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Showing posts from June, 2016

Do the Good

It is so easy to get caught up in our own worries and woes. I belong to a Catholic moms group on Facebook, and every day there are prayer requests: a baby in the hospital, a car that died, no money in the bank, issues with in-laws. The worries range from the almost hum-drum (It's raining and the kids are driving me crazy!) to the very serious (A teenage son whose asthma is so severe that every virus turns into a near-death experience.)

We worry about our woes. But we still need to do the good.

Every day, we get a chance to do the good. Do we take that chance?

It's no secret that I live in a lot of pain. Now, I've got this rather worrisome cyst on my spine. I'm waiting to see a specialist. Waiting.... Waiting... Today, two of my co-workers stopped what they were doing and came to "check on me."

"How are you feeling? Do you need anything?"

They did the good. They probably don't feel like it was much, but it gladdened my heart so much. Now, I know…

Can We Be Honest?

Honesty is tough, isn't it? We lie to ourselves ("I'll get to that chore later.") We lie to each other ("Sure, that looks great on you!") We'd lie to God if we thought we could get away with it.

One of the hardest things about NOT being honest is keeping track of your lies. Did I tell this to Mary or Jake? Did I mention this to Caroline at work or my neighbor?

And then there are lies of omission. We just keep our mouths shut when we should speak up. We just "conveniently" leave out information.

I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

Jesus didn't use "truthiness" when He spoke (check out yesterday's Gospel as evidence.) He wasn't uncharitable, but He was honest.

Have you ever seen a celebrity on the red carpet in an outfit that just does her no justice? I'm not talking about being half-naked, or testing the laws of physics. I mean, just something unflattering. Ugly.

I have a theory. This type of thing happens when …

Be Careful What You Pray For

I am weak and sinful. (Aren't we all? The key is recognizing this in ourselves and not just others.) I pray. I don't pray well, nor do I pray often enough. But I pray.

I have been praying for persecuted Christians everywhere. I see pictures in my head of the Syrian children clinging to life in tiny boats, and one small body washed up on the shore. I hear the screams of terror from the slain Sisters of Charity. I weep for those who've lost loved ones in the violence that pervades our own society. I pray for peace and understanding.

God always takes our prayers seriously. I know this, not only because of my own experience, but the experience of the many, many souls who have come before me. One of them is St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

She was born Edith Stein, a German Jew. She was exceptionally bright, going on to study the philosophical field of phenomenolgy. (Look it up. It's tough stuff.) As a woman and a Jew in the early 20th century, she could not find a teach…

The Best Response To Criticism Is Joy

The past few weeks were rocky. An attorney decided that it was a good idea to call my Dark-Haired Daughter horrible names. As much as I tried to shield my daughter from what was swirling around her, she found out and was understandably devastated.

I assured my daughter, as she cried tears of both anger and pain, that none of this had anything at all to do with her, and everything to do with the attorney who chose to act in this manner. But my balm was weak against these mighty wounds. The familiar sounds of PTSD were howling at the door of my daughter's heart.

Yet, we had a party to put on. Dark-Haired Daughter has completed her formal education, and a celebration was in order. In the scheme of things, it wasn't that big of a deal. In fact, you couldn't miss the dozens of handmade signs and balloons marking dozens of houses in our small town this weekend. It's that time of year.

But, as we all know, it IS a big deal. And for Dark-Haired Daughter, it was an even bigger…

Where is Christ? Take Me to the Alley

My worldly life is one of ownership: a house, a car, furniture. I have way too many shoes (but I'll keep on buying them!) and a lot of jewelry, which tell a story about me. I love clothing and fashion.

My spiritual life is Franciscan. Yes, I acknowledge: I am either the world's worst Franciscan or God has a delightful sense of humor (it's both.) The world has it all upside-down: "stuff" is not to be our focus. Our focus begins and ends at the foot of the Cross.

I'm not sure if Gregory Porter realizes it, but his latest album has what I consider (like Gregory Porter cares about my opinion....) the perfect Franciscan song. And I have not been able to get it out of my head.

Where is Christ? Where must we go if we are to find Him, accompany Him, learn from Him? We must go to the alleys. The dirty places. The lonely places. The places where the lost and forgotten gather. Where hope goes to die.

Take me to the alley.



"A Good and Spacious Land"

Isn't that a beautiful phrase: "a good and spacious land"? It's from Exodus 3:8, as God is giving Moses his commission to help free the Israelites.

I think it sounds like the title of a great book or story, maybe something by Flannery O'Connor. Of course, if it was something she wrote it would be a rather dark look at the good and spacious land.

We need to remember that Scripture is not dead - it's not simply stories of long ago, or lessons to people in another place and time. Scripture is the living Word of God. It has meaning for us, here, now, today.

There was something about that phrase that resonated with me as I was praying the other morning. "A good and spacious land." God promised that to the Israelites, and He promises it to us. (Keep in mind it took the Israelites a hard 40 years to get there.)

Last year was a very difficult year for our family. My husband and I hoped this year would be better, and it is. Yet, our lives are not simply mad…