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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Wisdom from Fulton Sheen, Peter Kreeft, and St. Francis deSales

I  recently read a quote from Archbishop Fulton Sheen that made me laugh. "The proud man counts his newspaper clippings; the humble man his blessings."

And then the insight....Omigosh! How many bloggers count their visit statistics and views?

Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!

Some days I think about throwing up my hands, deleting my blog, retiring my newsletter and saying with St. Thomas Aquinas, "It's all straw." Actually, if Thomas' magnificent writings were straw, mine are the poop-covered shavings from the chicken coop...or the waste products on the bottom board of the bee hive.

So why do I keep on? Should I? Does my blog please God? Are my thoughts His thoughts....even imperfectly?

I think I'll take that question to adoration this week.

Is blogging what Jesus and Mary want from me among my other activities? Surely, it keeps me reading and studying the faith and that's a good thing. But is it earning me more time in Purgatory rather than leading me and others closer to God?

Is there something that the Lord is whispering in my ear that I miss because my head (and heart) are so filled with my own thoughts?

Please pray for me. More and more my daily petition is, Please, Lord, conform my will to yours. I know it's not well-conformed, because I see my own lack of charity every day "in what I have done and what I have failed to do." It is not enough to desire something; one has to follow through. So how do I conform my will more closely to God's?
Dr. Peter Kreeft

That is one of those philosophical questions that will last a lifetime.

Peter Kreeft is one of my favorite modern writers and he offers advice for discerning God's will. I'll run off his article, Discernment – How can I learn God’s Will for me?, and take it with me to study during adoration tonight.

But the saints seem to me to be the best guides, and I have numerous shelves filled with their writings. So I will take a journey through my bookshelves visiting with many of them to see what they have to say about discernment. No doubt St. John Bosco had a dream to help with the answer and Joan of Arc certainly sought God's will from her voices. The Father's of the Church and the founders of monasticism are so wise.

St. Francis de Sales
I think I will turn initially to one my first spiritual guides, St. Francis de Sales. I think if I asked him how to grow in discerning God's will, he would point to the virtue of humility. "Humility drives away Satan and keeps the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit safe within us." [Introduction to the Devout Life] And it is the wisdom of the Holy Spirit that will help us dwell in God's will. Humility says to God, "Thy will be done." Perhaps that's all we need.....Certainly it is a good beginning!


  1. Thank you for your thoughtful blog, which remains a regular inspiration...

  2. PLEASE, do not leave us...We need you badly. May Jesus convince you of this! Lots of blessings to you!

  3. The devil loves to tell us we are inadequate and we ought to stop doing what we are doing because it's not worth it. Of course we should discern, and give valid questions to the Lord about our activities. The answer comes to each of us in different ways and means. As for me, I don't want you to quit. I learn everyday from what you write. Keep up the good work.

  4. Please don't give up. The devil loves to discourage us, but keep your eyes on Jesus. Your doing it for Him and helping a lot of us get through a very troubling time. Thank you for writing your blog. I only wish I knew how to put it on my facebook page.

  5. I hope that you receive the discernment to continue in your efforts to defend our precious faith. You have too many gifts to put on the shelf and out of site. Will pray for you. Thank you for all your heroic efforts,

  6. I agree with the above comments - please don't give up this blog. You bring to light so many items of which more Catholics need to be aware. I will pray you discern the need for your voice - at this time of confusion in our Church more than ever

  7. Oh, Mary Ann,

    I hope that you don't leave us. I enjoy your writings. If God is calling you to end this effort then so be it. God is good all the time. All the time God is good. I especially like to hear your efforts to be with making our homes hospitable and slowing down on Sunday.

    Peace and grace to you,

  8. This is precisely the time in history when we must speak up. If we don't, the stones will.

    I always look forward to reading your posts. Even with all your inadequacies, your work is precious to God.

    In Jesus and Mary,


  9. Thanks for all the kind comments. I was praying last night about it at adoration. I know that discouragement is never a sign from God. Your prayers are very much appreciated.

  10. Mary Ann Kreitzer,

    Add my encouragement to all the others. We’ve had our disagreement, this is true. Still, if we were to ever meet, you would, as a faithful, orthodox, pro-life advocating Catholic take great encouragement from my wife and I, our conversion story and our large family of eight - six of whom were adopted directly in response to the Life Ethic of Holy Mother Church which I’d never known before conversion.

    Iow, put our (limited) disagreement to the side for now and accept my thanks and appreciation for all you do on behalf of the confused and suffering Faithful, looking for safe harbor. I think your blog is one of the excellent ones - orthodox, challenging, interesting.