Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Well, it was a great night at RCIA.
Father George taught about the Holy Spirit and invited folks to come up front and share a testimony of how the Spirit worked in their lives. We heard some great stories of the providence of our wonderful God.
I got to encourage a couple people tonight. One young lady is very anxious to partake of the Eucharist and is worried she won't be accepted into full communion with Rome since her husband is not Catholic. He recently consented to have their marriage convalidated. I assured her she will be able to participate in the Eucharist come next Easter vigil. Another fellow has a moving deadline next week and is worried about being homeless. I told him about taking our anxieties and turning them into prayer requests a la Phillipians 4:6. I also told him about offering up our sufferings to Christ and how sufferings polish our souls and make us holy. He was visibly relieved.
Such blessings to serve the body of Christ.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Man, this walking door to door is hard work. It's not too bad, actually. Today is the first day I've felt really tired. Got real thirsty, too. It was a bit warmer than yesterday.
I almost hit my interview quota today. Not bad for my first day going solo.
It's interesting to get varied opinions from the voters I contact throughout the day. Some people are real positive and a joy to talk to. Now, if only my co-workers weren't so vulgar. At my last job they had a policy of keeping conversation 'G' rated. I can feel the difference these days. Man, all they talk about is genitalia, homosexuality and other varied perversities.... Sheesh!
I am caught in the tension of not joining in and not being a prudish wet blanket. It does give me opportunity to interject quick prayers.
I got a call from a collections agency yesterday. They are interviewing all this week. I'm off Thursday and Friday so I'll go in then.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Thanks for your prayers, folks. I'm starting a temporary job today- yes on a Sunday-hrrumph!.
I will be conducting political polls door to door starting tomorrow. It puts money on the table while I secure a better paying collections job. I'll be able to attend RCIA Wednesday eves and am hoping to secure my Carmelite first Saturday off the month off.
I am working with my Jewish friend, Judy, who has been going to Adoration with me lately. She told me about the job.
Pray for us, as we go forth and prosper. We need to find permanent jobs, maybe the Post Office (if the rumor is true that they start at $20/hr- I'm having my doubts). Leave your prayer requests in the comments and I'll pray for you, too.
my lips will speak your praise.
-May I be so in love with you that I lose all attachment to the things of this world and regard only you. May I hold all other things in their rightful place, in subjection to your wonderfulness and all surpassing glory. May my mouth utter glory to you as I rightfully see you in your proper place.
On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help.
-When I awake in the middle of the night, surrounded by darkness and dark thoughts, I call upon you and recall your acts of love to me, all your saving graces and your deeds of compassion. I call out to you with my many requests, none of which overwhelms you. I rely on you in my weakest of moments.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.
-I have clung to lesser things, carnal desire, words of men, false hopes... none can save me but you, I fasten my soul upon you, who are the source of all life and goodness. You kindly hold on to my wavering soul.
Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.
-Yes, let all creation bless the Lord! Everything I can think of and can see and all that has not entered my mind, all that has escaped my eye, give glory to the One who made us all, give glory forever.
For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
-You have made me one of your people, you have included this waif, this orphan of sin and child of despair into the family of holiness and blessedness and light. You have saved this poor soul from hell, corruption and cursedness. You have gifted me with faith and cause me to celebrate in glory, lifting me from my shame. I can't help but exclaim my happiness, you cause me to cease toiling for my own gain- a blessed relief.
Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Each Sunday give us the joy of gathering as your people,
-around the table of your word and your body.
From our hearts we thank you,
-for your countless blessings.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Woke up early and went to the Catholic Worker this morning. Mark was there fixing up the grub in the kitchen. He had spent all last week at a contemplative prayer retreat with a bunch of Carmelites given by Fr. Datius and had only gotten into town last night at 1:30 am. Then showed up at the kitchen to cook at 4:00 am this morning! A tired but happy man.
He was running the show today cuz all the other Catholic Worker leaders were out of town at some special meeting. He was a little nervous. Don't know why, it is a pretty simple operation. We drove the SUV with the trailer hitched to the back that carried the big pots of Ramen Soup and iced tea over to the feeding site and all went well. The folks ate up every bit of it! We were surprised since there didn't seem to be that many people.
Then we went to Starbucks for about an hour and caught up with each other. I told him about having to move next month and about my job interviews. He told me about the prayer retreat and gave me some practical advice from Fr. Datius's teachings about how to get started with a meditation that leads to contemplation when I told him that I was feeling intimidated about contemplative prayer.
Then we agreed to meet for evening prayer and parted ways. I went home to read and rest up. I got up around noon, took a shower and went to apply for this job conducting political polls for the elections coming up. It seems to be an easy job that will put money on the table and it gives me time to pick a premium collections job.
So now I am waiting for the recruiting manager to call me back for an interview.
The weather is delightful, it's a sunny day with a pleasant cool breeze. There is a feeling of fresh newness in the air. I'm going to confession today to seek reconciliation with the Lord and grace to overcome a certain sin that is bugging me lately. I might go to vigil Mass.
Friday, September 22, 2006
American Family Association Chairman Donald E. Wildmon says NBC will not air the scene showing Madonna being crucified in the upcoming November special.
"NBC does not want a fight with AFA and the Christian community," said Wildmon. "NBC may wiggle and wobble, but in the final analysis, they will not show that scene. We expect a public announcement from NBC canceling the scene within two weeks."
It seems NBC is coming to its senses.
Did you know the Catechism talks about the battle of prayer?
Yes, gentle reader, it recognizes the struggle we all face in reaching out to God. Read this:
Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in his name. The "spiritual battle" of the Christian's new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer.
