Here’s the teen club fun activity we did tonight. We followed with a very powerful discussion on forgiveness, but this gets them gathered for the meeting. Enjoy!
Presidential elections are always contentious, and mudslinging and name-calling go with the territory. This year’s election however, is taking this characteristic to an extreme. There has also probably never been an election where more is at stake than this year’s presidential election. We have two candidates running for office that are of absolutely completely different viewpoints on the direction in which they wish to take America. To top things off, we also seem to have the two most unlikable people in America running for president, and one of them will win. How we got to this point is not my current concern. The reality is that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States, and their view for the country will be guiding us for the next four years, perhaps longer. While sometimes we feel really sure of one candidate or another and truly like him, that is not always the case, and sometimes we have to vote for the lesser of two evils. This year appears to be one of those times. Sadly, many people vote for a candidate based on his or her likability. I have heard people tell me they will not vote for one person because “I don’t like his voice,” or “he looks creepy to me.” I have never found this an appropriate way to make such an important decision as to whom I will be casting my vote for President. Somebody can be very charming and pleasant but their beliefs can be absolutely diabolical. Similarly, I’ve heard people at times mention that this person or that should be elected because he is a good motivational speaker and knows how to inspire people. This too, is a danger. Who was a greater motivational speaker than Adolf Hitler?! At this point in the 2016 election, the likability factor is totally out the window. As I write this, allegations are coming forward about Donald Trump groping women, which he flatly denies, and which he claims are deliberately fabricated by the Clinton campaign. I certainly do not know how these allegations will end. I personally find the timing of these allegations very questionable, that actions that reportedly occurred years ago are all of a sudden y coming to light just three weeks before the election makes you question the truth of the allegations. If they are in fact true, then they tell us something important about Donald Trump. If, however, they are false accusations fabricated by Hillary Clinton and her campaign, then that tells us something extremely important about Hillary Clinton. The truth behind these is bound to be damaging to one or the other candidate. Will they affect our vote? For me, I have decided as I always do that it is all the more important this year that we vote for the candidate who most represents my vision for America and whom I think will lead us in the direction in which I want to see our nation go. I find it critical at this point that we pay attention not to the mudslinging and the accusations against candidates but what they stand for and what they advocate. Every American needs to figure out which issues are the most important in his or her life and are the most critical for casting their vote, and then choose the candidate that best represents their views. I would now like to take you through my own thought process as to how I have come to the decision of the person for whom I will vote.
I am not registered in any political party. I do this specifically so I can feel free from party allegiance and cannot accuse myself of blindly supporting my party’s nominee. I make any choice I make based upon the Gospel of Christ. Jesus is my truth, and I am convinced that fidelity to His teachings will lead us to a happy and prosperous nation and ultimately salvation. I am further convinced that all the world needs to follow Christ and espouse what he teaches, even if it’s not popular or politically correct. I therefore weigh all the issues in relationship to the Gospel and try to prioritize them as to which ones are most important. I rarely find a candidate that agrees 100% with everything that I as a Christian believe, but sometimes I can find one candidate that supports more of my beliefs than the other and whose direction is more intrinsically in line with the Gospel of Christ than the other. This year I have been able to prayerfully conclude that one of the two major candidates can morally receive my vote.
While there are many pressing issues that people will discuss, everything from global warming to ISIS to the economy, for me the most important issue I see is the moral decay of our nation. We are morally bankrupting ourselves, and if we continue down this path we will destroy ourselves long before ISIS or global warming gets around to it. We have increasingly become a nation that is seeing God as obsolete, and every year things seem to get worse. When I was a boy the prevailing sentiment was that Catholic teaching is archaic or antiquated. “This is 1975!” was the mantra I remember hearing over and over again, and that the church had to modernize and change her teachings to be more popular. Of course I reject that view. But today things have gotten even worse. God’s laws have ceased to be seen as antiquated and have now come to be seen as hostile, as discriminatory, and as hate filled. Decisions by our Supreme Court that have legalized same-sex marriage as well as policies by the current administration encouraging people to choose to be whatever gender they wish – as if being male or female is up to my opinion as opposed to biological fact – leave me extremely worried about our future. We have developed a world that sees the foundation of truth in personal opinion. Opinion, however, is not the source of truth. How many times have we discovered later that we were wrong about what we previously felt or thought? This also is precisely what Original Sin was all about. Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which is a nice poetic way of saying they tried to decide for themselves what was right and wrong rather than listening to what God had revealed to them, and the results of that were disastrous! Year-by-year I see us further and further alienating God and deciding that we as Americans can choose our own destiny and our own truth rather than listening to what God reveals to us, yet when we do that things don’t improve; on the contrary, they only get worse. When was the last time you heard somebody say they really like the direction in which America is heading and that everything is wonderful? Virtually everyone agrees that our country is not doing well and we need a radical change, yet it seems that the further away from God we get the worst things get, and the more we continue to think we don’t need God. God provides the moral foundation upon which a stable and healthy society is created and I find it imperative that we reestablish God and his sovereignty over our lives. When we take things into our own hands we only reap disaster. That was the whole message we read through the Old Testament. When people followed God things went well for them, but when they abandoned God things were a disaster until they finally turned to God again and followed him. Only then did they improve. The same is true for us today.
