Friday, December 30, 2011

Winter Overnight

Usually the weather cooperates--cold, dark, snowy--great for reflection and personal time.  But it is only 30 some degrees and rain is in the forecast.
Still we will meet, talk, pray, eat, and pray through the night before Jesus.

I ask for your prayers for the youth and young adults retreating at the 'second' annual winter overnight.

This evening at the communal dinner some collegians will be arriving--their purpose? Not only a reunion of sorts but some faith sharing.  In addition they are planning their first pilgrimage to Medugorje (for more info on this trip--check out the link at the top of the page).
I hope their excitement about the faith and their future will ignite and enflame the younger youth present.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Does Mary Have a Sense of Humor?

For the past few years I have been writing a book--A Lost Shepherd; an ex-priest's journey from sin to salvation

Of course I'm not going to tell you about it right now.  It will soon be available.

---what I want to share (at the urging of my lovely wife) are just two of the many coincidences--or God Incidents--which have marked the endeavor throughout the years.  Actually they might be considered the 'book ends' of the project.

In 1989 someone gave me a book entitled--Medjugorje The Message  by Wayne Weible.
---I didn't read it.  I threw it away.

I spent most of 2009 and 2010 sending the manuscript out to a variety of publishers.
--The story was eventually accepted by a new publishing company that didn't even exist when I began writing the manuscript six years ago.
The name of the company that finally accepted the manuscript?--New Hope Press Publishing Company
which is owned by--you got it...Wayne Weible.

I wonder if Mary laughed at that.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Gift

Something lite....

My lovely wife gave me a clock this Christmas.  It took a couple days to regulate the chimes with the correct hour so time was a bit confused for the first 24 hours.
It's a great clock.  It fits the house perfect.

Here is what's weird....from the moment my brother helped me hang the clock...
time began to move faster

Every hour a chime goes--my wife or son will say "Well, there's another hour"

Now, I know that, in the land of cause and effect what I am suggesting is impossible.
Though we joked about it, I couldn't help but conduct a little experiment (I am after all a bit Narnian in my approach to the physical and spiritual and metaphysical world)

So I looked at the other clocks in the house when I heard a chime.
The microwave was flashing a :10 which meant I forgot to clear it from reheating the risotto (so I couldn't use it as a verifiable source)
The oven clock read within one minute.
My father's clock read within one half hour.
My phone was off.
My wife's phone was off.
My son didn't know where his phone was.

I suppose the new clock was correct.
Still, time is moving faster.  And my gut tells me it's the new clock.

God entered into our time (which is ultimately God's time).
He enters into our living, suffering, loving and dying.
So we can enter into His Eternal Time.

On another lite note...
My wife also gave me the new Roman Missal as a gift.
I'm not sure too many other husbands received such a gift on Christmas morn.
"Once a priest, always a priest." She said with a smile.

So on Christmas nite, after everyone retired,  I turned on my new book light (from the best son in the world) and cracked open the binding...
an hour later I closed it--(or at least I thought it was an could have been more..or even less)

Not that it matters--but my take on the whole thing?
I loved it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fatherhood, Husbandhood and Silence

I really try to listen to my wife
...most of the time....

My wife regularly attends morning Mass on her way to work.
I, on the other hand, haven't been--for reasons that really are inexcusable--
See, my son and I would attend morning Mass at another church, a little closer to home.  But, since the Nicene Creed had been changed (by the pastor) --we decided that we really ought not go--besides it became a near occasion of sin since I became judgmental.
So we were in a little diaspora.

My wife suggested that we all go with her in the morning.
Well, this means getting up earlier--and a few other arrangements--then driving back home---then driving back to work.
I wasn't in favor of it.
Too much driving.  Too much work.  Too much effort.
Yeh--I preach sacrifice and even blog about it---okay okay I get it.

So we went today--and the Gospel was appropriate--the father of John the Baptist, Zechariah is doing his priestly duty when the angel Gabriel appears and announces all the salvation news that an old guy can handle.  Of course Zechariah's doubting upsets Gabriel who reacts with a little God humor and mutes the guy.
I couldn't help but wonder how my not wanting to make a drive for Mass would be interpreted by Gabriel.
I don't want to be stricken mute.
I need to listen to my wife.

So there you have it.
We never 'get' God the way we want.

John the Baptist wasn't born the regular way--while Elizabeth and Zechariah were younger.  Think of how the man filled with the spirit of Elijah was called into the desert to proclaim and make ready and baptize.  The gospel actually describes his appearance--not a usual approach for Luke--so John must have been a sight to see.  I wondered if Zechariah ever told him to get a hair cut or his mother ever worried about what he was eating...

God never, ever comes as expected.  He was making ready the way in the midst in Elizabeth's womb and even in the midst of Zechariah's unbelief.

Don't be silenced--be made ready.

I'm glad I listened to my wife.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Immaculate Conception

Well, we seem to be in the midst of it.
It is dark when you come home from work.
It is dark when you rise in the morning.
We only have about nine hours of light.
And, in our particular neck of the woods--the temperature has been in the 30's and it has been drizzling for one week---cold, damp, dismal.
You get the picture--yep we are in the middle of the darkness.
We are in the middle of the thickness of Advent.

Mary of Tihaljina
 pilgrimage 5/2011

So breaks in our God.
Like into the womb of St. Ann.
Today in the Gospel we hear of Mary's fiat--"Be it done unto me..."
But what of Ann's?
It's all connected, more than our feeble imaginations can allow
Ann and Mary and Jesus and Joachim and Joseph
Into and through humanity our God arrives.
In the midst of darkness there is light.
In the midst of sin there is redemption.
Tired of darkness?
Echo Mary's 'Yes'