Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ligament Spirituality

All parts of the body have to be healthy to work together.  Some parts are big and powerful, needed to get things done, such as big muscles.  But those big muscles are connected by little ligaments.  If you don't attend to the little parts of the body, the big parts are powerless to function correctly.  Prayer is a part of our whole self health.  It can be just a little part of the day, but if we don't attend to that little part of ourselves, the rest of the day, in which we hope to accomplish much, will simply not happen as well and maybe not happen at all.  It is not how much time you take for prayer, as it is, that you take some time for prayer.  Pay attention to the spirit that connects all the rest of you.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Spiritual Vitamins

In religion we tend to hear about body and soul, as if they are two completely different things separated from one another.  But I see us as One to include both a physical and a spiritual energy.  We feed the body, the more physical part of ourselves, with food, exercise, rest, massage, and so on.  The spiritual energy part of us is fed by prayerful meditation.  Without that, we may be able to love those who love us, spouse, child, friend.  We are nurtured by their love and return love to them.  We feel part of, connect with these persons.  But we may not connect with the stranger, the co-worker, the commuter, the person on the grocery line unless we feed the spiritual energy with meditation.  To ignore this prayer is to starve ourselves slowly over time.  We become insular within our circles of love, family, friends, maybe community.  But that which will expand us, bring out the compassion, kindness and even tenderness for people beyond this close-knit circle comes only with a deep prayer life.  Most fear of the world comes not from a bad diet, but from a lack of attention to our spiritual innards.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Star Wars

Fin is one of the characters in Star Wars, The Force Awakens.  He had worked as a soldier in the Evil Empire of Darkness, but now tries to escape from that world.  Good.  But he has some more growing to do. He is only concerned about himself, so the Evil Empire has had an effect on him.  He does not care that other people want to fight for goodness, light, the Force.  Then something happens.  He begins to care for the welfare of another person, Rey, a young woman who is trying to make the world better place for goodness.  Once Fin makes this connection of caring for another person, he will do about anything, even endanger himself, for her welfare.  I have found that the solution to a lot of misery and seeming problems in my life has to do with caring for another person.  Selfless caring is a great healer.  It justs looks kind of weird before you ener into it.  May the Force be with you.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Core Problem

If someone is a liar or a thief on some regular basis, that is a bad habit.  It probably has become addictive.  Many people think the solution is to stop lying or stealing.  Then they will be OK.  Not so.  Lying and stealing WERE the solution to some deeper and pervasive problem(s).  You can stop lying and stealing.  You are now obeying the commandments. But you have not dealt with the reason that you did those things in the first place.  If you do nothing more, than you will simply go back to lying and stealing.  It is that way with all addictive behavior and addictions.  They are solutions to some life issues.  These issues are kept at bay by the addictions.  Once you stop your solution, your addictive behavior, the issues or mental craziness takes over.  You will get really crazy, or "white knuckle" life, which is a very miserable way to live for everyone involved with you as well as you.  As the alcoholic would say, "Once you stop drinking, the disease will take over."  I think that is why they have those twelve steps.  God gave us the Ten Commandments to show us how feeble we can be, so that we would develop a spiritual relationship with God to overcome our weaknesses.  I see a lot of white knuckle spirituality.  Whenever I grind my teeth, I suspect that is where I am.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Spiritual Intoxification

Intoxification touches on the spiritual life. With much drink, but still conscious and before you get maudlin, you can feel as if you are godlike.  That is why the drunk will do dangerous things, that appear exciting at the moment.  They may feel a sense of herculean strength.  Lots of injuries happen in this state.  They may feel that they are close to God or some god.  Their sense of self-worth rises as they call old friends late at night thinking such people want to talk with them.  In the sober spiritual experience of say, meditation or worship, one may feel a closeness to the Divine that is Love.  We feel that we have worth, and use it to be at peace and help others.  We feel that we can do some new things because we have courage and fortitude but not false pride.  I heard a person on drugs say that they saw God.  Maybe.  But such an event did not change the person from selfish to selfless, from false pride to humility, from being a cause of problems to being part of the solution.  I know people who think they have never seen God, but are very good and kind people.  The key to all this is:  Does it make you a better person.  This is the spirituality I seek each day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Helicopter Moms

