25, Catholic, & Super Stressed Out

As I write this, I’m sitting in a French bakery in Lakeview East, eating a croissant and drinking a latte and wishing I were in a real Parisian bakery instead of this one in Chicago. I’m not well-dressed for the present low temperatures, a million chores demand my attention at home, and currently, my car is waiting for me in a tow lot on the north side.

For the sake of context, I feel compelled to add this is the second time my car’s been towed this month.

I like to think that as I’ve grown older, I’ve gotten better at handling and managing stress. I didn’t freak out this morning when I realized my car had been towed (although I wanted to), and I managed to keep my wits about me as I was forced to carry on with my day. Well, I thought to myself, what’s done is done. “No use crying over spilt milk,” as they say.

Nevertheless, this bitter development in my weekend seemed to be the cherry-on-top of a stressful week. This past month shaped up to be one of those moments in life that brings to the forefront many questions—where am I going? How am I getting there? Who am I bringing along for the ride? Toss some parking tickets and a car tow (or two) into the mix and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a full-scale meltdown.

But see, us Catholics—we’re lucky. Moments like these that could so easily knock down persons with lesser faith are actually big opportunities for us. They’re a chance, given by God, to really choose to believe in Him. That moment I pulled up to where I’d left my car and realized it wasn’t there anymore? An opportunity for surrender. I try so hard to remind myself of that.

Mother Teresa had this mastered. She once said:

“Every day we have to say yes. To be where He wants you to be. Total surrender. If He puts you in the street—if everything is taken from you and suddenly you find yourself in the street—to accept to be put in the street at that moment… To accept whatever He gives and to give whatever He takes with a big smile. This is the surrender to God. To accept to be cut to pieces, and yet every piece to belong only to Him. This is the surrender. To accept the people that come, the work that you happen to do. Today maybe you have a good meal and tomorrow maybe you have nothing. There is no water in the pump? Alright. To accept, and to give whatever He takes. He takes your good name, He takes your health, yes. That’s the surrender. And you are free then.”

I was discussing with a close friend earlier this week how very emotional people (specifically, people like the two of us) can go about keeping their cool in relationships. I realized as we were talking that moments I’ve been especially emotional (within the context of romantic or friendship relationships) have often been a result of a loss of control. In the past, I’ve responded to a loss of control by grasping. I’ve reacted emotionally when I’ve lost a grip on the situation and recognized the outcome as being out of my hands. But this is a God-complex, and it’s a sinful attitude to take—especially toward the people we love.

Just as in the case of relationships, we must keep this mentality in the case of life across the board. I’m simply not in control. It’s what Mother Teresa says in the quote above: “today maybe you have a good meal and tomorrow you have nothing.” I live at the whim of the Lord. When we’re able to truly recognize this Truth, receive it in our hearts, and apply it to our lives, it’s liberating—because in knowing we’re not in control, we surrender our lives to God. And if we surrender our lives to God, we’re forced to rely solely on Him. Here is where we find peace—in this place where we know that our Lord keeps His promises.

Consider this comment by St. Teresa of Avila:

“Let nothing trouble you, let nothing scare you. All is fleeting, God alone is unchanging. Patience everything obtains. They want nothing who possess God; He alone is enough.”
I’ve tried very hard to make a practice of giving everything back to God. I’ve tried to practice, in both good and bad, offering every moment in life up to Him as an opportunity to do His will. Missed the bus on your way to work? It’s Yours, Lord. Burnt your dinner? It’s Yours, Lord. Get your car towed twice in one month? Still, yes. It’s Yours, Lord. Do everything in life for Him, and be filled with the peace that comes with surrendering your life.

In the book Love & Salt, one of the writers comments that the unfortunate part of being Christian is that we don’t have the luxury of giving up, because there is always hope in the resurrection. I believe she’s exactly right. Doesn’t it feel some days as though it’d be easier to just give up? To abandon our goals and our convictions for the sake of some instant, momentary satisfaction? Of course. But we can’t. Because through the resurrection, we know there are better days to come.