Presidents will often make decisions that we don’t like and sometimes we are under the effects of their policies for four or perhaps eight years. Then a new administration comes in and they often change some of those policies, and they no longer bind us. Economies ebb and flow often from external factors that have nothing to do with the president’s policies. But one legacy a president leaves behind is whom he or she appoints to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court justices can last for decades. The next president of the United States may have the ability to appoint as many as four new justices to the Supreme Court. This will shape the moral direction of our nation for better or for worse, and whom they nominate for the Supreme Court will affect us for decades to come. Therefore, for me, the single most important issue facing us as Americans in the 2016 presidential election is the next president’s nominees for the Supreme Court.
I don’t like the direction in which the Supreme Court is currently taking us. Recent decisions by the court seem to be politically motivated and what I call “the bandwagon effect”, meaning that they seem to jump on the bandwagon of what is currently popular just to please people. Any new idea that comes along is too quickly embraced without looking through the ramifications of where this will lead down the line. Any objection, even if based on millennia of human understanding and reason, is quickly dismissed as “discrimination” and “hate speech.” I do not support the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision, nor do I support last year’s equality in marriage declaration. I firmly believe these two need to be revoked, as they put us down a dangerous path. Hillary Clinton has publicly affirmed Roe vs. Wade and the marriage equality act, and she has promised that she will only nominate for the Supreme Court justices who will defend Roe vs. Wade as the law of the land and continue to advocate so-called “marriage equality”. For this reason alone, I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton. For me, to vote for Hillary Clinton would be to vote for somebody who is espousing everything that I feel is offensive to God and is taking us away from him and in the completely opposite direction of where I want to see America go; therefore, I will not be voting for Hillary Clinton.
The next question then becomes, can I vote for Donald Trump? Personally, I do not like either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Both are arrogant in my eyes. Hillary Clinton tends to blame other people for her mistakes and does not take responsibility for her own actions, plus she has been caught in so many lies that that makes me question whether or not I can truly believe anything she tells me. Donald Trump has a habit of opening his mouth and saying nasty things to and about people that grate on my conscience, and there is an arrogance about him that I personally do not like, and I probably would never want to find myself playing golf with him or sitting with him at dinner. That being said, following my own rules from the beginning of this post, I must put those personal feelings aside and look at the issues. I don’t agree with everything Donald Trump says. For example, I find the NRA to be gun-happy, and I do believe there have to be some restrictions on gun sales and stronger controls over who may legally purchase a gun. While I certainly respect the legal rights of hunters (even though I could never go hunting myself) and I support people owning rifles for hunting, as well as responsible people owning handguns in areas where people feel the legitimate need to protect themselves and their loved ones; nevertheless, I don’t see why anyone needs to own a semiautomatic rifle or submachine gun! But I do agree with Donald Trump on many other issues. As concerns our fight against Islamic terrorists, I do believe, as Pope Benedict once said, that nations have the right to secure their borders and cannot be expected just to open them to everyone. Hillary Clinton’s desire for open borders with Mexico is a danger in my mind and I do believe there have to be some legitimate means of vetting out those who would be here not to become part of the American system and the American dream but to destroy us. While the refugee situation is certainly of critical importance, and we have a Christian duty to take care of the legitimate needs of refugees from foreign wars; nevertheless, we have to make sure that our enemies are not deliberately sneaking terrorists into the United States by passing them through disguised as innocent refugees. I agree with the analogy that blindly accepting all immigrants into the country is like welcoming the Trojan Horse. We do have to make sure that the people we are accepting across our borders are not here to harm us but are here to take part in the American life, and that they will support the laws of this nation. I personally would have no trouble refusing admission to anyone who thinks that America has to be run by Sharia law. If they do not agree to abide by the Constitution of the United States, then we have no moral obligation to accept them. But most importantly for me, Donald Trump has stated that he wants to recover traditional Christian values, especially among people he appoints to the Supreme Court. I personally don’t like the idea of litmus tests for justices. I would like to know why presidents can’t say they will choose people who will put their personal feelings aside and will interpret the Constitution as it is written rather than promising to place people on the Supreme Court who will already interpret the Constitution the way they want to see it interpreted, as I believe Hillary Clinton has done. But since that is not the case in America today, I must side with the candidate who shares my view on the moral direction of our nation and who will appoint nominees to the Supreme Court who will restore the Court to one that respects the sovereignty of God. Donald Trump sufficiently shares that view with me, and therefore, after prayerful consideration of both candidates I have decided that I will be casting my vote for Donald Trump.
