Squatter’s Rights and LGBT Movements: How We Allowed Adverse Possession and What We Can do About it

When it comes to our relationship with the LGBT community, our efforts to refrain from making waves and avoid being labeled bigots have wrought (or at the very least contributed to) unimaginable cultural losses that may effect the world for generations to come.

Americans are livid. The Obama administration has taken the transgender bathroom issue by storm, issuing a 600px-Bathroom-gender-sign
directive  via the Departments of Justice and Education to all public school districts across the country, warning officials that transgender students should be allowed to use the restroom or locker room of the gender with which they identify, as opposed to their “sex assigned at birth” (their language, not mine) – or risk having the federal government withhold school funding. And by the way, making separate facilities available doesn’t count.

This is what happens, ladies and gentlemen, when we fail to stand up and declare the truth. When we sit back in fear of confrontation and refuse to speak the truth in love, we risk being violently overtaken in the public square.

In the world of pubic opinion, the faithful have completely lost the argument. But worse, when it counted, few of us showed up. Do you know what we have done? We have allowed something that in the real estate business is called adverse possession, otherwise known by the somewhat crass if visually descriptive term, squatter’s rights.

Let me explain. Say your neighbor lets you know he’s going to build a six foot fence around his property. In an act of good will, you give him your blessing and compliment his choice of building materials. A few days after he begins building, you notice that he has crossed the property line by a few feet. You know this because when you moved in several years ago, the lots were staked out, and you measured ten feet from the lot line so you could plant your garden. It’s not terrible, but you measure, and sure enough, your garden fence is only seven feet from your neighbor’s new construct. You’re in a tough spot. You don’t want to cause any friction or offend your neighbor, who has already begun building. In the end, rather than risk stirring up bad feelings, you let it go.

The problem is that you have not simply allowed your neighbor to build on your property. Five years later, when he moves, he will lay claim to that additional three feet. He will be hard pressed to believe he stepped out of bounds at that point, and the courts will agree. Unbeknownst to you, by your silence, you have ceded part of your property to your neighbor.

When it comes to our relationship with the LGBT community, our efforts to refrain from making waves and avoid being labeled bigots have wrought (or at the very least contributed to) unimaginable cultural losses that may effect the world for generations to come.

As Christians, we tend to be compassionate (contrary to the image we’ve been given in recent years). We know we are called to love. So rather than risk offending anyone, we let things go. After all, the entire LGBT community was comprised of a mere 2-3% of the population. There was a time when many of us didn’t even know someone who was gay or transgender, so we stayed out of the conversation. And if we did know someone, we knew they were good people and meant no harm to anyone – so we stayed silent.

In fact, if we did speak up, many of us (correctly) supported individuals who were mistreated in the name of sexual orientation, advocating love of neighbor as one of the greatest commandments. We thought, correctly, all human beings are deserving of respect (CCC 1700). But we held our tongues regarding the teaching of the Church on human sexuality. After all, we thought, who am I to tell others how to liveWhat they do in their own homes is between them and God. 

And that’s where we went wrong.

The fact is, average Americans have never wanted to address the moral argument. Because – hey – that would be judging. But by keeping the argument on purely legal terms – definition of marriage, a child’s right to two parents, and now, discomfort in the restroom – we have subtlety communicated that we didn’t believe the lifestyles of the LGBT community were immoral; we just didn’t want them to affect our way of life. (Because, after all, everyone knows the “greatest” commandment has become, “thou shalt not impose your morality on your neighbor.“)

Having failed to reasonably discuss the possibility that these individuals who are seeking equal status should actually be seeking help (it took me forever to type those words – I have been avoiding the discussion too), we have allowed enough time to pass that we have unwittingly allowed the LGBT community to advocate its position to the point that now, anyone who argues that there may be “disorder” involved with being gay or transgender is a bigot. Uneducated. A hater.

Cultural Shift

While we were hemming and hawing over how to avoid giving offense, the LGBT community has been busy making great inroads in the public square. In as little as 15 years, public opinion has done a complete 180. For example, in 2001, 57% of people in the general public opposed gay marriage. Today, even 58% of Catholics support it.

