April 10: Don’t Let the Critics Win

Day 35

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I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have any critics. It’s a really difficult part of life to deal with, and it’s a part of life that you can’t not deal with. You can’t just ignore it and think it’ll go away. It’s a part of life that can have a massive influence on us.

When a new book comes out, I’ll get a thousand emails from people saying they love the book. I’ll get one email from someone criticizing something on line four of page whatever. Which one will I go to bed thinking about? The critic.

It’s a tragic flaw. It’s a tragic flaw, and I probably have it more than most people. But the truth is that we have to be really careful about the voices we allow into our lives. We have to be really careful about the voice of criticism in our life.

You see, the voice of criticism can be a voice of coaching. But the voice of criticism can also be a voice of distraction and a voice of discouragement. And one thing that God does not want you to experience is discouragement. God doesn’t want you to get down. We get down because we think it’s our work. The truth is, whatever we’re trying to do is God’s work. And guess what? He can handle the critics.

But we let the critics, very often, take a very powerful place in our lives. OK, obviously I’m living a public life as an author and as a speaker, but you’ve got your critics. Might be your mom, might be your dad, might be your grandma, might be your mother-in-law, your sister-in-law, could be anybody. But you’ve got critics, and you cannot let their voice run rampant in your life.

You have to, I think at some point, learn to bring the criticisms to God and say, “Alright God, here they are. If there’s something here you want me to work on, give me some indication you want me to work on it. Otherwise, teach me to detach from this and not get discouraged by this.” Because when we get discouraged, we spend a lot of energy on something that has nothing to do with the mission.

I think it’s important to ask ourselves, “Is what this person is criticizing going to help the mission? Is it going to help me do the mission better?” Great if it is! Take it on. Doesn’t matter who says it, doesn’t matter how much you like them or don’t like them. If it can help you become a-better-version-of-yourself, great! Let’s take it on board. Let’s separate it from the personality of the person who said it, and let’s take it on board. Let’s become a-better-version-of-ourselves.

If it can’t help us do the mission better, if it won’t help us become a-better-version-of-ourselves, it’s incidental, and we’ve got to give it the gate. We’ve got to set it aside. We’ve got to press on with the mission.

Mission is king. We’re made for mission. God’s made you for mission. Anything that distracts you from the mission isn’t of God. We’ve got to learn to set it aside, stay focused, and never get discouraged by the critics. Everyone’s got critics.

Everyone’s got critics, and what the critics do is stop us from acting. They stop us from actually doing something, and they distract us to just be thinking about stuff. It’s a very, very subtle way . . . it’s resistance.

Resistance will use criticism because resistance hates action. Resistance hates when you actually do something. Resistance loves when you sit around moping about what the critics said about you. Resistance loves that.

What God wants you to do is to step out of that discouragement. He wants you to break through that discouragement. He wants you to go out and do something. He wants you to act. He wants you to press on and do whatever it is he’s calling you to do right now.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.”

Theodore Roosevelt, as cited in Resisting Happiness

Share this quote.


The critics will always be there, but we need to be careful not to allow their voices too much space in our hearts.


Reflect on a time when you allowed critics to have too much influence in your life, and how you would do it differently next time.


Jesus, help me persevere when I encounter critics. In those moments, help me to simply do the tiniest thing to move forward. I know you will do the rest.

Today’s personal reflection features Dynamic Catholic team member Steve Lawson. Steve is our director of communications, coming to us from Buffalo, New York. Steve loves gummy candy, has a secret desire to be Darth Vader, and yes, the blonde streak is natural.

How have you overcome critics in your life?

Let us know in the comments!

We encourage you to comment on this reflection. All viewpoints are welcome, but we ask that you remain on-topic and respect other members of the discussion. Please remember that we are trying to help each other become the-best-version-of-ourselves. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding comments, including but not limited to removal of comments. Be Bold. Be Catholic.®

  • jddimi

    I think my kids are usually my biggest critics. I started a pretty difficult Lenten journey this year doing the “Nineveh 90” challenge with a group out of Toledo, with Fr. Richard Heilman directing it. It starts with a 54 Rosary Novena, Angelus prayers everyday, no snacking, desserts or sweets, no soda, fasting 2 days a week, then the 33 days to Morning glory consecration to Mary. We are also supposed to exercise everyday, sleep at least 7 hrs, do an examination of conscience every night, morning offering prayer and 20 mins of Holy Hour and bedtime prayers, with daily Mass and regular confession when possible. It started out pretty easy and has since become more difficult to avoid snacking and desserts and soda again. I haven’t managed to exercise one day, even though I had regularly exercised for a year before this started. My 14 yr old daughter stated last week, “I don’t know why you even bother with all that prayer and fasting. It isn’t going to change anything or do any good anyway”. I immediately recognized Satan talking through her to me, to try and discourage me. I figured the prayers and fasting must be pretty powerful to get such a strong reaction. I told her the story of the Disciples who had been sent out 2 by 2 by Jesus and they were able to cure many, but there was one demon possession that they could not cast out. Jesus told them that those demons can only be cast out by prayer and fasting. I told her that I have prayed a lot, but I had not tried fasting along with it. So now I am doing what Jesus said to do, so my prayers may be successful. So by her criticizing my actions it actually strengthened by resolve to do better for the remainder of the challenge. Today starts the Marian consecration. This has been the longest duration that I have ever managed to pray a daily rosary and plan to keep this daily habit. I also blessed her with Holy water and Blessed every room in our house. So I face and fight my critics head-on and become more determined to continue to do what God wants me to do, and become the best version of myself.

    • Donna Sweesy

      I often see the critic voice as a way to let me know something I’m doing is more effective than I realize. That gives me the courage to go after it more. That doesn’t mean I don’t go through a season of discouragement before I get there.

      • pam

        I like that statement “season of discouragement”… sounds better than depressed, down, un-motivated..
        Than You

    • Winnie Svikhart Supple

      May the Lord strengthen you during your consecration to Him and may the Blessed Mother keep her hand on your shoulder to steady you in your journey And remember teenagers eventually grow up and this too shall pass. I will keep you in my prayers

    • Susan E

      Enjoy the 33 Days – it is amazing and life changing. May God’s peace which is “far beyond human understanding keep your heart and mind safe.” I too had a teenager that was hyper critical and it is painful to hear words come out of our children. The evil one is crafty when he uses our loved ones against us. But she is a teenager and trying to work through her own journey. I will keep you both in my prayers.

    • Andrea C

      Praying for your strength and perseverance. You can do it!

    • Laura leah Yarbrough

      Sound like you are at 90% of your Challenge. Remember exercise can be a walk or some floor exercises. Rejoice in your accomplishments. Our children can push our buttons in a way no one else can.

    • Rick Klarmann

      Congratulations. My wife and some friends have also undertaken the Nineveh challenge. It has led to one of the best Lents I can remember. We pray more and the fasting has helped to deal with my inner critic and also helped me have a really good confession a little over a week ago.
      God bless you and your friends on Nineveh challenge but God bless everyone journeying through this Lent. When we get to Easter may we all look more like Jesus than we did when we started on Ash Wednesday

    • Sam Adams

      WOW! What a Lenten journey! I bet when you look back on this time in your life, you will think, “That’s the Lent that changed my life.” What a strong person you must be. Keep up the good work. I just said a prayer for you:)

      • jddimi

        Oh I fail in saying many of the prayers daily like the Angelus, the examination of conscience for a couple. But I try again at the start of each day. It has definitely been a challenge for me.

    • Joyce W.

      If you have already read the first day of 33 Days to Morning Glory today, then you will have had confirmation of the tremendous battle we are all in. But we have Jesus on our side and He never leaves or forsakes us, and He gave us His own mother to watch over us. You have done so well to take on that Nineveh 90 challenge during Lent. Your daughter, God bless her, is influenced by the world, but your depth of faith will give power to your prayers for her.

    • Lea Novak

      I had done the 54 day novenas from that same source twice, and was excited about the Nineva 90, but only lasted 3-4 days this time! I hope they do it again, since I would really like to do this! But somehow, this time it was just too much for me. Congratulations on your perseverance!

      • jddimi

        This is my first attempt and I haven’t managed all the prayers, examination of conscience or the angelus daily. But I keep trying every day. They are starting the Marian Consecration today. It is never to late to join, and what better time then today! Thanks and God Bless.

    • Connie Dolezel Bolander

      Bless you. This challenge sounds very difficult. You are an inspiration for all. I, too, have a daughter (and a son) who is very critical of me and my religion. I pray for my children daily – at all hours. May God’s strength be with you.

      • Maria

        I am praying for each and everyone of you!May God bless each of you and hope you pray for me. Love to all

    • lizmvr

      I’m so glad that you’re staying strong, in large part because you are being a good example for your children, despite what they might say to you. That Lenten challenge seems like a lot–it’s been a struggle for me to keep up with these videos! I’m impressed, and I’ll be praying for you and your family. At least we know your daughter is thinking about your actions, and I hope with time she’ll see the benefits to them, too.

    • pam

      I have never heard of this. You have inspired me. If it be God’s Will for me, I will consider attempting this. Amazing dedication
      Happy Holy Week

    • RD

      You seriously have taken on a lot for Lent. God bless your determination and efforts.

      Try not to let your daughter’s criticism upset you. When I was a teenager, my mom was very involved in a charismatic prayer group. I was embarrassed with her habit of saying, “Praise the Lord” anytime something good happened. I let her know that I thought this group that she enjoyed so much, was something I considered nutty.

      It was my own immaturity talking. And I’m very glad that my mom recognized that, and never let me discourage her. She didn’t get angry at any of my comments, or really voice any emotion or explanation that I remember. She listened quietly, and just kept doing what was making her happy. Eventually I came to appreciate seeing her so happy, and came to realize how caring and supportive these new friends of hers were. I’m so glad that my self-centeredness did not succeed in stopping my mom from this period of spiritual growth in her life.

      Funny thing is, because I saw how my mom thrived from spiritual study and spiritual friendships, I found myself giving it a try when I came across a rough patch in my own life. The experience I tried to talk my mom out of, ended up benefitting me greatly, years down the road. So hang in there and just give your daughter a smile and a hug. Her critical thoughts are coming from a place of narrow understanding. Don’t doubt the understanding you have of God’s power and grace. His love is at work in every situation!

  • Oh boy. This hit the heart big time. I grew up thinking that I couldn’t do anything right. Thinking about my critics is a huge burden, one that I haven’t been able to completely shake. For example, this website I started. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure I get it right and that the inspirations are truly inspirations.

    But as I have become closer and closer to God, I’m able to put criticism out of my mind much easier. I know that all that matters if I please God. That also benefits everyone I meet, like all of you very wonderful folks. My love for God makes it so much easier to love everyone. So now, when I am criticized, I pray that I get over it and am able to learn from it.

    • Sandy Dooley

      Doug what is the name of your website again please? Thanks.

      • I forgot that Dynamic Catholic doesn’t allow web site addresses. Go to mylordandme . com

    • Laura leah Yarbrough

      If you have critics it means you are reaching for your goals. Everyone we meet has a message or lesson for us. Often look past the words they are saying and look for the feeling. The critic may be asking for help or prayer themselves. #projection

      • webhess

        Thanks Doug for sharing, also suffer from internal and external critics. It is so hard, but I cling close to God and it helps a lot. I too started a personal blog bestmommyigot {dot} com and I am also 80% complete with a book and website that is business related. It has taken me 2 years and thank God I have a patience publisher who reminds me “You are a good writer”. I haven’t shared my personal blog with anyone (out of fear, as it is still a work in progress), and very few know about the business project. That is why I had to reach out and say Thanks you to you also Laura, I love the way you worded this “If you have critics it means you are reaching for your goals. Everyone we meet has a message or lesson for us. Often look past the words they are saying and look for the feeling. The critic may be asking for help or prayer themselves. #projection” I start every morning with God to be able to write and eventually share.

        • pam

          Thank You for these words. I have been given new insight to view my biggest critic…I know now I don’t have to wear “the coat” it is being folded and put away.
          Happy Holy Week

  • Winnie Svikhart Supple

    By spending more time studying the Bible and with my Catholic community I have come to realize the reality that I am a child if God, favored and highly blessed. Who am I to argue with the King of Kings, the Almighty Creator? He forgives my trespasses and knows all my flaws. He loves me above all. This I know to be true. With this knowledge, I have found tremendous freedom from both my internal and external critics. I now experience a peace and a joy in living that I never even dreamed possible. Thank you God for setting me free

    • Karen E.

      Well said, Winnie.

  • Tiffany Besse

    I absolutely love this video and the message.

  • Lisa

    Thank you God for leading me to have a deeper relationship with you. Even though there have been some critics in my life that have spoken against the Catholic Church, I finally took action, have been going to Mass since last spring, joined RCIA, and will be confirmed this Easter Vigil. My life has changed, I am growing in faith, I have a deeper commitment to myself and to all people. I am living a more peaceful way! I have been lead to making choices I would have been too frightened to make in the past! Doors are closing and doors have opened! Interestingly, since this journey I have more connection to people in my life and have met countless others who want to build friendships with me and I with them! I feel overwhelmed with serenity and gratitude! Thank you all for being on this Best Lent Ever journey with me! I feel humble and blessed! ❤

    • Susan E

      Congratulations! Blessings to you. Enjoy the Vigil – it is truly one of the most beautiful experiences I have witnessed.

      • Lisa

        Thank you! Blessings to you too! 😇

    • Dan Shaughnessy

      I so enjoyed reading your post, Lisa. I’ll be praying for you this week. I was received into the church 12 years ago and I still always try to attend the Easter Vigil on Saturday night because it carries such special memories for me. Our faith is so precious. May the Holy Spirit draw you ever closer to our Lord as you journey onward through life.

