Three little resolutions for the New Year

Archbishop Gomez with Pope Francis

Archbishop Gomez with Pope Francis

The following comes from a Dec. 27 column written by Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles in the archdiocesan paper, the Tidings.

I hope you all had a merry Christmas with your families and friends.

I love this season of Christmas because everybody seems to have a new sense that God has given us great possibilities for our lives. And this is true! This is the beautiful reality of Christmas. Jesus comes to be with us out his deep, personal love for each one of us.

So making New Year’s Resolutions is a profoundly Christian habit. It reflects a beautiful desire to grow in our friendship with Jesus Christ. And it reflects our awareness that we are not yet the people that God wants us to be.

We know that with God’s grace and help, all things are possible. In this spirit, I want to suggest three resolutions for all of us in this coming year.

Resolution 1: Make Jesus the center of our lives.

Let’s really do it this year. Let’s wake up every morning with our mind on Jesus and let’s go to sleep each night with our mind on Jesus.

Jesus wants us to be our friend, our brother. Let’s really start relating to him as our brother. He shares in our human nature. He is like in all things but sin. We need to learn from his words and his example.

One practical way to grow in our friendship with Jesus is to try to find the time to read the Gospels — the life of Jesus.

Set aside a few minutes every day to read one passage of the Gospels. Maybe use the Gospel reading that the Church proposes for daily Mass. Always begin by making a simple prayer from your heart that will put you in the presence of God.

Ask Jesus to open his Word for you. Don’t ask what the Gospel passage says “in general” or what it might mean for other people. Ask him personally, “Lord, what are you saying to me? What do you want me to do? What in my life must I change if I want to follow your more closely?”

Try to carry that Gospel passage with you throughout the day, reflecting on it. This is the beginning of walking with Jesus in our daily lives. We begin to see what our lives look like from his perspective.

Resolution 2: Make life better for others.

God’s plan for our lives is simple and beautiful. He wants us to receive his love in Jesus and to share that love with others. By our love we change the world. We make it more like heaven. And our own road to heaven is paved with our little acts of love, charity and kindness.

We need to have a positive intention every day to serve — to make life better for someone. Love begins with those who make the most demands on us, those who challenge our selfishness.

That means love begins with those who are closest to us. In our homes. In the places where we work or go to school.

Practically speaking, we need to have more patience, more understanding with the people in our lives. Let’s give others the benefit of the doubt, accept people as they are, stop being so judgmental. Let’s give a positive tone to our conversation and avoid negative criticism.

We have to treat one another with tenderness and love. Sometimes we can change a person’s whole day just be smiling, just by listening to what they have to say.

Resolution 3: Forgive others as God forgives us.

We have to open our hearts and open our lives — and show people the love of Christ that we know. That’s what it means to share our faith. It means loving people. Caring for them. Showing them mercy. And especially forgiveness.

We don’t forgive enough. This hurts our families. This hurts our relationships. People are going to hurt us and offend us. It’s going to happen every day. But staying angry or resentful doesn’t heal anything. It just makes things hurt longer.

Our Holy Father Pope Francis has said, “Jesus calls us all to follow this path: ‘Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.’ … In silence, let’s all think … of a person with whom we are annoyed, with whom we are angry, someone we do not like. Let us think of that person and … let us pray for this person and let us become merciful with this person.”

This is beautiful advice for us. So let’s make a resolution — to forgive others just as God forgives us. Every time! All the time!
I wish you all a very blessed New Year! Let’s keep praying for one another in 2014!

And let’s ask our Blessed Mother Mary to help us in this coming year to grow in our relationship with her Son Jesus.



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  1. Abeca Christian says:

    I think that in order to apply all these, is not to make out that it is others who are always at fault for challenging us but it is in actually how we die of our selves, reflecting daily on our own sinfulness and improve on that. Before we can love others and be of charity to others, we must first care for what is ailing with in us, what is causing hurt in our relationship with our Lord. Self reflection, a good confession and then we can focus not on the sins of others but first repent of our own sinfulness. It is then when we can actually start to bless others as well when dealing with different and diverse personalities. It also protects us from the evil one, who loves to attack and persecute those who are walking in Christ’s path. We may not escape the evil ones snares but we can endure them better when we are of good will. Many surrender their good and moral will in order to avoid spiritual battles, but the more closer we are with Christ, the more we resist that temptation to surrender to the secular.

    We are weak but it’s OK…it is when God takes over, that we are made strong, it may not be to the satisfactory of the secular but that does not matter. What matters the most is God’s will not ours. Let His will be done, not ours. May God help us understand what that is too. We must be people who listen better, in a place of silence and prayer. Fearing the Lord.

    • Ann Malley says:

      I like your point about, “…fearing the Lord,” Abeca. Too often we are told to think of Christ as our brother and friend, but not like the Lord He is. That is God, who while He deigns in His great mercy to treat us like His friends, is first and foremost our Creator…. Our Lord to whom we owe fealty, love, respect, honor and so many other things I cannot list them.

      And it is good that He is Lord. Personally, I need much more than a friend and brother. I need Jesus to be Lord and I am so glad and grateful that He is.

      God bless 🙂

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Thank you Ann. I agree, I need much more than just a worldly view of a friend or brother….we all can use true friendships in Christ. You said it very beautifully.

  2. Abeca Christian says:

    “forgive others” hmmm…..sometimes I feel that this message has been abused, hijacked and perhaps watered down. Its like those words where just thrown out to satisfy many who are lukewarm or it could be misunderstood by the many who are truly being church militants, defending the truth.

    Its like here you go….now you figure out the rest, leaving some more spiritually dry or to draw their own conclusion because there was no real solid guidance. The reality is that we are facing real spiritual battles, and perhaps our church leadership has run out of responses and they just don’t want to deal with friction from the opposing sides.