25 & Catholic In The Age Of Pornography

I posted a video on my Facebook page earlier this week in which I argued that pornography contributes to the sexual violence that’s so rampant in our culture today, and was met with significant resistance from a handful of the men who follow me.

Their reaction reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend just over a year ago. He’d told me, laughing, that Barstool Sports had announced they’d hired a former porn star for a spot on their most popular podcast. When I didn’t laugh in response, he became defensive. “Porn isn’t really something that falls within my sense of humor,” I told him.

“Yeah, you and every other girl on the planet.”

Well, yeah, no kidding. Porn just isn’t something that appeals to the average woman, necessarily. Not to say that there aren’t women who watch porn, and definitely not to say there aren’t women who suffer from porn addictions—nevertheless, it tends to be a man’s interest (as men are visually stimulated and have a higher sex drive). And in today’s world, where it’s so easily accessed and considered such a commonplace consumption, men have very few reasons not to watch it.

I can recall another time that I was out with friends on a Friday night, when we wandered into a local tavern in a quiet neighborhood in Chicago. We approached the bar, looked up at the numerous televisions hung across the wall, and were shocked by what we saw: hardcore porn. It was apparently “chicken & porn” night at our nearby watering hole.

Porn isn’t something people sneak a peek at in the dark quiet of their own homes anymore. It’s out in the open, in the public square, free to be consumed by anyone who stumbles upon it. I can think of many more instances—a party in college where it played in the background, sitting next to a man at Starbucks who was watching it on his phone—in which I was confronted with porn without ever seeking it out. Truly, it’s everywhere; we can’t get away from it.

This is one of those 25 & Catholic posts that, inevitably, I can only write from a woman’s perspective. As a single, 25-year-old Catholic woman, it’s so difficult to date and uphold high standards for men when porn is so common and accepted. The mere mention of porn in a passing conversation strikes fear into the heart of every woman—what if he watches it? What if he watches it a lot? How will he react if I ask that he stop? If given the choice, which would he choose—me or the pornography?

It might sound dramatic, but it’s not. It’s such a real fear for women, which begs the question—why? Why, if society says it’s okay, do so many women feel so deeply that it’s not?
Pope John Paul II, then still Karol Wojtyla, said in his book, Love & Responsibility:

“The human person is ‘a good’ towards which the only proper attitude is love.”

Matt Fradd—Catholic founder of The Port Effect, says of this quote:

“That’s either true or false. I do think that most people think it’s true. When we do think that it’s true, we don’t think we’re committing the error of speciesism, right? An unjustified bias in favor of one’s own species? We just think that it’s a fact. So then the next question we need to ask is, what is love? Well, in his book Love & Responsibility, Karol Wojtyla would argue, as St. Thomas Aquinas once did before him, that to love is to will the good of the other. So, in other words, if I want the other as a good, which is a fine thing, but if I want the other as a good without willing the good of the other, then this isn’t love. And, in the words of Karol Wojtyla we should agree that it ought to be avoided. I think when we look at pornography—I know when we look at pornography—what we find is not this.”

JPII also said that “the opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is use.”

And this, I think we can all agree, is what we’re doing when we’re looking at pornography.

But let’s not make the mistake of assuming that it’s only the men and women participating in the production of pornography who are the suffering souls, here. Exposing ourselves to pornography does major damage to our ability to emotionally connect with other people—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Fight The New Drug is an incredible resource for information on the data behind the effects of pornography. The site emphasizes that our brains are “wired for companionship, with neurochemicals released in response to intimacy—even if you’re alone, staring at pornographic images on a screen.”

“In that moment, the brain’s powerful machinery kicks into gear, bonding us in different ways to images on the screen. Studies show that over time, many can develop a compulsion to pornography, causing them to need more of it, more often, and more hardcore versions just to feel normal—just like with mood-altering drugs. The amazing brain, in other words, can be hijacked.”

I remember in one of my communications classes in college, we studied the psychology behind parasocial relationships. The term “parasocial relationship” refers to the one-sided relationships that we often have with celebrities, characters on our favorite TV shows, what have you.

Consider what level of parasocial relations we might experience in watching porn. We’re engaging in an incredibly intimate act—arguably the most intimate act a person can ever experience in his/her lifetime—with people on a screen whom we’ve never met. It’s simply impossible that we won’t be affected, or that our other relationships won’t suffer as a result.