So there is this scene in the bible, where Jesus and his Mom, Mary, come to a wedding.  Disaster strikes.  They run out of wine.  Not a few people are drunk.  Let them all go home and get the suffering hangover, right? NO.  It was a terrible loss of face for the newly married couple.  Mary has compassion for their plight, but has to make a decision.  On the one hand, she knows her son has great gifts and talents.  Up to now he has been safe in his carpentry shop and sitting in the desert at night in prayer, or going off with some desert prayer group.  Political and religious authority don't concern themselves about him.  Mary's son is safe.  Child safety is upper most in the mind of helicopter moms.  Protect them from bad people, bad schools, bad health.  Don't let them out of your sight without knowing what they are doing and where they are.  If Jesus acts, safety is out the window.  He will become a public figure with lots of controversy about him.  Mary chooses to let him go.  And he will go.  At first, he holds back.  Time not right.  Mom does not let him hang back.  "Do what he says," she tells the servants.  From that moment on, Mary will suffer.  So will all moms when they finally let go.  Moms really do make difference.  Mary did.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dry Dates

I once asked an alcoholic who no longer drank, why they continued to go to those AA meetings.  The sober person said, "I go to meetings so that I will not have any more dry dates."  What is a dry date?  It turns out that a dry date is the first day that a person stops drinking.  That date is when they feel terrible, and have no program of recovery.  Often they have lost a lot of things such as family, friends, job and health.  If the person in recovery stops going to meetings, he/she believes that there will be a return to no program and feeling terrible again.  It is called a dry drunk.  That is until they begin to drink again.  Avoid dry dates.  Let your last one be your last one.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Yesterday I gave one of my prayer teachings, with the subject being a Protestant Minister of the 20th century.  Some might have stayed home because it was not about a Catholic, but some new faces came because it was about a non-Catholic.  Robert McAfee Brown, it turns out was a prophetic voice in the mid-twentieth century, but not well known in his own Protestant circles, as attested by two people who attended my workshop.  He was on the cover of Newsweek but unknown to many because he was a prophetic voice.  Is that why I am so unknown in my own church?  A prophetic voice?  Wow.  Oh, wait.  Prophets were not very popular and probably got few treats, rewards, dinner invitations, love, chocolate.  Maybe I should stop teaching.  My birthday is not too many shopping days away.  But then again, I did talk about Star Wars, and prophets are not so frivolous.  So maybe I can keep teaching in my won style: Terry Tradition

Living In The Future

I sometimes get upset with people who tell me to live in the present moment.  Don't they know that we have to plan for the future, keep organized or else there will be chaos and disaster awaiting our lack of planning and anticipating possible future outcomes?  A wise person told me, "Living in the today, does not mean we do not give any thought to the future.  We just don't have to live there."  How upset I can become at future events that might not ever happen.  Sometimes, I lack energy for the now moment because I am too emotional about the future.  Good grief!

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Why do you apologize to someone or say that you are sorry and admit your fault in whatever happened?  The usual reasons are to make peace, to be rid of shame and guilt, to feel better yourself, or to get something from the other person.  That would be apology as opening to negotiations.  But I noticed a reason quite different when I looked at the 12 steps of recovery.  In the step on making amends, it says that you will go to any lengths in making an amends, in order to have A VITAL SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE. Wow!  For these people it is all about spiritual growth.  I will try to remember that when next I find myself wimping out on saying I am sorry, or admitting my fault in an event.  An experience that is "vital" is one that slowly changes you.  I guess those addicts in recovery want to change.  I am all for that.  How about those not addicted?  Or is there also the drug of egocentricity, hardheartedness, and selfishness?  

