When I was in eighth grade, I had the misfortune of being ostracized by a clique. Whereas once I was popular, a group of girls, and even my best friend, turned against me. It was a very lonely period during my life, and for most of it, I kept my suffering to myself. I was very hurt that Jenny (not her real name) mocked me at basketball games where we were both cheerleaders. One of the ringleaders used to shoplift, which I refused to do. It was called “a five-finger discount.”
They used to curse and were not good students, whereas I excelled academically, which may be part of the reason why they hated me. When it was beginning to affect me at home, and I dreaded going to school each day, my mother and father persuaded me to confide in them. My gentle mother sympathized and tried to console me.
I asked Dad, who took me out to the shopping mall and treated me to strawberry ice cream, what I should do. Would it be best to go along with them and use foul language? He told me that if I did that, I would not be true to God or to myself. He said that it takes courage to go against the crowd. One of my favorite quotations is:
“This above all, to thine own self be true. And it shall follow as the night the day, thou canst then not be false to any man.” -William Shakespeare
It seems today as Catholics; we are in a period where the modern-day clique of an immoral society wants to pressure us to conform. It’s not easy to go against the flow, to speak out against the injustices of abortion, same sex marriage, pornography, and the offences against chastity that the young are enticed with by the media and public-school systems that push artificial birth control on adolescents.
Jesus said, ” Do not hinder the little children to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of heaven.” He was lauding innocence, but in this age, even the little ones are being attacked. That is why we must not remain silent. Where there is abuse in society and in our Church, we must seek to correct it, while praying for holy clergymen who will lead us with bravery. It is important to vote for pro-life candidates, but it is also essential to promote life through legislation by contacting your national senators and congressmen, as well as state legislators. Vulnerable pregnant mothers must be treated with compassion and supported by us emotionally and financially. Euthanasia laws must be opposed.
None of this will be efficacious if we do not experience a personal conversion to Jesus and answer the call to holiness that Our Lady of Fatima requested in 1917 to the three shepherd children, Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Servant of God Lucia Dos Santos. We are called to become saints, not lukewarm Christians. Praying the rosary daily and offering up our sacrifices make a real difference in converting sinners. One should wear the brown scapular as a pledge of honor to Our Lady. She promised that “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
Pope Pius V asked Catholics to pray the rosary to defeat the Ottoman Turks who were invading Europe during the naval battle of Lepanto in 1571. The Christian forces were greatly outnumbered, but over great odds, won on October 7 which became the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. We can turn the tide of evil again with this prayer. The Blessed Mother always points us to her son. If we are doing his will, Jesus will come to our aid in this time of distress for our nation and our world, especially during the dangers of the Covid pandemic. For as the Archangel Gabriel told Mary at the Annunciation of the Lord, “With God, all things are possible.”