My goodness, the left has been completely indoctrinating the young right under our noses – using our tax dollars, no less! They have even convinced them that there is no such thing as truth (moral or even physical – watch this and this), while all this time we have been pussyfooting around, trying to find the courage to declare it.

Transgender rights are just the latest in a stream of efforts to overturn any semblance of traditional values. Pressure has been mounting at a steep rate. An issue that was little known six months ago has suddenly become a matter of civil rights. To say the trend is disturbing is an understatement. Just a couple of weeks ago (as mentioned in a previous post), an employee of a Catholic university was under investigation for a hate crime after stating that there are two genders.

When the state of North Carolina took a preemptive step in declaring by law that one must use the restroom of his biological gender (something that used to be common sense), the transgender bathroom issue came to a head. Outrage against the state has been palpable.

Then the federal government dove into the controversy, invoking Title 9 and involving the courts. North Carolina fought back. Livid, Obama, sensing a changing tide in public opinion, has thrown down the gauntlet, not only against North Carolina, but daring any state in the country to initiate similar legislation. In a massive overstep of intimidation, the administration has now drawn the big guns, using the power of the purse to threaten schools across the country.

So what now?

I read a quote recently that captures the current pulse of America today:

“Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant, then it tries to silence good.” — Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

So what can we do about it?

After we collectively pick our jaws off the floor, having been stunned by the sheer audacity of the federal government telling us that our daughters must share locker rooms with boys of the opposite sex, we must go back to the beginning.

The Church is first and foremost a mother and a teacher. A loving mother has compassion for her children. But it is out of that compassion that she teaches them the truth. We must, as Christ’s body, the Church, teach the truth about human sexuality.

In order to teach, we must be informed. It is not enough to know that God has a plan for marriage. For the family. As Catholics, we must know that plan. We must be able to articulate that plan.

We must live out that plan.

Truth is undeniable when light shines upon it.

There is nothing better to display the truth in an excellent light, than a clear and simple statement of facts. – Saint Benedict

Get Educated

Here are some resources that I plan to learn inside and out. Study them and see if they help you to better articulate a simple statement of facts:

  1. The Catechism
  2. Love and Responsibility by Karol Wojtyla (now Saint John Paul II) – what is truly meant by human sexuality
  3. Familiaris Consortio by Saint John Paul II – because what is most at stake in this discussion is the human family, which is the foundation of all of society
  4. Man, Woman, and the Meaning of Love: God’s Plan for Love, Marriage, Intimacy, and the Family by Dietrich von Hildebrand
  5. Men, Women and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility by Edward Sri
  6. Address to Roman Curia by Pope Benedict XVI, specifically addressing the dangers of the gender identity movement (and also commentary on it)
  7. Catholic Answers Resources:
    – Video: How do We Relate to People who Struggle with Sexual Identity
    – Article: Five Questions for Supporters of Gender Transitioning
    – Article: Bathroom Bill is Not Hateful Bigotry

7.  Popes and Catechism on Gender Theory

[Note: If you have other recommendations that are in line with the Magisterium, please offer them in the Comments section.]

What You Can Do Today

In the meantime, now is the time to take civil action. Force yourself to leave your comfort zone, step off the sidelines and get involved. Write your governorssenatorsrepresentatives, school boards, and anyone else of consequence, encouraging them to stand up to the administration. Texas and Arkansas have already said they refuse to comply. In a profound statement, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick of Texas asserted, “We will not be blackmailed by the president’s 30 pieces of silver.”

There is hope that a groundswell of public opinion summarily rejecting the administration’s reach will prove fruitful. Encourage your state not to give into political correctness.

[Note: If you have other ideas for civic action, please recommend them in the Comments section.] 

Hope, Despite Loss after Loss after Loss

In the end, the Church is not merely there to help us get along in the world. Rather, it serves as an alternative to the world. A beacon of truth. A compass to lead the way – not to necessarily to success in this world, but to our Heavenly home.

It’s been two weeks since I’ve been able to write. So many things have happened that 1,000 words don’t begin to break the surface. Frankly, after all the losses that have been suffered recently in the name of progress, my keyboard has endured the abuse of angry, frustrated and embittered fingers, banging out thousands upon thousands of words, very few of which have been worth sharing. It is overwhelming to comprehend the speed Men_throwing_black_paint_at_a_woman_seeking_justice_Wellcome_V0050338at which our nation is changing. Or being changed.

