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Carrying A Spouse – Hard Truth about Marriage

18 Jan

 

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It will happen to you. That is just a fact. At some point in your marriage you will either carry your spouse, or be carried by your spouse. In reality – you will probably both spend a good deal of time carrying each other.

All to often today we see this as a major imposition. When we marry we do not think too deeply about the “in sickness or health, for better or for worse” part of our vows. Then when a spouse needs to be carried any significant period, we think it’s ok to tell ourselves “this isn’t what we signed up for”, or the even more nefarious “I deserve better than this”. I’m telling you now – this is exactly what you signed up for, and your spouse deserves better if you think you can come up with an excuse not to carry them.

Most of the time, it is not just physically – but emotionally that we must carry each other. It is in those times that the need for God in your marriage becomes the most obvious, followed only by a willingness to sacrifice everything for your wife or husband for as long as it takes.

For my wife it was several years of carrying… recurring tumors in my head, and then neurosurgery, radiation, chemo drugs, medical complications, and strokes that accompanied them made her life a living hell. She nursed me back to health when the doctors sent me home to die, she changed my bedsheets, bathed me, helped me every time I needed to use the bathroom, and worked with me for long hours each day – long after the physical therapy coverage had run out. All of this while I had mood swings, depression, and massive memory loss.

I was frustrated, angry, and often downright belligerent. I had trouble speaking – much less speaking clearly, and when I did I had trouble finding the right words. Even when I did find them – they came out wrong, word salad and endless stuttering were some of the joys of brain surgery. I was in and out of the hospital time and again – and always she was by my side and holding my hand.

She was infinitely patient, and though I am sure she sobbed herself to sleep many nights, and prayed all night on others. All I saw was an angel sent by God, ministering to me every day with infinite love and patience. She had a developed a glow about her, as if lit from behind with soft light.

I’m telling you this because of the effect it had on me. It made me wonder even in the deepest recesses of my soul what I could have possibly done to deserve her love and dedication. The kinder she was, the more loving and tender, the harder it was to hate myself for my inability to do common things. The more difficult it was to even think of letting go, and the more I really loved her. I’m ashamed to say that I did not love her in the way I had loved her before she carried me, as that was so much more superficial and pedestrian than this and I had no basis for comparison beforehand.

I fell in love all with her over again and resolved myself to love her as she loved me – which was the closest reflection to the love of Christ I had ever been personal witness to. I’m still not there. I strive everyday just to be worthy of her – but I keep trying. It changed everything for the better, in the midst of tragedy God worked a miracle on my body and mind, while working the most amazing miracle on my heart – and He did it through her, and her love.

The next time you encounter a time when you must carry your spouse through a bad patch (no matter the reason), especially an extended one… It is not a truly a burden, but an opportunity for your spouse to see Christ in you, and add a whole new dimension to the agape, storge, and eros love in your marital relationship. It will also deeply bond you together in new ways you cannot yet even imagine.

Pax Christi

Colin

The Sorrow of Ashley Madison and How to Fix It

19 Aug

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I know many of you have heard the news that Ashley Madison’s entire client list was hacked and published. That sheer number of people involved is staggering at 37 million! I find myself at a total loss to describe the level of failure the the replacement of Sacramental Matrimony with civil marriage has been. Clearly people are not happy, and clearly people (especially children) are being harmed by this abusive and destructive behaviour. The saddest part – there is an easier path to marital happiness.

While I can do nothing about what is happening on a national level – You can. Start with yourself, and pay it forward. I would like to relate to you a true story about what HAS HAPPENED that I was personally involved in many years ago. It even has a happy ending.

Almost 20 years ago I was working remotely on a job and was travelling quite frequently. One of the men under my direction was clearly having trouble with being away from his family and began to flirt with a waitresses. He was firmly rebuffed – being an engineer without the good looks, charm, or social graces necessary to entice a waitress to divulge her phone number after dozens of failed attempts. Yes I admit – I laughed about a few – and you would be rolling on the floor if you had witnessed some of the ludicrous and inept attempts. One evening he came to me, trying to set up an account on a website for cheaters but frightened to death because he didn’t want for his wife to see the credit card charge. There was a look of desperation in his eyes. His marriage was hurting with their first child recently delivered, a wife with no sleep and alone at home time, and the sexual rejection he thought he was receiving at home because he was too selfish to think past the end of his wee-wee and realize both of them were in the same exhausted boat.

When I found out the child was being bottle fed thanks to his mewling, I had an idea – and it didn’t involve helping him hide a credit card charge. With some help from his coworkers we got together and hatched a plan. I called the father in law from his phone left behind at dinner. I explained the plan, and got his support (seems the wife was feeling very down as well – and he loved the plan). Next we pitched in to buy the wife a round trip weekend ticket ($39 on southwest – like I said years ago) to be picked up at the airport, and then arranged for a dozen roses to be delivered with a note including the flight information Friday morning. I scheduled myself that weekend in his place to give him Friday night through Sunday night off. One of the guys also made a reservation at a romantic and moderately priced restaurant for him with a gift card to cover dinner, another pitched in a set of movie ticket gift certificates from the theater around the corner….

Friday morning and he didn’t know anything yet, on our way in to work I handed the hotel concierge the envelope with the dinner and movie things and explained why it had to be “hush hush”. Come dinner Friday night I ordered a large Guinness, and about 90% finished said, “Oh my lord, look at the time! I have a VIP to pick up at the airport!” I grabbed him and said, “I need a favor, you have to drive me to the airport to pick up the VIP. I can’t let a bigwig even think I would drink and drive!” He said, “Sure, my weekend is shot stuck here with you lot again… so whatever.” I stayed composed, openly fretting about whether I smelled of the luscious creamy stout I had downed, while we waited for our VIP at the gate (You could actually wait at the gate back then!)

When she came out of the gate, he almost knocked me off the seat running. Grandpa and Grandma had the baby for the weekend, and he had no idea she was coming. Surprise, joy, even kissing and hugging involving lifting people off their feet (not me).

I dozed in the back seat on the hours drive back to the hotel hoping and praying he would have a good weekend, and his wife too. When he got to his room the key didn’t work, he had to go back to the front desk – only to find out the concierge had moved them to a luxury suite for the weekend at no charge (including all his things), and thrown in a fruit basket and champagne. In all fairness we had almost lived in that hotel for most of the year – but this was above and beyond even for them. We didn’t see them until after lunchtime when they headed out for coffee, a walk, and a movie before dinner. Sunday night when it was time to take her to the airport, I drove them as they whispered in the back seat and held hands. He kissed her goodbye and put her on a plane. We went back to the car.

It was the trip home, amidst his gushing thanks – that I reminded him that only a few days ago he was willing to risk his marriage and his relationship with a woman who clearly loved him and thought he hung the moon – for a waitress he didn’t know, and then a stranger on a website. It hit him like a ton of bricks… his face fell and he started sobbing. I stopped in a parking lot and explained to him that he just learned the most valuable lesson a man can know at his age without actually screwing things up, and for that he should be profoundly happy that he had dodged that particular bullet. I also pointed out that the cost and effort to make such arrangements was trivial for someone at his salary level and he needed to focus on just putting a fraction of the effort into wooing his wife as he did trying to find some woman to provide sex. I told him truly that if he would do that he would have all the sex he could handle, and a wife that would never look at another man the way she looked at him.

2 Years later – The grandparents were still helping out with the kids (yes they had another) and the wife was living her dream of seeing the world, as the husband uses his frequent flyer miles on companion tickets and free flights for her to visit him in countries across the globe. Instead of being estranged, they are still like two teenagers in love.

Many years later – We run into each other on a large job where he is working under me again. After the others filtered off after dinner, he waited behind to thank me. He told me, “I could never repay what you did for me and my wife, so I am doing it for others.” I think I had some beer foam in my eye and I had to wipe it away, but I thanked him and wished him a very long, prosperous, and happy life and marriage.

If you somehow missed the moral of this true story – and no, it has nothing to do with having a stout with dinner. It is that if you would put half the effort you put into attracting other women’s attention, and directed it instead into your wife and marriage then everything changes. It’s a matter of priorities. When you invest in your wife and your family you always come out way ahead, and you simply can’t lose because there are never any regrets when you act honorably.

