Our Eternal Destination Matters More Than Our Yellow Brick Road


 

 

 

As a child, I knew a little girl who had a little problem with her family’s vacations.  She always loved the different places they would visit, but she never enjoyed the journey getting there.  She hated long car drives, was afraid of flying, did not care much for trains, and was simply very impatient and even paranoid about taking too long to get to their destinations.  Simply put, she loved where she was going but did not love the different ways she could get there.  As odd as this might seem, many of us are the same way about a far more important trip-  our earthly journey to our eternal destination.

What Matters

We can all agree that what really matters is that we save our souls and that of as many people as God puts before us to help.  Ending up in heaven is the ultimate success story regardless of what stories we wrote here on earth. The most successful person on earth is not a success if he or she loses heaven forever.  Conversely, the biggest earthly loser is the ultimate winner if he or she gains heaven forever.  That being said, one has to wonder why so many of us worry so much about our journey rather than our destination.

Luggage over Location

Mother Angelica used to wonder why we all worry so much about our earthly journey, this pilgrimage to our heavenly home, when it is simply a path to what really matters.  I think that there are a few reasons why we get bogged down in these concerns.  First, we end up thinking that the journey is what really matters thanks to this world.  Everywhere we go, people pretend that this life is all we have, and that we better make it work the way the world wants it to work. Imagine that you only have $ 5,000 for a trip and you spend $ 4,900 on travel alone.  You won’t have much fun once you get to your destination with $ 100 in your pocket. Instead of spending most of your resources on travel, you should embrace the travel level you can use and focus on enjoying your destination instead.  I am not suggesting that you go to Mexico on a donkey, but maybe First Class with extras is not very smart if you are on a budget.

Second, I think that many people convince themselves that there is no real destination worth dreaming about anyway.  How sad for those who, consciously or not, come to believe that this life is all we have.  Knowing much better, we have no excuses to ignore or deny that we are indeed going somewhere eternally of our own earthly choosing.  Lastly, many of us lose sight of our destination because we do not keep our eyes, minds, hearts, and souls on it.  If we spend most of our time focused on our present trek without looking at where we are headed, we may not end up where we originally intended to go.

Ingredients to The Ultimate Dish

When we cook or bake something, we go out and get the right ingredients and put them together as dictated in a recipe to end up with the desired dish.  In order to do this, we need to first buy the right ingredients and then put those ingredients together in the right way.  Nobody will suggest that we simply use any ingredients we have at home no matter what because we will not end up with the right dish.  Likewise, nobody suggests that we simply buy the right ingredients and throw them on a table because our desired dish must be prepared correctly using these ingredients in the right combination.

In the same way, we must determine what gifts God has given us and how we might combine them in the best way to serve and love God and others.  If we do this, we will have the correct recipe to end up with our desired result of eternal salvation. If we do not determine our ingredients or bother to put them together for God and others, we will never end up with our desired eternal result.

Conclusion

Joseph and Mary rode a donkey through treacherous areas on more than one occasion to go where God wanted them to go.  They trusted God and knew that He would guide them to the right place.  Similarly, we must accept whatever journey God provides us to the place that really matters- heaven.

2017  Gabriel Garnica

What is The Difference Between Humility and Humiliation?


Image result for humility

We often hear of humility in the context of Christian virtue and are reminded that Christ and The Blessed Mother were certainly paragons of that kind of humility.  As followers of Christ, we are thus expected to be as humble as possible as we love and serve God and others. However, many people have the wrong idea about humility and often confuse it with humiliation.

The True Meaning of Humility

Humility is simply realizing, accepting, embracing, and maximizing the fact that we are nothing more than God’s instruments for love and service.  It is not about us but rather about God, and the sooner we get that the faster we will truly do God’s work the way He wants us to do that work.  Much, if not most, of sin stems from thinking that it is about us or what we want.  When we truly empty ourselves of self and see God as the core, great things happen.

The Distorted Meaning of Humility

Too many people today see humility as being a quiet doormat, a passive or reticent mummy who is glad to step into the background.  How wrong this view is !  Does this describe Christ to you?  It does not do that for me!  Christ was the ultimate in humility yet he was no wallflower.  Humility means thinking of God and others before self, but that may require us to be very assertive and tough at times. For example, suppose someone was spitting at an image of Christ.  Would you just step back quietly or do something about it?  People imagine a humble person as not thinking that they are qualified to speak or act in many cases, but that is not what humility really is.