I am but one voice in a million. But sometimes I wonder, is there anybody out there? Are we all but empty voices echoing through the darkness?

I am the daughter of not one, but two, retired Air Force veterans, each of whom spent over 20 years serving this great nation. For years my mother collected statues of eagles and virtually anything she could find with an American flag, two things that have always been revered symbols of freedom in our home. Growing up, I was taught to drop everything, stand at attention, and place my right hand over my heart whenever and wherever the National Anthem was played.

Somewhere along the line I “inherited” my mother’s habit of welling up with tears wherever the Anthem is heard in view of the flag. For most of my adult life, that combination has induced tears of pride and unmitigated awe at the amazing experiment that is the United States of America. But lately, the tears have been tinged with sadness. Sadness stemming from an overwhelming feeling of defeat. Of dread.

This country that I so love has become foreign to me – perhaps the language that I speak has become obsolete. The ancient language of Latin in a post-Christian America.

Here’s a brief recap of events from recent weeks:

  • The lambasting of North Carolina for passing a law requiring people to use restrooms according to their biological gender (who would have thought this was a bigoted move?). [And the disappointment never ends – as I am typing I just received a notification that the Department of Justice has declared the NC law to be a violation of civil rights – lovely.]
  • Target, one of the largest retailers in America took center-stage with their statement in support of trans-bathroom use. This quote pretty much sums up their stance:

In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.

  • An employee of a Catholic University (yes, Catholic) was laid off her job and is now under investigation for committing a hate crime. Apparently, it’s now considered a hate crime to say at a Catholic university that there are two genders.

And in the world of politics – things vacillate between unbelievable and unconscionable.

  • For the fist time in the history of the United States, a socialist is gaining momentum in the race for the presidency. A socialist. In Iowa, Bernie Sanders walked away with over 80% of support among 17-29 year olds. And the trend only continued from there. If it weren’t for super delegates, Democrats would most likely have a socialist representing their party this cycle. This trend doesn’t bode well for freedom.
  • Last night, for all ostensive purposes, Americans nominated as a candidate representing the Republican Party, Donald Trump, a man who speaks in a more  crass and disrespectful way than I’ve even seen of a public figure in the history of this country. A man who is determined to roll around in the the mud in the name of “winning.” A man who personifies everything I find distasteful about reality television. But perhaps I stand alone; for it seems that a significant number of Americans are fine with this man’s character. Based on widespread commentary, many in our country have aligned themselves with Trump, telling themselves and others that all is well because the ends justify the means.

The above list would have been unthinkable a decade ago; and yet, today it barely brushes the surface. As I said, things are changing and they are changing fast. I don’t know about you, but I’ve grown more downhearted by the day.

Nevertheless, I’m not here to drag you down with me. Instead, I’m writing to share a little encouragement. Encouragement that for me, could not have come at a better time.

Today, my kids and I finished reading Jesus of Nazareth by Mother Mary of Loyola. Her words at the book’s conclusion were a salve for my wounds. They offered hope in a time of despair. If you share my feelings about the direction of our country, perhaps they will comfort you as well:

There are men in these days who are trying to undo all that Jesus Christ has done, who deny whatever in His Life they cannot understand, and teach children that such facts as His Resurrection and Ascension could not have happened because they do not see how they happened. It is very wrong and cruel thus to rob the little ones of their faith in Him who died to save them from sin and hell.

Do not listen to such teaching. When men or women, companions, books or newspapers, would shake your faith in Jesus Christ – up, then with the shield of faith: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ His only son our Lord.

Cling to Jesus Christ. Let no one – let no thing – separate you from him. He alone, His Precious Blood, can wash away your sins. He alone can comfort you when you are poor, or sick, or desolate. He alone can give you courage in the hour of trial, victory in temptation, and help in the awful hour of death. When all desert you, then, He will stand by you and keep you from harm if you have clung to Him all your life through as our Savior and your Friend.

Cover yourselves, then, with the shield of faith when danger threatens. Be glad that as children of the Holy Catholic Church you are preserved from the ignorance and the disbelief which is taking Jesus Christ out of the hearts and lives of so many who are outside. Say to Him joyfully with Peter and with Martha: “Thou art Christ the Son of the living God.”

