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Showing posts from May 10, 2020

Do Nothing Without The Bishop

I'm not feeling any conflict or disagreement with the suspension of public Masses; I'm at risk, more than the rest of us. I miss being near the altar as well, but not enough to risk catching the virus, or spreading it to someone else. Quite frankly, I think people can get possessive about the sacraments, as if the sacraments themselves belong to us as a birthright. At times like these, it is good for us to remember that the sacraments are the means--even the primary means--of loving God, and being loved in Him. That being said, they are not the only exclusive means. For me, even the thought of putting one of your loved ones at grave risk, even for the consolation of receiving Holy Communion, seems selfish. I don't live for the consolations of God, but for God Himself. I serve a good and holy Bishop here, who understands the great family privilege of the sacraments, the gifts of grace and salvation given to us by Christ himself. Yet even if I did not, I would not dare to

Eternal One

I exercise my cheeky option to write a post only vaguely related to what I'm actually talking about! Yet as I sit here in between writing emails and applying for jobs, I am struck by the goodness of God, just in the very fact that I am alive. That zest for living that gets us out of bed each morning committed to "accomplishing something"--granted, with its own pitfalls and idolatries--is part of the handiwork of God. I am part of the handiwork of God, even if I commit myself to dissolute living. It is a scandal and a tragedy, but I am no less His handiwork. For what it's worth, I felt God smiling at me. I daresay I don't like myself as much as he does. What else is new? I guess that's why I am telling you; maybe you forgot, in your own case. "I haven't done this, and I haven't done that, and I haven't beaten that vice, and I never feel satisfied." Will we ever, until we are in the Beloved? I taught RCIA the other night,--over the phon

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

I have been obsessed with the BBC miniseries of the same name, ever since my good friend Mim told me about it. You can't go wrong with Sir Alec Guinness in the role of George Smiley. It's a spy story, from the novel by John le Carre. The author himself was a spy for British intelligence, apparently until the traitor Kim Philby blew his cover in the early '60s. I'm not going to spoil the story, and I'm not sure why I'm telling you this. Recently on the blog here, I've been sharing spiritual insights. Well, I guess I could say that there is nothing more unspiritual than a person trying to say something spiritually meaningful. I suppose I tell you about this story, and potentially subsequent stories, because when I felt that my world was falling apart, Smiley and his friends--and his enemies--have brought me comfort. I definitely fought the urge to buy the books in the trilogy involving George Smiley. Suffice to say that when I get my next Audible credit, Ti

The Quiet Joy

In one sense, I am still afflicted. I don't see the world as I did before. I am not filled with a human hope and optimism for a better future. There is no more clarity in my life than there was before, and perhaps even less. And yet, the good news of Jesus remains as true as it ever was. If life is eternal, then even the deepest suffering of this existence is but a shadow in the reality of His marvelous light. I do not aim to tell you when you will see the sufferings of this present life in that way; I do not intend to give you a timetable for when the Valley of Sorrow is behind you. I only know that the Master of life and death is truly on the throne. I do not long suffer fools who claim to offer some map of meaning, as if we could create the meaning of our lives from the signs and symbols of existence. If life is pain, as was famously said, then the pain has its own intelligibility and purpose, whose flip-side is glory. I do not understand the appeal of the proclaimers of mea