    • Alex

      Lisa, I so understand what you mean and my confirmation at Easter Vigil mass in 2009 stands as one of my most moving and memorable experiences…right there with my wedding day and the birth of our children. My prayers are with you and welcome you into this fantastic church.

    • Alice Ann Hengesbach

      I remember how excited and scared I was when I was confirmed. As the Trideum concludes with the most awesome celebration: the Easter Vigil, God will touch you. Enjoy this special time. Blessings.

    • Diana

      Way to go Lisa, keep up the good work. I pray all the time that all my girls will come back to the church full time. I would even do the RCIA program with them.

    • Kelly Baldridge

      Welcome to the Catholic church, Lisa! I, too, am a convert. I was active in the Methodist church for years, but decided to convert when I married a Catholic. It was one of the best decisions of my life. We raised our 3 children in Catholic schools, my husband teaches at our church’s school (where all 3 of our kids went from K-8), and now our daughter is graduating with an elementary education degree, and has accepted a job at a Catholic school! But like you, I had critics. My parents were not happy; in fact, I’m pretty sure my mother thought I had joined a “cult!” My brother is a Methodist minister and made sure to get in all the digs he could about Catholicism, supposedly all in “good fun,” but they never really sounded like jokes to me. Grow stronger in your faith from the criticisms; you’ve made a wonderful decision!

      • Karen in FL

        I love conversion stories, especially those of former Protestant ministers who saw the Truth of our Faith!

      • Janet Marusiak

        Yes, I had left the RC church in my forties and then returned and had a new appreciation of my faith I was born into. We take it for granted some of us. When my friend’s sister heard I came back she sent me the book by Scott Hahn and it confirmed to me that I was in the right place. “Rome Sweet Home” You may like to read this book on his conversion to the RC faith followed by his wife Kim and others in his family and he was a Presbyterian Minister.

        • LMcKenzie

          Rome sweet Home & Something Other Than God are just two amazing stories of conversion and finding the beauty in this 2000+ Year old faith.

      • NancyB


    • Robin

      Thank you, Lisa, for sharing this. Many of your experiences echo mine, and that is a huge encouragement in itself.. I also have been attending mass since the early spring, but began too late to be part of RCIA for this year. Sometimes I feel frustrated, (and criticize myself that I was so hesitant to reach out–I am my own worst critic for sure) that I will have to wait so long to enter the church (next Easter) but at the same time am trying to accept that this is the route that God has for me. It has been instructive to see the process, at least a little, through this year’s initiates. At the same time I am learning so much from resources like Best Lent Ever and so many others, that it is certainly not a year ‘wasted’.

      I am very happy for you and pray that this Holy Week will be a very meaningful one for you.

      • Barbara Eller

        Robin, I understand your frustration. I taught RCIA for 11years and the most difficult thing for me was to tell a person they had to wait until next Easter. I see their yearning to learn more about our faith and to become part of it. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. God wants that desire to grow stronger because He has a special plan for you. Don’t think of your year as being ‘wasted’, if your church has a library go there and read books on the lives of saints. Talk to God everyday as you would to a friend. Ask Him questions and you will find your answers. I will pray for you and ask God to hold you close to His heart. Your Easter is coming! 💕
        Edit Reply

        • Robin

          thank you so much! Your insights help me to understand that a) I am not alone–others have faced this too–so often I feel like my challenges are unique to me, but they really are not. and b) that this can be a rich and valuable time in waiting.

          • Marilyn Russell

            Robin you are not alone. Amen

          • Robin

            thank you, Marilyn!

          • Genny/Peregrina

            The question is who is your critic? Sometimes is our own thinking, I’m alone, nobody cares, God is not going to bother with me, etc…my worst critic is my husband unfortunately, even mentioned that religion is to big for me, and so on..sometimes I give in, I feel frustrated, but somehow God who cares for me and loves me picks me up and shows me the way, I have learned to put aside my worst critic and just follow God, I don’t always give him 100% back, but certainly He gives me 100%! I make mistakes in the journey but I get up and continue …thanks for sharing your struggles and battles…we are on the road to heaven as pilgrims and love for God!

          • Krista

            I’m a convert too and understand it is hard to wait. At the same time, was such a special time going to Mass waiting. When the priest would hold up host and say “Behold, the Lamb of God”, it always made me cry. I love Psalm 103. meditating on that may bring you some peace. And don’t forget you can always go up for a blessing at communion! Just cross your arms over your chest and the priest will bless you.

          • Robin

            thank you for this encouragement and for the ‘gift’ of Psalm 103!

        • Anna Brady

          May God Bless You Barbara.

      • Joyce W.

        Robin, I also had to wait a year because I had accepted my calling to the Catholic Faith too late in the current RCIA program of the time. I wanted so much to receive the Sacrament at Mass, but I was able to receive a blessing each time and also make a spiritual communion with the prayer that St. Alphonsus Liguori composed:
        “My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed
        Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into
        my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least
        spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You have already come,
        and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from
        You. Amen.”

        • Robin

          Joyce, thank you for sharing this. I am so glad it’s ‘not just me’ although it can feel that way sometimes. And thank you for this prayer! It is perfect for right now. thank you again!

        • pam

          Thank You for reminding me of this prayer.
          God Bless You & Happy Easter

        • Lydia Ross

          Joyce thanks so much for sharing your journey. As a cradle Catholic I like so many other
          Catholics have taken the Sacraments for granted. It is people like yourself who have inspired me to get back in touch with my Church and my faith and the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation.

          • Joyce W.

            What is special is that God has answered my prayer to increase my faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Sacrament. One Adoration Monday, there had been an early funeral and then no one had set up the Monstrance when I arrived for Adoration. I felt heartbroken at the sight of the empty altar! This Sunday as I approached our Deacon, I noticed a Host had fallen on the floor between him and our Priest, and I just had to alert him to it so he could pick it up and consume it before giving me my communion. I couldn’t bear to see Jesus on the floor!

          • Ellen Saville

            Joyce, Thanks for sharing this. It reminded me of a Marriage Encounter Mass I attended many years ago. The host feel to the floor. The priest gently picked it up, kissed it, and ate it. My eyes filled with tears seeing the pure love and reverence he had for our Lord. Thank you for helping me to rememnber this inspiring experience.

          • NancyB

            So true, Lydia.

      • Anna Brady

        Robin. God Bless You. Don’t be so hard on yourself. God has a plan for each of us. There might be a reason you didn’t start earlier but you DID start. You have a whole year to grow in faith. You have a great time to look forward to. Thanks for sharing

        • Robin

          thank you, Anna. I do feel blessed that I can have this time to grow and learn, and will be able to enter the RCIA program in the fall having had these months to prepare and contemplate, and understanding so much more of the richness of the faith community I am entering. Thank you so much for your encouragement.

          • Anna Brady

            Your very welcome.

      • Lisa

        Robin! Don’t give up before the miricle happens! You have been lead to enter this new journey. Believe that what is going on and how it is unfolding is no coincidence! I am so happy for you too! And I pray for you too! Your devotion and commitment will give you many blessings! God bless you! I will think of you and especially next Easter Vigil!!

      • Pat

        Robin, congratulations on taking the first step and saying yes to God’s invitation to inquire about the Catholic faith. The Catholic Church, in its wisdom, knows that it takes time for Your conversion to be deep rooted. Even though you feel you are ready to accept this invitation now, patiently waiting, continuing in prayer, knowledge, and service will bring you even closer to Jesus and next year will be a wonderful, glorious celebration. I have been doing RCIA ministry for 26 years in my parish. I know how difficult it is to discern with our candidates and catechumens to determine if they are ready to celebrate the Sacraments at Easter and how difficult it is at the moment to ask them to wait. But I can attest, the wait is worth it. You would not want to give your child the keys to your car to drive alone as soon as they have their learning permit. They need time with someone behind the wheel to continue to learn. Meet with your sponsor regularly and share your faith journey with him or her. Read the Bible and reflect on God’s Word. Become involved in service projects in the parish. Remember that the Israelites spent 40 years in the desert before they reached the promised land. Your journey will be much shorter in comparison and after Easter next year, you will be wondering how the time flew by so fast. May God continue to bless you and guide you in your journey. I’m praying for you.

        • Robin

          Pat, thank you; I appreciate your perspective. One thing that’s been difficult is knowing how to get involved, or how much I can (am allowed to) get involved in the parish as a non-member, The RCIA director told me via email several weeks ago he would call me but he hasn’t. I feel like he is my ‘conduit’ to the church so it feels like I am circumventing him to get involved in other ways without talking to him first. I don’t have a sponsor; I thought that only happened when you got started in the RCIA program. I’m afraid there’s just so much I don’t know or understand about how the church structure works and I want to be respectful of that.
          I feel like I am sort of ‘hijacking’ the thread here but I appreciate all the comments to my post. Very much!

          • Marie

            Robin, Please share your feelings with the priest in your parish. You can go to bible studies in your parish or any other activities that will answer some of your questions. My heart goes out to you, if you were in my parish I would reach out to you. Sometimes people are too busy in their life to notice that someone needs a friend or a hug. Praying for you.

          • Robin

            thank you, Marie!

          • LMcKenzie

            Robin, you definitely can get as involved as your heart desires in your parish. St. Vincent de Paul society and bible studies and bereavement committees would all LOVE to have your willing spirit take part in the community of believers. I definitely echo talking with your pastor…many RCIA programs are on “rolling” schedules and pastors determine if candidates may be ready to enter the full communion of the church at different times throughout the year–though Easter Vigil is a beautiful experience, even as a cradle Catholic :). Prayers!!

          • Robin

            thank you!!

          • NancyB

            That’s why this blog is so wonderful. Our ‘community’ supports each other on our journey to Christ. No ‘hijacking”, just support!

      • Shonne Farrell

        Dear Robin I will be praying,aging for you this year that 2018 Easter will be the most beautiful Easter for you; for you are God’s daughter. God bless you dear sister!

        • Robin

          thank you, Shonne!

    • Janet Marusiak

      Wow, so beautifully said. The blessings will continue. When you feel that inner peace you know you are on the right path.

      • pam

        Wow, Thank You for these words… exactly what I am needing to see..and hear and believe that I am on the right path..
        God Bless All
        Happy Holy Week🙏🙏🙏

      • Frank Imossi

        I have always been amazed that so many clerics of other religions have converted to the genius of the Catholic Church upon researching the church fathers and discovering that there was Christianity before the Reformation! Many have set out to refute Catholicism only to discover the truth of the Church. Watching the “Journey Home” series on EWTN and reading lay converts like Scott Hahn are a revelation to me, a cradle Catholic, who always felt a hunger for more than the usual churchy stuff ladled out by scholars steeped in Middle Age theology with its almost impenetrable language. Our own Matthew Kelly is another lay person who delivers the pastoral theology that Pope Francis yearns for. I have come to believe it is our lay scholars who will save the day.

        • Janet Marusiak

          Yes, I totally agree. It seems that like in Jesus’ day, we do not always get it when our own tell us but with a new insight or someone like Scott, it is so clear and it validates more what is said is true.

    • Mary Herblet

      Welcome and God Bless you. May your faith journey bring you much love and many blessings.

    • Gayle LePine

      Lisa – we all have our own faith journey that are personal to us. Reading about your journey put a huge smile on my face. Thank you for sharing that. We have no one being confirmed at our vigil this year. I will be thinking of you. Welcome to our family.

      • Lisa


    • Anna Brady

      Congratulations Lisa. I’m so very happy for you. Welcome to the Catholic faith. God Bless You and keep you. Once you have this faith it will be with you in good times and in bad. Happy Easter and thanks for sharing.

      • Lisa

        Happy Easter! Thank you for sharing back! God bless!

    • Lea Novak

      God bless you Lisa! I was only 12 when I was confirmed, and sometimes I wish I had been older, but it was for the best. Thinking about it now, maybe that was what kept me in the faith through those tricky college and young adult years. I will be praying for you at our Easter Vigil!

    • Suzzz

      Lisa! Good going girl! I will remember you at Easter and send a prayer of thanksgiving for what you have achieved so far!

    • Anne Mason

      What a great story! Congratulations on your upcoming Confirmation!

    • Lydia Ross

      Congratulations Lisa on your decision to become a Catholic May God continue to bless you.

    • NancyB

      Wonderful, Lisa! We are blessed to have this Dynamic Catholic community to share our faith journey. God Bless you!

    • May the Porsche be with you

      God bless you Lisa!

  • mrcpuhead

    The best defense I’ve found to criticism is self awareness. The times in my life when I recognize right away that I did or said something wrong, and am the first one to criticize me, I’ve found as opportunities to fess up, apologize if appropriate, correct the mistake and move on – all due to the grace of God. Sure, critics are still often there, but by beating them to the punch, I’ve minimized, or even eliminated, any damage they could do.

    • Carlos

      You touched on a subject that I think is pretty foreign to most of the world, fessing up or taking ownership for the things we are responsible for. When things go wrong, instead of taking ownership, people will fight tooth and nail to blame it on someone else or to say that it wasn’t their fault. This is probably because they don’t want to face criticism or blame. We do not have to be slaves to criticism. The truth wins out in the end!

  • Tom Holland

    Is the inner critic just Satan planting seeds of doubt that lead to discourage and eventually despair?
    God will put place positive self criticism in our hearts to make become the best version of ourselves.

  • Paul

    This is a topic very close to me. I officiate high school baseball and football so you can see where this is going. I can take criticism but not personally; it’s part of the game (unfortunately). Yes, I hear the critics but thank God, not that often. I never acknowledge the critics by looking to the stands to see who said something critical. Instead, I try to keep saying “God, please help me to remember that I’m not doing this on my own; I know you are always with me guiding me; thank you Lord”. I know God wants me to focus on the job at hand and I know He helps me do it. Never let the critics win!

