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This Food Isn't For You

My grandmother was the only girl amongst a bunch of boys. They were big men physically, but rowdy boys most of their lives. My great-grandmother, as with most mothers, thought the world of her boys, even if the boys seemed to have rocks in their head occasionally.

On Mondays, without fail, my great-grandmother would bake a cake and frost it. This was in preparation for her son Jack's impending visit. My great-grandfather, a day or two into the week, would suggest they have a piece of cake. No, his wife would firmly declare, "That's for when Jack comes."

You likely know how this turned out. Jack rarely came, and the family was left eating stale cake. Every. Freakin'. Week. Not only was Jack the crowned prince, but there was food for him that he never even bothered to get, even just to please his mother.

We find Jesus in a similar position: He's got the food and people turn up their noses. "Not for me!" "I'm gluten-intolerant." "Ew…
Recent posts

5 Ways to Survive Tough Times

Part of the human experience is struggle: locked in combat with the guy in the next cave over or the guy next door regarding the height of hedges. Sometimes the struggles are private ones (say, working to alleviate sin and cultivate good habits in oneself.)

Both my parents were Depression-era kids. My mom always said she and her siblings didn't realize they were poor until they were older. Everyone they knew was in the same situation. Yet, any time I visited my folks, their pantry was STOCKED. "Mom, why do you have 6 cans of peaches?" "They were on sale." The memories of the Depression never left them.

For Catholics, we've been living in tough times for, uh, about 2,000 years ago. And things were tougher still for folks before that. Flannery O'Connor once said, "People think that they Catholic faith is a big, warm electric blanket. It's not. It is a cross."

These past few weeks have been absolutely demoralizing for Catholics. Our priests …

Hard Blessings

When my kids were little and my days were organized chaos, I would day-dream of being a Carmelite nun. Oh, to have a quiet little cell for study. Slipping into the chapel for a quick visit with our Lord. Praying the Psalms with heavenly chant. Bliss.

Of course, being a Carmelite is not about quiet study and a search for bliss. It is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult and humbling vocations the Church offers. To be wholly cut off from the world, to pray constantly, 24/7 both in private and in community. There are no vacations, no accolades. The Carmelite monastery of today looks pretty much like it did 100 years ago, and 100 hundred years before that.

I know that the Carmelite life was not for me. (The Great Silence alone would be a complete disaster.) I know that I was meant for marriage and family; this would be my path to holiness.

"Holiness" is so important - it is our means of obtaining Heaven. We emulate Christ, his manners, his prayer. We take and eat, at his c…

Job, Jacob and the Fine Art of Wrestling With God

Even if you're not very familiar with Scripture, you likely know (roughly) the story of Job. Job, a "righteous man," finds himself in the middle of a wager between God and Satan. God allows Satan to tempt Job into despair, but Job remains faithful.

Jacob's story is a bit different. From the get-go, Jacob is a leader in Israel. He helps Moses. He is a soldier. Nearly fearless.

Well, even if you have never cracked open a Bible, you can probably guess what happens to both these guys, because it's the same thing that happened to your great-grandfather, the same thing that happened to that nice lady down the street, the same thing that happens over and over in the tale of humanity.

Stuff happens.

Your plans do not match God's plans.

You let God know (often boisterously) that THIS is not your plan. [This stage can last anywhere from one day to 64+ years, depending on how pig-headed you are.]

You find yourself sitting on top of a big pile of nothing with God - lite…

I'm back!!

My computer issues seem to be fixed, and I'm back now, able to blog.

I will have deeper and more meaningful things to say as the week unfolds, but for now:

Upcoming family wedding
How did she get to be a senior??
Adult kids finding adulting stressful; parents sagely nod
It's 89* and 90% humidity!
John 6
More shame on the Church for not doing the right thing
Volunteering

For the time being, I've started painting and am putting together finishing touches on a book. And so happy to be back here!

Wise as a serpent, gentle as a dove

When our family started visiting "our Sisters" once a month or so, I was assigned the job of cook. When we had work days, Ed and the kids would be out raking leaves or planting bulbs or picking apples, I'd be cooking hot dogs and making applesauce for the 50 or so folks who'd be working with the Sisters that morning.

My constant kitchen companion in those days was Sister B. Sister B has an education in pharmacology, and despite being retired, she uses that same exacting care with quilting, cooking and dozens of other things that fill her days.

Sister B comes up to about my chin, which is to say she is petite. She has silver rimmed glasses that sit properly on her nose, a quick grin and smiling blue eyes. With the soft voice, she always asked me far more questions than I asked her, as we cooked and prepped the lunch.

It would be easy to brush off Sister B as a "nice little old nun." I know, because that's what I did. I got accustomed to her sweet voice …

Theological Questions Re' the Nature of God, Humanity and Our Co-Existence (or "Why Does God Hate Me So Much?")

We got home from a lovely vacation this past weekend. Despite my neuroses and anxiety, everything went pretty darn well. Shout-out to AirBnB for a great place to stay. I even managed to keep my pain under control for nearly the entire trip.

Then there is the post-vacation let-down: the laundry to take care of, the mail to sort, why did we think we'd have food here when we got home? stuff. And we diligently went about taking care of things.

(Here I must insert a comment. We have two cats, a good cat and a bad cat, if you will.)

We had to figure out where the black sand came from in the living room (a small pot for a succulent that I had forgotten about, but our bad cat didn't! No, he was doing a little happy dance as we left because he knew that black sand was his.) This cat also has developed a taste for electronic charging cords. We have no proof, of course, but we knows he's to blame for the chopped, short and now completely unusable cords scattered about the living roo…