Friday, January 22, 2016

Repair Stage

I am in the process of getting an old crown removed and a gold crown inserted.  When the old crown is taken out, I am given a fake tooth as temporary.  The real crown comes later.  The fake tooth looks real and acts like a real tooth as long as I remember that it is fake and don't eat real crunchy and sticky foods.  I am in the process of repair, which means that I am not yet ready for all foods.  In life, when we are recovering from something that is broken or unbalanced in ourselves, we go through a period of repair in which we limit what we do.  We are not well enough to do all things, "save the world," fix all damage.  When people are newly joining a church or a 12 step program, they are encouraged to do only a few essential things.  Don't try to do too much all at once.  We are not yet ready to chew and digest all of life.  Don't get dilusional in your new spiritual practices.  Patience. I know. It is a difficult virtue. I cannot wait for my gold crown.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


We are in the midst of the "Week of Prayer For Christian Unity."  It is called Ecumenism.  It is an effort to try to find ways that all the Christian groups can come together and be one.  We have a long way to go, yes.  So this coming Saturday, in Boulder,  I will be teaching about prayer from the perspective of a Presbyterian minister, Robert McAfee Brown, a modern prophetic voice for deepening our spiritual life in practical ways that make an effective response to the modern American culture.  Alas, many will say, "Oh, he is not Catholic.  I will skip it."  Our Protestant friends have plenty to say, and I try to expand people's spiritual horizons.  I get ignored too, at times.  Oh well.  If no one shows up at Sacred Heart of Jesus, I will just sit and meditate for a while then go get a treat!


A lot of people who pursue Buddhist practice think that the Buddha was all about meditation and Nirvana, the escape from suffering.  He did say that, along with the four noble truths and the eight fold path.  But I like that Buddha said one of the most important thing if not the most important, was friendship.  Deep friendship.  That takes work, social skills, recovery from selfish addictions.  All the other stuff is directed to friendship, as in love.  To love another for themselves is a transforming Way.  If you sit for three hours and then act like an adolescent, what is the point?  It is the same for any other spiritual practice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fix Me

Is God's job to fix me?  I think that God's job is to love me.  Sometimes I want a God who fixes. Make my life better.  I meet many people who have dumped the fix-it God.  They dumped a non-existent God.  They dumped a fantasy, an illusion.  Jesus is supposed to be God for Christians.  Did he fix things when he was around walking the earth?  No.  He loved or said that God is Love.  I think he had it right.  So my daily meditation is not that God do this and that to make my world the way I want it.  My daily meditation is to allow myself to stop thinking all about me and to open to enjoy being loved.  Enjoy the union.  This experience seems then to give me an energy to do the right thing when I go about my day, or at least to do less damage than if I had no daily spiritual practice.  God is at work. But I am the skin of God in the world.  Love.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

David Bowie

There is a lot of media buzz about Bowie's death.  It seemed sudden and he was only 69. His fans, many of whom were about his age, were not ready for this Music Icon to die.  Why does this hit us so hard?  Well, many people escaped the day to day real world by losing themselves in a Bowie concert or identified with his best music/lyrics.  Bowie, like other rock stars or performers helps us to live our life, but not to face our inevitable death.  Bowie's death makes us realize that our diversions or escapes, or entertainments are not permanent.  Bowie was rich, famous and talented.  It could not keep him from dying.  I am 72.  What am I doing fo today?  Or am I focused on the future only?  One thing we cannot procrastinate….death.  Why get depressed?  You have the gift of today.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Repair The Damage

What does it mean to mak an amends to someone?  If I had made some remark that hurt a person, I need to say that I am sorry.  Apologize.  I am sorry for saying what I said.  I don't wait until my opinion changes.  I am about changing my attitude.  To repair the damage done, my attiude needs to be consistent.  My saying I am sorry may make me feel better.  Nice, but what about the other person?  That is why I need a daily spiritual practice, so that my attitude, which seems to control my actions, will be consistly caring and even loving if I can get that far.  At least be curteous.  If I have stolen, lied or cheated, then saying I am sorry is merely step one.  I need to do some more action to right a wrong.  Without a spiritual practice, i.e. prayer and meditation, I will say,"I am sorry," focused on me feeling better or to get out of some trouble.  This is hardly repentance, and it won't change me for the better.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Golden Globes

