Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Dirty Little Relationship Secret of Women and Purses

I have uncovered the root of the age old dilemma of why a rational woman can be in a monogamous relationship with one man for an entire lifetime but cannot remain faithful to one purse for longer than six months. Admit it ladies, we all have the pile of cast offs in the back of our closet to prove it.

A woman goes out and finds a purse that she absolutely loves, and for a short time that purse is everything she will ever need. Eventually though the purse's flaws begin to show; the cell phone pocket is on the wrong side, there is no place to secure a pen so everytime you need one you have to practically dump out the entire contents of the purse just to find one, not enough space for all your credit cards -- how on earth can you live with that -- I ask you?

After exhaustive discussion with many of my women friends, and looking over all of my stash of old purses for evidence I have come to a conclusion about why it is that women can't remain with one purse for the long haul. It is because we don't get to date our purses!

When we see a purse we like in the store we have to make a full time commitment to it. We don't get the chance to try it out for a while and see what flaws it might have before we decide to take it on. I don't know about the rest of you, but if I had had to make a decision about mrangelmeg on the first day we met, chances are he would have not made the cut, as cute as he was at the time it took a while for his charms to grow on me. On the other hand some of the guys I thought I really liked on that first look turned out to be really really not worth a second or third date (one wasn't even worth the first date, but that is entirely another story).

Yet, when we pick up that purse in the store and look it over and decide that it is the right color, or has the right kind of pockets and amenities we have to make a commitment to it. It is only after we are committed to it that we find out that it has flaws.

In a relationship with a person, you tend to learn their flaws before you make a commitment to them, and you can decide if you are willing to live with the flaws, or if you are wiling to put in the effort to help them overcome their flaws. Not so with purses. A purse has flaws that will never go away, so you just have to live with them, and they begin to grate on your nerves.

That is why a woman will put a perfectly good purse on the pile at the back of her closet at the start of a "new season" and go off to hunt for a new model. The old one let us down. We are looking for perfection.

I noticed in my research that I tend to buy almost the exact same purse, just in different colors each new season. It has a pocket for my IPod and another for my cell phone. It has a built in wallet and is medium in size. I considered for a moment just going back to one of my old purses when the latest one let me down, but as I looked through the pile all I saw were the flaws in the old ones.

Sigh, I suppose it is time to go out and try to find a new, perfect match. Maybe, just maybe this one will be exactly what I am looking for in a purse.

Hey, stop laughing, it could happen!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A New Year

It has been a year since my mom's death.  In the Victorian era it would be time to take the black wreath off of the door and stop wearing black clothing.  It is time to move on, get on with the stuff of living. They had the right idea.

Now I feel as though I can move on.  My regrets are fewer, and my memories are sweeter.  I can imagine a life without my mother in it now.  I am ready to get on with the stuff of living again.  I love my mother, but I know that she is where she wants to be, in heaven with my dad.   And I can be happy that she is there now in a way I couldn't be a year ago.

My year of mourning is over.


Monday, August 22, 2011

A Class Act from a Classy Kid

Glee is getting a new foreign exchange student this season thanks to The Glee Project.

Damian McGinty won a 7 episode arc on Glee last night on the finally of The Glee project.  He did such an amazing job singing Beyond the Sea and giving it his own unique twist (in a way that no one on Glee has ever done to my way of thinking.  A kid with an old world, Sinatra-esque charm will be a nice addition to the show's cast.

What is most impressive to me is that throughout the entire Glee Project Damian was the most humble, consistently nice and endearing, and real contestant of all of them.  Of course he was trying to win, but he didn't have to be fake or hurtful of others in order to do it.  That is just the kind of kid that he is.

And his class really showed through in this letter that was posted on the Celtic Thunder Website today.  He has been with Celtic Thunder since he was 14 years old (oh yeah, that is why he looks so familiar, you are saying to yourself).  While he is sad to have to leave them, he knows that being on Glee is just the start of a whole new part of his life.

I wish him all the best.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What He Said: Fr. Barron responds to Bill Maher's "Religulous"

The Longest Journey . . .

is the one that takes us deep within.

It is this inner journey where we encounter God in the most profound way, because at our core is where God resides. This journey involves spending a lot of time in prayer. And to me, the best form of prayer for the inner journey isn't verbal, conversational prayer, but silent, contemplative prayer.

