Saturday, February 25, 2012

Change of Plans...What's a Plan?

Yesterday, my sweet Daddy had a fall and knocked his head. It seems that he passed out because he doesn't remember any of it. And it didn't hurt -- nothing ever hurts with him!

I got the call after I had actually gotten on the road to St. Louis for a long-planned and once postponed appointment for spiritual direction. Fortunately, I was not too far. I turned around and came back to Mary, Queen of Angels. We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening at the ER at St. Thomas -- a busy place! They checked him thoroughly and said that he could go. Before then, my sister rolled in from Tuscaloosa (or Title Town), where she had been to see her adviser on her dissertation. When Daddy was discharged, she ran and got us a Lenten supper as I got him home.

I appeared back here at the Cathedral unexpectedly and made like a horse to the barn. It was not the day I had planned, but it was the one God had! Daddy was in good spirits the whole time. It makes me glad that we made the move to MQA just about a year ago. I offered to help him get ready for bed, but he preferred to have his caregiver take care of it. That is a good situation.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Awesome Lent

Well, at two days in, this is an awesome Lent! I hope that I can say so at Holy Week!

I really did not know what to give up for Lent this year. So many times recently, I have given up things that are basically unrealistic and end in failure. And then on Mardi Gras, I was given a nudge. I was able to join in the CL party for Tomasso and Maria Regina as they discovered the sex of their unborn child (she's a girl!). At the party I had good local sweets and good local beer -- yes, beer and sweets! -- and found my answer. No sweets and and no drinking for Lent for me.

The first test came last night at our event for Fr. Malloy -- who wasn't there. Again there was good local beer and the best local sweets -- Kathleen's cupcakes. I managed to withstand the challenge.

I think that I have finally struck a balance and found a mortification that is helpful and a little bit challenging for me right now.

I am glad that this is in place so that I can concentrate on what is more important -- growing in charity.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

In Him, it is always YES!

This week one of the students pointed out to me that Blessed Teresa of Calcutta was 40 when she founded the Missionaries of Charity. I think that the student was encouraging me that there might still be time for me to come to holiness! However unlikely the prospect of my becoming holy and taking into account the point of view that sees 40 as an advanced age, it really is a helpful observation. I think that most of us, not only the students, think that by age 40 one is pretty much set in one's path in life. Not a whole lot more is going to change. And our task now is to plan how to make that happen.

That is not the Gospel. God is always up to something new: Jesus Christ. I am finding this to be the case. This semester, for example, is very new. There are all the old struggles and demands, but there is a newness in responding to them. That newness is simply Jesus. He is more real and alive in my life. I hope that He will become more so.

I am seeing things in a different light. In my own personal struggles and in seeing the struggles of others, I see how fear and a desire to control separate one from Jesus. I can come up with all sorts of plans and rationalizations in response to my fear and desire to control, and they trap me in myself. Only the love of Jesus Christ sets me free to love, with all of the vulnerability that love entails. I respond only slowly and imperfectly, sometimes only grudgingly, to His love. But when I do surrender is when He works His miracles. Probably the biggest manifestation of trusting Him is the acceptance of living in the moment without having resolution to every problem: to let things work out.

And things do work out. They especially work out when love, rather than fear and control, sets the agenda. Loving the person in the moment is what is important. It really does add up to a wonderful future but a future that cannot be seen now.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Japanese Martyrs

With all of the gloom and doom about the state of religious freedom in our country (and at our university), we would do well to look at the example of the Japanese Martyrs, whom we celebrate today. Now, that was persecution.

The persecution was so effective that Japanese Catholics were left without priests for centuries. And the faith survived. When missionaries came back to Japan in the 19th century, they found Catholic faithful surviving on two sacraments: baptism and matrimony. That's the lay vocation being taken seriously!

St. Paul Miki and Companions, pray for us!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

UCat Dominicans -- not the one in the middle!

Newly named Br. Cyprian and newly professed Br. Pachomius, O.P. at St. Gertrude's, Cincinnati, Ohio, August 15, 2017

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