So, realize this, gentle reader, your struggle to pray as you ought is not unusual or unknown! It is common to man. You must see your struggle as something the greatest and the least saint has and does wrestle with. Your difficulty in prayer can be overcome. Just follow the same efforts made previously by all human flesh as illustrated in the Cathechism.
We must also face the fact that certain attitudes deriving from the mentality of "this present world" can penetrate our lives if we are not vigilant. For example, some would have it that only that is true which can be verified by reason and science; yet prayer is a mystery that overflows both our conscious and unconscious lives. Others overly prize production and profit; thus prayer, being unproductive, is useless. Still others exalt sensuality and comfort as the criteria of the true, the good, and the beautiful; whereas prayer, the "love of beauty" (philokalia), is caught up in the glory of the living and true God. Finally, some see prayer as a flight from the world in reaction against activism; but in fact, Christian prayer is neither an escape from reality nor a divorce from life.
Finally, our battle has to confront what we experience as failure in prayer: discouragement during periods of dryness; sadness that, because we have "great possessions,"15 we have not given all to the Lord; disappointment over not being heard according to our own will; wounded pride, stiffened by the indignity that is ours as sinners; our resistance to the idea that prayer is a free and unmerited gift; and so forth. The conclusion is always the same: what good does it do to pray? To overcome these obstacles, we must battle to gain humility, trust, and perseverance.
It's all right there, folks. I just recently discovered the practical value of the Cathechism. Frankly, it used to intimidate me. But having a hunger to pray well and learn more I cracked the tome open and have found a treasure trove.
In this part of the Catechism you will read about distraction, the need for diligence, the problem of dryness, temptations like lack of faith and acedia among other human struggles. It will discuss solutions and describe how to win out over these problems. So look it up here and read up on how to improve your prayer life.
I stand in awe of your word.
I take delight in your promise
like one who finds a treasure.
-The enemy, the prince of the power of the air, oppresses me- save me, O God, from those who are much more powerful than I, for I have none to help me but you.
I will place my hope in your word, your promises, which are a treasure to me.
The lovers of your law have great peace;
they never stumble.
I will await your saving help, O Lord,
I fulfill your commands.
- I love your law, O Lord, but I stumble and disturb my own peace. I am wayward and distraught, a leaf blown in the wind, you must save me from myself, put a new spirit within me, making me careful to obey your every precept.
How good and pleasant it is,
when brothers live in unity!
Pour out over your Church, Lord, the spirit of brotherly love and a longing for your peace. May this precious oil of the Holy Spirit flow over us to fill us with your gracious benediction.
I have said to the Lord: "You are my God."
Lord, hear the cry of my appeal!
Lord my God, my mighty help,
you shield my head in the battle.
Do not grant the wicked their desire
nor let their plots succeed.
-O save me in my distress, for I am surrounded by trouble and only you can help me. Hear my weakend voice calling out to you, save me from myself, my weaknesses and blindnesses and from my enemies, let the plots of the wicked spirits who seek my destruction, fail and may they be utterly dismayed. Only you, Creator of all, can possibly help me- come, O gentle Lord, to your child's aid.
Thanks to Sister Mary Martha (who I stated was a hoax, a very clever hoax, a few weeks ago, but I am having my doubts) who posted about Sister Mary Fiacre taking St. Joseph aspirin today and mentioned the good saint's patronages.
Well, I remember him being called St. Joseph, the Worker.
Well, this worker needs the good Saint's intercession. So I hereby declare St. Joseph to be the patron saint of my job search!
St. Joseph, pray for us.
I'm so glad I'm a Catholic!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Yep folks, we have ourselves a new blogger in the Catholic blogosphere!
A Cardinal, even!!
He's Cardinal O'Malley of the Boston diocese. Hey, you just gotta go check him out. This is no staff produced publication, this looks like a true blue blogging endeavor!
H/T toAmericanPapist: Not Your Average Catholic!: Cardinal O'Malley really is a blogging cardinal!
Thanks to Sarah of Just Another Day Of Catholic Pondering:
It is possible, in facing the turmoil, to forget that God is holding me.
When things are at their worst, I am not standing on my two legs. I am not fighting off the evil or solving any problems, unless it is by the grace of the One who made me in the first place. I am embraced in His arms, comforted by His mother, rooted by faith in Him.
It is possible to look around, and wonder where God is, to blind myself to the still small voice and the many blessings in my life. It is tempting to stomp my feet and ask why things are so hard, to stop praying because it doesn’t do any good that I see, to talk to a thousand different people about my problems but never the One who is waiting so patiently.
It is possible to ask where God is, where God was, where God will be.
Looking around, I have my answer. God is right here. Waiting. Watching. With me. Acting in ways I may never know…and that’s OK. It is not often for me to know. It is for me to keep riding along in the car, praying my day away, enjoying the blessings that shower down.
You can find it under Wednesday, September 20, titled, Where’s God?
My second job interview, once I filled out the application, didn't last very long.
She took one look at the part of the application that listed my exceptions for the work schedule: Sundays off for Church, Wednesday eves off for RCIA and the first Saturday of the month off for Carmelites and told me they just don't do that and ended the interview.
Now, it seems I might lose out on much of my Catholic life activities....
Aaargh! That didn't occur to me before. I'm, uhh, stunned.
I can't give up the Carmelites, can I? Wow, this sucks. And working on Sundays? Ugh!
I think I can convince an employer to let me have Wednesday nights off, though. But, still....
Shoot, Folks! I need a miracle job!
Well, I went to my first interview yesterday and I turned them down. They only offered me 50 cents more per hour than what I got hired at 6 1/2 years ago at my old job. Felt good to be the one turning something down.
