Friday, February 27, 2015

Road Rage and Lent

My fellow and one of my fave bloggers, Kathleen Basi has an interesting blog about road rage.
See Kathleen's full story here: http://kathleenbasi.com/2015/02/20/road-rage-and-other-rage/

I couldn't help myself in commenting on her blog about my Lenten attempt to give up my road anger:

This Lent I decided I really needed to work on my Driving Etiquette – in other words, I would not get angry at other drivers, no matter what, I would not yell and scream or even mutter under my breath that they were being jerks no matter how many horns blared at me, fingers, near misses and selfish driving acts I was the ‘victim’ of. In exchange, because I knew this was going to be a monumental task for me to undertake – I’m very much a MommaBear because all my kids are on the road driving with these crazies too – I thought I would lift my usual ban on chocolate for Lent. I thought I may need the balance of candy to outweigh me staying calm and happy in my car. So far week two of Lent has seen me eat an entire bag of snack size Milky Ways to appease urge to get out and upbraid the selfish driver running the red light, all the drivers going way to fast for road conditions after a 13 inch snowfall, and the honkers who think I’m stupid for waiting an extra second when the light turns green to make sure those red light runners don’t hit me! I feel guilty about the candy but so far I have stayed calm in my car. I am reconsidering a better exercise program to work off the candy

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Power of Love

   A tragedy of Christian history is division among the followers of Jesus. Today there is a wounded unity in the body of Christ. Undoubtedly this happened because Christians preached their own message instead of heeding the gospel call of the Lord to repentance and service.
   More than ever before the members of the human community need to grow closer to one another, if simply for the survival of the species. Human community is fostered by unity. Christians believe that the Lord Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit - the Spirit of love - can bring about what human efforts cannot. Like a magnet that draws particles of iron to itself, the power of love can attract Christians to Christ and thus unite them to one to another. United, Christians stand as a beacon to a world searching for light; divided, Christians fall and scatter the fire of hope.
     For love to work its mysterious wonders, Christians must strive to live according to the gospel of Jesus.  Mutual respect, a genuine desire to learn from others, shared prayer and humble works of service for those suffering - all these are essential for  Christian unity. The religious antagonism of the past has no place in a world struggling against the forces of evil for its mere survival.  All people of good will must join hands to help work for God's kingdom. By centering on Jesus and letting go of superior attitudes towards others, Christians place themselves in a much better position to be the light of the world they are called to be.

Excerpted from This Is Our Faith by Michael Pennock Copyright 1998 by Ave Maria Press, P.O. Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Used with permission of the publisher.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Giving Up...

I am giving up driving for Lent.
Or it seems if I am to keep my Lenten promise I will have to give up driving.
Driving in our not so big but not that small town has grown to be a penance in itself lately. Also known as I'm-getting-older-and-not-as-patient-with-people I can leave my home or place of business in a kindly, wonderfully patient mood only to arrive at my destination red faced, mad as heck and wanting to give out my own set of traffic tickets or arrange some Jesus meetings for others.
Not very Christian-like of me I must say. So, I thought giving up getting upset in my car, would be a great practice for me during Lent.
 This is day two following Ash Wednesday and I think I'll have to give up something else!
  Granted this week we've had over 12 inches of snow in a semi-southern climate that is not used to snow, icy street driving so I should excuse others more. Not so! When you are racing 20 miles over the speed limit on icy roads you should be...well...chastised at least!
 I've begun singing in my car every time I get upset with another driver. So at least now other drivers think I'm jamming to a tune in the privacy of my car.   Singing 'la-la-la, la-la-la" has been working so far in calming down.  But I don't know how I'm going to make it another 38 days. Truly...
We don't really have a bus system in our town, at least not one that goes the places I need to go so unless I enlist the help of my husband to drive me everywhere while I keep my eyes closed and sing at the top of my  lungs, I'm going to have to figure out how to deal with it.
 Prayers would, of course, be appreciated!  La-la-la-la-la...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lenten Joy!