    • SanctusSanctus

      “For the greater glory of God!”

  • Sharon Trader McClurg

    Doug, what is your website? For me as well, criticism actually has always led me to hide my light under a bushel .
    Oh my gosh, today’s message is going to be a part of my daily morning prayer. It may be one of the most important messages I have ever heard. And how about our own voices not being used in a way that dims others lives?

  • Clara Turci Depko

    Growing up I think my mother was my biggest critic always telling me I’m not that smart to do this or that and I grew up with that mind set. However, I learned over the years I can do things I am smart. At age 70 now when critics say things I just pray for them. I no longer take it on. I think they are using words to hurt and they need prayer. As for my mother she didn’t think she could have a child that was smart because she didn’t she herself as a smart woman. Yet she was beyond her time she may not have been educated but she was strong and tough me to withstand the trials I would go through. Sometimes the critics make us challenge ourselves to be better and we grow sometimes it is to hurt us. If we know the difference we can react accordingly.

    • Sam Adams

      Clara, I think criticism from a mom is one of the hardest. You don’t even sound bitter. Praise God!

  • Andrea C

    It is always easy for me to encourage others and help them to learn from constructive criticism while dismissing the negative criticism. Yet, I have such a hard time dismissing my own inner critic! A continuous work in progress for me. Thanks for the great videos!

  • Kacper Lastowiecki

    I study architecture, and today is our midterm review day. What this means is that we print out all our work and drawings, tape them up on the wall and visiting critics (literally what we call them-typically famous architects from New York) come and give you pointers on your work.

    This video could not have come at a better time.

    • Steve Rians

      That’s funny Kacper, I was an architect major as well and that’s exactly where my initial thought went. Those reviews can be rough but it made me very resilient in my career. Good luck,

  • Nancy D.

    I am my own worse critic, and sometimes I have a difficult time letting go of my thoughts. I need to remember that if it is not going to make me a better version of myself, I need to let it go. I do realize that I am a critic of the people in my life that I am very close to. I see so much potential in them and cannot help but criticize. Unfortunately, one individual in my life that I point out where improvements can be made, does exactly as Matthew says. He cannot get over the criticism and resistance gets the better of him. So, I have decided to stop criticizing him because I think I am making it worse. I need to let God take care of him for the moment.

  • Dawn

    God never ceases to amaze me with how He uses this program to address exactly where I am, and what issues I am confronting.

    • Mary Kay

      Agree Dawn! I’m in AWE every morning! GOD IS GOOD–ALL THE TIME!

  • Daniela D.

    I believe this is one of the most difficult things to overcome because in my case my critics were people I trusted, family, people close to me who should have supported me, instead I was told how ugly and fat I was how no one would ever love me. Even after my first child I was told how bad a mother I was and many many more things over the years. I am a new person now, I have learnt from my critics how not to be one and happily for me I discovered not long ago that my gift from the spirit is encouragement! This is how much God loves me, he turned around all the damage and made me stronger and better. Do not give power to your critics, turn to God.

    • Seeker

      Thank you for this honest testimony and for sharing the beautiful rest-of-the-story. Bless you, Daniela!

  • Alice Ann Hengesbach

    Thorny thoughts: the Catholic Church is critical of me as a woman as I am not extended full participation in the sacrament of the priesthood. As the Risen Christ first presented Himself to women and as my mother (a Methodist) and other women have shown me: keep on being your best self. I stand for change in a Church that is always changing. I pray for change in a world that is always changing. And, most of all, I remember “God is God and I am not.” Blessings.

    • Laura

      Thorny indeed. The Church is not critical of you because it has a long standing tradition of male priests. This is a worldwide Church dealing with starvation in Africa, genocide in the Middle East, war in Eastern Europe and humanism in the west. Does the Church need more priests? Yes. Would the current ancient hierarchy benefit from more transparency and some better organizational process management? Yes. Would having women in the power structure automatically provide such? No. Would it increase the number of possible priest candidates? Yes. Would there be a number of worldwide unintended consequences (positive and negative) from such an organizational changes? Yes. Does anyone have a “right” to be a priest or a nun? No. This is not a simple issue or change and to take the “glacier like” way the Church has always moved in all issues as a personal criticism of you I fear will just add bitterness to your life. My calling is not toward that type of service, so I don’t know what you have experienced, but I pray you can positively lead this discussion with your archbishop or cardinal. God is always moving us!

      • Alice Ann Hengesbach

        The desire to open the sacrament of Holy Orders comes from a desire to open the opportunity, the call to serve in this sacred way to those whom the Holy Spirit calls. There are many opportunities to serve in the catholic world, in the Church … the priesthood, I believe, should be one of them for those who are called. To know all your life that this door is shut before you even approach it is painful. By the way, God and I are fine and I am not bitter. And, yes, I did ask for a meeting with the Bishop Burbidge (Archbishop of the Diocese of Raleigh) and was denied. Blessings.

        • Laura

          I am so sorry for this pain. I am glad you are not bitter. I can only share what God has done in my life in hopes that it is of some encouragement for you. While I don’t know this particular frustration, I do know others. The bitterness I held was more destructive than the actual denial. Also, I find my pains seem to always end up being a useful tool to help others in some way later in life. While the issue continues to enfold over the next decades, I pray you continue to be a pencil in the hand of God. Blessings!

          • Alice Ann Hengesbach

            Love “pencil in the Hand of God.” By the way, I truly stay within/around the Catholic Church to a presence for change, for openness … this is part of God’s plan for me and for His Church. : )

    • Joyce W.

      I have a concern about our need for priests in this post Christian world, and I’ve sometimes wondered if the Church should go back to allowing married priests. But I have to remind myself that God is Sovereign and nothing is impossible for Him, and His ways are not our ways. Abraham and Sarah tried to jump ahead of Him with an heir from the slave girl Hagar, but it wasn’t God’s plan. As for women in the priesthood, I sometimes wonder how much this desire among many believers has come out of the world’s feminist teaching. Women have always served powerfully in the church in their own calling, and I am thinking of such people as St. Marguerite d’Youville, who faced tremendous opposition in her service to the poor, yet never forgot that God had given her a mission. Also she faced appalling criticism, just because of the reputations of her long-deceased husband and her brother-in-law – how unfair is that?

  • Lilia

    I feel as though Matthew is speaking directly to me. The last few months I have been dealing with criticism and scrutiny from some of my siblings over my mothers dementia. I have been her primary care giver; she is now in later stages of Alzheimer’s, she has passive aggressive and at times of fencing towards me, I fully aware it’s her illness speaking. She tends to manipulate my siblings with accusations of abuse in my part. needs 24 hour care. They’re criticism is extreme as I was told I’m not worthy of their love. I have turned care of my mother over to them and distanced myself from their criticism. I have been praying asking God to help me deal with this yearning to be forgiven and excepted by my siblings. I understand now I need to pray that God helps me quiet down those voices and surrender my yearning for love. It’s only in God that I can find unconditional love. Thank you Lord for today message, I’m exalted with peace, hope and joy in God.

    • Alice Ann Hengesbach

      Lillia, I am a certified nursing assistant and have been for over eight years. Many, oh so many of my patients are suffering and their families are suffering from dementia. Dementia comes from over 80 causes and is beyond baffling. You are worthy of praise for simply showing up every day as you did for your mother (I know this!). Good for you for stepping away. Your sibs will discover the impossible that comes with dementia. As they try to “push pudding” I will be praying for them and your mom and celebrating you. I love you … God has a good one in you.

      • Lilia

        Alice, your God sent! thank you for your encouragement and love. It takes a special person to do the work you do. My prayers and blessings.

    • Jacqueline Shukla

      Lillia, I am taking care of my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease also. Just as having a child with special needs can tear marriages apart, having a parent with Alzheimer’s can tear siblings apart. I am sorry that this has occurred in your family. I will pray for you all. In addition to prayer, I use a visualization that helps me: I imagine that criticism is a blanket or a coat that is handed to me. I can decide whether to wear it or to not. I see myself folding it and putting it away somewhere. Then I ask God to help me and my family to grow in love. Sometimes I look at the criticism from a distance and ask the Holy Spirit to show me what parts (if any) of the criticism can help me grow, and I carefully and objectively look at those parts. I will pray for you.

      • Lilia

        Jacqueline, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I will try your technique. I’m still discerning how I can grow in a very objective manner, and continue to ask God for guidance. Love and blessings

      • Pat Bartolo

        Jacqueline, I like the coat imagery of criticism, thank you. Also my prayers are with you and your beautiful family, as one who personally is still dealing with the aftermath of the devastating destruction that divorce has wreaked upon myself, my children with special needs, and my parents who are wrestling with dementia, cancer, heart problems, regret, fear for our futures, which of course has led them to be critical of everything I and my sister do, mostly me as I and my children are struggling to stand and find God’s will for ourselves as we are trying to crawl out of the rubble. I am truly grateful for this God given message today that my beautiful sister sent me. God is so good and gentle with us as the critic’s voice is ugly and hurtful. Praise be to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Amen.

      • Sam Adams

        I LOVE the coat imagery – it will work for every criticism. Thank you.

      • Lea Novak

        That coat image is a good one! I will remember that the next time someone passes along a criticism like the one when my father told me that my sister who lives with him said that I act “holier than thou.” I examined my speech and actions, and decided that the criticism was not accurate, and I said a prayer asking that if it ever were accurate, to guide me away from that kind of pridefulness that pushes others away rather than beckoning them toward the church… but the criticism does haunt me a bit. I will now fold it up carefully and put it away on a shelf. Thanks!

      • jeanette m.

        Thank you Jacqueline I needed to hear and see the visualization! I am choosing not to wear it so I am pulling it off today and going to throw it in the trash, because it is unhealthy and it is dragging me down and away from the best version of myself. Again I needed the visual on this one I have been struggling with it and I see the problem is a I have kept it. Bless you for sharing.

        • Marie Patterfritz Reinhart

          I like you saying throw it in the trash. Keeping it can only allow it to creep back into your thoughts.

      • Marie Patterfritz Reinhart

        I like your saying you look at criticism as a blanket or coat and how you decide to wear it or folding it and putting it away somewhere. I am going to try that. And yes, even try to see if in any of the criticism it can help me grow. Thank you for this.

      • Tessa

        I love your visualization Jacqueline and plan to use it as well. I know what it’s like to care for a mother with Alzheimer’s. It’s been nine years now since she passed away but I remember the frustration and the pain. Sometimes I would just break down and cry. Prayer has often given me the strength to get through criticism but this visualization will be an additional tool. Thank you.

    • Pat Bartolo

      My prayers are with you and your mother. My sister has been my Mother’s care giver and supportive for my Dad for over ten years and it’s not easy for her or her family. I was hardly ever around as we lived over 21 hours away, I was always grateful for God using my sister this way and felt a great deal of guilt for not being there. Sadly tragic circumstances in my and my children’s lives allowed us to finally move closer to try to help. My dear sister in Christ, this is been a trial and a half as my parents have become more critical of me and I am only now realizing a little of what my sister has endured for years, it is so hard to want to be there for them when their criticism is so great and my children and I are trying hard to recover from the tragic circumstances that allowed us to move closer. My hope and prayer is that your siblings will be given eyes to see and ears to hear as God has given me and that He will bless all of us with the strength to overcome the crisis sent by our greatest critic, the enemy of our soul. Blessings to you and your family.

      • Lilia

        Pat, today’s video and prayers from others that are walking the same path, have given me so much prospective over critics. Thank you sharing and your words encouragement. Blessings to you and your family as well.

    • Marie

      May God Bless you for taking care of your mom. I have also been accused of my abuse of my mother in law with Alzheimer’s. I would not even hurt a fly. I was sometimes impatient with her. However since my niece took over her care, she accused her of abuse. This was said to her brother and sister in law. She since, has apologized for her error. I have to remind myself that only God is my judge. The others don’t know what they are doing or saying.
      It hurts sometimes, but then Jesus hurt too. I give it to Him and forgive the others. This way the ball is in their court.

      • Lilia

        Marie, you’re so right I need to pray to God and embrace forgiveness. My siblings are hurting in their own way. I will pray for them as well. May God bless you.

  • MS

    My this really hit home. I have been very engaged this Lenten journey. I think every day in these reflections have touch my heart and soul. I feel as though I am being called to start something very big and that this mission of us of the gifts and talents God has given will be utilized beyond even my own dreams or imagination. The challenge or critic seems to be my husband While he doesn’t even realize it. And this mission must have him on board as it is career discernment and affects our family financially and can conflict with my mission as a mother and wide. Therefore, I am at a loss on how to ignore this largest critic that is keeping me from moving forward in my mission. I can only pray that God handles this and my biggest critic becomes my greatest advocate. I do not know how to do that myself. I surrender to your Will, Lord, and your power to put things in place for this mission you have for me.

    • Seeker

      Will be praying for you as you discern how to balance your existing sacramental obligations to your marriage and your vital role as a mother with the mission you sense you are being called to.

    • Joyce W.

      I find myself reminded of the words of Gamaliel in Acts 5, “But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” A totally different situation but a reminder that God gets His way in the end! If you truly have this mission, then God will work out the details so that you can move forward as a family to do His will. If God desires this mission, He will gradually put that desire into your husband’s heart as well as yours. Your prayer of surrender is great, for it is God’s mission, not yours. Sometimes His timing causes us to be impatient, but rest assured, He is not in a hurry as we are. What we see as being right for this year, may be His plan for 5 years down the road! God bless you for your willingness to serve Him.