I'm learning that this is indeed a small town in some ways. A former department manager was working there. He came out and met with me briefly. The hiring interviewer told me to tell him exactly why I was fired at my last job, because he could find out due to this guy's former connection with the same place. Hmmm. So much for confidentiality.
So, time to review my resume after a friend's input on it and then submit it some more to other places.
Early this morning as I was waking up I spontaneously thanked the Holy Spirit for transforming me so that I can experience friendship with God. I used to be so far from that state and now it is the greatest blessing in my life.
How wonderful is the transformative power of God's Spirit of love. Love is not satisfied with us remaining in a broken state. His Spirit continuously works on us taking us from strength to strength, from glory to glory, to redeem and restore us.
Just think, gentle reader, we used to be enemies of God! And now we come close to him and share the intimate movings of our hearts. Or we should, if you aren't, then write me and I'll tell you how.
On to Morning Prayer:
You are my friends, says the Lord, if you do what I command you. Alleluia.
You are strangers and aliens no longer. No, you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God.
Praise be to you, Lord, for the cleansing power of baptism and penance that you have entrusted to your apostles,
-through which we are cleansed of our sins.
God of mercy,
you chose a tax collector, Saint Matthew,
to share the dignity of the apostles.
By his example and prayers
help us to follow Christ
and remain faithful in your service.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Do check it out by going here and finding his search box and typing in Stealing Joy and then hit enter. He has such a good attitude in the way he points out this folly.
So I say enough with criticizing my Church. Love it or leave it!
Well, it's that time again and in a few short minutes I will be at our RCIA meeting. Tonite I think we cover the Trinity.
I want to plant some seeds about forming a prayer life. I read the Catholic Catechism this week on prayer and, man, was it a treasure trove!
Hmmm, maybe I should quote some of it.
The Anchoress used to be a lib, folks. She lets us in on one of the reasons she left the Democratic party- taxes:
See, this is one of the reasons I HAD to leave the Democrats. There is a disconnect, a fundamental refusal to engage in reality; to look at a thing and say, “gee…maybe we should rethink our old taxing habits,” seems not to be in their make-up. Unemployment is incredibly low - lower than it was in the “full employment” 1990’s. Tax receipts are incredibly high. But tax cuts are bad.
Yeah, the Dems are showing their true colors. Tax anybody anywhere for any reason. Let's not forget this come November, folks.
And yet, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, liberals continue to imagine that Muslim terrorism springs from economic despair, lack of education and American militarism.
...the debilitating dogma that lurks at the heart of liberalism: Western power is utterly malevolent, while the powerless people of the Earth can be counted on to embrace reason and tolerance, if only given sufficient economic opportunities.
Do check it out. The article is very clear and easy to read.
I Jus' Wanna Sing......: Head-in-the-Sand Liberals
President Bush has spoken clearly and forcefully to the United Nations yesterday. Here's an excerpt:
To the people of Iran: The United States respects you; we respect your country. We admire your rich history, your vibrant culture, and your many contributions to civilization. You deserve an opportunity to determine your own future, an economy that rewards your intelligence and your talents, and a society that allows you to fulfill your tremendous potential. The greatest obstacle to this future is that your rulers have chosen to deny you liberty and to use your nation's resources to fund terrorism, and fuel extremism, and pursue nuclear weapons.
Freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed -- it must be chosen. From Beirut to Baghdad, people are making the choice for freedom. And the nations gathered in this chamber must make a choice, as well: Will we support the moderates and reformers who are working for change across the Middle East -- or will we yield the future to the terrorists and extremists? America has made its choice: We will stand with the moderates and reformers.
Read it here.
Well, it's been a week since my rude demise from the call center where I worked.
I did have to endure some brief moments of intermittent misery throughout the week. Guess that's just par for the course.
I felt uplifted this morning when I got called for an interview. That will be tomorrow at 3 pm. A collections job. Got another interview lined up for today in a couple of hours with another collections company.
That feels good. Prospects are lining up. Now, for discernment to pick the one that will serve me best.
Prayers, please, gentle reader, prayers, please.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
This is a direct copy of The World... IMHO's post on this issue.
FoxFaith Plans Christian Movies
News Corp.’s Fox Filmed Entertainment is unveiling plans to go after the Christian audience that made "The Passion of the Christ” a blockbuster hit.
In what the Los Angeles Times calls the biggest commitment of its sort by a Hollywood studio, Rupert Murdoch’s company plans to produce up to a dozen movies a year under the banner FoxFaith. At least six of the films will be released in theaters in a pact with two large chains, AMC Theaters and Carmike Cinemas.
FoxFaith will reportedly target evangelical Christians who have often shunned popular entertainment.
"A segment of the market is starving for this type of content,” Simon Swart, general manager of Fox’s U.S. home entertainment unit, told the Times.
FoxFaith films will be based on Christian best-sellers and have small budgets of less than $5 million, compared with the $60 million average for mainstream movies.
Fox executives were spurred to launch FoxFaith by the surprising success of Mel Gibson’s "The Passion,” which grossed $612 million worldwide.
Fox obtained the domestic home video rights to the movie, and has sold more than 15 million units on DVD.
Another spiritual film, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” grossed $745 million worldwide.
The Times reports: "Fox might seen an unlikely studio to pioneer a religious label, given its history as a purveyor of salacious TV programming. Yet people in the Christian community say the company has gained credibility as the voice for conservative America through its Fox News Channel.”
I don't think their budget per movie, a mere $5 million, is the best idea. They need to make it $10-30 million to have an impact on the market. But it is a step in the right direction. A great step.
I delved into the issue and wrote a letter to the editor of said publication. This is what I said:
I have been hearing of the cartoons that besmirched the Catholic Church's beliefs through the Catholic blogosphere.
