"Nicely done. I'm thinking about sheepdogs."
I knew exactly where he got that idea from.
My father is a retired submarine officer and he had sheepdogs on his subs all the time during the end of the Cold War. In the Navy sheepdogs are called Navy Seals.
Mark Devine writes that:
"..the vast majority of the world's population are sheep grazing in ignorant bliss of any threat,
oblivious to any situational condition of what surrounds them. A much smaller percentage of the population, though, is compromised of wolves that make it their business to prey upon the sheep."
The wolves are prone to violence and are comfortable taking what is not theirs, without conscience intervention.
The wolves tear into the weaker sheep while the others, and society at large, pay scant attention."
Mark Divine writes that there is a fractional percentage of the population who
straddle the line between the sheep and the wolves.
Dr. Dave Grossman, a writer and army officer who studied the psychology of the warrior in combat, called this group of people:
Sheepdogs keep "their eyes on the wolves to protect the sheep. The sheepdog is the soldier, sailor, marine, coast guardswoman, police officer, ethical leader and Good Samaritan.
It also needs to be you, if you are not there already."This chapter, in a book about forging mental toughness, is really meant for those who are willing to step up in a time of crisis. The ones who DO something.
I wonder what a sheepdog looks like in our Church?
I left off on my last post thinking about what it means to REMAIN with the Good Shepherd with wolves and hirelings in our midst.
I'm starting to believe my father's answer, sheepdogs, means...being awake and strong. It means having a sense of duty and knowing the Good Shepherd's voice. Heeding EVERY instruction from the Good Shepherd.
Mark Devine writes that the first rule of engagement for a Sheepdog is:
1. STOP BEING PASSIVE. Commit to being a Sheepdog and making a difference. Pull your head out of the sand and pay attention to what is going on around you.
We WORK for our Good Shepherd EVERYDAY. Be a Sheepdog.
Sheepdog training starts with training your awareness, but it quickly moves from the "I-Self" sphere of personal mastery to the "We-Team" sphere of team mastery.
No sheepdog operates alone, you see; a team is required to tip the balance against the violent elements. Contrary to our cultural story of staunch individualism, it is teams of like-minded individuals who change the world.
Yes! Good priests. I know them! I know a team of sheepdogs who met last night in our basement for the weekly "Holy Papas" meeting. A gathering of a handful of Catholic fathers from our parish, yes, good men!
I can often hear muffled music and laughter from downstairs. Much of what they do is a mystery to me, although I was told one of the fathers, James, brought delicious smoked ribs last night...ha! which is why it must have been so quiet there for a bit.
And I do know part of their sheepdog training is being in the Word...
It is not just the priests and fathers of families who need to be sheepdogs. It is all of us.
Being Sheepdog Strong requires that you set aside worry about what others think of you. Many may think your training and preparation to be extreme.
..be a leader and be viewed as the one willing to go the distance to train and prepare body, mind, spirit and team for some serious kick-ass if the wolves come around.
When I think of the wolves I'm up against, we're up against, I don't think of pedophiles. They are wolves yes, but I'm after the fattened powerful wolves of corruption. The truth twisters and abusers of power that are embedded DEEP in our Church. It feels impossible for one sheepdog to sniff out a wolf in sheep's clothing, but not so in a TEAM of sheepdogs.
As the news of the cover ups and lies and darkness come out, out into the Light, we are witnessing the efforts of sheepdogs who have ALREADY been working. Sheepdogs who have been obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
I am loving the idea of taking up this work. It is empowering me.
Yes. Yes of course, we will get nice letters from bishops telling us they will address this. We will fast and repent. I'm sorry if this sounds tongue in cheek, but speaking about cheeks, I'm kind of biting the inside of my mine and I'm tasting blood because I have been silent.
I want my Church back. Get out of my way. By my Baptism I am ready to CLAIM WHAT IS MINE..that I am a Daughter of His.
I am Priest, Prophet and King.
You all preach it to me all the time.
Watch me OWN it.
I'm not standing in line anymore with my friend on the stretcher.
Standing in the line waiting for things to CHANGE so I can get my paralyzed friend healed. My sheepdog friends and I, we're gonna rip a hole through the ROOF.
We are going to tear apart your building of lies that is keeping us...keeping our friend.. from our Good Shepherd.
Sorry...got on a little rant there at the end. I feel Anger and Courage at the same time, which a friend pointed our today are daughters of Hope. Thank you for reading this, it is part of my Sheepdog training.
Hope you will take up this work.