Humility is not about being scared or so passive as to be insignificant in this world.  Just look at the most humble Christ and Mary and ask if they have made a difference in this world.

The Culprit…Humiliation and Its Difference to Humility

When people distort humility, they are usually doing it via humiliation, which many people think means the same thing.  Humility is directed at voluntarily embracing God and others before our own interests. It is not about shame or comparison with others. By contrast, humiliation is all about shame and comparison and self and has nothing voluntary about it.

When we are humiliated, it is because we feel shame in comparing ourselves to others and feeling that we have been reduced somehow in that comparison against our will ( involuntary).  Being bashed by a teacher in public or laughed at by onlookers is humiliating if one somehow feels reduced in the eyes of others by this situation.

There is the key difference between humility and humiliation:  humility is voluntarily placing, serving, and loving God and others before self and humiliation is involuntarily  feeling reduced or shamed openly and publicly in comparison to how we see ourselves.  The person who thinks she can sing and is laughed off stage is humiliated. The one who knows she cannot sing and is laughed off stage was expecting the response and may laughingly go along with the response.

The Solution

You should never and will never be humiliated serving and loving God and others as long as you realize and embrace the fact that doing so is the greatest calling we can have. However, doing these things will go hand in hand with being humble because they are the very essence of what being humble is all about.  Many say Jesus died a humiliating death but I propose that he died a humble death.  He willingly and freely gave himself up to love and serve God and us and there is nothing humiliating about that.

So understand the difference between humility and humiliation and make it your goal to be the former so you will never experience the latter.

2017  Gabriel Garnica

 

God and Backseat Drivers


Psychologists tell us that backseat drivers, folks who find it necessary to give unnecessary, unwanted advice in the car and elsewhere, are really just expressing their own insecurities, lack of faith in others,  or reaction to feeling powerless.  Many of us have been the victims of such people, both in the car and in life, and it is no understatement to say that such people can be irritating, annoying, and even dangerous.

The expression “backseat driver” of course, has expanded beyond the automobile to include people who obsessively mistrust, find it necessary to control or judge, or think that they have all the right answers.  Consequently, such people tend to feel that the one in perceived control of the situation, be it a driver, manager, or other, does not always know what he or she is doing.

The question is, are we God’s backseat drivers?   Do we poke our nose in God’s Will, questioning where He is taking us and why?

A Little Faith Goes a Long Way

We can talk a good talk about trusting God with our affairs, problems, and concerns, but the proof is in the pudding, not the meddling.  First, we need to humbly and sincerely ask God to help us.  Second, we need to follow that request for help with true trust that God knows what He is doing in our lives. Lastly, we need to respectfully and obediently step out of the way and let Him do the driving.

Too many times, we pray asking for our way at our time, and write off the prayer as unanswered if we do not get our way.  Absurd as it seems, how many times do we micromanage the Manager of the Universe?  It is a contradiction to pray the Our Father asking God to follow our instructions, guidelines, and preferences to the tee.

Locus of Control

Locus of control is a psychological concept referring to where people feel that the control in their lives is found.   This society promotes an internal locus of control, wherein folks feel empowered to guide their lives, as the sign of a healthy, responsible, and ultimately successful person.  Conversely, this society paints having an external locus of control as being a weak, irresponsible, rationalizing loser who plays the role of victim all the time. Where society has this locus of control thing wrong is in how locus is used.

While it is true that using an external locus of control to play the victim, avoid responsibility, and blame everybody else for one’s issues is wrong and destructive, it is also true that using an internal locus of control to bully, manipulate, intimidate, judge, and project our insecurities on others can be just as harmful.  Thus, how one uses an internal or external locus of control is more important than merely having one or the other. Using either one for selfish reasons is wrong, and using either one to bring glory to and obey God as well as love others is right.

Proactive vs. Reactive

Proactive people make things happen, and reactive people wait for things to happen to them.  Needless to say, proactive types are normally associated with an internal locus of control and, conversely, reactive types are commonly viewed as tending to have an external locus of control.

Most of the time, being proactive is better than being reactive. However, there are times when we should step back, process what is happening, and then react to that, as opposed to just blindly jumping into every situation  swinging like some crazed, self-perceived super hero.