Let me make it perfectly clear, because I know some people will respond to me by saying my decision to vote for Donald Trump automatically means I approve of everything he says. This is simply not true. I repeat: I do not agree with every opinion of Donald Trump nor do I like his attitude, so please kindly refrain from posting anything in response to this blog post saying that if I support Donald Trump I must obviously then support his belief in “such and such” or that I “enjoy seeing women mistreated”. That is simply not true. The only other option would be if I felt Donald Trump did not sufficiently support anything of what I believe, leading me to feel it would be equally sinful to vote for him as I feel it would be to vote for Hillary Clinton. If that were the case, then I would have an obligation to look at one of the minor party candidates or write myself in for president. But again, while I do not like Donald Trump’s character or the way he speaks to people, and I don’t necessarily want to be his friend and have dinner with him, when I look at the issues, I cannot in good conscience vote for Hillary Clinton, and I can find enough in line with Donald Trump to justify my voting for him. And especially since the alternative of giving my vote to a minor party candidate would be further ensuring a victory by Hillary Clinton – which I believe would be disastrous for the United States – I feel I in good conscience can cast my vote on November 8th for Donald Trump, and if you agree with our Catholic moral beliefs I urge you to do the same.
I recently came across this blog post about the effects of contraception on our society. It is well-written and deserves to be seriously pondered by all.
Discipline and Contraception: A Cause for Joy
A few nights ago, well after our darling little three year old should have been asleep, she came running into our room crying hysterically. Something about her night light and a noise and now it wasn’t working.
Upon investigation, we found this:
Turns out, she was playing with a penny and placed it on the metal prongs of the plugged-in night light which caused the explosion, the noises, and the scariness. We are thankful that she is okay, and she cried over and over again that would, “never ever do that ever again.” We used the opportunity to reinforce why she isn’t supposed to be playing with coins in her bed (we’ve already had to explain the choking hazards), and why she should not play with her night-lights or outlets in general. The next step is taking her coins away completely, because discipline requires consequences for behavior. It is because we love her that we want to discipline her so that she remains safe.
I started thinking about this incident again when I was reading about the Wijngaards Statement to the UN, encouraging the Catholic Church to change its stance on contraception.
Back when Humanae Vitae was written, Pope Paul VI warned that if we went down the road of widespread acceptance of contraception, we would see in our culture a lowering of morality, increased infidelity, less respect for women, and government coercion of reproductive technologies. He, like a loving father, warned us that if we were going to play with pennies in an electrical outlet, we were going to get burnt.
But for the most part we didn’t listen, and now look around you. Religious groups are suing the government over the HHS mandate, some countries forcibly abort babies past the second child, the Ashley Madison leak revealed thousands of names of men being unfaithful for their wives, pornography is a billion dollar industry and fuels sex trafficking, and we all know someone affected by divorce or infidelity.
We are experiencing the consequences of our actions, and I think many in the younger generation are now desiring the safety of discipline. You can tell us “no” to contraception because we have experienced the devastating effects of divorce, pornography, rape, and infidelity in our own families. I think deep down, like children, we want to obey and be protected from the harmful effects of going against the plan God has for us.
