Friday, July 28, 2017

Wonder Woman

In the hit movie, "Wonder Woman" the climatic struggle between the force of evil, the god Aries and Diana, the Wonder Woman, Diana seems to be getting the worst of it.  She has placed her fighting powers against all the evil soldiers in the battles of WWI, in order to get to Aries, who she has come to destroy and return peace to the world.  Violence against violence.  She has won up until this point, but as she looks up to the sky from under a pile of heavy rubble that has pinned her down, with Aries hovering over her, she sees a plane being flown by Steve Trevor, the American spy who has led her from her safe island home of women to the fight of WWI.  Trevor loves her, but knows that to win this fight, he must sacrifice himself.  He does.  With that self-sacrifice Aries is blown away.  The fighting of soldier against soldier stops.  Diana realizes, as she says, a bit later in another post war scene, that only love will defeat evil.  All her fighting powers would not do it.  Now, will there be a sequel?  Is evil permanently eradicated?  I think not.  Diana sends an email message in the final scene to Bruce Wayne...BATMAN.  Aries lurks.  Keep loving.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Reality Change

There was a time when I did not accept situations as they are.  I was not into acceptance.  Reality had to change.  A healthy way to do this, in my case, was to go for a good run.  When I finished, I felt better.  The outside situation was the same but it did not bother me so much. I had changed me in a healthy way. This is sanity.  Somethings we simply cannot change the outsides.  But I had an unhealthy, insane way of changing reality.  I would have a drink of alcohol.  Well, maybe a few more drinks.  Reality changed for me.  The outside world did not bother me.  Actually, nothing bothered me at some point in this solution.  The insanity is that I had only changed myself for the worse, with my alcohol consumption, while the outside world stayed the same.  I thought that I was fine. The next day, the outsides and insides were not so good.  So you have to ask yourself, if you are having trouble with acceptance of things you cannot change, what will be your response?  I now like to do something good for myself, or maybe even do something good for someone else.  Now there is a thought!  I find a piece of chocolate, and even shared, is very healthy sometimes.  I don't seem to have too many good runs in me anymore.  But even a bad run beats a headache.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Atmospheric Refraction

When I have a reunion with my two living sisters in Florida, they will go to the ocean to watch the sunrise.  I don't go.  They won't see the sun rise.  When they think they are seeing the sun rise over the ocean, the real sun is still below the horizon.  Florida has a lot of moisture in the air.  This phenomenon is called, "Atmospheric Refraction."  My sisters don't know this.  The went to brand X colleges.  I went to Fordham.  They come home and tell me what a wonderful sunrise they saw.  I don't want to burst their bubble, so I say nothing.  Even though what they saw was not the real sun, it was their experience that counted.  They will have a better day because they had their "sunrise experience."  When people tell me they saw something or believe in something that they think is positive, I don't challenge facts.  I don't get into debates.  I look for how their experience changes their life for the better.  If someone says they have experienced a Higher Power I look to see if their lives have changed for the better.  I don't question the existence of Higher Power.  I meet people who say they believe in God or experience God, but their lives are mean, nasty, greedy, selfish and heartless, or parts thereof. In my mind they experienced a god of illusion.  If the experience changed you for the better, then what you saw is "real" enough for me.   Except atmospheric refraction.  But why burst my sisters' bubble.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Last To Know

Many of us are the last ones to know about both a good and bad part of ourselves.  Take a genius.  To the genius, things have always come more easily to them than other people.  So they don't make a big deal about their successes in whatever they do that shows genius.  Everyone else sees it first and tells them.  Will the genius eventually apply themselves to what they do well and become a good for the world?  Maybe.  I knew one genius, way smarter than me.  But he did not apply his talents.  I think he committed suicide.  He died young.  Genius is not the panacea for suffering.  On the other hand we are often the last to know or accept a bad aspect of ourselves.  Take the alcoholic.  Everyone seems to know it but the alcoholic. This is the way they always drink. It is their normal. They are the last ones in their circle to admit to alcoholism.  Will they get better? Perhaps.  Or maybe suicide for them too.  So what I try to do each day, since I don't want to be among the clueless, is early in the day, look at the good qualities people tell me I have and ask how I am going to use them in service to those around me.  Then I look at the bad habits and defects in my character and ask how I am not going to let them get in the way of the good.  I do this in prayer...I need power beyond my own.  When people give me a compliment I try not to contradict them.  They have just given me a gift, a second pair of eyes and heart to see myself.  When they tell me I am whining...well, what do they know!😇😇

Monday, July 24, 2017

Quick To Judge

HOMILY NOTES
FR. TERRY RYAN, CSP
MATTHEW 13: 24-32
AUGUST 23, 2017
            I sometimes wonder if my big sister, Maureen, is in purgatory or not.  Why? Well, I figured she was pretty bossy with her little brother.  But today’s gospel says don’t be so quick to judge.  Our judgment of another person is our opinion.  It generally is based upon what we think is good/bad.  No one would ever plant a mustard seed in a field of grain or fruit trees.  That seed will only amount to a bush, a large obtrusive and rather ugly bush that takes up space.  That is one opinion.  The birds have another opinion.  They choose to dwell there and not in the seemingly big, and beautiful fruit trees. 
            The type of weed that is planted in the field looks at first just like the wheat.  So don’t be too quick to judge.  Leave things be and see how it all works out.  That is God’s job.  What is the point of all this?  Think of the communities you prefer for your own worship, dwelling, or comfort zone.  Is it a group of people very similar to how you see yourself?  Many worship communities seem to migrate to people of similar likeness.  If someone dissimilar tries to enter or join, people tend to shun or ignore the newcomer, and thereby make a judgment.  Some people would prefer a smaller, “purer” community, while Jesus seems to hang out with all kinds of people who are judged to be the “wrong crowd” by some religious authorities. 
            The Kingdom of God is made up of all kinds of people and we need to be more broadly welcoming, and inviting.  Broaden our horizons.

            And if you yourself sometimes feel that you are an odd type, and don’t fit in, remember that is just your opinion.  God might very well have a different opinion.  Allow yourself, as you are, to do a kind act today for someone else.  I have found differences tend to fade with kindness. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Little Can Be A Lot

Sometimes you do a little something for someone, but think it is not much.  Well, that depends on their perspective.  What if they have nothing?  If you give a dollar to someone on the street, what if it is the only dollar they get?  But lets broaden this.  You give someone a hello and say something positive about them or their appearance or accomplishments.  You may think it was just a passing remark, a mere moment in your time.  But what if you are the only one who notices them in a positive manner, or any manner, that day?  You might give someone a hug, and it might be the only hug they get, period.  At times I try to do something nice for someone, a cup of coffee, for no other reason then to do it.  It might change their day.  So don't belittle yourself for the "little" you do.  Do a little and it might be a lot in the eyes of another.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Maureen

Today would be my sister Maureen's birthday.  She died in 2004.  I miss her still.  I do hope that she is out of purgatory by now.  Her fans, who are legend, no accounting for taste, believe that she never went there, but went straight to God's eternal hug.  I have no direct revelation as to her whereabouts, but hope for the best, given that one should pay for being a bossy big sister.  Her four children think that she is a saint, but that is because by the time they came along, Maureen had reformed, though my two sisters say it was because she no longer had to put up with me.  I was the only saint among my siblings, and they cannot abide by that.  Saints suffer.  Anyhow, say a prayer for her if she is still in the fires, or one for me if you think she is in heaven.  I might need prayers, even of sinners like my readers, in case I am, as some say, delusional.