25th Sunday of Ordinary Time Revisited

The homily I prepared for last weekend was posted here previously.  The thing is, I didn’t give it.  Last year we had our nineteen-year-old cat put to sleep.  The experience motivated me to deliver a different message.  Since what I said wasn’t written down, I’m posting an audio file.  It’s about twelve minutes long, if you’re interested.  As always, thanks for following DeaconCast.

I want to mention the excellent, compassionate service we received from the Humane Society of Missouri.  They were great!

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25th Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

I think most of us are old enough to remember when stores were closed on Sunday.  They called it the “blue law” and about the only thing open was the drug store.  If you needed gas you’d better get it on Saturday because even the filling stations were closed on Sunday.  Eventually the drug stores got the idea of selling bread and milk on the Lord’s day.  Every once in a while some discount store would decide to break the law and be open.  Then the police would show up and arrest everybody, they’d all make bail, and the store would be open again.

Today, with everything open 24/7 that all seems like a distant memory.  But the memory is a good one.  Sunday was special.  You’d go to church in the morning then have the whole day to rest and relax with your family.  Life was much simpler.

Now, there are very few days in the year when everything’s closed and soon those days won’t be special anymore either.  Look at Thanksgiving.  First stores started opening really early on Friday morning.  Now we have some opening on Thursday evening.  It won’t be long before Thanksgiving will be just another day to shop.  When that happens, Christmas and Easter won’t be far behind.

Two of my adult children are still in the retail business and it’s almost impossible to schedule a birthday party or other family gathering on the weekend because one or both of them is working Saturday and Sunday.

In the early ‘70s I worked for a retail electronics store.  It was part of a chain and my boss lived in Chicago where they had no blue laws.  It used to drive him crazy that the drug store next to us in the strip mall could be open on Sunday, selling batteries and TV tubes while we had to be closed.  I could see what was coming and got out of retail before the blue laws were repealed.

I thought about those days when I read today’s first reading.  “Hear this, you who trample on the needy and destroy the poor of the land!  ‘When will the new moon be over,’ you ask, ‘that we may sell our grain, and the Sabbath, that we may display the wheat?’

Under Jewish law, you couldn’t do business during the new moon or on the Sabbath.  Like the retailers back in the 1970s, they hated to lose even one day of business.  Notice what Amos calls them:  “you who trample on the needy and destroy the poor of the land”.  Apparently these weren’t nice guys.  All they cared about was the almighty dollar, or shekel, or whatever it was that they worshipped.  Their hearts and minds were in the wrong place and Amos warned them that “The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob; Never will I forget a thing they have done.”

If we look at Luke’s Gospel for today, there’s a similar theme.  Jesus tells his disciples the parable of the dishonest steward.  He’s been squandering his master’s property and the master demands a full accounting.  The steward is in a real spot.  He knows he’s probably going to be fired.  When word gets out that he was fired for stealing, no one will hire him.  Remember there was no such thing as unemployment insurance, food stamps, or any other kind of aid for him.  What can he do?  “He says “I’m not strong enough to dig and I’m ashamed to beg.” But those will be his only choices if he loses his job.

So, he decides that if he calls in his master debtors and offers to reduce their debts, at least he’ll have some friends when he gets thrown out on his ear.

Now, here’s where the parable gets confusing.  When the master hears what the steward has done, he commends him for acting prudently.  Wait a minute! He’s been ripping his master off.  He’s been found out.  So he rips the master off some more and he’s commended.

But here’s where we have to remember that Jesus often said outrageous things.  “Love your enemies.”  “Turn the other cheek.”  “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you.”  His message isn’t if you get caught stealing, steal some more.  His message is that when you get in trouble, take a good hard look at the situation then do something about it.  Don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself, take action.

He’s also telling us that money isn’t a god.  We don’t worship money, or at least we shouldn’t.  Temporal goods are temporary.  “No servant can serve two masters….You cannot serve both God and mammon.”  In yesterday’s (Friday’s) Gospel He said, “Love of money is the root of all evil.”  We often hear this phrase quoted as “money is the root of all evil.”  But that’s not true.  It’s loving money that gets us into trouble.  We all need money.  We need it to live and we need it to share with those less fortunate than we are.  We couldn’t run this church without money.

