It's a tall order when your blogging objective is to provide a service to God. You know how Catholics living out our fiat are supposed to be looking at everything spiritually from the time our feet hit the floor until the time we crawl into bed but a good percentage of the time instead of controlling our own thoughts and being open to the Holy Spirit, we get in the back seat of the vehicle and hand the wheel over to our animus with all its character flaws? Blogging is a public journal that includes those moments. In terms of being a service to God -- to put it mildly -- there are some days it doesn't exactly rise to that level.
Think of having something time sensitive to blog, and...
You unknowingly use up $500 worth of heating oil in three weeks in the dead of winter and step inside your house after a 12 hour day at work to find it freezing cold with the two teenagers oblivious, knowing it's too late to call the oilman...
Have dinner with a male friend you've know for fifteen years and he gropes you at the end of the evening...
Forgetting to take your cell phone to work, having two teenagers driving both of the cars you are making payments on and insuring and find yourself standing at the train station after work in sub zero weather realizing they forgot to orchestrate picking you up...
Trying to get out of your own way to do something in service for the Glory of God isn't as easy as it's cracked up to be.
The challenges of blogging are quite numerous, particularly because I try to keep my real and intimate personhood and life apart from the blog. It's never felt natural to me to be revealing my intimate thoughts about my real life to strangers. That role seems to belong more to friends and family. Actually, after a few years of blogging, I found my friends saying "this is not for the blog" before they would tell me something and it felt a little like they were being guarded as though they were on Candid Camera, another reason why I tend to keep those worlds separate. Other challenges are from readers who want to be your personal lifestyle coach based upon the conclusions they've drawn from the tiny glimpse of the blog posts you're throwing up on the internet while trying to manage your real life.
But, let us face it. There are some parts of my personality that are as plain as the plastic surgery on
Every year I try to give up sarcasm for Lent. I usually broadcast it to the people in my personal life, including my professional colleagues, because they would absolutely not know what to make of the transformation. Though my colleagues are all liberal, at our water cooler moments during lunch we circulate things in the news and
Oh, the bait they sent my way.
Week three, after a three hour commute into work on the MBTA redline where the seats are made for people who don't have shoulders and arms and the customers bathe a bit too infrequently for this nose, I walked into work to a request to me (cc'd to several of the attorneys) to hunt down information that nobody has ever been able to find in the five years I've been at the company. We go through the fire drill with everyone in the company about once a month. Instead of explaining it again for the umpteenth thousand time, I said "Sure, and right after that I'll hop on the company pogo stick and fly to the moon". I could hear my colleagues laughter filling the hallway. The fast was broken.
There are other things that are not so obvious about me.
Like when I'm tuned in, I see everything through the lens of threats to the soul's salvation. For example, I could flush out in a heartbeat the threats to the soul in the luminaries theology relative to their Caritas-Centene venture.
In a kerfuffle, I also discuss things in an objective manner - openly and directly, willingly wanting to look where I am derailing and coming to a solution and conclusion. Not 100 percent of the time, but it's pretty much how I operate.
These two things don't always pan out so well with people who are wound too tight to have honest conversations.
Last weekend, I came across a status on
I happened to know the Senator he was talking about, who is a proabort. Naturally, I was having trouble trying to fathom what the 'cool' part was about the interlude with a man whose soul is in jeopardy and who is baiting other souls into jeopardy and into situations where children are executed.
Some woman evidently also had a problem and mentioned the Senator's jogging by on Palm Sunday wasn't so cool.
Then, it happened.
You know the women with low self-esteem and no personal lives who stampede the sanctuary, surround a priest to form a little cult? Well, they showed up like greenheads on a June day at a Cape Cod beach.
People are judgmental, Christian militants, uncharitable, driving people out of the Church, blah, blah, yada, yada and so on and so forth.