    • Lea Novak

      MS, remember that many of the saints were called to do something that their superiors would not let them do. God knows the roadblocks, and the saints give the example that all God asks of us is that we be willing to try, while at the same time, remaining attentive to the obligations of our vocation. If your husband is blocking your mission, try giving him what he needs, and then maybe things will fall into line for your mission to take off on wings! I know how it feels, as my husband often tries to talk me out of further commitments at church. I will keep you both in my prayers.

    • Carlos

      You mentioned that your husband doesn’t realize that he is the challenge or critic. Is this an expectation that you have or has he actually said words that have led you to this conclusion? As a husband, I want nothing more than to please my wife and to ensure that she grows in all the areas of her life. We have a myriad of personal wants and financial demands, but everything pales in comparison to my love for her. However painful it would be to our finances or personal wants, I would want her to pursue her dream. I would not want her to feel stuck or to feel that I was holding her back from her dream. The only regret I have in life is with words not said. Remember, he also is on a mission as a father and a husband. If you have a plan, he can help you fine tune it so that your family’s needs can be met without either of you having to carry all the load.

    • jddimi

      MS – I too have a husband who does not support changes in our lives that would affect us financially. Like me quitting work, even though he makes more than enough money. But recently I went on a spiritual retreat and was told that the only way to change someone’s heart is by loving them. So I have poured out Love onto my husband, even when you don’t feel it so much. In return he has said that I could work part-time if I can find health insurance for our family. Big change in only 2 weeks. So I will continue to show him love and God will work out the rest. As you said, we must trust in the Lord.

  • Dawn Auckerman Wolfe

    Matthew, thank you! I’ve been watching all during lent and discerning a few things. I’ve really felt distracted and resistance and struggling with moving forward a lot in part due to critics! I felt like God spoke to me through this post this morning because yesterday was an awful day of negativity and I just wasn’t sure I was making the right choice and wanted to quit. I’m pushing through the critics today and staying focused! Thank you for your mission and for pushing forward to help all of us. God bless you!

  • mbs

    Lisa, welcome to the Lord’s Supper.

  • Jacob

    This is something I do deal with. I usually just got back in my shell when critics are toward me. I don’t think how I can get better. I would never ask for God. I didn’t think he could help me to aim higher for my goal. I always though critics were good but, I felt like was like pushing me down and, it won’t let be get back up. I know that I can get back up and fight and pray.

  • jesspinosa

    I have a friend of many many years. I was best man at his wedding, and we’ve been through good times and bad times. In my mind, I call him Mr. Know-It-All. There’s never a conversation where he does not criticize something I say or do. No matter what the topic, he always has a better idea, a better solution. I know him so well that I can tell from the expression on his face when a criticism is coming. I used to dismiss his opinions, not anymore because some of the things he say do make sense. He still annoys the heck out of me. One thing he has taught me is to be patient, to bite my tongue when a sarcastic response is threatening to explode, and not to judge him outright. When he is in his familiar mode, I just think to myself, “Here we go again.” We are friends, we take the good with the bad in each other. I bet he has some choice words to describe me as well, at least in his mind.

    • Kathy Stewart

      I think sometimes people criticize others not because we did something wrong or inadequate, but simply because we did it differently than they would have done it. This perspective often helps keep me from getting “derailed” from my goal.

    • Suzzz

      I also have such a friend. She believes she knows a better way for me to do almost everything. Sometimes she actually has a good suggestion, but mostly I just let her go on, nod, smile and carry on. Very annoying but she is a good woman nonetheless and I still value her friendship.

    • Joyce W.

      Wow, is he God’s gift to you to learn to be patient and forgiving? I wonder if he is not as confident as he appears, and must always be seen to know better. Or maybe he just wants to share his ideas to be helpful? You have done well to keep up this special friendship. Someone once wrote “Without irritation the oysters cannot produce pearls. The greater the irritations the more perfect the pearl becomes”. I hope that your friend will catch your faith.

  • Robert Noble

    As a liturgist, organist, and published composer of sacred music, I’ve got many critics. I was once cursed at and called a variety of colorful names after just finishing the postlude; I was still on the bench! That experience really brought me down for a long time. I now realize how those comments have in some way helped me to stay grounded and more focused on the Lord. If I’m honest, I’m pretty sure I’ve been a critic too. Human weakness gets in the way of God’s mission for us. Thank you, Mr. Kelly, for reminding us today to keep our eyes locked on target: Jesus Christ!

    • Tricia Wickers

      I bet the majority of the congregation enjoyed your music.

    • Margo

      I used to be the organist at our church, too. I am smiling as I remember all of the criticisms. But in this case I remember the words of a wonderful woman, now departed, who said listening to my playing was like being with the angels. That memory brings me such joy for she herself must be an angel now.

  • Mick Peterson

    Obviously the secret is to not listen to the media, whose job is, in many instances, to find as much fault with people and their actions as possible…to the point that we’ve become such a negative society, always trying to find the “dark side.” God doesn’t work that way, and we need to remind ourselves that HE is the only critic we really need to listen to.

  • Rebecca

    My worst critic is myself. Whenever I don’t do something to par, I always put myself down and think about how I could’ve done better. Whenever my inner critic comes out, I pray to God and ask him to help me overcome the criticism.

  • Eduardo Hoover

    It’s difficult to deal with the impatient driver honking the horn at you but you can shift the blame to the engineers that made my under powered or that designed the outrageous traffic flow pattern but mostly we internalize it. This is a mild form of criticism but to a greater extent is when it’s aimed at our offering or worship to God. This is not a light thing an I am not taking Cain’s side but this an example of how extreme the pain can go. Whether you have written a book or do service for the Lord you opened a Pandora’s box for the critics. You can chose to internalize it to the point of letting it paralyze your talent or you can run from it or fight it. I think of GK Chesterton who actually used criticism to inspire his writings and give the devils their just deserts. Certainly this empowered him to become a better version of himself. We should strive to do the same. Remember would-be critics when challenging one’s latria use a good deal of encouraging tact.

    The other thing I’d like to address is those who say, “Let God be your judge.” True, this is well meaning but are we really letting it fall on God’s mercy or just some notion conjured in the mind. Approach God’s judgement is terrifying in my mind and to the very least a large concern. I think when most people say, “Let God be your judge,” they are basically saying give yourself a pat on the back and is meant to be an encouraging complement. I better like the the expression, “Turn the lemons into lemonade.”

  • Jennifer Haeussler Brewer

    This message spoke volumes to me this morning. Every time I get my PhD dissertation back with red marks, I get VERY discouraged. It takes me a long time to be able to read the comments and make the edits. I have let resistance get in the way.
    Thank You for reminding me that those voices are getting in the way of God’s plan!

  • Sherry McCollum

    I have critics in my life in everything I do, from my job, my family, my friends. But I listen to my heart and ask myself; What would Jesus do when anger and resentment shows its ugly face. I listen to my heart and know my faith will steer me through any critic that stands in my way of being a better version of myself. It I have that, then I know I will be on the road to a much better life.

  • Joy

    This past year, I have tested the waters of evangelizing. The critics I encountered were not strangers and the rejection was so deeply painful. I related for probably the first time in life how Jesus may have felt, being rejected. The pain was simply so devastating and faith has been the only way through it. Believing God has control of the situation. Believing He can help soften these hearts. Knowing I’m not alone. I’m not going to give up. People will either be glad or the close minded may at least chew on it. Their criticism has stayed with me though. I am continuing to try to learn new ways to stay confident in my abilities to express faith and to hopefully reach hearts that may open. It is now the only way I feel life will have true meaning. I appreciate any ideas you may have on successful evangelizing.

    • Dorothy

      St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.” When we live our lives with the joy of God’s love, our actions set the example.

      • Joy

        Dorothy, I stopped at church today and coincidentally(?) found a booklet of St Francis’ prayers. Thank you for sharing his great words! God bless you!

        • Dorothy

          No coincidences 😉
          Thanks, and God bless you, too ✝️💜

    • Lea Novak

      God bless you in your evangelization efforts. We need people to persevere in evangelization…remember, God goes with you!

      • Joy

        Thank you Lea! God bless you and Happy Easter!

    • Joyce W.

      God bless you for sharing your faith and taking the risk of rejection. Yesterday I watched a video on Formed dot org about Catholic
      apologetics – “The Three Secrets to Sharing the Faith” by Trent Horn.
      It is really helpful because it shows how to lead others to question
      their own assumptions, while still maintaining some common ground and
      good relationship. It involves answering questions with questions (to encourage the other person to defend their own viewpoint) and listening carefully to see where they are coming from. Above all we need the Holy Spirit to guide these conversations and to keep love in the encounter. I think it needs a lot of practice to learn to listen to Him as well as to them!

      • Joy

        Thank you for this guidance, Joyce. This is so helpful and I look very much forward to learning from this resource you’ve shared. God bless you!

    • Carlos

      Joy, I have experienced the same pain of rejection within my own nucleus family. My wife and children, who were all raised as Catholics, have all recently scoffed at my faith and my deep desire to act on the Gospel’s message. They all simply chose to stop going to church and have replaced the message of salvation with lives spent pursuing money, possessions, and pleasure. The pain is devastating for so many reasons, but most especially because they have chosen to disconnect themselves from God. I understand that we are all on our own journey, but I struggle to understand how the same people who have been on this journey alongside me can turn away so easily from God, who has brought so many blessings into our lives.
      I think this is why the Bible talks about hardened hearts. God is in control, but He has also given us the free will to determine how we will spend eternity. He loves us that much, but He refuses to leave us that way. He will never stop calling His children back to Him. Keep planting the seed. God knows the plan and may use others, according to His timeline and His will, to water what you have planted. Have faith and trust God!

      • Joy

        Thank you for this, Carlos. My greatest rejections have also been with closest family. I really appreciate the reminder we have our own journeys. Thank you so much.

  • Nan

    My inner critic is far more powerful than any external critic I can see. So how do you once and for all overcome that inner critic? Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Blaise Burkhard

      Instead of going head-to-head (that’s a little punny) with your inner critic, practice being less critical with others. Over time, the inner critic’s voice might soften.

  • Rosie

    I believe critics do play a role in our lives. I believe that they cause us to question and think about our decisions. That’s not a bad thing. If it is a legitimate criticism, it can help us improve. If it is not, then we can brush it off and hopefully realize that someone possibly was trying to help us or sabotage us. When I began as Faith Formation Coordinator a number of years back, a Coordinator from a local parish was not completing some elements of a process which I knew to be necessary. I called her and asked for her input and she told me “I was new as a coordinator and to let it go.” I knew I was correct and her words to me made me question my decision, but I did pursue the question with the diocese, not pointing fingers at her but found the way, I was doing it was correct. It kind of gave me a good feeling, not to be right but that I stuck to my goal and continued on.

  • Andrea Duguay

    Thank you Steve for the thoughts on the inner critic and the impact this has on my relationship with Christ. It is a useful technique for me on my faith journey and striving for a pure heart. I try to change virtue for weaknesses, sins, or inequities, constantly working toward a pure heart for my Lord each day, or the best version of myself each day. All the daily posts from Best Lent Ever have been so helpful and true blessing. Thank you all, and Matthew K., for sharing your faith. God bless!

  • JayAW

    That long quote about the critic is from Teddy Roosevelt. Not sure if Matthew Kelly simply forgot to give proper credit for this quote but you have to be careful about using quotes from others without citing where they came from. That’s my critic role for the day. 😉

    • Jay Balboa

      Thanks for pointing this out.

    • Kathy Capek Foster

      It sites Teddy Roosevelt at the bottom of the quote. Maybe that was added later?

      • JayAW

        Kathy, yes, the citation was added after my initial comment. I’ve read this quote from Teddy Roosevelt many times so I knew who it was from. But now its been corrected.

    • Dynamic Catholic

      Thanks for catching that, JayAW! We work hard to update every page as necessary, but sometimes we miss things. Just an FYI, the shareable image has always had the correct citation, but we appreciate you catching the quote on the page itself!

      • JayAW

        Now maybe you can answer something for me. You have removed some of my postings and I would like to know why. My intention is never to offend anyone, but whatever I post is me speaking from my heart and sharing my real world problems. If you remove a posting, it would be helpful for me to know the reasoning behind it. If someone reports one of my postings to you, I would appreciate knowing why. I helped you, now you can help me.

    • Blaise Burkhard

      Theodore Roosevelt was duly referenced in today’s chapter (35), “Don’t Let the Critics Win,” from “Resisting Happiness,” by Matthew Kelly.

  • Cshelley

    I am my own worst critic and have little confidence in my own abilities. I guess that’s the first step- recognizing it.

  • Marsha Mohan

    Oh my, each day the messages presented are remarkable touching each part of our lives giving us the courage to listen and to ask God’s help to allow us to be the best version of ourselves by not beating ourselves up by our critics and also reminding ourselves to not criticize or judge others negatively, understanding how hurtful it may be. Do not let the anyone take power over us… god Bless

  • Mike

    So this reflection took me in a slightly different direction. Certainly I think about my critics, including myself. But it also made me stop and think about how I am critical of others. I really don’t want to be the “critic” in the lives of my coworkers, my children and my spouse. I fear I’ve done that in the past.

    • Carlos

      Mike, this is true for me too, most especially with my children, but with my wife as well. I have been the disciplinarian in the family and this seems to funnel itself into being the bad guy a lot of times. When presented with a problem, I listen to fix instead of listening to understand. My first instinct is to give out some advice instead of listening to hear what my kids and wife really want out of the conversation. This has helped lead them to feel criticized or judged, which was never my intention. I’m learning to hear what THEY need instead of what the problem needs. This makes me less apt to throw out advice that may undermine their decisions and their own potential methods of solving the problem.

