Resolutions

Reni, St. Peter Penitent

St. Peter Penitent (c. 1600), by Guido Reni. (WikiPaintings.org)

Hi. No, I haven’t forgotten about blogging. I’ve been pondering it every day, wondering what I should say next. I’ve written posts several times and then decided not to post them. It’s been an intense time of growth and healing and change, being broken and rebuilt. And I’ve come to a few resolutions for this new year.

I’ve been increasingly convicted about the polemic tone my blog has taken. I set out to show the world the reasons for my faith, how the Lord had guided me to the truth, and all the beautiful and glorious things about the fullness found only in the Catholic Church. But especially in the past six months or so, I’ve taken more to attacking what others believe, particularly Protestants, my brothers and sisters in Christ. I do believe that in some respects they’re wrong — but the right of Christ’s love, which we share, outweighs by worlds the wrong of their sometimes errors in doctrine. And I am put here to show that love, to love, above all, my own brother and sister, that the world may know that we are Christ’s and that He is sent by God.

So from now on I will strive to emphasize what is good and true and right about Catholicism. That will sometimes entail demonstrating what is wrong with opposing views, but I will always strive to do so in love, and to present what can build up rather than merely tear down.

Oh, and my thesis is done and approved. I defended it now about a month ago. New things are coming in my life. And it’s time to return to blogging. This morning as I was lying in bed, the Lord gave me several posts to start brewing — likely to be series, given my penchant for words. I want to pick up the Sacraments with a post on the sacrifice of the Mass. There’s still more to talk about with Baptism, and then I want to talk about Confession and Anointing of the Sick and Holy Orders. And I have the next post in my conversion story brewing. Stay tuned!

17 thoughts on “Resolutions

  1. I know and understand of what you’re speaking. It’s tempting to get constantly drawn into opposition of something, and slowly we lose our focus on the light we started to defend! I’ll keep you in prayer, please do the same for me as I struggle with the same dilemma.

  2. Dear Lonely Pilgrim,
    Bravo! on the spirit of positivity. The decision to avoid criticizing others is true inspiration from the Holy Spirit.

    I believe that a challenge is in order, to help you grow in holiness. You made the statement that your posts “will sometimes entail demonstrating what is wrong with opposing views.” The challenge is to see if zero posts criticizing opposing views can be accomplished. You don’t have to run others down to raise yourself up. It will be harder, as belittling people is always the easy and more traveled road, but the rewards for this hard work will be a closer relationship to God.

    Best wishes and God bless,

    • I will strive not to run others down or belittle anybody. But the subject of my blog is the Catholic Church and why she holds the truth. And that by necessity involves addressing the arguments of others who would reject that claim and especially those who would impugn her. I have gone on the offensive lately more than I should. I will do my best from now on to remain defensive and apologetic and above all, charitable. This is not a game of who’s right and who’s wrong, as these discussions so easily become. I have no interest in being “right” if I cause a brother to stumble or I stumble myself. My aim here is to heal the wounds of the Church, not to hurt anybody, and I should always bear that in mind.

      • Between me and you and the rest of the world, my heart goes out to you. If I can sense this correctly, my husband experiences the same thing, being a baptised Catholic, born-again non-denom, born-again through Mary to the Church. Even being in the cradle of the Church and in the arms of Mary and Jesus, his heart had not been at peace when it came to defending the Church. In common Catholic conversation, his thoughts would revert to a defense against Catholic thought .. I have to consider where he is now.. he is better now, though. I’m going to think about this .. and pray for you. ++

        • Thank you for your prayers. I am fine with defending the Church; however sometimes I feel I lose my cool and don’t have a loving and charitable attitude to people who are, despite our disagreement, brothers and sisters. My defense should never be an offense to a brother in Christ.

          • Yes. Today is St. Francis de Sales’ feast day — I was floored when I found out it took him 20 years to overcome his own fiestiness. St. Francis — the founder of the Visitation Order from which our Sacred Heart devotion hails from! Fiery! I’m glad you’re bringing this up, because I had a look-see, found this — http://web1.desales.edu/assets/salesian/PDF/ATP-Sternness.pdf — this is something I myself want to contemplate and address in my life. We’re human. He knows this and He’s given you the desire to overcome — and He’s about to to give you your heart’s desire, Joseph! Blessed guy!

  3. Many congrats on your thesis Joseph! I personally appreciate your challenges. If we are truly seeking the truth (no pun intended), then we must be willing to listen, even to the cases made against our preconceptions. For those as myself, teethed and reared within the walls of one order, it is illuminating to hear the sound arguments made for all of the stuff we were warned to stay clear of using boogey-man scare tactics. Your desire to always show the love of Christ is commended good friend. Blessings!

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  5. Joseph, you wrote above:

    I’ve been increasingly convicted about the polemic tone my blog has taken. I set out to show the world the reasons for my faith, how the Lord had guided me to the truth, and all the beautiful and glorious things about the fullness found only in the Catholic Church. But especially in the past six months or so, I’ve taken more to attacking what others believe, particularly Protestants, my brothers and sisters in Christ.

    As your token Presbyterian (and six-point Calvinist—I still believe in burning heretics), I can say that I didn’t find anything you said offensive. In fact, I find strongly worded disagreement often to be the most helpful.

    At any rate, congratulations on the completion of the thesis, and this token Presbyterian is looking forward to reading your posts here soon!

  6. Congratulations on your thesis, Joseph! It’s a great achievement and I’m happy you made it!

    It’s good to see you back here as well! – says the person who is barely online here either :-) But while I may not comment all the time, your posts are definitely something I always look forward to and a part of me is glad that I didn’t miss too much at least.

    And I very much look forward to your next part of your conversion story and, seeing how fast I am closing in now and that this is still something I’m not sure how I feel about, your post about confession (and pretty much everything else as well, of course!).

    I didn’t see anything offensive (but I am a former Protestant who is about to convert, so an active Protestant might feel differently), but I see where you are coming from, because that is something I’m working on as well, not as much here, but in my life, especially with my colleagues and people that really get under my skin. I want to stay calm and loving, even on the worst days.

    Reading this post, I think you are on a very good way! :-)

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