    “make Jesus the center of our lives?” hmm I think that growing up, our church priests had the opportunity to help us and guide us youth on what that meant. With the major complaints that many have here and other parts of the world, is that in the USA many do not know what it truly means to be Catholic. So they say. Jesus died on the cross for us and what does that mean to us….but do Catholic people know this? Are we going to have more false compassion that only makes it harder for us to make Jesus the center of our lives.

    Well we must do these things but God’s people need true guidance, inspiration etc. People who have true convictions true to the character of a Catholic Christian seeking something deeper than just words. But with charity…yes we agree with this article, its true but give us the answers, show us through your actions and understand what people of faith are having to deal with daily. There is a huge attack on family values, on modesty, on marriage, on the unborn, on our faith etc…it is so huge, we are growing weary. Lead us by example and bless us and humble us with helping as well.

    • Ann Malley says:

      Again, excellent points, Abeca. It reminds me of a friend of mine who struggled to make his own way after being kicked out of his mother and step-father’s home at 15 and told by his father that he wasn’t welcome to live at his house.

      Anyway, his father would tell him on the rare occasion he’d make use of his visitation rights, “Son, never forget, you can be anything you want to be. Anything. This is America.” Despite the truth of these words, this father never helped and/or told his son HOW this was to be done. Not once. Details were glossed over, ignored, and simply left out under the umbrella of not wanting to tell anybody what to do. Or how to do it.

      My friends struggle was immense…. he still struggles. By God’s grace his greatest achievement, a miracle if you knew him, has been to seek the Truth, obtain baptism, and raise his family in Catholic Tradition. So perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that his father never told him the specifics of ‘his’ way. That made room for the truth of a good and loving Father.

      Here’s to a 2014 spent praying for our good, solid faithful priests! For those priests who are tepid or cold and need the grace to take up the mantle of true fatherhood! For solid vocations to the priesthood – men that lead by sacrifice, example and specifics to aid the faithful in this spiritual battle.

      Again, great post, Abeca!

      • Ann Malley, with all due respect it is not true that you can be “anything you want”! To say this is to deny the varied differences that God has created in all of us. I believe that this, all to often repeated line, has caused us as a people to compromise on many levels in order to be fair and create equality! (standards keep being lowered!) The truth is that God created all of us with different temperaments, talents, as well as, physical, mental, and spiritual abilities. Today’s politically correct America says that this is not fair! They deny human exceptionalism. When it becomes quite obvious that a particular person cannot become anything he/she wants (even after lowering the standards), such as a severely disabled person in or out of the womb, (think of the brain injured girl in Oakland on a ventilator or a person diagnosed with Downs Syndrome in the womb), the only solution left, to keep this utopian lie going, is to kill off those unfortunate individuals.

        Ann, I am sure that what you really meant to say is that the fewer governmental constraints a person has on determining his/her own existence, the more choices he/she will inevitably have in life to live out his/her God given purpose. Sadly, those born in today’s America now have countless regulatory restraints placed on them that their great-grandparents, grandparents and parents were never constrained with. As a result of this increased lack of freedom, today’s children will necessarily have fewer choices in determining their lives unless we as a nation return to the Constitution of freedom, our founding fathers gave us.

        • Ann Malley says:

          Tracy, thanks for your clarification. Of course, to say you can ‘do’ or ‘be’ anything is a gross simplification. I meant it, as I know my friend’s father did, in the secular sense of fulfilling the ‘American’ dream.

          That said, you are absolutely correct in that we all have our limitations. The United States, however, from it inception, at least in the press, has usually been advertised as the place …”Where you can make your dreams come true.” To some extent, especially when compared to other countries, this is completely true.

          But again, thank you for your post. It would also remind us of the idea that, “Salvation can be had by anyone who wants it!!!” really means that, yes, everyone is invited to accept and follow Our Lord, but it requires certain things first. It’s not just a do what you want and get into Heaven free card.

          God bless 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Set aside a few minutes every day to read one passage of the Gospels. Maybe use the Gospel reading that the Church proposes for daily Mass. Always begin by making a simple prayer from your heart that will put you in the presence of God.
      Ask Jesus to open his Word for you. Don’t ask what the Gospel passage says “in general” or what it might mean for other people. Ask him personally, “Lord, what are you saying to me? What do you want me to do? What in my life must I change if I want to follow your more closely?”
      Try to carry that Gospel passage with you throughout the day, reflecting on it. This is the beginning of walking with Jesus in our daily lives. We begin to see what our lives look like from his perspective.

      • Ann Malley says:

        Yes, Anonymous, great recommendation for one who is properly catechized and understands the truths of the Gospel. But the notion of just you and your Bible and the Lord has gotten many a body in trouble as they follow a ‘conscience’ that is not well developed. It’s a little Protestant to say the least as everyone’s interpretation of this personal Jesus (Brother and Friend, not Lord) in their lives can lead to all manner of misdirection in the name of God.

        • Ann Malley says:

          …that’s why you’ve now got atheist journalists misinterpreting Pope Francis to mean that following one’s conscience is the ‘only’ way to go in lieu of searching for Truth. Hence the lovely new headline of the Pope ‘supposedly’ abolishing sin.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Interesting comments. : )

            I remember when I was in junior high, a nun gave me my first bible…I read the whole bible during that summer break. I didn’t understand it nor did I know my faith quite well either but I do recall asking the Holy Ghost to guide me, I recited the prayer from , Saint Francis “Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace” daily. Since I read the bible on my own free will, I did notice changes in me. I believe that I understood a sense of fearing the Lord, my conscience was forming better. I was still very young but that helped form my zeal to seek salvation and to please God. My grandmum also helped me through her great Catholic witness and lessons. Anony gives a good recommendation, it is good to encourage people to read the holy word of God.

