses a question to us that is hard to refuse. 

“Trish, I created you to reveal an aspect of Myself that nobody else can reveal.  I have a plan for you, I have graces for you, I have a mission for you.  Will you reveal Me to the world and be a part of salvation history?”

Whoa. 

How can I refuse?

"Quo Vadis" — A Call to Bearing Witness to Authentic Christian Living

I recently read Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz and was drawn deeply into the story.  It is set in Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero and tells the tale of the beginnings of Christianity.  While I enjoy history, I am probably far more uninformed than I should be and thus it took me a bit by surprise to read of the moral depravity found in Rome.  Sienkiewicz accomplished the arduous task of transporting the reader into the time period and understanding the tradition of the times.  Prior to the revolution of Christianity, Rome was a burgeoning epicenter of vice and immorality.  The feasts held by Nero were consumed with gorging oneself on food, drink, praise, lust, and selfish whims.

Enter Christianity.

The Christians are portrayed as being something entirely different from the rest of the Romans.  They are set apart and act with never before seen goodness, honesty, and courage.  When faced with betrayal and anger, they freely bestow forgiveness.  The Christian life is not presented as easy by any means, but it is presented as filled with light and being something beyond human powers.  As I read this book I thought about how beautiful it was that the witness of Christians to the truth in word and deed was able to transform a sinful culture.

Think about that: the witness of Christians in their words and deeds consistent with what they profess to believe was able to transform a culture of death and vice. 

Nero spread the lie that the Christians were responsible for the great fire in Rome but when the citizens saw the goodness that was at the root of the Christian life, they doubted the words of their emperor.  While the martyrdom of the early Christians seemed to provide a set-back for the Church, soon they were inundated with many people who wanted to be Christians.  The bloody deaths they endured do not seem to be good advertisement to prospective members, but they were drawn by their courage, love, and the manner in which they died.  The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.  By their faithful witness to Christ and His teachings, they were the compelling force that spoke to the basic dignity of the human person, the freedom found in forgiveness, and the willingness to die for that which one firmly believes. 

I found myself thinking that if it happened once, what is to stop it from happening again?  We are again facing a culture of death and a world riddled with vice.  Yet the Truth is still living and active.  What if we became the faithful Christians who lived what Our Lord taught and by this simple witness were able to spark another revolution?  To be a Christian is in essence to be a revolutionary.  In Quo Vadis the words on the lips of Vinicius, one of the central characters, struck me as something that perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to proclaim today.

“It’s not enough, you see, to honor Christ with rituals and worship. You have to live according to his teaching, and that’s like coming to the edge of an ocean and being told to go across on foot. It’s deeds, not words, that matter to these people….There’s no longer a difference between the conqueror and the conquered, the rich and the poor, the master and the slave. Christianity means the end of all authority, of government, of Caesar, of the laws, and of established order as we know it. Instead there is Christ. There is an instant sense of mercy never found anywhere before. What follows is such superhuman goodness that it overturns everything we know about mankind…I tell you frankly there’s nothing more at odds with my character than this Christian teaching, but I simply can’t tell who I am since I brushed against it. Is this love or magic? I don’t know…I feel as if they’ve changed my soul!”

Our very souls must be changed, must be transformed by the very life of Christ.  If we simply go to Mass each Sunday, we are not giving a faithful Christian witness.  Our lives must be filled to the brim with the Gospel, it needs to find it’s way into every aspect of our life.  We must be the people that others look at and are amazed at our goodness, forgiveness, and zeal.  Not because we desire the praise, but because we are witnessing to what a life rooted in Christ actually is.  When I think of the early Christian martyrs the last words to come to mind are: mediocrity, comfort, politically correct, and fashionable.  If we desire to be like the early Christians, then we must also abandon the hopes of being able to live a mediocre, comfortable, and easy life.  When I look within myself, I discover that I am very attached to all of those things.  I want to be great and be a saint, but I also don’t want the sacrifice that is necessary.

Sienkiewicz very clearly presents the seeming contradiction found in the truth that the more you surrender to Christ, the more happiness and freedom you gain.  Vinicius wonders how he could be happy giving up the life of Roman decadence he has always known, but the happiness he discovers is of a far grander and long-lasting sort.  From the witness of the early Christian martyrs to the modern men and women who dedicate their entire lives to Christ in the priesthood or religious life, we see that Christ asks to be Lord of everything.  He asks for much but He rewards generously.  We may not be popular or comfortable in this world, but He promises to prepare a place for us in Heaven.  We may experience ridicule and humiliation, but then we would be simply following in the footsteps of the King of Kings as He was nailed to a cross. 