Once again, society oversimplifies the relationship between locus of control and being proactive or reactive.   It assumes that having an internal locus of control is akin to being proactive and, conversely, that having an external locus of control parallels with being reactive. While this may often be true, it is not always so and, beyond that, the good and bad of all of this is not so clear cut either.

Our Way and Sin

If you think about it, sin is really selfishly doing things our way regardless of what we should know that God wants.  Claiming that we think God wants this or that, based purely on our own subjective, biased agenda, is playing make-believe morality.  Likewise, pretending that we do not know what God wants, without making a concerted, sincere, and legitimate effort to discern that Will, is purposeful moral fraud.

The Key and Bridge

The key to all of this is to be purposeful in seeking and trying to actualize God’s Will as found in Scripture, Christ’s example and teachings,  and our own constantly developing conscience.  Once we are trying to function within that Divine Will, we must remain purposeful in carrying it through while becoming reactive in allowing God to speak to and through us.

God does not want us to be babbling moral idiots, spewing excuses or fawning mindless, oblivious adorations we do not feel. Neither does He want us to be insolent backseat drivers, bullying and questioning everything that happens in our lives like irritated accountants counting pegs or measuring perceived wins and losses on some ledger. Sincere prayer,  honest reflection, and purposeful meditation and study often help us to balance the purpose, reaction, and locus of control in our lives.

Conclusion

Each of us is riding a life taxi to our ultimate destination.  We can either ask God to achieve His Will through our proactive efforts and reactive trust, or we can rant and rave about where our taxi should be going and why. Ultimately, we must each ask ourselves how much we trust the Divine Driver of our life taxi and how sincerely we accept and want Him to take us home…His way.

 

 

 

2016  Gabriel Garnica

Christ is The Best Math Teacher Ever…..Seriously.


Many folks look at math as an old enemy, still licking the wounds of distant brushes with word problems and equations that were never fully understood, much less solved. For others, math is a comfortable pair of slippers that bring warm and fuzzy memories of solving problems other students could never even figure out how to start tackling. I probably belonged, and still live, in a third, middle group, where math is a challenge sometimes but a defeated challenge in the end. Actually, I now like algebra much more than I did way back in high school. Perhaps I have finally found the handle of about as much math as I will ever be able to handle, or need, and that is OK by me.

I love putting together things that seemingly have nothing to do with each other, and figuring out ways that, in fact, they do have something to say to each other. Such is the case with math and faith for, at first glance, the only connection between a plus sign and a cross is that they look alike and many people tend to pray right before taking math tests.  Accepting the premise that math can be a motivator for prayer, I think that there is a lot more here than meets the eye, or the soul.

For starters, math is about adding and subtracting, and so is Christ’s message to us.  If we add graces and good works to our ledger while subtracting our sinfulness and destructive attitudes, we will be making a very positive investment in our spiritual future.  If, on the other hand, we add sinful behaviors and thoughts and subtract our love and concern for others in the process, we will be on our way toward a result far worse than the most difficult calculus exam ever was.

Christ tells us to subtract what takes us away from God, and add what brings us closer to God, and that is about as simple an equation as any salvation seeker can find. We are taught that, if approached properly, confession subtracts, not only our sins but, as Vinny Flynn tells us in his 7 Secrets of Confession, the root reasons for our sin, which is far more important.  Ultimately, our time, effort, priorities, mind, soul, and life itself are all fixed containers with only so much space. It is up to each of us to choose how we will allocate that space, either by adding or subtracting good works and intentions and, just as importantly, destructive works and intentions.

Christ also teaches us to share our blessings, time, and love with others which, by definition, requires us to divide our emotional, personal, financial, and temporal resources among those we wish to share with.  He promises, and demonstrates, that those who divide what they have out of love will watch Our Lord multiply their efforts many times over.  Is this not what He accomplished with the multiplication of the loaves and fish as well as at The Last Supper. In both cases, Our Lord divided in order to multiply.

I would like to close this mathematical foray into Our Lord’s example with three points. First, speaking of the multiplication of the loaves and fish, we are told that Christ asked His followers to search among the people for what food could be obtained. We are also told that thousands of people were present. It is not irrational or unrealistic to assume that, among all of those thousands, at least 10% brought some food of their own, which would mean that around 500, if not more, people had some kind of food available yet, from those hundreds, only one young boy  offered what little he had. Despite the utter selfishness of the situation where many refuse to share and only one does, Our Lord overcame that selfishness of the crowd, and used the boy’s generosity, to fashion a multiplication of blessings for all.