          • Anonymous says:

            abeca, just to clarify, I was quoting Bishop Gomez in the article as an example of a specific recommendation. God bless you in this New Year.

  3. New Year’s resolutions are usually about the silly stuff – less ice cream, stop chewing gum, etc. The Archbishop has given us some real meat to chew on. What a wonderful letter to his flock.

  4. These are beautiful resolutions to live by. With periods of prayer and silence each day, the Holy Spirit will guide the way.

  5. St. Christopher says:

    Dreadful recommendations. The syrupy, silly, feminine, happy-talk message might make the eyes twinkle in the new Vatican, but it may well be that these “resolutions” do little for helping people get into Heaven, and avoid the awful temptations that society offers to all of us everyday. Number 2 is particularly awful, “. . . accept people as they are, stop being so judgmental . . . avoid negative criticism.” Jesus certainly told sinners that he did not condemn them, but He then said, “go and sin no more.” Jesus also spoke about the reality of Hell throughout the New Testament, and that he came to bring a sword to Mankind. If we are followers of Christ, we need to constantly be our brothers keepers. We must “fraternally correct” the errant behavior of our friends and of all people with whom we share a Christian love. Charity means helping people avoid sin — Yep, it means telling homosexuals that they can never, ever, have sex with their own gender, and cannot ever, never, marry each other, at least and be acting in a way that is in communion with the Church. Francis clarified his statement about “who am I to judge” by saying that he did not mean to suggest that things that were sinful before his “reign” are still not sinful. He only meant that he, as Pope, cannot and should not judge people. That is a far cry from “loving the sin” as liberal journalists and bloggers claim of Francis. (Of course, no one much reports the anguish of Francis that homosexuals might be permitted to adopt children, and his admonition to Bishop Scicluna of Malta to continue to fight this; a similar effort should be made in America to strip this legal right from homosexuals, where it exists.) Bishop Gomez also forgets that it is our Blessed Mother who, at Fatima, showed the children what Hell was like and promised that many, many people were there and would go there. But, not many in the Church any longer believe in any of this, so Bishop Gomez is mighty fine with them. And, who knows, perhaps the Vatican will “give” the crazy bishops their lead to do pretty much what they want in virtually all areas of the Church. This is what the nutty organizations, such as the USCCB, want — to be like the Germans, who skip through the edelweiss unmolested by anything that Rome can say to them — although it virtually never does.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well aren’t you chipper! No one would confuse you with Santa Claus, Saint Chris.

      • Anonymous, you must be one of those St. Christopher refers to, who do not believe in hell. If you did, I doubt that you would have responded to him in such a gay way!

    • St. Christopher, would you be so kind as to tell the rest of us how to get into heaven, since you consider the Archbishop’s suggestions less than adequate. And, what makes them silly and come across as though thought up by a woman?

      • Abeca Christian says:

        St. Christopher we all must begin somewhere. Like a holy man once told me, that this have been preached many times in many parishes, a message never to be forgotten, many times but he did mention that “its elementary my dear, it’s elementary.” in other words, its at the level of the beginner in spiritual growth, it can be a good start but I guess some of us here want something more deeper since we already apply and know this.

        To our youth, this should be preached often until they grow more…many youth have no idea on what this means but we hope to reach them at their level but we must not forget that our church has people who are no longer in the “elementary” level.

  6. This is a beautiful article – reading a Catholic “BIBLE” and also the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” and then applying them to ourselves in entirety not only makes the world a better place, but allows Catholics to set a good moral and Christian example for all others. Conversion must start from within.

    Give gifts of Catholic Bibles and the CCC for wedding gifts, birthday gifts, and all other occasions.
    You can even give these to non-Catholics so they can use them for reference and will know the truth of Catholic Doctrine, rather than what they are merely told or is mischaracterized in the media.

  7. Resolution 1: Make Jesus the center of our lives.
    Resolution 2: Make life better for others.
    Resolution 3: Forgive others as God forgives us.

    This needed repeating because it was lost in some of the comments.
    A wonderful teaching message.
    A formula to get each of us to Heaven.

    • Sara is correct.
      Read your Catholic Bible & the CCC.
      Know and then live your Catholic Faith.

    • Catherine says:

      MIKE it is good that you mentioned the CCC Second Edition. Did Archbishop Gomez ever bring up the CCC Second Edition in that article or just you? Those words that the Archbishop wrote are the same gist of words that are being used to fire Catholic school teachers for simply teaching truths from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. “Accept people for who they are.” “Don’t be judgmental” Well in one case these very words were used on a high school teacher who was told not to teach what the Church teaches in the CCC Second Edition because half of the parents used rubbers (those were his words) and the parents are being offended so the teacher was told to accept these parents for who they were and not be so judgmental. This is a “high cost” all boys Catholic High School. High cost because no one is ever held accountable and children do not learn the faith. MIKE I value your consistent promotion of the Catechism but I noticed that you seemed to resent the truthful comments of others. I remember when you resented having the importance of CCC second edition downplayed. I defended that importance. Please do not downplay the truth that any map without specific directions is a recipe for confusion and lost souls. For writing his new book, Archbishop Gomez is being referred to as the Knight of Right in Immigration but his first duty is to be a Archbishop who RIGHTS the many pervasive errors within his own Archdiocese. Everyone would love to praise Archbishop Gomez or one another but read what Pope Gregory had to say about contemplations…”Whoever wishes to hold the fortress of contemplation must first of all train in the camp of action.”

      Resolution 1: Make Jesus the center of our lives. = Is this a resolution by the Archdiocese of LA to stop allowing heretical speakers at the 2014 Religious Ed Congress who attack Jesus by dismantling and distorting the Teachings of His Church? Actions speak much louder than words of resolutions.

