We dare to say

Yesterday after mass, I came out knowing that I would need to stay away from social media because I cannot control what people say. In a broader spectrum, I cannot control much.

For almost the past week now, I have seen Catholics who I have been following for some time on social media, show their appearances of rigidness, judgment, divisiveness, and self righteousness, that has left me to resort to confinement of some degree.

They want to voice how their Candidate who upheld the Christian view is in a fight to keep his presidential role and that anyone who claimed they are Catholic and did not vote for him, must not be.

Maybe it’s a small portion of who I have come across. Maybe it is a sample of a larger scale of what is truly out there. But I do know, that it isn’t what I’ve known my faith to preach.

I heard recently, I think from Fr. Mike Schmitz podcast, how deep the beginning line of the Our Father at Mass is, but how many miss it.

“At the Savior’s command
and formed by divine teaching,
we dare to say:

How many times have I said the Our Father and not taken those words “we dare to say” more to heart! How many of us recite it too and missed it.

Many times, we have had a President in place who is pro choice, but have lived with the elected and worked together. We have many times entered Church and sat in the pew with others who do not approach the faith in the same way, but we’ve been told it does not make us better. How many times have we sat with others who have opposing views, and don’t even know it? The faithful are instructed what to do when our focus becomes to much about something or someone and not Jesus Christ. To be in the world, but not of the world.

As I shuffle through the verses that have been coming to my mind these days, I remembered this parable.

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. 9He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.c 10“Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. 11The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’d 13But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’e 14I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Our job as Catholics is not to add to chaos, but to refer to the Fruits of the Spirit. Why? God is spirit! God dwells in us. God has given us what to cling onto, to rally in when times get tough or trials hit. If the voices you are listening to do not grow your soul, provoke it to rattle , give off dissension and anger, then you have fallen for someone’s agenda.

God’s aim is not about us and them. They are this and we are that. Politics change. Jesus doesn’t.

Yesterday’s Gospel reading told us what each of us should be concerned about:

MT 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 
Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. 
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. 
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. 
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Fr. Shea said the oil represents wisdom. The foolish virgins that did not have enough oil were not ready for the Bridegroom. They along the way, stopped being prepared. As in the self-righteous, that think they own the Cross and that a political party owns the Cross too. Jesus is not contained. Didn’t we hear that before? What happened?

God help us to live as servants of God. Help us to foster love and reverence for God.


Election Part II

Now that I begin to write this, I thought to myself I should’ve written it before the election, but here it goes.

I was a registered Republican. Up until this presidency, I felt my Catholic views were supported with integrity and some trust under the republican party. I did vote for Trump in 2016. Much to do with the Pro Life laws. I was a counselor at at Crisis Pregnancy Center. My husband and I financially support several Life Pregnancy centers and I do what I can to show it’s my cause. In 2016, I remember barely marking off the circle on the ballot because it caused me much distress that everything else about the candidate was not whom I preferred. But I did it. Because all in my ear coming from the pulpit and other faith sources, is that we have to vote for Trump.

Throughout the years of Trump’s presidency, I prayed like we are called to do. Even during the times, where I couldn’t understand his actions, I would refer to the things he would do that did seem good for our country. Regardless, if my family and friends around me, who are mainly Democrat, wanting him out of office.

And at the same time, as his presidency carried on, I more and more could see I wasn’t Democrat either. I went through this because I wondered if my affiliation was changing. I had always supported many forms of Democratic legislation throughout past years. But because of the definition of marriage, pro-choice, etc, I could never fully become a Democrat.

As time moved on, I began to see many Senators not voicing their opposition to Trump. Not in the way Senator John McCain would. Then we heard the awful rants Trump made about McCain. And still not much backbone was shown by them. Their response left me just as infuriated as well. If they stood up to him, maybe Trump’s demeanor, responses, behavior, could’ve changed and helped him to leave a solid mark in the history of the presidency. But instead his ego was protected. He often said what he thought, no matter if it was the right thing to do, and people just saw that as strong charcter.

There were many accomplishments he did make that I can see – trade wars, Israel, talks with North Korea, jobs pulled back into our country, religious freedom, supreme court justices. Now I’m never solid in these convictions and don’t ever mind listening to others opinions, but these are some of his achievements, I can see as commendable.

There were for sure times where I would defend Trump when I would hear him give an answer to the media and then they would twist it.

