Sunday, May 31, 2009


Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. If you remember on Pentecost the Apostles are still sitting in the upper room where they have basically been hiding since Easter Sunday—surely suffering from a little cabin fever?? Suddenly there was a great rush of wind that filled the room and suddenly “tongues of flame” appeared on the apostles and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Now, you can imagine the racket this must have made----gusts of wind inside the house (makes you wonder how many collectables and nick/nacks were broken, “Oh no! My Elvis in Hawaii ceramic statue!!”), tongues of flame, people talking---it drew attention and before you know it there was a crowd of people outside. And they were from EVERYWHERE---a bunch of places that neither you or I have ever heard of but rest assured they are all from faraway places---from Rome to Asia to Egypt. And most remarkably, these foreigners were able to hear the Apostles preach to them in their own language.

We celebrate Pentecost once a year but we really need to make Pentecost a daily occurrence in our own lives and to allow those flames to burn in us.

I worry sometimes that I don’t do that. I realized it a few weeks ago before the gospel reading when we make a cross on our forehead, mouth and heart while saying a silent prayer, “may the Gospel be on my mind, on my lips and in my heart” and the fear struck me—do I allow God into my heart where it matter the most. While not a biblical scholar by any means, I would say that I am comfortably familiar with my faith and allow the gospel to be on my mind. I have reached the point where I am comfortable speaking about my faith and allow the gospel on my lips (demonstrated by my blog). But do I let the Gospel into my heart? Do I allow that flame to burn deeply in me?? Obviously there must be embers or else I wouldn’t know my faith or be comfortable talking about it. I want more than embers though—I want a raging inferno. I want to be passionate in my love for God and I often feel that I am lacking. I don't feel like I love others like I should or that my tendency to sin takes me away from God.
I think to do this I have to allow the Holy Spirit to work in me and fortunately we have the sacraments so that we may receive the grace that we need.
I very much want to see where He leads me. We all have to trust in the Lord and go where He leads us. It may not be where we expect or even where we want. But as Paul says in our second reading, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces them all in everyone.”

So allow every day to be Pentecost in your own spiritual life and trust in God—allow Him to lead you to where He wants you to go and to do what He wants you to do. Surly we will be surprised by the spiritual gains that we make and the the gifts that He produces through us if we only allow Pentecost to occur daily.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gay Marriage

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court upheld the state constitutional ban against gay marriage which was voted into effect last November by the people of California. I have to admit that while my views on gay marriage are simplistic they are also complicated.

I believe as a society we have bastardized what marriage is. Marriage is a Holy Sacrament in which a man and woman who are open to life are bound for life. This bound is sealed by God who confers His grace on the marriage. I realize that is probably a very poor theological definition but put very simply--binding of man and woman sealed by God. Anything else goes against what marriage is. I think the people who fight and argue against gay marriage need to also fight and argue against divorce. We as mere mortals are not able to break that seal of God.

I'll take that view a step further though. Not only do I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman or that divorce is not possible. I also believe that sex is reserved for a married man and woman and should be open to life. So if we are arguing against gay marriage we should also be arguing against divorce. We should be arguing against sex outside marriage. We should also be arguing against contracepted sex. I believe they all go against God's wishes.

Society has bastardized what marriage is though. In societies eyes, we have taken a sacrament that should be done in a church setting with a priest/deacon/minister witnessing and turned it into a civil contract. It's possible for judges or even ship captains to marry anyone (I don't know if that last part is true but it works in the movies). We have opened marriage up to divorce. So why shouldn't we open it up to homosexuals. That's a good question. I think many because in the end it changes the definition of what marriage is. If marriage is between man and woman you can't change what it is just like you can't take a horse and say this is a camel.

You can call me a homophobic if you wish. And I can call you a moron because in the end while I do not believe that two men or two women can be married or I'm against homosexual sex I also believe that I am called to love every man or woman be they gay or straight. I believe that God wants a relationship with every man or woman be they gay or straight and that He loves them just as much as He loves me. I'm not going to cast any stones because I would be getting plenty of stones cast my way for my own sins. I work in a section of town with a large homosexual population and go on calls with homosexuals on a daily basis. I work with homosexuals. My views on how marriage is defined does not change the way I treat anyone so to say I'm homophobic is ignorant.