      Resolution 2: Make life better for others. = Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate. – St. Thomas Aquinas

      • Anonymous says:

        And the last resolution was Forgive Others as God Forgives Us.

      • Sounds like the school I once taught at and left because I questioned the powers that be as to why most of the staff (almost all who are not Catholic) were a constant source of many problems and openly (and with impunity) stated opinions in contradiction to the Faith. This school had people from the archdiocese on their board, but it didn’t matter. There were also people from a local Catholic college and even a pro-abortion politician on this same board, it didn’t matter.

        • Catherine says:

          Bob, You are right, it did not matter. The most difficult part is that the students always respond so well when the truth is taught. On another occasion several high school boys came to tell the teacher something that they had done. The teacher had been teaching them about Catholic morals and the truth moved their consciences to want to do what was good. One day after class these young high school students on their own came and told the teacher that while their parents were away for a weekend, they hired a stripper to come to one of the boy’s homes. No one forced them to come forward it was the beautiful truths of our Catholic faith that compelled them to want to do the right thing. The teacher listened and told the students that he would have to inform the principal of what they had informed him and the students were very accepting of this. They now recognized that they had offended God. The teacher also told the boys to go to confession, which they did. When the teacher told the principal about what the students had informed him of, the principal said, “It did not take place on campus so it is not our concern.” Then the same group of boys who went to confession to a priest at the school came back to the teacher saying, ”We were told that we didn’t do anything that wrong and who is teaching you that you needed to come to confession for this.” The part that is so very sad is the fact that these high school students were truly searching for the truth and the students were denied it by those who were charged with the responsibility to help guide them in their Catholic faith. I am not removing responsibility from parents either. Parents are also responsible. This is a concrete example of why syrupy words such as don’t be negative and don’t judge, and accept people as they are do not instruct and students are harmed spiritually. Father Salazar did great physical and spiritual harm being given the benefit of the doubt and not being judged. Who is in charge of our schools?

        • Anonymous says:

          Gossiping and listening to gossip are also sins. They can be grave sins in some instances.

          • Ann Malley says:

            When a story is relayed to illustrate a danger that must be avoided and/or to aid others in protecting their children or those in their charge, it is not idle gossip, Anonymous. (Especially when no names are mentioned.) It is paramount that adult Catholics be kept alert about what we formerly – naively – took for granted was a safe and wholesome environment, namely, our Catholic Schools.

            If Catherine were discussing inappropriate touching, let’s say, instead of inconsistent doctrine, I’m sure you’d be the first to say we need to alert the public about matters. So why is the illustrating of moral failings received so differently?

          • Catherine says:

            kanonymous writes, “Gossiping and listening to gossip are also sins. They can be grave sins in some instances.” = That is exactly what a predator told Yolanda Villegas. Also See Father Oko’s Report on how the homoheresy network operates.

            Taken from CCD’s Topic ‘Forgive but Don’t Forget’

            “Yolanda Villegas’ faith in Father Salazar never wavered. She and her husband, who ran a salon, gave Salazar at least $800 to help pay for his defense. In the summer of 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the California law used to prosecute decades-old abuse cases, and the charges against Salazar were dismissed.”

            You are the same poster who undermined Church teaching and a faithful priest named Father Marcel Guarnizo for denying Holy Communion to a lesbian named Barbara Johnson. Barbara Johnson informed the priest right before her mother’s funeral Mass that she was living with her same sex partner. Instead of supporting a faithful priest who was simply doing his duty as a Catholic priest you selectively “gossiped” and told readers that Father Guarnizo also had difficulty getting along with the parish staff. You also defended Father Micael Zampelli who directed the play “Stop Kiss” at Santa Clara University. The drama is about two women who start out as friends and end up being lovers, and are attacked when they share their first kiss in public, injuring one so seriously she falls into a coma. “

            Fr. Zampelli also suggested that homosexuality must be celebrated, not just tolerated. “In this case, tolerance is unacceptable,” he said. “Why? Because, I believe deeply (along with Paul in Corinthians) that ‘I am what I am by the grace of God.’ And I believe that I have particular gifts deriving precisely from this blessed but marginalized way of being in the world. What I see clearly now is my own desire: I want to be a subject sought out and valued.”

          • Anonymous says:

            Now you are not just gossiping which falls under breaking the 5th commandment; now you add to it, breaking the 8th commandment. You may reject the teachings of the Church, but I do not. And God will not be mocked by the likes of a heretic like you. I suggest strongly that you read the CCC and accept all the teachings of the Church. Go to confession and avoid those occasions which lead you to such error and sin. You know a whole lot about homosexuality. You should not promote it on the internet because you will have to answer for it. I will pray for you.

          • Anonymous says:

            Ann Malley, that is a deceit of Satan. He will always tell you that your sin is not so bad or you have a good reason for sinning. Don’t fall for it.

          • Anonymous says:

            Catherine, you should get a copy of This Tremendous Lover by Dom Eugene Boylan or Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales or My Prayer Book by Father Lasance. I am sure you can find copies for sale online.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Then by your definition of sin, Anonymous, you are sinning by reading CCD and most especially commenting here. Go to confession and ask Father about scrupulosity.

            You write, “…You may reject the teachings of the Church, but I do not. And God will not be mocked by the likes of a heretic like you.” This is a proclamation of condemnation, Anonymous, and judging someone’s soul, not the supposed sin you are trying to pin on Catherine, myself, and, by your own definition, everybody on CCD.

