Voices of Valor

What Good Looks Like

As we start this work week, we’d like to share a brief post for the week.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve worked to unpack Bishop’s homily from the Baptism of the Lord.  We focused on humility in the avoidance of unnecessary scandal to our weaker brethren, on keeping our minds right with regard to our heavenly citizenship and status as exiles on pilgrimage through this world. We focused on charity and joy over anger and vengeance.

Without adding any new challenges to what we’ve already shared, today we’d like to share a few items that reinforce the teachings of Christ from these recent posts:

1. An example of “what good looks like”

2. Bishop Paprocki’s homily yesterday about turning down the volume so we can hear God’s voice

3. A message from Bishop Hying that reinforces and restates much of what we’ve been unpacking in recent weeks

What Good Looks Like—The March for Life

We encourage everyone to watch this three-minute video on Friday’s Mass and March for Life in Springfield.

As we’ve shared several challenging posts and reflections, we’ve said a fair amount about what NOT to do…and we have said repeatedly, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be engaged in the world.  Some men have wrestled with the question: what SHOULD we do then? This video shows a prime example of what good looks like when it comes to authentic Christian witness and engagement in the world, yet not of the world. 

Also, for evidence of the power of this witness, look at this secular coverage of how this plays when done right.

Look at the confidence and joy in the faces of those speaking on camera, and the power of their witness! This is not a message of anger, hatred, vitriol. This group—especially young people—stand above and apart from the fray of division and nastiness that mark our times.  Yet they are sending a message…a powerful, positive message.

While people of all ages gathered for this event, it is, in particular, the joyful, confident witness of the young people that is encouraging and inspiring.  Nearly 200 people gathered for a beautiful, powerful liturgy with Bishop Paprocki and marched through the streets of Springfield, past the Capitol (over which we prayed the St. Michael prayer), the Supreme Court building, and the governor’s mansion.  All the while, we prayed rosaries for a conversion of hearts and a change in unjust law.  Despite the Washington D.C. March being cancelled, our local team rallied to adapt and persevere.  While respecting local ordinances, whether we agree with them or not, this event and those who participated were “above reproach,” avoiding distractions and unnecessary skirmishes and bearing positive witness with joy and passion…and a crystal clear message. 

This is what good looks like. 

Turn Down the Volume to Hear His Voice Today

Building on our posts from the week of January 11th, Bishop Paprocki acknowledges the effects of non-stop and often rancorous and divisive media and social media on our ability to heart God’s voice.  As our shepherd, Bishop gives us great, practical advice on both taking steps to make us able to hear God’s voice…and not hardening our hearts. 

His homily begins at minute 31:18 of this video.

Examine Your Conscience for Calumny, Rash Judgement, Violent Anger, Malicious Speech

In this article from Catholic News Agency, Bishop Hying of Madison, Wisconsin offers a concise summary of much of what we’ve been reflecting on in recent weeks.

The devil scatters and divides, and he is undoubtedly at work in seeking to manipulate divisions in the Church. Bishop Hying notes that,  “the anger and vitriol is palpably toxic.” Anger, vitriol and palpably toxic are not marks of Christians.  This is a stern warning.

Bishop Hying also offers this examination of consciousness and challenge, which follows right in line with our reflections:  “How can I be more patient, kind, gentle, and compassionate to others, especially those I disagree with? Get off social media and get in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Stop watching so much news and start reading the Good News. Spend the time on volunteer service to help the poor instead of writing angry emails,” said the bishop, who added: “Examine your conscience regarding the sins of calumny, rash judgment, violent anger, and malicious speech. And then go to confession.”

Amen.  

Onward Brothers, with joy and confidence in the Risen Lord and with love for our neighbor.

The Legion of Valor Leadership Team