  Oh I know, what joy in Lent? Isn't it supposed to be the opposite? Joy isn't allowed just like the "A" word we sing before the Gospel. 
  Yet, I tell myself, JOY is always part of our Lenten journey. Our lives are like Lent, we are constantly experiencing dryness in our lives, not just during Lent, we experience sorrows, sadness and yearnings; not just during Lent.  And yet we as Christians are asked, no, we are commanded to be Joyful because WE HAVE THE RESURRECTION!!  Christ died and ROSE for us!!
  So it makes sense to have joy in Lent because we know what's coming. It's like cleaning up your house for a party or when you know a family member is coming home. I truly dislike mopping the floors, cleaning the carpet, dusting especially up on those shelves in my kitchen where I keep nick-nacks.  But you know the dust bunnies are up there and must be swept away at least once a year.
  So it is with Lent. We must get rid of the dust bunnies in our souls!  Lent helps us clean ourselves up, tidy up our souls for the Great Arisen Jesus!
  When my kids were little, we used to cut out different colored hearts from construction paper before Ash Wednesday, then every day during Lent we all had to do something special for one another.  It might be take over someone's chores that day, help them with homework, clean our room without a reminder from Mom, or smile at someone we don't really like much.  Then after supper that good deed was written on a heart and put into a basket on the kitchen table.
 On Easter Saturday we would dump out all the hearts and with the help of some Scotch tape, hang up our hearts around the picture of Jesus that hangs above the kitchen table.  It was a beautiful reminder of what we had worked on during Lent - the company we were expecting in experiencing the Risen Christ.
  So yes, there is Joy in our Lenten journey!  We are preparing ourselves for company!
 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Joy, Joy, What week is it? 15, 16, 17

  Yikes, where does time go?  If you recall when we last met I was sorting through 'emergencies' in the office, computers going haywire and switched contact lenses. Well, all that was leading up to another 'emergency' - me being sick.
  In the seven years I've worked in the parish office, I never so much as taken a day or two of sick days and never in the same week!  Last week the stars aligned, being too prideful or something came crashing down on my head and I caught a cold like I've not had in a long time.  I was sort of miserable. Enough to call in sick on a Monday. I thought Tuesday would be okay, but by Wednesday I was out again!  I had a funeral to sing for Thursday and drug myself in for that stuffed with cold meds, cough drops, water and Kleenex.  Nothing like a cold to bring your pride to its knees!
  This week I'm still weaning myself off cold meds and drinking water like crazy but it's better, come on Summer!!
  Though I've been sick my class on the Joy of the Gospel has been ongoing, luckily it's all online so I've been able to keep up with it.  It has been a wonderful thing dialoguing with other Catholics all over the world. Many of those taking this class are from Australia!  Wow, it is so cool to talk with them and share our lessons on joy and learn some new ideas from the Holy Father.
   Speaking of joy, I'd like to share with you a beautiful tribute to the Holy Father that was done for his first anniversary as Pope.  We were given this link in my online class and I love it! It's a PowerPoint presentation with pictures of Francis and his quotes.  See for yourself!  http://www.vatican.va/auguri-francesco/pont_2014/en/index.html


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Joy! Week 14

  Sometimes I just have to laugh. My days are sometimes so very boring, typing a bulletin, running some papers. Then I have days like yesterday!  There wasn't a boring hour to it. First, I began the day by putting my contact lenses in the wrong eye. Those of you who have two different prescriptions for each eye know what I'm talking about. I have no idea how I got them mixed up, the case covers are different colors and say clearly "LEFT" and "RIGHT" and I think I was awake when I put them in...
Anyway, immediately they began to bother me, but it was pre-coffee so I chocked it up to be in the sleepy zone still.
   So quick breakfast and off to work. It was a gorgeous sunrise by the way. One of the perks of my work day beginning at 7:30 AM is I get to see the sun rise out of the east, the direction I am going; and see all the colors, the plane contrails, sun rays, you name it. It is an awesome display of God's wonders.  I did a little work in my office, then ran over to church for 8:00 AM Mass. It was when I was leaving Mass I noticed the heat pump on the church was frozen over and leaking...hmmm better make a call to our maintenance guy. 
  Get back in the office to screams from a co-worker whose computer has gone down and she handles payroll, end of year tax letters for the entire parish, anything financial. The last week of January is not a good time for her computer to go on the fritz. So being the by-default-designated-compute-triage person I go to work on her computer.
  By now I'm behind on working on a 50 page form my wonderful Pastor-Boss asked me to work on. Okay, still got time in the day...  And wow, I can't see the small type, what is up with my eyes?
  The computer turns into a disaster with nothing working correctly on it now and I am forced to call in the big guns!  Roger comes from the computer company across town and begins diagnosing. 
  Then my brother calls, my mom has a groundhog in the crawl space of her house. We spend 20 minutes trying to figure out how we're going to deal with that before it gets into her house. It's already chewed a hole through to the basement!!
  I get off the phone to find out a man has backed into the utility pole next to our Church and has possibly destroyed our data line with phones, computer and internet.  Sigh... and yes it's my job to fix it, or find someone who can!  I have a headache; and am beginning to wonder if I put my contact lenses in the wrong eyes. Should have thought of that much earlier.
  Back in my office I find out suddenly my computer is not working correctly now...they don't call them computer viruses for nothing!  Now Roger is working on my computer too.
  Back to planning for a funeral for tomorrow, finding music for the organist to play and me to sing. Wait, we don't have that sheet music, I need the internet to download it!
  I leave for lunch, to switch my contacts around and get back before more heck breaks loose! Boring? Not today!   JOY!!!