The second closing point to consider goes back to our comparison between a plus sign and the cross which, for all intents and purposes, are roughly the same geometric figure. While most would certainly consider a cross a  most negative shape given the kind of terrible deaths inflicted on them, Our Lord converts what is generally regarded as a negative image or shape into a most  positive shape and image of His ultimate, loving sacrifice for our redemption.This should remind us that it is in precisely the most negative moments that we can find God at our side helping us, should we trust and love Him enough. Lastly, as the above title notes, Christ is truly a great math teacher, able to convert the esoteric and perhaps confusing concepts of math into real life applications of love and God’s power. However, as perfect a math teacher as Our Lord is, there is one place where He is much better at subtracting than adding, and that is in the confessional, where He  waits to subtract our sins and, out of Divine Mercy and love, to stop adding them up.

2015  Gabriel Garnica

Last Super Bowl Play is a Primer in Faith and Salvation; The Response to It is the Anti-Divine Mercy


We have all seen it, and anyone who knows anything about football knows it was probably the most bone-headed play ever called in a Super Bowl. Needing only one yard to repeat as champions, Pete Carroll, the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, decided to call a slant pass with the explosive Marshawn Lynch standing in the backfield ready to ram the ball into the end zone.  Had the inexplicably risky play worked, people would have called Carroll as gutsy as ever but, even if it had, throwing the ball in those circumstances makes no sense at all. In the end, many felt Carroll tried to get “too cute” in his strategy rather than merely do the safer, simpler, and much more practical thing by calling a running play with perhaps the most dangerous runner in football in important situations.

Given the above, many have asserted that Carroll, true to his nature, likes to shoot from the hip and display an almost reckless swagger that has come to characterize his team. Others cite an arrogance just beneath the surface of that swagger, displaying a subtle disdain for the conventional, as well as  a distaste for the expected.  This swagger worked when Carroll went for and got the tying touchdown just before the half when most would have settled for a field goal to cut the margin. It seemed destined for another inevitable fairy tale ending when Jermaine Kearse juggled, and caught a long pass while sitting on his behind to put the Seahawks within sight of victory with less than a minute remaining. However, as often happens, those who rely on improbable miracles built on reckless abandon run out of luck, and so this amazing catch was destined to become but a bitter precursor to the collapse that followed.

Our faith and salvation depend on our ability to simplify and apply God’s laws to our lives. It is only when we try to get too “cute” and pretend that we can improvise God’s recipe for success and salvation that we get into trouble.  Rather than develop a lunch pail, workman-like approach to bringing glory to God and serving others, we often go for the big play,  the sexy display of sheer nobility or holiness.  I bet that many of us, given the chance to gain world-wide fame for helping one person or total anonymity for helping a thousand people, would opt for the former rather than the latter.

If bringing glory to God and serving others in His Name is too complicated for us, it is only because we make it so by pretending that God’s ways are somehow too dry and dull for our taste.  We dare to fancy ourselves so much more multi-dimensional than God calls us to be, adept at serving others and praising God while reading our own press clippings. In the end, I will take controlled excellence over reckless spectacles every day.

As for the reaction to this foolish play, there we have the complete opposite of the kind of mercy which Christ calls us to exhibit. This biggest of blunders in clearly the biggest of stages has resulted in the biggest of backlashes possible from fans too eager to pretend they know more about football than these coaches have forgotten.  Yes, it was a terrible mistake but, no, that does not mean that Carroll or any of his coaches should be forever bashed for the move.  Christ calls on us to forgive the biggest falls from precisely the biggest stages more easily than the smallest missteps from the most unimportant situations. I think that it is safe to say that Carroll, quarterback Russell Wilson, and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will have to live with this painful memory for a long time, so bashing them now is just too easy and clearly vicious.

So there you  have it.  Simplify and execute God’s simple plan for your salvation; do not try to get fancy with the basic formula God has provided us. Secondly, be ready to forgive the biggest blunders and harms in the biggest situations, for our eternal judgment will be the scene of far bigger blunders in a far more important game for each of us, and we will need all the compassion, consideration, and mercy we can get.