The world will hate us because we are not of this world.  But we serve a King who is not of this world and who has already conquered it.  The battle has already been decided.  Truth prevails, Goodness wins, Love conquers all!  Which side will we find ourselves on? 

If Rome can be transformed from vice to virtue, can not our world once again become what it ought to be?  I do not know what the Lord will ask of me in the future in order to bring about His Kingdom, but I do desire to have the grace and courage to do as He asks.  After a radical encounter with Truth, we cannot remain as if we have not changed. 

Imagine what the Lord could do with a few souls that do only His will.

Will you be one?  Will you say yes to the grace that is trying to flood your soul and pierce every avenue of your life?  Will I say yes?

Pray for me, dear reader, and I will pray for you.  May the Lord give us the grace to endure whatever may come.  The grace to follow Him to Rome to be crucified, to the classroom to be mocked, to the office to be scourged, to the public forum to be humiliated, to our families to be dismissed, and to our world to be belittled.  And may the world be transformed by the Truth, Goodness, and Beauty that we bear witness to through God’s grace.

 

Deo Gratias

“We don’t actually think you’re crazy.” 

I smiled at that as the student walked out the door.  While I wasn’t extremely worried that they thought I was, there was a moment today when I wondered if I had pushed them over the edge. 

We were finishing up a PowerPoint from yesterday about Purgatory and someone asked a question that related to saints, although I’m not quite certain what it was at the time.  The saint they used as an example was St. Anthony.  Oftentimes I don’t share personal stories with them for a few reasons but today one instantly came to mind.

“I got in a fight with St. Anthony once.”

They looked up at me, puzzlement chiseled into their features.

“When I was younger my mom always told us to pray to St. Anthony if I lost something.  So I would pray that he would help me find my overdue library book.  And he would.  One month later after I already bought the book.  So I finally got mad at him and told him I wasn’t going to pray to him anymore.  And so we didn’t talk for a while.”

“Wait…you and your mom?  Or you and St. Anthony?”

“St. Anthony.”

I looked at their faces.  They wore a bemused expression but they were all paying attention and seemed interested.

“You guys think I’m crazy.”  The entire class laughed.  I knew that telling them about a close relationship with a saint (i.e. a physically dead person) probably didn’t strike them as the most normal thing.  But the positive thing is that theology teachers can get away with crazy things and the students just chalk it up to their faith.

“Anyway, I started talking to him again and now he helps me find things all of the time.  St. Anthony is great!”

The PowerPoint presentation continued and I put the incident out of my mind.  While they are one of my favorite classes they also are often the least productive.  The interesting story of St. Anthony was replaced with a frustration that they weren’t working on their assignment but seemed to be talking about everything but theological matters.  Yet when that student told me that they didn’t really think I was crazy, the frustration melted away and I had an “I’m glad I’m a teacher” gushing of emotions.  Of course, it isn’t the easiest thing to do and sometimes I want to give up, but it does have moments of joy and gratitude.

Some of my sophomores even claim that they wish they were me.  I was rather shocked by that statement but then I realized it was induced by my close proximity to their conversation and their combined frustrations over school, tests, and homework.  “I wish I was you, Miss ——”  Instantly my weekly life flashed before my eyes and I was firmly convinced that if they knew my life, they would be immediately grateful for their own.  Late nights grading papers, frantic test-writing, suppers with the parents, euphoria over Friday nights that end in an early bedtime…yes, they would sprint back to their current lives if they knew much more.  Their claim that I didn’t have any homework to do was the added cherry to the top.  Despite my vehement internal opposition to their claims, I had to laugh at the naivete of my lovely sophomores.

I like my life.  It may appear boring or mundane to others.  But it has a fair amount of joy and blessings mixed in with the suffering and trials.  Too often we are in a state of discontent.  I want to just thank the Lord right now for this moment of contentment.  For the sunshine outside, the weekend languidly spread before me, the empty classroom that was just occupied by so many beautiful, wandering, searching young souls, the jeans of a dress down day, the love of friends and family, the imminent Sacrifice of the Mass, and the knowledge that someday all of this will end and what will replace it will be infinitely better. 

Deo gratias. 

Step One: Be a Saint

I know that I am far from being a saint, yet I have this great desire to be one.  Over the past few years I have begun to realize the beauty and necessity of friendships rooted in Christ.  Some friends that I have I would love to speak with daily yet even when months separate our communications, we are able to pick up right where we left off.  Sisterly spiritual encouragement is something for which I am presently grateful.  While they aren’t necessarily my biological sisters (although sometimes they most definitely are), we have a friendship that digs deep into the heart of the matter.  I am able to cut directly to the truth and not hedge around political correctness.  I want these e-mails, letters, and phone calls to be saved as aspects of these stories of souls on their way to Heaven.  Of course this evidence would immediately reveal our imperfections but they would also unearth the deep desires of our hearts.  It is the beauty of the Body of Christ, separated by space and time yet united in the intimacy of Our Lord’s Eucharistic Heart.  When I encounter priests, religious sisters, elderly, young people all striving for Christ, I am renewed and reinvigorated.  The Church is not dead.  She is marching onward.  She is wounded, She is weak, She is comprised of sinful people.  Ah, but She is being sanctified.