            As to the promotion of homosexuality, you may want to reassess what would be considered the promotion of it as ‘silence’ can be defined as a form of consent. In all charity, you may wish to consider floating the sage advice you gave me:

            “…that is a deceit of Satan. He will always tell you that your sin is not so bad or you have a good reason for sinning. Don’t fall for it,” along to those who promote sodomy, ignorance, blind obedience without a care for the occasion of sin etc.

          • Anonymous says:

            I assume you are the same person? You post under several names? I understand the condition where a person is so threatened by their own faults that they have to project “worse” things onto other people. (Usually something they deem unforgivable and unalterable.) And thank you for acknowledging that there is a whole lot of sin on this website.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Anonymous, you are an odd bird, but that’s okay. Glad you understand the notion of projection with regard to those who have difficulty acknowledging their own sins/failings. This is an important.

            Regarding names, you may want to give yourself something more unique than Anonymous if you desire true dialogue. But if you are so convinced of the ‘sin’ here, why are you here?

            Take it too prayer, Anonymous, and really ask yourself what you are called to accomplish. For whatever your calling, step one is maintaining peace of soul and a clean conscience before God. That said, if CCD upsets you to such a state, then you posting here is tantamount to a serial womanizer trolling a bikini-bar while trying to avoid mortal sin.

            Stay away. God bless…

          • Anonymous says:

            I am here because God wants you and your family back in the Church. I am here because God wants those who understand the traditional teachings of the Church to come back to the Church and to be freed from the false prophets. I am here because God wants Catholics to truly live his teachings in their day to day lives. I am here because God wants someone to tell the truth.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Anonymous, thank you for getting back. I’m glad you want my family and I in the Church. We are in the Church by God’s good grace. Please, stop putting a hamper on the Holy Ghost who can move where He wills.

            As for false prophets, look to those who teach that which is against the Faith for that charge, those supposedly in full communion… or those who choose to withhold it to the detriment of their flock. You say:

            “… I am here because God wants those who understand the traditional teachings of the Church to come back to the Church and to be freed from the false prophets.”

            They mustn’t be false prophets if they are willing and able and *do* transmit traditional teachings of the Church to their followers. No one is advocating following conspiracy theorists.

            And so saying, if you’d like to give some more credence to your apostolate, which I would appreciate, please use an identifiable moniker. I understand you have reasons for being anonymous, but don’t you think this calling you have should take precedence over your personal preferences? It should it you truly feel the call. And it would make dialogue more fruitful.

            God bless!

        • Catherine says:

          Ann Malley writes, “Then by your definition of sin, Anonymous, you are sinning by reading CCD and most especially commenting here. Go to confession and ask Father about scrupulosity.”

          Ann Malley, Thank you for always turning on the bright lightbulb of common sense and reality on this matter. A few years back, it was this very website that was being assailed by this same poster for reporting and exposing the many attacks coming from within the Church. You see, they can punish, transfer, and silence good and faithful priests by suspending them or removing faculties for just teaching the fullness of truth but many did not know how to handle the fact that they cannot silence the internet for exposing the rot within as well as reporting on the good that is taking place. Hence the Jay Carney-like press briefings and attempts to consistently silence others into pretending that everything is really hunky-dory. Ann Malley, I am so very appreciative and grateful for each and every one of your posts that have brought such a richness of thought and expression to CCD. You have certainly salted and flavored up the conversations in wonderfully addressing the *realities* that we are facing. Yes, we do know that in the end Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Will Triumph and even that word Triumph signals and points to the reality that a great battle for souls is taking place. Once again, God Bless you Ann Malley for not being a sanctioning purveyor of horse blinders and rose colored glasses with the designer names of the three blind mice named false truth, false charity, and false obedience.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Jay Carney-like briefings. No kidding.

            I remember once, back in high school, when my parents ‘made’ me watch a presidential debate. Bored out of my mind, I watched, making all manner of huffing, snorting complaints until Sam Donaldson said, “Answer the question, Mr. President!! Answer the question! ”

            President Reagan to my absolute amazement didn’t. He answered all right, but not the question. Never the question. To his credit, President Reagan held his own under questioning far better than Jay Carney – better politics and far better acting skills – but darn, that opened my eyes.

            Sad when that has to be applied to Church hierarchy and faithful. Sad because this dissembling/don’t-look-behind-the-curtain is not what Our Lord had in mind – in my view – and does nothing but work against the Church.

            God bless you, Catherine, and here’s to fighting the good fight.

          • Anonymous says:

            I realize that the website calling me anonymous makes a difference, but I was not posting here a few years back, I have no idea what you refer to by assailing the website, and I have no idea who Jay Carney is. So you have me confused with another.

          • Anonymous says:

            I am sorry that you are facing whatever “realities” you are. You believe that the Catholic Church teaches a false truth and you call admonishing the sinner a false charity and you call living according to the Will of God as made known in Scripture and Sacred Tradition a false obedience, but I do not and I will not. I hope that instead of using Our Lady (She is awesome as an army in battle array) to try to threaten her children, you will convert and become as humble and docile to the Will of the Lord as She is.

          • Ann Malley says:

            God bless you, Anonymous, in your quest for helping others. That said, nobody is berating the Catholic Church which will last well beyond this Pope, that Pope, or this Bishop, or Apostate Priest. That is the awesome power of God’s promise. Not the promise that leaders and councils will always *follow* the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. As men have free will and exercise it regularly and often to their own detriment and that of others. Their mistakes have long reaching consequences.

            Read history to learn that many leaders of the Church sinned, that is they sinned with regard to their jobs, Anonymous, that of being faithful in leading the flock.

            And that is precisely why we need to PRAY for our leaders, that they will follow the inspirations of the Holy Ghost instead of being lured to compromise with the world.

            That is not being false, but having Faith in God that He can and has overcome sin and its ill effects. And yet, I say THANK YOU and God bless you for your concern, diligence, and cleaving to what you believe. You will not go unrewarded.