I thought it in poor taste and generally stupid to print such valueless material. I thought it terrible that you refused to pull them or apologize for offending millions of Catholics.
I want to take the time to commend you for exercising the good judgement in removing the cartoons and for at least stating some semblance of regret for the affair. Although it would be more respectable to admit you were wrong and regretted that you acted offensively, rather than regretting that we were offended. An important difference, that.
Check it out.
H/T to Jay Anderson, former mayor of Pro Ecclesia * Pro Familia * Pro Civitate.
There's a battle brewing- let's join in!
Folks, we gotta pray (at least) for our fellow pro-lifers in South Dakota. Planned Parenthood is planning an all-out offensive against the abortion ban going on over there.
Read about it here.
H/T to Father Tharp at Catholic Ragemonkey.
Donna, of Quiet Life, asks us to post a pic of a happy place.
Well, Red Rock Canyon, here just outside of Vegas is a place where I have had many a happy hike. I have come here for decades and for about a year Mark, my best friend, and I were going out there couple times a month.
Looks like I have to move again....
Last night my son came over to play some Texas Holdem. He went outside to smoke a cigarette and forgot to close the sliding glass window. My landlady came by later and smelled smoke in the house and accused us of smoking inside. Explanations were of no avail.
She came by this morning and told me to move out. I got until October 17th.
I feel heavy laden and weighed down.... I hate moving. I hate being falsely accused. So now I am looking for a place to stay as I look for a new job. Not to mention the financial strain a move causes....
On my fear list is that the car will be next or my health or one of my children or my friends. But that is just a natural fear. God is in control of my life and he will not allow anything that is too heavy for me to bear.
I will offer up this suffering also to the Lord. What else can I do?
So, gentle reader, pray for this lonely man. I will greatly appreciate it. Thank you. And leave me your prayer needs in my comments and I will lift you up in prayer, too. Deal?
I've been reading Job lately and I agree with him:
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Monday, September 18, 2006
So, that leaves the question, what do I reveal about the demise of my position there?
What is honest and what is for my best interest?
How much do I reveal and what do I say during the job interview? Hmmm?
Please let me know your thoughts.
Thank you, gentle reader.
Of course, he chose to remain anonymous, don't they all?
But, praise God, I am no longer a virgin blogger. I got my first critic! Let's see if he is a troll.
Here's his comment and my response.
First of all, you worked for a collections agency, people who are notorious for being lying, bullying, thieving, threatening pigs. I fail to see the loss. Maybe this is God telling you that your job was pretty sleazy to begin with.
I know what these people are capable of even when they're wrong. I was harrassed physically, verbally and financially and my family members were, as well, all over something that was never mine to begin with. Even after proving this debt was some other woman's, living several states away, I was STILL harrassed, because the agency in question just sold the debt to someone else.
Sorry if I don't weep for your loss. If you had the kind of job a grown-up, decent, honorable person has, I might feel bad, but I don't because you worked for pond scum and probably did some pretty scummy things yourself along the way.
Secondly, forty year old men who are dicking around discussing "lonleygirl15" while someone else is paying them for their time ARE being age-inappropriate.
Blogging and reading your personal interest blogs while being paid to work for someone is age-inappropriate, no matter what that personal interest is. If you want to read Catholic blogs 24/7, then go on welfare and sit at home and read Catholic blogs 24/7. No less honorable than working for a collections agency and at least you wouldn't be harrassing decent, hard-working, good, honest people for a living.
So, um, whatever. Get a clue, get a life, get a real job, and lay off your personal interests on the 'net while you're at work.
Congratulations, Anonymous, you are my first detractor on this blog.
Of course, I think it interesting that you did not post your name. My respect for you would be higher if you had.
Ok, first of all, I won't delete your comments. You make some points that give me an opportunity to describe myself more to my gentle readers.
Let's address them.
I never lied, bullied, thieved, or threatened anyone, let alone one of my customers. I am a Christian and a professional. My job was a God-given blessing.
You seem to have had a bad experience with bill collectors. I am sorry that happened to you, you did not deserve that.
I still fail to understand what age-inappropiateness means. Honestly, I think my dept mgr was a little nervous and at a loss for words when she said that. She seemed to be trying to say there was something lewd about my discussing lonelygirl15. She’s British and maybe just couldn’t come out and accuse me of some sort of sexual wrongdoing. You have a point when you say I was doing all this on company time. I was. But, I wasn’t taking any time off calling my customers, it was all done in between calls, as I said, I was the only one on my collections team that was meeting the time requirement of actually manning the phone line to be available to call our customers. Furthermore, I earned a fat bonus last month when I was doing all this blogging on company time, which shows that it didn’t effect my effectivity in collecting debts.
I thank you for your input. It has proved quite illuminating and may even help me in the future. I hope you come back to respond, but since I am not set up like Bettnet where you can get notified when someone responds on the comment section then I doubt you will. You may be one of the trolls who just leave an inflammatory post and never return.
God bless you, sir and thanks for sharing.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
When my 20 yo son. Josh, was about four I was on a tape recording binge for a couple of weeks. We were driving down the road one day with the recorder on:
Me: Do you love Jesus?
Josh: (pause) Because he loves me!!
He intuituively repeated the truth found in the scripture 1 John 4:19:
"We love him, because he first loved us."
I was astounded.
One day while in a grocery store young Joshua started belting out peals of laughter. Not because anything was funny but because he had just mastered the ability to laugh at will. I was in a grumpy mood and was trying to quiet him down when a man next to me said, "He's trying to make us laugh!"
Right then it dawned on me what a perfect gift this child of mine was demonstrating. I went from being grumpy to being proud.
That's my boy!