This can be a remarkably painful experience for a woman who’s witnessing her boyfriend or husband’s affinity for pornography. Oftentimes, she can feel like a third-party outsider in her own relationship. Because the Lord made us for monogamy and real, true, reciprocal love, a man who’s in a relationship and also consistently watches porn could find himself feeling torn between the two—even if he doesn’t recognize it.

So now we come to my two cents.

Here’s the thing about millennial Catholics: we are too insightful, too innovative, and too well-informed to deny that pornography is a problem. In fact, it’s a BIG problem. And it’s something the whole of us cannot deny any longer.

We need to be bolder about starting these conversations.

25, Catholic, & Seeking Holy Friendships

‘The Four Loves’ is one of those books that totally changes your life.

It’s the kind of book you can’t hardly put down once you’ve picked it up, and when you finally do, you feel like you’re looking at the world with an entirely new set of eyes.
It discusses the philosophies and greater meanings behind the different types of love we experience throughout our lives, in a way that’s both thoughtful and practical—which I’ve found is remarkably useful material to delve into when you’re in your mid-twenties (and Catholic, obviously).

I look back on my time in college and see that some of the relationships I invested in were notably shallow. One of the greatest wisdoms I’ve taken from ‘The Four Loves’ is the realization that there’s a stark difference between “companions” and “friends”—and most of the people I spent time with in college were, I now see, better-described as drinking companions than true friends. It’s a phenomenon that I think is relatively common amongst college students, especially within sorority and fraternity life. While I always had people to binge drink with on the weekends, there were very few people I could call for coffee and good conversation.

This matters.

C.S. Lewis says that while affection and eros—romantic love—are “too obviously connected with our nerves… tugging at your guts and fluttering in your diaphragm,” friendship love—“that luminous, tranquil, rational world of relationships freely chosen”—is “a relation between men at their highest level of individuality.”

Was this confusing? Maybe a little. Consider this:

“Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening friendship would be something like, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”

It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumbling or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision – it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.”

The key here, in “friendship” versus “companionship”, is a shared truth. Whereas lovers face inward, looking to one another, friends stand side-by-side, facing some external truth.

“The very condition of having friends is that we should want something else besides friends. Where the truthful answer to the question, “do you see the same truth?” would be “I see nothing and I don’t care about the truth; I only want a Friend”—no Friendship can arise (though Affection of course may). There would be nothing for the friendship to be about, and friendship must be about something, even if it were only an enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice. Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travelers.”

But why does this matter? What’s wrong with companionship in the absence of friendship?

Nothing, necessarily. But the absence of good character can become a source of temptation and occasion of sin. So we see in Corinthians:

“Do not be deceived; bad company corrupts good morals.”

Or Proverbs 13:20:

“He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

And Proverbs 27:17:

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

As human beings, we’re made for relationship. We’re made to love and be loved, be it within the perimeters of a charitable relationship, a marital relationship, a friendship, what have you. The Lord said in the creation story, “it’s not good for man to be alone,” and this is true. As the Lord is a communal being, and we are made in His image, so we are the Body of Christ.
The temptation within relationships can be to forget Christ and indulge in one another, but ultimately this can’t be allowed to manifest. All love and relationships should be for the greater glory of God—and this goes for friendships as well.

25, Catholic, & Finding Peace In Aloneness

Around this time last year, I traveled to Italy alone for one month. And when I look back on that time, there’s a lot that I can say I gained—spiritually, figuratively, what have you—from the experience. One of those items is a immense appreciation for dining alone.

It’s something I’ve come to relish in. Almost every payday, pending other plans, I treat myself to a meal out all by myself.

That’s not to say I don’t love socializing or crave quality time spent with good people. In fact, I’ve found that on a more permanent basis, I don’t do quite as well alone. A talker like me wasn’t made to spend 12+ hours a day by herself. Just the same, I relish in that time spent enjoying a meal alone.