            As to being humble and docile, that means trusting that evil will be vanquished. It doesn’t mean denying that it is present which is what you seem to be doing. It also does not mean knowingly allowing oneself and one’s children to be scandalized under the umbrella of trust. One MUST use common sense, Anonymous. And it is a suffrage to be sure when one realizes that while they can trust in the validity of the Sacraments thanks to the supplying of Holy Mother Church, one cannot always rely on the teachings of individuals despite their being priests/religious.

            God bless.

      • Catherine – In the above article ABP Gomez did not include the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”.

        Too many Church leaders in the Church today ignore our Popes who have clearly asked us to study the CCC – including Pope Francis.
        That is why I added the CCC. If the Bishops and their Priests do not do their primary job – teaching the Faith accurately, then the rest of us will have to do it for them.
        (May God save their Souls. I would not want to be in most of their shoes on judgement day – when they have the tools to accurately teach the Faith and do not use them.)

        Pope Francis – should individually ask each of his US Bishops why they do not actively and openly encourage all literate persons to read the CCC.

        • Sorry Catherine your statement was addressed to someone else. I also try to encourage people to read the CCC (see my other statements.)

          • Catherine says:


            No need to apologize. Thank you for clarifying that the CCC, Second Edition was never mentioned in the resolutions as a tool to help Catholics accurately understand their Faith which helps us to become closer to God. Thank you and God bless you Dave for your very truthful response and thank you for encouraging people to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.

  8. St. Christopher says:

    “Anonymous”: The question is never whether God forgives sinfulness. However — and notwithstanding what many others in the Church today might say — the true penitent needs to have remorse for the sin and promise to avoid even the “near occasion of sin” in the future. Liberals are always saying things like “Jesus ate with sinners” and “God forgives sin” — all true but meaningless without context (which is what the Church is supposed to provide to all of us). My guess is that you, and certainly many liberals, use the “forgiveness of sin” (or when Pope Francis says something like, “who am I to judge”) as an argument for substantive change regarding Church morals. Yet, nothing is any different than before, and really cannot be, at least for the long run. (Yes, it is possible that one pope or another could change some Church “discipline” but even an errant change would ultimately be corrected.) One of the truly sorrowful changes since Vatican II is the complete inability (?unwillingness?disinterest?) to call out sin, and to preach the need for repentance, holiness, and salvation. It is not a question of someone being negative, or against one type of sin or another; we are all going to die and be judged. Christ said to choose righteousness, the narrow way, to avoid damnation. Nope, God does not forgive the sinner that asks for forgiveness knowing that he is going to do the same thing tomorrow. He will forgive, as many times as asked, the truthful and sorrowful penitent who sins out of his human weakness. But the asking for forgiveness is complex: remember the Parable of the Lost Son, where the wayward son decided to return to the Father. When he came to his Father he said: “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee: I am not worthy to be called thy son.” (Luke 15:21) (DRV) What a confession!

    • Anonymous says:

      St. Christopher, I am not sure which anonymous you are addressing. I have no desire to change church moral teaching. It cannot change. What offends God offends God, in every age. I really don’t see any sin that the Church has failed to call out, although many of its members ignore the Church. Those Catholics that I know personally who disobey the Church on something know very well the Church’s teaching. They say “I don’t buy into that.” Or they say, “What about those people and their sin? Why aren’t they saying anything about them?”

  9. Abeca Christian says:

    I guess we can begin and have a rebirth in this resolution recommendation. Approaching it like a small child. Eager to please. Perhaps we are concerned that some may not know what this message means. Well we hope and pray that the reader will dig deeper.

    Last year, as I was changing channels on the radio, I passed by a Christian station, an evangelist speaker, he was giving a similar talk like this article. Wow, what a gift this speaker had, he certainly spoke more in detail, his words actually conveyed more conviction and didn’t seem watered down. He did not say anything heretical at all, it was very biblical. It was so beautifully conveyed. I bet that anyone listening from that pastors church, I bet that most probably didn’t have any questions, they were given good direction and instruction that if they had any confusion, perhaps they were not listening well.

  10. Abeca Christian says:

    I wonder if people who suffer with scrupulosity, I wonder if that suffering comes from all these different “opinions” due to people not having proper direction and guidance. Just think, if you know the truth and decide to stand firm on your faith values and yet you have others telling you that forgiving meant to cave in to their demands(because they will use any lesson that is not done with clarity, to their advantage)…imagine, how they would not be confident in what is right and in what is wrong…confidence in being like minded with Christ or to the conformations to this secular world. Its sure tough to live today, there is much confusion.

    I think that is what many are fearful of but it is our own pride too that forgets to trust in God and persevere in prayer. Just as much as someone who hears this message can undermine but it also can lead good souls towards where God wants this to go. Its like the mustard seed needed by someone in the Elementary level and the kind reminder for the more excelled.

    • Catherine says:

      Excellent post Abeca! : )

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Thank you Catherine, Anony thinks I’m over thinking this, as if I wrote what I wrote in a negative tone, in reality I was trying to be charitable and considerate of all and to help them be at ease by not looking at it in a negative view or them thinking that it is lacking more elements of the truth. I don’t see a negative intention in this article, not at all, I do discern what sentiments others may have and I sensitive to them out of true charity and I know that you as well, have a good heart for all souls. People of faith will always have concerns, especially since we are called to nurture salvation issues.

        We can not give the impression that there is no wrong or right, as if everything is mediocre. We live in an imperfect world. Our Lord challenges us to seek perfection in Him, His passion moves some hearts more than others.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Oh yes one important factor is one can not neglect judging by where the comments are coming from and how they live their Catholic faith. Especially shepherds of the faith, if faithful people feel let down on important faith issues by those in charge, no matter what they say, some hearts will not be moved. I was hoping to not add more fuel to the fire but help those who have been let down to use this time to reflect and return to those roots.