What would I do if a vote came to Missouri. I honestly do not know. While I have my beliefs in what marriage is I also believe that in today's society there should be an avenue for a civil union. That is what marriage is for many people anyway isn't it?? I believe that there should be health care afforded to "domestic partnerships." I recognize that all do not hold my believes and that there should be a way for two people to proclaim their undying love for each other. I just do not think that marriage is how that is.

Hate away.

Monday, May 25, 2009

High School Reunion

I had my 20 year high school reunion this weekend and it gave me a little time for reflection.

I grew up in a small town. My senior class had something like 45 kids in it. I was--how would I describe myself--sort of a social misfit I guess?? I've come to realize, that it's no ones fault but just the result of living in a small town. If I had been in a big in a larger school I would have been average kid but I really did not fit into a "clique." I see now that I did not appreciate the friends that I did have and as a result felt lonely throughout high school.

Only about ten or so of my classmates showed up this weekend (still 25%!!!) and I'll be honest some of the people that were there I did not really like when I was in high school because of my perception of those people. I know see that they were high school kids---probably with the same doubts and concerns---the same imperfections as I did. I'm embarrassed about how I reacted to things back then. Please forgive me---I was just a stupid high school kid too.

Twenty years later, I feel like the scales have come off of my eyes and I am really happy that I went this weekend. I got to spend time will all of the people who came talking and catching up. I've also gotten a chance to talk to some of my classmates on Facebook or My Space and I've come to realize that I am pretty fortunate to grow up with the people that I did.

The people I grew up with---the Tarkio High School Class of 1989---are a pretty good group of people. People being people and especially being high school kids they were not perfect and neither was I. I need to use this experience of this weekend to teach myself to not be judgemental and to always see the good in people. I need to use this experience to realize that I need to let the Holy Spirit work through me so that I can love others.

I am very happy I got to spend time with my former classmates. I may be 20 years removed from high school but I am still learning.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On Pres Obama, Notre Dame, Politicians and Abortion

As you know there was great controversy this Sunday when Notre Dame had President Obama, admittedly the most pro-abortion president ever, give it's commencement speech. It also gave him an honorary law degree. The controversy stems from the question on whether a Catholic University should be honoring such a pro-abortion politician. A similar question lies in the decades old controversy of whether or not a Catholic politician can be pro-choice.
Notre Dame President Fr. Jenkins stated that this honor would open the channels of dialogue and cited Pope Benedict on faith and reason. President Obama stated he favored openness and stated that options needed to be found to reduce abortions, promote adoptions and help those who want to carry babies to full term. (to quote Gregg Willits, "Why reduce abortion if there is nothing wrong with it?")
Pro-choice Catholic politician have said that they have to separate their faith from their political stances.
To quote Archbishop Chaput, "Notre Dame ignored the U.S. bishops’ guidance in their 2004 statement, Catholics in Political Life." In this statement the bishops stated that honors should not be given to politicians who support the killing of the innocents.
Notre Dame also ignored the pleas of 70 bishops who voiced their concerns over the honor bestowed upon President Obama, include Bishop D'Arcy--the bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
Catholic politicians cannot separate their faith from their political stances on abortion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the "formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. (CCC 2272)" So by being pro-choice and supporting pro-abortion agendas they are formally cooperating in abortions. A grave offense means that when politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden or Katheryn Sebelius supports abortion they put themselves in a state of mortal sin. When you are in mortal sin you cannot accept communion until you go to confession. Part of confession is promise that to the best of your abilities you will not commit the sin again. So . . . in essence. . . NO--a politician cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion.
Catholic institutes such as universities and Catholics themselves (politicians or not) uphold Catholic teaching to fail to do so causes scandal and confuses people about what Catholic teaching is. We ALL must do better.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


In today’s gospel reading (John 15:9-17) Jesus says “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love.” I think too often we tend to keep Jesus on the exterior and thereby make “keep[ing] my commandments” as an exterior goal. We think that if we do what is right and follow the commandments will become more Christlike and become more holy. This thought process has things backwards though. We have to let Christ into our hearts first. We need to allow Him to lead us instead of trying to lead ourselves. That’s why we always fail when we try to remain free from sin. We try to do it ourselves instead of dying to Christ and allowing Him to guide our hearts.

