Pledge your prayers for Bp. Strickland HERE
(LifeSiteNews) — St. Dominic once confided to a Carmelite religious that Our Lady told him that the Rosary and the Brown Scapular would save the world. Indeed, it is prayer in general, and the Rosary in particular, that helps to make men into saints willing to shed their blood for the truth of the faith.
On this episode of The John-Henry Westen Show, the second part of my interview with Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, he tells me how it is that he courageously defends the deposit of faith, and discusses the apostolic visitation he received earlier this summer.
When I ask him why he is one of the few in the English-speaking world speaking the truth, he responds that it is “the million dollar question,” and that he isn’t sure if he has the answer. However, to Strickland, the reason why he knows the truth he preaches is because he knows Jesus Christ through prayer.
“It’s not because of me at all,” he stresses. “Part of my prayer at every Mass is, ‘I’m nothing; You’re everything.’ And that’s the reality.” He also explains that while he is not some “special gift,” nor does he have such a gift, but “I guess the gift that I have received is knowing Christ.” He also explains that everything goes back to the sanctity of life as the central “human issue.”
In terms of a “divine issue,” however, to him it would be the Eucharistic presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. “It’s hard to say which is more tragic – the lack of respect for the sanctity of life, or the lack of belief in the Real Presence,” Strickland laments. “But for us as Catholics, they’re… two linchpins of… living our faith, of living what God is calling us to do.” His Excellency also tells me that his strength is the time he spends in front of the Blessed Sacrament every day, in spite of his personal weakness.
Referring to those even within his own diocese that would like him to keep quiet, Strickland says that he feels “compelled” to speak. “I read St. Paul… and I truly feel compelled to do this, not because I’m worthy of it, not because I’m the best instrument, but because I know the truth,” he asserts.
Strickland also explains that devotion to Our Lady has allowed him to go deeper and deeper into the faith, especially after his episcopal consecration. He also touches upon the Rosary as something that has changed his life as a Catholic, especially after becoming a bishop, using it as a “journey through Christ’s life,” something he admits is not original to him, but something that he tells me has “become a deep part of the Rosary for me.”
He also explains that he looks for the Sacred Heart in every mystery, given the significance of that devotion to him. “I think… that… the conversation [with Our Lord]… continues because as I grow closer to Him, then I see Him more clearly, and then as I see Him more clearly, I grow closer,” Strickland says.
Discussing the causes of the apostolic visit, His Excellency says that there could be a multitude of reasons for it, though he stresses that it could be because he is focusing on the deposit of faith: “I’m looking up, and I’m looking to the deposit of faith, the… beautiful and ancient Truth that stretches back for 2,000 years.” He also mentions his strong defense of the sanctity of life and opposition to jab mandates as other possible factors.
“I think in many ways it’s like I’m the opposite of what is the accepted norm,” Strickland supposes. “‘Stay quiet, keep your head down, just be part of this conference of bishops or this group and don’t say anything individually.’”
According to Strickland, being a successor of the apostles is “very different than being part of a… conference of bishops or being part of this group or… sort of operating in the… more corporate structure that the Church has.”
“You look back to the original apostles, for one thing, they died, but they died joyfully and clearly proclaiming the Truth,” he continues. “And so if that’s what gets you an investigation, or a visitation, okay, then yeah… I’ll be visited because I feel compelled to speak out.” He also tells me that in terms of becoming “canceled,” he is unsure of what the result of the visitation is going to be. In the meantime, he will do what he has been doing, teaching the Truth.
In spite of the attention he has for speaking the Truth of the Gospel, however, Strickland tells me that he longs for the day he falls back into obscurity.
“I pray for the day when… people forget who Bishop Strickland was, because every bishop in the world is saying, ‘Look to the heavens, look to God, be your highest self, believe this Truth that’s been revealed to us,’” he explains. “As long as others aren’t speaking, okay; people are going to listen that want the truth, because I’m going to keep speaking.”
By the same token, His Excellency maintains that speaking the truth sets one free, as the truth itself cannot change. However, he concludes the interview with a warning about a movement he sees in the Church.
“There’s a real movement to make… ourselves in our own image, instead of realizing we’re made in the image and likeness of God, and that is a dangerous path,” Strickland warns.
“A lot of… the turmoil, and the fracturing, and the brokenness you see in families, and individuals… just across society, it’s rooted in forgetting who we are, forgetting that we are of God, and trying to play God ourselves, we really mess it up.”
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Pledge your prayers for Bp. Strickland HERE