I listen to the dishwasher automatically splash hot water and detergent
over a load of unclean dishes.
Then I walk into the laundry room, throw a pile of soiled clothes and soap into the washing machine.
Turn some knobs again and walk away.
Makes me realize how easy my way of life is .
Not simple, but easy.
And so I write these thoughts:
A CHILDHOOD SUCH AS MINE
I was poor once
but richly happy…
sheltered by a roof slatted
over adobe bricks,
warmed by siblings sleeping in one room,
fed simple meals served on a sharing bowl.
No creature comforts to spoil my soul.
yet I lacked nothing.
And now I have it all
damned luxuries destructive of initiative.
I sit royally upon complacency
by pity for my children
whose only deprivation
is a childhood such as mine.
Have you ever loved someone so fully that you gladly put his/her needs before yours?
Yes? Then you are definitely taking big steps in your spiritual journey.
You are achieving freedom from sin by being a slave to others.
What a paradox!.
Our individual spiritual journeys may pose such complex and perplexing avenues,
and we keep on figuring.
Just when we think we have found the answer,
Our spiritual journeys are far from science with its formulas and equations;
self-denial heads in a different direction.
Every new year brings a new song until we reach
the season of old age.
Then the song begins to to repeat itself.
Our ears, though hard of hearing, take in
the familiar tune over and over,
but our worn bodies never get tired of it.
We listen intently to the strong and vibrant verses
cheering us on:
a harmony that leads our heart to eternity.
Humility can crush pride into tiny particles
that fall upon the earth
and convert them to a new humanity
which holds the key to peace,
for being humble
means serving others.
It means stepping out of the self-center
and beginning sentences with “you” instead of “I”.
It does not allow wealth to make us less dependent upon one another.
Nor does it allow us to feel inferior.
Practicing humility puts us all on an even par
eliminating the need for ladders
to the loft of prejudice and discrimination.
Some people hold our attention without even trying. The sound and tone of their voice, the words they choose, enrapture us. We could listen to them all day long. I've known a few people like that.
I think it is because they do not discriminate. They see the listeners as equal to themselves. For that reason they spend no time trying to impress, but instead get lost in their monologue. They transform into their story to such a degree that we do not have to turn the page to see the illustration.
It's a fine gift to have; the world would be boring without such verbal characters.
The atrocious sins committed by pedophile priests leave us not only disgusted but wary of any clergy in our church life. How can we make sure that our pastor, spiritual advisor, or presider of Mass is not really a monster? It's very possible that we may never find out. In that case, should we censor our Catholic faith and look elsewhere?
Paul in his second letter to Timothy tells us:
"...evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it..."
I have spent time reflecting on what I have become convinced of, and that is:
My relationship with Father God is one-to-one with Jesus as my model and the Holy Spirit as my advocate.
What I continue to believe is that priests are anointed and ordained men who do not possess powers which allow them to control others as self-professed intermediaries. Our pastors may have Jesus in their heart, but they are NOT Jesus.
I also continue to believe that the words Jesus uttered to the apostles, "This is my body.", are as real today as they were then. Jesus is present in the Eucharist because of my strong belief and not because of the presider's actions. Otherwise, how do we account for the times of consecration under the hands of criminal priests?
Evil impostors and their accomplices have infiltrated, but not weakened, our Catholic base; they will never cause me to deny and abandon my faith.
Ideas crop up when we least expect it.
The good ones will culminate in beauty and contrast against the hard ground they had to break through.
Our desires are suddenly fulfilled.
When I read this, I realized that no matter how hard most of us try to keep the poison bottled in, the lid eventually blows off.
We pray that with age, the poison will go stale and lose its potency.