A group of 500 scholars have come out with a statement (and signed by hundreds of more with doctorates) denouncing the Wijngaard position and affirming all the Popes’ teachings on the inseparable unitive and procreative meanings of sex, as well as the language of the body as self-gift in the marital act, and how contraception distorts that meaning. You can read the “Affirmation of the Church’s Teaching on the Gift of Sexuality” and read all the signatures here.
Now back to discipline. Some of the Church teachings can seem hard at times. I see couples wrestle with these hard teachings during marriage prep all the time. I have wrestled with them myself. Even disciples in the bible struggled with accepting hard teachings. And then I see my kids struggle to put their clothes away when I ask, or clean up the toys in the basement, and I know that we all struggle with accepting doing the hard things. Still, it’s good for us to learn to obey and learn the value of discipline. There is the fruit of joy in peaceful, loving families with faithful spouses and respect for all life. This fruit can only happen when we reject the rebellion of contraception and accept the sometimes-difficult way that is open to life.
“Endure your trials as ‘discipline’; God treats you as sons. For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline? . . . At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.” Hebrews 12:7-11
For the past several years a group known as Dakhma of Angra Mainyu has been offering satanic rituals in various venues. Several attempts to hold them at college campuses resulted in angry protests which caused the services to be canceled. In Oklahoma City, however, they have had success. The powers that be there have determined that satanic worship is protected by the First Amendment, thus they permit the service, and will be holding another one this Monday, August 15th, the same day as the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
I know many people who don’t like satanic worship will nonetheless believe it is defended by the First Amendment and will criticize any attempt to stop it. Whi
le that certainly seems reasonable, I do not agree.
I believe we can make a strong argument that the Freedom of Religion established by the First Amendment was intended to protect the rights of those looking to worship God as they understand him and not Satan. Absolute tolerance is never possible; there are always inherent limits to any freedom, and none of our freedoms is absolutely unrestrictable. For example, Freedom of Speech does not protect the right to libel or slander, nor does it protect the right to yell “fire!” in a crowded theater. Similarly, any religion that seeks to worship not God but Satan and advocates obscenity (check out the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu website – it will shock and disgust you) does not, I believe, enjoy the protection of the First Amendment. Similarly, the so-called “Separation of Church and State” that so many people invoke to prohibit prayer in public places and to prevent religious organizations from using public facilities cuts both ways. This satanic worship does not merely worship Satan. Rather, it blatantly mocks Catholicism. Consider this:
During their service on August 15th, they will hold what they are calling the “Consumption” of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They will decapitate a statue of the Blessed Mother, remove a previously-placed pig heart from it, and eat it. This, they claim, symbolizes the Blessed Mother being cast into hell! Of course, it coincides with our feast of the Assumption of Mary. The timing of this insult for the same day and using a parody of the name of our feast is no accident. Neither was it an accident when the last one mocking Mary was held on Christmas Eve. This is not freedom of worship but hate speech. If public facilities cannot be used to support religion, then neither should they be used to mock it.
In solidarity with Archbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City and his request for all people of good will to join in a day of prayer and fasting in reparation for this horror, here at St. Ann’s we will hold Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 9:00 AM until 8:00 PM in the chapel. A Holy Hour with recitation of the rosary will be held at 7:00 PM.
I urge all people of good will of whatever religion or of none whatsoever to join in solidarity with Catholics whose beliefs are being mocked and desecrated. An attack on one religion is an attack on all!
This article is copied from MSN Sports as reported on August 6, 2016
Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson has not hesitated to speak out on the state of race relations in the United States, but he’s drawing both criticism and praise for claiming that Planned Parenthood was created to “exterminate blacks” and that “it’s working.”
Last month both political parties held their conventions to nominate their candidate for president. There have been news stories that talked about how much money each convention cost, plus the cost to the host city in police protection, cleanup, etc. In this day and age with modern means of communication including Skype and email, one might be tempted to ask why the candidates didn’t just type up their proposals and email them to everyone, have a live video feed nomination, and save a ton of money. I doubt if anyone would take such a suggestion seriously. Nothing electronic can replace human contact. Both parties were dealing with internal fights and divisions, and the stated goal for both conventions was to unify the party. In addition to participating in the formal process of nominating a candidate, the delegates were able to meet with each other, support one another, solidify their positions on issues, and bring about a unity that helped them feel more proud of their party and their candidate. This would never have been possible if everything were done at home through the internet. As human beings we are naturally social creatures, and when there is a strong need to bond together we must do so in person.