There were other times when he could’ve done more about like gun control, fully ending Planned Parenthood funding, and immigration reform.

At times, when he could rally up the country, he would do something that left many choosing for themselves an emotional outcome. Like with racial tension.

Then coming to the election, he already started placing the seed about fraud. Telling people that if he doesn’t win, it’s most likely because of fraud. This scared me because never have I heard this as a tactic from any past presidential candidates. And I definitely didn’t hear any strides the GOP made to ensure fraud could not happen before this election.

As a country, we have to look forward from this and then work on proper protocols so that safeguards are in place with full knowledge for the country on how ballot counting is done.

As a Catholic, this outcome shows me that some held this election like an idol. It boggles my mind that any Catholic could think that either party, holds the Church’s teachings perfectly. They never will. So, how can one have such allegiance to it and not hold their faith beliefs first towards their brother/sister, stranger, neighbor first?

One of my first thoughts after Biden won, was to tweet out to the Republican party, Lindsay Graham, etc., asking them to get back to the party who they were. To gain the ground again, so that people like me, or other Christians/Catholics, whomever, who had such high regard for the party, is not hijacked by a personality, that causes it to seem more about the person, than the legislation.


Three days after Election Tuesday and we still do not know who is our President.

Needless to say, tensions are high all over the U.S. It’s even made more visible on social media. However, as I go out to do errands and such, I do not find it to be the case, which is good.

At this time, Arizona, the state I live in, still has not cleared for officials to call the vote complete. Arizona has always voted red (Republican), but we still do not know since it appears could go blue (Democrat).

I’m feeling a bit fatigued with the President’s actions in that I feel he is only agitating and causing fear. The negative rants and worldly views get to me. Because it’s in me to truth seek. To defend truth. To feel as though it’s my duty and responsibility to stamp out the fires. And the actions keep adding another layer.

Things like watching fellow Catholics going after each other condemning some that they are not Catholic because they voted for Biden, some asking the faithful to pray that the outcome changes and goes to Trump, some showing that their fellowship and communion only applies if Trump wins. Some sharing conspiracy theories and don’t even recognize what they’re doing because they don’t see it as conspiracy.

It’s sad to see many of the faithful and other Christians, fall into manipulation instead of keeping their eyes fixed on Christ. Some very well known and prominent figures Catholic and Christian, talk show hosts, priests, pushing on their followers to see the corruption being had and the result being voter fraud. It’s not that I don’t believe there isn’t some voter fraud, but I also believe there always has been. But the agitators and schemers, do their thing to trip up the faithful and cause doubt. That’s all they have to do.

How do they not see what this creates in our country? How do they not see if the result isn’t peace, then why support it? I get it not all Christian life is only lived in peace, but when there is something to stand up and fight against, it’s because it is truly good and defense for God.

If I allow it, this whole thing can take over my emotions and cause me to be angry with my fellow brethren. Angry that they would follow the march of anyone instead of Christ and His Church. It’s as if the fervor to put their candidate in place is more important than maintaining Christian unity, any unity. Common good.

I get it. I get that the Republican party carries positions that uphold Catholic beliefs (marriage, family, anti-abortion, freedom of religion). All that I will always defend. Evangelize about. Support. But our democracy, allows the constitutional right to vote. Results may not always favor that. For me, if Biden gets into office, means I have work to do.

I have a uneasiness every time I turn on TV or go to social media, because it pains me that people will lose themselves over an election than to proclaim Christ. Who is Christ? What did he ask us to do?

The manipulator is at work. Desires chaos. Desires reckoning. Desires division. Why are my fellow brothers and sisters NOT seeing this first? What are we willing to sacrifice that could be more important than our identity in Christ?

For those who want to say to me that they have zeal for the Lord and will fight to make sure there is protection on the Right to Life, Marriage, and Religious Freedom, and continue to support the recounting and lawsuits until a final approved result is given, at what point are you going to identify your focus is misdirected? The world and outside voices will always have something to say. We can’t control them, but we can control what we can in our families, neighborhoods, legislation, and future votes. Above all, recognize the enemy.

Lord you are our Refuge and Our Strength, may your mercy be upon us and may our prayers be heard. Help our focus to be on you during this difficult time and remain in one accord with you and the Church. To remember we are your hands and feet and to be of service to others. Drawing on humility first above everything.

Leticia Ochoa Adams

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