Persevere, dear readers, in running the race for Christ, in striving continually for holiness.  Look not at what you are, but what He desires you to be.  Focus not on your imperfections but on His perfections.  Never put out the desire to be a saint.  God wants it of you and the world needs it of you.

“Dear young people, the Church needs genuine witnesses for the new evangelization: men and women whose lives have been transformed by meeting with Jesus, men and women who are capable of communicating this experience to others. The Church needs saints. All are called to holiness, and holy people alone can renew humanity. Many have gone before us along this path of Gospel heroism, and I urge you to turn often to them to pray for their intercession.”   -Pope John Paul II

In times of darkness Our Lord raises up saints.  Well, there is no need to ask if this is a time of darkness.  Therefore, we must be saints.  Anything less is settling.

 

Papa Francesco



His Holiness Pope Francis



“Francis, rebuild my Church which is falling into ruins.”

Perhaps Our Lord spoke these same words to the new pope as he accepted a new cross to be embraced for the sake of the world.  I do not know this pope but I love him already.  Pope Francis.  Simple and humble–his few moments of publicity have merely seemed to reconfirm that image.  Sometimes I am amazed by my love for the Church.  I do not think this love is even enough, but it causes my heart to reach out in faith and love to a man I have never met but one for whom I already feel an attachment.  My students, upon seeing a picture of the pope, gave a dissatisfied sound.  Their thoughts probably centered on disappointment that the pope seemed to be old.  How little they know!  This Vicar of Christ will do great things.  He knows that he cannot do it on his own.  He desires for us to pray for him.  Before blessing the crowd, Pope Francis invited the people to pray for their new leader.  Re-watching the clip at home I was moved to tears.  This morning I was asking the Lord to end this week, this school year because I was finished and tired.  We received a beautiful new pope and I felt suddenly re-energized!

The media will attempt to destroy him over the next few days and weeks.  Lies will circulate and they will try to poison the minds of the public.  And in many ways, it will sadly work.  But I cannot forget the sight of thousands of people waiting in the square for the white smoke to rise, signaling the start of a new papacy.  The youth were present and filled with such joy.  That is what the media cannot disguise.  Such pure joy emanated from St. Peter’s Square as the billowing smoke proclaimed that a new Shepherd had been chosen.  In my classroom miles away from Rome, I could feel the energy and life of the Catholic Church as depicted on the livestream video.  I wasn’t trying to be dramatic but my students could see my joy.  It was tangible.  That is the hope of the Church.  We have joy!!  Yes, I am a young woman.  Yes, I love the Church.  Perhaps the media is right–there aren’t too many people who are like-minded.  But the joy of the Lord is our strength.  And Truth is with us!  Over the past few days I have come across a few articles mocking and belittling the “new evangelization” saying that it will never work because the Church can never win back the people.  Apparently God thinks otherwise.  This Church, as evidenced by the mass of people, by the sheer joy of Catholics around the globe, by her steadfastness and courage, is not dead.  She is very much alive. 

The Church does not look like the world wants Her to look.  I hear my students speak of the old-fashioned aspects of the Church and how She needs to catch up to the rest of society.  I love Her.  Her beauty is beyond comprehension and Her depths are unable to be plumbed.  She is my mother, truly.  And today the princes of the Church entrusted Her to a cardinal from Argentina.  This pope is humble and knows he cannot do all that is being asked of him.  So he asks for our prayers and then will entrust the Church to Our Lady tomorrow.  The Lord does not fail.  Pope Francis will be persecuted, to be sure.  We will be persecuted if we truly embrace a Christian life.  Church Militant, let us enfold our already beloved Pope Francis in prayers.  How little my problems seem when I think of the task that now lies before this man.  He will lead the Church on earth and I have simply to teach a few teenagers about a God and Church I deeply love.  Come, Holy Spirit, overflow on Pope Francis.  May he rebuild your beautiful Church and show us the pathway to Heaven.

Deo Gratias!

“Thank you, my God, for placing in my heart such a love for the pope.”  –St. Josemaria Escriva

I’m Worn…

I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left….