And that brings up a good point.  We all give money to the church; at least I hope we do.  If you give all that you can, then you’re showing that you love God more than stuff.  But, if you toss a few bucks into the offering basket, but not too much because there’s a big screen TV you have your eye on and you really want it, especially during the football season, then you have to ask yourself what you love more.  Are you turning money into a god?

Only you can answer that question, but God’s telling us today that you’d better get it right.  Remember what Amos said, “The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:  Never will I forget a thing they have done!”  We might add that he won’t forget a thing that we haven’t done either.

Times are tough.  In spite of what you hear on the news, a lot of people are out of work.  The unemployment numbers are looking better only because so many people have just given up.  They’ve stopped looking for a job.  It used to be that we’d get a phone call here once in a while from someone looking for help with their rent.  We always refer them to Saint Vincent de Paul or Catholic Charities.  But I’ve gotten two calls like that in the last week.

On top of that, you’ve got the flooding in Colorado and now in Mexico.  There are just so many people who need our help.  We don’t want to be like those merchants in the first reading, trampling the needy and destroying the poor.  Just this week our Holy Father spoke about how important it is for us to help one another.  Like his namesake, Francis of Assisi, he has a special concern for those in need.

If we do nothing else, we should be bombarding heaven with prayers for those in need.  Even better is to back up those prayers with whatever money we can afford.  There are also a lot of opportunities right here in the neighborhood to volunteer our time.  Like I said, only you know what you can afford in time and treasure.  You’ve been very generous in your contributions of food and school supplies, in supplies for the elderly and in our yearly toy collection.  But we all need to do more.

Be aware of those around you.  Something as simple as helping someone carry their groceries to the car, or helping someone in a wheelchair get through a doorway is the kindness that’s often missing in this world.  The Catholic Church has always been known for helping the poor.  Catholic Charities is the largest social service agency in the state of Missouri.  Catholic hospitals provide millions of dollars of free care every year.

As they told me when I once volunteered with Catholic Charities, “we don’t help people because they’re Catholic.  We help them because we’re Catholic.”  That’s our calling.  Can we do any less?

If you’ll bear with me for just another minute, I want to mention that next Saturday is the feast of Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of the Czech Republic.  When he was killed by his brother’s men, he was almost immediately declared a saint.  The people loved him because he was a benevolent king but even more for all that he did to help the poor.  He used to sneak out at night and take food to the poor when no one was around to see him.  Even though he was a wealthy man, he did everything he could to help his people in need.  Saint Wenceslas, pray for us .

What’s Up with Some Protestant Ministers?

So, I followed a link someone sent me today to a sermon by a protestant minister.  The video is humorous and interesting and I decided right away that I would probably borrow some of it for a future homily of my own.  But, if you’ve ever used YouTube, you know that they give you other suggested videos that you might be interested in.  Here’s a sample of some of the titles:

I could go on and on but that would mean having to watch this stuff and frankly, I don’t have the time or the desire.  I’m also not providing links because I don’t want to encourage you to watch either.  But, if you insist, just go to YouTube and type the name of your favorite preacher followed by the word “exposed” and you’ll have enough to keep you busy all day.

Then, of course, you can find thousands of videos telling you everything that’s wrong with the Catholic Church.

Here’s the thing.  Jesus never said anything bad about people who believed differently from Him.  In fact, He often used non-Jews in His parables to make the point that there’s good in everybody.  He never said that the Samaritans were going to hell but He did say that many of his Jewish brethren were.  (See this coming Sunday’s Gospel).  Jesus was all about faith and love.  Shouldn’t we all follow suit?

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m a Roman Catholic through-and-through.  I have major disagreements with everyone listed above.  But, I don’t think it’s my place to call them out, by name, and tell you why they’re wrong.  My place is to tell you why I believe I’m right.  I guess that’s the salesman in me.  I believe you must have a pretty weak case if the only way you can sell your product or service is to criticize the other guy.  Most people are too smart to fall for that.

