Remain steadfast in the Faith during times of diffi„culty

Re: “Signs of hope” (Spectator, Feb. 1).

Greg Erlandson is right on. Yes, things look dismal, but I asked God, “What can I do about it — a woman in her mid-60s, limited abilities?” and I got my answer. Pray, fast, say Rosaries and go to daily Mass as much as possible. God’s in charge, not us. There is a quote from a great saint: “Do not ever lose heart when the tempest rages, place all your trust in the heart of the most gentle Jesus. Pray and, I might add, devoutly pester the divine heart,” said St. Padre Pio.

Winifred Young, Port Monmouth, New Jersey

Parental guidance

Re: “Celebrating National Catholic Schools Week” (Letters to the Editor, Feb. 8).

In response to those who praise the excellence of Catholic education, I surely agree, being a product of it for 18 years. The most influential people in my life are two parish priests, a Jesuit priest and a Sister of Providence nun, for whom I continually thank God.

However, the primary source of transmitting the Faith to me is unequivocally my parents, neither of whom had a high school diploma nor any formal Catholic education. They transmitted the Faith by manifesting in their lives the fruits of the Holy Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

As good as Catholic schools are, they should be a supplement to, not a substitute for, the transmittal of the Faith by parents. It is much easier for children, or anyone, to understand and accept the truth of our Faith when they have experienced its beauty and goodness in Christians, preferably their parents.

Otto M. Bonahoom, via email

Pornography

Re: “Shades of hypocrisy” (Eye on Culture, Feb. 1).

Is it the nature of what we call pornography itself that is harmful to society or how we react to it? Morals change, and the miniskirt and the bikini when they first appeared were shocking, and now they are commonplace.

Even Playboy is considered to be refined by today’s standards in comparison with other similar publications. The classics are now considered “high brow,” yet when they were first published, they were nothing but trashy novels, and now literary snobs look down their noses at others for not reading them.

Bobby Cook, Glen Ridge, New Jersey

Perception of Islam

Re: “The nature of Islam: Peace or violence” (News Analysis, Feb. 1).

I am dismayed by the article’s shallowness, giving space to such un-Christ-like opinions as the most extreme example in the second to last paragraph by Robert Spencer.

Did Christ ever say God was “reasonable” by human standards? Did he ever suggest we “act in whatever possible way to defend our threatened brethren?” Isn’t that what Christianity was doing in the Inquisition, in much of the colonization of non-Europe, in the gas chambers of WWII? If we were called to empty our pockets for our brethren instead of send our soldiers, would we do it? If we were to cease “gaining from oppression” by buying cheap material goods from countries that don’t deal fairly with their people, we might see hope, truth. 

I’m disappointed in Our Sunday Visitor for giving voice to the fear and hate already too rampant in the American media.

Valerie Sifleet, via email

Religious freedom

Re: “Getting battle ready” (Catholic Journal, Feb. 8).

There is much written in Scripture about coming persecution; perhaps those times are at hand.

Maybe it’s true for the Christian community to consider a solidarity against the evil of apathy and indifference, and may God forbid that we have to ever make the choice of pledging allegiance to America or following Jesus Christ.

Warning signs on cigarette packs has not deterred smoking; desegregation has not cured racism; and forbidding our God from government will not stop him from blessing America, no matter what. You see, faithful citizens, he still loves us in spite of our weaknesses!

Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio
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