I was looking forward to watching the Golden Globe Awards all about which movie and actor got which awards.  As I watched I realized that many of them were acting quite childish and maybe lacking some social skills in front of the cameras.  Why was I disappointed?  They are acting just like I can act at times, but I had them up on pedestals in their acting roles.  I realized that they have great talent as actors, but less talent as adults.  Is this not so for many of us?  We can do quite well in our talent roles, but as human beings our humanness seems to reveal itself in our, well, humanness.  Professionally or in our roles as parents we can do quite well and enjoy success.  In our personal lives sometimes we seem to be able to make a mess of things.  When the two blend together, then things get really messy for us and those with whom we work or parent.  My spiritual life practice is so that my faults do not rule my day and my work.  On the scale from useless to useful, I try to get close to the useful and far from the useless.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Thirty Somethings

I gave a talk recently to a group of recovering addicts.  It was on meditation, as in the Eleventh Step of the Twelve Step Program.  The vast majority were over forty years old.  At my church and nearby downtown churches, there are recovery meetings.  The majority of those people are under forty.  They are the twenty and thirty "somethings," as the media seems to lump them together.  Why are not they at a talk on meditation?  Besides the thought that I might be a complete bore or ignoramus, I believe that generally, the focus on meditation as a needed and daily practice comes after one has checked off or done their bucket list.  The focus for the young is career or job, finding a partner,  family, making a life in new surroundings, moving, and generally trying stuff to figure out who they are or want to be.  They try some meditation, but it is not really a focus in which they seek much depth or fulfillment.  Fulfillment  is more sort in these other things which they can now focus on sober.  When we get older, "we done this, done that."  We discovered or sensed some deeper self that cannot be filled up with the old bucket list.  Partners, family, homes, careers, friends, do not feed this deeper center.  Bill Wilson was no youngster when he wrote "The Big Book."  Dr. Bob was a successful doctor, with home, family and friends.  Both Bill and Bob knew it was not enough.  Sobriety in the deepest sense takes time, including biological time.  My clock is ticking.  Gotta meditate.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Getting Out Of Myself

When I was a baby I was all about myself.  This is normal for babies.  Instant gratification is the norm or else I will make a racket.  Now I am an adult.  I am supposed to get out of myself and be of use to others, to learn to listen, to have compassion and become more selfless.  I forget sometimes.  OK.  I forget a lot of times.  The baby lives inside of me and wrestles the world for attention.  Unfortunately, I do not look like a baby, so people don't give me instant gratification.  I am not the center of anyone's attention.  My Mom is not around to pick up after me.  And so it goes.  My friends, what ones I have left, given this bad behavior, remind me when I am in my baby mode.  "Oh, you are whining again," they say.  Yuck!  Usually, this goes hand in hand with ignoring my morning prayers.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Prayer And Meditation

The Eleventh Step of recovery programs speaks specifically about prayer.  The wisdom of the step is that it refers to "Prayer and Meditation."  I think of "prayer," as me talking to God about my agenda.  The assumption is that God is listening.  This is where I ask for stuff, maybe say thank you, or give praise for something, or read holy scripture.  "Meditation," for me is when I stop talking and start to listen to God.  Now I must do more than merely stop talking. I must stop focusing on my thoughts if I am going to listen.  All meditation methods are to help me to stop listening to myself when it is God's turn to communicate to me.  If I am at a meeting of people and someone begins to share some thoughts, I will hear nothing of it if I pay attention to my thoughts, such as do I need to fill up my gas tank soon, do I have the right shoes on for the snow that is coming today, do I need to refresh my coffee cup, and so on.  Talking to God and not listening to someone else, much less not listening to God, is all about me.  "I am all I think about," is not a very fulfilling life.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Clean Up

