Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Fourth of July: A Season to Think About Freedom by Teresa Beem

One of my first cognizant thoughts as a child was that I wanted to grow up, move to New York, and star in musicals such as The Sound of Music and The King and I. I wanted to act and sing and dance. I thought that was what it meant to be free in America—that passion to pursue your dreams. And I wanted, more than anything, to be an actress.
When I told people my career path, they assumed I was a ham and wanted attention. But that reaction wasn't correct. Even as a child, I knew my heart wasn't craving fame or fortune. 

Through the years, I thought about why I wanted, with every single fiber in my body, to be an actress and I realized that it was because I wanted to be a heroine. I wanted to play great, strong heroines like St. Joan of Arc, Madame Curie, Maria Von Trapp and the brave missionary, Anna Harriette Leonowens, who taught the king of Siam's children.

At the depth of my being I wanted to be someone whose life was so epic, they would write stories about me, But I knew that the times were not hard enough to birth great heroes. No, I knew that real epic times and epic people no longer existed. I just assumed that my life would be quite ordinary and God was not calling me to be extraordinary. So, I would get the privilege of playing someone great in a theater and inspiring other people to be heroes.

After all, that is what America is about—getting to pursue your dreams and I dreamed of bringing greatness to the theater!

Now as I look back, I have realized that I had it all wrong.

All people, every single one of us is called by God to be a hero or heroine (or saint!). God does not appoint a few people to fulfill the role of greatness and the rest of us are meant to just cruise through life being the enthusiastic fan in the stands instead of the player on the field. All of us are meant to be heroically in the battle and not read about the war from a distance. We are all supposed to have an epic and heroic life. 

How? How does one have an epic, heroic life?

You see, we have two choices—doing what is right and doing what is wrong. The choices we make will set our lives on the path of becoming heroic or on the road of mediocrity.

However, all are called to an epic life like that of Froto, Reepacheep, St. Joan of Arc, St. Joseph, St. Paul…(insert the saint or hero of your choice). God calls us all to greatness. The reason so few—so very few Christians become great is that the epic life of a saint is fraught with suffering and sacrifice.

Each time we will to do right and then act upon that choice, we deny our comforts and desires. Each right choice such as:

We decide to tell the truth no matter the cost. 
We decide to react kindly to someone who is falsely accusing us.
We return good for evil. 
We give someone else the parking space near the entrance.
We turn off the sexually provocative television show or video.
We stop working to give our children attention.

Right choices sound easy but are hard. It is so much easier and more comfortable to put off that heroic and painful sacrifice of doing what is right. Later, when necessary, we will choose to do something heroically self-sacrificing.

When a person does take the courageous step to do what is right, the dark forces take note. The Prince of this world sees someone stir from their cell. Someone is making a jailbreak and Satan and his minions do not like it. 

And make no mistake—each right step one takes does not gets easier. In fact, like a gladiator that wins, stronger temptations often dog someone who shows the dark forces that they are willing to take them on. 

One of the great misunderstandings about righteous living is that God never comes in and fights for you. That is a Christian fallacy. God does not take away the punch, but makes you able to take a harder hit. He gives you the grace of supernatural strength—not to ease your way through temptation, but muscle through it like a firefighter rushing into a burning building to save a life. 

Most people do not live an epic life as heroes not because that isn't available to them, but because it is very rare to meet someone who wants to be a hero. They'd rather play one as an avatar in a video game. Most people give up because the fight to do the right thing gets fiercer and fiercer.

Most people want a comfortable life of pursing happiness. Most people want instant gratification or rewards or satisfaction for their sacrifices. The life of a saint is not self-aware. Heroes don't feel heroic, they don't see their path as heroic. They see the path as difficult and dark and lonely. Most people don't see the reward at the end. All they can see is the moment by moment obedience to God at all cost. They can feel depressed.

So, why be a hero?

After all, most Christians believe that you don't have to be a saint or a hero to be a saved. Getting into Heaven isn't about rewarding right choices or good behavior, so what is the point? Most Christians believe that faith is about letting Jesus be the hero so they can enjoy life.