It just seems strange to me that so many people who say they believe in God, and Jesus Christ, and everything else that makes up Christianity, feel like they have to attack one another.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not mad at anybody.  The false prophets will be found out soon enough.  They don’t need me to point out their faults.

Besides, as I write this, Christian churches are being torched in Egypt.  This might be a good time for all of us to get together and support all believers who are being persecuted for their faith.

1st Sunday of Lent

 

Temptation.  It’s everywhere.  We live in a secular world that goes out of its way to discourage us from living Christian lives.  Our kids see things on television, in movies, and even in video games that tempt them to sin.  Prime time television brings things into our living rooms that just a few years ago would have been scandalous and would have never gotten past the censors.  With very few exceptions it seems like anything goes.

 

Today’s Gospel is all about temptation.   Jesus has gone off by himself in the dessert.  Luke tells us that the Holy Spirit led Him into the dessert to be tempted by the devil.  Why in the world would the Holy Spirit do that?  Didn’t Jesus have enough problems already?  But there He was and the devil was waiting for Him.

 

He told Jesus to turn a stone into bread.  But He was fasting and refused to be tempted.  “One does not live on bread alone” Jesus said.  Think about that.  During Lent there are two days when we’re not supposed to eat between meals, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  Most of us, those of us 60 or older don’t even have to do that.  Some of you may give up snacking entirely during Lent.  We all know it’s not easy.  The devil tempts us just like he tempted Jesus.  The Holy Spirit will give us the strength to follow a fast if we let Him.

 

Then the devil “showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.”  “All this will be yours if you worship me”, a ridiculous statement if I ever heard one.  Who did Satan think he was kidding?  All these things were already Jesus’.  He had no need for the devil.  But Jesus’ refusal to go along with the evil one was meant as an example for you and me.  How often has he tempted us with things that have no lasting value?  Jesus said, “You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.”  His words are meant for us.  He knew the devil was never going to worship God.  He’d already been thrown out of paradise.

 

Then the devil led Jesus to Jerusalem and made him stand on the parapet of the temple.  “Throw yourself down from here for it is written, ‘He will command His angels to guard you and:  and with their hands they will support you lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”  Another stupid statement from the prince of lies.  Jesus already commanded the angels.  In fact, our responsorial Psalm today makes that exact promise to you and me.

 

“For to his angels he has given command about you,

that they guard you in all your ways.

Upon their hands they shall bear you up,

lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

 

In the first reading today from Deuteronomy Moses reminds the people that God has saved them from their Egyptian captivity and given them a land of milk and honey.  He saved them and He saves us!  In the Gospel Jesus shows us how to save ourselves, by refusing to be tempted by the devil.

 

But Satan is no fool.  He knows what he’s doing.  He’s taking over the world by flying under the radar.  His greatest achievement is convincing so many of us that he doesn’t exist.  How many of us REALLY believe that there’s an evil spirit who wants to take us away from God?  Isn’t it just human nature?  Aren’t we tempted because we’re just imperfect creatures?  No, we’re tempted because there’s a spirit that wants to tempt us.

 

I remember growing up that sometimes in Saturday morning cartoons, a character would be tempted to do something wrong.  Remember Sylvester the cat?  He would be tempted to eat Tweety Bird.  The devil sitting on one shoulder would try to convince him to go ahead and make Tweety his lunch.  The angel on his other shoulder would be begging him to be good and leave Tweety alone.  It was cute and it was funny and the angel would always win because otherwise, there wouldn’t be any more Sylvester and Tweety Bird cartoons.  It was a morality play aimed at five-year-olds.

 

If you really think about it, we’re all Sylvester the cat.  We’re all tempted.  And we all have angels, we may call them our conscience, telling us to do the right thing.  But we’re human and we’re all subject to the temptation to sin.  We have a natural tendency to sin which is called concupiscence. It’s a ten-dollar word that means we’re going to sin unless we call on the grace of Christ to strengthen us.  We need those angels to bear us up lest we dash our foot against the stone.