Pax Christi,

Colin

Miscarriage – and What She is going through…

7 Aug

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I know this one is going to be uncomfortable for a whole lot of people. As a husband, I hope you never go through this tragedy – but if you do, you need to know this. I know, because I’ve been through this myself. You’ll wonder what she is thinking. You ask yourself what you can do? You’ll be mourning for yourself the whole time.

Hopefully this brutally honest insight from a good friend of my wife and I who just had a miscarriage, will be a window into a woman’s soul for you at a time when you need it most. Your wife may be days, weeks, or even months after the miscarriage before she can even begin try to explain her feelings, as she has to understand them herself first.

When you’re done – please say a prayer for their very recently lost child, Francis Anthony (Last name Omitted to respect the Family’s Privacy)…

Uncertainty, Hope, and Waiting

This is a somewhat graphic, quite long, and emotionally charged post.

It was drafted as I traveled this journey over the course of several days. I am baring my soul in this post, and this is part of how I work to heal. My pain is not unlike almost every other woman’s in the world. There are millions suffering in silence. I refuse to be one of them. I will use my big mouth to help others. The world needs to know how this affects those around them, and that certain comments are best left completely unsaid. Be respectful in your comments, and if you have a point of disagreement, choose your words carefully.

              ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

All I am able to do at this point is pray, hope, and wait. And repeat.

As I type this while lying down, I am completely uncertain. I think my brain knows more than my heart wants to admit. And I hate that this is where I am.

I am on doctor’s orders for rest, and a follow up with my regular doctor in a few days. I am home from the emergency room because of spotting. I thought it was just because I overdid it on Sunday after church, shopping with 2 kids in tow while wearing wedge heeled shoes. Seeing it when I went to use the bathroom made me gasp loudly, and Devildog came to check on me. It was brown and it subsided after several hours of rest and plenty of water. Spotting is considered a normal occurrence in this situation, and as long as it’s not red, and cramping is not involved, it could just be a slight swish in the cycle. And then today, it resumed, increased, and at some moments blood-tinged. Plus there has been some cramping that feels like dull pressure. I was advised to go to the E.R. because all diagnostic tools were there, and if this was an ectopic pregnancy, I would need to be there anyway. It’s not ectopic. But I didn’t see a heartbeat in the ultrasound. I don’t have a trained eye, but having had 5 children before, I know what to look for and where. To the best of my ability, I was unable to see what I’d hoped to see. Every ultrasound tech is quick to point out fetal heart rate. There was no such point of conversation today.

CLICK HERE TO KEEP READING!….

The Riots in Baltimore – An Opinion

27 Apr

The Baltimore Riots highlight something for me. America does not suffer as much from fiscal poverty as it does from Moral and Spiritual Poverty. So many have watched the changes in America in the last two decades with a sense of loss and shock that such anthropological regression could happen here. It is, but how do we stop it?

I think the solution lies in restoring a moral and spiritual base to the American people. You feed their bodies, but without feeding them morally and spiritually they will never feed themselves. You become and enabler of their anthropological regression which has enslaved them instead of leading them to freedom and self-respect by weaning them from government dependance. We must work to restore people dignity and their hope. What you are seeing in Baltimore is the incoherent misdirected rage of hopelessness. Their spirits are broken and shackled by their utter dependence on government, and their souls are lost from decades of progressive attacks on religion. Their bodies are broken by AIDS, drugs, violence, homelessness, and hunger. Most importantly, the very formation of these young men and women is damaged by the notable absence of stable two parent families. There needs to be a father in the home, or the thug culture that has captured so many young minds will be inextinguishable.

Today though, thanks to “Uncle Sugar,” a husband has become a disposable commodity. Enshrined into law by no-fault divorce, the marriage contract is only as good as the whim of one’s spouse. While women will say they take the brunt of the damage, I have seen too many men deeply financially damaged and emotionally shattered through no fault of their own to accept that women are the only ones hurt and the men are fine. In the inner cities, it has often been generations since the majority of households had a father and mother in a stable marriage in the home. This is possible because if a woman decides to leave her husband, no matter what her reason, the government offers support to her and any children. The husband gets a child support judgement and a shattered soul. It does not take long before this results in men unwilling to commit to marriage and women being used in a marital fashion and bearing children from multiple men without a husband. They raise these children on welfare at the taxpayers expense and receive larger payements for each child they bear out of wedlock. The Government, in effect, encourages immoral behavior. These children grow up in a multigenerational welfare family with no hope because the help they needed was not provided, nor did they have a successful role model to emulate. As Americans, we all too often get the idea that money can solve all problems, and, if it doesn’t turn out the way you expected, more money will make it better. That is arrogance. We all pay the price when these children grow up uneducated, violent, and socially disruptive just as we pay the price for the system that makes them that way.

How to fix it? What would I do? I’d bring back SHAME. Yes SHAME. Shame is a good thing. It reminds us when someone has broken the moral rules of our society, and a people without shame are a people without any moral compass. I would ban no-fault divorce because it is destructive to families and teach that civil marriage is a binding social contract, the breaking of which brings shame on the family. I would put the adultery criminal statutes back on the books. Too often, I have to read in the news about a man who catches his wife with another man and kills her or both of them. I read similar stories about women. On this issue there is no legal justice available to the aggrieved spouse. Civil and criminal penalties will offer a man recourse to restore his stolen honor and see the guilty punished. It will slow the rate of the murders of errant spouses, eventually seeing it end as people obey the morality requirements of the marital social contract. For those that find this reprehensible, I suggest never to marry and never to have sex with another person’s spouse. Society needs marriage as an anchor. Marriage is a crucible that forms men, creating a need in them to put their family before them, and focuses them on their home and family instead of what gets them the most pleasure for the least amount of effort.

Next, we need to give people hope. I worry less about wether it is Catholics, Sikhs, Buddhists, Protestants, or Mormons that bring spirituality, morality, and hope to these aggrieved people than that it is done. The churches must supplant the state in caring for the morally and spiritually poor. To truly give hope, we must teach them the value of work and help provide a viable path to self sufficiency.  This means education, apprenticeship, and job training programs instead of simple welfare payments. Anything less, is nothing more than continued slavery and subservience to the state. It robs them of their dignity, and we must help them get their dignity and hope back.

The stakes are too high to ignore this problem.  The alternatives are to help them in this way now, incarcerate them, or keep them on the dole for life. I would hope we chose to help.

Pax Christi –

Colin

Sweet Cakes – A Christian Family Under Attack by Evil.

25 Apr

Sweet Cakes by Melissa as a business is gone, close, shuttered by the state. The $135,000 fine is against a family of 7 with no business anymore who now stand to lose everything they own and their childrens home for refusing to bake a gay wedding cake because it would constitute a great sin to facilitate or participate in a homosexual wedding.

The Gay people still had a cake and wedding from another baker. What they are doing here is nothing less than hateful and evil. This is about destroying families that stand up for the Christian faith.

We CAN make a difference. We CAN make them whole if everyone who reads this gives a small amount, we can change this tragedy into joy for this family.

If we are the Body of Christ – then he are his Hands, and we should be healing this family.

DONATE HERE: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/christian-couple-faces-135000-fine/

GoFundMe killed their Campaign – claiming it was somehow “illegal”, but then claims it is going to give them the finds previously collected? When their own policy says all funds in such situations should be refunded. All I can see in this is more LGBT Bullying. This the move to Samaritans Purse, where the LGBT lobby has no power. Lets make this family whole. A few dollars for each of us together will make a huge difference for this faithful family.

From: The Daily Signal

An Oregon administrative law judge recommended today that the bakers who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding should be fined $135,000.

“[T]he forum concludes that $75,000 and $60,000, are appropriate awards to compensate [the same-sex couple] for the emotional suffering they experienced,” wrote Alan McCullough, administrative law judge for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries in his proposed order.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa located in Gresham, Ore., say the fine is enough to potentially bankrupt their family of seven.

The dispute began in January 2013, when Aaron denied Rachel Cryer a wedding cake after learning there would be two brides in her wedding.

…………
One of the women, whose name was redacted to protect her privacy, listed 88 symptoms as grounds for compensation. The other, whose name was also redacted, listed 90.

Examples of symptoms include “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”

Harmon, the Kleins’ lawyer, told The Daily Signal that during the hearing “there was no expert testimony.”

The witnesses at the hearing were the two women who were requesting a cake, one of their mothers, one of their brothers and another family member. There was no doctor, there was no psychologist, no expert testimony at all.

