Sunday, May 23, 2010

Never defend yourself.



  1. You know what?
    I decided this a couple of years ago.
    In the spirit of St. Gerard Majella, who did not defend himself against accusations of sexual impropriety.
    I decided, then and there, I would remain silent in the situation of accusations that I had in any way been inappropriate or sexually abusive of anyone(being innocent, of course). Period. Silence.
    With St. Gerard Majella.
    Call me stupid.
    But isn't that what Jesus did?
    Was not He silent before His accusers?
    I just want to be like Jesus (and I pray that He will give that grace...I have such a big mouth and impulsive temperament...'be silent, fool!').
    Thanks, Terry.
    You do my soul such good.
    I mean it.

  2. Anonymous5:58 PM

    A red lobster in an orange hat, and see through undies--well, that's something you don't see every day.

  3. Good advice Terry. I've been "psychoanalyzed" at a progressive Catholyc blog as of late, as well as told I don't have a working brain. I had been considering responding, but I've decided not to. Let them have their fun. For now.

    Maybe I'll leave a comment telling them I'll be praying for all their conversions. That'll tweak 'em!

  4. I don't have a working brain?

    Not true Mr.D... Simple jealousy.

    When this happened to me of late I just clicked away and prayed for the person and I harbor no ill feelings.

    Besides I want to save my bad temper for injustice in the ways that other people are treated and let the rest go.(I know it's still bad, I'm trying)

  5. LarryD: You are the last one I would consider not "having a working brain""<)! ROFL!!!
    I'll leave my comments to the Lord, here...but WTH???
    Is this with the femi-Nazi-women religious-who-hate-the-Church-and want-to-be-priests-and-want-to- castrate-every-living-male-that- lives-on-the-planet-including-the Pope-and-every-Bishop-and-Priest-and should-I-go-on???
    Yeah, I need a retreat.
    Or an intervention...
    Terry, can I come stay with you?

  6. NP & Belinda - I know! Can you believe it?

    Actually, it's one of those Progressive-Catholics-Have-All-The-Answers-Why-Won't-The-Vatican-Listen-To-Us? sorta blogs.

    I'm not offended - but I still might stop by anyway. Because that's how I roll.

    I never said I had this how to live like a saint bit down yet. Maybe tomorrow. ;-)

  7. Oh no Father, the basement is creepy and the cats are disabled and I suspect Mr.Terry is the nude model for his paintings and you most certainly don't want to walk in on that, but he would be a load of laughs to be sure! (Maybe not on purpose though;)

    Just kidding Mr.Terry. Please don't hurt me.

  8. belinda: Believe me...nude models and disabled cats would not faze me in the's the femi-Nazi-women religious-I wanna be a priest folks--that would put me into a complete seizure...and as my heart problems, go probably into the "kingdom":<)!.
    (Well, I'd just argue and be nasty and go to the mat with those gals...but they're pretty aggressive...better take my JR Terrier along (he hates everybody that is not in a habit or clericals!!..taught him well!!)
    My word verification: trati...I never thought I was a real "TRAD"...lots of them hate us...we're not "Trad" enough...LOL!

  9. Austringer9:54 PM

    Not defending myself has been one of the most difficult -- THE most difficult, maybe? -- aspects of growing in holiness. No doubt different people have different weaknesses, but this is certainly a biggy for me. To be perfectly frank, I can't seem to do it, or at least in one situation it so rankles me that I can't even honestly say that I WANT to not defend myself. I can't even pray for the strength to not defend myself, as I know the prayer would be insincere -- rather, I pray that I might actually desire to not defend myself.
    Father NP, any practical suggestions?

  10. Tara - those aren't undies - LOL! It's a tatoo. I know! Larry didn't believe it either. Just kidding - Larry just 'cracked' up.

  11. Austringer10:14 PM

    Yeah, I was going to mention that to Tara but forgot -- even see-through undies don't, umm, "crease" like that...

  12. LOL! It's a tatoo. I know!

    I feel sorry for the tattoo artist. Whatever he was paid, it wasn't nearly enough.

  13. Austringer: This may sound absolutely insane...but I just pray to keep my mouth shut, no matter what...and just take it...whatever.
    I know that goes against every psychological/self-help advice there is; I admit there are times when we have to speak up.
    But mostly, I just try to shut up and take it.
    Which goes against my temperament and personality (which is really a big-mouth, in-your-face kinda thing, believe it or not...just ask my poor Mum and family members!).
    The best times have been when I have listened, even when what I was hearing was total bs..., kept calm, tried to find the truth (even if it be a very little bit of what I was hearing) and submitted.
    God does wonders with that.
    It sounds absolutely against all we have been told...but the peace that comes from submitting in humility, even when most of it is total crap, is indescribable.
    God works with the soul when we can be humble enough to hear even one little bit of truth.
    And to be humiliated is to be like Jesus; He was all Truth and He submitted Himself to the idiots before the Sanhedrin and Herod, the pervert and's that for humiliation?