And that is why so few of us have epic lives. That is why I wanted to play a heroine instead of being one. 

Heroism and Freedom

As we end of this season of glorifying freedom, I have come to realize that true freedom isn't about making easy choices. True freedom is not about the choice of watching Stranger Things versus playing video games. Heroes do not pursue 
the easy route of fulfilling ones's emotions and passions and desires. That route leads only to more and more enslavement to self. Following easy desires and pleasures year after year wears away and finally strips you of courage and moral character. In fact, it even strips you of your  wisdom and ability to make moral choices.

True freedom is being free enough to make hard choices---and when I write "hard choices" I actually mean the right choices--God's choices. 

And true freedom always follows the path of sainthood. It is only the heroes who live and die free. 

True freedom is fighting against self and taking the easy route of wrong choices that everyone else is taking. True freedom is being the player on the field and not the fan shouting from the stands. An epic life starts today with every choice you make. And God is calling all of us to be heroes—not play one in a theater. 

Friday, June 7, 2019


Hello Everyone!

Just wanted to let you all know that Gary Michuta from Virgin Most Powerful Radio just interviewed me. If you are interested in listening--it probably will not be posted on their Youtube channel till tomorrow, but here's the link:


Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Here is a current list of Catholic cardinals and bishops who support an investigation into Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's allegations that included a call for the resignation of the pope.
Archbishop Viganò

Compiled by LifeSite News: 

