View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

St. Thomas More (on a sense of humor)

give me a sense of humor,
so that I may take some happiness from this life,
and share it with others.
- St. Thomas More (Secular Franciscan)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness (with humor)

I love the guy with the broom!

A nod to Father McCoart over at Straight from the Heart

Helping Santa

Last night was my first shift this year as one of Santa's helpers. A fairly steady stream children, and many patient parent (despite a camera that malfunctioned and held up pictures for more than an hour).

The evening was highlighted by two special young ladies, and a young lad.

One lass regaled me with a sweet a capella version of "Here Comes Santa Claus."

A second Daughter of Eve gave me a rose.

And the Son of Adam excitedly told me that they had a new house with a BRAND NEW FIRE PLACE! (I told that was wonderful, and just to make sure they didn't have a fire in it Christmas Eve!)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Okay ...

As long as I can remember, I have been a writer. Even as a grade-school child, I was penning poetry, stories, and plays. I have worked as an editor and a reporter (radio and print). I have seen some of my poetry published, plays produced, and songs performed.

I write, therefore I am.

When I said I was ending this blog, I really was serious. I had other outlets, after all. But I hate to give up on something. The itch was still there. The other outlets did not meet all my needs.

So, I am back.

But first I need to explain part of why I left - and why things will be different this time around.

At the point I quit, I was unhappy about a number of things connected with this blog.

I found that I was spending too much time on it. That time was spent on more than just writing posts. I was responding to comments, arguing with others, reading other blogs to find ideas - and posts/comment with which I disagreed and which could provide fodder for some attack on my part.

That meant time spent at the computer that I could have been spending with my wife, praying, doing spiritual reading, practicing guitar, writing other things. I found myself thinking about what I was going to write, how I was going to respond to some post or comment, even when I was doing other things - including during Mass.

I also found myself too often giving free reign to my tendencies to judge and criticize harshly, and to be sarcastic. There's nothing wrong with speaking out against things that are wrong - like abortion, for example, or certain government policies, or even uncharitable attacks on others. But I tend to respond in uncharitable ways myself.

I also found myself getting too caught up in arguing. Again, debating an issue is fine, but some of the arguments dragged on pointlessly and endlessly.

In starting up again, I will continue to discuss and debate issues, to criticize things that are wrong, but with a different tone. I will try to take a more positive approach.

I will avoid searching other blogs for things with which to argue. Some blogs I will avoid entirely because I am not strong enough to avoid temptation.

I will comment on issues as I can imagine St. Francis, G. K. Chesterton, or Mike Huckabee responding to them. Honestly, but fairly, guided by Christian charity.

I will also continue my other blogs. I write a blog about my spiritual reflections as a Secular Franciscan in formation. I help Santa with his diary. I'm part of the team that writes about "Chesterton and friends." I contribute to two blogs about Mike Huckabee. (Check them out.)

Sometimes I will cross post, or write variations of a single post for a couple of blogs.

I will curtail the sarcasm.

I will also blog a bit less. There are more important things for me to be dong.

I will continue to moderate the comments. Some will not see light of day.

I'm back.

But now, off to spend time with my wife.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Holidays Mean ... the Blues

Every year at the holidays, I get the blues.

I get the blues periodically anyway - something I have to be aware of, and cautious about - but I can always count on it this time of the year.

I'm not sure why. Unrealistic expectations? Too many memories? Too much going on? Too many people? The heightened emotions?

When the blues hit I get testy and defensive. My stomach knots or gets sour. I get tension headaches. I want to get away. I want to go into my shell.

When we have people over for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I always seem to disappear into the kitchen to do the dishes. It's become such a given that the sink is referred to as my "post." Dad's at his post again.

Dad is hiding.

The term "Holiday Blues" is out there, so obviously what I experience is not uncommon. I'm one of many who feel its effects.

I'm sure learned studies have been done. There are probably also lots of articles in magazines and newspapers, full of speculation, possible causes, doses of pop psychology, and, of course, remedies.

Get counseling.

Focus on the positive.

Take two happy pills and don't see us until after the holidays.

It occurs to me that I should offer it up when I get in these moods. Something so negative? Sure. It's a part of my life. It's a suffering I experience. By offering it up I can turn something negative into a positive.

Lord, I offer you my blues.

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Silent Siege - Youth for Life

The "silent siege" idea is spreading. It's powerful, moving, clever - and it inspires young people. Could we do that here in Rochester (and in other places)? Youth groups? Catholic high schools? College campus ministries? Why not?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Maybe the Bills should have tried this

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Huckabee: On Palin, Pro-life issues

The more people see clips like this, the better his chances in 2012.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mass, We Pray

Sent to me by a heretical friend with a sense of humor!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mary Had a Baby

Getting in the mood!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Approved Church Music?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Planned Parenthood director quits over abortion

This was just too powerful not to post something. Her description of the child fighting for its life brings starkly home the reality of abortion. I'm so glad Huckabee interviewed her.

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