Aargh- I just wrote this long post on my day and was checking a link to see if it worked and lost the whole thing. Rats! Well, let's see if I can reproduce it:
Woke up early this morning still feeling kind of gnarly in the mood, but am just plodding along, offering it up to the Lord. I got ready to help feed the poor at the Catholic Worker. Got to their house and entered the kitchen where I saw Mark standing on a milk crate stirring 4 pots of Ramen soup smiling down on me. Mark often smiles and always greets one warmly.
We did the Catholic Worker version of Morning Prayer with about nine others. Then we loaded up the ramen and several pots of iced tea into the trailer and drove over to the feeding site just down the road from their house.
There were more people than last week gathered there. I served the iced tea. Drops of the cold stuff would drip off my pitcher and splash on my toes. That made me smile and it occurred to me that I could blog about that unique experience. I often get ideas throughout the day that I can blog about. Does that happen to you, gentle reader? I seem to always be in blog mode.
After that was over we went back to the house and helped wash dishes- my favorite chore. We said our goodbyes and left.
We went to Starbucks for an enjoyable hour and a half. We discussed several things: my future possibilites- the post office, a new trade and stuff; how his love, Lady Katie, was doing- she is leaving this morning for one of her frequent camping trips (her license plate says CAMPINKATE) and she also has had a weeklong migraine which just started letting up yesterday; his window cleaning business and his latest spiritual adventures- a month ago he finished memorizing 15 of the main teachings of Brother Lawrence's Practice Of The Presence of God, and says that he has arrived at the heart of Brother Lawrence's thoughts, that he is basking in their wonder, he has great spiritual adventures, things that give me much to ponder.
After we parted company I went to the Chapel at St. Bridget's for Adoration. I was kind of antzy and only stayed a few minutes, however. I felt sheepish when I left.
Then I drove here to the public library where I can blog for free, although I frequently get booted off and have to skip from open computer to open computer.
There, I think I remembered most of it. Whew!
So, now for some prayer requests, gentle reader:
For Katie, to be relieved of her migraine, and to be spiritually blessed on her vacation.
For Mark, healing for his leg which he hurt by falling down some stairs, the clumsy oaf, and for more jobs for his business.
For the poor and homeless, that Christ would comfort them and meet their needs.
For me to receive wisdom from God and comfort and to find a great new job opportunity.
For you, gentle reader, to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and guided along your particular path.
I just saw the MTV interview of the main characters and I am now convinced, Lonelygirl 15 is all a Hollywood production....
These guys are brilliant! I mean, they have to be to fool me, right? Heh! Maybe I'm just gullible. They really had me going.
Well, they are still producing videos, just released one a hour ago.
Wow, what a ride. They plan on continuing the show. I, for one, am gonna be a fan. They got me hooked. I *blush* even had dreams about the controversy of this saga. Wierd, huh?
Oh well, my kids were homeschooled and I have a daughter her age. They are messing with the archetypes of my mind....
Friday, September 15, 2006
In this post he makes a great point:
Here's a thought: The suffering we experience in this life and offer to God, in reparation or expiation or obedience or charity, will in some way be transformed into a spiritual beauty, to the glory of Christ, in the heavenly kingdom. The suffering we experience but don't offer to God will be washed away (in the water from Christ's side, it could be said), but will not produce any spiritual beauty within ourselves. That potential for spiritual beauty won't be wasted -- it will be exercised, so to speak, in Christ's act of washing away that suffering -- but it will be a missed opportunity for us to bring glory to God.
I want to be as beautiful in heaven as I can. I also want any valuable thing that I got coming to me. Don't you?
So let's consistently offer up our sufferings to the Lord.
Feeling kinda low today.
It's sort of a low grade rolling misery lumbering along in my darkened heart. It's temporary, I know. I'm not letting it interfere with my daily activities: morning prayer, Adoration of the Lord and blogging....
It's just there and I'm feeling it.
It's making me go to the Lord to "offer up" my suffering to him to be joined with his suffering. It's great being a Christian Catholic. You still feel the miseries of life but you have this extra dimension where it's not all about you. Where you receive benefits amidst your troubles.
As sparks fly upward, so man is born for trouble.- I think that's from Job. Good one, that.
How about you, gentle reader, what are your miseries?
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I'm trying to get everything sorted in my head. Am I being discriminated against or was I a bad boy for using company time for personal internet use?
I am sticking to my daily routine- morning prayer, adoration and now blogging at the internet cafe. I'm gonna give my daughter a ride this afternoon and run a friend to the bank.
So, I'm wondering, can you get Unemployment Benefits if you get fired? My friend says, no. What say you?
She tells me the our Post Office is offering $20/hr to start. Hmmm, that's $41,0000/yr! Wow. I could use a raise like that. She said when she called she was told the average salary was $57,000/yr. Sheesh! I had no idea. I was thinking about working there a year ago when I made the switch to the Collections department. Then the starting wage was $13/hr. This is a whole different story.
My mother did suggest that I seek to increase my income last month when we went out for lunch. It was a challenging thought. Well, I'm in a challenging position right now. It would sure be nice to be able to own my own condo or something. I'm tired of putting up with landlords.
I could go for another call center Collections Agent job.... Do the same ole, same ole....
I could try and be a Casino Dealer again like some of my family members do. That would entail a big cut in income for a couple of years before I could work my way into a casino that has decent tips.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Not another blow to my battered soul....
Dang! I can't upload pics on this stupid computer!! Must be some junk problem with this computer here at the internet cafe where I am at.
Well, gentle reader, if you give a hoot, go to the site linked above and take a peek and see if you think it looks like Bree. She does seem to be more mature. Bree in the lonelygirl15 videos seems skinnier, could it be her big sister?
Hope springs eternal.
(Do I seem like an unemployed blog addict?)