 

It’s no coincidence that the Church gives us this reading from Luke’s Gospel as we begin the season of Lent.  It’s a time of penance, but it’s also a time of spiritual renewal.  Jesus spent 40 days in the dessert.  He was tempted by the devil but He stood strong.  The last line tells us that “When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from Him FOR A WHILE.”  Even Jesus, the Son of God, was never free from attacks by the evil one.

 

How many people have fallen for the devil’s promises?  He promises them power and glory and they go all in.

 

Just this week we’ve had a wonderful example of someone who is giving up power and glory for the good of his fellow man and for the good of our Church.  Pope Benedict XVI is one of the most powerful men on earth, maybe THE most powerful.  But as he’s gotten older and his body has begun to fail him, he’s going to give it all up to live a life of seclusion because he doesn’t think he has the strength to do the demanding job of leading a billion Catholics.  He didn’t have to retire.  It’s been hundreds of years since a Pope has given up his position.  He could have hung on to the job enjoying all the glory that comes from being the successor to Saint Peter but leaving the actual running of the Church to others.  But that wouldn’t be right.  I can’t even imagine how difficult a decision it must have been.  But here, at the beginning of Lent, he made his choice setting an example for all of us.

 

Imagine giving up a job where hundreds of thousands of the faithful show up to hear you speak; to cheer every word you say, to live a life of total seclusion.

 

Soon a younger man will take Benedict’s place and he’ll live out his life in peace and quiet, spending his days in prayer for you and me.

 

You and I will never have to make such a difficult decision, but we WILL be tempted and we will have to draw on the strength of the Holy Spirit.  Don’t be fooled by Satan who has done a great job of convincing us that he’s not around anymore.  He’s here just a surely and you and I are here.  God promises us an eternity of good things, but the really good things have to wait until we leave this life.  Satan promises us good things too, things that we can enjoy right away.  That’s the trouble with sin.  It’s always disguised as something good.  And it offers immediate gratification.  You and I have to be strong enough to forgo those things that will make us feel good today for a life of never ending bliss that is to come.

So, for the next 40 days we’ll exercise our will power.  We’ll do our penance to remind ourselves that sometimes we have to give up something now for something that is to come.  That’s when we rely on the Holy Spirit and those angels who will bear us up.  Man DOESN’T live by bread alone.  “It is written’ You shall worship the Lord, your God, and Him alone shall you serve.’”

40 Myths About the Catholic Church

Last year during Lent I published a series of posts on 40 Reasons Why It’s Cool to be Catholic.  It was part of my Lenten penance and if you read all 40 of them, then I suppose it was part of your penance too.  I’m continually surprised when WordPress tells me that people are still reading those posts nearly a year later.  I remember from my secular blogging days that people love lists, so I guess the one-post-per-day format for Lent must have been a success.

“Here’s the thing.  Today is Ash Wednesday and I have a decision to make.  Should I try it again?  If so, what forty things can I write about that people will find interesting, keeping in mind that I’m going to have to keep it up for six weeks?
This Monday, when our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI announced his intention to retire at the end of this month, I noticed that the Catholic-bashers came out in full force.  I also noticed that the justification for their hatred of all things Catholic has little or no basis in fact.  As our beloved Bishop Fulton Sheen once said, “No one hates the Catholic Church,  But millions of people hate what they think the Catholic Church is.”  (This is a paraphrase because I don’t have the exact quote in front of me, but it’s basically what he said.)

There is so much misinformation out there about Catholics, even among Catholics themselves, that I think this will be a timely and useful series.  I hope you agree.  If you don’t, feel free to comment.  After constructive criticism is why God gave us the “delete” button.  (Just kidding.)  I enjoy the conversation and appreciate the opportunity to learn something.

Stay tuned.

A Pope Retires

benedict eucharistI’ve been watching today as the “experts” come out of the woodwork with their commentaries on Benedict XVI‘s retirement.  It’s amazing how many Kresgin wannabe’s think they can read the man’s mind.  “He’s retiring because the job’s too hard.”  “He’s retiring because of the child abuse scandal.” How about this:  The man is 85 years old!  He’s suffering from the effects of old age.  He wants to spend his remaining time on earth getting ready for the life to come.  I’d like to suggest that the so-called experts get back to us when they’re 85 and let us know if they still want to hold a 24-hour a day job.