My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn
–“Worn” -Tenth Avenue North

That was how my week ended.  It found me filled with a great sense of tiredness and my inability to be perfect and teach as well as I desire.  I want perfection or at least success.  It is hard to remind myself that God is desiring my faithfulness far more than my success.  My competitive nature wants to win and even though I don’t quite know who I am in competition with, I can feel that I am not winning.  Perhaps part of my mopey feelings stemmed from remembering that I was a natural at school as a student but am not quite a natural as a teacher.  For some reason I assumed that those two went hand-in-hand.  But, alas, they do not.

I received some criticism, some fair and some unwarranted, from a student as the topping to my Friday.  Those words echoed in my mind throughout that evening and into the rest of the weekend.  We are an ungrateful society but it is difficult to find gratitude in the faces of students who don’t even want what you are offering.  So I spent the weekend wondering what God wanted, frustrated with my students and more so myself.  If I was less stubborn and bull-headed I might have considered quitting or finding a different job in the near future.  This sounds dramatic considering the conversation that took place wasn’t earth-shattering.  Primarily what topped the feeling chart was that I was tired of not adequately communicating the love I have for Jesus and the Church and wondering why I was in a position so obviously ill-suited to my temperament.  Yet the weekend continued on and all of this pondering and wondering led to much fruit.  On Sunday I watched “Beyond the Blackboard” and I began to put my situation in perspective.  The movie is about a teacher who faces seemingly insurmountable odds and yet, of course, she manages to come out ahead and be a wonderful inspiration.  I knew the ending would be triumphalistic but it was what I needed to get me back into a “I can make a difference and help people” mindset.

So I decided to pursue a course of change.  For a melancholic, this is a quite a feat in itself.  Monday I started all of my Apologetics classes with my students writing down what they like and dislike about my class.  I encourage charity and criticism with the intention of being constructive.  For the most part, my students were very good.  While my ego was wounded a bit in the reading of them, I found much that encouraged me.  Some students were encouraging since I was a first year teacher and others told me to not take it too personally because religion isn’t well-liked by many people.  It also reconfirmed the realization that no matter what I do, I will never please all of them at the same time.  The weekend gave me time to build things up and feel as though everybody hated me and my class.  Some of the students claimed to have no complaints, others had some reasonable complaints, and others took the opportunity for what it was worth and, hiding behind the anonymity of it, let me have their unadulterated criticism.  I shared with my mother that I was beginning to partially understand how God could be frustrated with us–I have only 115 or so students that I am trying to please while God has 7 billion.  No matter what I due, someone will be displeased.  God does things far better than I and still people are continually unsatisfied with what He is offering.  Too often I am among that number.   

I wonder at times if the Lord has placed me here not because of anything I can teach my students but rather because of something that He desires to do in my own heart.  Perhaps in some way teaching can convert my heart like nothing else could.  Sometimes my stubborn heart is my downfall and at other times it is that which keeps me from giving up and surrendering the battle. 

Lord, I am still in this battle until You take me home.  But I renewed my desire again today that it be Your classroom and not mine.  You are a much better teacher.   

Society’s Plague

At times I wonder how much I live in reality.  I know in theory how the world is decaying but I can say that much of my life has been fairly sheltered.  And I am not complaining.  But sometimes I want to know the secret lives of my students.  I think some of them would shock me.  My students aren’t bad but I am certain that some of them are far more worldly than I am.  While I don’t particularly desire to be worldly I think it would be good for me to know exactly what are the difficulties that my students face on a daily basis, what do they struggle with, how are they tempted.

Last week I was explaining the arguments for God’s existence as a review for our quiz.  While recapping the argument from beauty, one of my students asked if the devil created ugly things them.  I told them that the devil will twist and distort beauty.  A couple more questions and clarifications were added and as I was speaking I felt like I would be avoiding the topic if I didn’t include it.  I told them that pornography distorts beauty.  That woman has this inherent beauty and that the devil distorts that by making her purely physical or an object.  I noticed a shift in the feel of the room.  Some of the boys who previously were making pretty good eye contact were suddenly not meeting my eyes.  It wasn’t as though they all got red or gave tell-tale signs, but I noticed a shift in the atmosphere.  Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but almost a subtle admission of guilt and perhaps some curiosity about it.  And I wondered how the scourge of pornography is impacting our Catholic high schools.  I want to know how prevalent the problem is and yet I feel as though if I knew I would simply feel discouraged.  What a society they are being sent into and are a part of now.  It is difficult to try to teach them the truth when doing so means that one must speak against nearly everything found in the culture.  They begin to think that the Church is against everything instead of seeing that society is running away from God.  This is certain the time of the Church Militant.  But have no fear, the Church Triumphant and Suffering are in this with us!

Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.