  14. And while we're contemplating what it means to follow Jesus...they're getting their undies in a bundle over the lack of a Pentecost Octave elsewhere...just pray to the Holy Spirit, dammit.
    Pray from the 1962 Missal.
    But be at peace.
    God is everything!

  15. Austringer11:52 PM

    Thanks, Father.

    Here's the difficulty: you just put your finger on it when you wrote "I admit there are times when we have to speak up."

    I don't know if my assessment of when and when not to speak up to is quite reliable. I may think I'm doing the right thing, but it might be that I'm just doing a particularly fine job of rationalizing.

    By the way, Father, I met a large number of Frnciscan Friars of the Renewal today -- what an inspiration, to see so many young guys so passionate, so joyful, and so committed!

  16. Austringer: The CFR's are a great bunch; I went to seminary with some of them and taught some of them in seminary.
    You are right!
    And as for speaking up...discernment is always a tough thing...when to speak and when to stay quiet. I struggle with this myself. It's an art. Really.

  17. Austringer12:01 AM

    Yes, I think that's probably where spiritual direction would be helpful.

  18. I think alot depends on what the "inaccuracies" are and the situation..mean gossip can be just mean gossip, but if it happens in the workplace it can be detrimental for your career. I attended a couple of seminars on professional development where they had several key phrases such as "If you don't stand up for yourself then the rumors are probably true." or "If you can't stand up for yourself then you won't be able to stand up for anything." There are ways of dealing with "inaccuracies" without becoming hostile or defensive. Alot of it is working on self-confidence and not becoming the sick chicken that everyone pecks on. A key phrase to practice over and over inthe mirror until you can say it without batting an eye or changing tone of voice "OH Really?? And just where did you get THAT information??" Then change the subject...

    I'm continually subjected to accusations or suspicions that I'm a lesbian, mainly because I'm not married, have never been married, like to work out and stay in shape, don't really do too many "girly" type activities and as an engineer I'm in a predominately male career field.. I also take pride in my work which has reflected in increased responsibilities and promotions over the years..and I tend not to bring dates to company gatherings :) Of course if anyone bothered to get to know me they would know that I'm straight, but there's a group of folks who would rather spread gossip than anything...I really don't let it bother me too much except when new lesbians get steered in my direction..which is usually surprising because most everyone knows I'm a practicing Catholic....

    ah yes the joys of secular life :)


  19. Fr. As a young adult I had decided long ago that I wasn't going to take anymore crap from anyone. Enough said.. My plan was to protect myself. A person can only take so much pain. My plan doesn't work anymore anyway it's no longer a useful coping skill.

    "discernment is always a tough thing...when to speak and when to stay quiet. I struggle with this myself. It's an art. Really"

    I figured that I sucked at being a good Catholic and that "good" Catholics had this stuff figured out already. Again, it's nice to see I'm not alone.
    I'm taking everyones advice. I plan on being quiet at those PTO meetings.

  20. Remember everyone - this post is labeled, "note to self".

    But I like the discussion.

    Sara - sice lesbian chic every single woman seems to be suspect these days. It's too bad - everyone meddling in private lives.

  21. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Oh, NO! A tattoo? That is just so very sick--don't people have anything better to do!? Oh, I must go take a xanax now :)

  22. Tara, We're making yummy melt in your mouth chocolate truffles today.. I'll trade you a handfull of truffles for a xanax!

    *I'm kidding. School is out and the kids are home need I say more?

    Besides my kids know plenty of drug dealers so if I ever needed anything they would direct me.

  23. belinda: "Good Catholics" DO NOT have it figured out...they're the ones with (from my good old Mum, "diarrhea of the mouth"...usually referring to me, I might add. LOL!)...
    the saints spoke when it was necessary and kept quiet when it was necessary...the Holy Spirit must guide us always...and when we don't listen, we learn...for the next time:<)!
    Standing up for yourself might be necessary at times; but it usually ends up in all kinds of nastiness...
    better to just take it and love Jesus and forgive those who trespass against us; this might be against the "common wisdom" and AA...but darnnit...I'm sick and tired of being mad, nasty and revengeful...I don't want this load...I just want peace, okay???

  24. Terry your selection of photo seems to illustrate a harmonic disturbance convergence ... i.e. V. Wms

  25. PML - I simply used the photo since it shows a modern version of a fool - I'm not sure if this man is religious however. But some of the Russian yurodivy went around naked as well, which is why they are thus depicted in iconography.


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