But while no one would suggest they could actively participate in the convention at home, some people make the illogical mistake of thinking they can worship God at home and don’t need to come to church to do so. There are similarities between the reasons we go to conventions and the reasons we go to church. Paramount, of course, is to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receive Holy Communion so that we can be one with Christ in His suffering, death, and resurrection and thus have all of our (venial) sins forgiven. But in addition to that, the human element is of great importance. Being in a gathering with others who share our beliefs strengthens us in our identity as members of the Church and in our commitment to follow Jesus, which does not happen sitting home alone. Sure, we could read a good spiritual book at home, pray with the Bible, read the Pope’s comments in L’Osservatore Romano, and say private prayers, but we’d be lacking the communal gathering element that is essential to our well-being.
We as humans are social creatures, and we need to connect with others. One of the worst prison punishments is solitary confinement, prohibiting one from any contact with another human being, because it violates our human nature and our dignity. So why would we want for a moment to practice religious solitary confinement? Yes, we all need alone time when we can pray by ourselves, but we also need social prayer time when we join with others to pray together as a people and support each other in our devotion to the Lord. So just as a political convention builds up identity as a member of a political party, so our common worship at church builds us up in our identity as followers of Jesus and inspires us to be His messengers in our daily lives and in the world. So let’s here no more of this “I-don’t-need-to-go-to-church-to-pray” nonsense. Yes we do! We’re social beings! We need to be with each other, especially before God.
Imagine someone were to go to the doctor and attempt to tell the doctor everything that is wrong with him and every cure that the doctor needs to give him in order to be well again. I think we can all realize that this would be a big mistake. We go to the doctor precisely because we don’t know medicine as well as he does, and we want him to use his expertise to show us how to be as healthy as we can be. Suppose you got angry because the doctor would not give you the medicine you are convinced would be good for you and decided never to go to the doctor again. Whom would you be hurting? You’d only be hurting yourself. The same thing is true of God. Sometimes we make the mistake of going to God with a predetermined diagnosis for what we need in life and if God says no or doesn’t grant us what we’re looking for we decide we’re not going to worship him anymore. But whom are we hurting? Only ourselves! Sometimes it’s helpful for us to step back and look at exactly what God wants to do for us.
Take, for example, the gospel parable Jesus tells about the man who had a great harvest and decided to build extra barns and store all of his goods there. He then says he can relax and take it easy because now he has everything stored for the rest of his life, and Jesus says of him “you fool! This very night your life will be demanded of you, and to whom will all these piled up goods go?” Jesus is showing us something critical for our lives in this little parable. Why did he call the man a fool? It was not because the man had a good harvest and had done well and was wealthy. The problem was that the man thought that as long as he had money in the bank he was good to go and he needed nothing else. And that’s why Jesus said called him a fool because he said that very night he would die and what good would all of that saved up grain do for him? So the Lord is not saying that we should not pray for the goods of earth but that we should not make them our priority. Certainly the Lord’s prayer teaches us to pray “give us this day our daily bread”, and it’s certainly fine if we’re financially strapped or somebody is ill and we pray for healing for more money whatever the situation may be, but our primary focus must always be getting to heaven. We call Jesus our Savior. But from what did he come to save us? from poverty? No! He was born and laid in a manger. To save us from ill health? No! He was in terribly poor health as he hung on the cross and eventually died. To save us from lack of popularity? No! His friends all abandoned him. To save us from false judgment? No! He was falsely accused of being the devil himself and when he was crucified those who killed him thought they were doing the will of God. No, Jesus came to save us from sin. But sometimes sin seems to be the last thing we worry about and maybe we don’t even worry about it at all! Sometimes I even hear people joking about sin, making fun of it as if it’s an antiquated notion that we’ve wisely outgrown. Nothing could be further from the truth! Sin is indeed something very deadly. Remember that Original Sin, Adam and Eve turning against God and deciding they could choose for themselves what’s right and wrong and not have to listen to God, is what brought all the evil into the world from which we suffer each and every day. And more importantly Original Sin closed the gates of heaven to us. You and I could try to be perfect and maybe we could live without committing