In collecting the fine, Harmon said the state isn’t just pursuing the Kleins’ business assets, but their personal livelihood as well.

“An important thing to understand about the damages the state is claiming in this case is that the [fine] isn’t going to come from liquidating business assets,” she said.

Their business is gone. They don’t have business assets so when we talk about [the fine], it’s personal. It means that’s money they would have used to feed their children that they can’t use anymore.

In September 2013, after facing public backlash, the Kleins had to close their bakery.

From Sweet Cakes by Melissa’s Facebook Page:

The gofundme account that was set up to help our family was shut down by the administrators of gofundme because they claimed it was raising money for an illegal purpose. We have told gofundme that the money is simply going to be used to help our family, and there is no legitimate breach of their terms and conditions. We are working to get the account reinstated.
However, in the mean time, if you would like to donate, you can do so here:http://www.samaritanspurse.org/…/christian-couple-faces-13…/
For all of you who gave to the gofundme account before it was shut down, we so appreciate your love and generosity. Gofundme has told us that we will still receive those funds.

Sincerely,

Colin

PRAYER REQUEST FOR RONNIE M.

3 Apr

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I have a prayer request for everyone willing to stop for even a moment and say a prayer from Ronnie M.
Then please also say one for his wife Lisa, and their children.

Ronnie is currently in the ICU at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He has small cell Lung Cancer that has moved to his pancreas and he is currently on a ventilator which doctors cannot seem to wean him off. His family are being told by doctors that the situation is hopeless, but those who believe in Christ know that nothing is truly hopeless and they are staying with him and praying for him continually. They are hoping for a miracle to prove the doctors wrong, but willing to accept God’s will should he not recover.

As I have been in his position and survived,  and then recovered against all medical science; and since a young girl Kathryn who was in the same position and from my town was also prayed for – she recovered against all odds. We know that prayer works! In truth the family needs the prayers just as much. It is physically and emotionally exhausting to deal with a critically ill family member for weeks on end.

Today being Good Friday, it is a wonderful day to stop and pray for another – just as Jesus prayed for his executioners saying “Forgive them Lord, They know not what they do”.

If anyone feels inclined to offer some assistance to the overwhelmed family like feeding pets, or making meals, or just providing a human shoulder to lean on – by all means please contact me via email, Facebook, or comments here and I will pass your information to Lisa M.

Thank You in Advance for your Prayers!

Colin

Calling All Roman Catholic Men

19 Feb

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This is a fantastic Resource for Catholic Men in an often confusing and complicated world. Take a moment to read the introduction to the site’s mission and then click on over. We’ve been waiting far too long for such a resource to hesitate now. Join Us…

RomanCatholicMan.com is a website with everything needed to inspire and train men who seek the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. Launched on Ash Wednesday 2015, this is a site for Roman Catholic Men by Roman Catholic Men. It is designed to aid those of us in the trenches of the Church Militant to understand and train for our role in the mission of combatting evil and rescuing the souls of our loved ones who have lost the precious gift of faith.

According to Catholic evangelist Matthew Christoff, “There is a serious “man-crisis” in the Catholic Church.”

How bad is it?

According to Christoff, “It is widespread and serious. Unless the Church, including its bishops, priests and lay men begin to take notice and make the evangelization of Catholic men a priority, the Catholic Church in the West will decay, as more and more men abandon the Church. … Unchecked, the exodus of Catholic men from the faith is likely to continue as men become increasingly casual about Catholicism.”

Acknowledging this dire need, Pope Benedict XVI called for a “Year of Faith” that seeks to awaken humanity at a critical moment in history: “In vast areas of the earth the faith risks being extinguished, like a flame without fuel,” the pope warned, “We are facing a profound crisis of faith, a loss of a religious sense which represents one of the greatest challenges for the Church today … The renewal of faith must, then, be a priority for the entire Church in our time.”

And so the purpose of this website is to find the courageous faithful in the trenches of the Church Militant who seek the basic training that is vital for awakening faith, battling evil and rescuing souls. Yes, we are being called upon to fight the mother of all wars against powerful evil spirits in the heavenly realm, but we are sure to meet our demise unless we discover these battles cannot be won without first acquiring God’s strength and mighty power:

“Draw your strength from the Lord and His mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. Our battle is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in regions above. You must put on the armor of God if you are to resist on the evil day; do all that your duty requires, and hold your ground” (Eph 6:10-12).

http://www.romancatholicman.com/

Pax Christi,

Colin

Harvesting Organs from the Unborn for Profit

9 Feb

Of all things that can turn my stomach, this one crosses so many lines in doing so that I don’t know where to start. Suffice it to say that harvesting organs for transplants from children murdered in the womb and growing them larger in rats before transplant just sickens me beyond reason. I can only hope that America is as sickened by this as I am and stops these murder factories from becoming even more profitable by selling organs as a sideline. At some point we must say enough is enough. Lets hope that this research and proposal to turn murdered babies into profit is enough to make America realize how disgusting the whole culture of death is and end it once and for all.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ORIGINAL ARTICLE FROM TEXAS RIGHT TO LIFE QUOTED BELOW

Researchers are studying effective ways to take kidneys from aborted unborn humans, transfer them into lab rats, and grow them large enough for transplantation into older humans. Researchers feign concern for children and adults in need of new kidneys, but their sentiments are belied by their intention of [ab]using the most vulnerable humans to accomplish the goal.

The ethical system at-work here is consequentialism, summarized by the aphorism, the ends justify the means. In this case, the end of providing a living person with healthier kidneys than the ones they already have justifies the brutal destruction of smaller, more helpless humans. When this ethical system governs medical science, a massive omission is committed: that is, when medical professionals do not recognize the inherent value of all human beings, medicine has failed in the most fundamental duty of protecting every human life.

A consequence (or, perhaps, a catalyst) of this ethical system is the profit-centric business model that governs modern medicine. Replacing the basic altruism that motivated physicians for millennia, many factions within the modern health care industry view humans as profit machines instead of persons. NPR iterated this trend in 2012 with a feature entitled,Calculating the Value of Human Tissue Donation. In the piece, Chris Truitt shares his unsettling experience over the course of several years in the tissue donation industry (to be distinguished from the organ donation industry – ‘tissue’ includes bones, skin, veins, etc.).

The full article is a real eye opener into just how far we have allowed humanity to fall. Not by what we have done, but by what we have failed to do – Stopping the murder of innocents. Please share this most especially with those who claim to be Catholic, yet support a farcical supposed right to murder children in the mother’s womb.

Think on it, Pray on it, Act on it to help end all abortion.

Pax Christi,

Colin

The Tea Party and Catholicism are Incompatible

24 Jan

Gadsden-FlagMany Catholics have felt alienated and betrayed by both the Republicans and the Democrats for many years now. This is not just an observation, but a fact. However, we learned a lesson yesterday about the Tea Party that should give every single one of the practicing Catholic supporters serious pause enough to re-evaluate whether a practicing Catholic can support the Tea Party.

Stop for a moment and rethink your position if you support a party that is not committed to supporting life, but rather is more concerned with changing the movements of small green pieces of paper. Why do they have that focus? Because we let them have it, by voting for them even though they did not declare their support for life as the primary objective.

Tea Party is not PRO-LIFE, and never have been. They take “no official stand” on social and moral issues. They are happy to let you mislead yourself in irrational exuberance if you are Pro-Life. You need to understand that they cannot win without Pro-Life support. However, they are Pro-Abortion as far as I’m concerned and my concern was proven yesterday.

I’m much more worried about human lives than the unhappy movements of little green pieces of paper. Further, if you are not against abortion, then you are not for life. You are just a moral coward refusing to take a stand. If you had told me before yesterday that a Republican (and Tea Party Congresswoman from NC) would be the new face of “Abortion Barbie” I would have laughed at you. I thought they understood. I was sure one look out their windows or congresses doorway at the hundreds of thousands (650,000-800,000) marching and praying from across the country on a weekday would send a message they could not ignore. I thought the fact that a large majority of the marchers were women and young people would make a statement. Guess what – they did not understand – and they refused to face the music with Abortion Barbie running after the vote. They marginalized our faith in God, in Moral Truth, and in their promises – and reneged on the passing of the bill at the last minute.

There was no rioting, looting, or threats. Complete order was maintained and the March for Life continued. In 2 years when the elections are held, do not think for an instant that this moment of betrayal will be forgotten. Just because we are not violent or disorderly does not mean we lack conviction. What it does mean is that we have discipline and deep conviction. This betrayal was a mistake to be dealt with at the ballot box at each and every election.

