Monday, April 27, 2009

New Look, New Approach

Happy Monday to you! At the moment, I have my window open and can hear the sweet song of the birds. Their joyful song fills the air and I feel hopeful.

"Hopeful" is an emotion I would like to cultivate more, especially on this blog. During the past few months, I've been a mishmash of emotions, ranging from anger toward the direction our country is taking - to the unspeakable joy of discovering Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. I'm sure you can imagine which one I'd rather focus on.

I would like to thank my regular readers for hanging with me during the past year as I journeyed toward a deeper understanding of Catholicism. It wasn't always easy, and I imagine I'll still have moments of puzzlement and wonder. However, I trust God enough to see me through and speak into my heart and mind what I need to know.

But now, I realize I need to focus on some things and clarify the purpose of this blog. More than anything, I wish to encourage you, my dear reader, with whatever the Lord shows me. I admit I've used this blog to rant about quite a few things. I know it makes us feel good to find others who share our views, but ranting won't strengthen our spirit. Only focusing on God, will. There have been times I've allowed myself to rail against the changes in government because quite frankly, I think they're wrong. But in the vast scheme of things, haven't men and women always made mistakes, especially in the area of government?

I have done some serious soul-searching this past week. Believe me, I'd love nothing more than to join some activist group and battle it out on the front steps of Pennsylvania Avenue. But - and here is the $60,000 question, my friends - is this the best use of my time?

We all have a very limited time upon this earth. Each day, we have the opportunity to invest in the Kingdom of God. To be honest, I don't want to waste any more time. I have always been dedicated to the cause of the Kingdom, but I feel a sense of urgency to press in even more. Governments come and go, but the Kingdom of God lasts forever.

And so, on that note, I am announcing a few changes to my blog:

  1. I will be adopting a "blog schedule." Posts will go up Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That way, you know when to check for updates. This will also free me up for #2, which is

  2. I will be focusing on writing a book about my experiences within the non-denominational church movement and compare/contrast those experiences with Catholicism.

  3. The focus on this blog will be to encourage, equip, and prepare my Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ to "gird up their loins" for spiritual battle. I will still be focusing on All Things Catholic, because I am still in my awe-struck phase of realizing the depth of truth that exists in the Sacraments and everything else we cherish. I anticipate talking more about saints, devotions, and reviewing good Catholic books. (Which by the way, if you have favorite authors, let me know. I'm looking.)

I am in the midst of reading Goodbye, Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption into the Catholic Church by Michael S. Rose. It is a shocking account of how orthodox men, faithful to the Magisterium, have been systematically blocked from entering the seminaries by those who have a definite agenda for promoting the ordination of women as priests, homosexuality, and a variety of leftist causes. My anger has no words.

After reading yet another amazing "blackballed" account, I turned to my husband and said, "That's it. I'm going into battle." He asked what I meant. I re-read the portion of the book to him and he agreed it was outrageous. Good men - good holy men who could have been wonderful priests, were locked out because they were seen as "too rigid" by being faithful to the Magisterium, keeping devotions, desiring Biblical truth, and respecting the spiritual authority of the Pope.

So. Reading such stories coincided with my desire to shift the focus of this blog to one of proclaiming the Gospel and exhorting believers. We are in a battle, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ - not only with the world, but with the "spirit of the world" which has infiltrated the Catholic church. I'm going to do my level best to not only respond with conviction and truth, but encourage you to also stand strong. More than ever, Jesus Christ, the light of the world, needs to shine. May we all be His bright candles, witnesses to God's grace.


Chris said...

wonderful, Mary Rose! I can tell you have put a lot of thought into this.
I hope I get an autographed copy of that book. ;D

owenswain said...

God bless.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I like.

Rachel said...

About Goodbye, Good Men:
I know a priest who as a young man decided he wanted to be a priest but knew he'd better not go to the nearest seminary, as the crazies had taken it over (this was in the 1970's). He wrote to a good bishop he knew to ask for a recommendation. The bishop replied that he was unable to recommend *any* seminary in the United States! So that young man joined a religious order, went to seminary in Rome, and became a *wonderful* priest. But it's not hard to imagine others who would have given up at that stage.

Another priest I knew was kicked out of seminary in the 1970's for being orthodox. He really had to search around for a number of years before he settled in with the same religious order and became another fine priest. But again-- I bet a whole lot of good men didn't persevere that far.

The blog looks great!

Adrienne said...

I like your direction and your new look. I'm still struggling with PhotoShop!! heh

Elisabeth said...

Thanks be to God, a lot of our seminaries have been turning around since that book was published. My own dearly-loved bishop, Michael Burbidge, is credited by folks who know a few things in Philly with cleaning up St. Charles Borromeo, there.

The tide has turned - but there are still places where some folks in "control" haven't gotten the message yet.

Alan A said...

I wish you well in your endeavours, Mary Rose. But are you sure the Church needs another combatatant? I will be praying for you, whatever.

Mary Rose said...

Thank you all, for your comments. I love my combox peeps! I love hearing what others have to say and often am challenged by another perspective or thought.

It is encouraging to know that the tide is slowly changing in the seminaries. May good men find a place within them.

Alan, I definitely need prayer! And to clarify, when I said "I'm going into battle," I didn't necessarily mean confronting a seminary formation director and giving them the 'what-for.' (Tempting as that may be.) What I am referring to is "spiritual battle" which is where I aim my prayers toward God and ask the intercession of the saints. The infiltration of both radical feminism and homosexuality in the Catholic church is a two-pronged attack from the enemy. I, personally, have nothing in me to combat this attack. But God can do something by the prayers of His people. I'm also starting to learn how to ask St. Michael the Archangel for assistance. St. Michael is built to combat this evil. Me...not so much.

During my years with non-denominational churches, I was heavily involved with the prayer ministry, which included intercession. This may be a topic for a post, but suffice it to say, those involved in intercession quickly realize they're in a battle. I'll explain more in a post, sometime.

Thanks, again, everyone for the well-wishes. I pray that the Lord would keep you safe this week and bring you closer to Him. :-)

Larry Denninger said...

I like the new look, Mary Rose. Your posts are always well written and thought provoking.

Keep up the great work! And please keep me in your prayers. And I will do the same.

Alan A said...

Thank you for the reassurance, Mary Rose. This is very good to hear.
There is also good news on Goodbye, Good Men. It becomes clear from a Google search that all of Michael Rose's information relates to the 1970s and 80s and much of it was not true then. Even Michael's friends and supporters now accept that this book was not really accurate or fair. One good review is:
This is very encouraging news.