A New Year Resolution is to clean up my office.  So far I have done rather well.  Why?  There is an energy behind a resolution when you make it.  The secret is to act on the resolution while that energy is still there.  I did.  Had I waited, stuff would have come up to sap my energy for this project.  What I found in the clean up is:
1. How I put things aside for future action or decision.  As I looked at the stuff I had put aside for a future decision or action, I realize I had already made the decision to do nothing, but could not quite admit to myself that I would do nothing on this IMPORTANT issue.
2. How I decided to hold onto things, such as boxes, that I would use later for some vague project.  I was not brought up in the Depression era of the 1930s.  Why am I saving things, especially when I have no space in which to save them?  Over time, these things move from being valuable, useful, necessary, to becoming mere trash.
3. I found a few things that I had "filed" somewhere.  It made no sense that they were where I found them among a lot of outdated and now useless other papers.
4. There is now room: on my desk to work, and in my office for someone to sit without feeling they are part of the trash.
5. I have an enormous amount of M&Ms.  I tell everyone that I have none or am almost out, but this is not so.  They are buried under other stuff.  M&Ms are never trash.  They are to be shared, but slowly.
When my space around me is not cluttered, then my mind is less cluttered and I can be more meditative, even in the office.  I have a nice prayer chair, and now nothing is on it, but me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I was with a group of priests recently and the issue of cremens  or ashes of a deceased person came up.  Why so much of it they asked.  No one gave the answer that it has become so complicated to get everyone to a funeral nowadays, so instead of deep freezing the body, they cremate.  The funeral can happen some weeks later.  it used to be that when a relative died everyone dropped whatever they were doing and traveled to the funeral.  Airlines even gave funeral discounts to relatives.  No more discounts.  Plus, there seems to be a lot more to drop in your life which has become so complicated.  Modern life is a mess of complications and commitments.  Everyone is in over their heads in agenda, meetings, sports and clubs to say the least.  "I love my Dad/Mom/Sibling, but I just  cannot get away now."  Death is important in post modern America, but it has lost some sense of urgency.  When I die, the Paulists will have the funeral right away, relatives or not.  Paulists don't cremate as a rule.  Then the burial wherever I died, since I did not specify one particular grave site.  I like that.  You can drop whatever you are doing or not.  Come or stay home. I am dead.  I will have more important things to worry about.  Wherever you are, light a candle.  I will need some prayers

Monday, January 11, 2016

Taking A Hostage

When I was young and dating, it was all about self-will.  When there were obvious signs that the relationship was not really a good one, I would pursue it anyway, and if in a relationship I would try to hold on even when it was time to let go.  I just had to have that woman/girl in my life because without her there was no me.  "No me" means I could not be happy with myself.  To be "just me" without a girl was to mean something was missing.  I was not enough for me.  I could not go to a movie or a museum or a concert by myself.  Everyone would know I was deficient.  Of course, everyone would be looking at me instead of the art, performance or event.  I might be nothing but I was all I thought about too many times.  A relationship is not about taking a hostage!  It did not occur to me that just being me, with all my feelings, could be of any interest to anyone.  I never went there, so it became unexplored territory in relationships.  It was not until I became a priest and heard the honesty of people.  I could relate.  They were a lot like me.  I was imperfect.  I was human.  We all are.  The assurances I gave to them were reassurances to myself.  Of course, no one has even said, " I wish you were still available."  So maybe I am still too much a mess, but I am at peace with it now more than when I was younger.  "God, when will you make me a poster priest?"  Well, at least I got the honesty part.  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Opinions Not Faith

When people kill one another over religious issues it is not about differences in faith.  It is about differences in opinions.  Faith is about conversion to a way of life that sees connection, union, and where there are differences of view, practice compassion, understanding and dialogue.  If you are killing someone over your beliefs, it is not faith.  It is opinion which requires no conversion experience.  Opinion is easy.  Conversion is hard work.  Opinion narrows us.  Conversion expands us.  Jesus knew that laws and rules had little to do with conversion, so he did not focus on them.  He did not dismiss them or belittle them.  He kept them rightsized.  If you want to know what a religion teaches, look at what it does, not at what it says.  My religion is very hard to do, which is why I am not so good at it, left to my own power.  The dogma answers are not problematic.  It is the doing that humbles me.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Girl Scout Cookies

