Tuesday, April 25, 2017
I hear people say that they got some help so that they could stop ingesting an addictive substance, or stop partnering with the wrong people, or stop some other destructive behavior. In the beginning the process is one of stopping something. But there must be more than stopping. Why? Well, there is the solution and there is the problem. People choose a solution such as alcohol, food , drugs, sex, work, shopping, that does not seem to make them happy. That is, they chose the wrong solution. If you focus only on this, your solution, you are left with the problem that the solution was meant to "fix." That is why all successful solutions are spiritual. The problem is an interior one of soul. I meet people who stopped drinking and said, "I am OK now." Really? Short term they feel physically better. But the problem that alcohol addressed remains. They thought that alcohol was their problem, but alcohol was their solution and it did not work. Soon enough they are back to the bottle. All our addictions are our solutions to a problem, but the problem is ourselves. Many more people are always giving up something for a short time, but far fewer are those who will do the inner work. The inner work is the tougher journey, one step at a time.
The pathology report came in. The surgery got all the melanoma. I am free. The stitches irritate on my shoulder because of friction with clothes. But this is minor and may get me a few days off from purgatory. I also realized from the blog hits I got, on the day I announced my melanoma diagnosis, I have over 1400 people responding. This social media is powerful. Nowhere do I go that 1400 people come to listen to me. So many people prayed for me. I think I am loved. With all the silliness of my life, of which these people know so much, I am loved. I may cry now, but there is another more substantial blog posted for this day as well.
Monday, April 24, 2017
This Good Friday prayer is one I like as well, for non-believers, judged "Pagan" or "Infidels" by some. Here is the prayer:
For those who do not believe in Christ,
That, enlightened by the Holy Spirit,
They, too, may enter on the way of salvation.
Nothing here about enlightenment coming from torture, or death threats. Our trust is in the Holy Spirit, to show them their way to salvation. It does not say that they have to be Catholics to get there. The prayer does not say that they have to believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Could there be another way to fulness with God? Perhaps. We believe that Jesus came to save all, not that all would believe in him or what he did. I am a Paulist priest, so I still like conversion work, but I am reminded that I am but a piece of God's great plan. If I can keep loving God in my actions, that is the best introduction to Christ I can give.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
On Good Friday, following up on yesterday's blog, we Catholics pray for Non-Catholics, the ones we were killing or forcing into conversion in our history. Here is this prayer:
For all our brothers and sisters who believe in Christ,
That our God and Lord may be pleased, as they live the truth,
To gather them together and keep them in his one Church.
This is a prayer for unity among Christians, called Ecumenism, so that we can speak the Gospel with one voice, but it does not call for punishment or damnation. Nor does it call upon anyone to force someone to join up. We call one another, brothers and sisters, not heretics, and leave it to God to join us together in one Church. Go visit a Church building of other Christians. Maybe you will find God there?
Saturday, April 22, 2017
On the Catholic Good Friday service, there are official prayers for three groups: Jews, Non-Catholics, and Non-Believers. None of these prayers ask or focus on any of these groups becoming Catholics or joining the One, True Church, as some Catholics would say. There is nothing about we are right, and you outsiders are doomed. Here is the Prayer For Jews:
We pray for the Jewish people, to whom The Lord our God spoke first,
That he may grant them to advance in love of his name
And in faithfulness to his covenant.
We simply pray that they be good Jews as God called them first in his covenant with them. This prayer keeps us out of hate, prejudice, and judgment, all good things to be rid of. Do a Mitzvah today. That means a kindness expecting no return.
Friday, April 21, 2017
I found out this morning that I have Melanoma. I thought that I was a "Dead Man Walking." More bad news was that the cut would be deep and long. There would be stitches in the shoulder joint where the Melanoma resides. The stitches would remain in for two weeks because the shoulder joint moves and the stitches need time to do their job. No drugs will be necessary or used. I was given a piece of wood to bite on in the night. The good news, for my disfigured body, is that the cure for my level of cancer is 100%. It was found just as it moved from simple cut to Melanoma. So I went from being dead to being merely disfigured in my aging. If you pray, I could use the power of prayer. I believe in a here after, but not just yet. I will have to deal with my "yets." What I take from this is don't postpone seeing old friends. If you believe in God, make intimate friends. I don't want to spend eternity with a stranger. Satan and I had done some business, but I would rather not live any more in that neighborhood. Pray that I don't rip my stitches apart carrying baggage to airport for trip to San Francisco next week. Is Netflix healing?
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Anyone want an excellent library? I have one. But I don't use it anymore. You see, my niece, Satan, in this case, gave me a birthday present. I now have a subscription to Netflix. I am watching "The Crown" episodes, as I notice my books languishing on the table nearby. Plus, I discovered Google has as part of its app, a way to call up just a piece of information, and Google finds the movie. Then I can go to my movie app and call it up from their library. I asked Google, "Polish nun," and Google came back with the title, "Ida." I had missed this movie in the theatre. But it had gotten good reviews in the press. And so it goes. Will it stop in the monastery this summer? Satan is everywhere. The monastery has wi-fi...in my room. I have ear plugs. Please pray for me. My soul is in grave danger. But "The Crown" is really good! My advice, is to read some each day before you go to that iPad. I just blew the dust off of my book.