Weekly Blog

The Boiling Frog and the Church

A quick internet search dispels the myth of the boiling frog. Who knew? From Wikipedia, “the boiling frog” is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death”. Tests indicate that the frog jumps out of the water as the temperature rises and it becomes uncomfortable.

The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of initiatives or threats that arise gradually”. I don’t know about you, but whether a fallacy or not, I feel like the boiling frog of late. Over the course of the last year, particularly related to COVID, but otherwise too, we have witnessed our government take more and more control over our lives, locally and nationally. While the actual health impact of the pandemic can be debated, what can’t be disputed are the changes we’ve been forced to endure, whether related to our:

  • Churches
  • Restaurants
  • Work
  • Schools
  • Stores
  • Gyms

And the list goes on. In the greatest and freest country in world history, under penalty of law (and shame), we are being forced to act a certain way. We continue to destroy lives and livelihoods.

Don’t get me wrong. My wife and I are taking COVID very seriously, following all the protocols, with it dramatically impacting our lives over the last 12 months. Related, many of us are familiar with Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, where he lives the same day over and over. We were just commenting on us living Groundhog Week, with it being the same week after week after week. Thank God Spring is right around the corner.

It’s not politically controversial to note that the current administration is in favor of greater government control over our lives, given its stated agenda and actions. Our liberties are decreasing. We’re all the boiling frogs while the rich and powerful appear to be getting more rich and powerful.

So, what does the Church have to say about this. Chapter 2, Article 1 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses The Person and Society. Two paragraphs make the primary points:

  • CCC 1881 – Each community is defined by its purpose and consequently obeys specific rules; but “the human person is and ought to be the principle, the subject and the end of all social institutions.
  • CCC 1883 – Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, i.e. family, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.

I’d invite you to read the entire Chapter…find the Catechism on the internet with a quick search if you don’t have a copy.

So, as always, here’s the $64,000 question. What are we to do? Here are some ideas:

  1. Do your own research, identifying the issues. We can’t solve for something we don’t understand.
  2. Pray about it:
    1. What are we witnessing being done by our government versus the teachings of the Church?
    2. What is the Lord calling us to do, collectively and individually?
  3. Take action:
    1. Given your God given talents and treasures, how is our Lord asking you to spend some of your time?
    2. Love God, love others, share our faith

Point 3b speaks specifically to the Great Commandments and the Great Commission, spoken to us by Jesus. My sense is that if we as Christians spent more time on these three things (love God, love others, share our faith), the rest, including everything above, would take care of itself.

As always, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!

Mark Joseph


Weekly Blog

Is Satan Real?

My wife (Cyndi) and I just watched the movie, Let Him Go, where Kevin Costner (George) and Diane Lane (Margaret) play parents to their son who dies in a horse accident. Their widowed daughter-in-law (Lorna) remarries to what turns out be an abusive husband. Prior to the new couple moving out of town without telling anyone, Margaret witnesses the abuse levied on her 3-yearold grandson (Jimmy) and her daughter-in-law.

Set in the early 1960s, the grandparents leave their Montana home for North Dakota to find their grandson. What they found was not only startling to them, but to the viewer (Cyndi and me included). Lorna’s new mother-in-law, Blanch, is an absolute “witch”. In fact, that word can’t begin to describe how evil this woman is. A more appropriate word would be Satan.

Blanch, incredibly controlling, had her grown sons under her spell, all complicit in her evil. Although dark, it’s a compelling movie, where good prevails over evil, where one sacrifices his life to save others, while stepping on the head of Satan. Sound familiar?

The next morning, I said to Cyndi in referencing the movie, “you know, there are truly evil people in this world”. It’s not difficult to identify them, i.e. ISIS fighters, numerous foreign dictators who oppress their people, even those in our country who commit violent and/or deviant crimes, especially to the young. As I’ve indicated in previous blogs, as Christians we believe that abortion is an intrinsic evil as well.

We can see Satan in the examples above. For those who don’t think about it, Satan is clearly active in our world. In last week’s post, I indicated that we are all beloved children of God. Although it can be difficult to understand, so are those who commit such atrocities. Given their free will, they’ve turned their back on God and choose evil instead. Related to heaven or hell, again God allows our free will to determine our ultimate destination.

Is Satan real to you?

Does your spirituality include consideration of the evil one? I never gave it much consideration prior to my conversion, but since there are times that I’ve felt under attack by Satan. And I certainly see the work of Satan in our world.

The above isn’t meant to scare you, but to identify the role of Satan in our lives. We know there is good and evil in our world. We also know that Jesus Christ was brutally crucified, enduring a torturous death, to conquer sin, to provide us with a path to salvation. He loves us that much. God the Father loves us that much, sacrificing His only begotten Son so that we can have the opportunity for eternal life.

