Saturday, June 20, 2009


Sometimes "on the fly" is the best way to do it.

Me and the boys got to Mass 20 minutes earlier than expected...since we're all going to my sister's to celebrate Father's Day tomorrow, plus we are picking up 2 new kittens (long story for another post) Saturday evening Mass was the best bet. As I sat the boys down, I immediately walked to the back of the church in order to grab a bulletin...and found myself in the confessional instead. Monsignor is NOT my favorite priest, nor is he my normal confessor. Yet, there I was, not 100% understanding why I closed to door to his confessional.

Then I remembered - it's the SACRAMENT, stupid!

It doesn't matter if I'm all that comfortable, or if I personally am fond of the priest (at the proper moment, he's in persona Christi, anyway). What matters is the grace that is always available through this Sacrament, regardless of the church in which it takes place, or the priest who celebrates it with us.

Monsignor was also the celebrant at Mass, so I made him (and Mass) a couple of minutes late. On the upside however, I made a good Confession and was glad I followed the nudgings of the Spirit this afternoon!


Daily Mass Readings (Sunday)
Job 38:1, 8-11
Psalm 107:23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Mark 4:35-41

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Archie...September 4, 1996-June 17, 2009

It's hard to welcome Sister Death into your home, especially when you're not expecting a visit.

Today, Archie, our 13-year old cat, seemed to be having difficulty breathing. He'd the last week or so. Breathing a little fast, hiding out under the bed, but always coming down for meals, purring and sitting on laps and shoulders when invited. Today was different.

Lori called me this morning at work and said Archie's breathing was labored and his stomach looked distended. She made an appointment with the vet and kept an eye on him for the rest of the day. Around 4 she called back and said she was taking him early - he was getting worse. The vet said Archie wasn't "critical" - he was mauling the veterinary techs like he usually did - so I figured I'd take a cab to the vet, wait with Lori and bring the gang home after they sedated Archie (like they always had to). We'd give him medicine and that would be that.

After waiting awhile with Lori, the vet came in with Archie's X-Rays. She said, "Alright, I don't have good news, so brace yourselves..." and I knew the nature of what was coming next. I heard "congestive heart failure". I heard "grave and critical" and I heard "nothing we can do for him." There was a lot of crying and why'ing. The vet left us to hold him and love him and say goodbye. I can't bring myself to write about the next part, so...

Fast forward to now.

My companion Archie is gone. Archie, who had seen me through some of the best and worst times of my life, who accepted kitty milk from a bottle in sitting in my hand at 4 weeks old, who was there when we brought both James and Patrick home from the hospital, who sat on my shoulder purring when I was in alcoholic withdrawal and going out of my skin, who stayed with me when I felt like giving up, who slept cradled in my arms or on top of my head. Archie has died. I have lost a dear, dear friend. When I finally go to my own reward, God willing, it will be Archie's mug I see stepping over that Rainbow Bridge into Heaven.

In short, I'm going to miss my friend very, very much.

Rest easy, Archibald.

Daily Mass Readings
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Psalm 112:1-4,9
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Loving our enemies...Isn't there an easier way?

"Jesus said to his disciples:
You have heard that it was said,
'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

-Matthew 5:43-48

Anyone else have problems adhering to this?

I try to be a good man, a good husband and a good father. I try to make that daily decision to love my neighbor. But what Jesus asks here seems like lunacy to me sometimes. Love my enemy??? Jesus, are you kidding me? I have a hard enough time trying to do right by my wife, kids and cats. I have to include the guy who lives behind me with seven dogs and the broken fence? The lady who almost rams into me with her car because she's too busy putting her face on to steer the wheel? That guy in high school who beat me up to make me look bad into front of a girl? Him, too??

Him, too, Jesus says.

All about the journey I suppose. I know Jesus didn't mean be all fluffy-huggy-lovey-dovey with my enemies ('cause I AIN'T doing that, at least no today!). No, Jesus exhorts me to pray for them, to hope for their welfare and for their good. Jesus challenges me with this idea today, as I don't know that I can pray for people I consider "enemies". I have worse examples than my backyards neighbor and the other 2. I'm just not ready to bring that up in a blog today, however.

Perhaps, Jesus, I will pray for the openness, the willingness to love and pray for these enemies. That's as far as I can go right now, and I know You don't ask me to go further than I can. I need Your help, because it certainly doesn't feel like I have the capacity for such Love.

At least not today.

Peace & All Good,

Daily Mass Readings
2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Psalm 146:2, 5-6ab, 6c- 7, 8-9a
Matthew 5:43-48