Bishop Joseph Strickland, Diocese of Tyler, TexasAugust 26, 2018 – “Let us be clear that they are still allegations but as your shepherd I find them to be credible. Using this standard the response must be a thorough investigation.”
Bishop David Konderla, Diocese of Tulsa, OklahomaAugust 26, 2018 ​– “I count myself blessed that it was Archbishop Viganò who called me to tell me that I was appointed fourth bishop of Tulsa. The allegations he details mark a good place to begin the investigations that must happen in order for us to restore holiness and accountability to the leadership of the Church.”
Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Astana, KazakhstanAugust 27, 2018 – “There reasonable and plausible cause to doubt the truth content of the document of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.” “Ruthlessness and transparency in detecting and in confessing the evils in the life of the Church will help to initiate an efficient process of spiritual and moral purification and renewal.”
Cardinal Raymond Burke: August 27, 2018 – “The declarations made by a prelate of the authority of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò must be totally taken to heart by those responsible in the Church...Each declaration must be subject to investigation, according to the Church’s time-tried procedural law.”
Bishop Robert Morlino, Diocese of Madison, WisconsinAugust 27, 2018 – “During his tenure as our Apostolic Nuncio, I came to know Archbishop Viganò both professionally and personally...I remain deeply convinced of his honesty, loyalty to and love for the Church, and impeccable integrity.” “The criteria for credible allegations are more than fulfilled, and an investigation, according to proper canonical procedures, is certainly in order.”
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas: August 27, 2018 – “On August 1st, I promised that USCCB would exercise the full extent of its authority, and would advocate before those with greater authority, to pursue the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick….The recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination. The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence.”
Archbishop Allen Vigneron, Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan: August 27, 2018 – "We have nothing to fear in facing squarely the allegations made by Archbishop Viganò. I join with the priests and people of the Archdiocese of Detroit in praying for the triumph of truth and transparency – and praying that it comes quickly. Whether the Archbishop’s claims are confirmed or proved to be unfounded, the truth which comes to light will show us the sure path to the purification and reform of the Church."
Bishop Jaime Soto, Diocese of Sacramento, CaliforniaAugust 27, 2018 - “The concerns raised by the former nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, are serious and call for an honest, transparent response.”
Bishop Larry Silva, Diocese of Honolulu, HawaiiAugust 27, 2018 –  “I pray that the investigation he calls for will go forward with all honesty to reveal the truth, so that we can all be healed of this terrible cancer that has infected the life of our Church. Please redouble your prayers and sacrifices so that the Holy Spirit will lead us to all truth.“
Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron, Archdiocese of Los Angeles: August 27, 2018 — “Some things seemed very driven by emotion. But other things seemed far more substantive and specific and — at least he claims — tied to documentation. Is it worth looking at? Yes. You bet. This is not some minor player. This is the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. When I was at my first meeting after first becoming a bishop, it was Archbishop Viganò who rose to speak to us on behalf of the Pope. So this is not an insubstantial figure, and he's making some serious claims. I'd say look into them. Let's take an honest, objective look at what's being claimed here.”
Bishop Thomas Daly, Diocese of Spokane, WashingtonAugust 27, 2018— “The U.S. Bishops Conference is pursuing plans to be decided on in our next meeting in November for a response to this present crisis that will include crucial lay involvement — a proposal that I support.” “In regards to Archbishop Viganò's letter, Bishop Daly concurs with the statement of Cardinal DiNardo, President of the US Bishops Conference.”
Bishop Robert Deeley, Diocese of Portland, MaineAugust 27, 2018 — “I am profoundly disheartened by the reports that have emerged in recent weeks regarding Archbishop McCarrick and the grand jury report in Pennsylvania.” “I am encouraged that Cardinal DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, made an announcement today concerning the way in which we, as bishops, will respond to this crisis.”
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Diocese of Phoenix, ArizonaAugust 28, 2018 – “Although I have no knowledge of the information that he reveals in his written testimony of August 22, 2018, so I cannot personally verify its truthfulness, I have always known and respected him as a man of truthfulness, faith and integrity.” “I ask that Archbishop Viganò’s testimony be taken seriously by all, and that every claim that he makes be investigated thoroughly.” “Whoever has covered up these shameful acts must be brought to the light of day.”
Bishop Donald J. Hying, Diocese of Gary, IndianaAugust 28, 2018 –“These are grave charges. Clearly, these assertions must be investigted and shown either true of false.”
