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Showing posts from November 18, 2012

A Good World, Still

When I was a teenager, one popular TV character would see advertisements for a show called, "Sick, Sad World." The protagonist wanted you to see everything with as much irony and cynicism as she did. And it's not far off the mark. We could give each other a million examples. The good we're supposed to have, juxtaposed with what humanity seems to settle for could shatter the heart of any reasonable person. To be frank about it, in just this last year, I've had enough suffering and mourning for a lifetime, if it was my call. It isn't, but in case you were curious, now you know. And maybe I'm the wrong sort of person to write what I'm about to write. I'm not exactly known for melancholy. Still, it comes to this: I think the Christian mission behind the mission will be to convince the world that this cosmos we live in is good. The whole world is screaming, "Who cares? Life sucks and then you die!" even while their souls vibrate with the t


Happy Thanksgiving! Catholics pray too fast. I want to shake them in public prayer. The leadership wants to know why many don't interiorize their faith; it's because you permit them to say our devotionals a thousand miles an hour. The vocal part is only the exterior; mental prayer is what matters. Converts will tell you if you're praying too fast; in general, you're praying too fast. And before some uppity cradle Catholics get all bent out of shape about the converts thinking they know everything, chill. I didn't propose a change to the Mass; I'm just telling you, if this is about our hearts, you're not even letting them in. See, one great thing about the separated brethren is that, whether they're doing exactly what they should do, or taking a hacksaw to the faith once delivered, in any case, it's ALL FOR JESUS. I can't say I've never lost my focus in prayer. And if you have a plan to do something, do it, even if you don't feel lik

What's My Life For?

Writers write. That's what they say. And fighters fight. You can't chase someone else's imagination of what you're supposed to be. You've gotta be what you are. And if you stay beyond the place where your skills win the day, hopefully you've got that pride, the pride that still earns respect when you come up short. The sun shines a different color when you are bound only to yourself and God. The lines on your face are from laughter, because you seek out joy, instead of thinking it's owed to you. But think how much energy people waste trying to convince other people everything is fine. If there's a weight on your soul, a drinking buddy who doesn't know you from a hole in the ground isn't going to help. Have you hung around a place like that, when only the most obtuse person would easily conclude that these people have nothing to live for? We're not talking about some friends celebrating a promotion; we're talking about blotting the rea

Plan of Life

It's time to restart my Plan of Life. It's not a great existential thing; it's a phrase that describes a generally set way to pray and live each day in order to reach maximum holiness. On the other hand, what's more existential than that? A little piece of advice from the spiritual hinterlands: If you get an idea to change the plan, and it didn't come from your spiritual director, there is an 84.2 percent chance that it came from Satan. That was a terrible month! And we know the reason now, don't we? Even though immaterial beings are not composed of matter by definition, there should be no doubt that Satan is a piece of crap. He will do anything to pull us away from God, leave us lonely, confused, and chained to our sins. You thought you had me, didn't you? Yeah, well, I don't think so. I may go to Confession soon, just to spite the monster. But that is what the old priest had said: God speaks quieter. I should have remembered Elisha. It's true


I willingly went to a funeral today for the first time in 23 years. I lost my father in 1989. Three years later, I ended up at the funeral for my grandfather's sister. I fell apart completely. I had to leave. I had a firm determination never to do that again. But earlier this week, I found out that my dear friend Carol (Confirmation Sponsor Lady) had lost her mother. She and her husband know that I'd do anything for them. Of course I have to go. Just tell me when to show up. If I can get a little sentimental here, I don't think either of them realizes how special they are to me. And I'm not the only one. Dad understands my reticence all this time, but I know he'd tell me to go, too. If I can take a moment and try to describe what it's like to lose a parent, I'll do my best, and I hope you're still with me. It's like falling down in a well or a hole. The darkness is your anguish, but there is no floor. Somehow, time pulls you out, and you go on

Death Is Wrong

Death is all around us. In neither takes imagination or great vision to notice. And it's fundamentally wrong, though it is commonplace. At this point, it'd be easy to say, "How horrible! Come, Lord Jesus!" and move on. But we can't. We've got to think through some things. You know, we weren't supposed to die at all. Death came through sin. On the other hand, that gift of immortality was just that, a gift, and one above our nature, at that. (Contra Crazy Uncle Marty and others) God somehow saw fit to pair an immortal soul with a mortal body, and to keep them together in redemption. Thus ends the theology lesson for the day. Except to say that the mortal will become elevated, and not the other way around. Wasn't it always one of those baffling Bible mysteries that Jesus waited for Lazarus to die, knew he was going to raise him, and cried anyway ? If the God-man who is the perfect man wept, maybe the hope of Heaven isn't meant to be the only answe