Yep, after 6 1/2 years I got fired today for the internet activities I mentioned here.
And it was specifically mentioned that the theme of my blog surfing being religion was against their diversity principles and that someone somewhere in the company might become offended. I usually went to Catholic blogsites when at work. They also sited my involvement with Lonelygirl15 as an issue. But I never went to any site of hers. I posted a comment to a Catholic blog (BettNet.com) about her and read a news article discussing her. My department head said that that was age-inappropriate.
I asked her what she meant by that and she said something about them not allowing girlie magazines in the workplace. Gawd! If she only knew what she was talking about! Bree has nothing in common with a girlie magazine.
Does anybody know what age-inappropriate means? Would it have made a difference if Bree was 32?
Ah,well. So, another bump in the road in the life of the Lonely Man. I guess I was doing personal stuff on company time. But my time on the phone with customers was within guidelines (I spent the most time on the phone on my whole team) and my collection activities were high enough last month when I did all the blogging to earn me a sizable bonus.
Do you think I can get paid as a professional blogger? Heh!
Okay, gentle reader, you know what this means. This means I need your prayers. I want God to guide me in my career decisions. I want wisdom.
Well, I printed up a copy of Catholic Answers article on Common Catholic Prayers today for class tonight.
I'll make copies and distribute them to the open minds at RCIA. I realize this is the time to make an impression, when their minds are open. There is a window of opportunity here that may not exist for the rest of their lives. They are green and wide-eyed now, so I will strike while the pan is hot.
Pray, gentle reader, that the Lord will work upon their hearts and minds to make a lifelong impact on their souls. That they will be properly catechized especially in prayer during this season of RCIA.
This is a golden opportunity that I don't want to miss!
For several weeks I have had full-blown internet access at work. I could blog at work! Folks, this was a wonderful time. In between hassling with customers over their unpaid credit card bills I could read wonderful Catholic blogs. An oasis in the desert! A breath of fresh air!
Alas, it all came to an end today.
There I was, clicking from one blog to the next when- whammo!
Access Denied. That message showed up in a field of all-white. It said to call the Help Desk.
Crap! I thought to myself. I knew the game was no longer afoot. The powers that be, the corporate weenies at my company, pulled access to the internet from us regular workers. Now, I am doomed to view only corporate weenie-approved intranet websites. Aaaargh!
Life just isn't fair, sometimes.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
a voice that speaks of peace,
peace for his people and his friends
and those who turn to him in their hearts.
His help is near for those who fear him
and his glory will dwell in our land.
Mercy and faithfulness have met;
justice and peace have embraced.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth
and justice look down from heaven.
A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace;
in peace, for its trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever!
For the Lord is an eternal Rock.
My soul yearns for you in the night,
yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you;
when your judgment dawns upon the earth,
the world's inhabitants learn justice.
O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your saving help.
Well, little did you know, this girl is rocking the cyber world with an incredible following of millions of views of her videos. For instance, she just posted one yesterday and she already has over 420,000 views!
She is an internet phenemon. Many cretins have been saying that she is a Hollywood production, in their lame attempt to make sense of her incredible popularity. The New York Magazine, LA Times Online and countless other ne'er-do-wells are bringing up conspiracy theory after another trying to prove that she is less than what she appears to be.
Domenico Bettinelli and I have been going at it since he posted about this so-called revelation of Bree's unmasking. Which I point out in the comments has not been definitively proven.
So the whole world is blogging about her nefarious identity and she just keeps posting her sweet and innocent video blogs oblivious of the rancor around her. Her latest one is called, "House Arrest," in which she tells us she has been grounded for two weeks for going to a party against her parent's wishes.
Bree is a phenemon because she is a sweet young girl who was homeschooled in a religious household. She is separated from the rest of the world due to this background and offers the cyber world an untainted, fresh outlook on life that is free from many of the spoils of modernity.
So, listen up, cyber world, Bree is real, she is not a Hollywood production- heh- Hollywood would be lucky if it could produce a character as winsome as Lonelygirl15. Just you see, time will prove me out.
We went again today and she sent me this email later:
Thank you Tim , for telling me about the Chapel and for taking me there. There is such peace and a sweet presence of G-d. It is wonderful to be with other people who love G-d and want His Presence, Love, and Peace. And Blessings. If I were to use two words to describe what I felt, it would be Peace and Blessings. A cessation of the clamor, striving, worry and fears of the world and because of that; a clean, a white, an unmarred spirit peacefully waiting as G-d's Blessings float down to caress and permeate the soul. My soul. The other's souls. Those there in the Chapel, those prayed for, those yearning for G-d.
It is hard to leave, to switch gears to this world we live in. What a blessing to live in the realm of G-d it is going to be.
(She is Jewish, hence the unique spelling of God)
I told Mark about this and he got very excited. He's going to Regis University, a Jesuit satellite campus here in town working on a degree in religious studies. He told me tonight that he is including this story in a paper he is writing for his Contemporary Catholicism class which is about evangelization.
What a privilege for me to just be myself moping along in my Catholic journey and to attract a friend to the Blessed Sacrament in the Holy Eucharist....
God is good.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I am honoring Michael Lynch for the 2996 Project.
Problem is, there is more than one Michael Lynch! I had the pic of one assigned to me by the project and then a family member of the other contacted me through my blog and thanked me for honoring her Michael Lynch. So, I have two to honor, well, that is just fine with me!
The Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation is a scholarship program. Its purpose is to provide grants to enable children of firefighters and other victims of the September 11 attacks and other fires and disasters to afford higher education.
Now, gentle reader, please forgive me if I confuse the two pics with the facts of the two men's lives....