Archbishop Leonard Blair, Archdiocese of Hartford, ConnecticutAugust 28, 2018 – “The recent very troubling statement of Archbishop Vigano...brings, in the words of the President of our U.S. Conference of Bishops, 'particular forcus and urgency' to the 'examination into how the grave moral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long and proven no impediment to his advancement.' This is a profound concern that we all share and the truth has to be told.” “I pledge to do my part as a Bishop to unmask whatever has led to our present anguish.”
Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Diocese of Springfield, Illinois: August 28, 2018– “Given the gravity of the content and implications of the former Nuncio’s statement, it is important for all the facts of this situation to be fully reviewed, vetted, and carefully considered. Toward that end, Pope Francis, Vatican officials and the current Apostolic Nuncio should make public the pertinent files indicating who knew what and when about Archbishop (formerly Cardinal) McCarrick and provide the accountability that the Holy Father has promised.” Speaking of Pope Francis' no comment, Bishp Paprocki said: “Frankly, but with all due respect, that response is not adequate.”
Archbishop Paul Coakley, Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, OklahomaAugust 28, 2018 – “I have the deepest respect for Archbishop Viganó and his personal integrity.” “This document merits, indeed it demands deeper examination and verification of each of its claims.” “I am deeply troubled by the assertions contained in this unprecedented document.”
Bishop Carl Kemme, Diocese of Wichita: August 29, 2018 – “In the brief time that my service here as bishop and his service as papal nuncio coincided, I always thought highly of his leadership and regarded him as someone whom the Church could be proud of in her service.” “The allegations of such a respected bishop in the Church and one charged with such great responsibility as the papal nuncio to the United States investigation.”
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Archdiocese of San Francisco: August 29, 2018 –  “I can attest that he is a man who served his mission with selfless dedication, who fulfilled well the Petrine mission entrusted to him by the Holy Father to ‘strengthen his brothers in the faith’.” Viganó’s revelations “must be taken seriously.” “I join my voice to that of other bishops in calling for such an investigation and for taking any corrective action that may be necessary in light of its findings,”
Bishop Kevin Vann, Diocese of Orange, California: August 29, 2018  – “Given the grave accusations leveled by the former apostolic nuncio, I believe that it is necessary for the Holy Father to ensure that a competent investigation be undertaken swiftly. The truth of each accusation having been established, just penalties should be imposed upon those found guilty with the goal of repairing scandal and restoring justice.” “I would add that I see Archbishop Viganò as a man of integrity, having known him for many years.”
Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Freyer, Diocese of Orange, California: August 29, 2018 – Added his name to Bishop Kevin Vann’s letter
Auxiliary Bishop Thanh Thai Nguyen, Diocese of Orange, California: August 29, 2018 – Added his name to Bishop Kevin Vann’s letter
Archbishop Samuel Aquila, Archdiocese of Denver, ColoradoAugust 30, 2018 – “In my interactions with Archbishop Vigano I have found him to be a man of deep faith and integrity. I join Cardinal DiNardo and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Executive Committee in calling for the Holy See to conduct a thorough investigation that includes granting authority to a lay commission to examine the many questions that surround Archbishop McCarrick, such as who was involved in covering-up his gravely immoral behavior or failed to act to stop it.”
Bishop Emeritus Edward Slattery, Diocese of Tulsa and Eatern Oklahoma, OklahomaAugust 30, 2018 – “If there is corruption surrounding the Chair of Peter, then instead of being the Church's visible source and foundation of her unity (as Christ intended) the office of Peter's successor becomes a source of mistrust, division and scandal. The time has come for His Holiness, Pope Francis, to initiate an immediate, full and exhaustive inquiry into the allegations surrounding his office and his relations with the highest ranking members of the American Hierarchy.” “I want to join my name publicly to his and to those other bishops in calling for this initiative so that by this investigation, the Church may fearlessly identify the corruption within, and by prayer and penance root it out.”
Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, OhioAugust 30, 2018 - “It seems to me the only way to really get to the bottom of the entire situation is to open the McCarrick file. There’s got to be files, you know, both in Washington D.C. and at the Vatican on all of this correspondence. As you say, Archbishop Vigano mentions quite a few of the documents. But again, his testimony is based upon his recollection. Others are saying this is not our recollection. Well, the only way to get to the facts is to look at the file. And I hope and pray that the file is opened. I see no other way to get out of this very painful, this very sad, situation.”