And be not afraid to profess your faith boldly:

Jesus is God! If on the earth
This blessed faith decays,
More tender must our love become,
More plentiful our praise.

By your reverence in His Presence, by the frequency and the fervor of your Communions, by the observance of His Commandments and of the precepts of His Church, profess your faith in Him.

And if at times it costs, as it most certainly will, to show yourselves the followers of Jesus Christ, look forward to that Day when He in His turn will confess you before the whole world. Remember that this Jesus, who has been taken up from us into Heaven, is to come again. Look forward to meeting Him with joy at His second coming, to being owned by Him then for one of His, according to His promise: “He that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven and before the Angels of God.”

A House Upon the Sand – When We Refuse to Promote the Common Good

If we are to survive as a nation, we must stop trying to redefine the rock that is the family, and once again build a culture that promotes this sacred institution.

Seventeen years ago I worked for a nonprofit that sought to promote the virtues of marriage and its incalculable bearing upon the common good. After a year of campaigning familyfor a cause which I believed to be one of the most significant if not the most significant in our nation’s history, I stepped out in order to focus my time and energy on my own marriage and on the amazing fruit of that relationship, which at the time was about 20 inches long and wrapped in a soft but tiny blue receiving blanket. Unbeknownst to that precious little bundle, the two hearts of this husband and wife were now intricately bound with his own and he would carry them with him for the rest of our lives.

This is what family is about. Two become one, and that one can become three.   Or, in our case after 21 years, eight. But like the Blessed Trinity, while we are three (or four or eight, or thirteen), we are still one. By virtue of the sacrament of marriage and the blessing of parenthood, families are a single unit, each individual part of which serves to help every other part, that the whole may one day attain heaven.

Ultimately, family is about sacrifice. Something that must be promoted in today’s world.

Few can describe the beauty and purpose of family life as eloquently as did Pope [Saint] John Paul II, in his encyclical, Familiaris Consortio:

Christian marriage, like the other sacraments, “whose purpose is to sanctify people, to build up the body of Christ, and finally, to give worship to God,” is in itself a liturgical action glorifying God in Jesus Christ and in the church. By celebrating it, Christian spouses profess their gratitude to God for the sublime gift bestowed on them of being able to live in their married and family lives the very love of God for people and that of the Lord Jesus for the church, his bride.

Just as husbands and wives receive from the sacrament the gift and responsibility of translating into daily living the sanctification bestowed on them, so the same sacrament confers on them the grace and moral obligation of transforming their whole lives into a “spiritual sacrifice” (#56).

God has given us a magnificent gift – the family is the foundation of all of society. Solid families build strong  neighborhoods. Strong neighborhoods come together as proactive communities. Proactive communities make up productive towns, uniting to form sovereign states in our case, which then come together to share their values beneath the umbrella of a great nation.

This all works very well.

Until the foundation crumbles.

As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live. – Pope John Paul II

In the case of our own nation, the cracks are visible; but rather than fixing the foundation, we are busy re-plastering and re-painting all the residual damage.

Daily we hear about problem after problem, each calling for serious solutions. Crime rates are on the rise and gun violence is increasing, as are random violence, poverty, dismal education scores, drug abuse and availability, the divide between the rich and the poor, the number of children born to single parents, the strain on social services,  and more.

As a nation, we are desperate to find solutions to each of these problems. And the solution most promoted is legislation. We decrease sentencing so that fewer crimes result in jail time. We attempt to restrict guns so that criminals cannot commit crimes. We hear about police brutality, a need for additional aid to the poor, increased spending on education, a redistribution of wealth, more counseling and free daycare for single parents. The answer to every proposal that has been tried and failed is to spend MORE money and give MORE consideration!!!  And yet, we have been increasing funding in each of these areas for decades now.

To no avail.


Because there is no amount of money that will solve any of these problems. Simply put, a lack of legislation is not the problem. In fact, legislation actually contributes to the problem, to the extent that it demeans the institution of the family.

That’s right.

We have been destroying the very foundation of our nation by destroying the institution the family – an institution grounded in strong marriages, which we have thrown to the wolves of self-satisfaction and worldly fulfillment.