Here are some website excerpts about their stories:
Firefighter Michael F. Lynch, 31, of the Bronx, went into battle with a Manhattan engine company to which he was temporarily assigned. "Michael would have always linked himself first" with his home firehouse in the Bronx, said his father, Jack. If the family had its wish, he said, the memorial listing would read, "FF. Michael F. Lynch, Badge No. 2315, Engine 40-Ladder 35, on rotation from Engine 62-Ladder 32." "This accurately describes Michael's service with both firehouses," his father said.
Updated: November 3, 2005
The Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity and donations are tax deductible. In addition to general donations, the Foundation generates funds through various fundraising events and activities.
Between 2002 and 2005, we granted 22 scholarships totaling over $400,000. Our commitment to give has been enhanced by strong fundraising.
Eternal Life Grant to the Michaels O Lord
and may Your perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Woman of Grace
I was disappointed to learn at Catholic Worker this morning that Lady Katie, Mark's true love, was not going to go out for breakfast after feeding the homeless today. She said there were so many volunteers this morning that she would go volunteer at Child Haven instead.
So I sighed and went on with my duties. When we were done I decided to go to Starbucks until Mass at 9 am with the Carmelites.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the two love birds, Mark and Katie, sitting there in front of the cafe on the sidewalk. How quaint.
Mark had to take off for an early meeting with the other Carmelite Council members so Katie and I were there together alone.
At which point the wonderful lady began to interview me in her sweet, inimitable manner. It was an unveiling of the darker secrets of the life of Tim, the Lonely Man. It was one of those moments were friendship gets sealed by trust. Where two hearts meet that find safety within one another because of the pervading love of the Holy Spirit and the fellowship that arises from the common bond of Christian committment.
She erected a zone of safety in which I unveiled my tougher moments in life. Where I talked about my more troubled times of coping with the dark side.
Wouldn't you like to hear the sordid details? Hehe! Well, you can't! I'm not ready yet. I'm not sure how personal I want to get in my blog. I have to decide how vulnerable to be. So, gentle reader, you will have to wait, or, perhaps, you may never know the skinny on the Lonely Man. I just don't know, yet.
But, I will say that it was a blessed time with wonderful Katie, who worries that I blog too much. She even shared some about herself and come to find out, we have some things in common that I didn't know about. What an refreshing surprise. I had to go just when she started to open up so some time in the next few months we may be able to open up to each other again and form a deeper bond.
And to think that I used to fear Mark falling in love with another who might deprive me of fellowship with him. Here I have found another rich source of God's companionship.
I'm telling you, gentle reader, God is very good to me.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your truth in the watches of the night...
Your deeds, O Lord, have made me glad;
for the work of your hands I shout with joy.
O Lord, how great are your works!
How deep are your designs!
The foolish man cannot know this
and the fool cannot understand.
For I will sing the Lord's renouwn.
Oh, proclain the greatness of our God!
The Rock- how faultless are his deeds,
how right all his ways!
A faithful God, without deceit,
how just and upright he is!
Look on the needs of the saints as your own; be generous in offering hospitality. Bless your persecutors; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same attitude toward all. Put away ambitious thoughts and associate wtih those who are lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never repay injury with injury. See that your conduct is honorable in the eyes of all.
We started out with mass at 9 am. Father Leo presided, he is a retired Benedictine monk, an older man with a calm, soft voice. So calm, that, as usual, I found myself nodding off during his homily! Heh! Oops, sorry, Father.
It was a blessing to partake of the Blessed Sacrament today. It always is.
We then went across the street to the Marian Center. St. Bridget's is under construction so the old buildings have been stripped and made ready for razing so everything is displaced. We had Mass in the conference room. Well, at the Marian Center everything is small. I.e., we were packed. I was kinda down for a few minutes feeling out of place as we crammed all these chairs into a small front room and dining area. Then after an hour or so, it felt kinda homey and I relaxed.
We had our hour of fellowship and then broke up into four groups for spiritual formation class. There we spent only an hour (I am of the firm opinion that we should meet for at least an additional two hours to accomodate our agenda) learning about navigating through our study materials, specifically the Constitution for the Secular Carmelite Order (that's Discalced) and how to look up references in the Catechism.
Then we came back to the front room and kitchenette and stood around while we had the business portion of our meeting. We forgot to read the minutes from last month's meeting and frankly, nobody cared. It was just too awkward standing there in that cramped space.
But I have to tell you, despite all the inconveniences of the cramped space, I was with some beautiful people. Now, this is probably the oldest peer group that I hang out with. I have made some older friends at RCIA, but here the average age is probably 60 or higher.
I think it's a good thing to rub shoulders with the older generation. Some of them are overflowing with sweetness and goodwill. It is a breath of fresh air. And it's an atmosphere where there are people who are very serious about developing an intense relationship with God.
I live a privileged life.
Friday, September 08, 2006
One Saturday a month I take a day off work to attend my Third Order Carmelite general meeting. I also go and volunteer at the Catholic Worker to feed the poor.
At 6 am a bunch of us gather at the Catholic Worker house and do morning prayers and then grab the hot ramen and hot tea and head over to the feeding area. We then form 3 lines for the ramen soup and feed the poor. Mark got me involved with this. It is a fun and good time reaching out. Some of us then go out to the Omellette House for breakfast and fellowship.
Then at 9 am I meet with my fellow Carmelites, again with Mark, for our monthly meeting. We are starting a region wide spiritual formation class that will last 3 years. I am going to learn how to pray contemplatively. Will learn how to build an interior space of silence for my Lord to fill. One day I may have the initials OCDS after my name....
That would be cool.
Had to wake up sweet daughter across town to come pick me up. She was there in less than 30 minutes. She is so dear. Was in a good mood and everything. *sigh* Life is good. Now, if my two older boys would just answer my calls....