Bishop Michael Burbidge, Diocese of Arlington, VirginiaAugust 30, 2018 –  “We need to review (this) letter carefully, comprehensively, thoroughly and evidence needs to be given.” “But the bottom line is, we need to know the truth. All the faithful need to hear the answers to the questions. Cardinal DiNardo is asking the Holy Father to assist in putting into place the support we need to get those answers.” “Let’s have due process. We need clarity but allow that to take place. There’s no need to discredit or make judgments at this point.  Let’s follow that process.”
Bishop Thomas Tobin, Diocese of Providence, Rhode IslandAugust 30, 2018 – “The allegations lodged by Archbishop Viganò involving Pope Francis are substantive, and need to be investigated in a prompt and just manner.” The “present impasse in the Church, unfolding on an international level, has caused confusion and division among the faithful, even locally.” “Only Pope Francis can resolve the serious crisis in which the Church now finds herself, and I respectfully urge His Holiness to address this matter as soon as possible. The future direction of the Church, its spiritual welfare, and the faith of God’s people, are at stake.”
Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas: August 31, 2018 – “In my experience of Archbishop Vigano during his tenure as apostolic nuncio, he was a man of integrity. There are also respected sources that are contesting elements of Archbishop Vigano’s statement.  This development makes it even more imperative that we embrace Cardinal DiNardo’s commitment to pursue the truth of why McCarrick was allowed to continue to exercise public ministry and continue in the College of Cardinals, when his sexual misconduct and abuse of power were already known. We must do all that we can to ascertain the truth and then allow the chips to fall where they may.”
Bishop Daniel Thomas, Diocese of Toledo, Ohio: August 31, 2018 – “I stand united with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Executive Committee in calling the Holy See to conduct a prompt and thorough examination.” “It is not only a critical, but a moral obligation, to get to the truth surrounding who in the Church knew of Archbishop McCarrick’s behavior and whether there was a concerted effort to protect him.  Personally, this situation is made all the more gut-wrenching as I struggle to reconcile my knowledge of Archbishop Viganó, for whom I have a high regard, with my deepest love and respect for the office of the Holy Father.”
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone, Diocese of Charleston, South CarolinaAugust 31, 2018 – “It is imperative that the Holy See take a leadership role in investigating the rise of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick​.” “It is absolutely necessary for all of us to know how and why this happened. Action must occur immediately and publicly. I, too, strongly support an investigation by the Holy See along with a national lay commission with its own authority to seek the truth about the statements made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.”
Bishop Robert Gruss, Diocese of Rapid City, South DakotaAugust 31, 2018– “Further questions have arisen in the released testimony from the former Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, in which he makes serious allegations about the Archbishop McCarrick abuse case. I join my voice with Cardinal DiNardo and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Executive Committee in calling for the Holy See to conduct a thorough investigation that includes granting authority to a lay commission to examine the many questions that surround the case of Archbishop McCarrick.”
Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt, Diocese of Grand Island, NebraskaSeptember 4, 2018 – “Because Archbishop Viganò held a unique and important position of leadership serving the Church in our country, the questions raised in his statement must be taken seriously.” “I want to add my voice in support of (Cardinal DiNardo's) call for a prompt and thorough examination of this entire crisis in leadership.”
Auxiliary Bishop Marian Eleganti, Diocese of Chur, SwitzerlandSeptember 5, 2018 – Bishop Eleganti has called for an independent “objective commission" since the “institution (of the Church) should not investigate itself.” “The (homosexual) networks have to be investigated...all of us have to face and endure this truth.” A “great purification” is needed, he also said. Bishop Eleganti welcomes this “inner shake-up,” saying, “rather let things come out now, and a purification takes place.” “With all respect toward people with a homosexual inclination who do not commit any sexual assaults, it does not help to close the eyes in front of the facts when dealing with sexual assaults. Without full transparency and truthfulness, there will be no credible investigation, nor any effective prevention.”
Bishop R. Walker Nickless, Diocese of Sioux City, IowaSeptember 6, 2018 - “I support and echo Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in his statement of Aug. 27.” “I believe Archbishop Viganó and, at the same time, we need more information. In the matter of transparency in disciplining bishops, no one is above the law; and no bishop, regardless of diocese or rank or standing, may hope to evade...the canonical laws of the church in the exercise of our duties. Therefore, let the harsh light of truth come, with its healing and freeing power.”
Bishop David Walkowiak, Diocese of Grand Rapids, MichiganSeptember 10, 2018 – “The 11-page testimony released by Archbishop Viganò needs to be investigated to the fullest extent. We need to arrive at the truth. Only a thorough investigation will determine whether the claims made by the Archbishop are true. If they are true, action needs to be taken promptly to fix these failures.”