In our second reading (1 John 4:7-10) it says that “God is love.” So by allowing love to lead us we are being led by God. If we allow love to lead us we are going to follow those commandments. Jesus says to love another as I have loved you. That’s heavy. We are to love everyone as Jesus loves us. The ONLY way we as finite humans can do that is by allowing Jesus into our hearts and allow Him to lead the way.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Coping with Death

As Christians, I believe that death can be a bitter sweet time. Obviously, the loss of a friend, relative or lost one is very sad because we are going to miss them and we do not know when we are going to see them again. It can be a very joyous time though because we know that our friend, relative or loved one is in a better place. We know that they are free of pain or worry and that they are in the presence of God. I do not think they would come back if they had the chance.
I believe that that the Catholic Church has a wonderful outlook on death that helps us cope even more. We are often criticized because of our devotion to the saints. Many mistakenly believe that we worship them or that we should not pray to them. This aspect of our faith makes dealing with death easier I believe. This devotion to the saints helps us to realize that those who have gone to their eternal rest are not really dead but are as alive as you or I. We are all still parts of the body of Christ. They are alive in Christ. After all, Jesus died so that we might have life as long as we abide in Him (That phrase seems to be coming up a lot lately in the readings.) This is exciting because we know that our loved ones have triumphed. They are with loved ones who have gone before them.
This has been on my mind the past 24 hours because my wife’s grandfather, Max Sandusky, passed away yesterday morning. Max was an amazing man—amazing enough that we named our son after him. He was 86 years old. His wife Doris passed away about 5 years ago and I remember his sorrow when she passed. All I can think of is him being reunited with her and that brings me great joy.
I’ve had several people who are pretty close to me pass away in the last ten years. I’ve lost four uncles who have all had an influence on my up bringing pass away. Every time I have extreme sadness for MY loss but at the same time great joy and excitement because I have the knowledge of where they are due to the death and resurrection of Jesus—our Lord.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Christopher West Criticized

Christopher West, a well-known speaker on Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” appeared on ABC’s Nightlight last Thursday night that can be found here. Interestingly enough, the next day on The Catholic Guy show (3-6 Central Time on Sirius 159/XM 117) Lino Rulli made a prophetic statement by saying that he would be surprised if West was not criticized because of his comparison of John Paul II and Hugh Hefner.
Sure enough in an article by the Catholic News Agency (found here)there were several criticism not just on the comparison but about West in general. In the article Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, critiziced West saying that, “his approach has become too self-assured. She criticized his presentations as irreverent and insensitive to the ‘tremendous dangers’ of concupiscence [the tendency to sin].” She criticized West’s vocabulary and apparent lack of reverence. There were also criticism by Mary Shivanandan, a theologian who authored the book “Crossing the Threshold of Love: A New Vision of Marriage in the Light of John Paul II’s Anthropology and Fr. José Granados, a theologian who co-authored with Supreme Knight of Columbus Carl Andersen a book on John Paul II’s Theology of the Body titled “Called to Love.”
This is interesting because I also have heard criticism of Christopher West from another source because he was not “scholarly” enough. I disagreed then and I disagree now.
The Theology of the Body is a series of speeches given by Pope John Paul II over a period of several years. In the TOB, John Paul II revealed God’s plan of sexuality. The church teachings on sexuality separately were like puzzle pieces. They were confusing, hard to understand and very easy to over look. JPII took these separate puzzle pieces and put them all together and revealed a beautiful masterpiece.
That masterpiece, as beautiful as it was, was still confusing and difficult for us average, run of the mill people to understand. Seriously—have you ever tried to read JPII?? It can be like reading stereo instructions. Christopher West is like an art museum tour guide who is showing us the beauty of this painting and explaining it in terms that we can understand. Oh sure, a professional art type person could listen to his interpretation and be critical of it. The professional art type person isn’t who Christopher West is speaking to though.
The teachings of the TOTB should not be contained in some class room or on some scholar’s bookshelf. The TOTB needs to be proclaimed to the people on the street. It is more important now than ever that people understand the Church’s teachings on sexuality and understand how beautiful it is. It’s important to know that the Church teaches that sex is beautiful and sacred and not “an extreme danger” as Dr. von Hildebrand calls it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