It’s amazing what quiet can do for our thoughts. And not so much a physical quiet—I don’t necessarily seek restaurants that are especially lacking in noise, if you will (do those even exist?). I’m referring more so to a mental quiet. There’s so much to be gained from stepping away from friend chatter, social media chatter, the chatter of the world—and receding back into a quieted mind for reflection and conversation with God.

St. Teresa of Calcutta said once:

“We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

I think that many people make the mistake of equating aloneness with loneliness, but the two are not the same. One can find quiet solitude with God and not feel loneliness; just the same, one can feel very, very lonely in the midst of constant noise. While loneliness is an undeniable cross (Mother Teresa often called it the worst of all poverties), solitude with the Lord is not just a luxury, but a necessity.

I’m of the belief that spending time in silence with the Lord is critical to our ability to know ourselves. Who am I in the absence of other people? Where do my thoughts wander? What emotions am I feeling?

I often think of a scene in Bride Wars that expresses this thought. Yes, you’re thinking of the right Bride Wars—the one with Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. At the beginning of the movie, Hathaway’s character comments that a person’s ability to be alone with his own thoughts is a reflection of whether there’s peace in his life. And toward the climax of the movie, as Hathaway’s character experiences an increasing discomfort in her engagement, she notably starts wearing earbuds on her runs—an indication that she’s uncomfortable in the silence of her own thoughts. This is a very honest premise.

Busyness serves as a distraction in our lives. There’s something to be said for a person’s ability to just sit and “be”—be alone with himself, alone with God, alone with the thoughts and prayers “in the quiet of his heart.”

This is especially important as single people in our twenties who’re preparing for a vocation. It’s especially challenging as well, however, because loneliness does sometimes creep into our aloneness as a single person. Bobby Angel addressed this well:

“A dear seminarian friend told me that “loneliness is just God asking you to spend time with Him.” Pope Benedict (when he was Cardinal Ratzinger) wrote that “the Fathers of the Church say that prayer, properly understood, is nothing other than becoming a longing for God.” St. Teresa of Avila also wrote that God hears us “not with noise of words… but with longing.” If you’re waiting on the Lord for your vocation to be unveiled, waiting for an answer, waiting for Godot, or waiting for your rocket to come, have patience. Enter into that solitude, that stillness, that stretch. Allow God to transform your ache. Don’t run from it—own it. Become a longing.”

If aloneness draws you into loneliness, enter into it. Accept it. Embrace it. Take up your cross, and know that God is faithful, and He is walking alongside you. And in the meantime, dive deep into the silence of your heart. Confront the deepest musings of your soul with courage.

And spend some time in the quiet.

25 & Catholic: Finding Peace In Aloneness

Around this time last year, I traveled to Italy alone for one month. And when I look back on that time, there’s a lot that I can say I gained—spiritually, figuratively, what have you—from the experience. One of those items is a immense appreciation for dining alone.

It’s something I’ve come to relish in. Almost every payday, pending other plans, I treat myself to a meal out all by myself.

That’s not to say I don’t love socializing or crave quality time spent with good people. In fact, I’ve found that on a more permanent basis, I don’t do quite as well alone. A talker like me wasn’t made to spend 12+ hours a day by herself. Just the same, I relish in that time spent enjoying a meal alone.

It’s amazing what quiet can do for our thoughts. And not so much a physical quiet—I don’t necessarily seek restaurants that are especially lacking in noise, if you will (do those even exist?). I’m referring more so to a mental quiet. There’s so much to be gained from stepping away from friend chatter, social media chatter, the chatter of the world—and receding back into a quieted mind for reflection and conversation with God.

St. Teresa of Calcutta said once:

“We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

I think that many people make the mistake of equating aloneness with loneliness, but the two are not the same. One can find quiet solitude with God and not feel loneliness; just the same, one can feel very, very lonely in the midst of constant noise. While loneliness is an undeniable cross (Mother Teresa often called it the worst of all poverties), solitude with the Lord is not just a luxury, but a necessity.

I’m of the belief that spending time in silence with the Lord is critical to our ability to know ourselves. Who am I in the absence of other people? Where do my thoughts wander? What emotions am I feeling?