“But they passed another bill stopping funding…”

Yes they did, that same restriction has been in place since Ronald Reagan in the 80’s. More importantly – no matter what they passed the president is going to VETO it. We knew that going in. We wanted a statement about the sanctity of LIFE and the DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON. What we did not want was a statement about reducing “funding”…. That was not the point.

The Republican Party itself showed extreme disunity and disorganization on this key issue of LIFE which IS part of their official platform. It is the fault of pro-life people who do not confirm the pro-life credentials of the representation they elect. It is also the Catholics and other Christians who allow their concerns about small green pieces of inanimate paper to trump the concern for the life of a child.

Think about it, pray about it, and remind your elected representatives that human life is more important than financial goals. Remind them that we must see real effort, not last minute moral abdication. Remind them that the bait and switch tactics on legislation will be remembered at the next election and followed through on.

We threw the last set of congressmen out of office in the elections sweep – we can do it again in 2 years, but only if we are a force to be reckoned with who are willing to put human life above all other considerations. Together we can do great things. Disparate and passive, we are reduced to an inconsequential demographic that will be pandered to at election time. Test our resolve on Protecting Life, and you will fail.

Keep Praying, and remember that PROTECTING LIFE trumps everything when it comes time to vote.

Pax Christi,

Colin

 

Dear Pope Francis

18 Sep

Pope Francis

I am writing this seeking understanding and clarification on the “new evangelization.” Many things are being attributed to Pope Francis in the media – and many clergy, bishops, and faithful are acting on them. The most concerning of these outcomes has been the vilification of traditional Catholics in the media and by other Catholics, and the foreshadowing of the elimination of sacramental marriage by either allowing divorce and remarriage or changing the basis of annulments so that they become the equivalent of a Catholic Divorce.

As a traditional catholic, I would like to assure you that our faith is not dead, we are not uncompassionate or unforgiving. Though our loyal devotion to the catechism leaves us open to ridicule when we refuse artificial birth control and have large families in our openness to life. We are thought mentally simple when we profess a deep and abiding belief in the real presence in the Eucharist. We are ridiculed when our wives and daughters wear mantillas in the presence of the Lord in the Eucharist and at Mass. Many of our wives are looked down upon because they find fulfillment as stay-at-home wives and mothers.  We are seen as deluded for considering the sacramental marriage covenant as much a promise to God, as to each other. I have been scolded many times for kneeling when taking communion, because I was holding up the line. We are derided for preferring the awe and majesty of the Tridentine Mass because it fills our souls. It is a mystical and moving experience beyond words to be joined to the sacrifice of the holy Mass in quiet and stillness, and allow yourself to be filled with God’s presence.

Often, we are accused of being intolerant as a group, especially of sexually active homosexuals, the divorced and remarried without annulments, and other people who are in less than fortunate circumstances. I reject this as patently untrue. We love the person, but we find the sin objectionable. For those seeking participation in the sacraments, we will provide whatever help we can to help them resolve their impediments. For some, that is helping find an annulment workshop, for others it is healing broken marriages, and for others providing loving support as they work to make a break from their sinful activities or attractions. Those who come to us are broken and contrite – they are seeking His Love and forgiveness. They know that to receive Him they must be free of mortal sin. I have a brother who struggles with homosexuality whom I love very deeply, and even now he struggles to be worthy of the sacraments. It is his certain knowledge of God’s real presence in the Eucharist that both pains him for his sins, and motivates him to be worthy to receive Him.

My own return to the Church necessitated deep personal change before I could be admitted to the sacraments. This process included months of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament for me to fully accept and comply with the teachings of the church, even if I could not fully understand. This was a painful  journey, whose value to the faithful should not be diminished just because it is so difficult. True love and compassion are shown by the support of penitents through the process of reconciliation for admission to sacraments.

Here in America the new evangelization is giving many people the impression that the Church is advocating that being free of mortal sin is no longer necessary to receive the sacraments. It has encouraged a revolution by the sheep against their shepherds, demanding change in infallible doctrine. I believe that God is everlasting and unchanging. His Church has survived the rise and fall of states, empires, anthropological regression, and has endured according to to the promise of Christ for over 2000 years. I am convinced that it our loyal devotion to the beautiful teachings of our Church that has brought unparalleled grace and joy into our family.

The curtailment of the Tridentine Mass or the devaluing of sacramental marriage would be devastating to the faithful. After many years of poor catechesis, I often wonder if many see the Church for what she truly is. I wonder if many Catholics are left unsure or, worse yet, in obstinate disobedience to the faith. It seems that a growing number of people want us to resemble the world rather than Jesus Christ. Whether it is Gay Marriage, Ordaining Women, allowing artificial birth control, or allowing abortion, they want God to “get with times.”. In St. John’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” Please, Holy Father, help us to strive for a holiness that “sets us apart.” Lead us to our heavenly reward! I am praying for your strong leadership each and every day!

Pax Christi,

Colin

PS: I hope everyone who reads this takes a moment to pray for the Pope.

 

Why Traditional Marriage is NOT Discrimination

25 Jul

 

This video answers the question with Charity, Clarity, and Catholic Principles.
Fantastic! #DefendMarriage

Pax Christi,

Colin

 

#DefendMarriage

25 Jul

I spend alot of time talking about marriage and its importance. This is a cause I believe in wholeheartedly, and without reservation. If we do not take a stand now then marriage as God himself instituted will be lost to our society. Many of us are faced with the choice of talking or acting. This is an action everyone can take. This petition is important – and it provides a peaceful and democratic way to ensure our voices are heard and our numbers counted on this issue. If ever there was a time to step forward and be counted – this is it. Do it for your wife or husband, do it for your children and their children, but just do it. Take 3 minutes out of your life and sign the petition.

We will never be heard unless we speak aloud with one voice, in deafening solidarity.

After you have signed the petition – I would ask those of you so inclined to please share this post far and wide on social media and email. Bloggers are encouraged to Re-Blog this post.

Then do any or all of the following:

  • Go to your church and have a mass said for the intention of Sacramental Marriage
  • Add it to your intentions in Eucharistic Adoration
  • Pray the Rosary for this intention, or better yet form a rosary group to continue praying until Sacramental Matrimony is secure in America.

Click Here for the petition:
http://www.lcaction.cc/674/petition.asp

Pax Christi.

Colin

Following up with Kathryn

5 Jul

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A while back I asked for your prayers to support Kathryn Gardner. Many of you responded enthusiastically. Kathryn survived against the odds and through great adversity and is finally on the mend. The picture of her above is with her mother recently. You can look back through my old posts to see how amazing her change in appearance has been. She is getting better, but still needs your prayers as she is having a very rough time emotionally with her recovery. This is something I have experienced personally. Please consider adding her to your prayer list for emotional healing and comfort through her continuing recovery. You can follow her on facebook here (G-Force is an organization locally put together to support the Gardner family through this tragedy)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GForcePage/?fref=nf

Here is the latest update from her mother:

Happy 4th of July everyone. The Gardner Girls are back from their Texas Tour – they had a wonderful time. Thank you so much to our family and friends who shared their homes and time showing our kids a great vacation. Having her sisters home has greatly lifted Kathryn’s spirits. She has been in a “funk” as of late. You see, before the Bone Marrow Transplant Kathryn was just to sick to want to do anything. Her mental condition was compromised by all the medication she was on and suffered from what is called “chemo fog”, meaning she was not clear of thought. Her body was failing and she was so weak and sick that she did not want to do anything but sleep. She was very docile to whatever was asked of her – taking medicine, receiving her treatments, etc …. Now that we are peeling back on her medications and she is starting to feel better – the isolation and restrictions are warring on her emotionally. The “chemo fog” is gone – she is now clear of thought and the reality of her situation has hit. As the “fog” is lifted she has more time to think about all the restrictions she lives with. She now wants to go outside – like her sisters are, she wants to visit with friends – like before she got sick, she wants to go on vacation like her sisters did. She wants to go out to eat or to a movie or to swim – but realize that she can not. It reminds me that she is still a 14 year old teenager wanting to do normal 14 year old teenager things. As much as we remind her that this is all temporary – it is for now and it hurts her heart. We have been told that these feelings are all a normal part of the process and as the restrictions are lifted it will get better. Medically she is doing fantastic, but struggling emotionally at this time.
The first 100 days are considered critical post transplant – we are day 61, so we are 3/4 of the way there – this last stretch is a lesson in fortitude.