God's Mercy is Unfathomable

I started reading The Diary of Sister Faustina. Sister Faustina—now St. Faustina-- was a nun in Poland during the 1920’s and 30’s. For a young lady with no education her writings are very spiritual. That makes sense due to the fact that Jesus would appear to her. During one of these visits, Jesus told St. Faustina that He wanted her to have a painting done of Him. In the painting he would be holding up one hand as if giving a blessing and the second hand would be touching his chest. From his chest would be two rays—a red ray denoting His blood which is the “life of souls” and a light blue ray denoting water that makes “souls righteous.” At the bottom of image was to be the line, “Jesus, I trust in you.” He told St. Faustina that He wanted the image to be venerated throughout the world and the second Sunday of Easter to be celebrated as a feast to “Divine Mercy.”
Jesus wanted St. Faustina to let the world know of His endless mercy. In one of the visions, He told St. Faustina, “My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity.”
I think this is important to remember because sometimes the reason that we fail to turn to God is because we fear that what we have done in life is so horrible that He could never forgive us. When we do that, we tend to stray further away and do more harm to ourselves and feel like we could never return to God.
Nothing could be further from the truth though. God wants nothing more than for us to be there with Him. God WANTS to forgive us. But the first step for that forgiveness us for us to turn towards him and ask for it!
So say that God’s mercy is infinite or unfathomable is too deep for our finite minds to image—obviously (that IS what unfathomable means). So let me try to give two imperfect examples. Imagine that one drop of sea water contains enough of God’s mercy to forgive all of the sins of the world from the beginning of time to the end of time. Now imagine that God has enough mercy to fill the oceans of the world---from sea to sea and to the depths of the oceans trenches. He has enough mercy for you. Turn to Him.
Second example—imagine the most evil man in history. You can pick whoever you want but for my example, I’m going to pick Adolf Hitler. He was a bad dude. He was responsible for the deaths and torture of who knows how many people. He was the cause of World War II. When some would think of evil incarnate they would picture Adolf Hitler. I think that most people would assume that he is burning in hell right now. But hold on to your socks because we are told not to judge lest we be judged and here is why. Imagine—Adolf is in his bunker. The Russians are a few miles away and getting closer. His mistress has just killed herself. He puts the gun to his head and pulls the trigger. The firing pin strikes the primer, the gunpowder explodes propelling the bullet towards Hitler’s brain to end his life. Now say, theoretically, that in that millisecond it takes before Hitler is dead, Hitler turns his life towards Jesus and asks for his forgiveness and proclaims Jesus as his savior. God would forgive Hitler for all of his sins and Adolf Hitler would spend eternity in Heaven with God (maybe a few million years in purgatory but that’s another blog altogether). You are probably saying, “Jamie, that’s fricken crazy, stupid, dumb—that would never happen.” I’m not saying at all that it did—I am just trying to get across to you the infinite mercy, His desire to sin, and His desire for no soul to go to Hell.
If one drop of water contains all the mercy God needs or if He is capable of forgiving Hitler, please, do not think that anything that you have done in your life is too much for God too forgive. God loves you. Don’t be afraid of Him. “Jesus, I Trust in You.”

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Honor Your Mommy!!!

I have been blessed to have some amazing mother figures in my life.
As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up a child of a single mother. Being a mother is a difficult enough job the way it is but being a single mom magnifies those difficulties tenfold. You are having to raise a child on your own with not support and on a single income. I never felt lacking at all though. I always felt loved. I always felt like I had everything I needed and my mom turned me into the man I am today. I don’t think my mom realizes what a wonderful mother she is. I suppose that’s my fault because I tease her a lot and don’t give her the respect she deserves. All she has to do is look at the wonderful way her children turned out. GREAT!! Now I’m guilty of the sin of pride---THANKS MOM!! J
Somehow, sixteen years ago, I met Abby. We fell in love, got married and started having babies. I couldn’t have picked a more amazing mother for my children if I could have picked her out of a catalog than the one God gave me. It is indescribable what she does for the kids. She takes them to places on the weekend to have fun such as the zoo or different events. She helps them with their homework and gives them fantastic cuddles and makes them feel loved.
Finally, on this Mother’s Day—some advice on how we can all be “Christ-like.” Jesus followed the commandments one of which is “Honor your mommy!” and that’s what He did. He honored the Blessed Mother so I think it’s only appropriate that we give Mary the proper respect. Catholics get a bad rap---people say that we worship Mary but nothing could be further from the truth. We show her the proper devotion and honor in imitation of Jesus. In addition, one of the final acts of Jesus on the cross was to give Mary to us to protect us and take care of us. On the cross He said to his disciple, “Son, behold your mother.” He then said to Mary, “Mother, behold your son.” By saying this He gave us His mother to help lead us to Him. So whenever you feel down, or feel lost you can feel free to turn to Mary for advice or guidance just as you would your own mother. She will not lead you astray.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Father's Love