Well, let's just hope it's only a bad battery. Can't afford anything else!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Apparently, unbeknownst to me, they have been down for three weeks. Wow, what a trial.
Jimmy Akins has the whole scoop here.
If you haven't been there, check them out, they are a great source of information.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I used to be a rabid NFL fan.
But this year I am not much into it.
But out of reflexive habit I signed up for my fantasy football league with the guys at work. And then I went and signed up in another league that I played in a couple years ago! What was I thinking?
Well, tomorrow is the first game of the season and I just ain't that fired up about it. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.
Well, it wasn't so bad. My fear has left me. It has been replaced with a desire to form the souls of the attendees. I want to shape their prayer lives over the next few months. I am seeing a long term plan here coming together. I want them to leave this class with a well-developed prayer life.
I googled some material on prayer this afternoon and promptly forgot it at the printer here at the Internet cafe I inhabit. Doh! So, I had to wing it. Next week I will have handouts for everyone. Heh.
One problem, there are only about 20 attendees! I am so disappointed! We had 50-75 each of the last two years. I guess we didn't make the announcements at the right time. *sigh* Well, there nought to be done about it now. We'll just have to make this a quality year for RCIA since the quantity is lacking. Next year will be better!
Well, I am sort of the official prayer man in our parish's RCIA. I'm kind of nervous....
I guess I could do some prep work....
Hmmm, I could google prayer, hmm, i dunno.
Well, gentle reader, please pray for me to channel the Holy Spirit tonight. May God bless all the RCIA classes starting this year.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Well, we got a four day weekend at work for the holiday. Praise the Lord.
Sunday, Mark had a barbeque at his house for about 11 of us. Lots of grilled meat. I ate at least 5 drumsticks along with 2 or 3 sausages. I stuffed myself. It was good to catch up with friends....
Today, I ran over in the morning and woke up my youngest son, Joshua, and we went to Starbucks and then went to my place and played Texas Hold Em for about an hour. Then we went to Chili's for some appetizers. Then we headed up to Mt. Charleston.
We went to the Mt. Charleston Lodge and had dessert. It was packed! It was nice to be in temperatures around 70 degrees but we weren't much in the mood for the mountains, really. We did have a good talk about sexual relations with girls where I told him about my recent victories with celibacy.
We headed back to town and called his younger sister, Serenity. She was having lunch with her niece, Haylie. So they came over for more Texas Hold Em. We played for a couple of hours. Little Haylie is twelve and has the cutest poker face. Serenity bemoaned her travails over her latest boy interest while we proceeded to wipe out her poker chips. I pray for her in regards to relationships with boys.
It's been a fun Labor Day weekend and I got one more day left!
How was your Labor Day?
Sunday, September 03, 2006
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord;
we rejoice and are glad.
O Lord, grant us salvation;
O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;
the Lord God is our light.
Go forward in procession with branches
even to the altar.
You are my God, I thank you.
My God, I praise you.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
foe his love endures for ever.
Lord God, maker of heaven and earth, and of all created things, you make your just ones holy and you justify sinners who confess your name. Hear us as we humbly pray to you: give us eternal joy with your saints.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
I will keep your commands.
I call upon you, save me
and I will do your will.
I rise before dawn and cry for help,
I hope in your word,
My eyes watch through the night
to ponder your promise.
In your love hear my voice, O Lord;
I hope in your word.
My eyes watch through the night
to ponder your promise.
In your love hear my voice, O Lord;
give me life by your decrees.
Those who harm me unjustly draw near:
they are far from your law.
But you, O Lord, are close:
your commands are truth.
Long have I known that your will
is established for ever.
In your mercy you led the people you redeemed;
in your strength you guided them to your holy dwelling.
Be solicitous to make your call and election permanent, brothers; surely those who do so will never be lost. On the contrary, your entry into the everlasting kingbdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for.
I cry to you, O Lord, for you are my refuge.
-I cry to you, O Lord, for you are my refuge.
You are all I desire in the land of the living;
-for you are my refuge.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
-I cry to you, O Lord, for you are my refuge.
Lord, free us from the dark night of death.
Let the light of resurrection
dawn within our hearts
to bring us to the radiance of eternal life.
Well, I got worked up over nothing.
I hemmed and I hawed. I procrastinated and writhed in inner agony, afraid my manager would give me a hard time to adjust my work schedule for RCIA. I plotted and strategized for the right time to approach her.
So, I bring it up today and quick as a flick she says, "Okay!" With nary a protest.
Sheesh, all that agonizing for nothing! Isn't that the way it is with many of our fears? What did that old man say, that he had many, many fears in his lifetime, most of which never happened?
Thanks for prayers, guys, you are the best.
So, RCIA, here I come!
Friday, September 01, 2006
I used to wonder what would happen if he met a girl. I feared that I would feel estranged from him and would grieve losing part of our relationship. I thought that I would feel like a loser.
Far from it. I actually almost like spending time with the two of them together better than just him and I. That's how gracious this wonderful lady, Katie, is. She is very welcoming of my presence, not a hint of resentment over my place in Mark's life. She is always cheerful, always seeks my best and is always glad to see me. She is a woman of grace.
Woman of Grace
So, Mark and Katie and I are meeting Friday nights to go over The Purpose Driven Life. I know, it is a Protestant book and is kind of simplistic, but it does have a lot to offer. We will read a few chapters each week and discuss it at a local restaurant on Friday nights. We used to go out and eat after doing the Stations of the Cross on Friday nights during Lent. We really enjoyed our time together and have been talking about getting together again and now we are doing it. So, there is an added blessing to my blessed life. I get to fellowship weekly with Mark and Katie.