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Ask A Morally Weak Preacher

Dear Father Paul Byrne,

I recently married for the second time. I love my husband very much, and living with him is bliss, except for one thing: His fully grown children from his first marriage are still living in the house! How can I make my husband see that it's time for them to move on?

—Frustrated in Freemont

Dear Frustrated,

Many have spoken on the evils of strong drink, and there is much truth in what they say. Those who turn to wine as an answer to their problems will find that they have only Satan's ear. Many a man has let wine turn him into a beast. But is not wine a part of our communion sacrament? Is it not made from the fruit of the vine, fruit that Our Heavenly Father has given us in His infinite wisdom? And if it does turn some men to beasts, well, did not God himself create the beasts as well? Who are we to say that He does not love them, too? For the love of God passeth all understanding. Amen.

Dear Father Paul Byrne,

I've known my best friend all my life. We grew up together and married two wonderful men in a gorgeous double ceremony. Recently, though, I discovered that her husband is cheating on her! How do I somehow break the news to her without threatening our lifelong friendship?

—Stumped in Sioux Falls

Dear Perplexed,

Who among us has not felt temptation? When we say the Lord's Prayer, we are asking God to help us resist temptation. Certainly to give in to that which tempts us is to shun all that is holy. But as God's servants, we must not be ignorant of that which tempts us, lest we begin to think ourselves above others and fall prey to the mortal sin of pride. Is not it written in the Bible, "Know thine enemy?" Should a man not, in the spirit of holy knowledge, be well familiar with each temptation he encounters, so that he may be better equipped to overcome it? The Bible tells us that the pleasures of the flesh are as nothing compared to those we find in Jesus. We owe it to Our Lord Christ to prove that we believe His words by knowing temptation for ourselves, lest we be mastered by it.

Dear Father Paul Byrne,

We recently moved across the country so I could take a better job. Problem is, my son has had trouble adjusting to his new school. He's already started running with the wrong crowd, and I'm afraid he may get mixed up in gangs. How do I speak to him?

—Concerned in Concord

Dear Concerned,

The Bible tells us that Man fell from grace when he ate of the forbidden fruit and saw that he was naked. Some say this means Man is born into sin, and he cannot escape it, even though he may lead a virtuous life and do good works. But might it not also mean that, were God to see us unclothed, and not hiding ourselves in shame like sinful Adam and Eve, would not He then know us to be pure and innocent, and without stain? God is perfect love, and He loves us most when we are in our purest form, naked as the day we are born. Show me your great works without shame, and in doing so, you will be celebrating the Lord.

Dear Father Paul Byrne,

My brother-in-law was laid off last year and has had a hard time finding work since. But the reason he hasn't found any work is that he hasn't looked. My wife insists that it's our duty to help her brother through this difficult time, but I say he's got to help himself first! Is there any way out of this situation?

—Put Upon in Paducah

Dear Dear Put Upon,

Many of the evils that beset society can be traced back to the way we treat our children. Sadly, though, in today's world, even if a child is lucky enough to have two parents, both parents often have to work all day in order to make ends meet, leaving the child uncared for. Our sweet young boys and girls need fatherly, manly attention in order to thrive and come into their full maturity as men and women. As our Lord Jesus Christ once said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me." Children in need of guidance can blossom under the careful tending and delicate attentions of a man of the cloth. Let them put their young hands in mine, and I shall do my best to make men and women out of them and show them the joy and ecstasy of God's kingdom.

Father Paul Byrne is a syndicated advice columnist whose weekly column, Ask A Morally Weak Preacher, appears in over 250 newspapers nationwide.

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