Translate

Friday, April 29, 2016

Still Going

I'm still here. I had the thought once the other day that I felt like I was dead, but I realized the opposite is the case. I'm very much alive, in all ways, and this is why the trials of this life hurt so much.

If you hurt over things that are wrong, and things that are sad, you're alive. Take encouragement in that, if there is any to be had.

I don't know what's ahead, but I'm me, and I'm going to continue being me, insofar as that is good. We're going toward something beloved friends--Someone--and that promise, along with the hope that attends it, is greater than any sorrow.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Offer It Up?

Sometimes, it seems like all the suffering comes at once. I don't know about you, but I'm not feeling much like a royal priest offering his whole life back to the Father. I'm feeling like I'm being crushed.

There are days when your prayers are tears. Words are a luxury befitting happier times.

And the worst part is, my health is fine. My circumstances are just fine. No truer thing has ever been written: If you love anyone at all truly, you will suffer. And so I suffer the temptation to condemn myself, because there are much worse things than this. Then I remind myself that I've learned to downplay my feelings improperly my whole life. It is not true or right to pretend that I'm not hurting when I am. Even if the crosses are not all mine, I bear them too, because I love.

But I had this high and lofty thought on the way to Mass: if the vale of tears is doing this to me, how great is the joy that awaits us? Can you even imagine? Dear St. Paul, I recall you saying something! I'm hoping in this with all I have, though it's a pittance. These are my widow's mites; these are my last stand.

Do not go on further, Lord. Please stay.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CCC, 2354: Pornography

I'll just leave you to read it, and think about it. Most of our movies today, though they may not be obvious examples of the subject, come very close to it, even if they are not. I'm not here to piously lecture anyone; the things that get people mixed up in pornography are varied, and it purports to fulfill real human needs, not simply for pleasure, but for connection. It's difficult to connect with real people, and the virtual world never says, "no."

You can get help from my friend Devin Rose, if you need it.

It does sadden me that it's so common. If Jesus took on human flesh so that we could have abundant life, how great is that life so many people are missing?

On the positive side, what glorious vistas of deep friendship and communion with God and others await us on the other side of this snare?

All you saints of God, pray for us!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

If You Could Change A Destiny

Suppose circumstances forced you into a situation where your character were revealed. For some people, it's acute physical danger to someone else. There is no time to consider carefully. You are either the person needed in that moment, or you're not. It need not be so extreme, however. We all potentially face little tests like this every day. (So long as we are granted another day to live, there is still time to become what we are not, if we fall short.)

The movies have it backwards, though. It's not the decidedly evil man who turns to good in the crucial moment who should be most celebrated. It's the man who's steady as a rock, who goes on doing the right things that he's always done, who should be. Heroism in anything takes practice.

If your whole life were distilled into one moment, what would it say about you?

Monday, April 25, 2016

There Is Now No Condemnation

We keep a closer watch on our lives as Catholics, because the possibility of mortal sin is real. But have you thought about this, that on an ordinary day in a state of grace, (if there is anything ordinary about friendship with God) the Father adores you? The Father loves you as He loves the Son: infinitely.

And actually, He loves us this way all the time, but when we are mixed up in grave sins, we don't realize it, or care.

God is always giving us grace to come back if we get in a jam, though. It's an extension of that infinite love, and in that species, we call it mercy. True mercy never denies truth, but it reaches down, it dignifies, it inspires us to truly experience all that God has for us. The glorious freedom of the children of God.