      • Mike

        Good advice. Thanks I do struggle with this. Like you I’m gonna fix the problem rather than just listen. Intentions are good but methods are flawed.

  • Elaine

    I live with my biggest critic, but this person is also my biggest coach. Sometimes I have to decipher if the message is criticism or coaching. It is difficult sometimes and I can be discouraged. However, when it moves me forward in a positive way I am thankful and recognize that messages come in all forms. It is up to us to recognize what is truth and what needs to be dismissed. I pray that my decisions are the right ones.

  • David Wood

    Matthew, You really nailed this one. I particularly liked how you drew the distinction that some criticism, if listened to and acted upon, makes us a better version of ourselves, while other criticism is also just the resistance dragging us down. Sometimes it’s tough to discern which it is. And occasionally it’s probably a little of birth. Several critics in my life have made me a far better version of myself, despite it being painful to hear at times.

  • Janet Marusiak

    Excellent topic. I just thought that I should be more careful when I do criticize others as it could hinder them to be the best version of themselves if I am wrong. I think this topic taught me to hold my tongue when I think I am right and find out later I am not and then have affected that person to stop what they were going to do or say. I can’t think of a time but I am sure it has happened and hope that person was wise enough to know I was wrong. When I was criticized and that was often, believe me, especially when someone says it so often and then maybe someone else says it, I dwell on it and think they must be right and doubt myself and then resist doing more on that. I have had people say I was a religious nut or holy or in a cult. If I dwelled on that, I would not being giving my opinions in the forum. I would have let that bother me in the past but not now as I know I am doing the mission I was born to do. I just want to help others with any roadblocks in their life. I have a friend who does not believe like me and had a good friend that is much wiser than me say it was not healthy to be around that person as their beliefs may change mine or confuse me. Well, I am thinking, it is easier to be friends with people of your own thinking but I chose the harder road and I benefit by learning patience and gifts they have that they are not aware of and challenge them to get involved and try church and it is happening. I see a difference so I must be doing something right.

  • Rita Gahr

    I just finished my Christ’s Life final session Saturday and at 4:30 Mass or Parrish Priest blessed us and sent us on our way to evangelize. To plant the seed of Christ and allow God to let it grow in others. I came home afterwards and said this to my Mother who scoffed at me. I took it as Satan trying to keep me from my mission. This is the first-time I did not let her criticisms get to me. Thank you God for giving wisdo to overcome nonconstuctive criticism.

    • Carlos

      Rita, I’m happy to hear you pushed past resistance. Even nearing death, Jesus had the presence of mind to forgive those who mocked and scoffed him, praying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” We live in an unbelieving world where the Word of God, the seeds, are planted in many different types of soil. We need to keep planting those seed while God prepares the ground of those who will receive it. I pray that one day your words to your mother will take root.

  • Maria

    Oh MAN. Do I have a story to tell.
    In third grade, i wrote a book. It was very simple and just the way I wanted it. It was about a magical flying horse in a world of magical flying horses and dragons. A dragon ate its parents and many years later, the horse goes on a journey to stop the dragon from killing more magical flying horses.
    I only showed it to my siblings and they liked it, but not in the way I expected. I thought I created a work of art and that people would ooh and aah at it. My family had much praise for my story and did not discourage me, but their reaction told me that it wasn’t to them what I wanted it to be.
    10 years I tried to rewrite that story as well as write and rewrite other stories. I ended up not finishing them most of those versions because I would get so flustered with the desire for everyone to love the work that I do and I would flake under the pressure. Then I would try again after a long break after finding renewed vigor for writing.
    Over a year ago, I realized how long it had been since I had started to seriously write. I grew frustrated. I wanted to try again. After a few days of thinking about how I can learn from my previous experiences, I realized that if I was to get anywhere with writing, I needed to place it in God’s hands. I knew I had the writing capability, but only God knew if I could actually finish what I write anymore. I asked God to give me a sign of whether he wanted to me try again or focus on trying something else.
    I got an answer in the form of a self-help cleaning book. It asked, “Does this spark joy?”, referring to items in your house in deciding whether you actually need them or not. That struck me as something that’s missing. The book had some other good tips I’ve used, but basically I was able to write and finish a story last year that I’m extremely proud of. I am now in the process of drawing comic pages for a graphic novel based on this story, something I’ve been wanting to do for years.

    Sorry for long post. I’ve had my fair share of battles with inner criticisms. Felt the call to write it all out.

  • JayAW

    I welcome criticism if it’s fair and meant to be helpful, but if someone criticizes me because he or she is looking for an outlet for their anger or if that person doesn’t have the correct information, I speak up immediately and correct that person’s errors. I once had someone that I worked with send a nasty email to my boss about some mistakes that were in a report. I took responsibility for one of the mistakes and admitted that it was indeed my error. However, another error in the report came from the person doing the criticism because that was the information that he gave me. We talked on the phone and he swore up and down that this was not his error, but then I asked him to look at a spreadsheet that he gave to me weeks before to identify the information that he gave to me. After looking at the spreadsheet and realizing that he did give me the incorrect information, he suddenly changed his tune and tried to downplay his error. But the damage was done by him sending that nasty email to me and my boss without thinking that maybe he was to blame for at least some of the errors in the report. If I do something wrong, I take responsibility for it and fix it, but I’m also not afraid to address any criticism that’s based on incorrect information. I take that kind of unfair criticism head on and stand up to those critics.

  • Dorothy Cabral

    How have I over come the critics in my life, it wasn’t easy. The first thing I had to do was realize that crttics have a right to their own opionion and opinions are neither right nor wrong they just are! Knowing this I am able to determine what needs my attention and what can be ignored.

  • Angie O’Mara

    My daughter’s fiancee has a serious addiction problems, and he is seeking help. Talking to him about his problem and what triggers his needs, I told him to pray for help. He laughed at this, saying that wouldn’t help him, but I pressed on saying that prayer moves mountains, and helps everyone with their problems. I don’t know if he listened to me, but I continue to pray for him.

  • Michael Baur

    I was diagnosed with a learning disability at a very early in my schooling. My inner critic was telling me that I could not graduate college. I did not listen to it and I did graduate college.

  • Regina Montana

    Of course, here is another brilliant message and one that particularly hits home for me since I am a writer
    and author wannabe. I listen often to the negative messages in my head and am so grateful to be reminded
    by today’s Lenten talk of how I need to pay attention to what I allow my mind to take hold of. As I once heard
    from a pastor, we need to tend the garden of our minds and keep the weeds out.

  • Dale R Evans

    I have one critic in particular For 47 years. Though I was instrumental in his conversion he never mentions my role though he tells the store many, many times. Every time he gets a chance he explains how I should fix the fence, recycle plastic bottles, and prune that tree. On the occasion when I gave him a draft of something I was writing he told sometime later he never read it. Every time we go someplace in his car he tells me the story of how well he has done in business. Every once in a while I think of something but set aside when I focus on Christ.

  • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

    “Don’t let a critic live in your head—Rent Free” If what that critic says doesn’t benefit you and makes you a better person, then kick him out of your head! Life is too short for “should-of or could-of” You are on a mission from God! So be the best person you know you can be and don’t get slowed down by the critics!

  • Frieda

    Love this message and how we are all so susceptible to that “one bad experience/interaction” in our day being the thing we focus on at the days end. So so true. Such a great way to look at this!! Thanks for these messages/videos, enjoying and embracing them so much !

  • Ruth

    This past year I have found for every critic in my life there are at least three more people who encourage me and offer their support. Not everything from the critic is nonconstructive and not everything from my encouragers is useful so it takes some discernment and patience to act on their advice. However, whenever the critic is being truly hateful or unreasonable it is nice to have others to turn to and who I trust to remind me that I am more than just the what the critic said to me.

  • Margie Suarez

    I think I am pretty good at blocking outside critics. I tell myself, “That’s just them, they don’t know me. They are clueless. They need to fix their own lives before trying to fix mine.” It works well buffering the outside voices. However, the voices that are within are the ones I need to learn to quiet down. My inner voice knows, my intentions, my weakness and likes to remind me of who I once was. I don’t feel worthy or holy enough to be considered a vessel for God. I am open to receive Him and to work with Him. Right now I feel that the only thing I can really do is pray for others and go about my daily duties. ( as I write this down, my inner critic is telling me to stop it and to delete this; no one wants to hear me. I am going to be criticized.) God Bless.

    • Robin

      Enjoyed your comment! Glad you didn’t listen to your inner critic to not post!

      • Margie Suarez

        Thank you, Robin. Felt a little chocked reading your comment. Thank you again!

    • Margo

      Margi I had a different response to your posting. I wondered how you did not take their criticism on board. So often when people criticise me it to destabilises me because it is so unexpected. My personality is a lot like a Labrador puppy and I am very hurt when people criticise me when I acting with an open heart. I will just have to remember what you said that they don’t know me Thank you so much for your posting

      • Margie Suarez

        I learned long ago that people are quick to judge and criticize. Do your best in whatever you do, and do it for Christ. If someone doesn’t like it they can take it up with Him. Keep your heart open to our Lord and love those that criticize you , thank them and move on. Be blessed Margo. 🙂

  • Michaela

    I have never been good at overcoming critics. Actually I think I’ve lived my whole like listening to my inner critic and outside critics and giving them power over my life… and what direction I often take. I’ve allowed them to control me, lead me into depression spouts and be my voice. Only recently, with the help of Best Lent Ever, Resisting Happiness & Everybody Needs to Forgive Somebody have I been able to slightly overcome my critics and most of all my inner critic. I’ve started to learn to over come my inner critic who kept blaming me and making me feel guilty for past wrong doings and failures in life, even after having received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It’s a hard switch to make, and I’m still working on it. But honestly, Matthew Kelly, Dynamic Catholic and the resources they have made available have been the biggest influence in overcoming critics.

  • Peggy

    I am sometimes my own worse critic. I need to recognize this and know that it’s Jesus who is my best critic and He will lead me to be the best version of myself.

  • Robin

    One of the challenges that I placed on myself for my Lenten journey is to not be overly critical towards others, especially to the one I am around the most (my husband). To counter my naturally critical self I tried to do the exact opposite when I felt a criticism wanting to escape my lips – I looked for something to praise. I learned that I disliked how hard that was for me, and truly feel great contrition that I wasn’t great at lifting the people I love the most up with praise, but more often tore them down with criticism. I not only do this to others, but am even more difficult on myself. Ugh! That ugly inner critic! Lord, help me to see myself and others through your eyes!

    • Margie Suarez

      The inner critic seems to have the loudest voice. Sometimes we are way to hard on ourselves and that can be crippling.

  • Nina Sivula

    The inner critic is something I struggle with daily due to my battle with anxiety and depression. I have found the best way to deal with it besides prayer and medication is to ask myself two questions, Do I believe that God is truly merciful and loving,? Which every time I look at Christ on the cross I am reminded of that fundamental fact of God’s great love for us. I also ask myself if another person was in my situation would I doubt God’s love for that person? Again the answer is no. And that is when I find doing the next right thing or doing something for another person can get me beyond this funk. While this illness has been a struggle it has also been a gift that has drawn me closer to God and given me compassion for others going through the same struggle.

    • Pat

      Nina, I can relate to your post. I too struggled for years with the two-headed monster of anxiety and depression. I thought it would be a part of me forever;however, through trust in God, He has healed me of my depression. I think most of my depression was based on bad decisions from my past that I needed to confess and ask for healing. God moved me through only what I could handle at a given time. I realized, for myself, I had two choices, to remain in the depressive pain, or to go into it and deal with it. I am grateful I was given the grace and courage to go into it and find healing(s). Now, the anxiety it a choice. When I am aware of it trying to envelope me, I put it on the Altar of Intention at Mass and ask for help.

    • Joyce W.

      Thank you Nina for your wise sharing, I hadn’t looked at things that way, although in my good moments I do believe that God loves me. I know the inner critic of anxiety and depression well, and I agree that this mental challenge does draw us closer to God and give us compassion for others. God bless.

  • K T

    Criticism shaped the person I am today, but not in the best version kind of way. My dad, whom I idolized as a child, criticized me a lot and challenged me to perfection. I became a perfectionist, living up to his ideals. I also became a person who had to get straight As and would not delegate tasks to others and eventually had a brain tumor. I have to make myself do less to be peaceful! Anyway, God is guiding me now and He loves me and encourages me. Parents, be careful criticizing your kids. Let them know your love does not depend on their performance.

  • Meg M

    Like Steve, I am my own worst critic. Just this weekend, I started to get down on myself. I was listening to the voice inside of me telling me that I am not good enough, that others are better than me, that no one could possibly love me as I am am. I felt myself drifting away from God and took that as proof that I am a failure. But I took the first step to overcoming my inner critic last night when I spent time with the Lord in prayer. God renewed my spirit and helped me see how criticizing myself pushes me further from him and from being the best version of myself. I am human, and as such cannot be perfect. I will fall victim to “ugly” emotions — jealousy, pride, self-doubt — and to the lesser version of myself again and again. But, praise God, I will always be loved. If God doesn’t hold these things against me, why should I hold them against myself, especially when doing so in no way helps me become the person God created me to be!