    • Anonymous says:

      abeca, you are overthinking this. It is just Christianity. Put Jesus first. Do good to others. Forgive all. Now to address your situation or worry. YES! There are sick individuals who exploit Christians because they love and forgive. YES! There are self-centered individuals who use Christian principles to manipulate others. YES! Sometimes you get into a situation that is very distressing. Keep praying. The more you pray using the Bible, the Rosary and Eucharistic devotion you will be given grace to endure and to overcome. God bless you!

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Anony read my reply to Catherine and also remember that the cup is half full not half empty.

        To reflect and apply is a good thing, true reflection in Christ is one that helps the soul. It can lead to a more virtuous life.

        I feel blessed because in the past, I have received excellent guidance from devout and faithful elders, which helped form my character in our Catholic Christian faith. I’m still growing….

        • Ann Malley says:

          Abeca writes, “I feel blessed because in the past, I have received excellent guidance from devout and faithful elders, which helped form my character in our Catholic Christian faith. I’m still growing….”

          God bless you for nailing a huge part of the problem – a dearth of devout and faithful elders (priests, religious, and lay people). Our Society at large, not just Catholics, has given way to a bounty of heaven-on-earth-Peter-Pans. Gone are the days of just looking to parents or grandparents as they are often the biggest offenders when it comes to behaving like overgrown teens. As if clinging to pop culture will somehow keep them young.

          Keep up the good fight! And keep posting. We need it!

        • Anonymous says:

          Ann Malley, please be patient with me. I find your posts very confusing. You seem to have a knowledge of what goes on in the Catholic Church. (Admittedly, it is quite different from my experience in the Catholic Church, but things can be different depending on what parish you attend or even what Mass you attend.) But here is my question. You have stated that you were raised in a Catholic home and went to a Catholic school. At some point you left the Church for 27 years (and it was such a complete break not just with the Church but with Christianity that you did not get your children baptized.) When you returned to Church, your husband did not like it because of a lady in a white bustier and you took your family to independent traditional chapels. You are a military wife and you travel all over the country but you don’t go to any Catholic churches only independents or maybe an FSSP if you have to. So how do you know anything about what goes on in Catholic Churches?

          • Ann Malley says:

            Anonymous, thank you for your question. I do not understand, however, how it is you could be so confused by what I write. Unless, and I say this in all charity, no slam intended, you keep persisting that where I go to Church is not Catholic as some sort of blind negation of the reality of the Churches I attend being Catholic. Or that you are trying to somehow immunize yourself from what you perceive as some sort of tainting that may occur if you accept anything of what I say. Which, by the way, isn’t mine. It is merely observation and what I have received.

            Please, be patient with me as I am trying to understand your POV. That said, while you have some highlights of my story, please know that my husband, the former heathen, and the bustier (sounds like a bad novel) is just the tip of realities endured/experienced by my family and I.

            Now, regarding your question, I have many friends and talk with them often. I also have friends who have sought out tradition because they have been scandalized and are still being scandalized in their diocese. I have children who have friends who have friends and so on. Life, Catholic life at that, happens all around me.

            I also read A LOT. Too much perhaps. But I read and travel and ask a ton of questions. I also have a huge number of siblings, nieces/nephews, and extended family.

            I hope that answers your question. But if you are the same Anonymous, and it’s hard to tell, that had to catechize their own child with the Baltimore Catechism because of the lack of what they got at the Catholic School, I’d think you would understand where I’m coming from. If you’re a different Anonymous, my apologies.

            God bless and THANKS for the sincere question.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you for your answer. We do not have a great vocabulary in the Church to deal with the sects that have sprung up-those opposed to Vatican II, those opposed to Church teaching on homosexuality or those who disagree with the Church’s stand on divorced and remarried. So I do not mean to offend by saying the those Churches aren’t Catholic (they are not, although those who attend them are). I think you have fallen for an error than many fall for. Many people look at the world and rather than seeing the goodness they see the tsunamis and mass murders and aids epidemic etc. and conclude that there is not a God or if there is, that He is not a caring, involved God. The same error is made when Catholics look at the Church and rather than seeing the goodness they see error or things that they don’t agree with and think that God has left the Church or that the Church has left God. I have stories of errors and things that were wrong, too, but I didn’t leave and now I can see that these people who said the wrong things have changed. Prayer works. Sometimes, instruction helps. Abandonment just puts you in a state of sin. If one is inclined to look at the dark side, then a collection of horror stories from one’s family and neighbors and others would be an occasion of sin and should be avoided. Or at least tempered with stories of faith and goodness.

          • Anonymous says:

            To continue, the bad things that happen at Church are not an indication of a lack of holiness in the Church or in the second Vatican Council. It is a normal, natural occurrence because all men sin. These things happened before Vatican II, before and after Trent, during the times of the Apostles. There were worse times and better times. God always renews his Church. We are now in a great time of renewal. I hope you do not miss out on it.