Thank you for sending the pictures – we enjoy seeing them. We thank you all for your prayers, well wishes, cards, donations and gifts. We pray daily for all of you – we pray a blessing back to all those who are praying for us.
At this point all we can do is pray and wait ….. Blessings to All, Kathy

Thank you all and God Bless,

Colin

A Valid Marriage

18 May

couple-fighting-on-couchI know a man who is divorced with a child and just cannot let go of his ex-wife. The facts are simple: she left him, the marriage has been adjudicated invalid, there was a child produced by the marriage, former wife is now remarried with another new baby, he is now alone and paying child support for his child.

I’ve been pretty dry about all this emotionally. However, It is nothing if not: messy, sloppy, heartbreaking, fist-clenching, and gut wrenching. That said there is a distinct lesson to be learned from this persons experience. Take steps to ensure you enter only a valid marriage. This means you attend the Pre-Cana sessions and tell the truth. Expose yourself up front fully so that your heart will not be rent later. Choose wisely – you only get one shot at this, don’t allow your hormones to make a choice you’ll regret later.

Most of our friends who are long married started as we did: friends, best friends, more than friends, then married. In this progression all secrets and warts get shared up front, we learn to forgive, and we know them intimately in a way that allows us to truly asses our ability to get along, function as a team, and collaborate on things long before sex and other considerations can skew our viewpoint. We see our spouses as people, and not objects. The trick to long term marriage is to stay best friends always – the friendship provides a firm foundation for true love when the mutual feeling love is there, and provides a safety net in marriage for those times when we let that love die down or even go out for a time. When there aren’t any secrets or hidden pasts to fear in a relationship there is a real freedom. It comes from being loved for yourself, not the persona you donned to woo your wife but couldn’t maintain forever.

It’s a suggestion I hope more men will heed for the sake of their children and the sake of their hearts, as well as love and concern for their spouses future happiness. Nobody should ever feel cheated by their spouses lack of disclosure 2 years into a marriage.

Please take a moment and pray for this man, and all persons who find themselves in this position or affected by one like it.

Pax Christi,

Colin

A Rash of Unwanted Divorces – Prayers Needed

21 Apr

Recently I have personally witness a seeming rash of divorces by long married couples with wives leaving husbands of 20-34 years. The wives have left without saying a single word prior – and in several cases gutting the couples financial resources just before retirement. The husbands are left confused and conflicted. One thing that has stood out to me is that the husbands all did not see any signs that the divorce was coming – until the day it happened.

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. My wife has pointed out that there is definitely a failure to communicate in many instances and cited some examples for me. I was not shocked by anything she said. I was however shocked that small wounds were allowed to fester to a boiling point before anything was said. Often, these women have suffered in silence for years. It was not generally the size of the wounds which were killing the marriage, but rather the untreated festering infection.

What is the solution? As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. One thing I observed is that some of these women feared their husbands in some way – some even physically. These bother me the most – your wife should never fear being physically harmed by you as her husband.  Others were just averse to conflict. You need to learn to listen carefully, and reply thoughtfully. You can chew your food before you swallow – do the same with your thoughts – chew on them a bit before you blurt them out. Words are the single most dangerous thing we have in a marriage. Be careful with yours always, think before you speak – and speak kindly always. We can blame the wives all we want for what they did or did not do, but it won’t save your marriage from divorce or make your wife happy. The fix requires more than being attentive, it means serious effort on your part. Remember that you cannot change other people – you must accept and love her as she is. Instead change yourself as that is something you do have control over and can change.

Trust is paramount. She has to be sure she can share honest feelings with you without facing retaliation emotionally, verbally, or physically. You have to listen, consider, and find ways to address her concerns in a matter that resolves them to both of your satisfaction. I highly recommend the tactical approach of listening carefully while repressing negative facial expressions or comments, then thinking carefully about how to respond, only after that – do you open your mouth and do so. Peoples tongues are the source of more self inflicted marital wounds than many realize. DO NOT tell her it is her fault, denigrate her, or blame her in your response. Focus your response solely on what you can do to alleviate her concerns and then do it. This is NOT a negotiation, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT say things like I’ll do X if you do Y.

Keep in mind that often women just need to vent their feelings in a safe environment. They do not expect you to necessarily fix it – what they want is for you to listen. Letting her get her feeling out by listening attentively. Act when it is appropriate, and listen and hold her when action is not required.

Your wife might trust you with her life and well being, yet not trust you with her heart. This is where the problems fester and grow. You need to regain her faith in you to counter this, and open deep lines of communication. While you might want to say that telling her to make changes would make more sense – it does not. The only person you can change is you, so work with what you have. Make sure you are attentive to her feelings, emotions, and the little things she says. You won’t get this right most of the time being male, but she will appreciate sincere interest in her and her feelings. For what you have done, and what you have failed to do… Often we hear Catholics say this mantra, but fail to heed it. Have you given your wife cause to think that there are things important to her that she cannot accomplish within marriage – things in keeping with sacramental marriage, of course? Maybe it’s travel, education, learning to play an instrument, learning to ride a motorcycle, learning to hunt/shoot/fish, or becoming a HAM radio operator. Don’t fail her by ruling things out. Don’t put unnecessary impediments or barriers on your marriage. Married life is like a dance, it works best if both parties move together as one. If your wife takes the time to tell you about her dreams and goals – listen and then start working to make them happen. Learn to take a hint, and act on it.  Where such is feasible it is an opportunity for you to grow together – find joy in it. Service to your wife does not have to be a sacrifice – it can be a source of unending joy and discovery for both of you. Don’t fail to make sure your wife knows that there is nothing she can accomplish outside marriage that cannot be accomplished within marriage more easily. Don’t fail to support and work towards her goals as well – after all you expect her to work towards and support yours.

Intimacy is always of paramount importance – I cannot stress this enough. It is through intimacy that the bond between man and woman is strengthened and maintained. Sexual relations are a byproduct of intimacy, not the other way around.  So many marriages suffer from unresolved sexual issues because people refuse to communicate. Do not assume you are “doing it right” – even after years of marriage. Do not ask for a critique of your performance. Instead, do ask your wife what would please her – and then follow her guidance exactly and without hesitation. Too often women are shortchanged here because they are making a sacrifice to protect their husbands ego and self-image. Frustration builds over time, never deny her the marital embrace and accompanying intimacy – ignoring her or refusing her is a rejection. Rejection destroys intimacy at the root.. Give her the opportunity to protect your self-esteem, your marriage, and have her needs met by opening lines of communication. You may find yourself surprised at the changes in your experience when you stop worrying about yourself and focus every fiber of your being on pleasing her. You may also be astounded by the levels of intimacy that can be achieved when she does not feel sex is a sacrifice or worse that she is being used as a repository for your sexual angst. It is that intimacy that will keep your bond both sealed and renewed.

Pax Christi,

Colin

3/30/2014 Kathryn Update (By popular Request)

7 Apr

I have had a large number of requests for further updates on Kathryn’s status. She is still in my prayers every day. She remains extremely ill and requires a bone marrow transplant from her youngest sister who is a compatible donor. The Gardeners and her doctors are getting her ready for that. The local community is also sponsoring fundraisers and events to try to help offset the crushing medical bills. You can follow it all on Facebook in near real time here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GForcePage/

Please keep her in your prayers – and join the group on Facebook to show your support (as well as see updates in real time)

Pax Christi,

Colin

** 3.30.14 ++++ MEDICAL UPDATE ++++

This past week has been a little rough for Kathryn. Since they are slowly taking her off of the steroids, she is feeling her body more and more. She is experiencing headaches, and all over body aches so much so that she switched beds with one of her sisters in attempts to get some sleep. That did not work. She is just feeling cruddy.

On Thursday, she received the 3rd of 5 shots of the new chemotherapy. Blood results showed that her Ferritin is back up to 540 but they were told that it may fluctuate some weeks. The blood results from Karlie have not come in yet.

On April 2, Kathryn will have to have 4 baby teeth pulled. Since dental work can pose a bacterial risk, they were waiting for her medical doctor to give her dentist approval for the extractions.