We have become a house built on sand. And a house built on sand is bound to fall.

The family has been chiseled away to an unrecognizable version of its former self. We are now standing on the quicksand of relativism, individualism and self-determination. We are being sucked under by political correctness and a refusal to make judgements that promote the common good.

And yet, those judgements must be made. God designed the family perfectly. We redefine it to our detriment. Every child needs a father and mother; and, despite efforts to ignore the obvious, all social science evidence points to that simple fact.

As a society, we have a moral obligation to promote the good.

Divorce and single-parent families increase the chances that children will have significant problems throughout life. Children of divorce are more likely to get addicted to cigarettes, drugs or alcohol,  commit crimes and struggle with reduced performance in school . They often suffer from lower high school and college graduation rates compared to their married-parent counterparts and are significantly more likely to grow up in poverty. Girls growing up with a single-parent are more likely to become pregnant while in high school. And the trend continues to further generations, as children of divorce are more likely to divorce themselves. (Interestingly enough, a single-parent home as the result of the death of a parent does not have the same damaging affects.)

The most comprehensive examination of the complex and long-lasting effects of divorce on children was conducted by Dr. Judith Wallerstein, who tracked 100 victims of divorce over the course of 25 years to thoroughly evaluate its longitudinal affects on their lives. The dramatic results can be read in her book, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce.

In addition to the fact that divorce often has a negative effect on children, there is also evidence to demonstrate that divorce is contagious. According to Pew Research, we are 75% more likely to get a divorce if we have a friend that gets a divorce.

And when we do divorce, and months or years later find a mate whom we believe to be our true love? We may be fooling ourselves. Second marriages have a 67-80% chance of ending in divorce.

This is a spiraling cycle that has spun out of control. Let no one quote to you statistics that tout decreasing divorce rates. Because we’re also dealing with a generation full of cohabitation and out-of-wedlock childbirth, which in turn lead to all the same results discussed above.

No where is this information refuted. Instead, it is ignored because it flies in the face of the political agenda of the day. The widespread mindset that promotes following our own hearts; doing what makes us “happy.” Unfortunately, that mindset doesn’t even serve adults in the long run, as more often than not, divorce does not lead to increased happiness.

If we are to survive as a nation, we must stop trying to redefine the rock that is the family, and once again build a culture that  promotes this sacred institution.

There is a lot we can do to promote the common good as a society. Of course, our greatest impact on our children will come from the lives we lead in our own homes. But with the entire culture seeking to destroy our best efforts, that has become uphill battle. Combined with our own efforts, messages from every level must promote the common good.

We must be able to say that marriage is good, cohabitation and sex before marriage are bad. Commitment is good. Selfishness is bad. Feelings are fleeting. True love is a verb.

The greatest power of the presidency is the bully pulpit. The greatest power of the media is to inform on the facts – not a twisted, politically correct version that fits the mantra of the day. The greatest power of Hollywood is to persuade through the use of illustration. The greatest power in our communities, in our churches, in our schools and, most importantly, in our homes, is the example set and any spoken word that pays homage to the good.

For years, we have subtly desecrated the notion of the two-parent family through each and every one of those mediums. Here is just one example from Hollywood.  Mrs. Doubtfire– an unbelievably celebrated movie – was so funny that perhaps you didn’t even notice how it attempted to redefine the institution of the family:

There are all sorts of different families, Katie. Some families have one mommy, some families have one daddy, or two families. Some children live with their uncle or aunt. Some live with their grandparents, and some children live with foster parents. Some live in separate homes and neighbourhoods in different areas of the country. They may not see each other for days, weeks, months or even years at a time. But if there’s love, dear, those are the ties that bind. And you’ll have a family in your heart for ever.

Very subtle; very sly; one message among many.

You may defend Mrs. Doubtfire by arguing this message is true. After all, we must support children who are not so blessed to have a father and mother. They should be validated rather than suffer some stigma because their parents are divorced, or perhaps never married. Let me first say that those children are not fooled. As a child who grew up with divorced parents, all the messages in the world would not have convinced me that having my dad live somewhere else was just as “good” as having him live with the rest of us. You can offer all the platitudes you like, but kids know  when they are getting the short end of the stick.