I kept trying to drive the question back to, you know, what was so cool about seeing the proabort senator shaking the hands of his flock. With 50 million children dead, at what point would somebody cross the line to make seeing the senator show up to exploit the situation to win political favor be not so cool. I asked if the senator supported child abuse, would the priest think it was one of the cool things about living in his town? Isn't killing children the worst form of child abuse - etc.
Instead of honestly answering the question and having a lucid conservation, he said it was all too much and acted like he grew faint and needed to go lay down and be spoon fed soup and gingerale through a straw.
The greenheads went into a frenzy.
**** commented on Fr. ******'s status:
"Carol, who made you God? I've seen the mean-spirited comments you make on hereanother:
on a regular basis. It's very sad, comments like those make people want to turn
away and run as far as the church as they can get. What makes you such a perfect
authority on everything Catholic? Please! Based on the way you condemn others on
here, you are not helping save souls, you should consider your own salvation
first. Take the log out of your own eye before removing the splinter in another
person's eye. Purgatory can be a very hot place too."
"I'm glad that on my last day I won't be judged by this group. I guess they areanother:
all perfect. Oops that is to say they were perfect. This must be the first
judgemental thing they've done being holier than thou Catholics and all. Shame
on you. I'll pray for you."
"Hmmm if she's going to heaven. I hope I won't be in her company. Oh wait thatOn and on it went.
would not be heaven Would it?
Sorry. I'm done now. I won't let Militant Christians ruin my Sunday. Going to
The cult environment at that place is in high gear. If Kevorkian ever jogs by, good luck to them and the Red Sox.
Here was one of the priest's responses:
"Carol, I know I shouldn't get into these things with you because nothing that
ever happens to you isn't a BIG deal, but would you have me just walk up to the
man and scream in his face, "Baby Killer!" or would it be OK to exchange social
niceties first? The cool experience was, and I still can't believe I have to
explain this to an reasonably intelligent adult, the fact the US Senator was
just jogging by and that, Carol, was an unusual experience that seemed cool to
me at the time, but now, I wish it had never happened because once, yet again, a
benign experience that just happened to bring a smile to my face for no
particular reason has got me on the Bleep list with you, which is not a pleasant
experience in and of it self. So, I will, next time, if their is one, just
simply rush up to him and scream in his face and post that instead. I believe
in the social conventions which I grew up in, one can disagree with another's
politics but why does that have to turn the other into a demon. I know that
what I believe in makes others upset, but they give me courtesy and so return
that courtesy. You, it seems, don't believe in that same way...you can't
evangelize by pissing on everyone and expecting them to say thank you,
sometimes, being social pleasant is what is called for. Of course, this was
simply a moment in which some people got to shake a senator's hand and move on
with their lives. My goodness, I wish I had kept it to myself!"
Sure, sure, it's my modus operandi for every situation to be caustic and confrontational. I love straw men and intellectual dishonesty.
All I was really saying is, why wasn't the guy, who is supposed to be a physician of souls, seeing the tragedy of it all? Why wasn't it making him heartsick? Why wouldn't it inspire him to maketime to knock on his door and bring this soul back to the truth, quietly, instead of relating the incident on
One of the broom hildas then went on to say that she and Father go way back to the days when they worked in Burger King together. She said Father respects other people's opinions "R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Carol, respect," she said. I hope God was there to fortify anyone who asked them to hold the pickles and lettuce on their Whopper.
How do you respect an opinion that works towards the death of children?
Especially as a priest.
The story now about the shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to find the one lost has morphed into blowing them kisses as they pass you on their way to Gehanna?
Ok, so in another moment of of being painfully reminded that parish loons have a choke hold on salvation, I did derail just a bit.
I said something like this is what's happening in our parishes, ditzy women surround the priest and confirm him in his errors and ego and form a cult and go on the attack against anyone bringing up matters of the soul.
Every day I strive to be a vehicle for truth and grace and in an environment like this one, I'm lucky to grab a moment or two here and there. Some days there are none.
Come Lord Jesus, Come.