Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sometimes You Have To Start From Scratch

"Thith ith dethpicable!  I don't feel like mythelf at all!

JMJ     I guess you can tell I love Warner Brothers' cartoons -- I linked to a wonderful Bugs Bunny cartoon on my sidebar and this picture is from Duck Amuck, my favorite Daffy Duck piece.  I thought of this cartoon as I sat down to write about striving to be a good Catholic and how sometimes things get confused.  The really fine-quality cartoons are a strangely accurate and funny mirror of our human traits.  Like poor Daffy, sometimes the inside of my mind looks like he does ... a crazy-quilt of contradiction and things that just don't belong there.  Right now, it's my faith as a Catholic.  Let's say that I want something that the Church says I can't have ... I truly believe I can't have it, but I wish I didn't believe ... I love my faith, but I don't always want to walk the walk.  I've been thinking lately about the way Christianity is described in our time ... as a thing of love, which it is, like a soft pillow upon which to lay your head, which it is.  But there is more to it than that, and so many of us don't want to think about the religious aspects of obedience and fear of God anymore.  God gave us laws, which also means there are consequences for breaking those laws.  I believe in the warning of Jesus that only God may judge others.  However, I think we forget that we are supposed to judge ourselves.

Daily examination of conscience is a method Catholics have used for a long time to stay on the right track.  The Sisters in school stressed this action so that the conscience would grow from a weak whisper to a vital functioning organ of thought.  It's not easy, it can be embarrassing and cause personal anger to face and acknowledge our sins, even just to ourselves.  Conscience tells us when we are doing wrong -- it's like a gut reaction to any situation.  You can ignore it and go ahead with what you want to do.  But you can't go back again ... you can't say anymore that you didn't think of it.  That's where free will comes in.  God won't stop me if I decide to do wrong.  He gave me the opportunity to make up my own mind.  If I want to be one with Him, that is a very scary freedom to have.  A priest once told me that you cannot go backward ...once you have been enlightened, you cannot ever pretend you don't know what's what.  Rats! ... no loopholes.

I think my conscience has been screaming at me about some issues, and in my reluctance to act, I have tried to patch and paste, fix this and that, without just going to the source of the problems, make one complete act of contrition and make myself whole.  That is the only way to get all the parts back into place.  Pray for me.

"Thith ith more like it!"

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Blessed Mother, Pray For Us

JMJ     So many loved ones in my family are experiencing sorrows in life, illness, spiritual searching ... if it were not for the rosary, I would find it difficult to handle it all.  After all, the rosary's central theme is meditation upon the total life of Jesus, and we ask the Blessed Mother to pray for us as we try to follow Him each day.   With all that has happened, I have been feeling frozen in the spirit, and I need my spiritual home, St. John the Evangelist, my parish.  I need the Eucharist most of all.  My sister Laura said that I should  participate in the Mass when EWTN, the Catholic network, celebrates it every day. My parish priest suggested that I have Communion brought to me here at home when I am unable to come to Mass.  Without the Eucharist, our spiritual selves become confused and empty.  Thank you, dear Laura, and thanks to you too, Fr. Rick, for helping me figure out how to fill my spirit.