2015  Gabriel Garnica

The Ultimate Lemonade


 

                                        

 

We have all heard the expression “making lemonade out of lemons” as an illustration of positive thinking.  Certainly, we need such thinking in this world given the overwhelming assaults from all sides on our psyche, emotions, and, in full order, our faith.  The devil is a cunning, shrewd, and highly intelligent foe, and one of his most powerful weapons is negativity.  We play into his hands when we despair, lose hope, surrender, or simply decide that there is no hope for us.  In such a state, we are more likely to fall into a self-fulfilling paradox of sorts whereby we will simply sin because, on some subconscious level, we wonder what difference it will make if we add a few grains of sand to our desert of sinfulness.

While there are many things to discuss with regard to the role of positive thinking in faith, let us confine ourselves here to one simple point, which is that Christ’s Divine Mercy and God’s love for us provide us with the ultimate lemonade in a sea of lemons.  This reality presents us with three different perspectives which each give us new insight into the power of Divine Mercy and the need of us to embrace that Mercy.

First, we cannot deny that, without such Divine Mercy, we would already be doomed and lost and then, yes, what difference would it make if we sinned yet again for, in truth, we would already be damned by now. Second, that very Divine Mercy is precisely what makes getting up and trying again so wonderful, and so constructive. If, no matter how badly we have strayed, we know that we will start fresh if we are sorry, confess our sins, and try again, then there is always hope, always the chance to save ourselves and, consequently, always a reason to limit or flee from further sin.

The third and most important aspect of all of this, however, is the actual value of our own sinfulness and weakness.  Many of us might be tempted to wish that we would never sin, fall, or drop the ball with regard to our relationship with God. Certainly, many of us may reason, such a state would make our lives and our job of saving our souls so much easier, and perhaps that is true on some level.  However, I suggest that you consider which student appreciates passing a major exam more:  the one who passes it easily with flying colors the first time or, in the contrary, the one who has repeatedly failed that test and finally gets over the top.  Certainly, we know that those who have struggled usually appreciate victory more than those to whom victory comes as easily as breathing.

On an even deeper level, our falls enable our rising; our fumbles enable our recovery; and our sin enables The Almighty to show us His Divine Mercy and forgiveness.  Many folks spend most of their time trying not to sin when, in fact, they should be spending most of that time loving The Almighty with such relentless audacity that sin is trampled as merely a very temporary obstacle on the way to loving God forever in paradise. This is not to minimize the power or danger of sin but, rather, to maximize the power and importance of Divine Mercy.  At the end of the day, we have to love God so much that no sin has the power to make us surrender our drive to love Him forever. We need to stop trying to be perfect and start accepting and embracing our imperfection, asking for forgiveness for that imperfection which offends God, and then continually and relentlessly go about the business of saving our souls and that of others as well.

We must realize that, for all of its destructive power, sin is what enables us to truly appreciate God’s Mercy and Christ’s ultimate sacrifice.  One cannot truly see the light until one has dwelt in the darkness. The irony here is that we cannot fully defeat sin until we embrace it as the contrast that enables us to seek sanctity. Some of our greatest saints were also some of our greatest sinners.  Peter denied Christ three times before he became the rock.  St. Francis was apparently no stranger to great sin before he rose to spiritual greatness.  Christ came to heal the sick, and we cannot experience His healing power until we admit and accept that we are as sick as it gets and move on. So the next time you slip up, as we all do all too often, love your God with such relentless zeal and determination that your fall will be but a very minor and temporary obstruction on your path to eternal salvation for, if that love is true, it will be much easier to admit your sin, ask for forgiveness from it, and move on.

2014, Gabriel Garnica

Do Not Play Prevent Defense with The Devil !


As things are getting interesting in pro football, fans like myself start remembering why we love the game. There is so much strategy, constant action, and consistent excitement in football that, in my opinion, it is a usually a much more interesting viewing experience than say, baseball.  That being said, there is much to learn about life in football-overcoming obstacles, crafting strategies to advance personally and professionally, dealing with and overcoming fumbles and interceptions of our plans, and knowing when to punt, to name just a few.

One of the most fascinating topics in football is the so-called prevent defense, which is basically when a defending team basically pulls back and allows shorter advances in order to prevent huge gains by the opponent, eating up clock time and basically strangling the time remaining for the opponent to catch up.  The legendary football coach and commentator John Madden once said that the only thing the prevent defense prevents is winning, and there is considerable support for this criticism of the ideology behind allowing your opponent to gain on you in a controlled environment and basically hoping that your foe will run out of time to beat  you.