The logical next step is for the pundits to make their predictions about who the Cardinals will select to replace Benedict.  It’s amazing how many people think they have some insight on how 120 or so men from all over the world are going to vote.  The common denominator of almost all popes has been that everyone was surprised that they were chosen.  Stop wasting your time trying to predict what the Holy Spirit is going to do!  You’ll just look foolish.

The next big issue is whether the new Pontiff will be “liberal” or “conservative”.  This drives me crazy!  This isn’t politics.  This is the Church created by Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago.  When it comes to the teachings of the Church there is no such thing as liberal or conservative.  As  Catholics we have two choices.  We either accept everything the Church teaches or we don’t.  If we choose not to accept 100% of what She teaches, we’re not “liberals”, we’re heretics.  If we choose to override Jesus’ teachings, Jesus’ Church, then we’re trying to make ourselves gods and what that leads to isn’t going to be pretty.

One of those things that we must accept as Catholics is that the Holy Spirit will guide our Cardinals in making the correct choice.  As my son pointed out on facebook today, the Catholic-bashers are already making their presence known.  This (the Pope’s resignation) is just one more excuse for them to hurl their anti-Catholic venom in our direction.  These people are so blinded by hate for what they think the Catholic Church teaches, that they’ll completely miss the  beauty and dignity of the replacement process.  I feel sorry for them.

This is a time of great challenges and great opportunities for the Church.  In the weeks ahead the Cardinals are going to get together and decide who our next Holy Father will be.  Instead of wasting our time reading and listening to people who haven’t the faintest idea what they’re talking about, how about you and I spend some  time on our knees asking the Holy Spirit to guide our Cardinals in making the best choice.  Pray, too, that Benedict XVI will live the remainder of his earthly life in peace, tranquility, and good health.  And pray that whoever the new Pope may be, that we will have the grace and wisdom to listen to what he has to say and give him the respect that his holy office deserves.

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us.

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time—Love

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

I have no official statistics, but based on my own experience I’d say that at least two out of three couples choose our second reading today from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians for their wedding ceremony.  And, why not?  It’s the ultimate definition of the word “love”.  But if you read Paul’s letter in context, he’s not writing about married love, or even male/female love.

 

Our reading today is the third in a series from the 14th Chapter of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.  Remember, two weeks ago we learned that the community was divided.  The people were arguing with one another about who had the greatest spiritual gifts.  “My gift of healing is greater than your gift of prophesy!”  “No my gift of discernment is better than either of your gifts.”  And on and on.

 

Paul reminded them that each gift came from God and that no gift is more important than any other. That was verse 4-11 of the 12th chapter of Paul’s first letter to them.

 

Then last week we read verses 12-30.  Still trying to get them to stop arguing Paul uses the analogy of the body.  Each part of the body makes its special contribution.  The hand isn’t better than the foot and the eye isn’t greater than the ear.  All of the parts have to work together.  If any part suffers, the whole body suffers.  “If one part is honored, all parts share its joy.”

 

In our reading today, Paul wraps up the series by telling them that there is one thing greater than any of the other spiritual gifts and that’s love.

 

In spite of the fact that this is such a popular wedding reading, the kind of love Paul describes isn’t necessarily married love, though the definition fits the love between a man and wife perfectly.  But, notice that Paul doesn’t say anything about holding hands, or sending flowers, or spending the rest of your life with the same person following the sacrament of marriage.

 

No, he’s talking about the kind of love that we’re all supposed to have for one another.  Remember that Jesus told us in the 15th Chapter of John’s Gospel that the greatest love of all is to lay down one’s life for his friends.  He gives us His two great commandments:  Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.  In this passage Paul tells us what Jesus meant.

 

“If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.”   When I was in high school I was in the band.  I was a drummer.  We used gongs and cymbals for marches and big dramatic music.  When we played a ballad or a love song, we put the cymbals away.  Cymbals were loud.  They were noisy.  They only played one single note and that note was always brash and emphatic.  When you play the piano, you tickle the ivories.  You toodle a flute.  You stroke a violin.  But you beat a drum.  Gongs resound and cymbals clash.