Saturday, August 18, 2018

An Open Letter To Catholics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am noticing something missing in the USCCB response to the current Catholic sex scandal and bishops cover-ups. Perhaps they are not connecting the dots the same way I am.  Few are saying this is a homosexual predation problem (certainly, most of the bishops are not). And it is true: about 80% of the incidents were men abusing young men. But, many are saying that the problem is demonic. And indeed, when crucifixes, crosses and Christian images are used as part of the gruesome, blasphemous abuse by priests, this goes way beyond men needing selfish, gratuitous sexual stimulation. What we are seeing played out is Satan using God's innocent children to striking out at Him. Satan's calculated, merciless enmity with God is seen in this infinite and absolute malevolence.

Now, we are left with good priests and bishops stammering with shock as they discuss policies to prevent the impossible: stopping Satan from waging war with Christ's Church.

Yet, there is no policy, no canon law, (no matter how effective) that will slow down Satan's juggernaut of hatred for all that is good and innocent and pure. This is a spiritual battle that must be met with serious spiritual strategy.  And though the Catholic hierarchy must put in place policies that will expose and deal with abuse, their is literally no more the USCCB can do to force priests and bishops to love Christ.

Ground zero in this spiritual Armageddon 
is the rejection of the Holy Spirit. It is the sacraments vs. temptation and for some people temptation wins. So, how does a Church begin to go about stopping people from falling to temptation? Even the divine sacraments—where the priests daily live and breathe and become the Alter Christus during the mass—have failed to prevent some priests' fall to temptation. Of course priests would be ground zero for the spiritual war by Satan. Get to God through His Bride, the Church and its Alter Christus priests.

Just why in the last few decades priests and bishops especially fall prey to the Devil is beyond the scope of this letter. However, if we know who our enemy is, we can fight him. And it is of cosmic importance that we, Catholic laity, take responsibility for fighting for the church now.


Because Catholics need to clearly understand that this sin is much bigger than even the Catholic Church. And from what I have seen, even the clergy don't seem to grasp the bigger picture. (Perhaps they are in the first stages of denial.)

So what is the big picture?

It is our teaching that there is no such thing as a private sin. Scriptures tells us we all share in the sins of the Body of Christ, therefore we must all share in the shame and repentance.

Love of GodFirst and most importantly, the leadership's failure has led the entire Church into sin against God! We must be reconciled as a Body of Christ back to Christ.

Love of Neighbor
We are to be the light of the world! My God! Christ entrusted the gospel to us! He gave us the great saving commission of taking the good news to the world and this scandal has placed a massive gulf of distrust between the Catholic church and the Cross. As the Mother Church, our sins are being seen as fulfilling the New Testament prophecy of the Whore of Babylon! This scandal will effect the souls of Protestants and potential believers who will be kept from the life-giving sacraments.

We must become Church Militant and battle to prevent souls from being lost. The eternal casualties will come not only from Catholics leaving but our Protestants Brothers and Sisters in Christ! We cannot wait for the clergy to do it. We laity must lead and form the spiritual warriors. And I know, having come from among the most anti-Catholic Protestants, that there is hope. Protestants will see our love for Christ and their hearts will be softened against us when they see our public outcry and humble repentance. But they must see it.

And remember that it is not only for the Christians around the world at the moment, but this for Christians in the future! History will be watching us—2018 United States of America Catholics. Christians centuries from now will have a label for this time in history just as they have named other Church moments: Arianism. Donatism. Crusades. The Western Schism. Inquisition. Reformation.

Interestingly, last year was the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In 2518 the world will be remembering us as? Will it be the 500th anniversary of "The Catholic Sexual Predation" or will it be more like "Viva Cristo Rey"  This moment will go down in history as the worst scandal and shame of all Christian history when saints and heroes stepped up and stormed the gates of hell and prevailed.

What is our battle plan?

Serious prayer and fasting for the church. And serious, dedicated penance in behalf of our leaders. And for our Protestant brothers and sisters in Christ—to  heal the wound we have given them? Some of it must be public.

Let this be the year that Catholics all over the United States show our love and our sorrow and not just our anger. The media needs to cover us as we do medieval penitential processions.

Don't wait for your priest to lead this. The laity can do it. It doesn't matter if one person is kneeling and praying in public or ten thousand. The numbers may attract more attention (which is good) but the two-cents of almsgiving of one sincere person doing penance can be worth a hundred people coming and praying without sincerity.

This is a time of the Crucifixion of our Church. And we must accept our Cross and return it with love. We need to ask our Protestant neighbors, friends and family to forgive our church. And if necessary allow them to heap their anger upon us—responding with humble love. The surprise at our love for them may be just what we need for Christian unity.

So it is really our moment—you and I.  What are we going to do to make certain that in the following centuries this moment will not be recalled with the same horror as the word "Inquisition" but rather with the thoughts of great and heroic Catholic saints. Please, be the holy saints.