For adults on the other hand…the message subtly validates what are no doubt complex and difficult decisions. And it as no doubt reassured countless parents who find themselves in unhappy marriages.

Mrs. Doubtfire came out over 20 years ago. And the messages that we have received since that time – from just about every direction – have only served to further deteriorate this sacred institution. There have been exceptions. But those exceptions are too few and far between.

It’s time we call foul. We must say NO to all efforts that attempt to legislate symptoms rather than dealing with the problem. We need to make clear that while, yes, there are all sorts of different families, the one that God ordained is the one that best promotes the common good.

Until we do, we will continue to build our house upon the sand.


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It’s Better to Light One Candle than to Curse the Darkness!

Do you ever wonder what you can do in a world of darkness? Light a candle! One way to do this is to join the Christopher Movement – a movement founded over 60 years ago (by The Greatest Generation) to spread truth throughout the culture!

Have you ever heard of the Christopher Movement? Founded by Father James Keller in 1945, it was established in effort to encourage all men and women with Judeo-You can change the worldChristian values to visibly engage themselves in the world in order to preserve the truths that were readily accepted at the founding of our great nation. Specifically, Father Keller encouraged people to seek positions in teaching, government, writing, labor, social services and other areas that directly impacted others. I’m sure today that list would include scientists, doctors, nurses, actors, directors and all those involved in the media, whether news or entertainment.

Here is a fabulous video with Father Keller, Jack Benny, Bob Hope and more. In it they discuss the importance of the Declaration of Independence, its foundation on Almighty God, and the need to promote Truth, particularly in the face of efforts to subvert it. This video gets to the heart of the Christopher movement and should be shared with anyone who is concerned for the future of our country. The falsehoods spread in past eras sound hauntingly similar to the lies being spread today. But we should take up the motto of The Christophers:

 “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

The Christophers still exist – I’m sure I’ve seen some of their pamphlets –  but I knew nothing of the great purpose of their founding. Interestingly, I have heard Father Morris talk about his book, Light in the Darkness, but had no idea that it was about the teachings of Father Keller. Here Father Morris briefly explains the background of The Christophers and discusses his recent book, which I will be reading ASAP.


I started this blog because I believe the future of this country depends on a resurgence in the willingness to sacrifice for our personal sanctification, for our families, for our communities, and for our country. Father Keller clearly recognized a great danger to our country in the realm of ideas. May each of us pick up the torch today and continue to fight the good fight!


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Divine Mercy for Godly Leaders

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. Voters from thirteen states and one territory will head to the polls to voice their choice of Republican and Democratic candidates for president of the american flagUnited States of America. As a resident of Nebraska, I will not be voting tomorrow, but will be riveted to my television set to learn where all the votes land. With 600 delegates up for grabs, tomorrow will either serve to further solidify the current path or prove to be a significant game changer.

Thus far there has been record-setting participation throughout this process. Americans realize there is a lot at stake in this election. I don’t think I’m overstating things when I say that many Americans believe our country stands on the brink of disaster. With regard to social, economic and national security issues, our nation’s very identity may be on the line.

What can we do? Of course, each of us has an obligation to vote with a well-formed conscience. But additionally, we must pray. I’ve learned that prayer for our country is a sacrifice that is both immediate and fruitful.

At spiritualdirection.com we are reading Father Michael Gaitley’s The Second Greatest Story Ever Told. I strongly recommend the book; thus far it has illustrated for me in a profound way the very personal interest Our Lord has in our lives and the power of Divine Mercy to change them. Not only our lives as individuals, but to change our nations.

Until now I have felt relatively helpless about the direction of this campaign cycle. Certainly I have prayed – but in a posture of isolation. No longer. The truth is that I am certainly not alone; doubtless there are thousands who desire God’s mercy on our country and who might be willing to unite together in a sacrifice of prayer for Divine Mercy with the intention of God’s hand in the selection of our nation’s leaders. With this, I have gained a new hope.

For with God, nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37).