 

In other words, no matter how great your gifts, if you don’t have love they’re just so much noise.

 

“If I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge, if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”  He’s telling them that none of their gifts are worth a darn without love.  Even if he “gives away everything he owns, and if he hands his body over so that he may boast, but does not have love he gains nothing.”

 

Now comes the good part.  This is the part that the wedding couples really like.  But think of it as not so much about married love but more about this love that Jesus calls us to have for Him and for our neighbor.  It sounds really good but if you think about it, it’s really hard.

 

“Love is patient.”  If you’re married you know this is true.  Jan and I have been married almost 45 years.  She must be the most patient person on earth.

“Love is kind.”  OK, it’s easy to be kind to your wife or your kids.  It may not be so easy to be kind to the homeless person who asks you for money.  Do they really need it or are the running some kind of scam.  Maybe they want the money to buy booze or drugs.  Maybe when you pull out your wallet they’ll pull out a gun and rob you.  No, kindness to strangers isn’t always easy.

“It is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude.”  Can any of us really say that we’ve never been jealous, pompous, inflated, or rude?  We may not even mean it.  You may have noticed that I have kind of a dry sense of humor.  Sometimes I say things that I think are funny but that people take the wrong way.  They think I’m being rude.  And frankly, I’ve learned that my being a member of the clergy makes some people think it’s OK to be rude to me.

 

“It does not seek its own interests, Let’s be honest.  Why are we all here today?  We come to mass to praise God and to receive His Body and Blood in the sacrament of the Eucharist.  But why do we do that?  Because we want to go to heaven.  We’re definitely seeking our own interests by coming to mass.  For mass to be really meaningful for us, it has to be in the context of loving God, not in fulfilling an “obligation” so we can get to heaven.

 

[Love] is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.”  Every time I receive the sacrament of reconciliation I have to confess that I have a quick temper;  EVERY TIME!  I confess it and I sincerely mean to be better but then something happens that set me off again.  I think I’ve gotten better, but I’m beginning to wonder, at 64 years old, if I’ll ever master my own temper.

 

“Love never fails.”  Paul goes on to explain how the other gifts will fail. Basically he says that as a grown-up he’s given up childish things.  At present, we can’t see clearly.  We only understand partially.  Someday when we meet God face-to-face we’ll understand it all.  But for the time being “faith, hope and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

 

So, kudos to the young (and not so young) people who choose this reading on their special day.  I hope and pray that they’ll practice what Paul says in their married lives.  But, Paul is really talking to you and me.  You can give your entire fortune to charity but if you’re doing it for the tax deduction and not because you love your fellow man, it’s a hollow gesture.

 

If I have the gift of prophesy but delight in telling people that bad things are coming, I’m a clashing cymbal.  If I have faith to move mountains but don’t have love…….I’m nothing.

 

Paul doesn’t really say anything in this reading about prayer.  But we know that the greatest thing we can do for our neighbors is to pray for them.  Prayer is our best and most important expression of love.  I mentioned in today’s bulletin that our US Bishops have issued a call to prayer for life, marriage, and religious freedom.  Our secular society and even out government are attacking our core beliefs on these issues.  And it’s not just a “Catholic thing”.  It’s a Christian thing.

 

Abortion, same sex “marriage” and the HHS mandate are critical issues in our today.  Every day we kill thousands of babies in this country and no one raises an eyebrow.  Friday the government issued a so-called compromise on the HHS mandate that changed nothing at all.  It seems like every day we see something in the news that undermines the sacrament of marriage.

 

I don’t think most of us are inclined to join marches or protests.  It’s just not our style.  But we can all pray.  At the bishop’s request, we will be having a monthly holy hour, maybe an even longer period of Eucharistic Adoration every month.  But even if you don’t attend, you can still pray for our country.  Pray for an end to abortion.  Pray for the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage.  Pray that common sense and decency will prevail and religious institutions will not be forced to provide services that violate our beliefs.  Most of all, pray for the courage and the conviction to speak out against evil every chance you get.  And most of all, as Saint Paul tells us, do it with love.