The opposite view of prevent defense, the alternative approach, of course, would be to stay aggressive, keep doing what you have been doing to gain the lead in the first place, and not play “not to lose”. It really comes down to how much you trust in your team’s ability to stifle the opponent while remaining aggressive and playing to win. Yes, you can give up a big play that leads to quick points with a badly timed slip but,  you might also bash your opponent further and romp to victory.

Make no mistake about it, the devil is as shrewd a customer as they come, and he is also very patient and cunning.  He wants us to believe that, regardless of any advantage we may have at any time with God on our side, we might suddenly give up a big play and end up losing our souls and, of course, that is always a possibility. Furthermore, the devil will entice us to play prevent defense, giving him more and more ground in our lives, minds, hearts, and souls under the pretext and illusion that we are somehow preventing much greater and stunning loss if we do not “play it safe”.  We can surely see how this society has slowly allowed and even promoted the erosion of moral responsibility, strict behavior codes, and heightened ethical awareness.  The list of “not so bad” or “comparatively ok” behaviors grows by the day.  Anyone with strict moral codes is declared to be an extremist, fanatical, hateful, judgmental, old-fashioned, dangerous, and even a terrorist.  Simply stated, our society is clamoring for us to play prevent defense with the devil, encouraging us to give ground as we diminish the eternal implications of what we do, feel, believe, and aspire to.  The load of rationalizations, exceptions, loopholes, and twisted notions of mercy grows by the hour.  Before we know it, the devil will be a yard away from putting  us in eternal damnation and we will have never seen it coming until it is too late.

The trick, then, is to stay aggressive with our moral compass, and to maintain our personal moral standards regardless of societal opinions, protests, rationalizations, or mockery.  Yes, we will fumble and be intercepted from time to time because we are weak humans.  True, we might even be thrown for a loss when things do not go as planned.  Definitely, there will come times when we will question our game plan, our chances of success, and even God’s coaching style.  Ultimately, however, we must love and trust God enough to lay it all on the line, to throw our fears and hesitations to the wind, and to go for it with all of our hearts, minds, and souls. The “it” I am referring to is serving and glorifying God by placing the talents He has given us in the loving service of others.

You see, when we play prevent defense with the devil, we are surrendering huge chunks of life real estate to him in a pathetic attempt to barter our salvation under the delusion, and illusion, that he will be appeased with just that, and not try to snatch our eternal souls in the process.  Remember that the devil is the best liar that has ever existed, and that, while he is patient and cunning, he has a relentless desire to seize our souls for all eternity.  Appeasing the devil is a deadly game, and the language of those who have placed more trust in him than in God.

Therefore, put your faith with your attitude is, and trust that God has your back if you will only play believing that He does and stick to His game plan for your salvation.  Regardless of how often you fall, and you will, believe and trust in God enough to keep being aggressive and not play scared. Never surrender any part of your life, or any weakness you may have, to the devil, accepting the notion that you cannot beat him there.  Likewise, do not fall into the slippery slope of accepting seemingly smaller sins as ransom for preventing larger sins for, as is so often the case, small sins only lead to great sins.  Remember that, whether we realize it or not, we as a society and as individuals only measure evil by how far we fall from our current state. In other words, the petty thief will consider grand theft a lesser sin, if a sin at all, than the man who has never stolen anything in his life. Stay vigilant and keep your moral standards high.  Immediately and defiantly get up after  you fall, even when it seems more hypocritical than sincere to do so.

So, I beg of you; do not play prevent defense with the devil, trusting more in his power to influence your life than in God’s ability to lovingly save it. Instead, fight the devil with all of your strength, amend our life as best you can, and trust in God’s Divine Mercy to back you up.  Never surrender an inch of your life to this lying fiend without a fight, regardless of how hopeless at times it may seem to stop his onslaught.  Most of all, accept that we are all weak sinners more likely to fall than to remain upright, and vow to spend your energy fighting through that weakness rather than using it as an excuse to weaken and surrender more.

To extend John Madden’s famous line, the only thing that moral prevent defense prevents is your salvation.

Gabriel Garnica, 2014