Fear, anxiety, anger, violence, division, abuse (and many more) are the work of Satan. It’s only in knowing the unconditional love of Jesus Christ that:

  • The unimaginable is achievable
  • There can be Heaven here on earth
  • You can be on a distinct path to peace, joy, and fulfillment

As always, feel free to contact me at [email protected] with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph




Weekly Blog

What We Can’t See

This April 25th, the Feast Day of St. Mark, it will be three years since I began doing this weekly blog. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve missed a week. Prior to launch, I did something like 20 blogs and had them in the “can” (my wife loves kidding me when I use that term). For the longest time now, I’ve been writing weekly. Each blog takes me 1-2 hours, followed by Mary Kate, my editor and designer, doing her thing prior to posting.

As you know, I often base the content on current events, then tying it back to our faith. Or I might write on a topic specific to my book or something on my heart based on what’s going on in my life.

Well, I started thinking about a topic for this blog mid-week, wrestled with some ideas this past Saturday, then spent 4 hours on Sunday…before scrapping what I had done.

I felt called to write about the Trump rally and events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. I included commentary on CNN trying to get FOX News thrown off the air and Apple, Amazon, and Google shutting down Parler, one of the very few politically agnostic social media platforms, where they allow for free expression, without risk of being “deplatformed” or censored.

Lastly, I wrote a piece on an excellent book I just read, where Dr. Ralph Martin did an incredible job of laying out many challenges of our modern-day Church in, “A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward”. I highly recommend it…you can get it at My plan was to tie all of the above to the concept of “truth”, in the secular world, then noting the required albeit not always achieved, leadership role of the Church.


Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Then it blew up on me. Sickened by the vitriol that exists on social media (I shut it down several weeks ago), from our politicians, and on the news (I watch much less than I used to), I couldn’t figure out how to address the real issues without offending some. And I guess that’s the point of this blog. We used to live in a country where there was a free exchange of ideas, where we debated the issues as opposed to attacking one another’s character. You may have heard, “hate the sin, not the sinner”.

The above doesn’t exist today. Instead, we have “cancel culture” and censorship. To be honest, I’m mad and I’m sad. I can’t believe we are the country we have become. Why are we so divided? I’ve been paying close attention to Presidential politics since Ronald Reagan and we’ve never seen anything like this. It all seems to center around Donald Trump.

I know why our political elite hate Donald Trump. He’s gotten in the way of their power and greed. He was disrupting the welfare (Democrat) and warfare (Republican) states. I just don’t understand why the hate by so many others. Even if you strongly disagree with all his policies, why all the tremendous hate? The absolute disgust…that has resulted in the most toxic of environments? I had a lot of hate in me at one time in my life. It’s not a healthy place to be.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

It’s been amazing and sad to watch. I don’t know how we’re going to recover. I do know this. My faith has never been more important to me. I’m committed to clinging to the Cross, the teachings of the Church and that in Holy Scripture. I’m going to double down on my prayer life, continuing to include those who disagree with me. I’m going to concentrate on living my faith the best I can, which means loving my wife and kids and all those who Jesus puts in my path.

I hope you’ll do what I just described above. Let’s all pray for our country and its leaders. They certainly need it.

As always, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] with comments, questions, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!!
Always remember…you were made for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph


Weekly Blog

Serenity Now

My favorite sitcom of all time is Seinfeld. My wife and I continue to watch the occasional rerun. I think it’s the greatest writing in the history of television. The cast was second to none. I once heard that part of the brilliance of the show was Jerry Seinfeld’s insistence that all of his costars share in getting the funny lines and the meaningful scenes….they weren’t just reserved for him.

One such example was George’s father, Frank Costanza, as part of one of his many crazed scenes over the sitcom’s history. He screamed, “serenity now, serenity now”.

Although I posted on “serenity” March 27th, 2019 (in a much shorter blog), it came to mind this past week. I don’t know about you, but given what’s going on in our country, as exemplified by the election, I feel like screaming, “serenity now!!!”

Photo by Tim Gouw from Pexels defines serenity as the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil. Serenity, synonymous with “peace” is important. I’d suggest praying the Serenity Prayer regularly in your life. I do. As identified previously in my posts, it is one of five rote prayers I say every morning. I say each very slowly, hanging on and praying through every word. I’d invite you to do the same.

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely joyful with Him
Forever and ever in the next.


The breakdown of the above is as follows:

  • The first four lines ask for God’s help in maintaining the serenity within us, distinguishing between what we can control and not, then giving us the courage to take action.
  • The second part of the prayer is a recipe for how we ought to live our lives, such that we can experience happiness here on earth and joy thereafter.

You may feel compelled to act, given what’s transpiring in our country. Or it might be something else in your life that you need to discern. Pray the Serenity Prayer. It helps me…it can help you too.

 As always, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected], with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests. I’m here to help…seriously!!!

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph