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Monday Musing

Having been on vacation, I did not prepare a musing for today and nothing is coming to me… So I offer this photo from my beach walk on Friday morning. The colorful skies gave way to a great sunrise a short while after I shot this. How God is so present in all things!



Saturday Song

Monday Musing

Did you already hear or read today’s Gospel from Matthew?  What are we to make of these words?

A young man approached Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”
He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He asked him, “Which ones?”
And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother;
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said to him,
“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.

Most of us have many possessions, don’t we? I know that I do. Frankly I shudder to think of how much stuff I have.  Honestly, I have been trying to get rid of stuff. Six years ago I was a single woman with a house of her own. Five years ago I got married and had to move into a house of similar size (read: small) with a man and his daughter. A lot of stuff went away, but I still have way too much. Do you?

Another thing that gets me is when Jesus says “sell what you have and give to the poor.” *sigh* Wow. I had a garage sale once, when I was moving from Los Angeles to New York in 2000. I made a lot of money, it was very successful. No, I did not give the money to the poor. And I did not sell everything.

No wonder so many people, like the young man in the story, stay away from Jesus. We live in a culture that tells us to earn more and do more. That’s fine, but what do we do with it? Do we hoard things? And when we have so much stuff, where does Jesus find room?

As Catholics we don’t take every word of Scripture literally, but there is a message here. Can we hear it? Can we follow Jesus?

Saturday Song

Feast of the Assumption

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary Mother of God into heaven, body and soul. I grew up in the parish of what was known as Assumption Church in White Plains, NY. As a result, Continue reading

Monday Musing

Every Sunday I tend to “hear” something that had otherwise escaped my notice. For reasons that are both personal and professional, I spend a good deal of time with the upcoming Scriptures every week. I am always struck by how I end up receiving something new when I sit in the pew, listening.  Last week it hit me that I should stop grumbling. This week it was something from the second reading from Ephesians:

Brothers and sisters:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.
All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling
must be removed from you, along with all malice.
And be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.

So many things come to me as I read this. The first is my own pettiness and how I might be grieving the Holy Spirit of God, the very thought of which makes me wince in pain.  The second is that we live in a world that is filled with opinion, so much of which is justified with every kind of hateful talk. The words “bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling” sound like a breezy trip through any number of websites and social media tools. This will only get worse as we draw closer to the election and the vitriol of all sides increases.

Often the most egregious offenses are (regrettably) seen on Catholic social media sites. I never fail to be horrified when I read some of the screed, even if it is from someone who shares my basic position on a particular thought or idea, but then they take it elsewhere. And the worst moments of all come when I realize that I have let my fiery emotions say something that I wish that I could take back.

Some might say, well just don’t go to those websites. While there are specific places that I avoid, I am not going to stop living. And living means interacting with – well, everyone – at some level or another.  Jesus came to us, he lived with us as one of us. To that end, we must keep living, but to do so in Christ.

How do we do this? And how do we do this consistently?  Those are my questions as we enter this week. I guess as I close, these words come to me, from Richard Rohr, OFM, reminding me to live, and to live always in Christ. This is easier said than done, but what are the alternatives? There is not much to think about, but there is much to live for.

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”

Who do I need to forgive today? How can I be kind? Where is my compassion? How is it that God is so endlessly generous with us, and yet we who profess lives in that same God, do otherwise?

Saturday Song

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