I often think of a scene in Bride Wars that expresses this thought. Yes, you’re thinking of the right Bride Wars—the one with Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. At the beginning of the movie, Hathaway’s character comments that a person’s ability to be alone with his own thoughts is a reflection of whether there’s peace in his life. And toward the climax of the movie, as Hathaway’s character experiences an increasing discomfort in her engagement, she notably starts wearing earbuds on her runs—an indication that she’s uncomfortable in the silence of her own thoughts. This is a very honest premise.

Busyness serves as a distraction in our lives. There’s something to be said for a person’s ability to just sit and “be”—be alone with himself, alone with God, alone with the thoughts and prayers “in the quiet of his heart.”

This is especially important as single people in our twenties who’re preparing for a vocation. It’s especially challenging as well, however, because loneliness does sometimes creep into our aloneness as a single person. Bobby Angel addressed this well:

“A dear seminarian friend told me that “loneliness is just God asking you to spend time with Him.” Pope Benedict (when he was Cardinal Ratzinger) wrote that “the Fathers of the Church say that prayer, properly understood, is nothing other than becoming a longing for God.” St. Teresa of Avila also wrote that God hears us “not with noise of words… but with longing.” If you’re waiting on the Lord for your vocation to be unveiled, waiting for an answer, waiting for Godot, or waiting for your rocket to come, have patience. Enter into that solitude, that stillness, that stretch. Allow God to transform your ache. Don’t run from it—own it. Become a longing.”

If aloneness draws you into loneliness, enter into it. Accept it. Embrace it. Take up your cross, and know that God is faithful, and He is walking alongside you. And in the meantime, dive deep into the silence of your heart. Confront the deepest musings of your soul with courage.

And spend some time in the quiet.

25, Catholic, & Also A Woman

Hugh Hefner died last week.

As a Catholic, it’s tough to know the right way to respond to his death. A lot of Catholic figures suggested we should pray that he repented and recognized Christ before he died. This is probably the right idea.

After drinking a pot of coffee around 7PM last night for no good reason in particular, I found myself still awake and staring wide-eyed at my computer at 3AM—which is when I came across a 2015 Cosmopolitan article from an interview with Holly Madison, one of Hefner’s (more recent) Playboy girlfriends.

Madison described how depressed she became after Hefner forcibly cut her off from the outside world, required she engage in sex with him and other women in the house, and inflicted emotional abuse that manipulated her into consenting to all of the above. Sadly, one could’ve guessed that this was what’s going on behind the doors of Playboy mansion. It’s a phenomenon that’s contributed to the twisted way we look at sex—and also at women in general.

I often think of something Jason Evert says about the beauty of the female gender:

“The woman is the most beautiful thing on Earth. I’m not pandering to you—this is obvious. What do guys get addicted to looking at on the internet? Like, flamingos or something? Waterfalls? It’s the beauty of the woman! If creation was a symphony, she is the crescendo, and this is how it’s presented in the book of Genesis—God creates the stars and the moons and the bugs and the birds and the mammals and then man, and then woman. And when Adam sees her, he is beside himself. “Alas! This one is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone.” He is captivated by her. He is in awe.”

What could possibly be more special than this? Not to say men aren’t special—like, you guys are fine—but this is super special. It’s so inherently good to be a woman. I look so warmly on all that comes with it—the upsides and the downsides, monthly gifts notwithstanding. Truly, womanhood is such a blessing. It’s so, so good to be woman.

John Paul II’s Theology of the Body further emphasizes this point. Women have an incredible capacity for vulnerability, adversity, pain—and also for love. Our bodies were perfectly made for bearing and rearing children, even down to the tiniest details, like the bend of our arms and the curve of our hips. We’re an incredibly strong, resilient gender from the moment we’re conceived in the womb. Women are amazing.