    I’m offering my day today for all those perfectionists out there, that we may all let go of our inner critic and learn to see ourselves as God sees us <3

  • Yolanda Salgado

    I hate that inner voice that says, why bother with this? I am an advisor for the Catholic Student Ministry on a college campus. I not only fight the outer critics, but myself as well. Sometimes I do feel like giving up because our group is really small. I have been praying for this group, that if it be His holy will, for it to grow, and for HIm to send students who are excited to help take on this ministry. Praise God! He sent me an amazing President this year. She is such a go-getter. He also sent me a Vice President that loves this ministry. It’s a small step, but its in the right direction. Anytime I have that critic I offer it up for the CSM and all the students that are part of this ministry! I know we have a long way to go, but there is hope. God is good all the time! 🙂

  • Brenda

    My husband and I just had a great discussion about this! My first inclination when I listened to this was, “Am I that critic?” It’s so easy to sit in judgment of others, whether it’s our kids’ parenting or friends’ behavior choices or even the priest’s homily! My husband gets a quote every day at work on his computer. Coincidentally it said, “Listen to your critics. Sometimes this can be an opportunity for growth.” We pray for discernment! That we can understand who to listen to, and who to ignore. That we don’t get discouraged and become resistant to action. Or that we truly can be humbled and inspired to grow. And especially that we don’t discourage others!

  • Monica

    I can remember many times when I’ve mentioned to someone an idea, something I wanted to do or try. All it took was one negative comment and I gave up without trying. Once I realized this about myself, that I am so susceptible to the slightest unsupportive comment, I simply stopped telling anybody any of my ideas. I’m pretty sure that’s not really a good way to deal with this. However, I think it means that I spend more time thinking about something, then when I actually start doing it, I’m maybe more prepared to handle any critics because I’m already doing the thing. Maybe.

  • Paul

    The only way to get past the negative feeling associated with criticism is to look in the mirror and know that you did the best you could in that specific situation. If you feel you could do better next time, thank the critic for their feedback and ask for their help in the future. Maybe God has placed the critic in your life to help you become the best version of yourself, whether it is by overcoming adversity or in genuine improvement of your shortcomings. Either way it is a “win” when you come out stronger on the other side! Stay positive!

  • roniquebreauxjordan

    …best video in the series..this is my third “Dynamic Catholic” book study…wow…how the author and the small groups I have joined have allowed the opportunity for reflection, personal scrutiny and perseverance. I am moving forward as the mother of two sons while co-parenting with my former husband. Thank you, Mr. Kelly, for these insightful books….#bestLentever…

  • Pat

    Funny, this reminds me of an Al-anon comment I heard at a meeting where the discussion was about self-criticism ——tell the committee upstairs (meaning in you head) to SHUT UP!

  • JoAnne

    WOW! Day 35 really hit home for me! I love all the advice given by Matthew Kelly and others on this topic. I will try to remember all the ways I can use to keep only the ‘Good’ criticisms in my heart and mind. The ‘coat’ idea was especially helpful. Thanks to all!

  • Pete Manczyk

    Famous quote from the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius:

    “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”

    • Margo


  • Steven Sisman

    I have overcome critics in my life in a few ways. 1- By speaking truth, asking if something is true, similar to lesson from today’s video, is this true and is it helpful to gain perspective.
    2- By loving myself and who I am by looking at all of my past failures and imagining how some good came out of it. This makes me confident and easier to love who I am as I am.
    3- Once I’ve accomplished steps #1 and #2 then I can use critics as motivation to prove them wrong. They are fire and I am well gun powder. Watch me explode to heights never seen before where I can no longer hear your criticism. 🙂

  • Carlos

    The videos from Matthew and Steve compliment each other very well, especially regarding our own inner critic. In the silence we strive to listen to that still small voice that is always leading us towards the righteous path that God wants us to follow. But directly opposed to that are the other internal and external voices that require us to determine if their messages are good, true and helpful. I have often remarked that I am my own worst critic. I know why I said it and felt it. It was my misguided attempt to protect myself from being hurt or criticized by others. Some of this criticism, of course, was beneficial and constructive, but most of it was detrimental, leading to distraction and discouragement. As I delve deeper into this reflection, I ask myself, “Who is protecting me from my own harmful criticism?” Who can protect me from myself? The answer is God. The Holy Spirit can and does provide that discernment and helps us to determine those messages that lead us to fulfill God’s plan for us.

  • Laura LaDue

    I had someone give me this story that helped me a lot: Imagine you have the best ice cream in the whole world. It is magical ice cream and has no calories, just great taste. You sit down and relish every bite. You come to the last scoop and you want to savor it. As you eat it, you bite down on a toenail. Now are you going to remember the quart of the best ice cream ever or remember eating a quart of toe jam? Life is the ice cream. The toe nail is the critics in your life. Don’t let the toe nails of life get you down.

  • Susie Caughey

    I found it so interesting that the first 2 people Matthew referred to as possibly being our critics were our mothers and fathers. I worked really hard during my school years and was extremely good at everything I put my mind or hand to. However, even with (5) 100% test scores and achieving “Student of the Year” award while taking 14 subjects in 3rd Year in the equivalent of High School here in the U.S., my father would always respond, “You can do better.” I remember how gutted that would make me feel … never acknowledged or praised for how well I had done. Ironically, I turned out to be the “black sheep” of my family and the only one without a college degree. Being a mom now myself and knowing the importance of a college education (in which I have a limited amount), I feel I did the same to my own daughter – was too critical of her test scores, pushing her too much academically and not acknowledging/giving her praise for all her amazing attributes as a growing adolescent and young lady. I feel many parents (guilty as charged) try to relive their lives in their children, pushing them into what they were good at themselves, not fully accepting them for their special uniqueness and their own individuality and not understanding the tremendous pressures they face in today’s world. My uppermost daily prayer is for our youth and this generation. I believe they need to feel more love and less criticism and judgement. May we be the face of God’s unconditional love to one another in all relationships … in our homes, schools, colleges, workplaces and community.

    • Karen

      Susie, I think you are absolutely right – what our children need most is our love,support, and encouragement even if theirs career or education path is not what we think it should be- they have their own mission to follow and it is not always easy because we naturally want them to be successful and achieve more in life – I wish that I could go back in time and deal with things differently now that I know better but my children are all grown now and I couldn’t be more proud of them – each one unique and following their own mission in life – which ultimately is a journey towards our life in heaven and can’t be measured by worldly success . I pray that we all remember this as we live each day and can be present in each moment and encourage and love each other more – I have had many critics in my life too and this is how I have overcome them with prayer and asking myself is this what Jesus would say to me? Then dealing with it accordingly

      • Susie Caughey

        Thank you for sharing and giving me encouragement that my daughter, as a grown-up, will too follow her own mission in life and not remember how I was always on her case!

    • Margo

      Spot on!

  • Alice

    I had some critics at the office early in my career. Don’t get me wrong, had many friends and mentors at the office. But I decided to prove them wrong. I tried hard and I succeeded. As my career moved along, I maybe had critics that were counter parts and some the opposite great mentors. Sometimes I failed when I let it get the best of me, but I learned over time to look toward the positive influences and learn from them. One of those traits were not to let people “get to you” that had negative views to hold you back. My brother and mentor told me early in my career, there will be people who will want to hold you back, “don’t let them”. Acknowledge it for what it is and move on. God Bless everyone this Holy Week. Thank you

  • Ginie

    I struggled with criticism my whole life. My mother was a perfectionist and was very critical with me and a few of my siblings. My baby sister was not as criticized told me that mom was trying to egg me on to do better but for a long time I did nothing. Then in the 70’s I made myself, my daughter and her doll matching dresses. I was entering them in the county fair, but my mom saw me putting on the finishing touches and started pointing out the flaws. Well this time I went ahead and entered said dresses and got a blue ribbon. I was so proud and grateful that someone appreciated my effort. After my mom’s death and in retaliation to her decree that I would never amount to anything but maybe a mother and a wife, which I did- 5 children and 35 years and 9 months of marriage to my husband before he died. I went back to school and became a French teacher. When I wanted to do graduate studies, my daddy told me I didn’t have to prove anything to mom anymore-I wasn’t I said. This is for me and I got my masters. This pressing on got my income to a point that when my husband died I was able to support myself.
    I try to praise my children, grandchildren and others because CRITICISM hurts and it can paralyze a person.

    • Margo

      I love this. It brought tears to my eyes. You are a marvellous marvellous person!

      • Ginie

        Thank you Margo, God and I are working on me.

  • Amy

    Thank-you for this timely advice. I have been suffering for the last week as a result of criticism I received over a very successful event. You have helped me put it into perspective.

  • Carmela Campanella Douds

    Such a good prayer reflection today! The power of our own inner voice is not to be underestimated in its ability to cause discouragement. I’ve had to fight my way back from despair regarding my place in the Church more than once. The critics we face in the Church itself can be particularly powerful and difficult to tame. Sometimes the criticism isn’t obvious, sometimes it is tacit, just ignoring you, dismissing you as unimportant, irrelevant. God bless your Holy Week!

  • Prolifedem6M

    I use a simple criterion. Is what is being criticized my problem or my critic’s problem. If it is my problem, I look at ways to fix the problem. If it is the critic’s problem, I don’t make it my problem.
    As an example, in my pro-life work, I often write letters to the editor and also make comments on the Internet.
    Believe me, that results in a lot of criticism. In reponding to my critic, am I correct in what I have said? If not, I stand corrected. If so, the critic has a problem that needs to be addressed. I believe in speaking up about what needs to be changed.
    As another example, intelligent people often get criticism just because we are intelligent. When someone has a problem with my intelligence, or any other strength I have, that is my critic’s problem, not mine. I am happy to say that I am a certified nerd and have no problem with that.

  • Michele

    Hum… over coming critics… I think that is something I am still working on a lot. It is usually my own voice in my head … I can’t say I have overcome it, but I think I am actively working to give power over to God. I focus too much on what I can do, and I forget the best thing I can do is pray and ask God.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Lisa and all,

    This year (2017) is the centenary anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.

    One of the things which God called me to do this Lent was research more about the three children and what Our Lady told them to do. And this is very applicable to daily life.

    Her basic instructions were:

    Pray Often
    Pray the Rosary Daily
    Make Sacrifices

    And her reasons for asking them to do this? Well, there were a lot:

    To End WWI
    To Save Sinners from Hell (“Many poor souls go to Hell because there is no one to pray and make sacrifices for them)
    As an Act of Reparation or Atonement for the Outrages, Sacrileges, and Indifferences which Offend God
    As a Petition for the Conversion of Sinners

    Now, it seems rather incredible that making simple sacrifices or praying earnestly can save souls from Hell. But that is the Lady’s Promise. And she doesn’t lie.

    So for this Holy Week especially, and really for the entire year, I’d like to invite you all to pray and make sacrifices with me. That will please her very much, and it will save many souls if we all do it.

    Looking forward to seeing you all in Heaven,


  • Mario Cannariato

    People that don’t matter judge and people that matter don’t judge. When I open my self to Jesus 100% he will give me the strength to stay true to course on my mission. I have found out in life that my miss steps have led me back to my Jesus and church therefore Matthew Kelly has been spot on again.

    • Margo

      Thanks for this pearl of wisdom

  • Wallace

    As in earlier topics and discussions during our Lenten journey, the control issue often trumps the heart desires. Critics – there will always be critics and we are often our own worst enemies. I’m reminded of a mission I engaged in many years ago, Kairos Prison Ministry. The key element here is KAIROS. It was defined to me as a Greek term for God’s time and a further description explained that it is so different from Chronos, which is man’s time. As we are of the world and struggling to be with God this can often be a conflict as we struggle to fit God into our time rather than let go and surrender to His time.
    Our Catholic journey is on God’s time and our mission is to surrender unto Him, often in spite of our critics. Simple but so challenging. I’ve learned that as long as we’re on God’s mission we’re where God wants us to be – not necessarily where we think we should be. The mantra of Kairos is: listen – listen – love – love.
    There will always be plenty of critics. You don’t have to join them, as God will direct you.

  • Marie Patterfritz Reinhart

    I needed to hear this more than ever. I have an older sister who can destroy my self confidence, with her constant criticism of me. She knows I am a faith filled person who lives me life for God and she will say things to me to cause me to doubt if I am even a good person, which I know that I am, but like Matthew Kelly points out, we let the one negative take up more room in our head than the thousand positives. I pray for God to help me with this sister who so negative with me. I have actually come to not have as much contact with her because I always end up feeling full of self doubt after being around her. I guess I have learned to love her from afar. I know that God does not want us to keep company with those who hurt and destroy our self worth. She is truly like a thorn in my side. All my other siblings (four other sisters and a brother) are nothing like this. They too experience her negativity. I do my best to pray for her often.

    • Carlos

      Marie, I think that is one thing the neither Matthew or Steve discussed. I think of a critic as someone that I can easily choose to ignore if I want. But, what if this negative or unhelpful criticism comes from a family member, from someone we trust deeply, or from someone we really respect. I guess we could be cold as ice and not have any feelings about what people say to us, but in reality, through love, we let people into our lives and give the power to hurt us. For many of us, it is not that simple to just push a family member out of our life, but we take what they say personally. It hurts. My wife experienced the same thing with her oldest sister, but she stopped all contact. We all have motives for doing the things we do. It may be that this was your sister’s way of trying to control her siblings or to make her somehow seem better than the rest of you. That is not right or just!

      • Margo

        Sometimes the critic is a form of toxicity in our lives. We need to protect ourselves.

      • Marie Patterfritz Reinhart

        Carlos I agree there must be some motive or reason for a sibling to treat others they way they do, but I just don’t have the energy any more to put into trying to figure her out. I have allowed her to criticize me in front of loved ones and stayed silent. I have prayed for her and for our relationship. One thing at confession my priest shared with me is that not everyone is going to like us, so do as Jesus you knock on a door and if someone answers you go inside, if they do not open the door to you then you move on and go to the next door. I will always love my sister, I just can’t continue putting myself in her path to allow myself to be treated badly. Dr. Phil MaGraw has stated if a family member crosses boundaries and become toxic you need to love them from afar. I have learned I must care more about what God thinks of me than what my sibling thinks of me. I did stop all contact with this sister for a few years. We both attempted to reconcile and her behavior began all over again with making me feel like I can do nothing right. Now we are simply Facebook friends who do not comment on each other’s post. I’m okay with that because it leaves a crack in the door. I need to focus on my relationship with God and trust He will take care of the rest. Prayers to your wife and to you.