At a recent doctor’s check for Kathy, she was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure (HBP). She was given medicine and told to change her eating habits. She is supposed to record her pressure daily and go in for a followup appointment in 2 weeks. She told me that even on medication her daily pressure is 150 over 100. Unfortunately, caregivers all over are so frazzled, they forget to take care of themselves and this sort of thing can happen. Her eldest daughter, Kassidy who is an EMT, will be taking her pressure daily.

Starting in April, the Gardner’s will NOT need meals for Monday’s and Thursday’s because Kathy and Kathryn will be in the hospital for the bone marrow transplant. What they need during this time will be meals that can be frozen. Meals like Chili, Lasagna, Meatballs, Roast, Beef/Chicken Enchiladas, any type of casserole. Anything that can be defrosted and popped into the oven quickly. Again contact Marianne Bell the food coordinator @ 985-285-5359, if you can help in this area.

Kathy and Kyle have been Eucharistic Adorers for over 20 years. Kyle sits with Jesus every Friday morning from 3am to 4am. and Kathy sits every Saturday from 3am to 4am. While in the hospital with Kathryn, Kathy would like to have someone take her Saturday hour. The weeks we need covered are April 26, May 3, May 17, May 24, May 31, June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28. (9 weeks).

Please contact me if you can cover her adoration hour during this 9 week time frame. My cell is 985.502.6412.

Ideally Kathy would like 1 person to cover the first half of the 9 weeks then a second person to cover the last half. We are hoping that Kathryn will be home by the end of June and Kathy will be able to return to adoration then.

I hope that everyone is getting the word out about our big Dinner/Comedy Night on April 25 and 26 at St. Margaret Mary. It’s going to be a wonderful event and I can’t wait to meet all of you. Tickets go on sale April 1, and the G-Force T-shirts should be arriving by the end of this week.

Quit Apologizing for the Catholic Faith

6 Apr

CATHOLIC AND NOT AFRAIDI have been watching events unfold in more than one arena inside the Catholic Faith. Too often we have allowed ourselves to be bullied into apologizing for our Doctrine on issues of faith and morals. Things like the prohibition on Gay Marriage, the belief the homosexual sex is intrinsically evil and a mortal sin, remarriage without an annulment leaving people doomed for the unrepentant and willful mortal sin of adultery. Need I really go on?

People try to engage Catholics in debate about doctrinal and dogmatic issues like abortion or birth control, or some aspect of the Mass. Even though science and history support our Doctrine the faithful mistakenly think that their position needs to be justified to those outside the faith with some rational explanation. It does not. When that fails, either the name calling or the demanding of an apology begins. Don’t even go there!

Don’t ever apologize for the faith. Don’t allow people to blame the actions of a few bad priests on the theology and doctrine of the Church – you are dealing with criminal actions by individuals and not a matter of faith, morals, or dogma which has caused their criminal behaviour -rather a lack of those things is at the problems root. Don’t apologize because remarried people without annulments are offended because they cannot partake of the sacraments. They freely chose to remarry, in willful defiance of the Church Christ founded. Why should anyone apologize for another person’s sin? Pushing their guilt onto you and “making you the bad person” for not telling them it is A-OK to willfully be in mortal sin. To  just pretend like they are any other couple, is NOT OK.

Next we hear the compassion argument – we must show compassion. Jesus himself offered the rich man a place following him, but the man turned away. Did Jesus grab his shoulder and say wait a minute – you can keep all you money and things and it will be just the same, come on. No he did not – he watched the man make his choice and walk away. We have a society today addicted to sin. Just as they people are addicted to any combination of drugs and alcohol. Their sin like the other addictions. It brings them pleasure and the removal of it will cause them discomfort. Would you ever think that providing an alcoholic, puking and dirty in the gutter begging for money and booze, with another fifth of liquor was an act of compassion? I wouldn’t either. Would you give a heroin addict in withdrawals in an alley a big bag of heroin and call it compassion? I wouldn’t either. Such things are not what they need, in fact – they are just exactly what they do not need.

Then why on earth would you give a person in willful mortal sin a pass either – the compassionate thing to do is to save their immortal soul, not to pander to their feelings. Never say you’re sorry that the Church’s belief is “such and such”. Never acknowledge that there are special circumstances that make willful mortal sin OK. Never assume that someone’s suffering or discomfort because of the doctrine of the faith is truly assuaged by you demeaning the Church or the faith in an effort to make them feel better. In fact, when you do that you actually make it worse and just make the recovery harder. Love them support them and assist them in reconciling their sin with the Church – this is compassion that saves the soul. Telling them it’s OK, that their circumstances are special, or that “rules were made to be broken” – that is not an act of compassion, but the facilitation of evil, and I want no part of it.

Think about it –
Pray about it –
Act on it –

Pax Christi,

Colin

 

Important Thoughts about Things…

24 Mar

tombstone

Yes things, material things. This means money, cars, boats, houses, furniture, art, electronics, etc…

Right up front, I myself am guilty of this. More so that I wanted to admit to myself, and it is very hard thing to eliminate from ones life. The nature of our society makes some materialism both inevitable and necessary. The important thing is to keep it in perspective and to keep your priorities straight. There is no evil inherent in becoming fiscally wealthy through industriousness nor in being fiscally poor inspite of industriousness. All of us must provide for our families to the best of abilities and according to our needs. What we must do to keep our perspective and priorities straight is not to allow wealth to be defined by material things. Love is wealth, Faith is wealth, and children are our greatest wealth. For in the end – how do your accomplishments profit you if you have no family of your own to share them with. What profit is there in acquiring those material things if your wife and children become part of the price you must pay – it would seem a hollow victory to me. I did learn one thing for myself – my happiness is not to be found in material things, but rather in true love both given and received.

In truth, my greatest wealth is in the love of my God, my wife, and my children. My greatest accomplishment is the title of Husband she bestowed on me, and the children she blessed us both with. Everything else pales to mere shadows in comparison. It can be a humbling thing when your whole life comes into perspective and you realize what really is important to you, I pray that you will not be at death’s door when you receive this revelation.

Do you judge the success or quality of your marriage by the material possessions it accumulates or the position it gains you? Then why would you judge your own success by that measure?

Have you stopped to consider how little in this life is truly important. Your body will die – none of us is immune, everything dies. It is a natural (if uncomfortable to talk about) part of our lives. After you are dead – what will you leave behind? Memories and an epitaph on a tombstone.

What do you want your tombstone to say? “Successful <Insert your Occupation or Profession Here>” or “loving husband and father”.

What memories will you leave behind? Will they be memories of  a man that the widow and her children hardly saw because he was always working or travelling in order to be “Successful”. Will you children have more memories of nannies and alternative caregivers than you? What will they remember about you?

Being hardworking and industrious is always a good thing – but as is necessary to provide for your family. At some point it becomes greed and vanity. You begin to amass wealth in large quantities, purchase things you don’t need or even want just to make an impression on others. Often people sacrifice the one treasure permitted you on earth that can survive your death – Children. A precious Gift from God that assures even the non-believer a modicum of immortality in knowing that part of them remains alive in each of their children. We are convinced to sacrifice that joy and certitude for hollow material things that will crumble to dust or disuse in mere years. Our wives are often convinced by society that their natural purpose for which they alone are biologically equipped (birthing and nursing our children) is a waste of their time and talents. Ask yourself if your wife would prefer “Devoted Wife and Mother” instead of “#1 Accountant 1982-1995” on her tombstone.

While I have you thinking about this – ask yourself which is more important to you, a sacramental marriage and children or a successful career. If you chose the career then you have my most earnest prayers. A sacramental marriage requires that you put your wife before yourself in all things – this is a beautiful and noble thing even when done by just one of you, and wonderful beyond all description when it is returned in kind. Children are a gift to each of you from the other, representing the physical embodiment of that sacramental love – they are an investment in the future of all humanity. To a child – an afternoon at the park with their father is worth more than all the tea in China.

If you think you are wealthy, ask yourself who will truly mourn your passing? Were you ever truly loved even once in your life and did your bind that love in the Sacrament of Matrimony or let it go in order to finish and education or pursue other things? Did you ever have twinges of regret wondering what could have been? Imagine how unimportant so many of the things we commonly hold dear will be to you at the moment of death. Remember that when you leave this life, you can only take memories and regrets. What harm is there in trying to make a few happy memories -and potentially resolve some regrets ahead of time, after all one can never know the day or the hour when death will come.

