Today we see a clique of an immoral society pressuring us to conform. Conscience demands that we not remain silent.
By Marianne Komek
30 October 2020
When I was in eighth grade during the 1960’s, I had the misfortune of being ostracized by a clique. Whereas I was once 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; and he was proud that I had not given in to them. Dad also said that soon I would be graduating. Although these classmates attended the same high school as I did, I made new friends, and was freed from their taunts.
I needed to hear my father’s words which made me resolve to be true to my conscience. 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 not then be false to any man.Shakespeare
Speaking Truth to a Hostile Crowd
It seems that 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 it 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.
Our Lady of the Rosary, Pray for Us
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.”
Although it may be tempting to become discouraged and disillusioned by immorality, we must remember that God is in control. He is merciful and His time infinite. Perhaps as a loving Father, He is waiting to bring many of His prodigal sons and daughters home. Maybe the coronavirus, social unrest, wars, and famines in the world are warning signs that are asking us to reform our lives.
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. For as the Archangel Gabriel told Mary at the Annunciation of the Lord, “With God, all things are possible.”
I’m a freelance journalist whose articles have appeared in national and local Catholic publications. I have also worked as an editor and editorial assistant for publishers in Manhattan. My first Catholic novel, “Promises to Theresa”, was published last year. In it, “Theresa Jarewski is a sixteen-year-old overachiever. She wants to get accepted into an Ivy League college and to be the outstanding editor of her high school newspaper. During vacation, she is caught up in a summer romance. Her dreams of a happy future are shattered when the girl suffers a devastating depression. Through the support of her family and friends, Theresa must learn how to recover. It is a compassionate picture of one young woman’s attempt to overcome a mental illness.”
Marianne Komek is a freelance journalist whose articles have appeared in The National Catholic Register, The Catholic News Service and The Catholic Spirit, the official newspaper for the diocese of Metuchen. She has also worked as an editor and editorial assistant for publishers in Manhattan. Marianne is a consecrated member of the International Marian Apostolate of Schoenstatt. www.MarianneKomek.net