any sin, but even with that we could not get to heaven and we would be condemned to hell for all eternity, because heaven was close to us thanks to the sin of Adam and Eve. There was no human being who could do anything about it, because in order to adequately pay the price – the ransom – for sin one would have to be perfect, and since there was no perfect human being, there was not a single human being who could change anything. We were doomed! Only God – the perfect one – could save us, and that’s what he did: by taking on flesh, suffering and dying on the cross, and rising from the dead. When he rose from the dead he destroyed the power of death and now turned death around completely, so that it is no longer our entrance into condemnation – into hell – but is now our entrance into salvation – into heaven! Jesus now teaches us through the Church how to follow him, to avoid sin, and stay on the path to heaven, to avoid all the pitfalls of this earth which is Satan still trying to lead us back into his clutches. Yet again, sometimes we just don’t seem to care about that and we approach God with the answer already in our minds of what God has to allow us to do. This becomes especially a problem when something that God teaches us through the Scriptures or the Church we don’t want to accept. Instead of accepting it, we either invoke the opinion of society and decide, “well, society accepts it now and so must the Church” or we give ourselves an excuse as to why that teaching doesn’t apply to us. Sometimes people even go further by demanding of God and of the Church that he change things that he’s teaching are sinful and that are harmful to us and tell us it’s good for us, and if the Church won’t tell us what we want to hear, then we search out a denomination of Christianity that will do so. But is that really helping at all?
Going back to our example of the doctor, imagine if someone decided they want to be perfectly healthy except they don’t want to have to exercise or eat properly. They go to the doctor and tell the doctor they want to be able to sleep as much as they want sit on the couch and eat all the rich and fatty foods they want and still be healthy. Obviously the doctor tells the person he cannot do that, that if he wants to be healthy he has to exercise and eat properly. But the person doesn’t like that so he says, “Fine! I’ll find another doctor will tell me it’s okay to do so! And maybe he comes across a doctor who has very few patients – for obvious reasons, that he’s a bad doctor – but this doctor, eager to keep patients, tells him whatever he wants to hear. “Sure! It’s perfectly fine for you to sit on the couch all day eat all the potato chips and junk food you want, and don’t worry about exercising; you’ll still be perfectly healthy!” The patient says to himself, “Great! I finally found a doctor who sees the truth, a doctor who understands my needs and my feelings. This is exactly what I was looking for!” Well, what happens to that person when he follows this doctor’s advice? You know the answer: he gets very sick! The same is true of Christians who look for denominations of Christianity that will tell them that whatever they want to believe is fine just as long as they stay with them, or with Christians who turn to God and say, “Hey God, if you don’t give me what I want I’m not going to church anymore!” Well they’re not hurting God, they’re only hurting themselves!”
Remember that God is not here to give us the life of Riley and he is not Santa Claus, the one who gives us presents if we are good. I know I’ve said this in previous blog posts, but it’s worth repeating. God never said “come follow me and I’ll give you a bed of roses!” He never said that! In fact, he said if we want to follow him we must deny ourselves take up our cross each day and follow in his footsteps. In other words, there will be challenges as we follow the Lord in this world. There are going to be times when we have to go against the flow, where we cannot follow what society says is right and instead must remain faithful to the Lord even if it means going against what is currently socially acceptable. Jesus is not here to make our lives easy and to give us whatever we want. He came to show us the way to heaven, and we should be willing to reject anything in this world – no matter how difficult it may be for us – if it’s going to mean losing our eternal salvation.
And so my friends, when you go to God in prayer don’t go with a preconceived notion that you already know what God should do for you and figure were going to manipulate him and do anything possible to get God to give us what we want. Don’t pre-form your mind as to what you believe is right for you and then just look for the church or denomination that teaches what you want to believe, nor should you decide that that’s okay not to follow God because you don’t like what he’s saying. There’s only one thing for us to do: follow God with all of your heart. Turn to him and say, as St. Francis of Assisi said, “Lord what do you want me to do?” God is not here to give us what we want but to lead us to heaven. May we never forget this truth, and may we always remember that we are only here temporarily, just passing through this world on a journey to heaven, which is our true home. May we never sacrifice the glory of heaven and our true home for any comfort or convenience or pleasure here on earth!