Welcome to the era of full frontal assault on Pope Francis and the legitimacy of the Church. Brought to you by your “Catholic” brothers and sisters!

“Be quick to hear. slow to speak…” my friends.

(be aware – as I over indulged in the analogies here, and unique childhood references)
Ever see a fight break out between two drunk rednecks and have the urge to ‘do something about it – step in to say – ‘break it up brothers”? (Applegate Trail Days anyone?) Drunk brawlers are easily subject to the power of suggestion.

Side note of personal experience:
True confession- way back in the ’80s my buddy and I once started a bar brawl as a joke by muttering “I wouldn’t let him say that about me…” and a few other choice phrases, just loud enough for the enraged inebriated ones to ‘touch off’ and throw the first few punches while we walked out of harms way laughing maniacally. Of course I was cruelly playing a game with the muscle-bound-high heart-rate-flooded-brained patrons, and for that I feel ashamed cause I threw gas on a fire. Seriously, I don’t know what calamity I may have incited that had ripple effects through relationships and families (BTW I know I have paid for that and all my sins through various temporal punishments since then).

But it was waaaay toooo easy, and I thought fun at the time!  (right Mike Cauthorn?)

I see a similar situation in our ‘Catholic World’ taking shape. Some will be called to use their wit and cunning to distract the increasingly defensive and otherwise emotional conversants with something that basically gets them into a cab for a nice ride home, or ANY other activity. You can actually feel it when a bar fight is about to break loose. I have learned that there is a point when it’s a forgone conclusion, and you better protect yourself and your family before the chairs start flyin’ unless you can either stop the fight cause your bigger than everyone else, or smarter and more quick witted (or both – Dan Kersey anyone?).

Yes, You (and I) friends will be tested. Best to not jump into the fray, nor cause one. What we do in this situation may have an effect on people’s salvation. When you see a fray, stay away. Or, maybe you are called to be a peacemaker and remind people of the underlying theme (supposedly) to this whole ‘church’ thing – Truth, Love, Hope…Jesus… and to not ‘major on the minors’, turn inward and embrace humility as you see your own sin and recognize that God sees through the years of your elaborate schemes to try to convince yourself that you are ‘just fine’  (nice fig leaf) AND He STILL loves you and cares for you beyond your wildest dreams, and greets you with non-judgemental affection every single time you turn your face to Him in spirit and truth.

Today’s reading from Colossians pretty much sums it up. Sometimes us ‘Christians’ need to get back to the reality that we were once really lost, and just ponder what an incredible deal we got in exchange for our sinful lives:

By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way.
But now you must put them all away:
anger, fury, malice, slander,
and obscene language out of your mouths.
Stop lying to one another,
since you have taken off the old self with its practices
and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed, for knowledge,
in the image of its creator.
Here there is not Greek and Jew,
circumcision and uncircumcision,
barbarian, Scythian, slave, free;
but Christ is all and in all.

“feelin’ a little Dan Kersey?”