God’s love is limitless. This is what we say and believe but do we really understand it?? Do we truly comprehend God’s love and mercy??
God is made up of the Holy Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Three persons in one nature. It’s a mystery on how this is possible but this is what we believe. We believe that God the Son became incarnate—that He became man. That is suffered under Pontus Pilate, that he died and was buried. That he rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. We say something to that effect every day at mass or we learned that when we were a child. What does it mean though???
Obviously, it is easy to realize the love Jesus has for us because he offered Himself up to die for our sins. We’ve seen images of Jesus’ crucifixion and can start to get a grasp about how gruesome and horrible of a death it was. It was truly the ultimate sacrifice. How many of us would do that?? Ever think that maybe more of us would make that sacrifice than you might imagine?? I don’t want to get everyone riled up or even tried to downgrade what Jesus went through for us. But imagine how many people die every day for strangers. Imagine how many Marines have made that ultimate sacrifice in order to save their platoon, company or maybe some countrymen they did not know. How many firemen or policemen die every year rushing into burning buildings or towards the sound of gunfire to help others. How many Secret Serviceman have been prepared over the past decades to take the bullet for the President even if they didn’t like the man but out of a sense of duty. Now then think, how many out there do you think would be willing to die the death that Jesus did if they knew that it would afford people the opportunity to spend eternity in the presence of God. I would think that many people would make that choice.
I never really understood the term “A Father’s Love.” I grew up not knowing my father. Sure, I had father figures in my life but I never that that bond that only a Father/Son would have. So I don’t think I ever really comprehended the amount of sacrifice that God the Father made by allowing His son to be tortured and to die.
And then I had my own children. I had my own son. Now do not get me wrong—I love my girls. When they were born I didn’t think it was possible for a person to love another this much. But there is a special bond between a father and a son. I think most dads would tell you that. I was then that I began to get a glimpse as to the sacrifice that God the Father was willing to make for us.
I would be willing to take a bullet for a stranger. I would be willing to put my life on the line for loved ones. I would be willing to die for God. There is no way I would be willing to make the sacrifice that the Father made by offering His son for us. Especially if I knew how we would treat His Son. That we would spit on Him by allowing ourselves to sin. That we would ignore Him by missing church or not making the time for prayer. If I knew that my son would die and the people that he died for would treat him the way that we treat Jesus by sinning and saying that we don’t need him----I would tell them that they could rot in hell. I love my son too much---I love my children too much to allow them to be treated that way by anyone.
God’s desire to be with us is so great, His love is so immense and His mercy is so deep that He WOULD be willing to lose a son so that we can become a little be closer to Him. The Father would do anything so that we can spend eternity with Him. Let’s not reject that love. Let’s not walk away from Him.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Not the Past, Not the Future, but in the Now