          • Anonymous says:

            I know three young ladies who have become nuns (the kind with the habits.)
            I know a young man who had cancer as a child and was given his first communion early because his family requested it believing he would be healed by the Real Presence of Christ. He was healed.
            I know others who were healed by prayer. Non-Catholics have contacted our Church’s prayer line because it has such a reputation for answered prayers.
            I have seen people miraculously converted in my family and parish community.
            I have seen liberal priests turn conservative. I have seen liturgical abuses end and never come back.
            I have seen a blind man restored to sight. He had surgery but he attributed his healing to the Blessed Virgin.
            I know people who left high paying jobs to work for the Lord, some becoming clergy.
            I have met a pagan priest who converted through the intercession of Mary.
            If you only go to Sunday Mass and look for what is wrong, you are going to miss this stuff.
            When people know that you are interested in hearing about irregularities, that is what they will talk to you about. Make it known that you want to hear of the presence of God in the Church and you will get different stories. You attract the negative if you are negative. You attract the positive if you are positive. Negativity drives the holy people away.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Anonymous, you are a good and well intended soul. Thank you for your kindness. I am glad that you have witnessed such fruits of the Holy Ghost. This is wonderful, but not surprising. Believe it or not, your account mirrors much of what I have seen in the chapels I have been blessed and led by Providence to attend. But more than that, for my regular old human senses, I’ve received consistency in teaching. Or rather the consistent transmission of it. Something I need.

            As to ”you” not leaving, thank the Holy Ghost. I do. For it is that selfsame Spirit that has guided me by Providence to where I am. I actually thank God that He allowed me to leave that which was scandalous and false in my past experiences. (You have no idea.) There was much protection in that, even though I perceived myself as being rebellious at the time. But mine is a zigzaggy route by God’s design.

            That said, continue to pray to Him for unity, for fullness of Truth, for clarity with regard to VII teachings – and for a flood of solid, holy, BELIEVING priests. Not another renewal for Truth has always been despite our misplaced treatment of it. It’s our unbelief that needs to be addressed in every generation.

            I will do the same. But please be open to the Holy Ghost, Anonymous. For that which you condemn as not being a Catholic Church is forming Catholics. That is the work of the Holy Ghost for a bad tree will only produce bad fruit. And if that is so, if Catholics are being formed in these supposedly non-Catholic churches, and they are in increasing numbers, what does that mean? Bring that to prayer for it is a grand curiosity to be sure.

            Thank you for sharing your positive experiences with me. It’s most appreciated.

          • Anonymous says:

            I have brought this to the Lord. They are not forming Catholics, they are forming the next generation of their own sect. Are you aware of a sacramental called the Medal of St. Benedict?

          • Is this really the work of the Holy Spirit, Ann?
            FSSP is Catholic. He may have led you there.
            From Dt. 30:
            [8] But thou shalt return, and hear the voice of the Lord thy God, and shalt do all the commandments which I command thee this day: [9] And the Lord thy God will make thee abound in all the works of thy hands, in the fruit of thy womb, and in the fruit of thy cattle, in the fruitfulness of thy land, and in the plenty of all things. For the Lord will return to rejoice over thee in all good things, as he rejoiced in thy fathers: [10] Yet so if thou hear the voice of the Lord thy God, and keep his precepts and ceremonies, which are written in this law: and return to the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Dear Anonymous (s), please follow your own advice and stop listening to what you’ve been told and try experiencing and/or talking at least to more people with regard to the irregular status of Independent Catholic Chapels.

            As to ‘taking it to the Lord,’ take yourself to the Lord and find out how precisely you might really help. Listening, understanding, and asking the right questions (acknowledging the deep rooted problem that is not so simple as – pride) instead of adhering to Wikipedia and giving yourself an identifiable name would be a good start. Otherwise, you’re doing little more than listening to slanderous gossip yourselves.

            Much like taking the word of a husband who has battered/emotionally abused/gaslighted his wife into leaving about why she should come back. About how ‘nothing’ is wrong. The wife in this scenario, that is the Independent Churches, has by no means filed for divorce. She wouldn’t dream of it. But she is, as she must, corresponding to the call of God to not allow the children to remain in a potentially harmful (sinful) situation.

            God bless you. And I actually wear a St. Benedicts Medal and a Five Fold Scapular.

            And Anonymous, you are the same one who said you do not fault the Catholics who attend these Independent Churches, well, newsflash, these Catholics have been formed in the Catholic Churches they attend. Read your own posts and, please, stop treating prayer as if it were a two way telephone. The rapidity with which you receive ‘answers’ indicates nothing more than that you are forming your own responses and giving little heed to what anyone on the other end of the line is actually saying.

            God bless you and Our Lady Protect you!

          • Thank you for the blessing.
            You bite the hand that feeds you. Maybe God will send another that you will accept.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Try feeding that which nourishes, Anonymous, instead of masking tidbits of truth amid poison. Perhaps we’d have been able to dialogue if you could have admitted one thing – Truth comes from God, not your dubious locutions that are as ambiguous and ever changing as the vast assortments of Anonymous postings that serve anything but a basis for teaching.

            Perhaps Our Lord, who spoke boldly and identified Himself in Truth, will lead you to the selfsame courage one day.

            As for the blessing, you are welcome. Although I am surprised you would accept it.

          • Anonymous says:

            If you were any kind of a Catholic or Christian, you would not be so demeaning. I no longer believe any of your story. I do not have locutions. Truth does come from God and you are hell-bent on rejecting it. I don’t have to pander to your false gods and your false religion.

    • Ann Malley says:

      I agree with Catherine. Excellent observation, Abeca. Thank you!

  11. Dr. Carl Stoner says:

    New Year’s resolution for the Church: 1- We will not ordain anymore “flaming homosexual’s” who give grave scandal to the Church by their repeated sacrilege, perversion and molestation of underage males! 2- The Church will not accept anymore potential “pervert collar’s” in the seminary, as “GAYS” will be excluded from the seminary…ALL SEMINARIES for the ministerial priesthood 3- Gays will be excluded from joining religious communities and the “flamers” that are in, will be politely asked to LEAVE!…thank you for your time…

    • Dr. Stoner, are you poking fun at Cardinal Burke for wearing that big old Cappa Magna made of red silk?
      Not nice of you…

  12. Dr. Carl Stoner says:

    No…I was facetiously illustrating a point…a gravely serious point, with eternal repercussions…

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