I see where the Girl Scouts can now sell cookies on line.  I remember seeing Moms selling for their kids in front of super markets.  Whatever happened to girls learning to sell cookies face to face?  I don't mean she should walk up to perfect strangers or mass murderers, but at least approach someone they know such as friend's family, neighbor, and at church at the refreshment time after the service.  I was a terrible salesman, but I overcame my fears of selling.  I gained some self-confidence.  Plus, if a girl realizes she can actually sell, she will be employable in the future without a fancy or expensive degree.  I will buy cookies from the first girl who has the wherewithal to come up and ask me.  Otherwise, forget it.

Friday, January 8, 2016

All Equal

This being the Christmas season, I am reading a lot about Mary and the baby Jesus.  One thing that impresses and challenges me about Mary is that she welcomes all people equally.  No one is better than another.  The shepherds are smelly.  They live and sleep outdoors.  They are on the margins of society.  Mary seems to be fine with then coming into the stable.  Then the Magi come.  Kings and guys with lots of fine clothes and gifts.  She welcomes them the same way she did the smelly shepherds.  I have to be careful that I do not show especial attention to the rich, beautiful people, while I ignore the poor, smelly, simply dressed.  I must be careful to treat equally those from whom I want or need something, and those who want something from me.  I may not have answers or resources, but I do have the gift of time to give to people.  And I can still write these blogs!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Continuing with yesterday's blog, I realized that I was dealing with my mortality.  When teeth begin to fall apart, it is the beginning of the not so distant end.  When I read a psalm in the bible that reminds me that we all die, I can handle it.  I feel good now.  Death is in the remote future.  It is like when someone says that my car will eventually fall apart.  Yes, but it runs fine now, so I don't worry about it.  I am not ready for my end.  It is not that I have a lot still to do.  It is that I have not stopped being bad.  I do believe in God's love and mercy, but still, I would like to have a little going from my side, for negotiations, if you will.  Anyhow, I had a good run today, so I am hopeful that I will have a little more time.  The psalms tend to keep me at peace and in real life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Tooth

I was eating soft food one day and felt a crunch in my mouth.  Something hard in this soft food?  No. A tooth is falling apart.  I have a hole in my tooth.  Dreadful.  Why now God?  I call the dentist office.  The woman who answers, The Protector of the Dentist, gives me an appointment several weeks down the road.  What can I do?  By then the hole will get bigger, food will get in and decay, and then I will suffer terribly, swollen jaw, unable to preach, and die from sepsis.  I am unhinged.  I call the dentist himself.  He is a saint and sees me the next day.  He does a little this and that while explaining to me, first that it is a cap and not a tooth, and it is not going to end in death.  In other words, it was not such a big deal and may be caused by any number of issues that can easily be handled.  As I left the office, singing my alleluias, I realized how different I am from, say, Mary, the mother of Jesus.  She went through really touch stuff in bringing Jesus into this world and protecting her infant son.  She did the next right thing.  She pondered things in her heart.  She accepted the difficulties and bore with them with courage and faith and love.  People like her are "saints."  I am not so much a sinner.  I am more pathetic.  Any one out there in blog land saying, "Uh huh?"