Ask yourself one final question – Why am I here? If you can’t say that God put you on this Earth to dominate other men, to acquire fleeting material wealth then you might also want to consider some thoughtful prayers requesting guidance from God on the direction of your life.

I will be praying for everyone who is discerning their purpose and direction in life this Lenten season. If you have your priorities in order and are happy and at peace then please join me in prayer for others.

Colin

Update for those Praying for Kathryn

9 Mar

kathryn

Kathryn

For those who have been following the saga of this one brave young girl and her family, I am hoping that reading this and maybe some of the prior posts for the backstory on my blog will help affirm in your hearts the power of prayer not just in our lives but in the lives of others. Kathryn is one of millions of young children who are suffering daily all over the world with life threatening illness. I have long realized that I cannot make a change for all of them directly, but by doing little things with great love for the one(s) God places before me I believe that I can make a difference. I am also hoping I can inspire others to do what they can to make a small difference in the hope that they too will inspire others. The end of which under ideal circumstances is an outpouring of compassion worldwide.

I’d like to thank all of you who have prayed, sent cards, notes, letters, and postcards of hope to this young girl. I am posting this update because she still needs your prayers and there is so much more ahead of her than there is behind her. Please keep her in your prayers, and remember that love and compassion are not finite resources – you can give all of each from a neverending supply, replenished by God himself.

Now the Update from the Gardner Family –

Last week for Kathryn went well. There were no real changes to report except that her 4 sisters did in fact go through the initial round of genetic testing. The Gardner family wish to send Praises to the heavens on the wings of the Father’s glorious holy angels that from her 4 sisters, they have found one match. Kathyrn’s little sister Karlie(5), is an EXACT MATCH. Praise God!! The test has 15 different markers, Karlie matched all 15 EXACTLY!

When the doctor told them the news Kathy simply began to cry. She heard very little of what was said after that. Kathy asked for a copy of the test to see for herself and she was handed a single piece of paper on which clearly matched the two girls. Kathy knew that the doctor was explaining to a couple of student doctors that when doing these genetic tests you hope to get as many markers to come close to the patients numbers. He was telling them how rare it is to get and exact match on the first try. Then Kathy interrupted and said, “What a beautiful Pro-Life testament!” to which the doctor responded, “Exactly!”

The family would like to thank all of you for your constant prayers and they ask that you lift Karlie up. They are asking that you specifically ask the Father to prepare her little heart for this procedure should we get to that stage. At this time, the doctors are just telling us that it is highly likely that we will have to get the transplant, so they are going to prepare Kathryn for it. They have not told us when this will happen or told us any details, just that it will probably happen at some point.

Prayer Warriors, we have been given great news today for Kathryn and her family. Parents Kyle & Kathy said that on one hand they are ecstatic that they found a match but on the other hand the donor is the youngest and the family is feeling the effects of that reality. In a family meeting today, each of the girls mentioned why she wanted to be the match for their sister. It was very touching.

Kathryn is feeling pretty blue these last few days. She is in a real battle and her little body is taking a beating. Join us as we continue to storm heaven with uplifting prayers for her and her family. Remember the family has asked that we pray for 5 yr old Karlie, that God will prepare her heart. Those of us who have the distinct pleasure of knowing this little firecracker, know that she always has the perfect answer for just about anything you ask of her. She is bouncy, full of life and can carry on an intriguing conversation with anyone and anything.

***KATHRYN’S EMAIL ADDRESS***
GForce2000.14@gmail.com

***** LETTERS/CARDS ********
All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:
KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

God Bless,

-Colin

40 Days of Fidelity

6 Mar


Fidelity

Now, I know you’re probably expecting a spiel about marital fidelity. That would be both admirable and in keeping with my modus operandi. However, today I think we need to take a moment to think deeply about fidelity in terms of our obedience to the Catholic Church. I want to offer you a challenge for Lent – and instead of asking you to give anything specific up, I’m going to ask you to do something positive that you may find unequalled in it’s therapeutic penitence.

fi·del·i·ty
fəˈdelətē/
noun
noun: fidelity

1. faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support.
“he sought only the strictest fidelity to justice”

I challenge you to Live the Catholic Faith in total obedience for just 40 days. For if you cannot be faithful to God – why should your spouse trust that you can be faithful to her? If you can rationalize away the doctrine of the faith – can you not also rationalize away the sin of marital infidelity? Not just sexual infidelity but emotional, financial, intellectual, and every other way.

It’s only 40 days – you’ll do best to arm yourself with a Catechism and the location of a nearby Adoration Chapel. You will need the first look up all the rules and their basis in scripture and tradition, the second to pray for the grace to joyfully submit to them when you find yourself faltering.

This means you abstain from meat on fridays or offer the alternative penance, that mass becomes more important than a soccer game. It applies to all the rules on how to treat your spouse, how you treat your work, your coworkers, your job, following the 10 commandments, and yes – even the teachings on social justice.

** Disclaimer – you should discuss this with your spouse ahead of time since an amazing benefit can be had if you work through this together, and it will take cooperation for you to fully embrace the teachings on the marital embrace and birth control. You might find this challenge does wonders for your marriage. Check out my post on the Expectations of a Catholic Husband for a primer of the changes you might need to make in that regard. My article on NFP might also provide some insight to help you accept the churches teachings on artificial contraception.

Call it a learning moment that is 40 days long. Don’t rationalize, quit arguing and struggling with your yourself via senseless attempts at human rationalization. Just submit to God’s will for your life as spelled out in the Catechism. Stop trying to be your own pope for a short time, and quiet your mind so you can hear God speaking to you in everyday things. If you falter or fall, get back up and persevere – see it through until the end. You’ll learn a great deal about yourself and your faith during the process.

By all means leave comments on this blog about accepting this challenge, how you are doing with it, and any issues you are having trouble dealing with. I will respond personally to every one I can. Living the faith for 40 days in all that you do will be an amazing experience full of trials and rewards – I hope at the end of it you find that you have gained so much more than you ever anticipated loosing, that you never look back and continue on the path.

God Bless and Keep You,

-Colin

Kathryn’s Family Makes a Request

28 Jan

Kathryn

Kathryn’s latest status is below – I understand first hand just how much those cards, letters, and notes can mean. This is a child facing immense physical suffering, and a family faced with watching the child suffer and potentially die. The anguish for both parties is beyond description. It is a time when people feel helpless, afraid, and crushing grief at both the suffering and their inability to alleviate it. If you have a moment – please do send a card, if you have a minute write her a short note, and in you have a few minutes please write her a letter. You might also send a card or note to the whole family – letting them know that others care deeply about what is happening to them and offering what compassion and prayer that we can. No matter what the outcome, the most important things are to make sure that Katheryn feels loved and cared about, and that the family never forgets they are loved and not just held in the bosom of God – but by the arms of the Body of Christ. That last one means you and me.

Prayerfully,

Colin

*** REMINDER*****

A lot of you have asked to be called if we need your help in anyway!

HERE IS WHAT WE NEED FROM ALL OF YOU!!
Please do not count on someone else doing it!
I believe in the motto:

***** “IF IT IS GOING TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME!” *****

Please send NOTES, CARDS, HAND WRITTEN MESSAGES, and anything else that you think would help the family to the address below:

***** LETTERS/CARDS ********
All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:
KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!!

##############################################################################

UPDATE POSTED 01.27.2014 @ 11:30 PM

Kathryn and her mom Kathy arrived at the hospital this morning for her chemo treatment. Over the weekend she developed a cold and so was placed in a small isolation room for her treatment. Her Ferritin level last week had risen to 3200, they are down to 1800 but it is because she is back on the steroids.

Because HLH is so rare, it is very difficult to treat and doctors are having to come up with different ways to attack it. The family has asked you to join them in praying for her doctors that they will think “out of the box”. Today they were told she will be started on 2 new medicines.

The first she will start today. The doctor told Kathy the pharmacy may have to order it since most pharmacies don’t keep it in stock. But as soon as they get it, Kathryn should start it immediately. The second medicine is extremely expensive and has never been approved for HLH patients. The doctors have contacted the insurance company for approval.

The way Kathy explained it was that it is a spectrum disorder with many different levels that range from juvenile onset arthritis to MAS to HLH (roughly).The second medicine has been approved for MAS patients and Kathryn’s doctors are hoping that she will get the approval since HLH is in the spectrum of the disorder. It will take 2 weeks to get the approval.