Just imagine how Our Lord will look down upon his children, pleading together for His purpose in this, the Year of Mercy. Perhaps together we can be to Our Lord as the widow who incessantly pleaded with the judge for vindication against her adversary (Luke 18:1-8). In the end, He took pity on her and acted on her behalf. This parable serves as an example to us, for Christ concluded by saying,

And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. – Luke 18:7-8)

Would you be willing to sacrifice a few minutes every month until the November election to join us in a perpetual prayer of Divine Mercy for the united intention of Godly leaders for our country – particularly for the office of president and for the selection of a Supreme Court nominee that may or may not be appointed before the November election? If so, please click on the link below to commit to one day of the month when you will pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet for our united intentions. Then over the next eight months – until the election – please pray the chaplet each month on your chosen day. This type of sign-up does not allow for email reminders, so please put your date on the calendar with a monthly reminder.

Divine Mercy for a Divided Country

Please find a link to the Divine Mercy Chaplet here.

Eight months and eight days stand between us and the presidential election. The number eight has great biblical significance. There are eight beatitudes – our given path to Joy and Peace. Also, our Lord rose from the dead on the eighth day after his providential ride into Jerusalem. The number eight represents joy, peace and resurrection – three things of which our country is in great need.

None of us knows what November will bring. But no matter how the election bears out, we have confidence that our prayers will be fruitful. For we know

that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to His purpose. — Romans 8:28.

With that in mind, always…

Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. – Romans 12:12

I hope that you will consider this small sacrifice for our country.

Mother Mary, Immaculate, Patron of The United States of America, Pray for Us.


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Pelican’s Breast – A Symbol of Sacrifice

There is a great need for sacrifice in our world. Rather than look to God merely for His glory, we must seek Him in His suffering and degradation.

Perhaps you’re wondering why anyone would choose Pelican’s Breast for a blog name? It’s certainly not top on the list of popular domain names, that’s for sure. But when I contemplated a discussion on sacrifice, it became clear that Pelican’s Breast was the way to go.

Throughout history, the pelican has been a great symbol of sacrifice. According to ancient legend, a mother pelican would pierce her own breast in times of famine, that her children might seek sustenance from her very flesh and blood. When necessary, the mother pelican was said to have readily offered this sacrifice at the cost of her own life. Pelican's Breast Image

Over time, for obvious reasons, the pelican came to symbolize Christ, who gives us his very flesh and blood, that we might have eternal life. You may have even noticed carvings or stained glass windows of the mother pelican and her young in your local church, as a symbol of Christ in the Eucharist, but also as a symbol of sacrifice for us to model.

Unfortunately, just as the story of Christ’s actual sacrifice is heralded less and less, in most places today we hear little of the legend of the pelican. Sacrifice is something not often promoted today. At least, not in close quarters. We’d rather have the resurrection without the cross. But sadly, without the cross, there can be no resurrection. For Christ Himself said,

If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  -Matthew 16:24-25.

Christ calls us to sacrifice. He isn’t just calling for us to “suffer” with him because misery loves company. Rather, in His infinite wisdom, He knows that in this world so lovingly created for us, our joy will directly correspond to our ability to keep our eyes on the ball, so to speak. He knows that our willingness to sacrifice in this life will not only prepare us for heaven, but will make for a much more fulfilling time on earth. In our day, we are experiencing the antithesis of this. We are seeing the results of a refusal to sacrifice. We are witnessing daily the results of the culture of ME. And most of us would agree that they are not pretty.

There is a great need for sacrifice in our world. Rather than look to God merely for His glory, we must seek Him in His suffering and degradation. We must follow Saint Paul and

…rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. – Romans 5:3-5

When we turn suffering, annoyances or obligations into gifts of love, they become sacrifices. When we give – whether our time, treasure, desires or our very selves – we are offering sacrifices. And we are in great need of sacrifice today.

Back to the symbol of the pelican. Our own children are starving. Worse than starving from physical depravation, they are suffering from great emotional and spiritual deprivation. Many are missing the very foundation of childhood that stems from the security of family. They are raised in a culture that values the material over the spiritual, relativism over truth, personal choice over life and pleasure and self-determination over commitment.

Starvation from love and truth are exponentially more destructive than starvation from food:

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. – Matthew 10:28

For the sake of our souls and for those of our children, we must begin to embrace the notion of sacrifice. Take some time this week to contemplate the cross. And if you are so inclined, tune in to the pelicansbreast.com and join our discussion.

In my next post, we’ll begin to discuss sacrifice in practical terms.


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