  • lizmvr

    I’m still learning to overcome critics in my life. Just over the past few days, after declining a last minute invitation to hangout at a male’s apartment at night, he texted that he thinks that my declining is a sign of my low self-esteem, and that while he realizes that he’s better looking than I am, he was really trying to show concern for me. (He didn’t actually write that last phrase–he used some profanity instead. In any case, it didn’t make sense. I’m pretty sure he was looking for a hookup after he’d been drinking.) Anyway, though I realized that he was likely intoxicated and acting irrationally, the insult of my looks has stuck with me. I even told my mom about it. It’s not that I believe I’m uglier than this guy, but like Matthew mentions in the first video, this comment somewhat stopped my action. Instead of being open to new relationships, it causes me to close my heart to others, in fear of getting hurt. It causes me to pre-judge other men and lose my willingness to date, even though I want a respectful close relationship with a partner. My mom told me to realize this one guy is a jerk and not give his words any weight, and I realize I still need to maintain some openness to be able to really connect with someone who’s looking for more than a hookup and respects me as a person, the way I want to respect him.

    • Mike

      Hi Lizmvr,
      Please pray for this person as a guy I know what it is like to get caught up in society’s benchmarks. I spent a lot of time making sure I had the right ‘look’ physically (body, clothes,hair etc.) I spent to much money and time on exercise, clothes, colognes etc. in a corrupted way. I wanted to make sure I met the expectations of society and my friends. The key word is corrupted, because there is nothing wrong with any of those things when well purposed. After a silent retreat where I had the chance to ‘unplug’ for 4 days. I realized I was actually a slave to perception vs growing thru ‘organic being’. I was a slave to all of those things and it was an endless cycle because my ego needed to be fed constantly. My inner critic actually encouraged me to do more, be more because I was not quite good enough yet, I not only measured my myself to a voice and voices fueled by society but I also measured other people against the same measure and against myself. In the quiet of nothing and listening for the Holy Spirit, in the peace, non-stress and freedom of feeding my ego. I found Jesus, His word and His standard are what I measure myself and who I need to be now and it totally flipped my life. He has grown me into having Holiness as my goal Him as my source of fulfillment. The young man you were referring to was drinking and hopefully was just reacting out of anger and alcohol (never a good mix) but he also may be caught up in the world, keep him in prayer. If there is hope for me there is hope for anyone and I mean anyone. You stay vertical and may God continue to keep you and bless you on your road to Holiness

      • lizmvr

        Thanks, Mike! Prayer needed=noted!

  • Kenny L

    Thanks for your reflection Steve. I am my own worst critic. When I’m in that place I’m filled with discomfort. When I fully give myself to Jesus’s I experience peace, confidence, joy, and gratitude.

  • BobD

    As a high level officer in several organizations, I can really relate to Matthew’s video on Critics. Thank’s Matthew. Critics can really wear you down sometimes.

    • Margo

      Bob, I hear you. I saw a wonderful YouTube video, TED, By Guy Winch about emotional first aid in which he talks about creating a file where are you have a list of all the positive things that have happened to you what that people have said to you. when you are feeling weighed down by the negativity surrounding you have that file to go to. Good luck

      • BobD


  • CMO

    and if I am the critic?

  • LJ

    Critics are at one of the two volunteer assignment. We are to have self control and it seems that setting a deadline can help. Friday assignments are fine and yet the thought : “nothing ventured and nothing gained” entices my continued action on the Sunday assignment. Sleeplessness may be needed to break one out of a complacency that may exist. Enough will be enough should this persist to the end of this Month. Please pray that God may not be neglected. We pray for ourselves, the objective is really to pray for one another so that we may get to our heavenly homeland where many mansions are. Thank you.

  • Joni

    I have overcome critics in my life by detatching from them. I want to be surrounded by uplifting positive people at this point in my life, and if I don’t feel that then I just walk away from those people. My (Catholic) family members have been some of the biggest critics for my entire life. I left the Catholic church and now attend a Lutheran church and, for the first time in my life I am excited to go to church and feel closer to God than I ever have. I know this website is all about Catholic but there are true Christians everywhere, and some of the most Christian people I have ever met are non-Catholics.

    • MaryAnne Casaul

      Joni, as a Catholic I agree. Most of my friends who started out Catholic have left the church, however, they are christians and continue in other denominations. Many of my non catholic friends are truly living their faith. I have learned how to pray deeper through them because of the way they approach prayer without scripts. I love my Catholic faith and would not leave it, I do agree though there are many non-Catholics who are truly living the Christ like life.

  • Scott Sowers

    Your worst critic is the person you see in the mirror every day. What do you think of yourself? Are you what others say you are, good or bad? Do you believe what people tell you? Do you care what people think? I’ve heard it said, “Whatever people think of you is their problem, what you think of yourself is yours.” My worst critic growing up was my father. Maybe he thought it would make a man out of me or maybe it was because he had issues with his father. I know he didn’t mean it. He loved all his children. He had his demons to deal with and they often spilled on to his family. But when some of it got on you, it burned. Did that affect my life growing up? Uh, yeah. Did I do that to my children? No, never, and it’s amazing the difference in them and in me. Criticism can be a good thing. As a husband, father, friend, manager, writer and film maker, critics hound me like fleas on a homeless dog. How do I deal with it? I listen and evaluate whether or not they are legitimate concerns and if they can help me or not. Sometimes I have to agree and go from there. Most of the time they are just someone’s opinion, good or bad. I like the good ones. If I can’t get past the bad ones, I pray my way through it and like everything else I pray on, they eventually fade away with time. All I can do is try and not dwell on the critics too much. It’s just a way to stifle your journey. Being criticized means you’re doing something. To criticize is easy, to give one reason to do so is hard work. I prefer to work hard and keep moving forward. God bless!

    • Blaise Burkhard

      You’re right. If we’re being criticized, then we need to remember it was brought on by our ACTION…we stepped into the arena!!! I’m at place in my journey where I’m hoping to end a season of inaction. I’m eager to set foot in the arena once again with the expectation of earning a few critics! Thank you for your insight.

  • Donald Marquez

    Good lesson today. It’s true; critics can destroy our energy and spirit. I mentioned here recently about my critics, and the two responses I relied on most–neither of which brought me any kind of peace. I have learned to take those things to Jesus, who held (and still holds) the record for most critics.

  • Glen Arcalas

    Knowing there is negative criticism we gotta learn to look beyond and see positive. One big example on me is what was given to me from my parents… “divorce ” so statistically there is a chance I will do the same but if I look at what had happened, indirectly they taught me what not to do in my own marriage. It’s not easy to do but takes practice even with emotions getting in the way sometimes.

  • Linda Murray

    I would like to thank Dynamic Catholic for this wonderful series. I can honestly say that between this and some bible studies I have attended this really has been THE BEST LENT EVER!

  • Francine L Spinner- Kelley

    Robin & Lisa,Congratulations to both of you for deciding about your journey into the Catholic Church. It does take a while, but it is so worthwhile. The Catholic Faith is truly the Fullness of Faith. Being a cradle Catholic (Catholic since about 4 weeks old) I still continue to learn through many Catholic Bible Studies, and Matthew Kelly books. Awesome message today about giving all your criticism to God.

  • Patti Soukup

    My husband is not Catholic nor does he practice any religion. HE is my worst critic always telling me I go to Church too much or that I believe and have faith in God that I do not know exists ( his thoughts not mine). He does not comprehend having FAITH. He would rather ridicule me and say some very hateful things to me. I Love the Lord and rely on him daily for strength and I pray someday my husband will understand it would make his life so less stressful.
    Avery prayerful Holy Week To All

    • MaryAnne Casaul

      Patti, my husband is a Catholic, however, does not go to church. He is my critic also when it comes to prayer, etc. I just posted about my recent encounter with his negativity. I understand it is hard, however, remember it’s not really the person who is criticizing you it is the evil one working through them. I would suggest keep on praying silently and keep doing what you are doing and pray for him. I have been praying for my husband and things do change. It may seem slow but things will get better. Continue to be a light!

      • kimisu

        MaryAnne and Patti, it’s like hearing my life through you. My husband is my cross to bear and, though I may not take up my cross gladly, I do so willingly. He is teaching me patience and compassion and love, love, love. Yesterday my priest suggested that I pray to St Monica. What a woman she was. I’m on my second day of a novena to St Monica, praying for her intercession to rid my husband of the devil hard at work in him. I want to be as tenacious as St Monica. If I don’t pray daily and earnestly for him, who will?

    • SanctusSanctus

      And so the saying goes: we are to help our spouses get to Heaven. Love & Respect. 1/2 way there!!

  • Betty’s Blessing

    We all at times in our lives have been a critic or have had someone be our critic. What you have to strive to do is BUILD UP! We are all made in the image and likeness of God. If you look at the person and see GOD, what would you say to him? Always try to be humble and kind. Treat others as you want to be treated.

  • Lisa

    We all tend to care too much about what other people think.

    A visionary in history reported that she saw Jesus and the Apostles talking. The apostles were bumbed because of all the critics. Jesus replied, “Is there nothing good to look at?” I try to remember this whenever I am discouraged by critics or events that bring me down.

  • MaryAnne Casaul

    Recently I’ve had someone criticize my prayer time/bible study. I quickly realized it was not the person who was criticizing but the evil one working through that person to try to get me to stop. I immediately thought to myself, “new level, new devil” because when I pray and make time for God I feel extremely peaceful. I did not want to have that peace taken away so I left the area I was in and continued my prayer elsewhere. Later I found the critic had moved on and there was peace again. I’ve had similar experiences on social media also. There are some critics who do not like to see anything spiritual posted. I continue to post positive messages and if the critrics don’t like it, too bad for them. I like what Matthew said, you have to discern what criticism is helpful and what is discouraging. As I continue my journey with prayer I am learning to distinguish which to listen to.

    • Dorrie

      Thank you for sharing that experience, MaryAnne! Sometimes I am tempted to hold back because I anticipate criticism from other people; but then I remind myself that God’s opinion is the only one that really matters 🙂

  • Tony Pantera

    There have been useful and not so useful critics in my life. The trick is knowing the difference. My biggest challenge is to let go of criticism that takes my mind off of moving forward. If I am thinking about what someone said two years ago, I should either let it go or act on it. If I haven’t acted on it in two years, it is definitely something I should let go.

    • Margo

      Tony, I am definitely with you on this. I am not my worst critic. But I do not know how to deal with external criticism. I have to learn some form of assertiveness training to let people know when and how they are upsetting me. It is not always easy to brush off an out and out attack. And today people seem to behave like attack dogs, especially when the subject of politics comes up. I have been called stupid, ignorant, uninformed, etc. It has been exceedingly hurtful and hard to brush off. I must push forward on my own personal mission, and realise that more often than not we are on informed, and we all do not fully understand the other. May God have mercy on us all and help us to understand each other better.

      • Tony Pantera

        There seems to be no filter or manners anymore, especially from some of our highest elected officials. Kindness always matters. One does not help one’s case by making the other person angry or defensive. The old saying “Catch more flies with honey than vinegar? is still true. One thing that sometimes works for me is to let the external critic know that they way they are approaching me is setting up barriers to what they are trying to accomplish.

  • RAB-G

    Thank you, I needed to hear this today. In my 69 years I have had a few difficult critics, but w/ time I was able to deal w/ them. For the last several years I have felt very sad every time I’m w/ certain people of my husband’s family who constantly make fun of the things I say or do. I now realize that they don’t have a sense of humor, but it’s very difficult to have any kind of relationship w/ them. I’m not used to this treatment because my late husband’s family were all so loving & accepting of me. When he died they kept me close to them because they knew I was & always will be their sister. My new husband’s family treat be like an outsider & will never accept me for who I am. Letting go of these feelings seem impossible no matter how hard I pray about it. It makes me not want to be w/ them, so I try to distance myself. They are my husband’s family after all, so sometimes I will have to see them!

  • Alice Hawkins

    This is so good to hear today. Yes, criticism is withering. For the record, I once sent MK a very critical email because I did not like his new book as much as”Call to Joy”. I was in a bad mood. My husband, who is not terribly interested in spiritual matters, glimpsed left up on the screen — and yelled ( well, not yelled- pointed out) that I’d criticized MK just like I liked to put him down) . Umm .. it did come from a mood. Not even sure why – so long ago. It’s also easy to let things rip in cyberspace, as we all know. I’m sorry MK. I adore your work and have been so spiritually nurtured by it. And yes – attention to the criticism has brought my life to halts at times. It is about the ego and I can see now that there were many times that I should have persisted ! Thanks for the lent emails too. I think I’m better now about throwing my opinions out there.