I read an interesting quote by Abraham Joshua Heschel about prayer that in essence says that it is conceit to think that we can actually talk to God.  Prayer is more of an immersion in God, being enveloped and surrounded by God's love and mercy.  

That is the best definition of contemplative prayer.  When I practice contemplation that is exactly what I feel,  I feel as though I am immersed in God's love, totally surrounded by it and gaining strength from it in the silence of my prayer time.

My favorite analogy for God is the ocean.  I am a fish in the ocean and God is the water that surrounds me and sustains me in every way.  In it I move and breath and have my being.  I am so comfortable in my surroundings that I sometimes forget that everything that I have comes from God's love.   As I meditate on this image it helps me to go deeper into myself and uncover my dependence on God and my deep and abiding love for his tender mercies.

Don't be afraid to try contemplative prayer,  just remember that in this case, the longest journey, begins with one image.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blogaversary: I'm 7 This Year!

Seven years ago this month I started on this journey of blogging my thoughts for my loyal readers to enjoy. I have written a lot of my life experiences and done some pretty darn good essays about matters of faith. I have enjoyed sharing things I have read or seen on other sights or in the news. But to be completely honest, the most important reason that I have kept this up for seven years is that I can't afford therapy.

Writing is my therapy. I would continue to write on this blog if no one ever visited this site. I have wondered at times about ways to increase my readership, but it doesn't really matter. I write for me, and in some cases, I write for God. So if someone stumbles onto my site or is directed here because of my Facebook or Twitter links and is inspired or challenged by something I write, that is God's plan.

My goal isn't to have thousands of followers or win awards for what I write here. My goal is to write what is in my heart. If what I write touches one person, then that is enough for me.

Thank you to those of you who show up here from time to time to see what I decide to share on these pages. Thanks even more to those of you who comment on my posts, because your comments make me think and make me stronger in my faith and make me a better writer as well.

I wonder what the next year will bring? It will be fun finding out.


Monday, August 01, 2011

The Real Vocational Crisis: We Aren't Praying Equally for All of Them

Twice in the past two days I have heard or read impassioned prayers for young people to be open to God's vocational call to the priesthood and religious life.  Neither prayer mentioned asking God's help for these young people to listen carefully and thoughtfully to God's call to Holy Matrimony, which is also a vocational path to which arguably most of these young men and women will be more likely to be called than to either the Priesthood or religious life.  I think this is a very huge mistake.

I contend that a lot of the problem with marital difficulties among men and women who were raised in the Catholic church might be because we live in a larger culture that sees marriage as a limited, disposable and often unnecessary institution.  And then within our churches we hear prayers for vocations which call only the priesthood and religious life as being set apart, called by God for a higher purpose.

Speaking for myself as well as my devoted husband,  we both know that from a young age we were called to the vocation of marriage.  We went into our marriage thinking of it as a vocational choice to honor God and through how we live our lives and raise our children to point others toward God.  In the act of having our five beautiful children, and raising them in the faith we are doing it for the greater good of the Kingdom.  We continually pray for our marriage as a vocation, and to help  our children be open to God's vocational call to them wherever  that call may lead them.

And yet, when the Church as a whole prays for vocations, my children only hear about vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  They don't hear about marriage as a vocation and rarer still are prayers for the vocation of single Catholic adult. (to which at least one of my children has been called I believe).

As I see it (and have only heard in one vocational prayer) Marriage is the source of all other vocations.  Without holy marriages open to procreation where will  the Church find the children  to be called to be the next generation of priests and religious?  Since the church doesn't believe in artificial insemination they won't be creating them in a laboratory.

I also contend that if we worked as a church to pray for and strengthen the vocation of Holy Matrimony, and teach it as a vocation to which men and women are called the crisis in vocations to the priesthood and religious life will be overcome.  Men and women will choose marriage more wisely and with a thought toward having more than 2.2 children (if you look at some of the families in our churches today you see these kinds of couples already emerging).  More children raised in the faith means more children for God to call to vocations  to the priesthood and religious life.

So the cure for the vocations crisis is not in praying for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life, but in praying for the vocation of holy matrimony first, or at least as equal to and on the same level as the other vocations in the church.

I wonder if we had an International year of the Family within the church, and focused all of our prayers for an entire year on that vocation, what kind of miracles might begin to happen?