Earlier this week, David Cassidy died and his daughter tweeted her father's last words: "So much wasted time."
Words cant express the solace our family’s received from all the love & support during this trying time. My father’s last words were “So much wasted time”. This will be a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love as to never waste another minute....thank you.
David's life of self-destruction left a lot of room for deathbed regrets. He and his daughter were estranged. Circumstances don't matter - the death of a loved one changes your life and priority list. Time is precious to me. Maybe because with my insanely busy schedule, I don't seem to have very much of it!
Having parents and a few friends die young changes your perspective on what's important. Some of you are aware that one of my children is in the military. I belong to a Facebook military group for Moms that's run by military Moms whose children have been in the service a while. It's a helpful, prayerful group that feels like extended family. A place to ask questions about bases your children are serving at, lending prayerful support to each other, etc. Friday night we learned one of the Moms who runs the group lost their military daughter in a car accident on her way to the base. A knife to this military mother's heart that weighs heavily on my mind.
As a blogger, I worry that the time I'm able to devote to writing fails to focus on the healthy, whole spiritual picture. Covering the daily messes from the Holy Father's statements could be a full-time job. I feel like I barely have time to grab something to write about its errors, effects and cures before I need to get out the door to spend time with the people in my life -- where the real work of evangelization lives and breathes.
I've written about my concerns about this dynamic as a blogger, and I know other bloggers have written about it too. Journaling disasters draws victims, a small portion of whom are stuck in despair. It draws the broken. It draws mean people. It draws Sedevacanists who have separated themselves from valid Sacraments of the Body of Christ.
I've tried to use humor to set the right tome, but I worry that the time I have to devote to writing isn't enough. I'm most grateful for readers who respond in the comments section to the lost and broken.
Important things seem to be getting lost in all of this. Though he's done a lousy job at expressing it, Pope Francis actually has the same focus we do: how to liberate people separated from Sanctifying Grace from the catastrophic diabolical confusion and influence. Here we are in agreement with the Holy Father.
The divisions manifested themselves when he wanted to use apostates and heretics as the authors of Truth.
Here we were telling our children Sister WearthePants and Father Liberace's advice that its ok to live in a perpetual state of mortal sin was bad advice and pointing them towards the advice of faithful priests and people - and along comes a pope who lampoons faithful priests and family members and praises and appoints the Sister WearthePants and Father Liberaces.
While we will never find common ground with his trajectory, Pope Francis has repeatedly projected the image that faithfulness to God's Commandments leads to being as cuddly as a cactus. I confess to seeing this dynamic myself. It exists in the despair of victims of Sister WearthePants and Father Liberace. Pope Francis seems to have formed the opinion that Sanctifying Grace makes one a crank, so the future of Christ's Church should be found in gluing glitter to heretics and letting them lead the way to making merry with mortal sin.
I suspect that the Holy Father thinks faithful Catholics are cranks because he's been cooing over heresy and communism all of his life and has been taken to the shed by loved ones of people he's misleading. His actions have consistently demonstrated that he is incapable of accepting accountability for his own spiritual malpractice. He habitually places blame on, and administratively defames and alienates his victims.
While this conduct is inexcusable and irreconcilable, his complaints about the acrimony of grouches is well-founded. I don't find a persuasive argument that its uses are in service to Christ.
The majority of PEOPLE in the pews are not in a place where they are drawing Sanctifying Grace for victory over temptations. Many, if not most, have bottomed-out and are clinging to Christ to get through a crisis. Sickness, death, addictions to sin, stuck to a jerk, financial problems, separation from God and a host of other life and spiritual crises. We are surrounded by PEOPLE sitting in the pews with their invisible baggage.
I think most TTC readers (including me!) rarely even see other PEOPLE in the Church unless they start making noise or doing something out of character with spiritual immersion with Christ.
We are anxious to connect to intimacy with Christ. We can't get enough of it. Every precious moment is engrossed in the mystical. Which is fine - unless and until one of the PEOPLE in the pews collapses, cries, has a coughing fit, has children that are acting out, talks to us after Mass - etc. Our role as ambassadors of Christ to the PEOPLE around us doesn't end at the doors of the Church just because our desperation and pursuit for intimacy lies in Christ.
And the PEOPLE include divorced couples, people living together, people with SSA, people with teeny-tiny noisy PEOPLE. Put me down for being against leading them to live their life in a habitual state of mortal sin, telling them to listen to heretics, robbing them of Truth, unworthy reception of Sacraments--but I very much want disconnected people to be gathered and feel the freedom to pursue Sanctifying Grace.
I say this because I sometimes get the impression from practicing Catholics that they don't want to see these people in the pews. They're treated like unwelcomed annoyances. Much like the refusal of Pope Francis to acknowledge the harm he is doing, there is the propensity to caricature indefensible cantankerous conduct, which hurts and alienates uncatechized and broken PEOPLE, as a service to the sacredness of Sacraments and Liturgy. Which it most certainly is not.
For example, shortly after finding out about the death of a young woman in the military, while sharing support and prayer, information and encouragement, I noticed a video Wendy Cukierski posted of a child hugging people in line going to Communion. Less than a minute of an innocent child sharing the love given to her at home. I later saw commentary from people I respect that portrayed the child as an obstruction to Christ's intimacy and holiness, the mother as an incompetent parent and pagan gold digger who may have staged this event to make money. Another described a hugging child as a product of a counterfeit 'nu church'.
I clicked on the original link to the parents facebook page and learned the child had a congenital heart defect. I can only imagine the heartache they face every day, how much the support of people in the parish must mean to them, how much joy this precious moment brought to their family and circle of support.
I tried to bring all this to the attention of people comparing this moment to zany invalid liturgical antics and heresy but, to my surprise, they did not care about the story behind this child and her family. Before responding to something, its such an important spiritual skill to try to understand what may be going on and respond accordingly. Believe me when I tell you that having to justify the hug of a two year old with a heart condition was not edifying.
I had been spending my day in a Christmas activity with family, lending support to military members stunned and grieving the loss of one of our own. Those two things, juxtaposed against comments that continued to lash out with presumptive accusations and annoyances, completely devoid of charity, kindness and compassion, over the crime of bringing a two-year-old hugging child to Mass, blew me away.
I'm sure the death of a young, promising, beautiful woman, has lowered my tolerance to bad behavior, but I feel like I need to express that I want NO part in any crusade that makes the hug of a child an offense against the Mystical Body of Christ. I'm trying to convince young mothers that our Church family understands and embraces children and will support their efforts to bring them to Church!
I've been writing about mystical prayer and reverence in the Sacred Liturgy for 30 years. Nobody could doubt its importance to me. But, if you liken the hug of a child or a person who flops on the floor during a Mass to the obstruction of intimacy with Christ or the unwelcome offense of invalid Eucharist or heresy, it's time to face the music: Pope Francis has been describing you to a tee. I fervently pray nothing I've written has ever given anyone license to continue down that road.
Aint nobody got time for dat.
UPDATE: A friend found this in the pew today at Church. Exactly what I'm talking about!