  • Patrick Ciriacks

    Matthew, this was a powerful testimony to the danger of letting what others think about us affect our spiritual health. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you present a message so solemnly. It must be near and dear to you. Often, as you pointed out, we can be our own worst enemies. Our internal “saboteur” (or what I would call the devil or demons) can often be the source of discouragement. Once discouraged, we are putty in the devil’s hands. It’s obvious that this is not a place we want to “be”. We can combat this with daily prayer, daily Mass, the rosary, etc. I’d also recommend checking out “Positive Intelligence” by Shirzad Chamine. It’s oriented toward the coaching profession. I think it would be equally effective in spiritual direction. Briefly, the primary saboteur is identified as the “Judge”. The judge is just another name for the “Critic”. Chamine identifies 10 secondary saboteurs including the Avoider, Controller, Pleaser, Victim and Stickler. He proposes methods for enabling our internal “Sage” to overcome the saboteur. It has helped me to become more aware of my internal dialogue. The Sage is analogous to the presence of God within us. As we build our spiritual health through specific daily, weekly, monthly, yearly practices, we “feed the Sage” at the expense of the saboteur. I hope this is a helpful reference for those wanting to go deeper on this topic. Blessings to all!

  • Crystal Dasburg Marchand

    Man, this hit home. I am actually my worst critic and my voice is loud in my head every day. I’m trying to lift it up, but often times, my harshness wins. I haven’t overcome it yet, but hopefully with God, I will.

  • Leah Levitt

    Some criticism is helpful but a lot of it is just spiteful, mean and jealous. So many people think running you down somehow makes them better than you. You can generally tell sincere criticism because it is put in a kind way. I just generally ignore the negetative criticism. I long ago learned that it doesn’t really matter what other people think of you as long as you know you are trying to do your best. Trust in God.

    • RAB-G

      Thank you Leah for your encouraging words. Have a Blessed Holy week.

      • Leah Levitt

        You are welcome. Have a Blessed Easter.

  • Vicky

    I was baptized into the Catholic church a year ago Easter. My husband of 43 years was born and raised Catholic. In 2014 his sister came out to visit at Christmas and the only thing she wanted was for her brother to go to Christmas mass with her. All 3 of us went and even though I really didn’t understand the whole mass, I felt very peaceful and lifted being there. My husband had not been to church in over 50 years on a regular schedule. His sister was there another Sunday and we went again. I was raised Baptist, but if my husband wanted to keep attending Sunday mass I agreed to join him, but I needed to know more about the church. We joined RCIA together, with him as my sponsor, what a blessing and closeness over the past 3 years God has doe for us. We were always close but this is a stronger bond between us. God bless and Happy Easter…

  • Trevor Pelkey

    I have overcome critics in my life by taking a really close look at what they are saying, considering its value, talking to God about it, and moving on. I remind myself that God is with me through it all, and that I have nothing to fear.

  • Donna Barnard

    “comparison is the thief of joy”

  • owjw

    Really good “stuff” today! Also makes me think about when I am critical but generally it is because I would like to offer suggestions…not just complain.

  • disqus_VOXvThxFVQ

    Lisa, One thing I have found is that God’s timing is always perfect. He is teaching you and using you even now. As a cradle Catholic I learn so much from all those being blessed this holy week. God has a plan for you and will lead you to the right sponsor. Do not get discouraged and I believe in time He will use you in so many ways. God bless you and please if you are able, take part in the Triduum services. You will be so blessed.

  • Judy

    Mostly by staying focused and doing the tasks ahead of me as best I can to drown out their noises. The proof is in the pudding – meaning, my actions speak volumes. Some of my worst critics are my two adult sisters. I could do nothing right. The only sane thing was for me to distance myself.

    In the past 6 months things have improved. They stopped picking on me and are now focused on working on themselves. Hallelujah! We got together for the oldest sister’s 64th birthday this past Saturday. It was a delightful time without judgment. It’s a beautiful thing to watch God transform people.

  • For me this is easier said than done, as I am my own worst critic sometimes.
    And I think this critic is affecting my spiritual life.

  • Joe

    I am so happy that Matthew Kelly has given a name to Satan other than Lucifer. That name is Resistance. Think about it.

    • TerriB

      I’ve thought about that from the beginning of this series. Very smart.

  • Lydia Ross

    Having been involved in my parish for many years, I too got caught up listening to the critics, However I am back and nothing that the critic says will pull me down. I am older and wiser. I listen to the inner voice of God who called me back and told me that I was wasting the gifts He gave me!! They were to be shared not held away because of the critics,

  • Marise Robinson Petry

    How have you overcome critics in your life?

    In my professional life, I have let the criticism dig deep into my soul and paralyzed my belief in myself, my competency, and my calling to be a teacher. I stopped sending students to competitions which often undermined their faith in themselves, and focused on being the best I could be. Then I began to listen to the voices of my students and parents as they told me how much they appreciated me and that they recommended me to others. I must be doing something right.

    In my personal life (away from work) I have let my inner critic have too much power. But, as I have gotten older, I realize that “she” is the voice of anyone who has EVER said anything negative to or about me. She has caused me a lot of resistance and often stopped me dead in my tracks. Recognizing where she comes from has helped me begin to develop an ability to discern when she is holding me back and when there is some truth to be gleened. Perhaps it is wisdom of age that has allowed me to be more confident.

    • Sarah Shea

      I feel the exact same way. I let every criticism get to me and I feel like the more critics come at me the weaker I get. I work in education as well and it’s my passion. But others make me feel that I am not up to their standard.

  • Sarah Shea

    It amazes me how this topic hit on the exact day that I am dealing with critics in the workplace. I have been struggling with co-workers coming to me with things my staff are doing wrong and making me feel like I am failing at my job. It’s hard for me to not take every critics words to heart and it has really taken a toll on me emotionally. I give the critics way to much power in my life.

  • Arthur Brown

    I have been around for over 67 years and I have learned to live with a critics in my family, friends, work and others that just think they know what is better and critics my life. This is all good because every once in a while there are some good ideas. I don’t worry about my critics because there is only one critic I need to pay attention to and that is God. God gives me my way to live in the bible and it is my responsibility to follow his word and commandments and text. I call it a way to live. When I don’t measure up I think and hope that God intervenes and criticize me. It is okay because I know that God loves me and the criticism is warranted. I respect God’s criticism to make me a better person. God bless everyone in their spiritual journey with God, Christ and Holy Spirit.

  • Nicole M.

    At times, I believe I am my own worst critic. I never give myself enough praise with anything I do. I always feel like I should be able to do it better and that it needs to be perfect. I was always one to take criticism way too hard. My job as a teacher has slowly helped me get better at that. I still struggle every now and then, but I have to realize what God thinks of me.

  • Magalis Muniz

    I remember when I was a child I always had a difficult time in school. Particularly in Math it was difficult for me to grasp and understand. My older brother was trying to Tudor me and he got so frustrated that he started calling me names. I felt so horrible and I started to feel that I would never amount to anything. There was a. Teacher I had in 8th grade changed my life . He made me realize that I can learn by helping learn new ways to study. My inner spirit was almost broken but Thank God for my teacher. The inner critic in me is always there saying that I’m not good enough, but I know now I can’t let fear stop me. That’s is what Resistance is all about. Jesus, help me persevere when I encounter critics. In those moments, help me to simply do the tiniest thing to move forward. I know you will do the rest.

    • Margo

      I like the idea of taking the tiniest step forward and relying on God to help us from there on. Thank you for this

  • Tim

    How does this gentleman KNOW what God wants and doesn’t want? And be so certain! Amazing.

  • Mary

    God has placed several converts in my life that have made me appreciate my faith and His love: the first one was my Mother, and then two very dear friends. Right now one of those friends has an illness that I hoped would be cured, but she said that her suffering may be her way to heaven. When she wants to pay for gas and lunch when I drive her to appointments, I tell her that this is my gift to her and to God and I don’t need to be paid. God has blessed me with these wonderful Catholic Converts.

  • Niove Candida Rosario

    I know there is criticism outthere about me. At work, my family, but I guess I don’t let it get to me. I always press on with what I know in my heart is good for me. I think I listen to my own criticism more than I listen to those outthere.

  • Zoe

    I’ve found SUCCESS to be THE BEST REVENGE!

  • Margo

    This Lenten discussion speaks so directly to me. Of all the ones that I have heard and they all have been good this is the one that I will take most to heart thank you Matthew

  • Pearl Brown

    I have overcome critics in my life by getting closer to God and praying for the ones who criticize

  • Alison Granny Duke

    I find it an interesting subject which I was speaking about with some artists today. One lady said she would not put her work up for show that way no one can criticise it. I related a story of being in a Writers group over ten years ago where as a poet I got used to the critic after about a year. Each week we had to stand at a Podium and read what we had written during the week. It was tough but what I learned to accept was my work was being critiqued to help me. I have many times been criticisd for my views on God or such things and I was quick to leap to Gods defense. LOL The worse person to critique me is me and I can torment myself and make myself feel guilty far more than anyone else. When I can hand it over as I get into bed I thank God for his mercy to me.

  • NancyB

    I allowed a very influential critique affect my self-worth at a very young age. Most of my adult life, I felt I did not measure up to her expectations. It colored my world and I allowed myself to become a not-so-good version of myself. A few years ago, finally, with lots of prayer, I was able to quiet the inner critic I developed and turned to God. I realized it was most important how he saw me. I recognized that the critic of my youth had her own demons to deal with. I praise God daily that I have moved from that place to where I am now. I forgave the people in my life that I needed to forgive and am taking steps every day to listen to God’s words- allowing them to affect me more than worldly critics. Certainly my self-critic, as Steve mentioned in the video, comes out frequently, However, I can get it under control and return to our Savior’s path. God bless your Holy Week.

  • Anne S

    I needed this reflection today! In fact my husband and I both needed it. I have allowed the voices to cloud out the Mission! Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

  • Jeff K

    This was the central theme of the movie Back to the Future, the McFly’s couldn’t deal with rejection. It took a time machine for them to overcome their fears. Luckily I have God’s love to help me with that!

  • Jim

    The most powerful critic we often face in our lives, the one, whose messages and denunciations we must absolutely refute and ignore is the devil. He will whisper in our ears and do everything he can to convince us that we are damaged goods and unworthy of God’s love or promise of salvation because of some past action or behavior. DO NOT listen to him. DO NOT buy into his lies about your worth as a child of God!

  • Emma Spaulding

    Sometimes I am my biggest critic. I want things to be perfect, get it done early. and have everyone like it. But that is not always possible. Doing projects in school, I would be doing mine then glance over and see someone else’s and think their is better. That was not always true, because sometimes we would be doing different projects, but maybe there’s was a little bit more creative. I just need to realize that if I give 100% on a project and do my best, then it deserves praise, and not to be criticized. I have come to just focus on myself more and realize we are all different in what we do and because of that not everyone will like what I did and I have to be okay with that.

  • Rae Mims

    Probably my worse critic is myself. I have a tendency to beat myself up for a mistake or misstep or not knowing something or just feeling unworthy. Really the only way I have been able to overcome that is to do something – anything – even while feeling that way. Do it afraid. Do it feeling lonely. Do it even though you think people will make fun of you. Do it even when you are not sure what the right thing is to do. My mother was always very critical – especially about appearance like my weight or my hair or my skin. It made me very self conscious and have low self esteem. But, I try to do things to make myself feel good. A pair of shoes. A pretty dress. A cute pair of earrings. Maybe I am not Halle Berry but I feel good.

  • Amy

    I will spend hours listening and analyzing my inner critic thoughts (as I did last night and into the morning). No more. There is far better use of my time.

  • Bob_SC

    Steve mentioned “damaged goods” and with very few exceptions, we are all damaged goods. The good news is that we don’t have to worry because God is looking out for all of us and no matter how damaged we are or how often we are damaged, there He sits ready to make us all right with Him and right with the world. If you are trying your best, don’t let the critics bring you down. Only God knows you better than you know yourself. I have a little sticker that is attached to my computer that simply says, “Jesus, I trust in you.” I say that often and it helps me to silence the critics, silence myself being hard on me, and gives me a wonderful sense of peace and encouragement.

  • Linda Carmelle

    I must confess I even criticized myself for not being able to fully participate in the best lent ever program this year.
    Sometimes I believe I need to be superhuman and fit everything in ,which ends me up in a place of being so tired I fall asleep at times when I needed tobe available to participate most(maybe a little like the apostles when Jesus was praying in the garden?)I corrected myself and gave myself a do-over,this 2nd chance to participate until pentecost though……..My flaw and my favor at the same time is my work ethic and working so much.
    I need to work as much as I can while I can to pay down an enormous amount of debt,which I feel is entrapping me like a demon. Nothing can move forward with this debt,no improvements can be made in life,no volunteering can be done,theres hardly anything left to tithe(on a regular basis).And yet if I had to make those decisions over again for the most part I would have chosen the same path,helping family,quitting my job to take care of my grandpa. I let God provide for me during those times(with respect that He allowed me to work from home,providing childcare for 2 wonderful catholic families so I could still be present to care for my Grampa. So yes I’d make that same decision again with God’s grace,but be more aware of the temptations and distractions that led to overspending on the business and underearning in the position.
    I also always have regrets about decisions I make,which is why I think I procrastinate so much. I doubt my ability at times,when you are always tired you are a poor decision maker too.I also couldn’t tell the difference between discernment and judgement at those times in my life either.When you procrastinate sometimes the decision is removed from you,because you are stuck in the moment.When that happens a decision is made for you with or without your consent due to timing,but in the moment it seems like 1 less thing to do and I was grateful at times for that,until I realized I was short changing myself by wiggling out of the decision making processes.
    Since then I realize that regret is a valuable learning tool,and have befriended it and tamed it. I can have the power to learn from my mistakes and experiences now. Regret and procrastination at one point can help you realize similiar situations arise in the future,and once you recognize the pattern you can change or avoid it again.So use your inner critic to give yourself constructive criticism instead and grow in the fruits of the spirit instead,as a child of God realize we develop at our own individual rates. We can learn to tame other critics when we 1st learn to control our own inner critic (as most people here testified to that inner critic is often the worst one of all)and turn it into a positive learning experience with God’s help and Grace.=)