Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bifocals

The spiritual life is not something separate from "normal" life.  It is not like bifocal glasses with two separate parts in one lens.  The spiritual does its thing at spiritual time and then everything else is our normal everyday activities.  We don't meditate in the morning and then put that all aside and go about our business.  The morning meditation infuses the daily activities of our day.  Meditation can give us a second opinion on how to respond to a situation that arises during the day.  We don't so much say, "What is the spiritual thing to do."  We just have a notion or inclination or inspiration to act in a way that proves better for our overall growth and wellbeing.  The thought may come to mind to call or contact someone simply as an outreach.  We sense a world that includes us and calls us to be a part of it by taking action.  We isolate less and connect more.  We don't meditate with a plan for the day.  We simply meditate, like doing any exercise.  The day will work out better for us and others.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

False Belief

Some people feel that if they ingest, buy, put on something they will feel prettier, younger and more comfortable in their clothes, especially summer wear.  They believe that something from the outside will make a change.  And true, it does make a change, in the way they feel.  But this is temporary, since the reality will not make them younger or prettier or better looking.  The feeling though is real, but it is temporary.  And what you usually buy or ingest is not a good idea, since it had no practical value.  Take for instance, a drink of vodka.  It has nothing to do wit thirst or vitamins or energy.  It is to change a feeling, a mood.  It is all so temporary.  Two vodkas would extend the feeling, the fantasy, maybe.  Or it will rob you of some of your senses and motor abilities, and then you won't look so pretty or young at all.  Three vodkas, is bye bye.  Or you buy more stuff, not because you need more stuff, but you need a change in how you see yourself.  If I want to feel better about myself, I try to find a friend.  They always see me at my best, even when they can point out or notice I am struggling.  For struggles, I would suggest you not try drink or stuff.  Work on friendship.  Give time and energy to friends.  Then you will spend less time worrying about how you look.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Grace

All the children love one teacher, but then right next store is another teacher, and her children do not have the same love.  Two teachers, both competent, both with same age children, same demographics.    You could make it too priests, or two anybody, who have the same skill set, and intelligence.  Why is one loved more than the other?  I call it the hidden ingredient.  That is, it is hidden from the person who is loved, and even the children might not be able to name it.  If asked, they would say, "We just love her/him." Both teachers would be praised for their teacher skills, and competence.  But it is the hidden ingredient that brings out the love.  Since you cannot seem to control or manufacture it, just be glad that you have it.  Another name for "it" is Grace.  It is a free gift, I believe.  It is not the same as the love when two people are "falling in Love."  Or partner for "love."  Such love can fade as many people know when they hear or say, "I don't love you anymore."  The grace, the hidden ingredient that I am speaking about is not earned or manufactured.  You just have it.  How do I know.  Humility prevents me from saying more.😇

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Spider

I like this about the spider.  Why does it make its web where it does?  Wind, as in the breeze.  The wind blows little bugs toward the web, but the wind also helps make the web.  How?  The spider spins a length of thread, and attaches it to a board.  Then lets it go.  The spider waits.  The breeze, enough for a spider, blows the spider to the other side of the board frame.  There, the spider continues to spin the web.  The spider has a place to start.  Let go and let the breeze, or let go and let God, Power that is not the spider, Mother Nature.  The spider gets out of the way so that the power of the breeze can go to work.  What a metaphor!  You start to build a life that will nourish you.  You have to let go of resentments and character defects that would otherwise weigh you down and make you too heavy for the Power to  do its thing.  Know when to step aside.  In some circles it is called, "Let go and let God."  So be nice to spiders.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

School Lessons

Ms.  Dubois and all the other teachers in our Catholic schools, forget about teaching Catechism.  Kids forget that stuff.  I have a new practical curriculum.  My sample for this are my 93 years old friends who are twins.  They don't remember the seven deadly sins or the gifts and fruits of the Spirit.  But this is what they remember and kids need to know for a lifetime.  If you get cramps in your legs when you wake up, then have a bar of Ivory Soap in your bed.  Rub it on the cramps and they go away.  Also, drink Dill pickle juice and cramps go away.  Baking soda is good for many things, such as cleaning out stained coffee pots, odors in refrigerators and cleaning lots of other things.  If you have shingles, then sit in a warm tub of water with baking soda sprinkled into the water and the shingle pain goes away as will the blotches on your body.  The twins are 93 and that is what they remember from early life lessons.  God loves us even if we are ignorant of catechism, but why suffer cramps, stained coffee canisters and shingles!  If I preached this from the pulpit, I would be looking for work. 😍

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Rider

You might enjoy the movie, The Rider.  It has real cowboys in it.  You think "Oh no!"  But it is directed by a woman.  It shows a young man, with no education but rodeo riding.  It is who he is, and he gets injured and is not supposed to ride again.  But cowboys ride.  That is who they are.  But even more so, this movie shows a genuinely good man.  See how he cares for his mentally challenged sister.  He shows tender care for his bronco buddy who is debilitated from a rodeo accident.  Brady does not seem to need to get women into bed, to show he is a man.  He does not use people for his own benefit.  He has a belief in a God.  He has friends.  What will his decision be about riding again and why?  Well, you will have to see the movie.  Got lots of awards.  And who are you?  Are you living out who you are to the best you can?  Maybe you are a better person than you think you are.  Brady is.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Weather

I was on the way to the airport yesterday to fly to New York to see old friends, my Paulist community of priests, ordinations, museums and dinners.  On the bus to the airport I checked my email...too late, it seems, for my flight was cancelled due to bad weather at Newark airport.  The best I could do is the one available seat on Friday.  Bummer.  But the weather is not my fault.  So this is where I get to practice "life on life's terms, and acceptance of things I cannot change.  I try to keep boundaries between this weather reality delay, and my feelings, real but useless.  I did pretty good.  The feelings?  OK, they are, "God hates me," "Why me?" "My life is a mess," and then whining, self-pity, resentment, and fear.  They all come up, but they did not win out yesterday.  It turns out that other Paulists trying to get to NY also were delayed, and rerouted to other cities to spend the night or drive to New York in a rental.  I got to go home to my bed in Boulder, Colorado.  It is beautiful here, so I walked, got a haircut, met with lovely friends who accept me, and picked up some work for when I get back, assuming I get out to the ordinations which are on Saturday.  A spiritual program works, even for me, at least today.