Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Giving Thanks

Tomorrow I go to spend the day with my mother. She is still in pretty good shape, all things considered, but I know that an entire day with family around her will be more than she can handle. I want this to go well, as this may be the final Holiday where I still have something of my mom to interact with before the disease takes all of her memory away.

Please God give me the serenity to accept this situation, and the wisdom to not think that any of her negative emotions are about me personally, and the courage to stay there -- in the past I have just left when things got bad.


Sunday, November 14, 2004

Identity Crisis

I was a member of a group this week, as an exercise in obedience. I really didn't want to be there, I hadn't had much fun in the previous sessions, but I am required to attend one more as an obligation.

One of my problems when I am in this group is that I get so nervous that I talk entirely too much. This is a problem I have. I get very excited about a topic and what I have learned and gleaned and absorbed in my spiritual journey on that subject that I want to share all of it with whoever will listen. I guess I had this problem in the group I was in. I was asked that perhaps I should curtail my sharing with the group for the benefit of the group.

I had decided that I was not going to attend this group for a while, but there happened to be a really interesting topic this night, and I wanted to hear what was said. I decided that I just wouldn't say anything at all, just listen and get it through the night.

As the hour wore on I did venture one or two statements, and I had a few more in mind that I wanted to share, but I found myself editing in my head, and keeping myself from sharing very valid feelings and emotions, for fear that the others in the group would judge me as talking too much again.

As I was sitting there, in the last fifteen minutes in the hour, I found myself getting very depressed. I had to force myself to become someone I wasn't by editing my comments in order to feel as though I could be a member of this group. It wasn't like a mortification, which would make me stronger, it was a painful realization that this group would only accept me in this edited version of myself.

It was a painful realization. If this group, whose purpose is supposed to be spiritual growth, could only accept me as a member if I was constantly keeping myself from sharing any part of myself, then perhaps it is time that I leave this particular group. I would never discount someone for who they are, and that is the way I perceived what was happening to me.

I guess it is important to know what isn't working in ones spiritual life, and make adjustments when it is obvious that one should move on. I don't want to be in a faith-sharing group where I feel as though the other members only care about an edited version of my journey.

So, I go.


Friday, November 12, 2004

Change is Good

Change is inevitable, or so they tell us. Nothing can stay the same forever, even mountains eventually errode. So why does the idea of change scare us so much?

From the moment we are conceived every aspect of our lives is about change in some way or another. Most of the change that happens is in an orderly and predictable manner, but sometimes changes come that couldn't be predicted or expected.

After we are born the changes continue. And yet as we age we become less and less comfortable with change. I wonder what causes us to fear it so much. Perhaps we have forgotten what we learned as babies in diapers: change isn't always a bad thing, it is usually pretty evident when change is necessary, and change is necessary to stay healthy.

So, learn to re-embrace change, and when one is necessary don't complain.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

Living in the Mystery

The other night on television I heard some talking head new age philosopher say that it isn't important to be in the know. What is important is to be in the mystery. I really wanted to jump into that discussion and tell that man that his "new age" philosophy wasn't new at all.

As a Catholic Christian I live in the mystery every day of my life. Every aspect of lived Catholic faith is done within the Paschal Mystery of Jesus' incarnation, life and mission, suffering and death on the cross, and rising to new life in the resurrection.

I guess the axiom is true "everything old is new again". To have someone speak of living in the mystery devoid of any mention of God or faith was a bit jarring, but I suppose that this philosopher's idea of transcendence is God's self revelation in a way. Perhaps the only difference is semantics.

I am lucky I guess that I didn't have to go off in search of Kabala or Wicca or Dyanetics or some other path, because I have the way the truth and the life set before me.