Post Election Blues

I’m so ready to just ditch paying attention to politics and government. I’m like to go down to the beach and just let my concerns and fears just wash away. However, that would, in many ways just be a way of bowing out of loving the world. And, I feel called to love the world. It’s not easy, or fun, but it seems to be a command that I must follow. Therefore, I grapple with politics and government.

Wouldn’t it be nice…

… if winners in close races (Texas ring a bell here?) would embrace the fact about half of the population has a different agenda from the the candidate but still deserve representation and consideration? It would be such a shock to hear someone like Mr. Cruz proclaim that he would be representing the interests of the State of Texas. Instead, he proclaimed that he, and his very marginal majority had saved Texas from the likes of Mr. O’Rourke. Really? Nearly half of the voters in Texas expressed support for Mr. O’Rourke, so Mr. Cruz is saving half the state from the other half. Think about it. The same might go for the new Minnesota governor, the new Florida governor or whoever winds up as the governor of Georgia.

… if the president respected his cabinet instead of insisting on blind allegiance? I am not fond of Mr. Sessions, I don’t care for many of his policies and beliefs. But, he dared stand up to Mr. Trump in the face of bullying, character defamation and other unsavory attacks. Now, because he refused to interfere (which was the ethical thing to do — lawyers may or may not be big on morality, but there are big on ethics it seems), he has been fired. Maybe Mr. Trump didn’t really know how to pick the very best people after all. Or maybe he can’t tolerate them after all. Guess some of that depends on your definition of the very best people.

… if we all could admit when we were wrong, or disagree without having to grind the opponent into the ground? This one is hard for me. I do not suffer fools/idiots gracefully. I hate it when it turns out that perhaps I was the idiot — I do not suffer idiots gracefully. But, I respect to no end someone who puts the good of the [church | country | family | marginalized ] above their own. I can accept a lot of difference of opinion in that case.

I’m trying to form my prayer… I’ve learned my praying for patience is a bad plan. If God answers that prayer, you have to learn patience through practice. I’ve figured out that it is not fruitful to pray for others to see things my way because that might be oh so wrong, or oh so right and I don’t know which. The best I can do is pray for the light of God’s love to invade each person and that this love be recognized and accepted.

Emmaus

Aaahh! The cycle of the Easter season. First there is Holy Week topped off with the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday morning joy. Then we begin to roll through the season. Last week was not only Divine Mercy, but it is what I refer to as “Doubting Thomas” Sunday. And today is Emmaus — “Jesus — where are you? Oh! there you are! Where’d ya go?”

I seem to be in a valley of doubt these days. At times, I climb to a hill of “just not inspired.” It bothers me more that I don’t seem to be as bothered as I should be by all of this. I find growth in my walk on a yoga mat, not at mass. I question just how much I believe all of this Christianity stuff. And yet, I’m not drawn to give it up either. I have developed a great sense of apathy about it.

Along comes Emmaus. The people on the road, explaining to the man among them that they had such hopes, but fear they were wrong. They are disappointed and dismayed. He listens. He chastises them a bit. And, when they break bread (he breaks the bread) – they see! Joy! and then he disappears from their sight. Hmmm.

I suppose what I must learn to do is to be awake and never miss the insight, the vision that comes with breaking bread and seeing Jesus/Christ. I often think how it would be so nice if I could just show up for mass, and get my fix, get my glimpse. You know — head out to the store to pick up some faith. Pick my flavor as well. Doesn’t seem to work that way.

For now, Emmaus is a promise that if I walk the road, and stay awake and open to the breaking of bread, I will likely receive what I need to continue. In yoga class the instructors are always reminding us that it is a “practice.” I think that as a Christian, I must remember that it too is a “practice”  — it is never complete, or perfect or done. At least not in this world. Emmaus is hope that I will get enough of a glimpse that I continue to walk.

 

Live in the Now?

I must admit to a bit of minor annoyance with the pastor for the last week or so. He is reminding us at mass to begin to think about Lent… which is still a week away as I write this. On the one hand, I understand: make a plan so that you put yourself in a place to reap the most benefit from the season of Lent. That’s good. On the other hand, live in the NOW. Tomorrow’s troubles can wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow’s joys can be experienced with tomorrow is now.

So, I’ll pay some attention to Jack and consider what I might do to make myself more available to the graces of Lent. But, I’m really going to try to focus on now and the blessings of the day.

Vocation for a baby

Yesterday we welcomed baby Lillian into the Christian community through baptism. The visiting priest made an observation in the homily that will stick with me. Some of us wonder at times at the wisdom of infant baptism. I was in maybe7th grade when I was baptized, and I remember it. That is a gift I think.

But — that’s not the observation made by the relatively young looking Paulist Father who was there to do the baptism. He observed that Lillian, at 2 months or so was already living a part of her vocation. She creates a change in those around her. Many of us had to chuckle as referenced the many silly sounds we make to get her attention. She causes many people to be a bit more gentle, a bit more caring, a bit more interesting in holding and hugging. She invites us to change.

Wouldn’t it be grand if we still understand that as a part of our vocation? Salt and light. And a baby can do just that.

Advent 2010

It’s already into the 3rd week of Advent, and I’ve not posted a thing. I’ve not settled enough at one level. But in other ways, I am very much into Advent.

I read on various blogs and other places about how we are awaiting something/someone much more developed than the Infant Jesus. And, this is true. However, for me, this year Advent seems focused on the infant and the child.

I have 3 granddaughters, aged 4 years, 2 years and 7 months. They are a source of great joy to me.  And, a bit of a reminder of Advent. The baby, Genevieve, helps me to understand this expectation and hope the most (just as her cousins did 2 and 4 years ago.) I spent last week with her. Every day she becomes a bit more of herself. She explores her world. She would light up when her daddy called from Europe. She tried twelve ways to never to figure out how one gets oneself from prone or supine to sitting. She smiled, she laughed, she cried. By being there, I got to know her better. I had the chance to begin to see the little person she is becoming.

It’s rather that way with the Infant Jesus and Christmas and God the Father. You start with that infant. You put your hope in Him. You stay close and learn who he is becoming — especially who he is becoming in your own life. If you spend the time being close, you will experience the smiles, the laughter, the love, the tears. Therefore, I will stick with my images of a baby in a manger, of a new family making its way in this world, learning to trust and growing together. I am comfortable with the idea of starting at the beginning once again and walking the way once more. Maybe this segment of the journey I will learn a bit more how to trust and love and just be on the journey without understanding the map.

Oh — and, I’ll understand that you don’t always get to see the results first hand. Baby Genevieve finally pushed herself up to sitting only a few hours after I left.

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