A few weeks ago we were all at home, just sitting in the living room when there was a noise outside the back door. My wife turned to me and asked "did you hear that?" I had and went to investigate. It turned out to be nothing more than a bullfrog trying to get the attention of the object of his affection! But it got me thinking: Why do we ask such a question? "Did you hear that?" Do we doubt our own ears? Are we afraid we are hearing things that aren't really there? If a tree falls in the woods... Oh, come on, that's going too far!
My dear bride has a hard and fast rule for my two girls: "Wash your hands!" You see, my wife is a trained elementary school educator and part of that training has to do with hygiene. Teaching children to wash their hands before they eat, after they play, and after their potty breaks is all part of having healthy children. It's a good thing.
G. K. Chesterton once said "True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture. It is the power of getting out of any situation all that there is in it. It is arduous and it is rare." So true. Real contentment is something that doesn't come "naturally" in a world that is always telling you you are lacking something and need to pursue that thing to be happy! In fact, I will go so far as to say that seeking to be happy rather than to be content is the source of most of our problems in life. When one realizes that happiness is a choice and not a destination or dependent on outside circumstances, and that CONTENTMENT is the real goal we should be working towards, then life seems to find its proper equilibrium. But most of us expend vast amounts of time and energy seeking happiness when we should be working (and working hard) for a contented life.
Recently, the American actor James Garner passed away. He was known for several roles but one of my favorites was in the 1969 comedy "Support Your Local Sheriff." In this movie Garner plays a character that becomes sheriff in an old West town just for the money, and, well, comedy ensues. The truth is there is real spiritual benefit in understanding why we must support our parish communities, including our clergy. It isn't just some "job creating" justification for clergy wanting "the easy life."
The late Fulton Sheen once said "Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius." And there is simply no other vice that destroys both parties as jealousy. It cankers the soul of the one who experiences it and it reduces the object of jealousy to a forever unreachable "thing." No wonder jealousy and envy occupy high places of dishonor among human weaknesses!
Today we remember the Prophet Elias, the Glorious prophet from the First Testament. His life recalls all the hardships of choosing to stay faithful to God in an age where such faithfulness is unpopular. It also reminds us of the temptation in such faithfulness to forget that we aren’t the only ones who are staying true to the Faith. Are you choosing to continue the faithfulness to the Lord when it isn’t…
Today our guest blog post comes from a wonderful priest, Fr. Joseph Huneycutt and his blog Orthodixie. "An honest to goodness email from a real person: Hi Father Joseph! How are you? At the fair last week someone asked me “Who are you with?” and I thought of your book." Read the rest here - Ordained by Waffle House
The act of communication is an amazingly difficult task, because we humans communicate on so many levels: Verbal (obviously), Visual (both in writing and gestures, facial expressions), Auditory, and Sensory. We communicate, intentionally and unintentionally along all these spectrums all the time. And guess what, we still struggle with misunderstanding! Just think of the multitude of "messages" you send everyday, both great and small. It's an amazing thing this art of communication.
Have you ever thought about all those people Jesus healed during His ministry here on earth? They were so happy, grateful, and changed. In some cases (the illness of leprosy) they were now free to rejoin society, be reunited with their families, and finally get their life back. They went on to live their lives. Some became great saints of the Church. And every one of them eventually died.
I love this quote from C.S. Lewis: “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously - no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”