Our Mother was the ultimate woman. Her example set the standard for femininity in a graceful, beautiful way. Blogger Matt Foley expressed this remarkably:

“We don’t hear much from Our Lady in the Scriptures, but we do hear in Luke’s Gospel that she “kept all of these things in her heart.” Mary had a lot to deal with. The Lord of the Universe came to her and promised her the life she was born to live, and then she knew He would have to take it away. And she had to just wait for that. There was so much back and forth, up and down, waiting and going. And she knew deep in her heart, that on this side of Heaven, for three long and terrible days, it would all end in heartbreak. But every sorrow, every joy, every love, everything, she kept in the depths of her heart and shared it with her first and deepest Love. It was there she found the meaning of her womanhood. It was there she was affirmed in the fullness of her identity as a woman. So when God came and asked her, “Mary, my daughter, I love you. Are you ready?” Her answer was yes. She already knew her worth and her purpose was rooted in Goodness. She knew she was loved and lovable. Her answer was openness to receive the gift of God. And because of that, the world was never the same.”

But if women are profoundly capable of all of these things—vulnerability, resilience, receptivity to love, etc. etc.—we’re all the more profoundly capable in our ability to draw greatness out of man. This is what we were created for—to compliment and accentuate the parts of man that perfectly reflect his creation in the image and likeness of God.

Peter Kreeft said it best:

”The heart is like a woman, and the head is like a man, and although man is the head of woman, woman is the heart of man and she turns man’s head because she turns his heart.”

My sister delves deeper into this point in a beautiful critique of the Women’s March (which you can read here):

“Women, we are the heart! We are the heart of this world, with the ability to turn its head. Women, we were not created to be trampled on or used. We are not secondary or lesser to our male counterparts. We were created with feminine qualities including gentleness, warmth, sensitivity, compassion, and receptivity. Yes, we’re intelligent, capable, and driven. We are strong and brave (shout out to Leah Darrow). We are not a slave to our fellow man, but rather a fundamental, necessary, and worthy companion. The gifts and talents that we have to offer are good, holy and beautiful. We are nurturing, loving, protective, loyal, self-giving, and communicative by nature. These qualities are of great service to our world. They are valuable in the workplace, just as they are essential to the family. It is by harnessing these very qualities that we will be be most impactful in the world, whether as business women, entrepreneurs, politicians, journalists, doctors and/or nurses, but of utmost importance as mothers.”

We were not created to be trampled on or used. We are not secondary or lesser. We are not a slave to our fellow man. In this thought, we’re brought back to “fellow man”, Hugh Hefner.
His contributions to the twisted way the world now sees women are neither here nor there, in my opinion. It would’ve happened one way or the other, as it has countless times over in other civilizations and will continue to until the end of time. One of the devil’s greatest weapons is the perversion of the beauty of womanhood and the relationship between the sexes, because the toxicity of its outcome seeps into every other area of life. In modern times, we see this everywhere.

The perversion of woman—who she is, what she does, how she’s meant to relate to man—has brought forth social repercussions we could list for days. And it hardly leans in one direction. The woman who demonizes the male gender and aims to squeeze women into the role that’s meant for men does as much damage to herself as the one who exploits her sexuality in an attempt to harness power and control. I hurt for these women. I hurt for the Holly Madisons of the world, who suffer from a fundamental misunderstanding of who they are and what they’re capable of.
But within this context, it must be said: the Hugh Hefners suffer too.

Men need good women, just as women need good men. You can’t have one without the other. So as Holly Madison likely suffers from her disconnection with her purpose, Hugh Hefner likely suffered also. A man who uses and abuses women the way he did strikingly misses out on his own potential for greatness. This is a travesty too.

To be 25, Catholic, and a woman is a profound gift, but it’s also an incredible challenge. Women bear a responsibility to the men in their lives to hold a certain standard, but it’s a responsibility that does not come without its share of risk. 20-something single, Catholic women today enter into a remarkable vulnerability in choosing to maintain that standard. In a world where most women consent to their own mistreatment and the perversion of their beauty, man’s obligation to the standard isn’t an obligation at all—it’s a choice. As a result, the women who expect more often find themselves at the receiving end of profound rejection. It’s that pain and adversity I mentioned before—it’s real and it’s common.

But there’s good news: it’s worth the graces of calling men to their higher purpose. The cross of rejection is worthy of the great fruits that stem from fulfilling our call as females to draw the greatness out of men. But just as we have the call, we also have the tools. Our remarkable resilience gives us the ability to endure it.