Charlie's Blog: What Is It To Thee?


What Is It To Thee?

Him therefore when Peter had seen, he saith to Jesus: Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith to him: So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee? follow thou me.

This verse has fascinated me for years. Most readers will focus on Peter and John and their respective fates. For me, the fascinating part is when Jesus responds to Peter's question with a question. What is it to thee?

I am no theologian or learned scholar. I am just a blue collar guy reading a Bible. I could be totally wrong on this interpretation. But I think Jesus was telling Peter to mind his own business. By extension, I think our Lord is telling us to mind our own business.

I am someone who has always been in the business of minding his own business. I don't care to stick my nose in the affairs of other people. The only exception I make to this rule is when it is my business. If my priest is a pervert, I want to know because I have a right to know. For too long, pewsitters looked the other way as priests and bishops have done disgraceful things. I believe you forfeit the right to this level of privacy when you become a shepherd.

When it comes to politicians and political leaders, I think the same rule applies. I think you forfeit your right to privacy when you elect to run for public office. This is why I will never run for public office. I don't want my personal life to be offered up for public consumption.

When it comes to celebrities, I have zero interest in their personal affairs. Their lives are fodder for the likes of TMZ and the National Enquirer, but I don't read that stuff. I am not immune from hearing about it because gossip is everywhere. I don't think someone should lose their privacy because they choose a career in acting, music, or sports.

Calumny and detraction are sins, so I am careful to not engage in them. When I do write about others, I give them a nickname as a loincloth to the reputation they have earned. For instance, we have President Bribery and Bishop Nighty Night. My mistake. That is Cardinal Nighty Night. He has a red hat now. He may become Pope Nighty Night.

Jesus referred to the Pharisees as vipers and snakes. I tell people this when they trot out that claptrap when they say I am being uncharitable with my insulting nicknames. I don't recall Jesus ever referring to any of the vipers by name in the Gospels. As for nicknames, "Sons of Thunder" has to qualify.

I think I am doing well on the gossip thing because so many people over the years have felt compelled to confess so many personal things to me. This would include things like adultery and abortion. I have had to warn people to not tell me about criminal things because I have a duty to report this to the police. I am not a priest. I just tell people that they should go to a priest, and I will pray for them. But their secrets do not go beyond me. Actually, I would prefer not to know any of this. I don't ask, but people love to tell.

When it comes to professional Catholics who make a living off of YouTube, blogging, and social media, I address their public statements but leave their private lives out of the discussion. For instance, I have pointed out that Rod Dreher is a schismatic, but I don't talk about his marital affairs even though Mr. Dreher has done so publicly. Likewise, I have discussed the apostasy of high profile Catholics like Steve Skojec and Audrey Assad. I have not discussed their private lives. With Mr. Skojec, I am actually privy to some of those details, but they dead end with me. What I can say is that you should decide between your faith or your living because you can't have both.

When it comes to pewsitters, I mind my own business. Unfortunately, this is a one way street as so many pewsitters have a tendency to be unable to mind their own business. One person I know has become so upset with this that she has stopped attending Mass altogether to get away from these busybodies. That is the wrong strategy. The right strategy is to tell these people to buzz off and mind their own business.

Everyone has their own relationship with the Lord. The Lord deals with each of us on an individual basis. What happens in that relationship is none of my business. I can dress up being a busybody as charity the way some folks dress up gossip as the prayer chain. But I don't need to know anything to pray for someone. God knows everything, and He is the only one that needs to know.

My wife and I have a little phrase that we tell each other all the time. Eat what is on your plate. Basically, we focus on what we need to do for our sanctification and salvation and leave it to others to focus on what they need to do. It can be difficult watching people make a mess of their lives without saying anything, but we say nothing. We focus like a laser on being a good example which speaks louder than words. The easiest way to not be a hypocrite is to close your mouth.

We always stand ready to help people who ask. No one ever asks. The irony is that people we know appreciate this about us. As one friend told us, "Never change." We are still puzzled by this, but I think she appreciates that we are the friends who don't preach to her. We need you to pray for her. You don't need to know anything more than that. Thank you.