Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2016

Mercy, or how to be like God the Father

Dear Hubby and I spent Friday night with our beloved Franciscan Sisters, who are hosting monthly discussions on the Year of Mercy.

The speaker this past Friday was a philosophy professor who is a student of St. John Paul II. He reminded us that one of St. JP II's encyclical's was DIVES IN MISERICORDIA, or God, who is rich in mercy.

I had read this encyclical once upon a time, but I think it will be my study for this Lent. JP II's writing can be tough going - he is a philosopher, and usually packs about 16 significant thoughts in a sentence or two. However, given that this is the Year of Mercy, what better study could there be?

We read in the Constitution Gaudium et spes: "Christ the new Adam...fully reveals man to himself and brings to light his lofty calling," and does it "in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love."6 The words that I have quoted are clear testimony to the fact that man cannot be manifested in the full dignity …

Grief: The Ache In My Heart

Grief is weird thing. It likes to sneak up on you for no particular reason. It wears out its welcome quickly, leaving you empty. Sometimes, it just follows you around for days, stuck to you like a piece of lint you don't even know is on the back of your pants.

Yesterday, I was just stabbed with the grief of missing my dad. No reason. It wasn't an anniversary of any kind. I just ... was grieved.

My dad has been gone for years. A lot of things have happened in that time. Sometimes I just wish he could sit in the back of the room one time when I am speaking. I'd like to see his face there, in the audience.

He was my go-to when trying to figure out finances or insurance or cars. He just knew stuff - what tool did what, how to tear a kitchen sink apart to fix a clog, how much life insurance you needed. Stuff I don't know.

When I was little, Dad would occasionally have a Pepsi. (This was long before the days when everyone bought soda by the truck loads. We kids got Tang. Cl…

Lent ... Again

Sigh. There is nothing more dreary than February in Michigan. While this winter has not seen much snow, we got pounded last night with icy slush, rain, thunder and lightening. Clumps of dirty snow pile up near driveways and ditches, reminding us that it is still winter, despite the fact that the grass is visible. Michigan in February can drive the hardiest soul to hibernate with a stack of books and steaming tea.

To top it off, we begin Lent in a week! Lent, that penitential season when we studiously examine our consciences, earnestly pray and study the our Faith, and seek to shore up our souls by making daily sacrifices.

February + Lent = grimness.

Or does it? Must Lent be grim? It shouldn't be. Just because it is a somber time in the Church calendar, it should not be sad or depressing or (I daresay!) ugly. No, Lent must have an element of joy to it.

Remember, dear readers, that happiness and joy are not the same. Happiness depends upon circumstances, and is fleeting ("I…

Honesty, Pain, Redemption and Teens

Youngest son is still a teen (for another 11 months), but is out of the house. He's also huge - 6' 7".

He's also in a lot of pain, emotionally. For years, he made horrendous choices, and those choices had consequences not just for him but for people he loved.

He is home for a couple of days, to take care of some of those horrendous choices. Last night,  he sat and talked with me for hours, pouring out his heart. It's probably the most honest conversation we've had ... maybe ever.

This huge kid is hurting so badly. The bad choices and their consequences play like a movie reel in his head, he told. How can he turn them off? How can he make up for the things he's done? When will he feel forgiven?

Confession, he said, helps - sort of. He still feels a burden for what he's done.

I told him that our feelings are far too often unreliable. If I acted on my feelings, I would have walked out on my family years ago - it was just too  hard. I felt like I couldn&#…