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


When I get all bent out of shape by some incident, I have to remember something.  For instance, I cannot find the keys to my car.  Catastrophe. My life is in ruins!  Why does God hate me, and so on in the morning drama.  What to remember?  That I have keys to lose, to a car that I own, that functions.  Many people have no car and therefore no keys to lose or misplace.  A lot of personal drama can be replaced with gratitude.  I may be losing my mind as to where my keys are, but at least I still have a mind to lose.  Oh, and pray to St. Anthony to find the keys.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Wanting

Wanting to be good does not make me good.  There is no action.  It is like waking up and wanting to run.  Nice thought.  But that does not get me running.  Stretching, putting on the running gear, tedious when cold outside, hydrating and then going outside and running is the solution.  All action steps.  If I wait for my "will" to catch up, I might still be holding my coffee  cup and looking out the window, "wanting to run."  Being good is a lot of action steps.  The solution to going from bad to good is not feeling shame or guilt or desire.  It is doing something  that leads to goodness.  It is all action.  Don't wait for the will to catch up.  Just act.  It is the way I pray.  I don't care much how I feel about prayer when I wake up.  I just get up and do it.  If I wait around until I want to do the "solution" to a better life, I will be very erratic at best.  Most days I would not get beyond "wishing" or "I ought to," or "this would be good for me."  Been there.  Done that.  Dead end.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Boulder Talk

If you are local to Boulder, next Saturday morning at 9:00 AM I will be giving a talk on Centering Prayer and how it may help with addiction recovery.  It is at St. Ambrose Church on South Boulder Road.  There will be 20:00 for meditation practice.  Even if I am dreadful, the treats are the best and some are even healthy.  I think they would like a $10.00 donation.

Daily Choices

I have yet to meet anyone who said that they hoped to grow up to become an alcoholic or some other addiction.  No one says they want to be addicted to something someday.  Then that "someday" arrives and they realize they are hooked.  What happened?  Small decisions periodically made, and then with more frequency, until you arrive at the discovery that you are addicted, if you don't go insane or die first.  Small daily decisions can change us for the better or the worse.  I see it in trying for a spiritual life of some depth or fulness.  It does not come by wishing it.  It comes with small daily decisions carried out.  Those small decisions to actually practice some form of prayer eventually lead to where I do miss the prayer or long for the the prayer on a regular basis.  I feel a withdrawal if you will, when I skip my meditation, and reading.  So I guess that I am hooked on Spirit or God.  But no hangover headaches!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Search

I was the best of altar boys when I lived in the Bronx.  We took it seriously.  There was a heightened awareness of God when I was around the sanctuary, the altar.  I was in a comfort zone.  I think that I always had this vocation to intimacy with God, and priest is part of the journey.  But then we moved to the suburbs.  Altar serving was more casual, and sloppy.  I lost interest.  I was gone from serving by high school.  Even church was dull, but I was Catholic and so I went.  I think I was better off in the Bronx, but who knows.  It is all past.  In the suburbs I fell into the culture of whatever anyone else seemed to think was important.  Girls were important.  And so it goes.  But I never lost that thread of interest in the God intimacy.  It came at some of the oddest moments, after partying all night, or being with a young woman date.  I would not relive the date or the events of the party.  I would ask myself what is the meaning of my life.  I would feel this presence in the silence and stillness.  I was a bad boy who wanted God.  When I went on the priesthood path, it was for selfless and selfish reasons.  I tend to be mediocre good.  The selfless part was to tell people about God's love for them even when they mess up.  It was my story.  The selfish part was to have the intimacy with God and to save myself from myself.  I think that drink and sex is a lot about seeking intimacy with this interior presence, but just doing it all on the wrong path.  My hope is that those who hook up for a night and/or do lots of drugs and alcohol will find the path that fulfills them.  I try for compassion instead of judgment.  That is what I received from others who pointed the way for me.  People who like me think I am better than I am.  Or am I better than I think I am?  Don't stop reading my blog.  I will try and get holy.

Friday, January 1, 2016


I have to remember that my strength to do things comes from two sources.  One is the physical and the other is the spiritual.  I am a body, but also a spirit or soul.  At times I try to do everything from physical strength.  I forget or ignore my spiritual strength.  I do this by ignoring prayer, meditation, quiet time to refuel myself.  Inevitably, I run out of strength to do things because the body cannot do it all or fails to do it well.  I need the extra of my spirit to go to work.  If I exercise my body on a regular basis to keep it fit, I need to do the same for my soul.  Prayer is the gym for my soul.  A good resolution for the new year is to exercise both on a regular basis.