Another blow today was that they found sugar in her urine and it”s most likely steroid induced diabetes. She will have to start a strict diet and possibly even insulin. Those of you who are bringing dinners, please take this into account and prepare meals accordingly.

Doctors also officially requested approval from the insurance company to have all 4 of the Gardner girls tested by a simple DNA mouth swab. This is the first of several steps in preparation, should Kathryn need a bone marrow transplant in the future.

Kathy says they are emotionally spent and feel like they hit a wall today with this new information. We must not stop praying. Kathryn did not receive this horrific diagnosis alone, the whole family is affected by it. In many ways that we can’t even imagine, they are all suffering. Let’s lift them up daily, all of them. Kyle, Kathy, Kassidy, Brayden, Kathryn, Kymberly, Kristine and Karlie. This beautiful family needs our prayers.

As I write this, we are facing another winter freeze. Many of us will honker down for the next couple of days. If you haven’t done so yet, take some time to write them a letter. Have the kids draw a picture or jot a note. It will let Kathryn and her family know they are not alone, we are all here for them.

REMINDERS:

***** LETTERS/CARDS ********
All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:
KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

A Catholic Wife Responds

27 Jan

My beloved wife came across this article on Facebook, and had no trouble expressing her feelings about it. I’m quoting her here straight from her facebook post with her permission. Like and share if you agree with her. In the meantime, I’ll be praying for the author of the article with her.

This article might be better entitled “Arrogant, Angry, Ultra Feminist Fool Goes Off Half Cocked in a Flurry of Presumption and Cluelessness.”

Indeed I do feel I am just as well off as “women who take care of themselves.” I left a successful career to stay home and raise my children because I believe it is the most important thing I could be doing with my time right now. There is no reason why I cannot resume my career later or even start an entirely new one when the time comes. I am more than capable of thinking, choosing, and taking care of myself, thank you. I simply don’t measure success by money, affluence, or influence alone. I can think of no greater contribution to make of my life than raising my children to be independent, well educated, responsible adults of good character. This is a woman filled with anger and bitterness, and I simply refuse to live my life that way. She has every right to make her own choices. She has no right to make mine.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/26/feminist-blogger-titles-post-i-look-down-on-young-women-with-husbands-and-kids-and-im-not-sorry/

– Debra & Colin

PS: If you’d like to hear more from my wife – leave a comment and let her know.

Pray for the Ukrainian Priests and People

26 Jan

Priests of different faiths pray during clashes with police in central Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Thick black smoke from burning tires engulfed parts of downtown Kiev as an ultimatum issued by the opposition to the president to call early elections or face street rage was set to expire with no sign of a compromise on Thursday. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

This is not getting any press attention in our own media. While we are obsessed with Justin Bieber’s latest escapade, people are dying. The situation is dire and is sparking displays of heroism by both Catholic clergy and the laity. When you see the picture of the priests standing between the armed soldiers and protesters praying, remember that these are priests who are acting with heroic virtue. They deserve our prayers of support and our admiration. Take a moment to pray for the priests and the people of Ukraine during this time of turmoil.

Read the Vatican Radio article here (or Listen to it – there’s an Audio link)
http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=767406

Click any picture on this page to take you to the source and relevant article for it’s original poster. Please take a moment to read some of the articles.

Ukrainian priests stand between protesters and riot police during an anti-government protest Monday in Kiev.

An Ukrainian priest speaks to riot police as they block Pro-European Union activists camping out in their tents on the Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 11, 2013.

Kathryn Suffers a Major Setback (Jan 21, 2014)

21 Jan

Maria_Magdalene_praying
Kathryn has taken a turn for the worse. I know from personal experience just how dangerous and damaging the steroids are, which is why the doctors are desperately trying to cut them back  – but her body is also failing without them. Please consider sending a card or note to help bolster her spirits, and pray for the whole family. I have been both the one who was so sick and one of the family of someone so deathly ill. I promise you from personal experience that it is equally hard to be in either position as both leave you feeling helpless, frightened, and overwhelmed.  As a parent I can tell you , would be far easier for me if I could simply exchange places with that child – but alas we cannot. It is in these dark times that the only real comfort we have is our faith. When faced with darkness, it provides the light and hope from God that our souls need to find their way.  That faith is reinforced strongly by your cards, letters, and notes of support – they are candles in the darkness for this family and  they let this family know that they are not alone in their faith and that others are praying both with them and for them. Please take a moment from your day to say a short prayer for the comfort of the whole family – as Kathryn cannot help but to see the anguish in their eyes as they witness her suffering. Just a small act of compassion, done with great love, can do more to change the world than you may ever know.

Thank you ALL for your support,

-Colin

UPDATE POSTED 01.20.14 @ 10:57 PM

Prayer Warriors please join us in walking this journey with Kathryn and her family. It seems as though her body is not responding very well to the decreased doses of steroids.

Kathryn had a bad night last night. She has a low grade fever, which has to be watched very closely because it can spike very quickly. She has hip, knee, back and shoulder pain and needs help walking.

Kathryn was doing so well with her chemo treatments. She took a trip to Walmart and was even fixing her own snacks. Kathy told us she even had the strength to help straighten her room. The family was looking forward to spending some time together for the MLK holiday. After a rough night Kyle and Kathy brought her for her Chemo treatment this morning and received the news that her Ferritin levels are rising once again.

Kathryn did receive chemo today but with this news about the Ferritin, they were told not to come back for the Thursday treatment. Also, because the Ferritin levels are going up again and the fact that her body is reacting to the decreased steroids, the doctors decided to increase her steroids again until the Ferritin levels go down.

Kathy says that the cards and prayers Kathryn has received have truly lifted her spirits. She and Kyle are very grateful.

REMINDERS:

***** DONATIONS ******
KATHRYN GARDNER BENEFIT ACCOUNT
at any WHITNEY/HANCOCK Bank

***** LETTERS/CARDS ********
All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:
KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

THANK YOU AND KEEP THE PRAYERS COMING!!

##############################################################################

What’s Going on with Kathryn?

14 Jan

kathrynAll,

I have been deluged with requests for an updated status. Don’t think I’ve forgotten, she stays in my prayers every night and every day. Here is the latest as of this evening. She is far from out of the woods, but then again the doctors never thought she would make it this far! Prayer Works! Praise God!

Can I get an AMEN! – Then you keep right on prayin’ she still needs your prayers. Yes YOUR prayers.

Please SHARE this as WIDELY AS POSSIBLE – and keep those cards and letters coming! Words of encouragement are very important – and they let her know just how many are thinking of her and praying for her. Send her a postcard with a short note, have your kids draw her pictures, write get well on a napkin and put it in the mail to her.

-Colin

UPDATED POSTED 01.13.14 @ 10:58 PM.

Kathryn has done well so far with her chemo treatments. She had a chemo treatment today. They checked her blood levels again.

GREAT NEWS, her Ferritin level in her blood has come down to 2,500, it had gotten as high as 40,000. This level should be less than 200.

The doctors are very excited to see this improvement and explained that if at her next chemo treatment which will be this Thursday, January 16, 2013 it is below 1000, they will be able to cut down the chemo treatments to only one treatment a week instead of two chemo treatments a week.

The doctors have been slowly lowering the dosage of steroids she had been receiving. This will start to cause Kathryn to start feeling more of the effects of the chemo treatments. They have to start lowering the dosage, because there are negative long term effects if you stay on steroids too long.

Kathryn was able to attend noon MASS this past Sunday. She has been stir crazy being stuck inside all this time. It was great for her to be able to get out of the house for a little while, but she was exhausted afterwards.

As far as her schooling is concerned, Kathy (her mother) has contacted the school board and has gotten the ball rolling on that issue, she is waiting on a call back tomorrow with details as to how this will work.

The family needs your PRAYERS now more than ever. We pray that these treatments work and that GOD will grant her a COMPLETE FREEDOM from this disease!!

Things are definitely looking better now, but the doctors have warned the family that as they take her off the steroids, things may get worse before they get better. The doctors DO NOT want any of us to get a false sense of security. Kathryn is NOT out of the woods on this matter. SO CONTINUED PRAYERS ARE NEEDED.

REMINDERS:

***** DONATIONS ******
KATHRYN GARDNER BENEFIT ACCOUNT
at any WHITNEY/HANCOCK Bank

***** LETTERS/CARDS ********
All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:
KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

THANK YOU AND KEEP THE PRAYERS COMING!!

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