Sunday, March 18, 2018

Home. No Phone

Someone said, and I tend to agree, "Being home is being no place else."  Say what?  Turn off your phone if you want to feel really "at home."  With the cell phone, you are always somewhere else in thinking, imagining, wishing, on the Internet.  Electronically, we are always somewhere else when we are on the cell phone checking something, texting someone, emailing, and so on.  To be where I am, I need to turn off my phone.  Certainly, when I want to be at home within myself, to be just with me, I need to make sure that I am not hearing bings, buzzes, rings, that call me to the needs, wants, or agenda of that world outside myself, the world that is not home.  If you are always an attachment to the wants and needs of your family, as much as you may love, them, when are you ever at home with just you?  Excuse me, I have an important email.  Just kidding.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

St. Patrick

Well, Happy St. Patrick's Day.  Even if you are not interested, or clueless, at least when you see lots of green today you will know what it is all about.  Two things I remember from St. Patrick's Day years ago.  One, is that we got off from school.  Because it is a Saturday this year, the point is mute.  But Catholic schools are not really Catholic anymore because they have school on St. Patrick's Day.  The second thing I remember is lots of drinking, and not only by the Irish.  There is a lot less of that because of DUI stuff, many Irish now in AA, and fear of losing your job.  That leaves students who take public transportation I guess.  This year, I am going to have corn beef and cabbage with an Irish friend, and teach something about The Celts and Prayer.  And of course, the wearing of the green.  If you want to see a big St. Pat's parade, New York City and Savannah, Georgia are the best places. Boston and Chicago try.  If the parade is not on the actual day, then forget it.  That is not Irish.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Group Conscience

There is such a thing as a meeting to make a decision in which "group conscience" is paramount.  I have rarely been in such meetings.  Most meetings in my life are hierarchical.  Someone is the boss in the room.  Others are underlings, or someone is seen as in charge, and the rest have lesser titles.  In these meetings it is not always safe to give an opinion.  Some people are just naturally less likely to speak up.  A few people, usually the more outspoken ones, speak up and then the boss pushes toward a decision that generally agrees with the boss.  In group conscience none of this stuff happens.  No one is in charge though someone leads the meeting.  The meeting is made safe by not commenting approval or disapproval.  Everyone is given time to speak.  It is not a "group" conscience if some people say nothing.  These meetings can take a long time or there will be multiple meetings before a decision is made.   What is the purpose of this?  Group unity, and the thought that a minority opinion might in fact become the decision.  Everyone takes ownership and no one walks away feeling left out.    When I was in charge of stuff, I did not much like group conscience.  How many people felt left out or diminished, I don't know.  But now that I am in charge of nothing, I like group conscience!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Baptism Way

I read where in the early Christian church, people who wanted to be baptized had to go through this long process of initiation.  That was the basis for the long process we have today.  Then I read where this fellow Ambrose, in the 4th century, a declared saint, mind you, was not even baptized but the town wanted him to be their bishop.  So in a week's time, they baptized him, confirmed him, ordained him a priest, and then ordained him a bishop.  After that, he read a lot a scripture, and did good for the poor.  He became a saint, while many a people who go through this long process today, stay a few years, if that, and then drift off to something else.  I am for a quicker process.  There is no guarantee.  Besides, the Holy Spirit is supposed to do the heavy lifting.  Then we could shorten the Easter Vigil!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Sword

There is a Jesus bible story where he is about to get arrested and one of his friends draws a sword and cuts off the ear of a one of the arresting group.  Jesus says, "Put away your sword."  I find that a lot of people who say they believe in Jesus and follow him, including me, don't.  We still use a sword against others.  Not the one with the sharp steel blade, but the tongue.  We cut people up with our words, opinions, behind the back gossip and betrayal.  We make judgments, put people down and enumerate their faults as we opinion them.  I think that our own ears are cut off from listening to the gospel we are supposed to believe in and follow.  The one who lives by the sword dies by the sword.  So why be upset when others cut us up with their tongue if we do the same with ours?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


I read a study that said of the people under age 30, 23% met the criteria for alcoholism.  Wow.  But at the same time studies seem to point to people on Facebook always painting  picture of themselves as happy, doing well, being successful.  Maybe the 23% don't use Facebook?  Who reads on Facebook someone saying that they are depressed, stressed, drinking too much and having suicidal thoughts?  They would get no "like" hits on that one.  But they might get some needed help, or connect with other people who are feeling the same way, but are afraid to look like failures among all the "happy" facebook friends.  I suspect that this blog won't get many "like" hits, nor be sent around to others to share a feel good story.  But the truth is, many more young people are miserable, and maybe older people, than they let on in their Facebook postings.  My blogs about me, on the other hand, show I am often in a bit of a mess.  No wonder those don't get many hits!

Monday, March 12, 2018

John Wesley

John Wesley, the fellow who is credited with founding what became called, "Methodism" felt that the essence of Christianity is love.  I tend to agree.  But so many people who profess to be Christian focus on knowledge and dogma as the essence.  Do you have the correct creed?  Do you belong to the correct denomination or church group?  Wesley believed that piety had to go along with morality and morality was "love."  You lived out a moral life by loving.  All of us will die not having read a lot of good books, and without the knowledge of many truths.  That is OK.  But to die without love?  What would all our knowledge do for us if we die without love?  I need to make sure that I balance my reeding with my loving!