Several months ago, Fr. Matthew, my parish priest, said in one of his homilies that the saints have a tendency to not dwell on the past and to not look towards the future. They live in the present. I find this to be wonderful advice to follow on our own path to sainthood.
I personally have a tendency to think too much about the past. I'm good as far as not wanting to change the past. I fully believe that I am right where I need to be in life and all of my mistakes and failures in the past have led me to where I am right no. But still, I tend to get frustrated because of my failings in the recent past. I get ticked off about the sins I've committed because I know better. I know what I need to do but for some reason I don't do it. I feel like I'm not making any progress in my interior life because I allow myself to fail. Fortunately, God is full of mercy and forgives us for our sins. I fully realize that but I get down on myself for my failings because I don't want to hurt God.
We need to trust where God takes us in the future. Fr. Mike, my spiritual director, gave me a poem today that compares our life with Christ to a ride on a tandem bicycle. We want to be the one in front steering but we have to let Jesus have the front seat and trust Him to steer. Trust that He will take us where He wants us to be. That He will introduce us to people that we need to meet. Make us kick off that unnecessary baggage.
If we live in the present we will not worry about things in the past that we cannot change and we will allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit and allow ourselves to go where He wants us to go. We need to focus on the now and love in the now. If we love in the now we will live our lives the way that God wants us to be and that will lead us to our eternal reward in Heaven.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

On the Good Shepherd and the Sheepdogs

Several years ago an author by the name of Dave Grossman wrote an article called "On Sheep, Wolves, And Sheepdogs." (See link at end of post) In the article Mr. Grossman stated that the majority of people can be divided into three categories--sheep, wolves and sheepdogs.
He says that the vast majority of people are sheep. They are the type of people who want to go through life believing that there aren't wolves out there. They prefer to go day by day naive to the dangers of the world thinking that no one would hurt them. They are unprepared for what can happen to them.
The wolves are those people who prey on the sheep. They sniff around until they find a weakness and attack the sheep unmercifully. There are plenty of wolves in the world looking for the week sheep to attack by robbing, raping, assaulting or burglarizing.
The sheep dogs are those people are always aware, always sniffing around, waiting for the wolves to attack. They are ready to attack the wolves back in order to protect the sheep.
In today's gospel reading (John 10, 11-18), Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." Jesus also looks after the sheep and is willing to throw down his life to protect the sheep.
The sheepdogs are willing to do the same but for different reasons. The police officer or the Marine is willing to die for his fellow man but why. If you would ask him why he would charge towards the sound of gun fire or put his life on the line for a stranger he would say it's out of a sense of duty, it's responsibility, or maybe, "I'm just doing my job."
Jesus though died for another reason. He died because He loves His flock. He loves each and everyone of us and wants us to protect us from the wolves so that we can spend eternity with Him.
A warning to all of the sheep AND sheepdogs out there. Jesus died to protect us from those wolves. Be careful not to think merely of the physical wolves. We have a tendency to forget the spiritual wolves---those demons who are after our souls. Even as sheepdogs we need to seek protection from the Good Shepherd. Do as he says, stay on the narrow path and allow Him to protect us from all type of vices, whether they be lust, gluttony, slot or whatever. The Good Shepherd will allow us to walk away from Him if that's what we choose. He will allow us to be attacked by those same wolves that we think we are protecting the sheep from and die. Seek His counsel through prayer, the scriptures and the sacraments so that we are always close by the Good Shepherd's side.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Being Judgemental

I have a confession. Let me preface this by saying that I am not normally a judgmental person. I actually think I’m pretty understanding of people in the world realizing that people sin and if it were not for the grace of God I could very easily be in their position. Ohhhh, sure, I might see a car with an Obama bumper sticker and think, “idiot.” But even then I move on.
But a couple of months ago, I had the realization that there is a time and place that I find myself be ing judgmental of other people. And sadly, that’s at mass. That’s horrible isn’t it? I found myself questions peoples goals, motives, dress, etc etc. The more I think about it and writing it down on paper I find myself even more embarrassed about it.
At my last meeting with my spiritual director, I brought up this revelation and Fr. Mike pointed out something to me. He said that we should not judge other peoples motives for being at church. We need to realize that God’s grace works in many ways and just the fact that they are there means that His grace is working.
That realization made an impact on me and I realized that while I may be a Catholic Geek I’m hardly pious or an Uber Catholic. I am probably, maybe a little above average and that’s only because the average Catholic does not attend mass regularly. Since then, I’ve changed my gaze on those who ARE much more pious than me. My eyes have been opened to the people who attend mass daily and have great devotions. I need to model myself off of them, concentrate on my own failings, and work on my own prayer life instead of questioning others motives.
It’s very easy for us, due to pride, to think that we are at a higher level than we are. We need to pray for humility so we can see where we need to go.